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The "Pleasant/Unpleasant Surprise" Thread


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Unpleasant: Cheetah Hunt

 

WAIT! Before I am crucified for saying that, I would like to point out my expectations for it. I was NOT anticipating that it would be the "Next Maverick." However, I am a huge fan of Verbolten, and I love SWSD's Manta almost as much. So, I am a huge fan of these family launch coasters, and I thought Cheetah Hunt would live up to the standards of these rides, except be slightly more thrilling. Actually, I thought it was significantly less thrilling. I had heard that there was plenty of airtime, but, on my first ride, which was in the back seat, I did not experience much airtime or any sort of force. I only received three moments of gentle floater air, and no ejector air. However, I did ride again toward the end of the day in the front, and it was better. I got some very nice airtime on the first hill, followed by an extra bit of floater air on the hill over the Skyride (I received none when I rode in the back). However, I thought the ending was still unnecessarily lame, and that Verbolten and Manta, the coasters that were supposed to be less thrilling, were more exciting. Although I do believe that an "extreme family coaster" was exactly what the park needed, I did see several ways the layout could be more fun without being overly thrilling. I actually thought Cheetah Hunt was overall inferior to California Screamin, despite several reports claiming that Cheetah Hunt was more intense.

 

Pleasant: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

 

I was expecting a rough, unexciting experience. Although HRRR is rough in certain seats, the layout turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting. Although the layout does drag on in parts, I experienced plenty of airtime and unique elements, and the views are absolutely fantastic at night. In fact, I even thought the airtime on HRRR was better than most of the B&M hypers I have ridden. I found the experience to be very enjoyable, and it was a very cool addition to the park. Sadly, it is unlikely that another coaster will be built like this again, considering the excessive cost and construction problems.

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Saturday visit to SFMM (WCB)...I had to revisit my dreaded coaster, Revolution as fellow TPR member Blue Fire Guy needed the credit. He's been aware of the bad ride I had as I had warned him previously. For some reason, my 2nd ride didn't turn out so bad, and his ride wasn't as bad as I described. Had neither of us rode defensively though, it would have been just as unpleasant as my first ride on it.

 

In the end, it's still an unpleasant surprise in a pretty setting.

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I have a few recent opinion changes after WCB.

 

Pleasant- Riddler's Revenge; stand up coasters always make me feel very uncomfortable and I never enjoy them much but after not riding this for 2 years, I decided to give it another shot and to my surprise, it was actually pretty fun! I ended up enjoying in more than Batman and almost went for another ride with our group later in the day but the line got pretty long.

 

Unpleasant- Viper; I remember this ride not being too bad (actually better than Revolution) but I had skipped riding it the past 5 or so times because my friends never want to ride it. This time, since we had a full 14 hours at SFMM, our group eventually got around to it, and wow, this probably ranks in my bottom 3 coasters. The loops were extremely painful, and the other inversions weren't much better.

 

Another mention would be Scream, I've been skipping this ride all summer because of how long the line has been getting (one train operation...). But this time, I rode it right when the park opened before there was a line... and it wasn't as enjoyable as I remember. The terribly faded paint adding to the fact that it's a parking lot coaster didn't help things either.

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I've ridden a few coasters this summer that weren't quite the way I thought they would be.

 

First was Hades 360. This was the first time I've ever ridden this coaster, so I can't compare it to the way it was when it opened or right before the re-do. I have come to the conclusion that I must have gotten really, really lucky the day I rode it (based upon the reviews it has gotten here and elsewhere). Granted, I only rode in the very front and the 2nd seat back, but I didn't find it to be too bad at all. It wasn't great, but it was far from the worst coaster I've ever been on. I have ridden several woodies that were far more brutal (even in the very front) than Hades. So in that regard, it is surprising that I didn't get beaten to pieces (though I did get a fully expected beat-down on Zeus - that hurt!). I was also worried that the inversion on Hades might be rough, but thankfully it was not.

 

Then there was Rolling Thunder. I was expecting a far rougher ride than I got, considering all the unflattering nicknames this coaster had. Again, it wasn't a great ride by any means, but I've been on far worse (including Wildcat at HP earlier this summer).

 

And finally there is Kingda Ka. I have ridden its Ohio relative many, many times, and I've enjoyed every ride I've gotten on TTD. I was expecting something rather similar, but not even close. My first ride on KK was the first seat of the 2nd car, so not too much rattling there. But it seemed to lack something, and it was hard for me to put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the view - nothing but a sea of green trees (as opposed to Lake Erie and the peninsula), or the feeling that the launch just wasn't as powerful (even Storm Runner stuck in my recent memory as having a more potent launch), or something I can't quite pin down. So that was a big let down.

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^ and ^^I have to admit Top Thrill Dragster was a not so peasant surprise. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome, however, as I'd heard so many people saying that it was way better than KK I was slightly disappointed as I actually found it to be, in my opinion, not as good. I know it is smoother and that it has lap bars only. Still, Kingda Ka has that hill at the end and I felt that the launch was more powerful (the most intense I've been on) and I rode both storm runner and TTD in that very same week. I don't know why but it just felt more intense, specially when you enter the top hat (which seems to pull a bit more Gs than TTD's) I wouldn't say they're miles apart but I still like KK just a bit more than TTD while I understand why some prefer it over the ka.

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^Oh, I agree that Kingda Ka's launch is "more intense." I just don't care for the ride experience at all, with all its shakiness and forces that plaster your eyes shut. To me, it's just very uncomfortable; no fun at all.

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I had to rack my brain just come up with these few.

Pleasant Surprise:

Revenge of the Mummy USF: Just pure unadulterated fun

Kumba: I knew it was going to be good but I wasn't ready for how amazing it turned out.

 

Unpleasant Surprise:

Wildcat HP: I don't mind rough woodies but this seemed severely flawed when I rode it.

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So far there has only been two cases where I found that the experience was either different from what I was expecting or didn't appear to match with enthusiast's opinion, the first being Beech Bend Park's Looping Star. I hardly remember any headbanging, and the loop in the middle was pure bliss!

 

The second one definitely had to be the Ninja at Six Flags St. Louis... what the hell, it's actually PRETTY decent! Definitely has some headbanging (I felt as if with my braces on my teeth were like baby teeth about to fall out) , but the ride is pretty unique for an Arrow/Vekoma hybrid, especially with that surprise headchopper!

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I haven't ridden a whole lot of coasters, but I feel like I've had enough experiences to add to this thread.

 

A pleasant surprise would have to be Thunderbolt at Six Flags New England. I wasn't expecting it to be much, but I had the privilege of being able to night ride it during the park's last hour, in the front seat, with my sister riding behind me on her first really big coaster, and it was fun. Lots of minor, but noticeable airtime cresting each hill, especially on the double dip (it's really satisfying getting yanked out of your seat like that), and it really wasn't that rough. I probably would have ridden it again if I had enough time to.

 

An unpleasant surprise would have to be Gwazi At Busch Gardens Tampa. So very tall, so very interesting, so very photogenic... so very rough and shaky. This was when the ride had its infamously rough PTC trains, of course. I don't remember which side I was on, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway, as the entire ride was a jackhammered blur from start to finish. Not to mention, it wasn't even dueling. I came off that thing dazed and confused, groggily walking to the exit into the parking lot. Thankfully I rode it as my last ride of the day, because if I had rode it any time before that, my whole day very easily could have been ruined.

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- Black Diamond - this reminded me more of a dark ride than a roller coaster

You do realize that Black Diamond is a dark ride, right?

 

It's also a badass KISS song

 

 

Ok, pleasant surprise....I guess Shockwave at Kings Dominion. People say it's so horrible, but honestly, it's not a bad ride. Not the BEST but still rideable. And the standing-up factor is pretty unique compared to anything else in the park.

 

Unpleasant surprise...I guess Stinger at Dorney. After riding Sidewinder at Hershey which is one of the better ones, it just falls short...

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Was pleasantly surprised by Woodstock Express at Carowinds. (yep, I am as sad and pathetic as the rest of you) Turns out to be a coaster that could pass as a non-kiddie coaster, if it wasn't for the theming.

 

Was unpleasantly surprised by Manta at Sea World Orlando, Never really been a B&M flier fan, it always feels like I am gonna fall out. The ride op's tendancy to leave you on the final brake run for 5 minutes doesn't help, either.

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All right, I shall confess this and get this over with.

 

At Kings Dominion, I was all against the Windseeker when the park announced it a few years ago. Why was I against it? We already had two swinging rides inside the park already: The Wave Swinger and Flying Ace, and I felt that the addition of Windseeker would be overkill in the swinging rides.

 

Boy, I never have been glad to be wrong; Windseeker is one of my three favorite flat rides inside Kings Dominion ( Scrambler and Triple Spin are the other two), and it's even cooler to ride it at nighttime.

 

35 YEARS OF VISITING kINGS dOMINION - AND COUNTING!!!

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  • 4 months later...

What are the roller coasters that either exceeded your pre-first-ride expectations, or on the opposite terribly disappointed you ?

To start, I'll post mine . Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure really exceeded my expectations, I had only ridden 2 B&M hypers before, and Nitro was amazing ! It had lots of forces and a powerful helix, and quite a bit of airtime, plus beeing so high above all the trees around made it a top 10 coaster for me. Also, even tough I was expecting it to be great, I was completely blown away when I rode Maverick for the first time !

 

As for my worst surprises, Ednör at La Ronde. It's my home park, and when they announced they would get a new coaster (the SLC), I was really excited because I did not know what a SLC was, plus I had just started the previous year to ride "bigger" coasters, so I was looking forward to trying another ! Needless to say, when I rode it for the first time I wasn't prepared and it was awful.

 

So, what are yours ?

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My best first ride experience was Maverick. I really didn't expect such a small coaster to feel so intense and out of control. Definitely used the height bias on it and Maverick proved me wrong big time.

 

My worst first ride experience happened in the same park on Millennium Force. I mainly traveled to CP to ride that and I felt like it was just all speed in a bad way. I left the ride thinking why does that ride get so much hype?

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My best first ride experience was Maverick. I really didn't expect such a small coaster to feel so intense and out of control. Definitely used the height bias on it and Maverick proved me wrong big time.

 

This is the same thing that happened to me the first time I rode Maverick. 300ft coaster, 400ft coaster then just 100? I remember the day I came to Cedar Point in 2007 thinking "Where is that new coaster?" I was blown away and that first season they had all those lights that turned on in the tunnel launch. It was an amazing first ride.

 

My biggest disappointment recently is Gatekeeper. Prior to the beginning of the 2013 season begging I wasn't aware of new B&M's being forceless, so I was expecting a Raptor like experience and of course that's not what I got. But hey, it's the smoothest coaster I've ever been on!

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Best: Skyrush just exceeded my expectations from the first time riding it. Better than Steel Force in almost every way possible, and I LOVE Steel Force. It's almost on Intimidator 305-level.

 

Worst: I expected Mean Streak to be bad, but not as bad as my ride on it. Imagine someone holding you down and punching you with all of their force in the back. That's how the first drop to Mean Streak felt in the back seat.

 

Also, you may find this weird, but I found Shockwave at KD to be not as bad as everyone says it is. Sure, it's not smooth by any stretch of the imagination, but the first time I rode it, I was like...."Okay, a little shaky, but not bad..."

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