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2021 TPR Coaster Poll Results!

The world's best roller coasters, voted on by TPR's members and social media followers!

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Hey everyone!

We are happy to announce that the results for the 2021 TPR Coaster Poll are now IN!

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https://coasterpoll.com/

The Theme Park Review Coaster Poll is an ongoing effort by myself (A.J.), Chase (Comeagain?) and Robb (robbalvey). We're continuing to work hard to develop THE definitive annual ranking of the world's roller coasters!

The reason why this poll exists is because the Mitch Hawker poll, which was considered by many to be the quintessential roller coaster poll for nearly 20 years, had kind of fallen into a black hole leaving few polls or awards that exist that we would put real faith into the results.

Theme Park Review is proud to have been the first website to hold a "Hawker-style" poll since the original Mitch Hawker poll ended, with the first TPR Coaster Poll being held in 2017.

We are also proud to say that this year, we received over one thousand ballots for our poll! We would like to thank everyone who participated in what is the best year in the TPR Coaster Poll so far!

The way the Hawker-style poll works is that instead of being a “popularity contest” of “he who gets the most votes wins”, it actually ranks and weights people’s real life riding experience against each other. It takes into account how many coasters you’ve ridden and how those rankings compare against others with similar experiences. It also means that no matter if you’ve ridden 50 or 500 coasters, the results are “fair and balanced.”

 

There have been two significant changes to the poll listings this year. They are as follows:

  • Despite RailBlazer at California's Great America and Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas being "prototype" models for the Rocky Mountain Construction Single Rail Coaster, their layouts are similar enough to Stunt Pilot at Silverwood that we will be classifying all three together as a single clone entry. We are doing this to allow for more diversity in the top rankings and we will not be entertaining any questions or complaints about it.
  • More significantly, Lightning Rod at Dollywood was given a major re-tracking by Rocky Mountain Construction for the 2021 season, which replaced the majority of the existing Topper Track system with I-Box track. The Roller Coaster Database now considers Lightning Rod to be a steel coaster. As such, Lightning Rod is now classified as a steel coaster on our poll. Unless more coasters begin to adopt this method of renovation, we will strictly be keeping the poll to wooden / steel / combined. We will not be adding a "hybrid" category at this time.

As a refresher, these are the rules:

  • To qualify for the poll, a coaster has to be the size of a wild mouse or larger, with a select few exceptions
  • To receive a numbered ranking, a coaster must have been marked "ridden" and ranked by at least 12 (twelve) people; any with less than that are given a provisional ranking and not included in the "top" lists
  • Individual installations of roller coaster clones (Vekoma SLC, Mack Blue Fire, etc) do NOT count in rankings; Instead, their votes are all averaged together, and they are ranked as a single entry; A clone is defined as any coaster with three near-identical installations or more
  • Any coaster that is standing but not operating (SBNO) is not ranked
  • To qualify for the poll, a coaster must have operated for the majority of the previous operating season (in this case, 2021)
  • Theme Park Review reserves the right to make any exception(s) to these rules.

 

Are you excited yet? Here come the results!

2021 Complete Results

2021 Wooden-only Results

2021 Steel-only Results

 

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2021 Top 25 Coasters Overall

  1. El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure (even)
  2. Lightning Rod - Dollywood (even)
  3. Untamed - Walibi Holland (+1)
  4. Skyrush - Hersheypark (+3)
  5. Maverick - Cedar Point (+1)
  6. Twisted Timbers - Kings Dominion (+3)
  7. Wildfire - Kolmården Wildlife Park (+3)
  8. Steel Vengeance - Cedar Point (-5)
  9. Twisted Colossus - Six Flags Magic Mountain (+7)
  10. Fury 325 - Carowinds (+7)
  11. Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park (+1)
  12. Helix - Liseberg (+1)
  13. Taron - Phantasialand (+6)
  14. Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion (+6)
  15. Wicked Cyclone - Six Flags New England (+8)
  16. Zadra - Energylandia (new to top 25)
  17. Outlaw Run - Silver Dollar City (-12)
  18. Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort (-4)
  19. Millennium Force - Cedar Point (-1)
  20. Ride to Happiness - Plopsaland De Panne (new to top 25)
  21. Taiga - Linnanmäki (new to top 25)
  22. Hyperion - Energylandia (new to top 25)
  23. Jurassic World VelociCoaster - Islands of Adventure (new to top 25)
  24. Hakugei - Nagashima Spa Land (new to top 25)
  25. T Express - Everland (-17)
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2021 Top 25 Wooden Coasters

  1. El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure (even)
  2. Outlaw Run - Silver Dollar City (+1)
  3. Wildfire - Kolmården Wildlife Park (+2)
  4. T Express - Everland (even)
  5. Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort (+1)
  6. Voyage - Holiday World (+2)
  7. Boulder Dash - Lake Compounce (even)
  8. Colossos Kampf der Giganten - Heide-Park Resort (+1)
  9. Balder - Liseberg (+1)
  10. Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan (new to top 25)
  11. Mystic Timbers - Kings Island (+3)
  12. Goliath - Six Flags Great America (even)
  13. Wooden Coaster Fireball - Happy Valley Shanghai (+2)
  14. Ravine Flyer II - Waldameer Water World (-3)
  15. Coaster - Playland (at the PNE) (-2)
  16. Renegade - Valleyfair (+2)
  17. Shivering Timbers - Michigan's Adventure (even)
  18. Tremors - Silverwood Theme Park (+1)
  19. Mine Blower - Fun Spot America Kissimmee (-3)
  20. GhostRider - Knott's Berry Farm (even)
  21. Gold Striker - California's Great America (+1)
  22. Cú Chulainn - Tayto Park (-1)
  23. Troy - Toverland (even)
  24. Wodan Timbur Coaster - Europa Park (+1)
  25. Prowler - Worlds of Fun (new to top 25)

 

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2021 Top 25 Steel Coasters

  1. Lightning Rod - Dollywood (new to top 25, changed from wooden coaster)
  2. Untamed - Walibi Holland (-1)
  3. Skyrush - Hersheypark (even)
  4. Twisted Timbers - Kings Dominion (+3)
  5. Maverick - Cedar Point (even)
  6. Twisted Colossus - Six Flags Magic Mountain (+3)
  7. Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park (-3)
  8. Steel Vengeance - Cedar Point (-6)
  9. Fury 325 - Carowinds (+2)
  10. Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion (+3)
  11. Helix - Liseberg (-1)
  12. Taron - Phantasialand (even)
  13. Wicked Cyclone - Six Flags New England (+3)
  14. Zadra - Energylandia (new to top 25)
  15. Hyperion - Energylandia (+9)
  16. Millennium Force - Cedar Point (-2)
  17. Taiga - Linnanmäki (new to top 25)
  18. Jurassic World VelociCoaster - Islands of Adventure (new to top 25)
  19. Ride to Happiness - Plopsaland De Panne (new to top 25)
  20. Twisted Cyclone - Six Flags Over Georgia (-2)
  21. Hakugei - Nagashima Spa Land (new to top 25)
  22. Lech Coaster - Legendia (new to top 25)
  23. Superman The Ride - Six Flags New England (-1)
  24. Medusa Steel Coaster - Six Flags Mexico (-18)
  25. Nemesis - Alton Towers (new to top 25)

 

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The big, bad disclaimer section

Regarding the rankings of brand new coasters

Roller coasters such as Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Ride To Happiness are brand-new for the 2021 season and their rankings should be treated as such. They have significantly less ridership than their peers, and it may take several years before their rankings "settle" in the poll. If you feel that a coaster's ranking is inaccurate, but you have not ridden that coaster, you should go ride it and participate in the poll. This is true for all coasters with lower ridership - the more people that rank a coaster, the more accurate its ranking will be.

Regarding differences in ranking between the "Overall" and the "Wooden / Steel" rankings

The Top 25 overall rankings may not be consistent with the Top 25 wooden and steel coasters - the wooden results only count wooden coasters, and the steel results only count steel coasters. Some steel coasters are preferred over high-ranking wooden coasters, and vice versa.

Regarding the increase in completed ballots

Some results may be different from previous years due to the large increase in completed ballots this year. This is due to outreach, social media demographics, etc and does not invalidate any posted result.

 

Coasters that did not meet the ridership requirements

The TPR Coaster Poll requires a coaster to have twelve (12) rankings, or "riders", to qualify in the results each year. This is to help get to a consensus - and to prevent single ballots from skewing results in one direction or the other for a particular coaster. Coasters that do not meet this requirement are given a provisional result but are not included in the official ranking.

If you want to see any of these coasters ranked on the poll, be sure to go out and ride them next season!

Notable coasters that did not meet the requirements for 2020 include but are not limited to:

  • Python in Bamboo Forest - Nanchang Sunac Land
  • Starry Sky Ripper - Joyland
  • Junker - PowerLand
  • Ultra Twister - Rusutsu Resort
  • OCT Thrust SSC1000 - Happy Valley Wuhan
  • Gravity Max - Lihpao Land
  • Bullet - Selva Magica
  • Extreme Rusher - Happy Valley Beijing
  • Soaring With Dragon - Hefei Sunac Land
  • Wood Coaster - Knight Valley
  • Jungle Dragon - Happy Valley Chongqing
  • Coaster Through the Clouds - Nanchang Sunac Land
  • Wood Express - Parc Saint Paul
  • Timber - Walibi Rhone-Alpes
  • Jungle Trailblazer - Oriental Heritage Wuhu
  • Wild Train - Fantasiana
  • Phaethon - Gyeongju World
  • Jungle Trailblazer - Fantawild Dreamland Zhengzhou
  • Mystic - Walibi Rhone-Alpes
  • Fjord Flying Dragon - Happy Valley Tianjin

 

More top lists are coming soon! Now... DISCUSS!

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23??!?!?! An absolute travesty.

Overall, I'm not mad at all about these results, really baffled that VC ranked so low. I know its because of low ridership, but I feel like all the thoosies I know have been down there and ridden it already and I don't know if I'm just blinded by its sheer brilliance, but it seems most share my opinion that its one of the best of all time. Wasn't Vengeance super high on its debut year? I'm not doubting the math behind this, its just wild to me that it didn't even crack the top 10, let alone the top 20.

Otherwise, it's nice to see Skyrush still kicking ass and taking names. It's so f*cking good and rightfully deserves its high placement in these results year after year.

And I LOVE that Maverick beat out Vengeance on the Steel AND overall lists, as it should.

Thanks, as always, for putting this together every year!

 

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Great job putting this together!

I feel like Twisted Timbers and Wicked Cyclone are higher than I would have expected. Twisted Timbers over Steel Vengeance is unexpected. I've been on Twisted Timbers a decent amount, but always when it's cold out so maybe that's why I don't entirely get it. I expected Velocicoaster to be ranked higher but #27 in the world is still amazingly good. Otherwise it seems as-expected. People like different things but it seems like mostly everything averaged out well to a pretty solid list.

One other oddity that doesn't matter... I've never met anyone who preferred Ride of Steel at Six Flags America to Ride of Steel at Darien Lake but SFA #100, Darien Lake #124.

... odd

Also, Candymonium dropped from #57 steel to #127 steel

good-good-evil-smile.gif

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17 minutes ago, boldikus said:

23??!?!?! An absolute travesty.

Overall, I'm not mad at all about these results, really baffled that VC ranked so low. I know its because of low ridership, but I feel like all the thoosies I know have been down there and ridden it already and I don't know if I'm just blinded by its sheer brilliance, but it seems most shares my opinion that its one of the best of all time. Wasn't Vengeance super high on its debut year? I'm not doubting the math behind this, its just wild to me that it didn't even crack the top 10, let alone the top 20.

Otherwise, it's nice to see Skyrush still kicking ass and taking names. It's so f*cking good and rightfully deserves its high placement in these results year after year.

And I LOVE that Maverick beat out Vengeance on the Steel AND overall lists, as it should.

Yes, your enthusiast friends might have ridden it, but this year, we also made significant outreach to Theme Park Review's social media followers and casual readers, which absolutely affected the results.

We anticipated that there would be some volatility in the two new big debuts - VelociCoaster and Ride to Happiness, both of which made huge impacts in their home continents. The top 100 or so are especially volatile each year and big swings / upsets can happen because, outside of the numbered rank, the difference in preference is very small. People having more non-VelociCoaster coasters in their results, for example, also lowers VelociCoaster's ranking by no fault of its own. As more people get down and ride it, its ranking will become more accurate. Same with Ride to Happiness.

We are internally discussing strategies for next year's poll.

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1 minute ago, A.J. said:

Yes, your enthusiast friends might have ridden it, but this year, we also made significant outreach to Theme Park Review's social media followers and casual readers, which absolutely affected the results.

Ahhh this makes total sense. Thanks for the reply and explanation, AJ!

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Legit surprised that Tremors made the top 20 for wood coasters and ahead of Mine Blower, Gold Striker, AND GhostRider (I'm not sure even I would agree with that...), who da thunk...

Also didn't expect Untamed to rank so highly, although too bad Lightning Rod stole the steel coaster crown (lol...) Something also tells me that VelociCoaster and Ride to Happiness will have their due time very soon!

Thank you so much @A.J., @Comeagain?, @robbalvey, and everyone else who worked on this year's poll! I really enjoyed the format, and think you guys do the best job out there! Your hard work is greatly appreciated, keep it up!

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Always interesting to see these results. One thing that stands out to me is a couple of steel coasters that fell HARD out of the top 10 from 2020- 2021.

Medusa Steel Coaster went from 6th to 24th

DC Rivals Hypercoaster dropped from 8th to 54th

I'm guessing there is a statistical explanation for this that has to do with the number of riders of these coasters being diluted with more entries into the poll for 2021 but pretty interesting drops regardless. Most everything else in the previous years top 20 stayed pretty close to the same position give or take a few spots, but dropping out of the top 10 by 18 and 46 places was pretty unexpected. Hyperion also moved up from 24th to 15th so the movement for foreign coasters wasn't all one direction.

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13 minutes ago, grsupercity said:

glad to see my beloved Shivering Timbers continuing to stay relevant. Kind of shocked that Mako and Phantoms Revenge didn't crack the top 25

I was curious about Mako too but in the steel only poll it looks like Mako went from 46-48 in 2020 to 2021, and Phantoms Revenge fell from 27th to 32nd. It seems like I remember Mako being higher in previous years but that could just be my bad memory as those rankings stayed pretty close.

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51 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

Do we know how many people rode both Ride to Happiness and Velocicoaster? I'm assuming with travel restrictions, the answer is "Probably @Canobie Coaster and like 1 other person. lol"

I'd be interested to see what happens when there are more mutual riders between the two.

I had Ride to Happiness ahead of Velocicoaster (and all but 4 rides), but both were very high in my ranks.  I know three others who rode both (not sure if they voted).  Two preferred Ride to Happiness slightly and one preferred Velocicoaster.

Darn, Coaster Express was just one spot away from its rightful place at the bottom of the list.  Maybe next year it can claim that title (although with the retracking this may have been its best shot).  😅

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1 hour ago, coasterbill said:

Do we know how many people rode both Ride to Happiness and Velocicoaster? I'm assuming with travel restrictions, the answer is "Probably @Canobie Coaster and like 1 other person. lol"

I'd be interested to see what happens when there are more mutual riders between the two.

Without giving away all the info, I will say that VelociCoaster had significantly more riders than Ride To Happiness. Next year, we will probably see VelociCoaster move less and Ride to Happiness move more in terms of rankings.

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39 minutes ago, Canobie Coaster said:

I had Ride to Happiness ahead of Velocicoaster (and all but 4 rides), but both were very high in my ranks.  I know three others who rode both (not sure if they voted).  Two preferred Ride to Happiness slightly and one preferred Velocicoaster.

Darn, Coaster Express was just one spot away from its rightful place at the bottom of the list.  Maybe next year it can claim that title (although with the retracking this may have been its best shot).  😅

How did I know you'd be the one that's actually been on both? lol

28 minutes ago, A.J. said:

Without giving away all the info, I will say that VelociCoaster had significantly more riders than Ride To Happiness. Next year, we will probably see VelociCoaster move less and Ride to Happiness move more in terms of rankings.

Thanks!

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at first I was surprised that Hakugei was not in the top 10 (not to mention top 3). . . but I totally realize that just not a lot of folks have gotten to ride it.

I'm sure will move up in next year's poll as more folks get to ride it (once travel restrictions further relax).

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Once again I just want to remind everyone that the TPR Coaster poll is NOT a "Popularity contest" meaning is it not the traditional "He who gets the most votes wins" style of contest.

The TPR Poll takes everyones riding experience and matches it together to determine a winner.

So that means if Twisted Timbers came in ahead of Steel Vengeance that means more people that rode BOTH COASTERS preferred Twisted Timbers to Steel Vengeance.

Even if Twisted Timbers has fewer overall votes.

It matches only those who have ridden BOTH RIDES.

The results are based on ACTUAL RIDING EXPERIENCES instead of just number of votes one ride gets.

So while I understand that maybe YOUR FAVORITE coaster didn't get ranked where you wanted it to be, at least respect the fact that the results are that way because it legitimately lost more fairly, unlike a lot of other polls that are purely based on "Hey, go vote for our ride so we can win" even if the person voting has never actually ridden the coaster.

Hope that makes sense to some of you.

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6 hours ago, boldikus said:

23??!?!?! An absolute travesty.

Overall, I'm not mad at all about these results, really baffled that VC ranked so low. I know its because of low ridership, but I feel like all the thoosies I know have been down there and ridden it already and I don't know if I'm just blinded by its sheer brilliance, but it seems most share my opinion that its one of the best of all time.

Don't underestimate the volume of people who are still NOT traveling yet.  And also because of the nature of this poll, it has to be people who are well traveled AND have ridden Velocicoaster along with many other rides that it is competing with.  If our poll was simply as "popularity contest" maybe it would have ranked higher.  But the reality very well may be those of who have ridden Velocicoaster AND had a 1 on 1 match up with the other rides ahead of it, may have ranked it lower.

 

For me personally, I love Velocicoaster, but the weaker first half of the ride is why it barely made it into my top ten.  Had the first half been as strong as the second half, I would have ranked it higher.  And also considering that I've been on 20 of the 22 coasters that were ranked ahead of it, it's very possible that because I don't praise it as the best thing ever on the planet, could be one of the reasons why it's lower.


Now obviously some of those 22 coasters I ranked lower than Velocicoaster but yet they still came in ahead of it.  It all has to do with rider experience and how many 1 on 1 match ups a certain ride wins or loses.

 

So perhaps people with less "experience" that ranked Velocicoaster higher, may eventually rank it lower when they gain more experience by riding more coasters. Or, maybe they will rank it higher.  But that's exactly how this poll works and why it is so much better and fair than a typical "popularity contest." 

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On 2/8/2022 at 1:17 AM, A.J. said:

25. T Express - Everland (-17)

Little curious on this one getting a huge drop. Since Korea still doesn't grant tourist visas due to corona, I'd assume the people who could include it on their polls are mostly unchanged from previous polls.
 

I'm also assuming that since South Korea isn't really high on a lot of peoples destinations list, most of those riders are going to be enthusiasts who are well traveled and constantly gain a lot of new credits. Is it a case of there being a big over-lap of people who have ridden T-Express and have also ridden the 'new to top 25'?

 

Edit: Was looking back at things I voted for and saw Shockwave from Drayton Manor but also noticed G-Force is in the poll, but it was removed 2-3 years ago I think. 

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19 hours ago, robbalvey said:

For me personally, I love Velocicoaster, but the weaker first half of the ride is why it barely made it into my top ten.  Had the first half been as strong as the second half, I would have ranked it higher. 

This 100%. I rode Velocicoaster and Maverick like 12-16ish hours apart last year, multiple rides on each in different seats on the trains, and while Velocicoaster is absolutely a top ten coaster, there really is no comparison in terms of intensity between the two. Maverick is solid top-five, Velocicoaster lower top-ten.

That being said Velocicoaster is the best coaster in Florida and I can't believe in the space of a year we've gone from being a mostly B&M state to having an incredible Intamin Blitz coaster and as of this weekend we'll officially have a kickass RMC in the same park as Kumba.

I personally love that Lightning Rod took the top steel spot. That should slap some sense into the people who weirdly want Dollywood to tear down that amazing coaster and replace it with another snooze-worthy B&M hyper because it might operate more days out of the season.

And I'd love for the mutual riders that prefer Fury 325 over i305 to drop me a line on what bar they're going to because they must have some really good sh*t.

El Toro is god, of course.

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I'm really interested to see where Iron Gwazi lands on this poll next year. It might be the same case with Velocicoaster in 2021 where there weren't enough head to head comparisons with the rest of the field because of travel restrictions etc. etc., but I have a feeling by the end of 2022 there will be plenty of people who have ridden both IG and VC that their respective rankings head to head based on preference would be fairly accurate even if their overall rankings with the rest of the field remain slightly skewed. 

 

I mean the VC results this yeas surprised me, and people seem to LOVE the newer RMC's, so maybe IG ends up ranking way up there next year like people thought VC would this year.

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Most interesting to me this year is the placement of Twisted Colossus. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a really fun ride...but it's definitely a "mid-tier" RMC for me. Plus, it sits on a parking lot. I'm kind of shocked to see it ahead of Steel Vengeance (and Fury...and I305) in the Steel Poll.

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