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What coasters have you ridden without knowing the layout?


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It's difficult to be so into roller coasters and somehow not know exactly what a coaster is going to do before you strap in. I have to admit, it's extra thrilling to ride something and not know exactly where the ride will go and/or what it's going to do; for that reason, dark rides that don't POV well are one of the few ride types that offer everybody the unknown.

 

What coasters have you ridden blind or had moments that you totally didn't expect?

 

For me, I never really looked into DL's Space Mountain's layout before riding, and I still have absolutely no clue what little hops and dips are inside the tunnel on the Backlot Stunt Coasters/Italian Jobs. More than having the lights off, my genuinely not knowing where these coasters were going made my first rides a lot more memorable.

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Disneyland's Space Mountain caught me offguard in a good way my first ride since I was expecting a layout like Florida's but it was a lot different and maintained its speed better.

 

The ones that surprise me are enclosed coasters since I want to keep those ones a surprise like the park wants to by enclosing it. The most memorable for me is Florida's Revenge of the Mummy since that first launch and when it occurs completely surprised me.

 

I'm trying to think of an outdoor coaster that truly surprised me but I spoiled most of those via POVs. Honestly I'd have to go with some of the mountain coasters and Adventureland's Turbulence. The first since mountain coasters were a newer thing for me last summer and the latter was because a spinning coaster POV is challenging to watch.

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Probably anything ridden prior to the early 2000s when I really started to get into this hobby. Back in the days of dialup, downloading a POV was virtually impossible. Damn young'uns.

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I would say this is a very hard thing to avoid in this day and age with internet access pretty much everywhere and available literally at your fingertips 24/7 for most. When you follow forum/fan sites & can watch POVs on Youtube, it makes many of us extremely curious about every little detail about upcoming rides and other parks.

 

Before such a time however the big ones that come to mind are:

  • *The Big Bad Wolf [RIP] (in 1997). Went counter-clockwise at the park so only saw the station area before riding.
    *Mindbender @ SFOG (in 1998). The trees hid a good bit from inside the park.
    *Flight Of Fear @ KD (in 1998). Since it's enclosed I had no idea what it was I was getting on at the time...lol
    *Grizzly @ KD (in 1998). It was pretty hidden by trees back then.
    *Apollo's Chariot (opening year). At the time the only thing I remember seeing before getting on was the lift hill.

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What coasters have you ridden blind or had moments that you totally didn't expect?

 

Top Thrill Dragster, and Kingda Ka. . . I had no idea what to expect. Their layouts were total mysteries.

 

Oh, and Expedition Everest. I truly have no idea what's going on during that backwards dark segment.

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The Beast, The Boss, The Legend, and The Voyage are coasters I held out on viewing POVs for due to either A. Being concealed in a forest, or B. Has a support structure and track design that obscures much of the layout. I love it when a coaster's layout is deliberately hidden or impossible to see from public views, it gives people who have never ridden a lot of curiosity, and I suppose a bit of intimidation as well, if the structure is tall and thick enough.

 

Ironic coincidence that all four of them also have names that start with "The".

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Maverick is what comes to mind because it doesn't seem impressive as far as stats go, but it is. I hadn't bothered with POVs or even looked twice when I got on. That is one of CP's best, and one of my all time favorites.

 

Flight of Fear at KI was another one, but we rolled back and the lights came on, so I did see the track before riding, technically.

 

Last but not least, NTAG, because I hadn't discovered POVs yet. I'd ridden the original Texas Giant a trillion times, and I was actually sad to see it go until I discovered the magic of RMC. I was blown away.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Pretty much any coaster that is dark or indoors and difficult to get a pov of like:

Space Mountain

Rock n Roller Coaster

Verboten (1st half)

Skull Mountain

Expedition Everest (backwards section)

Runaway Mountain

 

And oddly enough, I never memorized the layout to Dueling Dragons fully before riding it. Better yet, I had already ridden multiple B&M inverts, so I was not expecting that Immelmann-to-helix element on the Fire track. I think this was the last time a roller coaster element truly caught me off guard.

 

Also, Taron because that thing is just so twisted, I still cannot remember the full layout even after watching the pov multiple times. I am now trying to avoid watching more pov's of it before I ride, so I can at least be surprised by some of the elements.

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Mine would be Space Fantasy (most confusing one) Thunderation at SDC, Adventure Express at KI, Surf Coaster Leviathan, Mummy USH/USO, Everest backwards helix, Tron indoor section, BTMR, Big Grizzly Mountain, Space Mountain DL/WDW/HKDL, Gringott's, Legend at HW, Whizzer SFGAm and there must be a lot more I can't recall.

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Pretty much in most cases if it wasn't enclosed or obscured by trees and hills I knew the layout even before the advent of YouTube (2005) just by looking at it. There were some exceptions like California Screamin' and Colossus and Psyclone where you just couldn't get a real good look at it from ground level.

 

Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds DLP

California Screamin' DCA

The Revolution, Ninja, Tastu, Gold Rusher, Colossus, and Psyclone SFMM

The Mummy USH

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As others have said, anything before the mid 2000s as POVs weren't as much of a thing, and they were harder to obtain. Someone mentioned dial up, ugh I remember downloading an alpengeist POV and waiting ages for it!

Anything enclosed. The Harry Potter and Mummy coasters at Universal I had no idea they were even coasters. Was really fun to be caught off guard, especially the upward launch on mummy and two moments of surprising air time, as well as the elements those coasters did. Makes me glad I've actually toned down my POV watching it's kind of fun to go into it not really knowing what exactly to expect

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Its been a long time, but back in my early enthusiast days I did not know the layout of any of the BGT coasters, or Magic Kingdom Coasters. At CP, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Mean Streak, or Raptor. At KBF, Ghostrider. At SFMM, Ninja, Psyclone, Colossus. At SFOG I didn't know the layout of any of the coasters except Batman. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. But with todays technology, There are not many (major) coasters that I don't already know the layout, at least in the U.S.

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Maybe it's just me, but I don't like to watch POVs of coasters that I know I'm going to ride in the foreseeable future. It's like sneaking a peek at your presents a few days before Christmas.

 

That said, my first rides on most of SFMM's coasters were at night during Fright Fest, when the park turns off most of the lights surrounding the track, so some of the coasters' layouts were a true mystery when I boarded the trains. X2 is a good example. I could see riders ascending the lift hill backward, but everything beyond that was lost in the darkness. I nearly shat my pants on the first drop.

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^ This. I will likely never visit any park east of the Rocky Mountain states. In fact I've only been to Lagoon, Elitch, Lakeside and Cliff's once each and it's been awhile. I haven't even been to some of the others at all like Western Playland or Castle's and Coasters and probably never will. Therefore I don't have a problem watching POVs from parks I'll likely never visit. But I never watch POVs from west coast parks the only exception was Cannibal.

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Only two so far. Temple of the nighthawk, I had no clue what the layout was, but after the first minute, I got the hang of it. Corner...corner...corner...straight piece of track...corner ect. Still great ride.

 

Secondly, Taron. Awesome coaster, and I had no idea what was coming next, even after riding it on my sixth go during the hour ERT. On my 7 and 8 go, I knew what was coming up, but it took a very long time.

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Usually when a new ride is announced I'll watch the POV but I then try to avoid watching it again so I don't memorize the entire layout drop for drop. But at least I can get an idea how awesome a ride looks from that first pov I see.

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Boulderdash @ Lake Compounce

Winjas @ Phantasialand (I made sure to avoid EVERYTHING so to not spoil the special effects on this ride)

Mystery Mine @ Dollywood

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Usually when a new ride is announced I'll watch the POV but I then try to avoid watching it again so I don't memorize the entire layout drop for drop. But at least I can get an idea how awesome a ride looks from that first pov I see.

 

 

Yeah that's what I've started doing in recent years. I'll watch it once and that's it. For me, its like an addiction/boredom thing. I just have to know, I love knowing but I also really like being surprised. So yeah I don't wanna have the thing memorized by the time I ride but it's good to have some vague idea.

Not that knowing the layout really detracts tooo much for me, and you can always be caught off guard still. I thought POVs of Skyrush (at the time) didn't do it justice. I went thinking it wasn't gunna be anything special, looked not terribly fast and was just airtime hills and turns from the POV. Then the ride kicked my ass and was 1000X more intense and awesome than I expected

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Since I rarely watch POVs and when I do watch them it is not repeatedly. Practically all elements of every coaster that can not be seen from the park surprise me and I rarely know the order that elements are coming.

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When I did my California trip in 2001 it was Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Not being someone who follows everything Disney those two were big surprises. Matterhorn was closed for rehab and I still don't know the layout even with POVs. Also include both Giant Dippers (Santa Cruz and Belmont) and Gold Rusher at SFMM.

 

Holiday World in 2006. I had an idea of what Voyage's layout, with the first three big hills, but was totally unaware of what happened after that (the triple down was a huge surprise for me). I also didn't know Legend's layout at all and knew just a little of Raven's layout.

 

SFStL in 2010. The Boss's layout was a big surprise as I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that it had a double down on the first drop.

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Probably the biggest shock for me was Space Mountain at WDW, especially since I didn't even know at the time that it WAS a coaster! I was at the park when I was 5 years old with my mom and a friend and we decided to go on this brand new ride.....I remember my mom puzzling at the signs warning people with bad backs (and certain other health issues) and pregnant women to not ride. The only coasters I knew anything about (but had never ridden) were old woodies where you could see what you were up against, so to speak. The first modern looping coaster in the US was still only on the drawing board (or at best just beginning to be built) back in those days as well. So we did end up riding SM, and my 5 year old self was fully convinced that there were 90 degree drops and even a couple of inversions housed inside of that building! Back then, coaster POVs weren't even a thing (outside of park commercials), and even if they were the lights would have had to be on to film it. Not to mention film cameras were rather bulky things in those days.... I didn't really learn the layout until much later on I found pics of the tracks and POV footage on line. Needless to say it was quite different riding it three years ago once I knew the layout - and I was much older!

 

Other coasters I had little or no idea of the layout include other indoor coasters like Flight of Fear (though I had seen a few still pics of outdoor versions of the Premier "spaghetti bowl" coaster but it wasn't the same as a POV), Exterminator at KW (though I knew it was a spinning mouse), Skull Mountain (knew it was a non-inverting family coaster), Dark Knight (knew it was a mouse) and the indoor part of Verbolten (though I did know about the drop track). Another was Lost Coaster at Indiana Beach, because some of it is hidden and I ended up riding backwards the first time. Unlike Space Mountain I had some idea of what these coasters would be like, even though familiarity with the layout eluded me.

 

Then there were coasters that were outdoors that were either mostly hidden (Grizzly at KD way back when, Big Bad Wolf, to name two) or I ended up taking my first ride on them at night. But complete unfamiliarity these days for me would be quite rare, because I always watch POVs and for coasters with indoor portions I pretty much always find out about what they are like from various public sources before I end up riding them.

 

And then there is the original X at SFMM....even though it sat there plain as day out in the open, I swear I had to ride it at least a half dozen times to actually be able to orient myself to each particular part of the ride and where on the track that element was. That was the most disorienting coaster I had ever been on that wasn't indoors in the dark, so being able to see the full layout really didn't help much.

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Naturally when I was younger and started riding coasters I wasn't used to watching POVs so I didn't really know any layout. Recently I guess that only happens with some smaller rides or some woodies (like tonnerre de zeus at Parc Asterix which was great fun especially as I didn't know what was coming next). I remember that when I rode Tornado at Bakken last summer I didn't know the layout very well either as I got confused watching POVs due to that mess of track in such a small space. And that was really funny given how intense that ride is with such fast and snappy transitions.

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