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The Mitch Hawker 2013 Wood Coaster Poll Thread!


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It's usually obvious, fanboys put their favourite coaster at number 1 and the likely rivals at the bottom to try and rig the poll. I think that has pretty much ceased now or at least they prevent it happening.

I will admit that I'm a huge huge huge huge Phoenix fan, but El Toro and Ravine Flyer II are my #2 and 3 respectively.

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Yes, I am one of those seemingly rare Voyage fans (2010-era). The layout takes the out-and-back concept to a new and innovative level with all its unusual twists and elements. I personally thought the initial, straightforward airtime hills were a highlight, but like (a much more brutal) El Toro, Voyage doesn't let up until the very end.

 

100% agree with this! They really pushed the limits of a traditional wooden coaster with The Voyage and to me it's still paying off.

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So will the same thing possibly happen to Outlaw Run this year? Outlaw Run fanboys got weeded out?

 

Simply putting a favored coaster above a highly ranked rival doesn't make one a fanboy. But if you have 50 wood credits and ranked Outlaw Run #1, and El Toro, Voyage, and Phoenix at #48,49, and 50 then that would be a suspicious ballot.

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So will the same thing possibly happen to Outlaw Run this year? Outlaw Run fanboys got weeded out?

 

Simply putting a favored coaster above a highly ranked rival doesn't make one a fanboy. But if you have 50 wood credits and ranked Outlaw Run #1, and El Toro, Voyage, and Phoenix at #48,49, and 50 then that would be a suspicious ballot.

Got it

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^^That's what was happening, if I recall correctly one year, a group of people were ranking Expedition GeForce #1 and Superman Ride of Steel at SFNE last when they had ridden 100+ coasters. That was quit a while ago though.

 

Outlaw Run looks like a real shot, it seems like most people who have ridden it are giving it number one and a lot of other people's number one's seem split between several coasters: El Toro here, Phoenix there, Boulder Dash and so on.

 

I'm one of the people who will contribute to an Outlaw Run victory because I've been on all the top ten from last year except T-Express and the Happy Valley one. I was sceptical about Outlaw Run until I rode it, short, but every element is great - the drop is as good as El Toro, intense airtime delivered in many cases very differently to any other wood coaster and the finish...

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I put Outlaw Run at #2...right behind Boulder Dash and right in front of El Toro. It was truly an incredible experience and has some intense airtime and unique elements. Outlaw Run has one of the most breathtaking drops I've ever experienced (Along with the ones on El Toro and Skyrush).

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So will the same thing possibly happen to Outlaw Run this year? Outlaw Run fanboys got weeded out?

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting Outlaw Run at #1. That ride is just incredible.

 

Agreed. Outlaw Run is my #1 coaster period. Above El Toro and I305. It helps that the park it's in is awesome too.

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^That's the sad part for me. My only out of country experiences with wooden coasters have been at Canada's Wonderland and Le Ronde...and their coasters all ranked in my bottom 15.

 

Makes me realize two things:

 

1. I need to get to more parks in Europe and Asia.

2. Eastern Canada really needs at least one good (or even decent) wooden coaster.

 

There is one Eastern Canadian wooden coaster that doesn't appear on your list (mostly because almost no one knows about it). It's "Roller Coaster" at Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia. My friend tells me that it's the smoothest wooden coaster he's been on (his only point of comparison is Canada's Wonderland, though) and that it's surprisingly fun. From the description and POV videos, it looks like either a "big" Junior coaster or a small "Adult" coaster.

 

Just figured I'd mention it. It's a beautiful area to visit too.

 

As an aside: Has anyone on TPR ever completed (or tried to complete) all of the Canadian credits? Seems pretty attainable compared to most countries (though the travel is challenging). I can only think of a handful of places with multiple legitimate coasters / thrill rides: Wonderland(Toronto), La Ronde (Montreal), Galaxyland (Edmonton), Playland (Vancouver), Marineland (Niagara Falls), Calaway Park (Calgary). Outside of those parks and pure kids' rides, I only know of the Upper Clements coaster I mentioned and a small-ish coaster at Cavendish Park in PEI.

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^That's the sad part for me. My only out of country experiences with wooden coasters have been at Canada's Wonderland and Le Ronde...and their coasters all ranked in my bottom 15.

 

Makes me realize two things:

 

1. I need to get to more parks in Europe and Asia.

2. Eastern Canada really needs at least one good (or even decent) wooden coaster.

 

There is one Eastern Canadian wooden coaster that doesn't appear on your list (mostly because almost no one knows about it). It's "Roller Coaster" at Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia. My friend tells me that it's the smoothest wooden coaster he's been on (his only point of comparison is Canada's Wonderland, though) and that it's surprisingly fun. From the description and POV videos, it looks like either a "big" Junior coaster or a small "Adult" coaster.

I agree that it looks very fun, but remember it was made by William Cobb, which is also the man behind "Le Monstre". Altough it might be very good too, as he has also created the Astroworld's Cyclone which was the favorite of many peoples (he seems to have created VERY good and VERY bad coasters and nothing between, so I wonder where Tree Topper/Roller Coaster is)

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There is one Eastern Canadian wooden coaster that doesn't appear on your list (mostly because almost no one knows about it). It's "Roller Coaster" at Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia. My friend tells me that it's the smoothest wooden coaster he's been on (his only point of comparison is Canada's Wonderland, though) and that it's surprisingly fun. From the description and POV videos, it looks like either a "big" Junior coaster or a small "Adult" coaster.

 

Just figured I'd mention it. It's a beautiful area to visit too.

 

Oh, I never knew that there was a park in Nova Scotia...might have to check this out one of these years.

 

Thanks for letting us know!

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I thought Nova Scotia was a deserted tundra populated by bears and beavers. A place where people would go to escape the zombie apocalypse.

 

I bet a few credit whores are checking out maps now. Great find BTW.

 

It will be interesting to see which GCI gets the highest, so many of them are alike. Wodan is my fave out of the ones I've been on.

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Here are my current top 45 wood coasters, don't want to waste space with all 120 or so. Also, some of these won't be on the poll because they are gone.... Some I haven't ridden in 5-10 years, but I do have quite a few new credits in the UK and Europe this year!

 

1 The Voyage

2 Ravine Flyer II

3 Shivering Timbers

4 Boulderdash

5 Tonnere de Zeus

6 Hades

7 Fireball

8 Wodan Timbur Coaster

9 Thunderhead

10 Ghostrider

Favorite Steel Ex. GeForce

11 Colossos (Heide Park)

12 El Toro

13 Legend

14 Rampage

15 Troy

16 Hellcat (Avalanche in Wisconsin)

17 Georgia Cyclone

18 Comet (GE)

19 Raven

20 Phoenix

21 Joris en de Draak: Vuur

22 Joris en de Draak: Water

23 Grand National

24 El Toro (Freizeitpark Plohn)

25 Texas Giant (old)

26 Villain

27 The Boss

28 Hell Cat (Tsunami)

29 Screechin’ Eagle

30 Kentucky Rumbler

31 Cornball Express

32 Big Dipper (Blackpool)

33 Twister (Knoebels)

34 Cyclone (Coney Island)

35 Cheetah

36 Cyclone (Riverside)

37 Excalibur

38 Lightning Racer

39 Wild One

40 La Montana Rusa

41 Viper (SFGAm)

42 Thunderbolt (Kw)

43 Zeus

44 Screamin’ Eagle

45 Big Dipper (GL)

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Thanks! But why do they weed out Voyage and Prowler fanboys?

He must not, since my ballot always gets counted.

 

Yes, I am one of those seemingly rare Voyage fans (2010-era). The layout takes the out-and-back concept to a new and innovative level with all its unusual twists and elements. I personally thought the initial, straightforward airtime hills were a highlight, but like (a much more brutal) El Toro, Voyage doesn't let up until the very end.

 

I wouldn't say "rare" is the right word! Outside of TPR, Voyage clearly seems to be the #1 coaster. For some reason, most of TPR seems to go against the rest of the coaster community when it comes to Voyage. Of course, TPR is so huge, that posters from TPR can easily heavily raise their favorite coasters to the top of the poll. It is always interesting to see what coasters go up and down the poll each year. For me this year's huge surprise was Wodan Timbur Coaster at Europa, it was simiply incredible, easily a top 10 coaster and much better then I had expected. I would say the real disappointments the last year or two were the new Mammut (new to me), very tame, and less recently would be Wildcat at Hersheypark which has dropped steadily on my list over the last 10 years. Gone is the airtime that it once had, and it has no redeeming steep drops to make up for more gentle hills. Still, a few good moments but nothing like it was in the beginning. I got some pretty good rides on Great White in NJ though, but that was in '12. Also, Grand National at Blackpool was wicked, in a good way, this past September!

 

Ted

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Seeing these lists makes me feel really bad, I only was able to check off 5 coasters... oh well, the steel list has like 20 more than that, still though...

 

Don't feel bad, we all started out with only a few! I remember back, long ago, in the early nineties when I only had like 40 coasters. I ride off and on, some years a lot, some years not much. I MUCH older now but I've got about 125 wood coasters and 620 overall, it is a fun hobby. However there are plenty of people out there who have 800, 1000, and even many over 1500!! Just ride for fun, and enjoy your self, doesn't matter how many coaster you've ridden. Your vote sill counts on Mitch's poll!

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^^Ha, "rare" was definitely an exaggeration, and I'm always relieved that every year some people manage to love it. Even if you account for reasons people may have gotten a better ride or be biased: even last year I believe some level-headed enthusiasts visited alone (not as part of an event), in late summer on a hot day, and still loved it.

 

I will be interesting to see which GCI gets the highest, so many of them are alike. Wodan is my fave out of the ones I've been on.

I've heard a theory that the newer GCIs tend to be perennially overrated for a few years before dropping down to a more realistic level. But I do think a few are deserving. Again, I love that others are loving American Thunder; I will admit to non-ironic affection for Prowler; and of course Thunderhead is always a fave. I am a bit curious about all these top-tier rankings for Lightning Racer: does the racing give it a big boost for people, or do y'all think they are solid as separate rides as well? I don't think they're very intense, so it's the racing that keeps them in my top 20.

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There is one Eastern Canadian wooden coaster that doesn't appear on your list (mostly because almost no one knows about it). It's "Roller Coaster" at Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia. My friend tells me that it's the smoothest wooden coaster he's been on (his only point of comparison is Canada's Wonderland, though) and that it's surprisingly fun. From the description and POV videos, it looks like either a "big" Junior coaster or a small "Adult" coaster.

 

Just figured I'd mention it. It's a beautiful area to visit too.

 

Oh, I never knew that there was a park in Nova Scotia...might have to check this out one of these years.

 

Thanks for letting us know!

 

There are 6 coasters out in that area, mostly at FECs.

 

I dug up a link to someone's PTR from a few years ago.

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To me, GCI are like the B & M of wood coasters - very good, but never mind blowing, never pushing the envelope (at least out of the 11 I've been on). Wodan, for me, seemed a bit faster and out of control than the others I've been on.

 

I also concur American Thunder was a lot of fun.

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I wouldn't say "rare" is the right word! Outside of TPR, Voyage clearly seems to be the #1 coaster. For some reason, most of TPR seems to go against the rest of the coaster community when it comes to Voyage. Of course, TPR is so huge, that posters from TPR can easily heavily raise their favorite coasters to the top of the poll.

I completely disagree. That statement would only be remotely true if only TPR members were taking the poll. But if you look at Mitch's list, you'll see that ballots come in from all over the place. Take a look at what even Mitch has to say about his poll versus other polls and how it takes every single riders ballot into consideration so it's not just a "popularity contest" and no one person or group can weight the results: http://www.ushsho.com/pollcomparison.htm

 

Oddly enough, when Voyage first opened, most of TPR felt strongly about it being the #1 in the world. There were only a few of us that it wasn't "our cup of tea" and as you can see for many years it was ranked #1 in the world.

 

But I think much like Shivering Timbers holding onto that #1 spot for so many years, and then the ride tearing itself apart, it became rougher and rougher and lost some steam. On our 2007 TPR trip to Holiday World, Voyage was by far the preferred coaster of the group, but by our 2010 trip, most people came away from it thinking it was pretty rough and not liking it as much. We'll see what the reaction to it is when we return in 2014.

 

I think that was also the year before they started doing some extensive work and re-tracking on it, and arguably probably ran the "worst" that year (at he poll reflects that as well.) So maybe it's not just TPR, perhaps the ride simply isn't as good as it once used to be?

 

Seeing that Voyage finished #3 worldwide in the poll last year, I don't think you can say that members of this forum don't like it, or have any weight one way or the other. Coming in #3 is still REALLY DAMN GOOD!!!! As far as coasters in the US goes, it seems to me that El Toro, Boulder Dash, and The Voyage seem to be most everyone's favorites. This year you might see Outlaw Run added to that "top tier" list. So when I look at the poll, even though last year El Toro came in #1 and The Voyage came in #2 (in the US), I don't read that as "Oh, a small rare group of people only like The Voyage." I think it's pretty clear that the ride has a LOT of fans. If Voyage was all of a sudden coming in at #50 and lots of TPR people said they didn't like it, I could see where you might have a point, but it's #3 in the world and #2 in the USA.

 

As far as some TPR members are concerned, remember that TPR is not really a "coaster community" as much as we are a "theme park community." (My favorite park in the USA is Epcot where there aren't any roller coasters!) While the majority of us do prefer roller coasters as our main attraction at parks, we do have a LOT of people on this site that are more into "theme parks" than just "roller coasters", so it's very possible that some people like a nice balance and rougher wooden roller coasters just don't rank as highly with them.

 

But that's also why Mitch's poll is amazing. It takes EVERYONE's riding preferences into consideration and ranks coasters fairly.

 

Sorry for my longer explanation, but I just wanted to clear that up.

 

--Robb "TPR does in fact have a lot of Voyage fans!" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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Thought I might as well put my listing up. My wood credit list needs improving. But hey, that's what the poll's about, getting everyone's opinion, right?

 

 

LOCATION IN NEXT LINE (Please LEAVE THIS LINE IN BALLOT)

~"Bakersfield, CA"

NAME IN NEXT LINE (Please LEAVE THIS LINE IN THE BALLOT)

~"Adam J"

RANK THE FOLLOWING RIDING SENSATIONS <-LEAVE

Abrupt Airtime_____________________________,y,y,1

Floating Airtime___________________________,y,y,2

Sensation of Speed_________________________,y,y,3

Out of Control Feeling/Directional Changes_,y,y,4

Positive G's/Loops_________________________,y,y,5

Lateral Forces_____________________________,y,y,6

COASTER NAME PARK LOC <-LEAVE

My Favorite Steel Anypark Anywhere **,y,y,1

Apocalypse S. F. Magic Mountain CA,y,y,2

Tremors Silverwood ID,y,n,3

Coaster Playland BC,y,y,4

Lightning Racer - L Hersheypark PA,y,y,5

Lightning Racer - T Hersheypark PA,y,y,6

Jack Rabbit Kennywood PA,y,y,7

Timber Terror Silverwood ID,y,n,8

Thunderbolt Kennywood PA,y,y,9

Giant Dipper Santa Cruz Bch Bdwk CA,y,n,10

Racer Kennywood PA,y,y,11

Comet Hersheypark PA,y,y,12

Timberhawk Enchanted Village WA,y,n,13

Cyclone SF New England MA,y,n,14

Thunderbolt SF New England MA,y,n,15

Colossus S.F. Magic Mountain CA,y,y,16

GhostRider Knott's Berry Farm CA,y,y,17

Roar SF Discovery Kingdom CA,y,n,18

Mean Streak Cedar Point OH,y,y,19

The Grizzly Great America CA,y,n,20

Blue Streak Cedar Point OH,y,y,21

Wildcat Hersheypark PA,y,y,22

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Well, I usually hate ranking coasters, but this time around I decided to submit a ballot for the first time.

Here's my list.

 

LOCATION IN NEXT LINE (Please LEAVE THIS LINE IN BALLOT)

~"Nashville, TN"

NAME IN NEXT LINE (Please LEAVE THIS LINE IN THE BALLOT)

~"Jamin Craig"

RANK THE FOLLOWING RIDING SENSATIONS <-LEAVE

Out of Control Feeling/Directional Changes_,y,y,1

Sensation of Speed_________________________,y,y,2

Abrupt Airtime_____________________________,y,y,3

Floating Airtime___________________________,y,y,4

Lateral Forces_____________________________,y,y,5

Positive G's/Loops_________________________,y,y,6

COASTER NAME PARK LOC <-LEAVE

My Favorite Steel Anypark Anywhere **,y,y,1

The Voyage Holiday World IN,y,y,2

The Beast Kings Island OH,y,y,3

Phoenix Knoebel's PA,y,n,4

Thunderhead Dollywood TN,y,n,5

Raven Holiday World IN,y,y,6

Lightning Racer - L Hersheypark PA,y,n,7

Lightning Racer - T Hersheypark PA,y,n,8

The Legend Holiday World IN,y,y,9

GhostRider Knott's Berry Farm CA,y,y,10

Grt Am Scrm Mach SFoG GA,y,y,11

Blue Streak Cedar Point OH,y,y,12

Twister Knoebel's PA,y,n,13

Thunder Run (SBNO) Kentucky Kingdom KY,y,n,14

Georgia Cyclone SFoG GA,y,y,15

Comet Hersheypark PA,y,n,16

Thunder Road Carowinds NC,y,n,17

Racer Kings Island OH,y,y,18

Wildcat Hersheypark PA,y,n,19

Twisted Twins-S (S) Kentucky Kingdom KY,y,n,20

Twisted Twins-L (S) Kentucky Kingdom KY,y,n,21

Thunderhawk Dorney Park PA,y,n,22

Judge Roy Scream SFoT TX,y,n,23

Mean Streak Cedar Point OH,y,y,24

Hurler Carowinds NC,y,n,25

Gwazi-Tiger Busch Gardens-Tampa FL,y,n,26

Gwazi-Lion Busch Gardens-Tampa FL,y,n,27

 

A few things to note.

 

I got to ride Voyage on three separate visits this year: Mid-May, Holiwood Nights, and in October. On the first two visits Voyage was running really great. In October it was pretty rough, but it still remains my favorite overall because I love everything else about it: the speed, the airtime, the intensity, and the variety of elements. Even despite its recent roughness problems, nothing has been able to top it yet.

 

The Beast is very high on my list because there's just something about hurtling through the woods at breakneck speeds that really gets my juices flowing. The whole experience just feels so epic to me, sort of like watching an adventure film that captures you and doesn't let go until the credits roll. Plus, it was running really smooth and fast this year.

 

The most surprising position in my list is Ghostrider. I don't know what super terrible ride you guys seem to be talking about, but the Ghostrider that I rode this year was really fun! The airtime was decent, and the roughness only felt average. The only thing that dropped it a few spots was the "slow-to-a-dead-stop" trim break that killed the pace of the second half, but as of now it's my third favorite coaster at Knotts behind Xcelerator and Montezooma's Revenge.

 

Again, I'm not the biggest fan of ranking coasters. Everything outside of the top 10 and bottom 5 really just run together as "average" in my mind.

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