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The "Pleasant/Unpleasant Surprise" Thread

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This really is a great thread; fascinating to read all the different reactions.


X/X2 is my biggest pleasant and most unpleasant surprise. It drives me BANANAS how different the ride experience can be on that damned thing. When it's good, it is amazing. When it's bad, it is THE WORST. Back row, against the wheel, on the highway side, that's the only seat I'll ever ride in again.


And since it's still pretty fresh in my mind, I'll also add Tennessee Tornado as one of my biggest pleasant surprises ever. Short, yes, but fast, fun, intense, and about as close to B&M smooth as you'll ever find on an Arrow (!!!) coaster. LOVED that ride.


And put me down as another who would love to see the soft-pad restraints added to Maverick. Want that badly.

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Pleasent Surprises:


Hurler at KD - I was so scared about riding this. I thought I was going to die. But as it turns out, the ride was perfectly fine! It wasn't smooth by any means, but a woodie isn't supposed to be!


Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit at Universal Florida - I heard bad things about this ride, so I wasn't excited about it. But, I was proved wrong. This thing had great airtime and awesome g forces! Yes, the brake runs were a bit excessive, but at least there was airtime going into them!


Goliath at SFNE - I purposly waited till the summer to ride this because I've never been on one of these before. I was expecting a rough ride, but it rocked! The cobra roll was great, and the vertical lifts were unbelievable. It actually makes my top 25!


Unpleasent Surprises:


Millennium Force at CP - Sorry, but the airtime isn't great on this. Sure it's a top 10 ride, but the layout is boring and the ride is way to hyped up. I'll take I305, Skyrush, and Bizarro over this anyday. It doesn't deserve to be the best in the world.


Griffon at BGW - Yeah, the drop and first immelman were good, but after that, the ride meanders around the entire time. It's relaxing for me.

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Pleasant Surprises-


Goliath (SFOG) - I knew that it has a lot of potential, but after riding Apollo's and Intimidator a few days earlier, I don't know, I guess I didn't expect that much airtime. I LOVED this coaster!


Thunderhead - More airtime than I expected out of a GCI and just a great coaster! It had amazing pacing during night ERT.


Alpengeist - I like B&M inverts, but I was told others were better than this one, but I liked this one more than Great Bear, Afterburn, and Raptor.


Tennessee Tornado - Holy crap, this thing hauls! Definitely a great change from ANY other Arrow looper, although a short layout.


Unpleasant -


Apollo's Chariot - I just didn't like it as much as I wanted to. But the setting is great. It's a fun ride, but not my favorite B&M hyper.


Verbolten - ehhh


Wild Eagle- I just wasn't feeling this one too much, it was okay.

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The Comet (HersheyPark) - Very nice rollercoaster for being an "old" coaster, tons of fun and still my favorite woodie in the park.


The Big Bad Wolf (R.I.P. - BGW) - Although I only rode it once, was very sad to see it go. This was the only suspended coaster I'd been on and it was really a cool experience. The other coasters of today just don't have the same feeling.


Kumba (BGT) - Still one of my favorite all time steel coasters, the place of the inversions and pacing of it is very nice, love the tunnel at the end.




The Wildcat (Hersheypark) - I've rode this coaster twice....about 6 years apart, and both times felt like I had just been in a fight....way too rough, even toward the front.


Reese's Challenge (Hersheypark) - I heard bad reviews about this shooting dark ride, but OMG, it was worse than I ever imagined, just completely dull and almost no sense that you're hitting anything or things are happening.


Dinosaur (WDW- AK) - I do love Jurassic Park at IOA, but this ride is too loud and dark to impress me...its just more annoying than anything, plus the fact that WDW should have gotten its own Indiana Jones ride.


Mission:Space (EPCOT) - First, the final product is a severe disappointment compared to what was planned originally. Second, the entire idea of the attraction is motion sickness just waiting to happen. While astronauts do experience centrifuges and simulators, I really don't think they experience both at the same time and they're highly athletic. Average WDW guest isn't and we see the results.


But THE most unpleasant has to be:


High Roller (Stratosphere Tower- Las Vegas)


I rode it at night and it was probably the only rollercoaster that scared me, as it was sooo rough and felt like it was falling apart....vowed never again to ride it and now I don't have to.

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Great thread...o.k. we've all said that enough now...


Pleasant Surprise -


American Thunder (SFStl) - I was not expecting much from this coaster or for it to really compare to Apocolypse out here at SFMM and it really surprised and was a great ride all day long last June in 100+ degree weather...


Viper (SFGAM) - Another coaster that I had not heard that much about or great reviews from that was a really great ride this past Summer.


UnPleasant Surprise -


Raven (Holiday World) - Sorry, this one did nothing at all for me or anyone in my Family...I don't get the hype...


Whizzer (SFGAM) - Again, I don't get the hype beyond the unique lift hill...


All the obvious also apply here...SOB, the Boss, Revolution (Please fix this legend!!), and Riddler's Revenge...

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Unpleasant surprise: I should have mentioned Incredible Hulk. also. I rode this early in my enthusiast days and had seen it ranked the #1 coaster on some TV show. While I liked it, I just expected so much more.


It's interesting how those shows can shape the expectations of newcomers or someone who isn't as familiar with the hobby. There are quite a few that I looked forward to trying, and afterwards was left wondering what the hell kind of justification the producers of the tv show had for featuring the ride. It always seemed like it was the same handful of coasters too, with little variation.



And along the same lines Megaphobia was the same way, unpleasant surprise after being hyped up on a TV show. While woodies do have their off days, I'm convinced the producers only picked Megaphobia because of the wackiness of sheep roaming underneath which looked good on TV.

I almost forgot about Megafobia. I was expecting a really smooth, forceful ride with a ton of airtime but other than in the first car I found it rough to the point of being intolerable. The back seat was pure hell.

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Ravine Flyer II (Waldameer)-I knew it had gotten rather good press since its opening, but when I finally got to Waldameer for the first time this summer it kicked my butt (in a good way). Granted, I did ride it in the back before I rode it in the front-holy bejeezus the front is bonkers-but it ended up in my top 10 woodies super easy.


Phantom's Revenge (Kennywood)-Here's the weird thing: I had ridden it twice years ago and remembered it as hardly memorable, but when I got on this summer it blew me away, especially the incredible finale. If only it were a bit longer...


Dinosaur (Animal Kingdom)-Another bonkers ride, and it gives me the same thrill each time I ride it. Everything from the classic cheesiness of the original McD's sponsorship to the toaster time machine to DAT CARNOSAURUS ROARR is just awesome fun.



Indiana Jones (Disneyland)-Considering how much I love Dinosaur, I was ready for this to blow me away. I had seen the concept art and everything and thought-Hey, maybe its like Dinosaur but with a real plot! Alas, although the second trip to California did prove better, the intensity just isn't there at all. I keep waiting for an effect to knock my socks off, but it ends well before that. Oh well.


Verbolten (BGW)-I wanted to like it. The queue was great, the drop effect was neat, but the overall experience was just...meh. Granted, it is a great addition and a great family ride to balance the thrills at BGW, but it just didn't even really seem unique enough for me. Maybe I just remember BBW (yeah yeah, I'll drop it).


Behemoth (Canada's Wonderland)-The first drop is stupid steep and fantastic. And then the new-style trains just killed it for me. B&M hypers have thrilled me before, but Behemoth's floater air was hardly noticeable. I suppose if big drops and speed is your thing it's all right, but I'd take Milli in that category any day.

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-Steel Force---I thought this would be a bumpy, crap ride but i was shocked to see it was not bad at all. Still only floater airtime.

-Maverick---This thing is wicked, period.

-Magnum XL---Nice airtime on bunny hills!

-Great Bear---It may look dull, but let me tell you after getting about 30 spins on this black track mess it is actually intense! That helix at the top has some good g's.

-Wildcat @HP---After hearing about its rough tenture, i rode it 6 times this summer and it wanst bad at all.

-I-305---Its the craziest ride ever! If you dont grey/black out on the first turn then your god..however it was so fun! Imagine it with lap bars!

-Rebel Yell---Very fun ride with unexpected speed.



-Grizzly@KD---Worst woodie ive been on. It bruised my legs sooo bad from hitting the side of the train. It is cool at night but still mauls you.

-Mean Streak---SUCKS!! Rocky Mtn. Please redo this heap of crap.

-Sidewinder@HP---This made my head a splat on the harness.

-Shockwave@KD---Like the standing dead in the break run after you hault to a stop.

-Hydra---I experienced no forces or anything on this. It is an awsome layout but increase the height and speed, then i will be happy.

-Millennium Force---I put this down here for a reason. It should not be #1 at all! No airtime and little +G forces. I agree^I-305 and Skyrush I would take over Millie any day.

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-Goliath (SFNE)- Went in expecting it to ride like a SLC or Boomerang, but it was very smooth and fun.


-Cyclone (SFNE)- I have heard horror stories about how rough it is and how its so trimmed, but for me it was smooth and the last trim was the only one on.


-Roller Coaster (Lagoon)- Sure, it jack hammered a little at the bottom of the drops, but was a ton of fun, and a lot better then I expected.


-Sidewinder (Elitch)- Amazing. 2 launches, 4 pops of ejector airtime, and a very forceful loop. Not the boring, mellow ride I expected.




-Wicked at Lagoon- Too short, and the restraint locked down too much for comfort.


-Bizarro (SFNE)- Maybe I got it on a bad day, or was expecting an El Toro level ride, but it definitely wasn't a #1 coaster.

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Pleasant surprise:

AFTERSHOCK at Silverwood - After all the bad things I'd heard about it, I expected it to be broken. But it was open all day! Then I thought it would be rough as heck, but it turned out being minimally rough and very forceful.


RATTLER at SFFT - While this was quite rough, I didn't think it unbearable. The ride was very unique even though the pacing was horrible and the drop was short.


COASTER at Playland, Vancouver - Who knew such an airtime monster was at a small park in Vancouver?


Unpleasant surprise:

SUPERMAN: ULTIMATE FLIGHT and X-FLIGHT - I liked both these rides, but for the line I had to stand in, they were short, underwhelming, and forceless (with the exception of Superman's pretzel loop).


There really aren't too many that are unplanned unpleasantries.

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Pleasent Surprises.


Space Mtn @ DLP - Not nearly as rough as I was expecting.


Steeplechase @ Coney Island - Was expecting it to be lame after being dissappointed with Pony Express, but this was a really fun ride.


Cobra @ La Ronde - Much smoother than I was expecting. Plus it has some good airtime.


Scandia Screamer @ Scandia - Way faster and more forceful than I expected. Not just a credit whoring coaster.


RC Racer @ DLP - Originally thought that the idea of a non-spinning Half Pipe would be lame and boring, but I actually had a lot of fun.

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1. Tennessee Tornado (Dollywood) - like everyone has said, the short layout looks weak, but dang this ride is fun and smooth. And it's built into a freaking mountain!


2. Blazing Fury (Dollywood) - Didn't think this was a roller coaster, so it was a VERY pleasant surprise. Plus I'm a big fan of dark-rides, especially dark-ride/coaster hybrids.


3. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem (Universal Studios Florida) - Rode this during HHN 22, and I didn't know what to expect. It was very fun, silly and perfect for families. Definitely a must-do every time I visit Universal Orlando.


4. DINOSAUR (Disney's Animal Kingdom) - Didn't think a ride at Disney could get this scary! It's loud, dark and bumpy. There are also tons of terrifying animatronic dinosaurs. Definitely the scariest ride at Walt Disney World.


5. Maelstom (Epcot) - The infamous "Norway boat-ride" that ended up being so much fun. I love the retro-ness of the ride, the random trolls, the drops and the cool lift hill. I don't know what I was expecting the first time I rode it, but I love it. "The spirit of Norway." Hahahahaha.




1. Hollywood Rip, Ride, RockIt (Universal Studios Florida) - This past weekend I visited Universal Orlando and when I went to the Studios, I was expecting the great ride I got during HHN 22. I was wrong. The roller coaster smashed my head around quite a bit and I left the ride with a headache. I don't know what was different between these two visits, which were very close. Plus, I'm a big fan of themed attractions and parks with overall great theming, and Universal/Disney excel at theming. However, you think after creating Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure and all of the great attractions and themed lands in each, they could do better than obnoxious cartoon characters and a queue that involves *gasp* plain metal rails.


2. Soarin' (Epcot) - I just don't like how they placed this ride in The Land. It should have it's own pavilion so you don't enter through what looks like a food court in a shopping mall. The ride was also marred by splotches and spots all over the screen. After riding this ride about 6 times over the years through my frequent visits to WDW, the splotches disappoint me.


3. Ninja (Six Flags over Georgia) - You know why...


4. Superman: Ultimate Flight (Six Flags over Georgia) - A dull layout, save the pretzel loop. Also has very un-inspired theming. But hey, it's Six Flags.


5. Grab Fiesta Tour (Epcot) - The awesome beginning of this ride through the night-time atmosphere of the Mexico pavilion and a ride past a volcano does not make up for the lame rest of the ride that is a basically "it's a small world" with Mexican dolls and annoying cartoon characters.

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I had really pleasant surprise when I rode furius baco. I was expecting to enjoy it much less than dragon khan or shambhala but actually, I can't decide which one I loved the most. I knew it was going to be extremely rough and when found out that the acceleration from 0 to 83 mph took 3.5 seconds (which is the same that kingda ka takes to go to 128, and kingda ka was the only accelerator coaster I had ever ridden) I was a bit disappointed, especially when the layout is basically just a giant figure of eight with a heartline roll in the middle.


Considering this, I was astonished to find that the acceleration was awesome and that the rest of the ride was very intense too (and it was made even better by the trains). That heartline roll is just insane as you get really close to the ground. And I wasn't really bothered by the roughness of the ride, it actually added a bit more drama.


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Tennessee Tornado has to be one of my biggest surprises. I expected it to show me my spine, but instead it was awesome fun.


I also have to nominate the loop portion of Son Of Beast. After having most of the bones displaced on my body leading up to it, I was shocked when the loop was smooth and fun. Of course, this ended a few seconds later when the ride re-entered bone destruction mode.


Biggest unpleasant surprise is The Voyage, only because of the insane overhype it gets and it's supposed to be the best wooden coaster in the world. It's not. It's not even close to that. My one ride in 2010 was one of the worst coaster rides I've ever had. Rough, painful, nothing positive to it at all. I'm sure I'll hear the usual "but you need to ride it during the full moon during eclipses in odd numbered years" or whatever theories are always tossed about about "when" you should ride a ride, but if a ride only delivers a decent ride during very specific and very small time periods, it's not a great ride.



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-Maverick at CP : Nobody told me that it was such a nice coaster with insane airtime and intensity

-Phoenix at Knoebels : When I first saw it, it lookes like another coaster, turned out to be my favourite woodie! (Need to ride El Toro though)

-Anaconda at KD : Really good considering I absolutely hate arrow megaloopers




-Dominator at KD : OW! Really rough for a B&M Coaster

-Loch Ness Monster : Heard it was the best arrow, found it boring and fairly painful

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Pleasant: Canyon Blaster

I was assuming it was going to be rough, even with the newer Arrow trains, after hearing that they weren't any better then the old ones, however, it was rather smooth. The ride wasn't special, but it was smoother then expected.


Unpleasant: Ninja at SFMM

I was expecting the ride to be similar, or at least as smooth as BBW, but that was the exact opposite of what I got.

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SFoG - Daredevil Dive: I was expecting a great experience on my first Eurofighter, but instead what I got is a boring forceless ride.


On the other hand...


Beat at King's Island: I was expecting another rough 'hold on for your life and for the credit' woodie. Instead, not only did I enjoy it, but my wooden roller coaster hating wife (except GCI) also loved it.

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Pleasant Surprise:


Behemoth- Canada's Wonderland is my home park, but the park had a trend of adding very bad coasters. Vortex was the last good coaster to be added to the park before Behemoth and Leviathan, which happened back in 1991. So based off of history, I had no expectations for Behemoth. It looked like a very boring and repetitive layout when it was announced. But... HOLY CRAP! The ride blew me away. It has tons of airtime and the first drop is amazing in the back seat. It is still, to this day, my favorite coaster.


Unpleasant Surprise:


Millennium Force- MF was my favorite coaster for years. I thought is was amazing. Then, I went to CP this past summer and MF was nothing special. It had no airtime and the portion of the ride on the island was very boring. The ride also had a very loud rattle to it. I honestly felt like I wasted my time waiting for the ride. Honestly, I had a better time on Blue Streak. It is just not even close to being the ride it was back when it opened.

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I have a few pleasant surprises:


Wildcat @ Lake Compounce. I didn't LOVE this coaster, but I fancied it as old and rickity. It was actually quite fun and not insanely rough!

Tennessee Tornado @ Dollywood. Arrow loopers scare me away (Anaconda and Drachen FIre are my only two comparisons) and I was very pleased with the Tornado!

Magnum @ CP. Plenty of Gs, a beautiful view and a nostalgic feel really blew me away.

Verbolten @ BGW. I really enjoyed the ride overall. I was expecting a family ride, but it packed quite a punch!


I only have two unpleasant surprise, however.

ROAR @ SFA. Being a GCI/CCI fanboy, I was disappointed by the use of PTC trains on this coaster. It was rough, unimaginative and I did not return.

Cyclone @ SFNE. A best for sure, but after a long downtime wait I was in both emotional and physical pain. No bueno.

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