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Custom Coasters International in retrospect


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Based on Goliath, I love modern wooden coasters, but I do love the traditional-style wooden coasters like CCI in terms of aesthetics and style. I've been on Shivering Timbers, Cornball Express, Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain, Hoosier Hurricane Raven, and Legend, all of which are really unique and memorable and good (with the exception of Hoosier Hurricane which is very unique in that it borders the park and dives under the bridge, but it is one of the most painful rides I have ever experienced). I haven't ridden rides like Boulder Dash, Cyclops, or Tremors, but they all are memorable and unique, especially with Tremor's gift shop tunnel, that one drop on Cyclops, and of course Boulder Dash which runs in the woods and has lots of airtime. GCI coasters, on the other hand, all seem the same and look the same, with exception of Wild Lightning at Fun Spot and Lightning Racer. I've been on Renegade, Wildcat at Hershey Park, and both sides of Lightning Racer, and they are great rides, Wildcat was phenomenal in my opinion, but they all look the same from an overhead view and other than station fly-throughs, they aren't really as intuitive and clever as CCI was. I do believe they paved the way for Gravity Group's early rides like Hades, Voyage, and Ravine Flyer II which are very cleverly designed, and also RMC. I really like this thread because I actually never thought about CCI too much and I do realize they were a great company that will be missed.

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With hindsight being 20/20 and supply/demand as the grand scheme of things, CCI's demise came as a result of underbidding along with using traditional style trains that couldn't articulate very well. Because their product came around such a comparatively low price, they were able to successfully flood the USA market, which has since dried up in terms of traditional woodies. GCI's more cautious approach along with their willingness to design their own trains allowed them to get more work in the end, because they guranteed less maintenance costs along with liability. You don't see many GCI's having problems with deterioration outside of the ones that opened with PTCs.

 

The good thing is CCI still continues through TGG(same engineers), only with even crazier designs, albeit it appears they are more focused on heartlining their curves. The only problem for them is that the USA market hasn't really opened up for them. Hopefully we'll see more of their larger designs in the future, as I'm sure they're still some American parks willing to take a look at what they have to offer, because they still seem less expensive than GCI and may even offer a superior train to prevent excessive maintenance. RMC is going to be tough for them to complete with though, because their products are relatively inexpensive as well.

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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?

 

The CCI coasters I've ridden (some recently and some as much as 13 years ago) are Boulder Dash, Cheetah, Cyclops, Pegasus, Shivering Timbers, Timber Terror, Tremors, Zach's Zoomer, and Zeus.

 

I rode Cheetah within a year of it opening, and I remember liking it. It was fairly smooth and kept its intensity until the end. I rode it several times over the following five or more years and noticed it got rougher with some side-to-side shuffle and maybe even a bit of jack hammering. I went back and rode it again a year or two ago. I think Wild Adventures had done a good bit of retracking of Cheetah around that time. I found the coaster to be in much better shape than I had remembered, and I only got a slight bit of shuffling coming off of the turnaround at the far end of the layout. With that being said, I hate the Gerstlauer trains on Cheetah. The seats are hard with an awkward/upright position that puts me in an uncomfortable riding position. I don't have the best back as it is so I had to take a defensive riding position which meant I had to hold onto the handle on the seat in front of me in order to pull myself slightly forward so I could keep my back from touching the seat while riding. (For comparison: While riding Boulder Dash last year, I didn't have to do that.)

 

With all of that being said, Cheetah is certainly not on the same level as Boulder Dash, Shivering Timbers, etc., but it's not bad or at least it wasn't a couple of years ago. It's probably not worth going out of your way to ride it, but if you're passing through the area, Cheetah and Wild Adventures are worth a stop. Hopefully, Wild Adventures stays on top of the maintenance of Cheetah and hopefully they will someday replace those awful trains.

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The only CCI coaster I've ridden is Cheetah @ Wild Adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was quite surprised how smooth it was (in 2012). It was my # 2 woodie until I rode GCI's White Lightning (2013) @ Fun Spot and Thunderhead (in 2014). Keep in mind I've never been on a woodie north of KD or west of Dollywood/SFOG so I don't have a lot to compare (only 16 wood ridden)...yet.

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Silverwood duo

 

SIlverwood only runs one train on both Tremors and Timber Terror, so I'm sure that helps reduce wear and tear by quite a bit compared to 2-train operations.

 

They also have RMC down the road who I believe helps with some re-tracking work on both coasters.

 

I'm excited to go, only about a month left till I get to ride them again! These two are the only CCI's I have ridden, and I wish I would have been more appreciative of coasters back when I rode them the first time as a teenager. It's sad to me that I don't remember much about either except THOSE TUNNELS! My god they are good, by the third and fourth ones you can't help but duck they are so small. I don't have much to compare them to, but I remember they were extremely fun- my Mom and Dad went on them multiple times while we were doing other rides, so Mom has more credits on Timber Terror than I do, haha!

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While I have only been on three CCI coasters (The Boss, The Legend & The Raven), I can safely say I agree with Robb's viewpoint on CCI's layouts versus GCI's. I haven't been on other GCI's besides the Kentucky Rumbler and American Thunder, but looking from layouts I can say that a LOT of them look like they provide similar experiences, just with different layouts (in terms of space, order of elements, and what elements made them up). They compromise mostly of heavily banked turns, bunny hills in between drops, keeping low to the ground to create an emphasis on speed (which really only seemed to work with the Rumbler). With CCI's layouts, that was definitely not the case. The Boss and Legend feature unique elements (Boss's "triple down" and The Legend's first drop and weird helix) that felt truly "out of control" and wanted to push some intense forces on the riders compared to other coasters. It never felt like the intensity was being kept under control, and that's what made them so much more enjoyable. Heck, they even brought back the trick-track element (albit only on two coasters, did not have NEARLY the same intensity/enjoyment, and now only one of those coasters still operates).

 

American Thunder, IMO, was okay, but even though I placed it higher above Boss on my list at the time due to being still sore from the Gerstlauer trains, American Thunder nowadays is my second least favorite woody. It just didn't have that long lasting of an appeal compared to the others in my books. The Boss, on the other hand, is right up there with some of my favorite wooden coasters like Thunder Run, Kentucky Rumbler, El Toro (though El Toro's #1 place on the list will be pretty much concrete until I ride either one of RMC's devil's or T-Express, then it MIGHT move down a bit. Until then though it's still leagues ahead of the other coasters on my list even if they are #2 - #4 ) I'd easily re-ride it over American Thunder any day, even if it meant dealing with crappy Gerstlauer trains bruising my knees and sides.

 

I'm not saying though that they were only good because their layouts were different from GCI's however. Twisted Sisters/Twins wasn't really that well received with it's "dueling" aspect.

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The only CCI coaster I've ridden is Cheetah @ Wild Adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was quite surprised how smooth it was (in 2012). It was my # 2 woodie until I rode GCI's White Lightning (2013) @ Fun Spot and Thunderhead (in 2014). Keep in mind I've never been on a woodie north of KD or west of Dollywood/SFOG so I don't have a lot to compare (only 16 wood ridden)...yet.

 

Don't be deceived by those here who have ridden more coasters than there are days in a year, 16 is a fair amount of woodies to have ridden given that most parts have like a 5/1 ratio on steel to wood. Given that you've ridden rides like Thunderhead you should at least have an idea of what a top 10 wooden candidate looks like.

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Don't be deceived by those here who have ridden more coasters than there are days in a year, 16 is a fair amount of woodies to have ridden given that most parts have like a 5/1 ratio on steel to wood. Given that you've ridden rides like Thunderhead you should at least have an idea of what a top 10 wooden candidate looks like.

Thunderhead is a top ten woodie?!?!?

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I personally LOVED Ghostrider, Raven, Shivering Timbers, Villain, and Cyclops.. Recently went on Shivering Timbers, it was windy that day.. I got off the ride and regretted it. My spine hurt a lot and I couldn't stretch, other than that when it isn't windy it's mostly a "woody smooth ride". The others vary from not-painful to WTF I felt like I just got in a fight with 4 gorillas...

 

Now a question for you all: Which CCI Coaster would you like RMC to work their magic on??

Edited by LaRondeQC
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Don't be deceived by those here who have ridden more coasters than there are days in a year, 16 is a fair amount of woodies to have ridden given that most parts have like a 5/1 ratio on steel to wood. Given that you've ridden rides like Thunderhead you should at least have an idea of what a top 10 wooden candidate looks like.

Thunderhead is a top ten woodie?!?!?

 

Thunderhead makes weird noises, noises I've NEVER heard on a woodie ever before.. The only thing thunderhead is top ten for is probably how loud it is out of all woodies..

 

You can tell it's a GCI, though, in a way similar to feeling like you just experienced an earthquake while you're half asleep and flying out of your seat experiencing migraines..

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Thunderhead is a top ten woodie?!?!?

In all seriousness, wasn't there a time where it was actually in a lot of peoples' top ten wooden coasters?

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^^ I understand not liking Thunderhead, but not liking it because it sounds weird and is "rough"( which it really isn't compared to a lot of other wooden coasters) is a pretty stupid reason not to like it. Also, aren't you that guy who was spreading all those bullcrap rumors on the La Ronde thread that you wanted people to believe so bad you changed the Wikipedia page so people would believe you?

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^^ I understand not liking Thunderhead, but not liking it because it sounds weird and is "rough"( which it really isn't compared to a lot of other wooden coasters) is a pretty stupid reason not to like it. Also, aren't you that guy who was spreading all those bullcrap rumors on the La Ronde thread that you wanted people to believe so bad you changed the Wikipedia page so people would believe you?

 

LOL that wikipedia page wasn't me.. I just noticed it...

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^^ I understand not liking Thunderhead, but not liking it because it sounds weird and is "rough"( which it really isn't compared to a lot of other wooden coasters) is a pretty stupid reason not to like it. Also, aren't you that guy who was spreading all those bullcrap rumors on the La Ronde thread that you wanted people to believe so bad you changed the Wikipedia page so people would believe you?

 

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Don't be deceived by those here who have ridden more coasters than there are days in a year, 16 is a fair amount of woodies to have ridden given that most parts have like a 5/1 ratio on steel to wood. Given that you've ridden rides like Thunderhead you should at least have an idea of what a top 10 wooden candidate looks like.

Thunderhead is a top ten woodie?!?!?

 

Never ridden it (that should change next week) but I'm just going by it being ranked in the top 2 in two major polls in 2013 and top 20 in the other. I thought the consensus pretty high on this ride.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Man, this thread is making me wish I could have ridden GhostRider back when it was its best. If RMC just topper tracked that layout (no changes, and heck, keep the same trains), GhostRider could easily be in my top 5. The way it is right now is tolerable for about one ride, but then you're done for the day.

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Finally got some rides in for CCI when I took in the Legend and The Raven last Monday. I have to say, I felt almost exactly like our host described when after the ride finished I had to turn to my wife and say "what the **** was that?" Before I took in the waterpark and my lunch that was a really good thing. After the waterpark softened my body I really couldn't take the pounding of the two rides like I did in the morning. But it was pretty clear what it meant by CCI pushing the envelope further than other companies are willing, as GCI seems like childs play in comparison, but they were able to make a ride ferocious and yet still enjoyable. I actually felt like The Voyage, despite being designed by a spiritual successor to CCI, didn't execute their aggressive elements with the same skill, as I felt like the few turns were executed too fast and too sudden to be enjoyable, but it seems a lot of people disagree with me and that's fine.

 

I also was able to take in Thunderhead on this trip, which despite claims to the contrary in this thread I felt lived up to its onetime immense hype. I'm letting the experience sink in before I try to rank it, but its easily amongst the best GCI's I've enjoyed, and it along with the Legend are the two best twisters I've experienced.

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^^ I understand not liking Thunderhead, but not liking it because it sounds weird and is "rough"( which it really isn't compared to a lot of other wooden coasters) is a pretty stupid reason not to like it. Also, aren't you that guy who was spreading all those bullcrap rumors on the La Ronde thread that you wanted people to believe so bad you changed the Wikipedia page so people would believe you?

 

LOL that wikipedia page wasn't me.. I just noticed it...

 

Yes, the same moron. At least he is not refuting spreading all the bullcrap rumors!

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There's no doubt both CCI and GCI were and are inspired by the great work from the earlier golden age of coasters. CCI just embodied more of Traver's uniquely demented genius and managed to walk that line without the frequent bloodied noses and broken ribs. GCI are all Baker, Miller, Prior & Church. Very, very good - but not as balls-to-the-wall insane (an aviation reference BTW, not a dirty one).

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Karma is probably the reason they're not around anymore. Building Raven, Legend, Boulder Dash, Boss (I'm in the minority on Boss) will earn you a whole hell of a lot of goodwill, but not nearly enough to offset the negative karma of building Hurricane Category 5 at Myrtle Beach Pavilion.

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I've had the pleasure of riding 9 CCI coasters with Cyclops, Zeus, Raven, Legend, & Shivering Timbers all being new for me in 2015. Like many others have said their coasters (especially The Legend) I hopped off saying "wtf just happened?!?!" Some woad coasters from other companies just jerk you around but CCI coasters have made me fall in love with some good lateral forces, which are a plenty on their coasters. I really like how their designs purposely underbanked turns to slide you to the side of the seat. Then on the flip side there was Shivering Timbers with I just rode for the first time 5 days ago and wow that airtime was great! The coaster was VERY smooth (thanks to the entire helix being retracked) and still had some good laterals again. I guess looking in retrospect I wish coasters like theirs were still being made.

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