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The Official Mitch Hawker 2012 Wood Coaster Poll Thread!


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Always fun to read the results. Can't argue with #1, and it continues to amaze me why more of these coasters have not been built. The only thing that sticks out to me is the continued over-hype of Voyage. It is no where near a Top 10 coaster. It gave one of the worst coaster rides of my life the last time I rode it. Like Ghostrider level bad.

dt

 

It's not over-hype. Some of us absolutely love it. It's precisely its balls to the wall out of control feeling that I love about it. Honestly, no woodie I've ridden comes even close to it, in my mind. And yes, I've been on ALL of the top 10.

 

We just have differnet tastes in woodies.

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Voyage was in my top ten in 2009. It dropped to 36th place in later polls (I now prefer Legend to Voyage). It's just too much of a Jekyll-and-Hyde experience for me to rank it any higher. I was rather shocked at the difference between rides I took in 2009 and 2010 (the last time I visited Holiday World).

 

Have they fixed it since then? I hope so.

Edited by cfc
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Besides differing tastes in coasters, I another big factor in how much people like or dislike Voyage is in when you ride it.

 

Most of the biggest "Voyage fanboys", myself included, tend to go during Holiwood Nights or similar events. Not only does going to the event tend to make us more of fanboys, but those of us who already were fanboys (or even those of us who were already fanboys of Raven and/or Legend, before we first rode Voyage) know that's the best time to go to the park.

 

Going then has two very big advantages. For one thing, it's early in the season, so the trains haven't had the chance to beat up the track as much yet. And late nighttime ERT just kicks Voyage up into a totally different level. So, you're getting crazier, wilder rides with less of the bad roughness.

 

If you've gone during any other time, you're not getting either of these big advantages. And if I'm not mistaken, the TPR trips that have gone to HW have been later in the season and have not had any nighttime ERT, right?

 

Now, it's fair for some to say that a coaster that doesn't perform well all the time doesn't deserve a top spot, but I'll disagree with this. I only judge a coaster based on the rides I actually got on it. And since I never go during the reagular season when there isn't an event and rarely ride the coasters there early in the day, it doesn't matter to me at all how they perform then! But others, of course, are free to judge their coasters any way they like.

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Now, it's fair for some to say that a coaster that doesn't perform well all the time doesn't deserve a top spot, but I'll disagree with this. I only judge a coaster based on the rides I actually got on it. And since I never go during the reagular season when there isn't an event and rarely ride the coasters there early in the day, it doesn't matter to me at all how they perform then! But others, of course, are free to judge their coasters any way they like.

 

And I can only judge Voyage "based on the rides I actually got on it"--do you think I'm doing otherwise? (I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that.) For example, I found Balder to be equally amazing in both 2006 and 2009--no other coaster has topped the memory of I have of those rides on Balder (although El Toro and Phoenix come close), and those rides include both ERT and "regular operations." I think consistent performance over the course of a season is important.

 

I'd love to see Voyage deliver the same great rides I had in 2009, but I cannot discount the difference in quality between 2009 and 2010.

Edited by cfc
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I've always felt a coaster should be considered on how it runs throughout the season, not just on a special day when the moon is in a certain position in the sky or whatever. One of the reasons I like Balder and Phoenix so much is that I've ridden both in all sorts of weather conditions and times of the year, and they deliver a consistently kick ass ride every time. On the other hand, a coaster that delivers a terrible ride similar to being pushed off a cliff while inside a trash can is not something I'd rate very highly, special rides on a special day or not.

 

As always, this is just my dumb opinion.

 

dt

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I totally agree with you there.

 

If you have to ride a coaster under certain running conditions or in a certain seat for it to be "good", you shouldn't be ranking it so highly. It's kind of like saying that Magnum XL-200 is the best coaster in human history because of the "magic seat" (which I personally have yet to experience), or saying that [insert rough awkward Arrow or Vekoma coaster here] is awesome if you ride it defensively (something that you shouldn't have to do).

 

A "good" coaster should be "good" in all parts of the train and in all running conditions, period.

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^We had several rides on The Voyage after park closing on the TPR Trips.

 

The ride was so rough, many people didn't bother and stayed over by Raven.

 

The ride is rough as hell, some of you like that and that's fine.

QFT.

 

I only experienced 1 visit to Holiday World where The Voyage didn't beat the crap out of me Son of Beast/Bandit style, and that was in 2006 (and even then it wasn't very re-rideable). Every other year, the ride was so insanely rough that it made me uncomfortable for an hour or so afterwards. There are only a handful of rides that have done this to me. I only don't rank it lower because I feel the ride does have potential, but based on the last rides I got on it, it's one of the roughest coasters I've ever been on. And that's based on rides during morning, afternoon, and night time.

 

I think the park does a FANTASTIC job of making sure Voyage runs in TOP FORM for their events. And they should be. Every ride, no matter what park, is going to deliver it's "best rides" of the season, based on maintenance and how much attention is being give to a certain ride at a specific time. Holiday World makes sure those "best rides" are given during an event where a lot of fans are going to show up, and then in turn rank their rides accordingly.

 

If i was Holiday World, I'd be doing the exact same thing.

 

I never go [to Holiday World] during the reagular season when there isn't an event and rarely ride the coasters there early in the day.

Maybe you should? Because this is what the "typical guest experience" would be, and how I feel rides should be ranked.

 

--Robb "If you only vote based on how much your palms are greased, your ballot isn't a fair representation of reality." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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I only experienced 1 visit to Holiday World where The Voyage didn't beat the crap out of me Son of Beast/Bandit style, and that was in 2006. Every other year, the ride was so insanely rough that it made me uncomfortable for an hour or so afterwards.

 

Wow! Is it really this bad?

I'm looking to take my first trip to Holiday World this summer. Maybe I should pack some extra strength tylenol.

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I only experienced 1 visit to Holiday World where The Voyage didn't beat the crap out of me Son of Beast/Bandit style, and that was in 2006. Every other year, the ride was so insanely rough that it made me uncomfortable for an hour or so afterwards.

 

Wow! Is it really this bad?

I'm looking to take my first trip to Holiday World this summer. Maybe I should pack some extra strength tylenol.

It depends on how rough you think GhostRider is....and I think The Voyage is rougher.

 

As it was said before, some people LIKE that, and that's "ok."

Edited by robbalvey
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The last time I rode Voyage (3-4 years ago at Holiwood Nights, if I recall correctly) had me reconsidering the hobby altogether. Seriously, it was that bad. In the years since, when Holiwood Nights rolls around, I've just had Shan kick me in the nuts repeatedly and smash my back with a sledgehammer. Then we take the money we saved on the trip and go to Dollywood instead.

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I can't think of any other coaster that seems to stir up a wider range of opinions than Voyage. Some swear by it saying its the #1 coaster of all time, and others say its one of the worst. Coming from someone that has ridden it many times every year since it opened, I can say it's pretty much all of the above. Is it one of the best woodies ever made? Yes. Is it one of the roughest woodies ever made? Yes. The experience is truly unpredictable. I've come off the ride both ecstatic and miserable. What's funny is that I find the same kind of unpredictability in the Georgia Cyclone, and that ride consistently stays out of the top 50. The Voyage will always be a personal favorite of mine (Georgia Cyclone, too) because of its one consistent trait: its out-of-control craziness. That's a traditional nature of wooden coasters after all.

The diversity of opinions with roller coasters will never cease to amaze me.

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I can't think of any other coaster that seems to stir up a wider range of opinions than Voyage. Some swear by it saying its the #1 coaster of all time, and others say its one of the worst.

 

What really makes me jive with that is that I *love* Voyage but couldn't care less about I-305. Voyage is very intense AND tons of fun, while I find I-305 intense but not much fun. It really doesn't matter that I don't care for I-305, it clearly has tons of rabid fans. Just like Voyage And Leap The Dips (which I love). And X2. And Grizzly at California's Great America (isn't it a big hit with average park goers?)

 

The diversity of opinions with roller coasters will never cease to amaze me.

 

Me too - which keeps things interesting. No fun if we all had the same views! Sometimes I realize that I take my opinions on coasters too serious and personal. I have to remember I can have fun on most any coaster, especially with good friends.

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I can't think of any other coaster that seems to stir up a wider range of opinions than Voyage.

It's because the majority of the enthusiasts ride it ONLY during the park events, when they have the ride running the best it possibly can. And it's not just the coaster, its the entire "experience" that goes into that. I can fully appreciate why people would come away from the event with the opinions they do. But most of those same people don't experience the ride at any other time during the year.

 

Coming from someone that has ridden it many times every year since it opened, Is it one of the best woodies ever made? Yes. Is it one of the roughest woodies ever made? Yes. The Voyage will always be a personal favorite of mine

See, this is an opinion I can respect. Someone who has ridden a ride many times, during different scenarios, I get that, and it makes sense to me.

 

--Robb "Who loves Gravity Group woodies, just oddly enough not The Voyage." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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The Voyage is one of those rides that hurt me but also dually impressed me. I hate terribly rough coasters (ala GA Cyclone) and don't ride them any more once they have gotten extremely rough. Voyage is a one off for me since I liken it to riding a bull that is doing everything to buck you off it's back. I felt like everytime I rode it, I couldn't catch my breath til the end and there are VERY few coasters that have made me feel that way (El Toro being the other one that readily comes to mind.) Voyage is my #3 woodie based on it being so intense. Yes, it is EXTREMELY rough but also EXTREMELY fun and intense.

 

The one that I don't get is Phoenix. I rode it in 2011 and was just not as impressed as people had claimed. I even rode it in the magic seat and could not seem to get what everyone had always told me about it. Maybe it was the time or day I rode it but I was just not all that impressed. It was fun. I will give it that. Top 10? Yeah, but more towards the lower end of that spectrum for me. I need to ride it again to see but that probably won't happen for a while. Too many other coasters I have yet to ride.

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^ See, and for all the reasons why you like Voyage is exactly why I hate it. And all the reasons why you weren't so impressed with Phoenix, is why I think it's amazing!

 

I think it really comes down to people who like to get beaten up on a wood coaster versus people who like just throwing their hands in the air, have a GREAT time, and can re-ride over and over.

 

The Voyage, Son of Beast, Mean Streak, The Bandit, White Canyon, for example, are all rides that "beat the crap" out of me, and I cannot re-ride ride nor have "fun" on. Whereas rides like El Toro, Balder, T-Express, Phoenix, Ravine Flyer II, Fireball, Boulder Dash, etc, are fun, out of control, FILLED WITH AIRTIME, and most importantly *DONT* beat the crap out of me.

 

But I get that some people like the crap beaten out of them on coasters. It's just not my thing. Some guys like getting kicked in the balls during sex too (yes, that's an actual fetish), but sorry, that's also not something I would enjoy. Different strokes...literally!

 

I don't have a problem when people are into rough coasters, that's what they like, and they rank accordingly. Just don't try to convince me that's what I should like too.

 

I will throw this out there though - Would Voyage with IBOX give El Toro the run for it's money? (discuss!)

Edited by robbalvey
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I rode Voyage in May 2011, early in the season on a cool, partly rainy day and it was relatively smooth given its intensity. Very reride-able. I could see how topper track would help, though. It wouldn't surprise me if a barrel roll or three is added to it some day. It rode about as smooth as Ravine Flyer (which I rode a few days after Voyage). Not B&M smooth but acceptable. They're my #1 and #2 wood coasters. I haven't been on El Toro.

 

I rode Mean Streak in between those two, it wasn't rough but it wasn't interesting either. That would be a prime candidate for a Rocky Mountain iron track. It could be called "i Streak."

 

I can see how riding Voyage late in the season on a hot, dry day could be a shaky experience.

 

Your mileage (or kilometerage) may vary.

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I think it really comes down to people who like to get beaten up on a wood coaster versus people who like just throwing their hands in the air, have a GREAT time, and can re-ride over and over.

 

 

Exactly. I can ride Balder and Phoenix all day and have a great time, but I can't say the same for Voyage, even when it's at its best.

Edited by cfc
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See, this is an opinion I can respect. Someone who has ridden a ride many times, during different scenarios, I get that, and it makes sense to me.

Thanks, I appreciate that, Robb.

It also makes me REALLY curious to see how opinions will change (or not change) once the timberliners are put on Voyage. We have clearly seen how a simple change of rolling stock does not automatically make a coaster ride better. I had the privilege of riding Gwazi back in May, and I got off the ride feeling like I just got punched in the stomach 50 times. Yes, the timberliners are lightweight and designed to steer through turns to greatly reduce shuffling, but I wonder how they will cope with an already existing "pre-beaten" track? I guess we'll all just have to find out for ourselves.

 

Voyage with Topper or I-Box track would be pretty sick. It would feel like a mini hyper coaster.

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All this talk about how awful Voyage can be is such a bummer. I've only ridden it over one HoliWood Nights event, back in '08 or '09, and I guess we got super-lucky, because I really don't like very rough coasters, and we LOVED Voyage, so much. But "Iron Voyage" could be INSANE.

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All this talk about how awful Voyage can be is such a bummer. I've only ridden it over one HoliWood Nights event, back in '08 or '09, and I guess we got super-lucky, because I really don't like very rough coasters, and we LOVED Voyage, so much. But "Iron Voyage" could be INSANE.

 

Yep, I'm right there with you! My only visit to Holiday World (since it's about 9 hours away) was for HoliWood Nights back in 2007. I'm one who also does not like overly rough coasters at all. It sounds like I was lucky, because during our stay that year - and this was riding Voyage during the ERT and throughout the day (and all over the train) - because I thought it was amazing. I found it to be aggressive, but oddly enough very smooth. I couldn't believe a park would build a ride like that. It briefly spent some time as my #1 wooden coaster, but has since been dethroned by El Toro.

 

But am I surprised to hear that it has gotten so rough? Not at all, actually. I remember telling my dad as we were leaving the park that it might take a herculean effort to keep Voyage running the way it was during our trip. When he asked me what I meant, I simply said that a ride that ballsy is going to likely try and tear itself apart. I often do wonder if the Timberliners would even help much on a coaster of Voyage's size. Those trains seem ideal for coasters in the "100 foot and under" category.

 

As for my rankings, I do have Voyage in at #2. With the park so far away, I still only have those rides over the course of a couple days back in 2007 to use as a barometer. And I LOVED those rides immensely! But, that all said, I'm also a realist. When I return someday to Holiday World, as I did really like the place, if Voyage dishes out the kind of beating that's described here, it will plummet in my rankings. This cat don't enjoy getting beat up on a freaking roller coaster!

 

That all said, I also noticed that Phoenix hit my list at #4. I remember first riding that in 2004/2005 and being blown away by it. I remember it being, as Robb said, so much FUN!! I haven't been to Knoebels since then, which is really a crime. I think a return trip is in order to get reacquainted with the greatness of Phoenix!

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