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Best Compact Coasters


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I think Gerstlauer EuroFighters are good examples of great compact coasters. They pack a nice thrill into a small amount of space. Even though they seem to be getting a bit rougher with age, they are still all-around fun rides.

 

I also really like Intamin Impulse coasters. A lot of people tend to brush them off and say "Oh, it's just an impulse coaster", but I think they're a lot of fun. Sure, the launch may be a little weak, but after that, it's a relatively intense ride.

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Some people are mentioning spaghetti bowls, which are compact except for the launch and break run which jut to one side. Nobody has mentioned Rock'n'Roller Coaster at Disney Studios, which is certainly the best of this type, all things considered.

 

Scorpion at BGT is an excellent true compact coaster, and still packs a satisfying punch despite its small stature.

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  • 5 months later...

I enjoyed this thread and miss it. A quick warning that nerd-style analysis follows.

 

Was pondering the best way to characterize the compactness of a coaster layout. I think the perimeter of the smallest encompassing rectangle is a decent (not perfect) metric, and captures the idea better for a larger range of layouts than "area of that" does. I'll call it "layout envelope perimeter." With Google Maps it's really easy to do a quick measure on just about any coaster. If you haven't used it: right click > Measure distance is really great. (see picture at end). Instead of saying "for a really compact ride, this one's pretty good..." or "it's amazing even though it's not super compact, but still somewhat....", this stat would help quantify that aspect of it as a basis for discussion of merits.

 

Here's the approximate layout envelope perimeter for a few rides mentioned in here:

El Loco - EG: Steel Hawg - Indiana Beach ~550ft

Kanonen - Liseberg ~775ft

Eurofighter - EG: DDD - SFOG ~1000ft

Eurofighter - EG: Untamed - Canobie ~640ft

 

Just for the sake of comparison to big rides, El Toro comes in around 2800ft while Nitro's huge, sprawling T-shape puts it well over 4000ft.

 

So I'd also like to nominate a new suggestion for the thread: the most compact Maurer X-Cars: FamilyCo Express, Formulae X, and G Force (plus a likely clone in Iraq). These all have layout perimeter envelopes around 650ft, but look to take their engineering and dynamic capabilities from much larger rides like Hollywood RRR. They also have some impressive launch stats, and I'd love to try them out.

 

Another interesting stat that goes along with the compactness idea is the ratio of track length : layout envelope perimeter. This kind of normalizes compactness with respect to overall size and allows for the idea of a "large but compact ride", IE the track is "really packed in there" even though it's quite a massive installation. Sprawling coasters have this ratio closer and down to ~1, while very compact coasters have this ratio around and even over 2. So for example: BTR clones punch in around 1300ft perimeter, a bit big to be a "small coaster", but have a very compact-feeling TL:LEP of ~2.1. And that's with a lift and first drop that juts way out away from the rest of the ride.

freishuetz.png.b166e34c0d8dde9211a20d78cae0ea68.png

Here's a Google Measure showing the 950' LEP of Freischuetz at Bayern Park, a somewhat larger but still-quite-compact Maurer X-Car.

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Tornado at Bakken is worth a mention, again.

 

And I still can't figure out the actual layout of the thing!

 

P.S. I also want this coaster and it's layout at Playland!

1321628105_ResizeofIMG_4704.JPG.e48f649a81514f7417352842cc2c9dfd.JPG

With an OMG lift hill launch, and a twisty turning circuit inside and out of the covering structure.

TPR 2014 Scandi Tour.

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Tornado at Bakken is worth a mention, again.

 

And I still can't figure out the actual layout of the thing!

I found an on-ride video where there isn't a whole lot of spinning, it gives a better sense of the layout. Starts at 0:26.

 

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The tiny 6 seater launched Maurer X-Cars are puny and apparently pack a punch.

a8f764958f665725bea28ecafafb771a.jpg

 

Kanonen, probably the tightest launched coaster outside of Maurer.

 

Euro-Star, that crazy traveling Intamin AG invert that got lost in the folds of time.

Oktoberfest_2005_-_Euro-Star.jpg

 

Basically anything at Grona Lund, especially Twister because of the unique layout that had to fit on top of pre-existing buildings.

 

Hell, any of the large Zacspins are pretty much the highest track length to footprint ratio of any closed circuit coaster out there.

 

As for B&Ms, I'm sure there's nothing more compact than Daemonen.

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Flitzers are really underrated. They are very very compact, relatively cheap if you can buy one, and a hundred times more fun than most kiddie coasters. I wish someone would start making knock off versions of them rather than wacky worms and rollerskaters. They are about that height and not intimidating but much more fun.

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^ Very true, it's layout envelope perimeter is about 1050ft and with 3838ft of track, gives it a TL:LEP of 3.65! They really packed a lot of track into a small space, WOW! I'm not sure there many coasters more tightly configured that that.

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Lagoon has pretty much exclusively compact coasters. Cannibal, Wicked, Wild Mouse, Spider, Collossus, and a Jet Star. All of which (except the Wild Mouse) are top notch rides!

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