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The "Pleasant/Unpleasant Surprise" Thread

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Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit- I had heard mixed reviews of this ride, and although it looked amazing, I never heard any real raves about it. But when I rode it myself last year, I quickly grew to love it for its unexpected airtime and brilliant first drop and loop.


Revolution at SFMM- I must have caught this ride on a REALLY good day, because I haven't heard a single good review of it. But when I got a front seat night ride, I was treated to a chilly, smooth powerhouse of grace. The only headbanging I got was just before the drop leading into the loop.




Scream at SFMM- It's a B&M built over a parking lot. What else can I say?


Excalibur at Valleyfair- This bizarre looking ride looked as though it would be a fun, goofy mine train style Arrow with some good airtime, but all I got was a sore butt.

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Pleasant Surprise


Viper (Great Adventure) - I rode it in August of '02...had always heard about how awful it was, but I actually liked the ride. No headbanging that I can remember, and the barrel roll/dive loop/immelman thing was enjoyable. Its replacement is okay, I guess. And by okay I mean insane.


Skyliner (Lakemont) - I was expecting a boring, "meh" ride, but the first half was really good and had a few moments of intense airtime. It really fizzled out in the second half, but it was still better than I expected it would be.


Unpleasant Surprise


Gwazi (Busch Gardens Tampa) - Pure pain...awful, and that goes for Tiger and Lion. This was before the switch to Millennium Flyers, so I'm open to giving it another shot.

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Goudurix at Parc Asterix, France.

During the 2008 TPR Europe tour.


So much bad reported about this coaster,

and even though the bends and curves

in the middle there, were almost spine snapping...


I actually enjoyed it! And surprised that I was.

And never rode it again, LOL.

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Expectation: I rough ride with painful reastraints

Reality: A very smooth experience, even smoother than some B&M's. Sadly, the other Vekoma flyers do not seem to run as well as this one.



Expectation: A tame family coaster

Reality: An all around great experience, with nice theming, thrilling moments, and just a purely good time for the whole family



Expectation: I headbanging, sickening experience

Reality: A not-too-rough ride with some scary moments hanging from the towers




Flight of Fear (both of them)

Expectation: A fun indoor steel looper

Reality: They are both quite rough. The KI version is so overbraked it feels like you are going to roll back on several of the turns. The KD version suffers from having too many lights. They both have quite a few lights, but at least the KI version has colored lights to fit the theme. The KD version has a giant bright light in the middle, killing the theme.


Mystery Mine:

Expectation: A fun, smooth, intense Eurofighter

Reality: The layout is very strange, but, mostly not in a good way, IMO. The first drop really surprised me, but the rest of the first half was quite rough and uneventful. The second half, though, was somehow muct smoother, and, of course, more eventful.

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Pleasant Surprises:

Hurler-KD: Was expecting to come off with significantly less brain cells than prior to riding turned out to be a decent ride.

Rebel Yell-KD- See Hurler


Unpleasant Surprises:

Kraken- SWO: Despite most raving about this I never found the layout very exciting.

Behemoth-CW- Not a bad ride by any stretch but, I left this ride wanting more feeling that with its layout it should have been a spectacular ride not just a good one.

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Neat to see how different everyone's tastes are.



Superman (SFMM) - I had this ride built up since the moment it opened, but never got to actually ride it at MM until a few years ago. It looks so intimidating and sounds so intimidating that I was floored that the experience was so... anti-climatic. It wasn't a bad ride, it just wasn't 1/10th what I thought it would be.



Raven - This thing was built up for me by a few friends SO much that by the time that I arrived, I though it would never get close to the overblown expectations I had of it. I thought it exceeded them.

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I have to say that I was very underwhelmed with Phoenix at Knoebels. I really don't get how so many people go crazy over this ride. I just didn't find it exciting at all.


However, I was blown away by Phantom's Revenge. I wasn't expecting to even like that ride, but it turned out to make my top 10.


Also, I was pleasantly surprised by Steel Eel. It was definitely better than the Morgan Hypers found all over the Cedar Fair chain. Much more intense, great airtime, smooth, etc.

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Pleasant Surprises -


Wooden Warrior - A really fun ride for such a small ride!

El Toro - I honestly thought everyone was way overhyping it and it would be fun, but not amazing like everyone thought. It was beyond amazing.

The entire Europa Park - I really didn't know too much about this park before I went. I absolutely loved it.


Unpleasant Surprises -


The Beast - I grew up hearing about this absolutely amazing ride all the way across the country. Nothing special.

The Voyage - Similar to The Beast in hype, but extremely rough.

Steel Dragon 2000 - Looks can be extremely deceiving. Wasn't terrible, just nothing special.

Edited by jray21
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Pleasant surprises:


Millennium Coaster & Jubilee Odyssey at Fantasy Island, Skegness (UK)



The World's smoothest Vekoma and biggest custom SLC took me by real surprise this summer. Having had very little desire to make the trip to the remote location along the coast, a place that makes Blackpool look like Malibu, I finally made it. Why hadn't I made the trip sooner? OK, the rest of the park leaves *a lot* to be desired to say the least, but these are two gems that really should be somewhere more respectable. The Millennium Coaster wasn't the most intense thing ever but I really enjoyed the inversions and was so thankful for it's B&M smoothness. Jubilee Odyssey had, without a doubt, the best first drop of any invert I've ridden, and I'm so glad I chose the back row for the first ride.



Unpleasant surprise:



Kingda Ka, sorry folks but I must have caught this beast on an off day. As soon as it took off (the launch not being as punchy as TTD or Stealth) I was convinced the train was going to shatter into a thousand pieces from it's violent shaking side to side. Crawled over the top, continued violent shaking all the way to the brakes. I couldn't take in what just happened as I had a big headache after what was just 18 (?) seconds. Riding it's far superior cousin in Ohio a few days prior obviously didn't help. I did ride a couple more times just to make sure I got a balanced view but experienced the same thing every time.

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PLEASANT Surprises!



I thought the ride was going to be stupid because it looked like it only zig zagged back and forth, and although shorter than I expected (I thought there was going to be some crazy stuff that would happen after the dive back into the volcano, not brakes), the launches caught me by surprise particularly the second launch.


Hypersonic XLC

I didn't think much of this ride because it was so short and simple. However the launch was nothing that I could ever have prepared for. It absolutely took my breathe away and got my adrenaline pumping and wanting more!


V2: Vertical Velocity

My first impulse coaster, I thought it wouldn't be that great considering its like a swing going back & forth and the long straight section of track between the towers. However, this ride has great acceleration and the speed causes everything to blur as you zoom through the station. The twisting spike is awesome in the front seat and the holding brake was a pleasant surprise.


Hell Cat/Avalanche

I have always thought TPR folks were over-hyping this ride. Its not tall, it only got 3 cars on its train, it just looked small and stupid... Boy was I wrong. This ride was insane, the hill are unforgiving and I think the ride is literally trying to throw me out with all its might. The turns are highly banked and the ride is relentless. There are no right turns on this ride but who cares... this ride was awesome!


El Toro!

I thought this would be just like any other wooden coaster just taller and faster traditional out and back. I'll keep this short. The airtime on this ride is Insane, I could not have been prepared for it. It is also very smooth. This ride is the hands down best ride in the USA. HANDS DOWN! THE BIGGEST PLEASANT SURPRISE!


Apocalypse: The Last Stand

I really thought there was no way a 20 yr old coaster could feel like new. I was completely wrong. Whatever they did to the ride, it rides much better than it did in its Iron Wolf days. I was surprised on how quite and smooth the ride felt taken into account to 2 spots where you may come in contact with the OTSR. I was also surprised that I liked Apocalypse a lot more than Green Lantern at Great Adventure.





I heard some great things about this ride. Even seen it on Travel Channel shows. I thought this is going to be awesome especially given the other GG coaster I have ridden (Ravine Flyer II). I was wrong. I also didn't know you HAVE to ride in the front seat to have a decent ride. I took the back seat and I really was TAKEN TO HELL. I had my hands up on the first drop and the drop was so rough and then into the pitch black darkness we went. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO AFRAID ON A COASTER IN MY LIFE. I thought I was going to break a bone. I could not brace for anything and the ride was so rough. To this day I regard Hades as some PEDAFILE because it took me into the dark and did bad things to me. It truly is the ride from Hell.


The Crypt: Kings Island

Ride and everything about it stats wise and theme wise just sounds awesome. The ride should be awesome. Unfortunately It was not. All the hype the ride got during its prime was evident when I finally got to ride. I remember seeing this ride also featured on TV shows and thought this would be great. Unfortunately it was not.



I was underwhelmed. I love coasters in the 200+ ft. tall range. I really tried my best to regard this ride as great or awesome but it just is not anything special and seems like a waste. The drop is not even that steep (there are wooden coasters that are steeper) and the seats aren't the most comfortable. I would rather ride Morgan Hypers (steel force, mamba) than Titan.

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Maverick: When Maverick first opened I remember reading reviews that it wasn't intense and a good family coaster. I was very surprised that was not the case when I rode it opening year. I still consider this my #1 coaster.


Comet at Hershey: I almost skipped this ride, but glad I didn't. Very fun and chaotic ride in the back. Great airtime with only the buzz bars.


Hydra and Talon at Dorney: I wasn't expecting much from these rides because of the reviews I have read. But I really enjoyed them. They are very fun rides and can't wait to go back to Dorney. I guess you can say Dorney was a pleasant surprise as well.


Demon Drop: I always heard this ride was rough and hurts when you go on your back. But the free fall feeling mixing with the sensation of turning on to your back was very unique. Quickly became my favorite flat at Cedar Point. If only Dorney was a bit closer.




Vortex and Anaconda: I'll be happy to never ride them again.


Wildcat at Hershey: I was really looking forward to riding this. I don't mind getting slammed around or some jack hammering on wooden coasters. But this one had very intense vibrations around some of the bends. This was the first coaster that gave me a headache during the ride.

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^^I agree completely regarding Hellcat--easily the best ride in Wisconsin (and it would rank pretty high in other states, too). Hypersonic was fun the first year or two that it operated. Then it started shaking itself to death.


^I also was pleasantly surprised by Comet.

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Pleasant Surprise: Bizarro at SFGAdv. I thought it was just going to be okay, but I really enjoyed it! It was really fun! I also thought that the few little touches like the fire and mister were nice.


Unpleasant Surprise: Incredible Hulk. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good ride. It was just a little too rough. Especially for a B&M. And yes, I did sit in the back which could have made it worse, but I don't think I should have to sit in a certain row to get a good ride.

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Pleasant Surprise:


GASM (SFGAdv): I know it's not there anymore, but I actually liked the ride and it hurt a lot less than what's there right now (Green Lantern)

Volcano - The Blast Coaster (KD): I wasn't honestly expecting much from this ride given that from what I'd heard it had gone down and the fact that the effects weren't working anymore. I absolutely loved it, I think we rode it at least 10-12 times at ECB.

Verbolten (BGW) - Just a fun, well themed ride. Something similar to this is what Knott's should have built.


Unpleasant Surprise:


Every woodie at KD with the exception of Scooby Doo: Probably the worst collection of woodies I've ridden at any one park. And I've ridden a LOT of bad wooden coasters.

Green Lantern (SFGAdv): Other than Vortex, the absolute worst stand-up I've ever ridden. The layout seemed fine but the ride was just painful.

Twister (Knoebels): I had hoped this ride had improved since my last visit in 2005 but unfortunately it hadn't. Great layout, I really want to love it, just needs some love maybe?

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Pleasant Surprise:


Ninja at SFStL - This was my very first full-circuit Vekoma looper and I was somewhat loathing it since Vekomas get a bad wrap for its headbanging. It actually was not a bad ride though Ninja at SFOG, which was also a pleasant surprise, is better.


Dark Knight at SFGAm - I know this coaster is not too well liked as it is just a standard mouse in a box but after riding many Wild Mouse coasters that are braked to death Dark Knight was a big surprise as it ran brakeless, giving a crazy ride in the dark.


Unpleasant Surprise:


Superman at SFMM - This was back in 2001 and since it was being featured on those coaster shows on cable at the time it looked awesome. While not exactly a "WOW" ride at the time, it did't live up to the hype.


Apollo's Chariot - I hate to put anything from BGW on a list like this but I find Apollo a bit over-rated. It's not an unpleasant ride and I do like it but when I first rode it back in 2002 it didn't seem as good as I had hoped it would be.

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Unpleasant Surprises


3. Wildfire at Silver Dollar City- This ride is fun, don't get me wrong, but is not worth the hype SDC gives it. Plus, it is over-shadowed by Powder Keg.


2. Raven at Holiday World- It had a lot of hype so I was excited. But it was really boring and short. I think it was the only ride at Holiday World that we PURPOSELY did not re-ride. It was okay... kinda...


1. Frightful Falls at Holiday World- Various Six Flags parks have been bad-mouthed for their lack of themed log flumes. This ride had some Styrofoam graves near the ride and that was about it. Plus, it's drop was like 20 feet LOL.



Pleasant Surprises (I have a lot)


3. Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City- It was supposed to be inferior to Wildfire. It was supposed by be a boring, no-inversion family coaster. But it wasn't. It was pure fun.


3. Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America- My #1 steel coaster, my #2 coaster overall. But I didn't expect it to surpass some of my other top steels.


2. The GIANT Barn Swing at Silver Dollar City- I wasn't expecting much. But I loved it. We re-rode it the next day.


1 (tied). American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis- We ran into a friend at the park and she told us that the ride sucked. Then we rode it. Next time I saw her, I almost called her an idiot.


1 (tied). The Legend at Holiday World- I was disappointed by Raven, so I was worried this ride would turn out to suck 10000000000000000x time more. But it didn't. It's #2 on my woodie list.

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Voyage - Was expecting airtime heaven when it was pretty mediocre except for the first drop, spaghetti bowl and triple down off of the MCBR in the back seat and the end was really rough

I305 - It was really hyped up and I found it a very solid ride but not quite as good as people hyped it up to be

Alpengeist - Was expecting it to be really fun based on the other B & M inverts I've ridden but it was rattling and was a bit bland

Kong - Was expecting hell, it was worse


Legend - Was expecting a really rough ride when it was a little rough but provided great laterals and a few spots of air combined with good pacing

KD's Grizzly - Hadn't really heard that much about it but it turned out to be a pretty decent ride that provided great night rides

PNE's Coaster - Heard good things about it but my 25+ rides in the rain when I went were all phenomenal and earned its spot as my #1

Shockwave - Went in expecting agony but the airtime while standing was weird and the overall ride was enjoyable

Rebel Yell - Pleasant enough ride, not the hell I was expecting after riding Thunder Road

Lochness Monster - Really fun and enjoyable ride with decent airtime and forces and very smooth for an Arrow looper

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Pleasant Surprise:

I thought that Intamin Impulses must be boring, but then I went on one and it was awesome. The launch is fun and you get crazy airtime the whole time. I couldn't believe that I hadn't ridden it earlier.

Unpleasant Surprise:

I went to Busch Gardens and rode Gwazi when it first got it's new trains and it felt smooth. It became one of my favorite woodies. I came back one year later and Gwazi was rough and not what I expected it to be like. I guess the ride will keep wearing down.

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Pleasant surprise:

Shambhala: What a great B&M ride this is. I've only ridden in the back seat but this has to my no.2 B&M Hyper right after Apollo!

Sky Rocket: Before the RTCP 2011, i didn't read much on forums like TPR. WOW! This ride was a hell the first time(The Rain ERT), but an absolute delight in the full sun!


Unpleasant Surprise:

Bizarro(SFNE): I would say i did read some great reviews about this ride, but what a letdown this was to me... It's a good coaster but not that world class that many claim it to be!

Goliath(La Ronde): Proberly the most boring Hyper i've ever been on!

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Pleasant surprise:


Muntanya Russa at Tibidabo. I looked it up and saw it was a brand new Vekoma ride, so my expectations were low. But the ride turned out smooth, and the setting and overview you get from the top of the lifthill is just amazing. You can see all of Barcelona in the horizon, while running a smooth and actually pretty intense Vekoma ride. I'd recommend it to everyone


Unpleasant surprise:


Tornado at Bakken. The OTSRs combined with a launched lifthill and a spinning train just makes this ride way to rough on you. I've hurt my neck and shoulders several times on this coaster, and it's such a shame that Intamin didn't do this spinning coaster with lap-bars, just like Gerstlauer does. It would have done a lot of great things to this nice project.


Desert Race at Heide-Park. This is the same issue - the OTSRs on the launched Intamin coaster, that almost has the same layout as Rita, just kills you through high speed. And the layout is really bad imo. I miss a lot of intensity in these rides. The only thrill you get from this ride is the launch.

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There are quite a few of both of these for me.



1. Expedition Everest (DAK) First time I had ever been on it was just a few months ago and it was so smooth, so fast and really a lot of fun.

2. Cheetah Hunt (BGT) First time on it was this year's Howloscream and go tthe front seat and WHAM! Right from the get go, this ride was awesome. Had a permanent smile on my face the whole time and for a bit after the ride.

3. Harry Potter (IoA) Incredible theming, details and overall experience.

4. Soarin (EPCOT) Awesome overall ride.

5. "Rehabbed" Big Thunder Mountain (WDW MK) First time in 5 years since I'd been on this and this time was at night, in the back and it was awesome! Love this ride.

6. Rip, Ride, Rockit (USF) Wasn't sure what to expect with this ride but it was pretty impressive. First drop was nice and intense with no slowing down over that hump.

7. Dare Devil Dive Coaster (SFoG) Fun, fast and smooth and intense in some parts. Excellent.

8. Manta (SWO) First "Flying" coaster I had been on and it was awesome.

9. Goliath (SFoG) - Awesome smooth ride that was fast and intense. Loved the speeds and G's!



1. Great American Scream Machine (SFoG) Very, very rough and hard. Needs something done to restore this once great ride.

2. Superman (SFoG) Nice start but it quickly fades out after that.

3. Star Tours 2 (DHS) I guess I'm a traditionalist here cuz I think this new version just tries to do too much with all the "accidents and mishaps" that happen in Star Wars. Just seems like the whole ride is based on special effects and not much of a real story behind it.

4. Monster Plantation (SFoG) Was expecting that with the new rework and the advance in technology that this ride would be better than it is. I was not impressed with it.

5. Haunted Mansion Cemetary (WDW MK) While this is my favorite attraction of all time, I think this "extra" walk through was unneeded and a waste of money and space. Are we, as guests, too short in attention span that we need something to do at all times? Can't we just wait and anticpate the attraction? I love most of the changes inside, except the bride in the attic, and always look forward to riding it. However, I skip the cemetary line.

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Pleasantly surprised

Sky Rider at Canada's Wonderland. It was my first Togo Stand-up style coaster and I was actually pretty thrilled/impressed. Sat in the front, no wait, it was all good.


Mighty Canadian Minebuster at Canada's Wonderland. After riding Wild Beast I wasn't too thrilled to ride this ride, which was a larger wooden coaster. Assuming it was going to ruin me, it was actually an awesome out and back woodie!


Cyclone at Coney Island, NY. It was extreme and crazy, but I had a fucking blast on it. I was extremely snug in my seat and wasn't going anywhere, so I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on it.


Desperado at Buffalo Bills. I've always wanted to ride this coaster since I could remember, but had a few friends who went on it and warning me to pass it. They said it was rough, and just not a good ride. I decided on a trip to vegas with my family that we should stop there just to ride it finally, and we did. Me and a friend were the only ones in the car twice. Rode it once in the front, and once in the back. I loved it!


Superman: Escape From Krypton at SFMM. I knew I was gonna like it more than the original, but I didn't realize how much more. Something about it is just so awesome and fun to me. Great ride.


Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. I love safari rides and tours and whatnot, but I for some reason wasn't expecting a great ride out of this one at all. And I was very pleasantly surprised. It was just a great ride all around.


The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at IOA. For me I was most surprised from this ride. I saw Travel Channel programs which talked about this ride, seen videos, and had always wanted to ride it. I even expected it to be very fun. But what I got was something more than I expected. I walked off immediately walking back in line. I even feel it's a better ride than Indiana Jones at DLR.


Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at IOA. It's just a damn good ride.




Tatsu at SFMM. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy this coaster, and make an effort to ride it when I'm at SFMM, but it was my first flying coaster ever, and I was expecting a lot more. Just assumed it would be more thrilling. In fact, it's kind of boring for me, but it's a very nice ride with a nice layout. But that's all I can say about it...It's nice.


The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure at DCA. Terrible pacing, terrible display of the storyline, and terrible use of space. The "Under the Sea" song/scene is FAR too large/long. If everything was condensed closer together and a little smaller, there would have been room for much more story and scenes within the ride. No drama as well. What also made this ride unpleasant was that I saw the original planned Little Mermaid ride that never opened. I believe it was meant for DLP. It has the ride mechanics of Peter Pan, and was lavishly decorated and themed with INCREDIBLE looking scenes. So I had that in mind while taking my first ride on DCA's little mermaid. Don't mind riding it and enjoy it to this day, but it could have been much more.


Drop of Doom at SFMM. If only it shot you down like an S&S drop ride. It was very casual and a good ride, with an amazing view. But that's about it.


I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting but these are the ones I can think of.

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