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The "Pleasant/Unpleasant Surprise" Thread

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^^^I actually disagree. I had the complete opposite experiences with both coasters. I was not expecting much from Verbolten at all, but it turned out to be an all-around great ride. The indoor section was better than I expected (it was actually pitch dark, unlike Space Mountain or Flight of Fear). The drop track was a lot of fun, and the outdoor section was a good, intense ending.


So, knowing this, I was very excited for Cheetah Hunt. I thought that Cheetah Hunt would be the more intense version of Verbolten.


But it was actually...weaker!


I first rode in the back. I was actually shocked at how little airtime I got. I encountered exactly two spots of airtime: one on the largest drop and one on the hill after the third launch. But even these momens were not as fun as they looked. The inversion was cool, but I felt like I spent every other moment of he ride waiting for something interesting to happen. I even thought that the trick-track was just ok. Cheetah Hunt is also high on my list for having one of the least exciting endings I have ever experienced on a coaster.


Granted, I did try it in the front at the end of the day, and it was better, but still nowhere near as good as Verbolten. I was not alone in this view, either. I rode with six other friends, all of us had ridden Verbolten before. Not one of us thought that Chertah Hunt was in any way better.


I respect all opinions, but the general view that Cheetah Hunt beats Verbolten perplexes me and my friends to this day.


Did anyone else have an experience like this?

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Pleasant Surprise:

Mantis (soon to be Rougarou) (Cedar Point) - I had heard a lot of negative reviews about how rough it was. Given my past on B&M standups (Vortex being an ungodly painful experience while Riddler was surprisingly butter smooth), I had low expectations when riding this. When I rode however, I felt absolutely no headbanging! Uncomfortable g-forces sure, but no physical head to restraint pain. I'm not sure how the experience will be different when it reopens as Rougarou (It'll be a long while before I return to Ohio), but for what I got, it wasn't as bad as people said.


Flight of Fear (KI) - A bit of the same with what I said about Mantis, I heard that is was a very shaky ride that would bang you up. However when I rode it, I didn't find it to be that rough. Now it's my 2nd favorite roller coaster at KI, the first being the Beast of course.


Unpleasant Surprise:

Vortex (CGA) - Like I said, my history with B&M standups have been a mixed bag. This was the first standup coaster I had ever ridden. I distinctly remember it was about seven years ago, I had finally gotten over my fear of inversions after riding the Demon. I wanted to go on all the looping coasters after going on Demon. When I got on Vortex however, I had a different experience. I was not prepared for the seemingly endless headbanging that would occur after the loop. That thing gave me an immediate headache after it was over. And to this day, I will never ride it again. Let's hope it either goes away or gets the Rougarou treatment.


Ghostrider (Knott's) - I had known a lot about this ride prior to my first visit to Knott's in 2008, and I was really excited to ride it. I had heard some people say that it was really rough, but I wanted to evaluate it for myself. When I finally got on the ride, what I experience was not fun nor excitement, but a near death experience. This ride was so rough and so shaky, I was literally suffocating on this ride. I screamed for this ride to stop just so I could breathe. I was lucky that I didn't pass out on this ride. To this day, I curse this ride's very existence (even more so than Mean Streak), I curse the wood that it was built from, and I curse the cars (or death chariots) that have to travel along such an uncomfortable track. I hope for the day this ride either gets the RMC treatment or burns to the ground.


Tatsu/Firehawk - I put these two coasters together because they're sort of the same, and I had the same experience on both. I've made a realization that I don't like flying coasters. I'd always love the thought of flying through the air like Superman, but these kinds of coasters gave me a different experience from what I expected. I never feel safe on them. I feel like some of the stuff that are tightly secured in my pockets will fall off or that the car will break off from the track. During my first ride on Tatsu, when the train was heading up to the station, it stopped midway. I started to worry a bit and had those feelings of the car wanting to break off. After about a half hour or so, the ride became operational again and I was so relived to be back on the ground. When I went on Firehawk, even though it was a laydown type, I still had those feeling kicked up again. Thankfully it didn't break down midway like Tatsu, though given it was a laydown type, I wouldn't have worried too much.


Maverick (Cedar Point) - This was a ride that I was excited to go on. I had known about this coaster since it's construction and always wanted to know how it felt to actually ride it. When I rode it, my expectations were a lot different than what I had in mind. The heavy g-forces made the turns unbearable, trying to make me slam into the restraints. I'm still mixed on this ride, but I may give it another chance one day.

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I think its interesting when people say that Intimidator 305 was an unpleasant suprise because it made them grey out. I've greyed out every time I have ridden it and I have never once had any concern or felt any discomfort from it. I think it adds to the holy crap sensation if anything..


When we got back to the station on I305, my girlfriend had a fairly bad nose bleed, definitely a "holy crap" moment. Needless to say she didn't go on it again.

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Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Hollywood was a pleasant surprise for me. I had not watched any POV of it before riding it, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up enjoying it. The launch took me by surprise, it had some relatively forceful turns and curves, and the backwards section was interesting too. It is a bit on the short side, but I liked it nonetheless.


I had heard some decent praise for American Eagle at SFGAm, but I found it to be a bumpy and rather uninteresting ride. Not really a bad ride, but it just didn't do anything for me.

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Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Hollywood was a pleasant surprise for me. I had not watched any POV of it before riding it, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up enjoying it. The launch took me by surprise, it had some relatively forceful turns and curves, and the backwards section was interesting too. It is a bit on the short side, but I liked it nonetheless.


Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida was great fun when I rode it in september, really enjoyed this ride. Another pleasent surprise for me at Universal was Transformers: The Ride 3D. Holy crap, I had no idea a simulator ride could be this spectacular. This ended up being one of my favorite rides of the entire visit to Orlando. I don't know if it was because I have not been on many simulator rides or not, but I was absolutely blown away by this ride!!!

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This past weekend I got to experience Powder Keg and Outlaw Run in the dark again. During the day they are already two of the best coasters in the world, but at night they are an even new kind of beast. Outlaw Run at night is OMFG amazing, even more so than I remember, and Powder Keg is just as good, if not better.

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Rides I thought would be good from all the positive reviews:

Boulder Dash - Maybe it's because we rode El Toro the day before but definitely NOT a #1 (even top 5) coaster for me

Bizarro (SFNE) - Expected too much I guess. It was fun but not amazing

Millennium Force - I had heard how it was everyone's fav coaster and so amazing. It was amazing...amazingly boring. Most overrated coaster EVER!

Magnum - Painful and yes I sat in the magic seat

Cheetah Hunt - Snoozefest

Raptor - fun but not all that

Lightning Racers - at the bottom of the GCI list for me

Phoenix - I don't get the hype. At all.

Nitro - Near the bottom of the US B&M hyper list for me

Rip, Ride, Rockit - Horrible, Horrible, Horrible

Prowler - So not what people make it out to be.


Rides I thought would suck but liked:

Mantis - Heard terrible things. I liked it. 2nd best stand up in my opinion.

Revolution - Even with OTSR's, I thought it was fun and only hit my head once. It would be better w/o the OTSR's though.

Rolling Thunder - Wasn't bad at all.

Wildcat (Hershey) - Expected it to be terrible. It's better than Lightning Racers.

Hypersonic XLC - I know I am in the minority but I loved it. Didn't hit my head either. Kept it against the seat and had no problem.

Hades 360 - Rough but a very intense layout

Raging Bull - Great layout. Really fun.

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I think its interesting when people say that Intimidator 305 was an unpleasant suprise because it made them grey out. I've greyed out every time I have ridden it and I have never once had any concern or felt any discomfort from it. I think it adds to the holy crap sensation if anything..


For me personally, it's just too much. Small greyouts on other rides don't bother me nearly as much as I305 - the after effects of that one seems to just stick around all day. Other rides are more "whoa, intense, all right, keep going." I305 just feels like getting knocked on my ass and kept down.


One of these days I'm going to drink a gallon or two of water and then ride it, see if that makes a difference. Or maybe I'll just pee my pants!

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Here's another pair.


Pleasant: Revolution at SFMM - I was expecting one of the most painful experiences in my life, but I didn't get hurt at all. Even though it doesn't need to be said, it would be much better without the trims and OSTRs.

Unpleasant: Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster - I heard a bit of hype for it, and the setting is pretty beautiful. BUT for $13/ride, it leaves a lot to be desired. I was not pleased to see trims. It really destroyed the experience that you get from an alpine coaster. I wouldn't ride it again.

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The biggest surprise for me was not liking X2. I just assumed that I was going to love it, but it just didn't work out that way. I actually kind of hate it.


Fahrenheit was probably the biggest "pleasant" surprise. I expected nothing and it was just so much fun. Not a top 10 coaster to be sure, but certainly much better than most of the reviews had indicated.

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2014 was full of surprises in coaster riding. I would say the most surprising coaster experiences of the season were at Six Flags New England.


Pleasant Surprise: Cyclone. There is a lot of hate out there about a ride that is rough, neutered, and a shell of it's "former" self. Nothing of the sort. I had zero clue about the notorious first drop which was one of the scariest moments on a coaster in a long time. Actually, the unique drop/turn/second drop sequence was pretty cool. The rest of the ride's odd pacing and interesting layout actually made it an unforgettable coaster experience. The abundance of topper track also kept this coaster very smooth. By no means an elite coaster, but a very fun one to say the least. I can't wait to someday experience the new version, Wicked Cyclone, but I'm glad I got the chance for one of the oddest traditional woodies out there.


Unpleasant Surprise: Goliath. Besides Bizarro, I was most excited to finally get the chance to experience a giant inverted boomerang after reading many positive reviews. No doubt this coaster was intense and out of control as I expected, but it sure did hurt which I didn't expect so much. Not in a headbanging way, but it hurt in a violent bouncing and jarring of the spine. It felt as if rocks were welded to the track it was so rough. I never thought I'd say this, but I really need to try out a version with a Vekoma train.

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Unpleasant Surprise - Canyon Blaster (Adventuredome)

I was looking forward to adding three brand new credits to my coaster count, and one of them was this Arrow loop-screw. It seemed innocent enough. TPR's POV video made the ride look fun, and the coaster itself looked beautiful. What could go wrong? Everything. I was on the front row, and even before the train reached the lift hill, my head banged the restraints. It's all a headbanging fest from there, and it's not fun at all. At the end, my head was hurting, and I think I recalled someone sitting behind me say, "This was awesome!" If this says something about the real Arrow coasters, I can't imagine what the Chinese knockoffs would be like.

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  • 4 months later...

My 2015 "preseason" results (DisneyWorld/Carowinds/Dollywood):



1. Epcot - Mind. Blown. I could do Test Track and eat in World Showcase every day. Easily my favourite part of Disney World.

2. Tennessee Tornado - The drop through the tunnel gets some good pull in the back seat, and the loops were pretty forceful.

3. Carolina Cyclone - This looked like a run-of-the-mill Arrow looper, but it was surprisingly quick-paced throughout.


Honorable mention: Fury 325. I was expecting it to be (too) much like Leviathan, but Fury felt more 'complete' to me, and did a better job of making the little things more satisfying (more/sharper banked turns), plus the added length left less to desire. Awesome ride overall!



1. Thunder Road - I was hoping for some air with its Shivering Timbers-like speed and layout, but barely got any.

2. Nighthawk - Nice and quiet up the lift hill, but very rough during the ride.

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Magnum XL 200, Gemini, and Corkscrew: The reviews I heard about these roller coasters were mainly complaints about them being rough. When I rode Gemini and Magnum in 2010, they were very enjoyable. Gemini even became my favorite roller coaster. I rode Corkscrew 4 years later, and enjoyed that ride too. After riding Gemini again, it remains my favorite roller coaster


Millennium Force: During the drive to Cedar Point, the group I was with were making jokes about Millennium Force being forceless and airtimeless. When I rode it for the first time, I thought it was an amazing ride.


Talon: This was my 3rd B&M invert. My 1st and 2nd were Raptor and Great Bear. I found both of them to be slightly headbangy. I thought Talon would be the same. When I rode it, it was one of the most intense rides I ever experienced.




GateKeeper: My first wing coaster was Wild Eagle, and I really enjoyed it. I thought GateKeeper would be better because it's faster, and Cedar Point knows what they're doing. It might have been the seat I chose, but the entire thing was forceless and boring. I was also excited for the dive drop, which ended up being uncomfortable.


Bizarro: This was my first floorless coaster. I was expecting a smooth, intense ride, but the restraints caused a lot of head banging


Raptor: Same as Bizarro

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This is a great thread and I have enjoyed reading the responses. What's great about it is hearing about rides that aren't often talked about.



Skyliner at Cypress Gardens, which is now defunct. Everyone can imagine a wooden out and back having some air time, but what I didn't anticipate was the sheer ejector air I got several times during the ride. Sure, it lacks the refinement of a small GCI these days like White Lightning, but it's easy to forget how even small out and backs can really pack a punch.


Pleasant: Kraken at Sea World Orlando

B&Ms are pretty predictable after you've ridden more than a dozen, so as a negative G lover I wasn't expecting to really like what was a pretty standard layout. I was surprised to encounter some real fun negative G's. Usually loopers punish you, this one was graceful.


Unpleasant: Maverick at CP

Oww. Yes, it does things that a lot of coasters haven't done, but that doesn't mean my body enjoys being thrashed about that quickly and abruptly. The headbanging was also the worst I've had outside of an 80's Arrow looper.


Unpleasant: Comet at Hersheypark

This wasn't painful or anything, but I found the ride relatively forceless and generally uninteresting. I have a lot of family from PA and they all thought Comet was a legend, so it was disappointing to be thoroughly unimpressed by a ride that, if it had the forces I heard it did, would have been right in my wheelhouse.

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Here's a few from my 2015 trips so far.


Pleasant Surprise

Formula Rossa - I wasn't expecting much from this coaster, to be honest. From the POV's, it seemed like it had a great launch, hit the brakes, and then fizzled out. Most certainly not the case! The trim isn't horribly noticeable and there's some great floater air on the hills.


Adventureland UAE - This FEC is simply amazing. It's beautiful and the rides are simply amazing (ESPECIALLY the MotoCoaster)!


Spin Gear @ Sega Republic - What a great little compact spinner! A tight, spin inducing layout with a perfect touch of themeing.


Unpleasant Surprise

Staring at a closed Bandit Bomber at Yas Waterworld.

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Pleasant surprise: Most of the food at Kings Dominion's Spring Bloom Fest was decent.


Unpleasant surprise: The "ginger beer" at KD's Jamaica stand that was really just pineapple juice with ginger chunks floating in it.


Unpleasant surprise that could be made pleasant: The ice-cold chocolate fondue that could actually work as a drink if they spiked it with a bit of brandy or rum.

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This is an awesome thread, even if I’m a few years late. I left off some that a lot of people have already mentioned, but this list was a lot of fun to put together.


The Great…


Atlantis Adventure, Lotte World – I expected cute, good things, but it kicked my butt. So good.

Alpengeist / Storm Runner – Both in my top 5, both seriously underrated IMO.

Transformers, Universal Singapore – Changed my life. One of the best rides I’ve ever been on.

Batman the Ride / Raging Bull – SFGAm was my home park, but these are still in my all-time favorites.

Hair Raiser, HK – The location, short and sweet, the location, a good little kick, and the location. Man.

Phantom’s Revenge – One of the only 2 non-B&M/Intamin coasters near my steel top ten

Thundercoaster, Tusenfryd – this thing can haul. It’s classic and intense as can be.

Silver Comet – Martin’s Fantasyland / Outlaw – Adventureland – CCI’s most adorable surprises.


…And the Weirdly Good - *I live in Asia and love third world theme parks to pieces, and am well-accustomed to the general swill that comes with that. But these few rides blew me away, considering*


Jungle Storm, Bahrain – holy cow, just wild. Amazing and wonderful. Worth everything.

Twist ‘n’ Shout, World of Fun, Manila – Completely unexpected joy.

Aqua Dive – Esselworld / Athisayam – (Good/bad??) SO INTENSE! Like a car crash. People were bleeding

Satellite Coaster, Space City, UAE – Couldn’t stop laughing. So fun.


The Underwhelming…

Balder / Colossos – I love Intamin, but was so let down by both of these.

Joris and de Draak & Lightning Racers – Barely a hint of airtime. I felt the dueling was negligible.

iSpeed – this layout makes no sense to me whatsoever. I rode it twice and spent all day on Katun.

Volcano Blast Coaster – Grew up looking forward to this SO much. It was so weird.

Bizarro, SFNE – Not even close to a #1 steel for me.

Raptor, CP – I pretended to like this ride (B&M inverts are my favorite) for so long. Just don’t get it.

Raven / Legend, HW – One ride per visit is more than enough for me, give me Voyage all day every day.


And the Unbearably Miserable


Wildcat, Lake Compounce – I think I cried

Timberwolf, WoF – Never ever ever again.

Blizzard, Al Nasr Leisure land, UAE – Weird and horrible. You don’t know pain until…

Super Loop – Izmir Fuari, Turkey = worst ride I’ve ever been on. Just horribly, horribly miserable.

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  • 1 month later...

Latest and Greatest:


Pleasant: Tempesto

I feared everything from the closed-circuit-like wait times to the ho-hum-looking launches on the YouTube POV, but it was AWESOME and the line moved reasonably well (30 mins tops for a week-old NEW coaster).


Pleasant/Unpleasant: Verbolten

What a little bitch. It broke down THREE times while we were waiting in line, left each time, before coming back and finally getting on the damn thing. But holy hell was it fun, maybe even more than back in 2012. The added brake run and "creaking" audio before that final drop was a neat addition as well

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I've found many underrated roller coasters, and I'd love to take the time to mention them, but for tonight, i'd just like to name quick few surprises:


1. Nitro, front seat left side: first hill, the banking was incredible, paired with some nice floater airtime! sitting inside that banking made me feel like i was hanging off a ledge! Absolutely my favorite hyper for this one element.

2. El Toro, magic seat: last hill. Can you say: awesome (to the point of painful) ejector airtime?

3. Great Bear: helix before main drop. It was the most forceful B&M helix yet.

4. The Boss: double down first drop. Being the park i most often visit, I always make sure to ride The Boss. I really love this element.


The first two are form my long-awaited SFGADv trip; I'm very satisfied after 10 years of wanting to go to this park. After my first ride on Nitro, I re-ride in the same front seat because of an available spot - thanks groups of three! Also, I had made a run to El Toro first thing the previous night and got five rides in the magic seat before there was a line! Our train had a blast staying on - and it was a great way to start my first day ever at SFGADv.

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