I've been using the term "pleasant surprise" quite a bit lately, mostly in connection with TPR's China Trip. Yes, amid all the Jungle Mouse coasters and knock-off SLCs, which were pretty much what I expected them to be, were some rides that I was downright dreading but actually enjoyed.
So, here's the idea behind this thread:
1. What ride (or rides) have you absolutely dreaded riding--what you thought would be "one and dones"--that you ended up liking (the "pleasant surprise")? 2. On the flip side, what rides were you looking forward to that turned out to be not only downright disappointing, but also very bad indeed (the "unpleasant surprise")?
You don't have to restrict yourself to coasters here. Any type of ride or attraction is fair game. And, please, post pictures if you can (or link to some in TPR's Park Index). Please provide some reasons, too.
I'll start things off here.
Hidden Anaconda at Happy Valley Wuhan (Skyloops in general): I'd been dreading this thanks to a bad experience on Drayton's GForce, which has an inverted lift, and the problems they had at Magic Springs. But this ride shocked me a bit. It was surprisingly fun (if a bit unnerving). The one at Joyland was good, too.
The Giant Inverted Boomerang at Jin Jiang: I'm not a fan of Vekoma Boomerangs, although I think Invertigos are OK. And, let's face it, GIBs haven't been all that reliable in the U.S. (every time I've had an opportunity to ride one, it's broken down). But my first GIB in China turned out to be a lot of fun--a very solid ride and much better than the standard Boomerangs.
Stingray at Giant Wheel Park: This combination of a Skyloop with a Flying Dutchman is one of those "oh, hell no" designs at first glance. But even though the ride itself is fairly intense, the experience is fun and unique--more interesting than the B&M flyers, for the most part. The new Flying Dutchman trains are better than the original ones, and I'd like to see this ride built at other parks.
Voyage at Holiday World: This one is both a pleasant and an unpleasant surprise in one. In April 2009, during my first visit to Holiday World, I wasn't exactly looking forward to Voyage due to all the conflicting reports about it. But it turned out to be amazingly smooth and airtime filled that day, and made my top ten. Then a year went by. In August 2010, Voyage was a difficult, painful experience, at best--more of an ordeal. I hope that it can be great again, someday.
Stingray at Suzhou Ferris Wheel Park was a pleasant surprise.
I know people are going to fling arrows at me but I also thought the first time I rode Son of Beast with the loop it was a pleasant surprise. Not that it was great, but I had been led to beleive by many that it was the worst coaster ever. I've been on much worse.
Unpleasant surprise - Ghost Rider, back in the days when some people said is was still good, not to me.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
^Now, my experience on Georgia Cyclone was the opposite--sort of. I was advised to sit in the second seat from the very back, and while the ride was very "shuffly" in parts, the airtime was absolutely nuts. Then again, everybody else on that train was complaining about how painful it was.
Yeah, that ride could use some work--but there may be hope for it yet.
I'd heard mostly terrible reviews of the ride and I was expecting to be shaken to death and for it to be awful. It turned out to be one of my favourite coasters. The launch was fantastic and there's no other coaster I've been on that can match it for intensity. It just feels so much faster than anything else. I had no issues with roughness at all and I was genuinely shocked at how good it was. I suppose we got lucky getting seats in the front row. I hear it's further back that you get the vibration issues.
Mean Streak! Every year I'd been to the Point Mean Streak had been either closed or I just had it at the bottom of my list and never got around to riding it, but in 08 I finally got around to riding it, expecting the worst. But it wasn't that bad, and it was interesting to ride such a long coaster. The first drop was also a lot of fun (I didn't feel a trim). It was definitely nothing special, but it wasn't the disaster everyone made it out to be.
Riddlers Revenge SFMM: Never had been a huge fan of standups but this was a really fantastic ride with a full layout.
Big Thunder Mountain DLC: I'd only been on the Magic Kingdom version up until recently and I wasn't expecting much from it— but boy did I have a blast! What a well rounded ride.
Matterhorn Bobsleds: This just hurt. There wasn't a really great moment in the ride, and although its fun to be in the mountain and disney rides are always interesting, it was just an odd experience.
Bizarro SFNE: Don't get me wrong, I do love this ride, but it's definitely not all it's made out to be. After riding millennium force, I didn't really find it that 'amazing' like everyone said. There was a serious rattle in the spaghetti bowl section the first time I rode it, but it's progressively gotten better.
"Okay everyone the photo spot is after the overbank,, so everyone remember to pose like a terrified black woman"
FAVORITE: Tie between Incredible Hulk and Millennium Force LAST RIDDEN: Bizarro
My pleasant surprise - Demon Drop at Dorney - Half of my group straight up refused to go onto it, but when i rode it, i was surprised at how the freefall was WAY better than the S&S Tower nearby. I was also expecting it to be really uncomfortable, but, it was rather tolerable.
My unpleasant surprise - Curse of DarKastle - Went on it with my mom the first year it opened, my mom threw up for nearly the entire ride, and i ended up so dizzy that I couldn't walk straight for the rest of the day. Also, we found out that the reason why the seats were wet was that the op's just hosed down the seats after someone throws up...
Colossus at Thorpe Park. I was looking forward to a smooth, intense ride but instead I got a headache. The heartline rolls were smooth and intense, but the rest of the ride was just hell for me.
Meanwhile, I was expecting Saw the Ride to be a real headbanger, but I really really enjoyed it! Sure, there was some head banging but the intensity and airtime made up for it and made it my favorite coaster at Thorpe Park.
Another ride that surprised me on my UK trip was Revolution at Pleasure Beach Blackpool. I'd heard neutral to negative reviews of this ride and I was expecting an outdated, forceless, rough ride. Instead, I got an exciting, intense, smooth ride with some batcrap INSANE airtime in the back seat!
Mean Streak - After all I had heard, I assumed it would be the worst thing ever. In reality, it wasn't that bad. It did absolutely nothing, but I didn't find it to be rough at all.
Gwazi - Pretty much the same story as Mean Streak. Didn't have much going for it, but it was much smoother than I expected, and this was with the PTCs.
Mantis - After my experiences with Iron Wolf and things I had read, I was worried that the ride would just be headbanging galore. In reality, it wasn't that bad. A little jerky, but still fun enough to bring us back for a second ride.
Raptor - I was really looking forward to Raptor but it ended up just being a disappointment. Most of it was pretty jerky and their weren't many forces. This was all topped off with a swift punch to the head when it snapped into the brake run.
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