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Hi,

 

This isn't so much a "what are your favourite coasters" thread, as a "how easy is it to decide on your list" thread.

 

For example - My current count is about 350, and I have ridden 5 which I'd say were better than the others by a long distance

 

(If you want to know - Bizarro at SFNE, Skyrush, Colossos at Heide park, Nemesis and piraten at Djurs)

 

6 onwards is where it starts getting awkward.

 

How about you?

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I think I know what you mean.

 

I'm pretty set on ranking most of my coasters and avoiding most (preferably all) ties. I used to rank every coaster. Then I stopped ranking most Boomerangs, Wild Mice, kiddie coasters, second sides of racers, and maybe a few other frequently cloned or non-significant ride types. Then I basically switched to "Mitch Hawker rules" and stopped officially ranking even quality clones such as Batmans. (Note that none of this has any bearing on what I count as credits.)

 

While I generally reach a point after every trip/season where I'm pretty settled in my rankings, there's definitely that confusion where some rankings feel a bit "off," but not enough to know what to change them to.

 

I also rate coasters out of 10, so it can be weird to look at my list and think "Okay, these are '10' rides; of course there aren't too many of those...these are '9' rides...wow, we're into '8' rides already? Sad!"

 

To give you an idea, my only wooden '10' rides are Boulder Dash, Coaster (Playland) and The Voyage. My only steel '10's' are Maverick and X2. (Nowadays, I rank wooden and steel separately.)

 

Food for thought. Not sure if it's entirely in line with what you meant, but maybe it'll serve as a jumping off point.

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I think I know what you mean as well. What gets me is that when I think of a ride, sometimes I think "Is this actually really good, or am I just thinking it's good because everyone else thinks it's good." My favorite ride is El Toro and I'm not sure if it's actually my number 1, but it has such high praise that I tend to feel like someone else said it was my favorite before it actually was my favorite.

 

Also, a question for everyone else (that I think is in this same type topic):

 

Would you say there is a difference between your "best" coaster and your "favorite" coaster?

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I only rank my Top 10. I could rank all of mine fairly easily because I've been on relatively few, however I don't care enough to do so. I also do the 1-10 system, though I also include .5's (for example I would rate Millennium Force a 9.5). I've only been on three '10' rides (Maverick, El Toro, and Bizarro), but I'm hopeful Skyrush can make it into that category when I ride it tomorrow.

 

^As to your question above, I don't distinguish between those two, but I understand how someone could say that a ride is the best they've been on, but have a different 'favorite,' maybe a ride that has a lot of emotional value to that person, one that they think is massively underrated. But personally, I don't think there's a difference.

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I've said this before - if I don't hate a roller coaster, I will ride it over and over and over again as if it's the best ride in the world. I rode Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom over fifty times over the course of ten full days at the park because I liked it so much!

 

That being said, I do have "top" coasters. I have my favorite wooden (Phoenix), my favorite steel (Skyrush), then I have a bunch of coasters all lumped together in an unranked "top" list (Lightning Racer, El Toro, among others).

 

I'm a universalist, what can I say?

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Hrm... I guess I should have 2 lists. One list for the best coasters I ever rode - that either do not exist anymore or have changed into a somewhat-to-completely different ride; and another list of current favorites that provide stable fun every time over the years.

 

Favorites every time:

Thunderbolt - Kennywood

Phoenix

Mind Bender - SFOG

Cyclone - Coney Island

Legend

Voyage

Cyclops

Whizzer

 

Best I ever rode (but are different now):

Timberwolf #1

Texas Giant

Georgia Cyclone

Blue Streak - CP

Zambezi Zinger (well, I guess I could travel to Columbia to ride it...)

Hades

Big Dipper - Geauga Lake

 

Coasterin for a long time I start to think about how my favorites have changed over the years and what has stuck. When Custom Coasters were building stuff, they had some great ones. But many of those tore themselves apart too fast. Comfort is very important to me, so I love about any Anton coaster (Scorpion, Shockwave SFOT, sooperdooperLooper, the shuttle loops...). I think Maverick would be *GREAT* with just lap bars; but as it is, I'd rather not ride.

 

Rides I couldn't care less about for years have snuck up in to my favorite list simply because they are unique and rare - Whizzer being the prime example. All those years we had stuff coming on going (Shockwave, Batman, Viper, etc.) I would give good old Whizzer an occasional courtesy ride. But how things have changed! It's one of my main rides there now... Heck, I've even come to worship the small, oft-bashed ("it's a stupid carnival ride!") Anton Wildcats.

 

The first time I rode Batman it was my #1. Same with Millenium Force. Staying power was low.

 

Sometimes I think, what if things were reversed; if all the Arrow and B&M coasters were actually built by Anton, and the Arrow and B&Ms were the rare ones... and how that would affect my favorite list. Could you imagine a Loch Ness Monster, Demon and Vortex but built 1970s/80s Anton style!?

 

My coaster count is somewhere around 350 (I know many of you have ridden many more than me!) Some other personal taste trends I have developed over the years - the B&M coasters, with few exception (Busch Gardens parks) were mostly great in the beginning, but have become VERY same-y over the years. They just don't have staying power (for me). Some of the big newer Intamin coasters like El Toro are fun, but it's just not the same when I am *ONE* with the seat (stapled and strapped down). With Intimidator 305, I went feeling it would be a top coaster for me when I read the reports, but I felt like a Roller Coaster Tycoon peep coming off it. It's pure intensity/low fun (rode with the soft straps). I tried and tried over 2 days at the park, but it never did much for me.

 

Figured I would explain my tastes, just incase anyone cares

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I sometimes find it tricky to find the right order. I mean, sometimes you ride something and you instantly know where it goes on your list, while other times it's very hard to tell.

For example, when I went on Revolution at Pleasure Beach I rated it an instant 8 (no joke, I thought it was great). When I went on Air at Alton Towers, I rated it a solid 7. However, I think Air is definitely superior to Revolution, despite the fact Air is a 7 and Revolution is an 8.

So I have no idea how to order rides like that.

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I don't rank my coasters in a specific order. I either find them great, neutral, or bad. Back when I did rank my coasters I found it very difficult to give my favorites a specific place because I liked them all for different reasons.

The way I see it, all roller coasters have different characteristics that give the ride its personality. Therefore, I kind of find it a little unfair to rate one particular experience over another (unless the experience is obviously bad).

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What gets me is that when I think of a ride, sometimes I think "Is this actually really good, or am I just thinking it's good because everyone else thinks it's good."

I try my best to respect my true feelings, and I'm not afraid to do so, since nearly everyone has at least a couple less-than-popular opinions. But it's hard to deny the influence of other enthusiasts. I think I'm a bit hesitant to rank certain rides too differently from the norm, and if I do, I either keep quiet about it or explain my thoughts carefully.

 

Would you say there is a difference between your "best" coaster and your "favorite" coaster?

For the most part, I don't think that way. But the example I usually trot out is that I think the Coney Island Cyclone provides an absolutely atrocious ride experience in terms of roughness, yet I still rank it fairly highly because there are aspects of it I really enjoy. My affection for it greatly exceeds my opinion of the ride quality it provides.

 

For example, when I went on Revolution at Pleasure Beach I rated it an instant 8 (no joke, I thought it was great). When I went on Air at Alton Towers, I rated it a solid 7. However, I think Air is definitely superior to Revolution, despite the fact Air is a 7 and Revolution is an 8.

Yup, this happens to me too. I do try to consider how I was influenced by my experience with coasters at the time I rode something, but sometimes it's difficult or impossible to know whether I only like something so much because it was the first of its kind I rode, or if, you know, I just plain like it that much.

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I don't ride coasters just to eventually rank them. I ride them because I love them. I just have one favorite coaster: Mindbender. You can rank coasters if you want, but I don't see a point of ranking them since they're all enjoyable in their own ways. Personal preference, I guess.

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I just take into account what all the fanboys like and rate my top coasters based on what would appease them. So it would go: Voyage, Prowler.

 

In all seriousness, I find the coasters that I enjoy most are the airtime monsters and they dominate my top ten. There's always a delicate balance between number of quality elements versus the best quality elements, but less quality elements. I think at the moment my top ten is: El Toro (less quality elements but the good stuff is wow), Balder, Phoenix, GeForce, Boulder Dash, NTag, SFNE Bizarro, Piraten, Walibi Goliath, & X2.

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I don't ride coasters just to eventually rank them. I ride them because I love them. I just have one favorite coaster: Mindbender.

Oh yeah. That's one of my favorites, too. I assume you mean Mind Bender at SFOG and not Mindbender in Edmonton?

 

You can rank coasters if you want, but I don't see a point of ranking them since they're all enjoyable in their own ways. Personal preference, I guess.

 

The point was to list your favorite coasters; the ones you love *the most*. Not necessarily a ranked list.

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I don't really have a solid ranking either, but there are definitely favorites.

 

However, I've also been trying to think of a mathematical way to deterimine which are my favorites, lol. Just as a note, I don't really take rankings too seriously either, but my technical side finds this kind of stuff fun and I recently learned how to do design selection in engineering. It's not that I need to. It would be really interesting if there's a disparity between what I "feel" and what I "calculate."

 

For anyone that's interested, I will use a decision matrix: Make a list of criteria (air time, positive g's, laterals, sense of speed, etc.), assign them weights using a pairwise comparison method based on how important they are to me. Then rate each coaster on how well they meet the criteria on a 1-5 scale, multiply the ratings by their weights for each criteria, then take the sum.

 

I haven't looked into it, but does Mitch Hawker's algorithm use a similar kind of method?

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Depends how big a list.

 

I easily have a top 5 and even have em ranked, but after that it gets really muddy. I have a list of coasters that are clearly better (like a top 10 or 15) but it's not really a list, more a pool!

 

I've yet to add Maverick, I305, Bizarro and Boulder Dash, all of which should happen this year and that'll make things a lot more difficult.

Agreed with some others, the list is for fun and I dont take it too seriously.

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Then we can always take into account "I had a great time this one time... with these people... at this place... at this time..."

 

Like at the ACE coaster con 1990 at SFOT. They were pushing all this free soda and treats on us.. it was late at night, a bunch of rides were open for ERT. It was my first time on a Vekoma boomerang - Flashback. I rode it 6 times with some friends and it was moment that is burned in my memory.

 

But I probably wouldn't even give that ride a "courtesy ride" these days. But still, great memory.

 

Then I have opposite memories; really good (or "should be great") rides that I had a lousy time on. Like being at Lake Compounce by myself at waiting in a long line to ride Boulderdash. It had so much hype... but the ride, along with my experience waiting alone in a long line (one train operation, the 2nd train was sitting right there in transfer) really left a negative experience in my head.

 

I won't even get into the horrible times I've had at Great Adventure. Alone and with friends. This was supposed to be a positive thread heheh

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I used to rate coasters from 1-10, and then I realised I had too many 10's (I'm too easily impressed), so I split those into 10,11 and 12.

 

Then I rode Colossos, and decided it was better than any of my 12's - so I then rated from 1-13.

 

After Skyrush and bizarro - my ratings go up to 15!

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I generally have about ten at the top of my list.

 

There are a couple factors that will put a coaster towards the top.

 

A. It has to have good airtime and/or a good combination of forces.

 

B. It has to be relatively comfortable, and something I do not want to get off of.

 

It's hard to put an exact order, but I would say MF, Bizarro, Nitro, NTAG, El Toro, Boulder Dash, Phantom's Revenge, Phoenix and Ravine Flyer II are all on my list.

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Here's how I rank... I put almost no thought into it. You kind of get a sense of what is really good, and then just go quickly straight through.

I always find that once I go back and look, you start second guessing yourself "well, was this one just a bit better?" Some people already said it, that ranking isn't supposed to be taken too seriously. As long as the coasters are in a general location, you're set. When I look at my top 10 steel and wooden I think "that doesn't look too shabby" not "Oh, was Olympia Looping better than Intimidator 305? Or what about Goliath. Was that even better?" I feel trying to quantify an opinion is rather silly when anyone who looks at a top 10/20/30 etc. list really just wants to know "What are the best rides that I haven't been on? Maybe I should visit that place next"

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When I first got into the enthusiast thing and started visiting a lot of parks and riding more and more coasters I was way into ranking. It was really fun and gave me a chance to reflect on the rides and my memories associated with them. But once you reach a certain number it starts to become cumbersome, or at least it did for me. After a few years you start having trouble remembering specific aspects of rides; memories get hazy and they're ephemeral by nature - not good for objectivity. For me it got really hard to rank things once I hit 250, and aside from Mitch's poll I don't even rank anything after my top 25*. Those are pretty much set, with the occasional new coaster making its way in. Everything after that gets tough due to either how long it's been since I've ridden a particular coaster, or the massive amounts of clones and Boomerangs and Wild Mouse coasters that all kind of blend together. After my top 25 I don't even rank anymore (except for Mitch's poll each year).

 

* I do have an exception, in that being a huge B&M fanboy, I have all my B&M's ranked on their own.

 

God I feel like a huge nerd right now.

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I just lump them all into either favourites, ok or crap.

 

There are too many variables in ranking rides. How the ride was running, how long you ended up waiting for it. When you actually rode the coaster last. I've had great rides turn to crap rides as parks have failed to maintain them (or installed trims). Or rides that I thought were rubbish only to re-ride them later with new trains and ended up loving them.

 

My favourite rides aren't necessarily the biggest or faster I love rides that exceed in what they set out to do. I'll easily put Space Mountain at WDW in my favourite rides list along side rides like Balder,Winja's and Nemesis. Completely different experiences and it's difficult to rank them against each other.

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^^I agree with quite a bit of that. Ranking became cumbersome for me very quickly, and a lot of the more run-of-the-mill and/or lesser-quality rides do start blending together after awhile. It's not so much that said rides aren't fun at all anymore or not worth riding, as I do enjoy myself in the moment for more than just the credits, but they just aren't worth ranking. Especially because my full ranked lists aren't public apart from the Mitch Hawker ballots, anyway!

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Personally, I find it a lot easier ranking the wooden coasters versus the steel. I usually have no problem giving a top 10-15 for woodies, while I start grouping the steel after 4 coasters. I can tell you that El Toro, Phoenix, and Boulder Dash are easily my three favorites woodies, while Bizarro (SFNE), Phantom's Revenge, NTAG, and I305 take the top 4 as far as the steel coasters go.

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I honestly don't see a point in having a top XXX list of coasters. It makes no sense. I've got a 'top three' - and that's it. And even then, the list hasn't changed in about 20 years.

 

Having this list of "My top 500 coasters" is like having a list of "top 500 Hamburgers" or "Top 500 touchdown passes." As in: They're pretty much all the same in the end, and only a few are truly special.

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^^^ Absolutely, Laura! It's not that the more standard stuff isn't fun - we're coaster enthusiasts so even the typical stuff is gonna work when you're actually on the ride - but they just don't lend themselves well to being ranked.

 

^ I see where you're coming from QueerRudie, but for a lot of enthusiasts, especially newbies, ranking is definitely an important part of the hobby. Entire multiple websites are built around it. Like I mentioned previously I now only keep track of a Top 25, everything else kind of gels into basics of good, okay, or bad. I think a lot of it comes down to experience. When you've ridden, say, 105 coasters, that's easy and fun to rank. But start going considerably higher and it loses its appeal - it becomes less important and simply harder to do. But it's still very much a side hobby for a lot of enthusiasts and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. For what it's worth, there are foodies who do rank things like burgers, and sports fanatics are pretty obsessed with rankings and numbers, too. All that said (phew!), I do see your point; some enthusiasts just don't see the appeal, and others do.

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