Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Custom Coasters International in retrospect


Recommended Posts

When I first got really into roller coasters, sometime after the release of the original Rollercoaster Tycoon, Custom Coasters was king of wooden coasters. A good half of the top wooden coasters in the world were CCI, with the others being historic ones like the Thunderbolt, Coney Island Cyclone, Beast, etc. CCI was a mark of quality in wooden coasters just like B&M was for steel. Much like a B&M, I can't recall anyone giving a CCI a lukewarm grade upon opening.

 

Little did any of us know that even though CCI was delivering 5-6 quality rides a year, they were not going to be around for long in the 21st century. GCI, who were just starting to produce late in the 20th century, would own wooden coaster construction in the coming years.

 

I haven't personally ridden any CCI creations, but I will be tackling The Legend and The Raven coming up. I read a lot about them on these forums and it seems like a lot of them are finally starting to approach the age where roughness is setting in. I've been surprised to read that people had bad experiences on rides like Category 5, Villain, & Hoosier Hurricane, of course 2/3 of those are closed. GCI hasn't been immune to their coasters going bad, as we saw with Gwazi.

 

I just wanted to see what people who have experience with them think of CCI now. Were their rides the cream of the crop when new in your opinion? Are they still cream of the crop, or has GCI (and RMC, who I don't count as wood) completely outshone them? Have their rides not aged well? What are/were some of your favorites? Now that its nearly 15 years after their demise, where is their place in coaster history? From my perspective, it seems like they had a better idea what to do with a wooden coaster of anyone since Herbert Schmeck, certainly exceeding Summers/Dinn and John Allen, whose rides were fun but unimaginative, and a handful of short-lived coaster companies that seemed to produce a couple odd rides then disappear.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 58
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

As far as layouts go, I love CCI. I still would take almost any CCI layout over even the best GCI's any day.

 

However, that is speaking in context of layouts only, as many CCI's have aged poorly. Ghostrider is nothing short of awful. But, the well maintained CCI's out there are still well ranked, most notably Boulder Dash.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They helped to pave the way for other companies such as GCI.

 

As far as coasters they put out, there are some great ones out there. Boulder Dash, Raven, Tremors, Shivering Timbers...Hell I for one even enjoy Great White.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of my top wooden coasters are CCI creations. Boulder Dash, Legend, Raven, Cornball Express, etc... They require a ton of TLC, but if the park is vigilant then CCI's offer some of the best classic wooden coaster experiences in the world. They offer the feel that Intamin and RMC's simply can not, and from my experience GCI's are not as forceful or diverse as CCI.

 

Unfortunately, most of them have badly deteriorated, so their legacy in the industry is not as pristine as it should be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I just wanted to see what people who have experience with them think of CCI now. Were their rides the cream of the crop when new in your opinion? Are they still cream of the crop, or has GCI (and RMC, who I don't count as wood) completely outshone them? Have their rides not aged well? What are/were some of your favorites? Now that its nearly 15 years after their demise, where is their place in coaster history? From my perspective, it seems like they had a better idea what to do with a wooden coaster of anyone since Herbert Schmeck, certainly exceeding Summers/Dinn and John Allen, whose rides were fun but unimaginative, and a handful of short-lived coaster companies that seemed to produce a couple odd rides then disappear.

 

Edited by Joe Cool
Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as layouts go, I love CCI. I still would take almost any CCI layout over even the best GCI's any day.

 

However, that is speaking in context of layouts only, as many CCI's have aged poorly. Ghostrider is nothing short of awful. But, the well maintained CCI's out there are still well ranked, most notably Boulder Dash.

 

Yes, Ghostrider is one I forgot to mention. Around 2000 this was considered amongst the best out there. I'm amazed that it's fallen so far. But having ridden Gwazi shortly before it closed, I can attest that awful riding wooden coasters are indeed awful. No layout can survive a ride that does not track well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as layouts go, I love CCI. I still would take almost any CCI layout over even the best GCI's any day.

This. Absolutely this! CCI made, IMO, some of the best "traditional" wooden coasters out there, and if they were running like they were their first few seasons, they would still be on the top of many coaster lists. GCI on the other hand has never made a woodie that I don't like, even Gwazi was good in the first few seasons, but GCI has never made a coaster that I absolutely "love", where CCI has made many of them.

 

I mean, think about some of their rides: Ghostrider, Shivering Timbers, Raven, Cyclops, Villain, Great White, Tonnerre de Zeus, Tremors, Rampage, Megafobia, Boulder Dash, OMG...every one of them was in my top ten, some of them in my top all the way up to #1 when they first opened.

 

But then something happened.... Between them having a falling out with PTC and putting on the less-then-stellar Gerstlauer trains on many of their rides, and many of their coasters not aging well for what I'm sure is a various number of reasons, almost all of the CCI woodies out there are a sad shadow of their former selves.

 

And while some of the designers later went on to Gravity Group and continued to produce some kick ass rides, there are still some of the early CCI woodies that I wish had a surviving chance (Villain, Mega Zeph, etc) or at least ran as well as they did those first few seasons (anyone who rode Ghostrider from 1998 - 2002 knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about!)

 

They helped to pave the way for other companies such as GCI.

Except that GCI didn't to things better than CCI, they just did things more "cautious" (or at least it seemed.) I don't think I've ever experienced that same out of control feeling or moments of airtime on a GCI than I did on CCI's best work. GCI's always felt very "safe" to me while CCI felt more "f**k it...we'll do what we want, and it's going to kick your ass!"

 

They offer the feel that Intamin and RMC's simply can not

But RMC is at least doing things and taking chances like CCI did and GCI probably never will. To me, most CCI and RMC coasters you hit the brakes, hands gripped on the bar, look back and you say "W.T.F. JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!" GCI coasters you hit the brakes and you go "Well...that was fun!"

 

I'm in the camp that I would love to see some of the older CCI's that need the love get completely re-tracked or re-done by RMC. Can you imagine how batshit crazy Ghostrider would be if RMC took a shot at it? Yes, please! Make that happen!

 

I haven't been out to ride Rampage since it re-opened, but I hope that some TLC there brought that ride back to it's former self!

Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as layouts go, I love CCI. I still would take almost any CCI layout over even the best GCI's any day.

And while some of the designers later went on to Gravity Group and continued to produce some kick A$$ rides, there are still some of the early CCI woodies that I wish had a surviving chance (Villain, Mega Zeph, etc) or at least ran as well as they did those first few seasons (anyone who rode Ghostrider from 1998 - 2002 knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about!)

 

It's these that I've been exceptionally curious about. These were coasters made by the cream of the crop at the top of the game, and yet they had such a short lifespan that was scarcely long enough for many riders to tell what they were like. Fortunately POV's of these exist, and I just checked out the one from SFNO (uploaded by this site) that looked like an absolutely killer ride. The speed which it maintains throughout its hills is incredible, and after reading your description of what CCI's are like its easy to imagine what the ride felt like.

 

Everyone knew about the better CCI's when they came out. Raven, Legend, Ghostrider, Boulder Dash, numerous others all had huge followings right after opening and it seems we all knew the details of the rides even if we hadn't been there. But some of these other coasters we all knew were quality because they were CCI, but didn't hear much about them besides that because there was so much activity going on at that time in the coaster world. And before we knew it, these parks and these coasters were gone.

 

I would have thought that CCI was more tradional, just bigger and better, and GCI was more of a gambler, but I'll take the word of someone who has the experience you do and hearing that I can make sense of it a little bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would have thought that CCI was more tradional, just bigger and better, and GCI was more of a gambler, but I'll take the word of someone who has the experience you do and hearing that I can make sense of it a little bit.

A better way to describe it is that CCI was willing to take risks while GCI wanted to prevent them. Don't get me wrong, GCI has produced some VERY good rides. But IMO their best work was never as ballsy as CCI's best work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had the honor of riding THE BOSS, which was made by CCI. Although it is rough now, like other CCI's, it is still one of my favorite woodies. Yes, you run the risk of totally breaking your legs and other bones, but its just such a good coaster I almost don't care. The intensity it carries is unreal. I wish every other coaster in the world could have that.

 

And one thing about CCI is that it definitely lead to further innovations in the wooden coaster, and Theme Park Industry as a whole. You cannot question that. What I am trying to say is that CCI made people happy, it made them want to ride coasters again and again. The Company is LEGEND-...WAIT FOR IT...-DARY.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What CCI rides or what parts of CCI rides would you characterize as risks?

The fact that they weren't afraid of going negative on their airtime. It was mostly their designs I'm talking about. They were more about "how far can we take it?" and it bums me out that if they were a bit better with the business side of things, and if they were still around today, what kind of crazy shit they'd be producing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only CCI in proximity to me is Cheetah at Wild Adventures which I have never done. It seems pretty small and short so I'm not sure how much of the CCI magic it has. Has anyone here ridden that, and is the experience comparable to other CCI designs?

Link to post
Share on other sites
What CCI rides or what parts of CCI rides would you characterize as risks?

 

You just have to ride one and you'll know exactly what he means. I've had the privilege of riding three, Boulder Dash and the two at Holiday World, and they are all insane. The risk comes from the level of intensity. Sharp transitions, sustained speed through the entire course, airtime, and laterals. CCI had a thing for underbanked turns. Check out the second half of Legend's helix, it isn't banked at all. The combination of these elements make for totally out of control rides that also, sadly, beat themselves to pieces. Riding one can feel a bit like having a fire hydrant aimed at your face.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What CCI rides or what parts of CCI rides would you characterize as risks?

 

You just have to ride one and you'll know exactly what he means. I've had the privilege of riding three, Boulder Dash and the two at Holiday World, and they are all insane. The risk comes from the level of intensity. Sharp transitions, sustained speed through the entire course, airtime, and laterals. CCI had a thing for underbanked turns. Check out the second half of Legend's helix, it isn't banked at all. The combination of these elements make for totally out of control rides that also, sadly, beat themselves to pieces. Riding one can feel a bit like having a fire hydrant aimed at your face.

 

Sustained speed throughout the entire course is something that I don't think many got before CCI and B&M were around. It's almost a romanticized look of a wooden rollercoaster, sharp drops and hills but with sweeping, elevated curves. These rides are the most picturesque rides in the world and sometimes it really works, but it seems until the nineties that designers started getting that its exhilarating to be kept on a ride where the sensation of speed lasts throughout the entire course. Oftentimes it not the MPH that one is going that makes a ride feel fast, its the track itself and what is around it that makes it feel fast. Some rides go 45 and feel more fast than rides I've been on which go 65.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been lucky to have been on several of their designs. Some of the best ones being The Boss, Shivering Timbers, Tremors, and Cornball Express (among a few others). The Boss is my second favorite woodie behind El Toro, and even with its current roughness, that thing is HOT. It's raw, intense, and it feels unbelievably fast. And Shivering Timbers just seems to go on and on. I agree with Robb I haven't felt that intensity on any GCI or RMC (although I have only ridden Goliath). Wish they were still around...

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you could just take their layouts and combine it with RMC or Intamin's track...you'd have the perfect ride.

 

Ultimately in terms of maintenance, parks got what they paid for. They built great rides for cheap, so it's not surprising at all they didn't age well unless tons of money was invested in them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Robb I haven't felt that intensity on any GCI or RMC

That's not what I said at all.

 

But RMC is at least doing things and taking chances like CCI did and GCI probably never will. To me, most CCI and RMC coasters you hit the brakes, hands gripped on the bar, look back and you say "W.T.F. JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!" GCI coasters you hit the brakes and you go "Well...that was fun!"

 

I absolutely feel like RMC is doing things in the same spirit that CCI did. Taking chances, risks, and delivering just out of control crazy rides!

Link to post
Share on other sites
What CCI rides or what parts of CCI rides would you characterize as risks?

 

Take a spin on Boulder Dash or Tremors, after that it's all self explanatory. Tremors has one of the coolest tunnels if not THE coolest tunnel. The Tremors gift shop is in the tunnel! Boulder Dash is an experience all its own, it is pure insanity from the minute the train leaves the lift hill till the brake run, it doesn't let up the least bit. Not once.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CCI built wood coasters. Like the overwhelming majority of wood coasters, they required a lot of maintenance and the parks running them either didn't want to do it or weren't given an annual budget to keep up with it. With the exceptions of Raven and maybe Megafobia and the Silverwood duo, I can't think of a single CCI coaster that has been *excellent* every single year. Those latter examples just don't get the kind of ridership most of the other ones did for comparison. But if a park keeps up maintenance or does the overhauls they should, they'll have a top notch ride. Boulder Dash, Legend, Shivering Timbers, and Great White all degraded noticeably but saw work done that brought them back or even improved them.

 

As far as style went, they basically created the "intense start to finish" wood coaster in the 90s with Raven and that continued through to TGG's designs. GCI never had the long sustained negative G moments of the CCI rides like Raven's 5th drop and Ghostrider and Villain post-block. That doesn't necessarily make them worse, just different.

Link to post
Share on other sites
When I first got really into roller coasters, sometime after the release of the original Rollercoaster Tycoon, Custom Coasters was king of wooden coasters. A good half of the top wooden coasters in the world were CCI, with the others being historic ones like the Thunderbolt, Coney Island Cyclone, Beast, etc. CCI was a mark of quality in wooden coasters just like B&M was for steel.

 

It's kind of funny how over the years those "classics" like the Beat and the Phoenix and Thunderbolt have all remained in a lot of "top 10's" (rightfully so) but a lot of the GCI's and CCI's have fallen out. I realize that most top 10's are heavily influenced or based on personal nostalgia and opinion and alot of the CCI/GCI's haven't aged as well, but rides like Megaphobia and Lightning Racer and Great White you hardley ever hear about anymore. Seems like Troy and Prowler were both fairly well recieved in their opening years but are also hardley mentioned any more.

 

Also, lookin back on it I had forgotten how many coasters CCI built, 34 coasters in 10 years, kind of amazing when you think about it. In my opinions CCI and GCI were always just kind of different, I don't think CCI necessairly ever "took risks" with their design, I think 120 feet was the tallest ride they built maybe? I just always thought of CCI as having more traditional layouts with more straight forward air time and GCI has being more focused on twister style layouts with multiple crossovers and a different type of airtime. I've never been on Boulder Dash but the only CCI coaster that ever really blew me away was The Raven and it's still in my top 5. I agree with Robb that just about all of GCI's coasters are really good but Thunderhead is the only one that's a real top 10 caliber ride.

Link to post
Share on other sites
When I first got really into roller coasters, sometime after the release of the original Rollercoaster Tycoon, Custom Coasters was king of wooden coasters. A good half of the top wooden coasters in the world were CCI, with the others being historic ones like the Thunderbolt, Coney Island Cyclone, Beast, etc. CCI was a mark of quality in wooden coasters just like B&M was for steel.

 

It's kind of funny how over the years those "classics" like the Beat and the Phoenix and Thunderbolt have all remained in a lot of "top 10's" (rightfully so) but a lot of the GCI's and CCI's have fallen out. I realize that most top 10's are heavily influenced or based on personal nostalgia and opinion and alot of the CCI/GCI's haven't aged as well, but rides like Megaphobia and Lightning Racer and Great White you hardley ever hear about anymore. Seems like Troy and Prowler were both fairly well recieved in their opening years but are also hardley mentioned any more.

 

A lot of wood coasters have been built in the last 20 years, many of 'em in places that don't generate trip reports on a weekly basis, 'nah mean? People are always gonna report about how good the Blue Streak is and about how Beast's helix is wild. There's probably double digit numbers of people in this hobby living in Wales. No diss to Wales. It is really nice there. They just aren't amusement park central. The ones that ride Troy on the reg probably speak English as their 4th language and can be found posting on a website with a .dk or .de prefix rather than here. Again, no diss to them, that's just what it is. So I don't know if it is that those rides lack "staying power" as much as it is that they just aren't on the well trod path.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CCI and GCI are special on their own. Kind of like Intamin and B&M. CCI coasters offer crazy rides from start to finish and GCI are more family oriented and rerideable. I don't know about the cost of maintenance but I've heard GCI's Millennium Flyer damage the track slightly less than PTC or Gerstlauer trains.

 

I like them both very much, the CCI's I've been on are intense and creative. Boss, Zeus and Cyclops are very good even though the roughness get quite unbearable after a few rerides. Like most people here, I wish CCI is still around to make magic. Gravity Group at this point is going more towards the GCI direction lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^Yes, GG's today often look and feel like giant GCI's to me. And CCI's last coaster, the NM Rattler, always seemed to be like CCI's take on a GCI--with CCI's characteristic underbanking. I guess maybe super-twisty, wavy-turned layouts were in at the time.

 

While wooden coasters evolved recently with crazy airtime, inversions, and supertwisties, no one really does laterals like CCI did. That's what I miss most.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/