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Photo TR: Jeremy Rides all the RMC's

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Hey everybody! Another post, another RMC! After my unsuccessful attempt of riding Lightning Rod, I made my way up the east coast - Here's some highlights from the whole trip!

- Fury 325 is my favorite B&M!

- Intimidator 305 is still my favorite roller coaster ever!

- Maverick was SO MUCH better than I remember, #2 steel overall!

- Skyrush is still insane - I Love it!

- Phoenix is a gem, a classic, and perfection!

- Valravn and Banshee were... good. But I'm not a fan of these new restraints.

- Behemoth better than Leviathan?? Who'd have known?!

- Voyage was great! Not as much airtime as I was hoping, but still a top-5 woodie! It goes on forever!

- Raven, Legend, Shivering Timbers, Thunderhead, Kentucky Rumbler, and even Thunder Run were ALL solid woodies!

- Monstre made for a great #400 coaster! Such a strange coaster!


I late add-on to the trip was the Lake Compounce/SFNE day. This day was in between Knoebel's and La Ronde. We set ourselves up for a ton of driving, but it was worth it, we wanted to ride as many great coasters as we could! I had previously visited LC/SFNE in 2011, but Wicked Cyclone was a HUGE reason for a return visit! (Bizarro and Boulder Dash were my two favorite coasters at the time)


So... Boulder Dash is super rough now. I hate complaining about these things, but the return run along the lake had super terrible jackhammering... The coaster was also void of any ejector airtime. There was a couple floater spots, but that was it - Super disappointing... I rode it twice (including the front) and couldn't do any more, my back was killing me.


And that brings us to SFNE... what the hell happened here? I hate focusing on the negative, but this park... Operations were literally a joke. A normally 10-minute line for Superman took over an hour (Luckily my one ride was in the front, and it was still AMAZING!).


And here's WICKED CYCLONE! Due to a huge thunderstorm, I got two rides (Very back, and row 4). This coaster was really fun, a relatively long layout for an RMC, and lots of quirky elements!



-Love straight first drop!

-6-7 really good spots of airtime!

-Double down into straight hill is INSANE!



-Loses a TON of speed at the end

-Pacing isn't very good

-Not a huge fan of extreme outward banks, repetitive overbanks, or really slow rolls (These elemnts make up about 3/4 of the layout)

-Seriously, this thing is CRAWLING at the end, felt like Twisted Colossus's prelift. There's maybe one "great" element after the straight airtime hill that's adjacent to the queue stairs.


It may be the fact that I rode a TON of incredible coasters in great succession right before this, or maybe it was just a bit over-hyped, or perhaps it had a case of the infamous "off-day" - But I was definitely a bit let down by Wicked Cyclone, unfortunately. And let down for an RMC means I rank it as low as #16 in my steel coasters!


How the RMCs rank for me currently:

1. Outlaw Run

2. Medusa Steel Coaster

3. Iron Rattler

4. New Texas Giant

5. Twisted Colossus

6. Storm Chaser

7. Wicked Cyclone

8. Goliath


I was so excited to reride one of the coolest woodens coaster I'd ridden!


... And a couple of lackluster spots.


Hopefully a new RMC can make my day better!


So far so good! [RMC #8]


Ouch,.. This needs a bit of retracking... And where'd the ejector airtime go?


There's a couple of really amazing spots!


One of the better moments. After this, there isn't much to write home about.


Glad to have the old color scheme back! Now just get rid of VR


Good news - This coaster remains a top-ten steel!


These hills are great in the front!


Up next: Joker, SFDK (hopefully soon)


The stats of this element (200 degree stall) are more impressive than how it felt, unfortunately.

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  • 4 months later...

Another update for the thread. Finally had a successful trip up north for Joker this past weekend!


I'll preface my review by saying this was my second attempt at riding this coaster after failing to ride it in June when it closed unexpectedly for a week or so. So a few of the report's pictures come from that visit!


Joker - After riding my ninth RMC, I still cannot believe how much these coasters surprise you. First, the drop is amazing. In the back you are stop up and to the right. The laterals are much stronger than I anticipated. Next, the step-up inversion caught me WAY off guard - Transitioning from roll to downward helix is a very hard feeling to describe, but it's unlike anything I've ever felt (especially in the front where it feels like you're being launched into it). The stall is pretty standard, but still fun. The following outward-banked double up is a bit strange - it's fun in the front, but really wonky in the back. The next sequence is what makes this ride stand out. The wave turn overbank is great followed by an ejector double down. The next slightly outward-banked airtime hill is excellent (Similar to the one on Medusa after the zero-g). There's a quick banked turn-around where you catch your breath before the weird double-airtime element I've heard called "Asian camel back". This thing is a pretty cool element in either the very front or back! The next banked turn is surprisingly strong and pulls you straight into a slow roll (probably my least favorite part of the layout). The last couple bits of airtime are ejector - So much better than WC's similar-looking ending (which crawls through the ending 1/3 of it's layout with little airtime).


Overall, this coaster has a great mix of inversions, airtime, and pacing - But doesn't necessarily excel in any category individually. It doesn't have the amount of airtime on New Texas Giant or Twisted Colossus - It doesn't have the pacing and intensity of Medusa Steel or Outlaw Run - And it doesn't have speed and size of Iron Rattler. What it does, it does very well though - it sits solidly at my #6 RMC and #13 steel coaster!


1. Outlaw Run

2. Medusa Steel Coaster

3. Iron Rattler

4. New Texas Giant

5. Twisted Colossus

6. Joker

7. Storm Chaser

8. Wicked Cyclone

9. Goliath


This trip's main purpose was Joker, of course, but my friends and I went a little out of the way to ride the new custom Miler kiddie coaster at Sonoma TrainTown before SFDK opened. It was actually very neat!


One last look at probably my favorite sub-100 ft drop anywhere!


Up next: Lightning Rod in the Spring!


Overview of some of those pretty hills - The track colors worked well, IMO


Ahhh, cool facade (this was it for theming though) [RMC #9]


And in the front, this thing launches you into some of the strangest forces ever!


Will it finally open for me, or no?


In the back, this thing tries to kill you!


Joker is definitely the best coaster in NorCal - And second best in California!


Yup, still ejector until the very end


Airtime into the brakes


Some night rides at 45 degrees...


Cold doesn't matter - This thing was still flying!

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What an awesome trip! You may have caught Wicked Cyclone on a bad day. When I rode it back in June, it FLEW into the brakes with tons of speed left. Maybe the weather played a role in your ride? It normally is not like the way you described it.
Wicked Cyclone is an extremely temperamental ride. I've had days where it has crawled into the brakes and days where it hauled into the brakes.

I'm sure you guys are right, and I caught it on a bad day (despite it being a warm day in July), but I have to rate it on what I rode and not what it should have been, you know?


Even with the ending feeling sluggish on my day, it was still a top-20 coaster. RMC is seriously killing it with their collection of coasters! Every RMC has placed in the top 6% of my coasters

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Thanks for posting all of these TRs! I've been on 3 RMCs and all 3 are some of the top coasters that I've been on. I'd rank them as Twisted Colossus, Wicked Cyclone, and Storm Chaser. Like you, I also missed Lightning Rod but wasn't even lucky enough to see it testing and fly down that quad down.


As for Wicked Cyclone and Boulder Dash, I think you caught both on bad days. Wicked Cyclone, even on its worst days, has really great airtime until after the last zero-G roll. If it's running well, you'll get some good airtime going into the brake run and on those small hills. If it's running sluggish, the final hills don't really give any air. I think I only got the ride in its sluggish state on a really warm summer day like you. Oddly it ran its fastest on the cooler days. The only "bad" ride I had on Wicked Cyclone was last year when the train vibrated really badly, but thankfully that was fixed and not an issue this year.


Boulder Dash was pretty smooth during the Haunted Graveyard in October and still had its trademark ejector air. The only rough part (and it was really rough) was that triple up.

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Awesome reports! Just wanted to say once again that Cyclone has been very temperamental. For the last two years it has ran its best at the beginning and end of the season, for some reason it does not run very well in the summer. I think it has something to do with the wheels because when it runs poorly it is loud, slow, and vibrates, but when it is running the best it is smooth and rips through the layout. I easily got my best rides on it on closing day this year, even better than it was running on media day imo. Ejector air on every hill including the last hills and tons of speed. It really annoys me how iffy the ride can be but I guess that is the way it is.

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  • 4 months later...

Lightning Rod.


Like many of you that visited Dollywood in 2016, I was simply out of luck (You can read about that a few pages back). But after hearing more reviews, I knew I must return. That return was this past weekend - Flying across the country to ride this thing. There's never been a coaster I desired to ride more - Wooden, intense, terrain-based, airtime-focused, fast as hell - All the ingredients for MY type of ride. It's been a long two years of anticipation, but I finally got my chance. I was sure that I built this coaster up past any reasonable tier of expectation, but no.


Simply put, this coaster is perfect. 10/10. Instant Classic. Dare I say, the best coaster I've ever ridden?


All it took was one ride to know. It started with the first train of the day in the front car with my friends. As soon as we hit the launch, all stress from the past year dissipated. I was laughing hysterically the whole ride, confused that something this crazy actually exists.


We rode 4 more times and it only got more insane!! Lightning Rod is one of the most intense coasters I've ever ridden, sitting among the Intamin trio: I305, Maverick, and Skyrush. This coaster has the best pacing of any coaster I've ridden. It's unbelievably fast from start to finish and it never ever lets up. The full drop in the back seat is the perfectly sustained ejector. The wave turn is way better than expected, pulling you in directions that don't make sense. The "twist and shout" hill is almost too intense. That quad down is the best thing I have ever experienced on a ride. The airtime is beyond forceful - you're being ripped from the train with such force that the entire element became a blurry haze of intense airtime! The "non-inverted half loop" has the craziest positives RMC has ever attempted.


Lightning Rod is truly my dream coaster, and I can't believe that it's real! If you like airtime, and haven't ridden Lightning Rod, you NEEED to! Not only is this my favorite wood coaster, it's my favorite roller coaster EVER.


My current RMC rankings:

1. Lightning Rod

2. Outlaw Run

3. Medusa Steel Coaster

4. Iron Rattler

5. Twisted Colossus

6. New Texas Giant

7. Joker

8. Storm Chaser

9. Wicked Cyclone

10. Goliath


...Only missing Wildfire now.


We also had a couple more days to do other fun stuff in the Southeast this weekend so we did SFOG and SeaWorld Orlando! Mako was excellent, one of the best B&M hypers - the first half is amazing in the front row! Incredibly re-rideable coaster!


[RMC #10] Back to Tennessee. All is quiet before the storm.


Watching people riding is a sight for sore eyes.


It's stupid how fast the train comes careening down this element.


Here's the station, simply-themed, but it works!


As much of a meme it is, Cinnamon Bread seriously is the second best thing in the park. I had the most heavenly morning of my life between this and Lightning Rod.


It's basically impossible to get any other pictures, but here's another one! I love how green everything is out here!


Here's the team, CA to TN. So worth it!


The train travels up this element faster than seems possible. Crazy positives into airtime to end this magnificent ride.


Can't get enough of this view. That launch is so nice


You really can't see much of this coaster from the park. I love the terrain interaction


Sunday morning we drove down to Atlanta. I LOVE the location of this coaster right outside the park.


But the forecast was stormy and not looking good.


Testing is a good sign though. We ended up with a couple rides on this before it shut down for the rest of the day. Not as fast as I remember from 2012, but still one of the better hypers! These last airtime hills are so fun!


This thing was hauling in the rain, Super enjoyable ride.


PS - I didn't get a picture of GA Cyclone, but that thing was hauling also! The drop off the turn around above the station in the back is one of the gnarliest moments of airtime after. It bruised me so bad that I still have a limp 3 days later...


Boring. Slow. Lame.


Overall our day was cut short by a huge storm. We rode 7/11 coasters and unfortunately missed Mind Bender. We will get it next time!


Just slightly exhausted, but thrilled to be here!


The first half of this ride in the front row is so damn good. Sustained floater over that first hill. And that speed hill is amazing!


Our goal was to ride Mako a few times. Oh my god, this coaster is a LOT of fun!


Monday morning we made the quick 6-hour drive through Trump-land to get to SeaWorld for a couple hours before dropping off the rental and flying home!


SeaWorld is so good at making their coasters fit naturally in the park.


We got 12 rides over the 2.5 hours at the park!


And one ride on this guy!


Easily the most photogenic coaster ever!


Up next: Who knows? Mean Streak? Wildfire? Hurler? Something Else? We will see.

Edited by chickenbowl
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This weekend was a total blast! I still can't get over how perfect Lightning Rod was, seriously I don't think there is a better succession of elements on a coaster anywhere. And that quad down is without a doubt my favorite element anywhere, I can't even believe that amount of airtime exists. New #1 without a doubt!

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After so much time spent in anticipation, and POVs watched more times than I can count, I entirely expected Lightning Rod to be my #1 wooden coaster. Nevertheless, I didn't feel like it would beat Intimidator 305 as my favorite coaster of all time, and I was totally okay with that. None of us do combined lists anyway, so it really wouldn't matter... or so I thought. I was wrong. This coaster is truly perfect. Each element is excellent, and every second of the ride is without flaw. The Twist and Shout is incredible in so many ways, and the quad down is unlike anything I've experienced in my life. I feel so fortunate to have gotten five rides, but even that was not enough. I really don't think I could ever get "enough" Lightning Rod... I could visit Dollywood every year and anticipate my rides as though I'd been waiting a decade.


Dollywood's slogan is "Love Every Moment", and that is absolutely the way I feel when I'm on Lightning Rod. I think every RMC I've ridden is highly enjoyable, but none have delivered like this one. All that's left for us to ride is Wildfire... Until the next ones pop up. This era of coaster construction is so exciting; I can't wait to see what RMC creates over the next few years and beyond, and I'm even more excited to keep traveling around and experiencing them together!

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This review sums up y feelings exactly. Lightning Rod is unreal! I think the only coaster I've ridden that has stronger airtime is Skyrush, so the airtime on Lightning Rod is pretty much as good as it gets imo! Best coaster I've ever ridden no question! So happy that we finally got on this coaster. It crushed all my massively high expectations

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I can't wait for my chance to ride Lightning Rod in just over a month. Each one of these reviews is getting me more and more excited.


I agree Goliath is a very good hyper. Other than the two gigas, my favorite B&M hypers are the two Goliaths which are smaller but hold their speed better.

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^Wicked Cyclone is an extremely temperamental ride. I've had days where it has crawled into the brakes and days where it hauled into the brakes.


Only went for one day, but even in that day while 95% of the rides were fast, jammed with ejector air there were two that were almost lifeless feeling.




WOW. Those lightning rod pics are amazing. I may drop the pretense of making a "trip" of it and just get my ass to Dollywood, LR looks too good. I'm seeing it pop up as more and more people's #1 and I'm not surprised.

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Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone. I wish everyone luck in riding Lightning Rod this season. I just want to reiterate that this coaster is insane - Better than any other North American RMC, better than any other North American B&M, better than any other North American Intamin - Every enthusiast NEEDS to ride this ASAP.

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  • 1 year later...

Welcome back to my ongoing trip report about the wonderful world of RMCs!



So as some of you may seen, without any warning CGA announced on Friday evening that the long-awaited RailBlazer would be open for passholder previews the next day. My friends and I all live in Southern CA, and may or may not have had plans pre-existing for this weekend. Despite that, our hype and tight schedule later this month pushed us to scramble and make the 8-hour drive up there!


Was it worth the trouble? Most definitely!


I was expecting this coaster to be fun, but it looked short and the layout seemed inversion-heavy for my taste. After seeing some tests of this and Wonder Woman, I was warming up to the design. Even with that new expectation was blown out of the water after my 6 rides across the train!


The first drop is a mini-Toro 90 degree beauty. The back is straight nuts and the front is floaty and fun. Following that is the dive loop, down raven thing. The snap throughout this thing is insane - ejector into positives - My new favorite inversion EVER! Follow that up with the 'Jesus-that-cannot-be-real' outward banked airtime hill. One of RMC's most sustained ejector moments that rips with the ferocity of Skyrush. The upward helix has some of RMC's most intense positives to-date. The drop off the s-bend bit is also insane in every seat. The cutback and zero-g are the chillest elements on the ride, but it's much appreciated at that point. The last turn is taken way too fast (more crazy positives) and there's a nice little hop into the brakes. The coaster is short, sure, but nearly every element is has is incredible. It's pacing is so intense - Everything feels too fast in the most perfect way. I know it might be a hot take, but I found this to be even more fun than the other 2 California RMCs! I would be stoked if every smallish park in the country got a clone of this! (Looking at you Dorney, WOF, MIA, etc)


Lastly, I'll talk about the trains. My first OTSR RMC. Not bad exactly, but still not ideal. Pros: Freedom of space like spreading your arms out and pretend you're flying (I'm serious, it's so awesome). No shin guards!! Lapbar itself was comfortable enough. Cons: The straps... they're pretty stiff and with RMC-level ejector, your shoulders will be sore after multiple rides. I'm still sore today.


My current RMC rankings:

1. Lightning Rod

2. Outlaw Run

3. Medusa Steel Coaster

4. RailBlazer

5. Iron Rattler

6. Twisted Colossus

7. New Texas Giant

8. Joker

9. Storm Chaser

10. Wicked Cyclone

11. Goliath


This year is just starting for me, so look forward to this TR getting updated a few more times this year!


The early-morning drive starting getting interesting once we approached Gilroy!


[RMC #11] And just like that, we made it!


The queue gives amazing perspectives on the VERY twisted layout!


Tried the RailBlazer IPA - It's damn good!


Getting right into it. Here's the 90 degree first drop. Looks sorta like El Toro


It's wonky as hell, but so much fun.


Half of the fun are the copious amounts of headchoppers throughout. Ignore the dab, lol


Lordy, this drop is taken with a stupid amount of speed!


This outward thing feels like Skyrush's bastard cousin. Sustained ejector.


Finally, an RMC with strong positives throughout!


The whip in this inversion is crazy. What a unique mix of forces.


I'll leave you with this amazing view


Up next: Hmm... Could it be something a little more exotic? Maybe a bit international even?


This is definitely my favorite coaster to have more than 2 inversions


It may be short, but the back is just as stupidly crazy as you'd expect

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