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So what were the best new coasters of 2014?

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I rode a total of 7 new for 2014 coasters. The top three are all outstanding (all in my top 15 overall), and it's hard to pick a best, but I rank them as follows:


Banshee: Easily the best B&M since Tatsu, this ride has become my favorite inverted coaster. It's a long ride with a good amount of speed, good layout, strong forces, and a great first drop. The only issue I have is the rattle of the trains, but it's a minor issue and didn't detract from the ride much. This is a top 5 steel coaster for me.


Goliath: I honestly thought this would be the ride to beat in 2014, but while it was outstanding it certainly wasn't best coaster quality. This ride does things no wooden coaster should do, especially the Zero-G Stall, but it felt more like a steel coaster than a wood coaster to me. Unlike a lot of people, I didn't feel the ride was too short, though it certainly wasn't a long ride. Overall, however, I consider it a top 5 wood coaster.


Lightning Run: While this ride is short, it is non-stop airtime and is deceptively intense for its size. I was expecting a good but not great ride and ended up getting a coaster good enough to make my top 10 steel list. The main issue I have with the ride are the uncomfortable trains, and if those were fixed this could possibly be the best new for 2014 coaster.


Other 2014 coasters I rode, best to worst:


El Loco: Liked this ride, but didn't love it. The coaster just felt too repetitive to me, and it was a very short ride. Still a good coaster, but I don't know that I'd pay $10 for another ride.


Thunderbolt: This should be higher than El Loco, and if the exact same layout was built using Gerstlauer's Eurofighter track and trains it certainly would be. Unfortunately, Zamperla has produced a ride that should never be duplicated. Not worth $10, and definitely just a credit coaster.


Cocoa Cruiser: Zamperla kiddie coaster. One of the best of the type I've been on.


Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers: Zamperla kiddie coaster. Not as smooth as Cocoa Cruiser and a worthless addition for SFMM.

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I was blown away and totally surprised by Lightning Run!!! Loved it!


Banshee was so darn fun and is my new number 1 invert.


Goliath was the biggest letdown for me:( The drop was good, the airtime hill was good, and the zero-g stall was a nice touch. However, each time I rode it I couldn't help but think, "thats it?" Way to short and a big let down for me. No where near my top 20.


Haven't been on any other but the one Id most like to ride would be Medusa. Looks far and away better than Goliath, but I would have to ride to know for sure:)

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At the time, the only B&M invert I had been on was Raptor, which I've always found to be more painful than it is fun... so I didn't have very high expectations for Banshee.


And then Banshee blew me away. It's probably the best B&M I've been on, aside from Apollo's Chariot. Which either means it's amazing... or that I need to get around more.


edit: ...or both.

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I visited two new parks this year (Knoebels and Kennywood), but alas neither park had new for 2014 coasters.


I would love to try out Lightning Run, as that seems to be the surprise hit of the year. If the airtime is even half as good as everyone says it is, then it seems like it could be a top 10 coaster for me.


Overall, I think it was a strong coaster year. Hopefully 2015 will be too!

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I was all ready to come in here and go I only rode Banshee this year as my new coaster. Then I saw the rest of the list and went *doh* so I actually had to think about this.


Banshee and Lightning Run are 1 and 2 but I'm not disclosing which is which because I think I liked them both fairly equally. Banshee, a solid B&M and it hauled a$$ at night. Lightning Run, not what I expected, but I distinctly remember laughing, the whole time, and getting off and walking right back on.


El Loco, LOVED it. I know it's small/short, whatever, but different elements I haven't experienced was tons of fun.


Thunderbolt so awful I forgot I rode it. And I guess this would also qualify it for biggest disappointment too. Has the potential to be awesome, but rough and uncomfortable and I just don't even know what to say/describe. It's just bad.


ETA: I forgot about Cocoa Cruiser, and I rank a kiddie coaster better than Thunderbolt

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Banshee hands down !!


Rode it 101 times, first time I have ever ridden a coaster that many times during a season. Non-stop action from start to finish and I've been waiting 15 years for Kings Island to finally get a Full Invert so for me, it doesn't get any better than this.


Also imo, she is as fun to look at as she is to ride, truly a modern work of art.

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I rode two new coasters this year, Goliath and Wildcat at Santa's Village Azoosment Park (yes, don't forget Chicagoland got TWO new coasters this year). Goliath was fantastic, easily the best coaster in the park. Can't say enough good things about it. Wildcat was the real surprise. Azoosment Park has more rides for small kids than Great America does, and that was the big draw for us. I've been on Galaxies before, but Wildcat was by far the best I've ever been on. Most of the time you'll find a Galaxi in a county fair or a small amusement park that can't afford anything bigger. So they're usually not as well cared for as they could be, and therefore quite a bit rougher than they should be. Wildcat was awesome! It really showed the potential of the Galaxi model. The first drop was surprisingly fast for not being all that tall, and the helices really gathered speed, rather than meandering as they usually do. Add to that some fantastic landscaping, and brilliant four-car operations keeping the line moving, and Wildcat is a real winner for the park. If you're anywhere around Chicago, go ride Wildcat.

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Only got two "new for 2014" rides. Respectively within driving distance from where I am.


Banshee - I waited 5 hours on opening day before boarding front-row on this coaster. Very, very happy to say I was not disappointed. I wish it had twists fast enough to disorient me, but I think that's the only thing I thought was missing from it being an "old-school" B&M. This ride currently sits pretty at #1 of my list of overall favorites, and I had that reinforced last weekend when I got 12 extra rides on it (rounding-out my lap count to 13). Intense forces, fast, many inversions, and just a simply fun layout (the first drop, zero-g roll dive into the valley, and inline twist were my favorite parts of it )!


Lightning Run- This is a spectacular little roller coaster! My first ride on it had me in a laughing fit once I hit the brake run, and there were plenty of other times in between my many re-rides where I was the same way! The ejector airtime on it is absolutely insane, and it progressively become more intense until you reach the end!

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Thunderbolt - This ride should not exist. So rough and terrible. They raised the height requirement a few weeks into operation which is never a good sign and they should raise it even higher so less people have to ride it.


It seems this is the common opinion around here. I for one have never ridden Thunderbolt, but I do remember saying how "ghetto" it looked from the off ride videos. It seems my opinion was right. Thunderbolt is ghetto-fabulous!

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I rode Banshee, Lightning Run and Cocoa Cruiser.


Lightning Run was my favorite, it was much better than expected.


Banshee was disappointing for me, it rattled a lot, didn't have the "snap" of the older B&Ms and the drop didn't have the airtime I expected. (Flight Deck in California and Raptor have better airtime, at least in the back row.)


I rode Cocoa Cruiser as a joke, since there was no line when walking between the three Intamins.


Didn't make it to Chicago Goliath, maybe next year.


Medusa Steel Coaster looks like the best of the year, maybe even best of the decade. If I ever go to Mexico I'll be sure to ride it.

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