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Roller Coaster Rankings

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Finally...for now...here is the Top 50 from the Attraction Rankings spreadsheet, which combines the scores from the roller coaster, railroad, and carousel spreadsheets. 529 separate locations in the US and Canada are represented on it. If you can't be bothered to open the image, the supreme overlord of this ranking by a gigantic margin is Cedar Point. That place just has everything and then some!


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Personally, I can subjectively say that Lightning Run is the best coaster I've ridden. I'd prefer not to reverse-engineer my own brain, though, and simply conclude that "I like it a lot." You may quote that in your dissertation, sir.


I just have to say the amount of selection bias in this thread, along with your attempt to derive a formula for the mystical quantity of "objective betterness," are kind of hilarious. It's certainly an entertaining read, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing how closely you can get your formulas to trend toward the Mitch Hawker poll data. You should make some comparison graphs.

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I'd prefer not to reverse-engineer my own brain, though, and simply conclude that "I like it a lot." You may quote that in your dissertation, sir.


I guess the main goal of all of this is to take my own personal experiences with rides and which ones I like the most (favorite non-looping coaster: Millennium Force, favorite looping coaster: Montu, etc.), apply tech data towards an overall score in such a way that these rides I like are at or near the top, and from that determine which rides are EQUALLY as good, which I have never ridden before or probably will never ride in my lifetime. As a specific example of what I mean, I might ask the following, "I like the Greenfield Village living history museum. I wonder how well it ranks to other living history museums that I have never been to that have similar attractions I like and whether any of those other locations would have a higher score (Greenfield Village turned out to be the top-scorer for living history museums, as it has a steam railroad AND a classic carousel)." So yes, the scoring system is subjective, but the data used is not, and in many cases the scoring is close to or matches several of the better-known subjective top attraction lists. In essence, it allows me to get a general idea of what a location has to offer in terms of attractions without actually visiting it. We can't all be blessed to have the time and means to travel the world just to visit theme parks (I would if I could), so, for me at least, these spreadsheets are the next-best thing to being there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made another major update to the roller coaster spreadsheet. Now, every single location with more than one operational roller coaster is included, as well as every location run by an operator which runs more than one roller coaster across multiple locations. This did not significantly change the Top 50 much, so no need to re-post that. There is now a total of over 2,500 roller coasters on it in over 900 different locations worldwide.


Also, here are some interesting findings:


This is the average height, length, and speed for all of the roller coasters on the spreadsheet: 55.06 ft., 1,374.67 ft., 31.67 mph. This combination of stats is extremely close to Pandemonium at SFFT and its copies in SFSL, SFOT, and SFM.


Here is its POV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txTQfDjy8jc.

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It's been over a year since I posted here, and I have added some key updates to the Attraction Rankings spreadsheet since then. A score for weather is now incorporated, which is made up of annual average temperature and annual total rainfall. The weather score grows higher the closer the temperature gets to 72 degrees F (22.2 degrees C) (room temperature) and the closer the rainfall gets to 31.5 inches (800 mm) (not too wet and not too dry).


Attached is the new Top 50 with those that are in multi-park resorts grouped together.


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I was able to find a semi-legit online resource for British carousels (http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/forum/69-gallopers/) and one for Australian carousels (http://carousels.org/australian.html). That was the one piece missing from my data that was preventing the non-North American English-speaking countries from getting on my master Attraction Rankings spreadsheet. They are included now in the new Top 50 below.


I learned a few things while compiling their weather data. British weather is actually about average compared to other places (though parts of Scotland can be pretty bad) and Australian weather is basically close to perfect in all of its inhabited areas, except for the northern parts of Queensland in the very rainy tropical climate zone.


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  • 1 year later...

Long time, no see. I did not touch any of my attraction ranking spreadsheets for almost all of 2017, and now I revisited them and made some new updates.


With the carousels, I removed all of the ones with only molded metal figures; and with the steam railroads, I removed everything with a track gauge less than 15 inches (minimum gauge). The most significant update, however, was with the roller coasters. First, I removed the rule that any operator running more than one roller coaster gets included, regardless of the size of the roller coasters. Under this rule, many operators running nothing but crummy, rusting carnival roller coasters got included (Wacky Worm city, basically). Second, I lowered the thresholds for height, length, and speed that a roller coaster needs to be included. Those new thresholds are 64.35 ft. tall or more, 1,930.44 ft. long or more, and 43.87 mph or more. These new thresholds revolve around the acceleration of gravity, which makes them feel a lot more logical than the old ones. Specifically, the height and speed stats revolve around how fast an object in free fall travels after exactly two seconds, while the length stat references how far an object will travel on an incline starting from 64.35 ft., if the time it takes to reach the ground is 60 seconds. When you look at the height and speed stats in metric form, they are about 19.6 meters and 19.6 meters/second, respectively. This seems to a natural dividing line between junior and kiddie roller coasters, and bigger, more noteworthy roller coasters. With the combined mass removal due to the first change and the mass addition due to the second change, and general updates from not having updated it for a year, there was a net loss of around 500 roller coasters on the spreadsheet. Again, almost all of the ones removed were garbage from places that most people have never heard of, so they won't be missed. Also, here are the new averages: 62.29 ft.; 1,738.85 ft.; 34.95 mph.


As far as the one roller coaster that comes the closest to the new thresholds, where all three of its stats are greater than or equal to the thresholds, that award goes to White Lightning at Fun Spot America Orlando (69.67 ft.; 2,032.00 ft.; 44.30 mph). I have thus determined that this roller coaster is the "perfect" roller coaster, in that it's size is almost exactly in the middle overall compared to all other roller coasters, and hence appeals to the widest audience possible (not too big to scare away squeamish people, but not too small for thrillseekers to dismiss, and so forth). Plus, it's in Orlando, yet it's not in one of the big parks, so you don't have to pay for parking, travel a mile from the parking lot to the gate, or have to deal with giant crowds to get to it. Here's its POV video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eAFfv-aLzg.


So, without further ado, here is the latest Top 50 on the Roller Coaster Rankings Spreadsheet:


Edited by Jackdude101
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  • 2 months later...

An interesting development happened related to the Roller Coaster Rankings spreadsheet this weekend. For the first time since I created it in May 2009, Cedar Point (thanks to the opening of Steel Vengeance) overtook Six Flags Magic Mountain.


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End-of-year/end-of-decade update to the Attraction Rankings Top 50.


I will also take this moment to state that due to the very high amount of manual labor that these spreadsheets require, combined with the fact that no one besides me has replied to this topic in the past five years, it's unlikely that I will continue to update them further. Working with these spreadsheets just isn't as fun as it used to be. Perhaps I'm finally maturing (...nah, that can't be it).


Peace be with you.


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