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So what were the best new coasters of 2014?


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We talked about what we thought the best new coaster would be BEFORE the summer, but now that it's over, what are your thoughts now that it's over?

 

Here's a few of the new coasters that opened in 2014. What were your favorites and feel free to mention any that I left off of here.

 

Banshee

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Goliath

El Loco

Lightning Run

Medusa Steel Coaster

Firechaser Express

Roar-O-Saurus

Sky Scream

Helix

Thunderbolt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuaWr6TgmhA

 

POST YOUR THOUGHTS!

Edited by robbalvey
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Only rode Goliath, so that would be my favorite, but I think Banshee, Helix, Lightning Run, and Medusa also look like real winners. Hopefully I can ride those one of these days.

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The new coasters I rode this year aren't on the list. They are Parrot Coaster, knock-off SkyLoop, Walrus Splash and Polar Explorer. Among them, I think my favorite is Parrot Coaster and Polar Explorer.

 

For all the coasters that opened this year, I think Medusa is the best one followed by Lightning Run, Helix, Goliath, Banshee, Roar O Saurus, El Lovo, FireChaser Express, Sky Scream and Thunderbolt.

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Thoughts and rough ranking...

 

1. Lightning Run: My first ride was underwhelming, but as with several other favorites, that quickly became forgivable and forgotten. Quickly, it revealed its interesting and surprising array of forces and direction changes. The ending bunny hops always seemed to come precariously close to throwing me out of the train. Overall it reminded me of Phantom's Revenge, a crazier version of the other Morgan hypers, and Skyrush.

 

2. Banshee: This definitely earned its surprising quantity of glowing reviews. Long, forceful, not totally predictable, and while it lacks the terrain-hugging layout that some hoped for, the setting is enjoyable.

 

3. Goliath: My first ride was my best, and sadly, the only one that really did it for me. There's some RMC airtime, some interesting hangtime, and an unexpected twist or two, but overall this was far from phenomenal. I think my opinion could benefit from marathon rides, but the few I had scattered throughout the day did not improve upon one another.

 

4. El Loco: One of the ultimate compact coaster designs, and a winner for the park. It has the fun forces and quirky layout that I had learned to expect from Steel Hawg, with the added benefit of comfortable lap bar trains. Plus, I love the setting and its location in an unexpectedly fun park considering the relative dearth of worthwhile rides.

 

5. Thunderbolt: Look, I ranked it dead last. Can I get away without sharing my opinion? Isn't that enough for you?

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Of the above I've only been on Helix so far, but I'd have a hard time seeing any of the others being better than that. It definitely topped my expectations and didn't let up from start to finish. Some great airtime in the back row and the night rides added a bonus thrill. I don't think everyone in the group had quite as glowing an opinion but Helix had everything I love about coasters.

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Here's my thoughts on some of 2014's offerings.

 

Most surprising to me - Banshee - WOW! I have NOT been a B&M "fan" for the last ten years or so. And while some of their older coasters are still in my top 10-20 list (Montu, Kumba, Drachen Fire, Pyreness, Katun, etc), I've felt that their designs have been lack-luster recently. Banshee was NOT a total throw-back to the golden B&M days, but it was close. Probably the best B&M I've been on in close to ten years.

 

Simply just fun and adorable - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - I dunno, I know it's not that thrilling and it's made for kids, but I seriously love it and laugh through it every time I ride. And the animation inside the building's dark ride section is top notch! And I love how INSANE the operations on this ride are! It's amazing to watch them run this with 5 or 6 trains and load/dispatch in 20 seconds! Go Disney!!!

 

Holy F**K What just happened?!?! - Lightning Run - Quite possibly some of the most extreme airtime I've felt this side of an Intamin Mega-Lite. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but that little ride blew me away! I really hope more of these get built and soon!

 

Good but didn't blow me away - Goliath - Ugh, and I hate to say it because I really did *LIKE* the ride, but it just wasn't Outlaw Run, Texas Giant, or Rattler. Still, I think being my least favorite RMC makes it better than 99% of other roller coasters on this planet so that's a positive way to look at it.

 

PLEASE GET ME OFF THIS THING!!! - Thunderbolt - Seriously, what the hell? This ride made me hurt in ways that I never thought was possible. They need to either do some serious work on it, or never built another one. It was simply "not good."

 

Biggest let down of the year - Helix - I just don't see what other people see in it. It was a "good" ride, don't get me wrong. But it was not a *GREAT* ride. The launches were weak, the inversions were repetitive, the ride rattled more than a brand new coaster should have, and I thought the whole thing kind of meandered through the course. If it wasn't for those two moments of FANTASTIC airtime, this ride would be been a "one and done' for me. I like my launched coasters quick, snappy, and surprising. Maverick and iSpeed come to mind and deliver this. Helix did not. Not at all. I actually far prefer Kanonen to Helix! I give it thumbs up because it rounds out a very good collection of rides at Liseberg, but thumbs down for not meeting my expectations.

 

And I think that rounds up my thoughts on some of 2014's bigger rides!

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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I haven't ridden all of them, but I think I would give the nod to Goliath, with Lightning Run a close second. I give some credit to Banshee, too, as the best new B&M ride after a bit of a "dry spell."

 

Thunderbolt rates as the biggest disappointment.

Edited by cfc
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I would rank them:

1. Lightning Run-Not only are people saying it is a top ten ride, but it is also a great sign of hope for a park that was near closing (kind of the effect Gold Striker had on the other side of the country)

2. Medusa-This looks like one of RMC's best creations, and it is even more impressive to see something like this be built in a less economically-advanced country with few coasters.

3. Helix- Just an amazing launch coaster that has changed the face of Liseberg. When I thought of Liseberg, I used to think of Balder first. Now, I think of both Balder and Helix when I hear a mention of that park. This 1-2 punch is one that I have to try out some day.

 

Comments on other rides:

Goliath-Looks great, but it is a bit short, and I have heard that it is RMC's weakest creations. I would have expected a bit more from a park as large as SFGAm.

Banshee-A good return to form for B&M, and seemed like the perfect addition for a park lacking a modern, high capacity looping coaster (Flight of Fear is starting to get pretty dated, and Firehawk has some capacity issues)

El Loco-(The only one on the list I have actually ridden)-A strange but good coaster. It has plenty of hang time, and it is very refreshing to see a new coaster in a normally coaster starved area of the country.

Seven Dwarves-Not too thrilling, but it is Disney, so I guarantee that the theming is awesome.

Roarosaurus-These family wood coasters look like a lot of fun, and I would love to see more parks try these out.

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I've been on 3 of them, Banshee, Goliath, and Firechaser. If I had to rank them it would be:

 

1. Goliath- it feels too short, but what it packs into that time is insane. It was my first RMC and I was very impressed with the ejector air both on the drop and airtime hill. The zero-g stall is totally unique as well. But best of all, it's SO smooth.

 

2. Banshee- a great fit for KI, and a great coaster. It has a perfect flow of elements and they're so large that it's an easy coaster to marathon even though it has 7 inversions. The only thing I don't like about it is the horrible rattle that it's had since day 1. The ride is very bouncy and has been on all 3 occasions I visited KI this summer. (Media day, Memorial day, Banshee Bash). It is unfortunate since if it was as smooth as Goliath it would probably be my number one of this year.

 

3. Firechaser- this is actually a great family coaster but it doesn't compare to the first 2 in terms of thrills. It is everything a family coaster should be, though. Forwards, backwards, fog, props, launches, lifts, this thing has it all! It fits in perfectly with Dollywood. It manages to gives some unique thrilling elements, yet still keep it family friendly.

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The first drop of Banshee was seriously the big surprise for me this year. I just assumed it would be another, one of the same first B&M drops, boy was I wrong. I liked Goliath, especially the wierd upside down hangtime moments. I just felt that the ride was a bit too short. It really needed one or two more elements to make it feel more complete for me. Lightning Run was fun. I had to really catch my breath after the final series of bunny hills.

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I've only been on two of the new 2014 coasters. This is how I'd rank them.

 

1. Helix @ Liseberg - Helix was certainly a very fun ride, or as I like to call it, Variety: The Ride. I think Helix deserves an award for having the most variety on any coaster in the world. It has EVERYTHING. Drop out of the station, launch, airtime, hangtime, laterals, positive Gs, out of control feelings, enough inversions to where I stopped counting, and on top of all that, it's a LONG ride. I seriously think Helix is up there as one of the longest coasters (time wise, not counting lifthills, brake runs, or boring bits) in the world. I remember hearing the park representitives talk about how Helix wasn't meant to be the most intense coaster out there, but the best coaster they could possibly design, to maximize fun and not be too intense so people could ride it over and over and over again, and honestly, that's EXACTLY how I thought of the ride. None of the individual elements on Helix are amazing or anything. It's airtime is fun in some spots, but it's not like a Mega Lite or anything, the inversions are fun, but not the best, and the launches are definitely on the weak side. However, it's just a ton of fun to ride. It's like the sample platter of roller coasters. It does everything and is just a fun ride to have a good time on.

 

2. El Loco @ Adventuredome - I was really surprised by this. I was just expecting this to be a more compact version of Steel Hawg. WRONG!!! This just seemed much faster than Steel Hawg. I didn't think the lack of a brake on the first drop could make such a good difference. And I much prefer the trick track and dive loop into the brakes over the downward inline twist and turnaround. Thumbs up from me.

 

EDIT:

3. Speedy Gonzalas' Hot Rod Racers @ Six Flags Magic Mountain - I literally forgot about this ride until I heard other people in the thread mentioning it. A worthless kiddy coaster that SFMM doesn't need and now that I have the credit, I will never ever ride it again.

Edited by XII
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I'd rank the three I've ridden as follows:

 

1. Lightning Run @ Kentucky Kingdom- Wow wow wow wow wow. Moments of extreme airtime and insane twists and turns. Even if the park isn't my fave, this ride is a gem.

 

2. Goliath @ Six Flags Great America- I loved the drop and the zero-G stall, but the ride was just super short and had a few boring elements. I was slightly disappointed.

 

3. Banshee @ Kings Island- It's my #2 invert. Fun ride, but not my favorite coaster ever by any means. It had a slight rattle that made the ride feel like a blur.

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I'm not gonna rate any of them since I haven't ridden any of them, but I do have a question. Has anybody on here with a high coaster count actually ridden Medusa? From the POV, this ride really just grabs me, and I'm curious to read some reviews on it and how it stacks up to other rides someone has ridden. If there is nobody, that's alright, I can wait until a TPR Mexico trip.

 

the inversions were repetitive

 

I'm glad you said this. Don't get me wrong, when I saw the POV of Helix, I was sure it was a good ride, but I felt like it was doing the same thing over and over again. Hopefully as Mack designs more roller coasters, they're able to get better at coming up with better designs and become more innovative.

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Of the new coasters that I rode this summer, I would rank them as follows,

 

1. Banshee: I was pleasantly surprised by Banshee, especially since I was so skeptical about another B&M. That said, I really enjoyed the layout and found it both fun and re-rideable. The theming and experience is definitely a leap forward for Cedar Fair. Night rides on it are fantastic.

 

2. Lighting Run: This was another pleasant surprise. I think this coaster shows that even a less costly alternative can pack a proverbial punch and offer a lot within a small layout.

 

3. Goliath: I had both high expectations and excitement for this coaster (more than the other new coasters), since this is an RMC and it's at my home park. However, after the first-airtime hill, it was really downhill from there. It is definitely a solid coaster, but no Outlaw Run. I was let-down, but I think that is partly due to RMC's reputation for high-quality coasters. It needed more air-time hills and less hang-time. Of course, I understand that the former Iron Wolf site is unique and impacted the coaster design, but I was a bit disappointed. Nonetheless, it is a good coaster, just not as good as Outlaw Run.

 

4. Helix: I was underwhelmed by Helix. I think it's a solid coaster, but the launches/ some of the elements were somewhat lackluster, especially when compared to say- Maverick. However, I really do like how the coaster interacts with the terrain. The couple air-time hills were really good too. I think Helix also scores big for its electronic-music blasting, futuristic club-looking station. Of course, experiencing this ride with TPR during Scandi definitely added to the overall experience.

 

5. El Loco: This is a decent coaster, but it has some serious competition from the coasters listed above.

Edited by Intaman
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I have only experienced two, so my opinion is somewhat suspect. But I do live between two of the best amusement parks ever, Cedar Point and Kings Island, so I feel my opinion may count if you have to consider third world opinions.

 

I have lusted over over RMC's every since they redid Texas Giant, and I thought either Outlaw Run or Iron Rattler would be the best of the bunch. (How can you not ride Iron Rattler virtually in POV through that wonderful setting and not think it ranks right up there with the best? Until you ride Wild Fire.) But the only one close to me was Goliath, and OMG. Maverick has always ranked number two on my top ten list but Goliath just stole that spot. It does things no roller coaster should be allowed to do. It blows you away. Yes, it's seems too short but what it does in that one minute of ride time is like nothing you will ever experience on a roller coaster. I should admit now I rode El Toro this year too and it's hard to choose between the two, but Goliath has to come out on top.

 

Banshee is another list topper. Inverted coasters deliver a ride experience I feel that can't be topped by too many other coaster experiences. I have ridden Alpengeist, Montu, the Great Bear and Batman to name a few. I have always felt Raptor tops them all, but oh, Banshee. Banshee is the best of the lot.

 

I haven't ridden The Seven Dwarves. I have been to Disney three times and think that's enough. But I would like to say while I respect Rob's opinion, I have always suspected he's rather soft when it comes to Disney. I don't know why I think that, but for some reason I just picture him as being kin or twin to Snow White in some surreal, parallel universe sort of way. He'd look good in a dress and surrounded by dwarves. Or being forced to sing eternally, "Hi ho, Hi ho, off to work I go..."

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I have been to Disney three times and think that's enough. But I would like to say while I respect Rob's opinion, I have always suspected he's rather soft when it comes to Disney.

I'm not soft on Disney I just happened to like "theme parks" more than I like "roller coasters." Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the most perfect family coasters I've ridden (and I've pretty much ridden them all) as it's the perfect blend of thrills and very elaborate thematics that is targeted at a young audience.

 

There is nothing wrong with liking theme parks just because it might not be your thing. Maybe you're soft for Ohio amusement parks or something?

 

--Robb "Who the hell is Rob?" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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I have been to Disney three times and think that's enough. But I would like to say while I respect Rob's opinion, I have always suspected he's rather soft when it comes to Disney.

I'm not soft on Disney I just happened to like "theme parks" more than I like "roller coasters." Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the most perfect family coasters I've ridden (and I've pretty much ridden them all) as it's the perfect blend of thrills and very elaborate thematics that is targeted at a young audience.

 

There is nothing wrong with liking theme parks just because it might not be your thing. Maybe you're soft for Ohio amusement parks or something?

 

--Robb "Who the hell is Rob?" Alvey

 

LOL, I'm very partial to KI and Cedar Point. I'm into extreme coasters. Doesn't mean I disrespect your opinions or preferences for family coasters and theming. Just pointing out you would make a good dwarf. And sorry, it is Robb, not Rob. My apologies.

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I managed to get on 5 new coasters this year. Definitely my highest number ever. My ranking is:

 

1. Goliath - I know it was let down for a lot of people, but it was the first RMC I'd been on. I got to ride Outlaw Run later on my trip and I found Outlaw Run marginally better. I preferred the inversions on Goliath but liked the overall ride and pacing on Outlaw Run. It was the night rides on Goliath that made me really like it.

 

2. Lightning Run - This coaster is so fun and I do agree with the comparisons to mega lites and Skyrush, but it's smaller and has some changes in direction that give it a more unique layout. This was really re-rideable and just a ton of fun. The bunny hills at the end always managed to surprise me.

 

3. Banshee - All three coasters so far are so close that it's difficult to rank them. Banshee is great and re-rideable and the most enjoyable thing B&M has made in a while. I can't really explain why this is my third favourite, the forces are great, it looks amazing (definitely the best looking coaster of 2014) and it's got an interesting layout. I just prefer the other two slightly more.

 

4. Parrot Coaster - I've heard this has gone downhill, but when I rode it in the Spring it seemed like the most forceful wing rider I had been on. It's still just a wing rider, but at least it has those awesome parrot themed trains. Of the 4 I've been on, it's probably the best one.

 

5. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - This is last just because it's a family coaster. The theming is amazing and I really enjoyed the dark ride section (my main complaint is I wish there was more dark ride). It shows up really well in pictures too.

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