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Rollercoaster Advice | Summer 2022 Amusement Park Review and Ideas

Mickeynerd17

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello there my fellow armchair imagineers!

As a final send-off before I go to college, I'm undertaking a MASSIVE roadtrip all around the east coast to different amusement parks to "catch up" on the insane coasters I've been missing and become a more well-rounded theme park enthusiast.

Parks I'm planning on visiting:

Six Flags over Georgia
Dollywood
Kings Island
Cedar Point
Kennywood
HersheyPark
Busch Gardens VA

Not 100% sure on these but will try:

SF Great Adventure
Kings Dominion
Carowinds

So, as a Disney fan who has never ridden anything crazier than Rockin' Rollercoaster, which coasters should be a must-do for me and which ones should I be careful about in terms of roughness? I'm going to try and ride as many as possible, but I would like an opinion from those of you who've actually gone to at least one of these parks. Many thanks in advance!!!!
 

MickeyMouse10

Well-Known Member
They all terrify me, so I'd probably just go to Dollywood for the food. 😋

Have a good one man, I hope you enjoy it. :)


edit : Man my brain farts lately. Earlier I accidently said have a good man LOL. That's a totally different type of trip LOL. Have a good one. .... Geez I gotta get a brain x ray.
 
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MickeyMouse10

Well-Known Member
The nicest Six Flags I've been to is Six Flags New England. I think it's because they bought and redid Riverside park (which opened in 1870). So it seems to have an old school charm to it.

The best coaster there by far has to be Superman the ride. But I can't tell you first hand though, because like I said earlier I'm a scaredy cat. 😸
 
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D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Ah, an admirably ambitious adrenal adventure after my own heart! As likely the biggest resident coaster guy in Imagineering, I salute your bravery to branch out.

Of the ones you’ve listed, I’ve been to Kings Island, Cedar Point, Kennywood, Hersheypark, and SF Great Adventure. I’ve enjoyed all of them! (Cedar Point is in my Top Three parks to date alongside Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.) If you’re passing through Pennsylvania, I highly recommend looking into Knoebels as well. It’s a brilliant collection of pre-Disneyland amusement rides in a one-of-kind atmosphere.

If you’re starting out with your first bigger coasters, it’s good to work your way up psychologically to the biggest and scariest rides. Kings Island was my starting point on my coaster journey. Like Kings Dominion (which I haven’t seen yet), KI is a former Paramount Park which borrowed some Disneyland design ideas like a pseudo-Main Street and a hub & spoke layout, plus some better-than-average theming (for a regional park). It will feel comfortable. Cedar Fair parks generally have better maintenance and operations than their Six Flags siblings, so the rides are smoother too. Kings Island/Dominion both have Flight of Fear, which Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster totally ripped off (and did worse, to my tastes).

KI has the most wood coaster track in the world. Wooden coasters by their nature are more rough, but in a fun way when they’re maintained well. Mystic Timbers is a perfect stepping stone woodie and a Top 20 coaster, highly recommended! Full of lateral forces and sudden airtime - my favorite coaster sensation. The Beast is legendary, 45-years-old and still the world’s longest woodie. There are two B&M-manufactured steel terrors - Diamondback over 200’, and Orion over 300’ (it opened after my last visit) - which are guaranteed to be smooth rides with strong desirable physical forces. They’ll be big psychological hurdles if you’re frightened by heights, so work your way up to them. Banshee, a B&M invert, has gained a reputation for roughness, so approach with care. You’d have to ride it - or any coaster with over-the-shoulder restraints - more defensively, since otherwise you could bang your head against the restraints and get an awful headache.

Generally, newer steel coasters will be the smoothest. Any older rides will be less intimidating but possibly more uncomfortable. Looping rides are often rougher in my experience.

Every park offers smaller scale coasters as well if you need a break or you need to work your way up to the top dogs. At Kings Island, these include The Bat, Adventure Express, and Racer ‘75.

Some of my “must do” coasters at the other parks I’ve visited:

Cedar Point: Steel Vengeance (my #1), Maverick (my #6), Millennium Force (1st over 300’), Magnum XL-200 (1st over 200’, rough now 30 years later), Gatekeeper, Raptor. Plus over a dozen other coasters!

Kennywood: Phantom’s Revenge (my #8), Jackrabbit (one of the world’s oldest running coasters), and Steel Curtain (haven’t done it, too new).

Hersheypark: SkyRush (divisive, some call it “ThighCrush”), StormRunner, Candymonium (too new, haven’t done it).

Great Adventure: El Toro (my #5), Nitro, Kingda Ka (world’s tallest and 2nd fastest, very intimidating).

Hope this has been helpful. 👍😃
 

Mickeynerd17

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ah, an admirably ambitious adrenal adventure after my own heart! As likely the biggest resident coaster guy in Imagineering, I salute your bravery to branch out.

Of the ones you’ve listed, I’ve been to Kings Island, Cedar Point, Kennywood, Hersheypark, and SF Great Adventure. I’ve enjoyed all of them! (Cedar Point is in my Top Three parks to date alongside Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.) If you’re passing through Pennsylvania, I highly recommend looking into Knoebels as well. It’s a brilliant collection of pre-Disneyland amusement rides in a one-of-kind atmosphere.

If you’re starting out with your first bigger coasters, it’s good to work your way up psychologically to the biggest and scariest rides. Kings Island was my starting point on my coaster journey. Like Kings Dominion (which I haven’t seen yet), KI is a former Paramount Park which borrowed some Disneyland design ideas like a pseudo-Main Street and a hub & spoke layout, plus some better-than-average theming (for a regional park). It will feel comfortable. Cedar Fair parks generally have better maintenance and operations than their Six Flags siblings, so the rides are smoother too. Kings Island/Dominion both have Flight of Fear, which Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster totally ripped off (and did worse, to my tastes).

KI has the most wood coaster track in the world. Wooden coasters by their nature are more rough, but in a fun way when they’re maintained well. Mystic Timbers is a perfect stepping stone woodie and a Top 20 coaster, highly recommended! Full of lateral forces and sudden airtime - my favorite coaster sensation. The Beast is legendary, 45-years-old and still the world’s longest woodie. There are two B&M-manufactured steel terrors - Diamondback over 200’, and Orion over 300’ (it opened after my last visit) - which are guaranteed to be smooth rides with strong desirable physical forces. They’ll be big psychological hurdles if you’re frightened by heights, so work your way up to them. Banshee, a B&M invert, has gained a reputation for roughness, so approach with care. You’d have to ride it - or any coaster with over-the-shoulder restraints - more defensively, since otherwise you could bang your head against the restraints and get an awful headache.

Generally, newer steel coasters will be the smoothest. Any older rides will be less intimidating but possibly more uncomfortable. Looping rides are often rougher in my experience.

Every park offers smaller scale coasters as well if you need a break or you need to work your way up to the top dogs. At Kings Island, these include The Bat, Adventure Express, and Racer ‘75.

Some of my “must do” coasters at the other parks I’ve visited:

Cedar Point: Steel Vengeance (my #1), Maverick (my #6), Millennium Force (1st over 300’), Magnum XL-200 (1st over 200’, rough now 30 years later), Gatekeeper, Raptor. Plus over a dozen other coasters!

Kennywood: Phantom’s Revenge (my #8), Jackrabbit (one of the world’s oldest running coasters), and Steel Curtain (haven’t done it, too new).

Hersheypark: SkyRush (divisive, some call it “ThighCrush”), StormRunner, Candymonium (too new, haven’t done it).

Great Adventure: El Toro (my #5), Nitro, Kingda Ka (world’s tallest and 2nd fastest, very intimidating).

Hope this has been helpful. 👍😃
Thank you for this list!!

Plans are still a bit up in the air so I might not visit all the parks listed, but I definitely appreciate the information.

I've heard that stand-up coasters are especially uncomfortable, is this true? Also, is airtime on most coasters equivalent to airtime experienced on Tower of Terror? I understand it varies, but especially on something 200'+
 

JokersWild

Well-Known Member
I’ve only been to a few of these parks, but I have a few recommendations:

Hershey Park
.Skyrush
.Storm Runner
.Fahrenheit
.Thunder and Lightning - one of my favorite wooden coasters
.Reese’s Cupfusion - it is technically a coaster, lol
.Great Bear
.Sooper Dooper Looper - if only for the historical significance

I feel like I’ve listed almost every coaster in the park, but Hershey Park is such a fantastic coaster park. Do as much as you can. Skip Laff Track.

Busch Gardens
.Verbolten
.Apollo’s Chariot
.Loch Ness Monster
.Alpengeist
.Not a coaster, but Escape from Pompeii is super unique for a smaller park

Great Adventure
.El Toro - absolute must do if it’s open. Probably my #2 wooden coaster
.Medusa (is what I think it’s called. It was Bizarro when I went last)
.Superman: Ultimate Flight - a fun, pretty tame flying coaster. Unique for its area, at least.
.Kingda-Ka
.Try to do Houdini’s Great Escape. It’s Six Flags’ attempt at a immersive, themed attraction. Great Adventure has the superior version. Another unique experience in a “smaller” park
.Not to push back against Doug, as his post was amazing, if you do Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens you can skip Nitro. I’m pretty sure Nitro is just a smaller version of Apollo’s Chariot, with worse scenery.
 
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JokersWild

Well-Known Member
Thank you for this list!!

Plans are still a bit up in the air so I might not visit all the parks listed, but I definitely appreciate the information.

I've heard that stand-up coasters are especially uncomfortable, is this true? Also, is airtime on most coasters equivalent to airtime experienced on Tower of Terror? I understand it varies, but especially on something 200'+
It’ll really depend on the profile of the coaster. Rides like Apollo’s Chariot will have a ton of airtime, as it is designed to have a lot of air time, other coasters might push you into you seat more than it will push you out. In my experience, if you see a lot of hills, there will probably be significant airtime.
 

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Adding to Jokers’ great insight…There are a few kinds of airtime (negative Gs) you might experience on a coaster. A ride over 200’ with lots of hills like Nitro or Apollo’s Chariot (or Mako at SeaWorld Orlando) will offer floater airtime where you slowly rise up out of your seat. That’s closest to the Tower of Terror sensation.

Other rides offer more sudden and violent ejector airtime, where you’re suddenly flung upwards. RMC steel/wood hybrids like Steel Vengeance (world record for most airtime) are known for this. I usually prefer this kind.

Looping coasters and inverts and rides with a ton of helixes usually offer positive G forces where you feel heavier. Think of the helixes on Expedition Everest. The wildest version of this can even cause you to “grey out,” where you briefly slip out of consciousness.

I’ve had good luck on standup coasters, but that’s rare. I usually kneel when the seat is locked in, that way when I stand there’s more room between my groin and a hardened plastic cudgel. I wouldn’t recommend this genre unless you’re being a completionist.

Jokers, El Toro is my second favorite woodie as well! The Voyage at Holiday World is my favorite pure woodie, and my #2 overall. I’m curious what yours is.
 

JokersWild

Well-Known Member
Adding to Jokers’ great insight…There are a few kinds of airtime (negative Gs) you might experience on a coaster. A ride over 200’ with lots of hills like Nitro or Apollo’s Chariot (or Mako at SeaWorld Orlando) will offer floater airtime where you slowly rise up out of your seat. That’s closest to the Tower of Terror sensation.

Other rides offer more sudden and violent ejector airtime, where you’re suddenly flung upwards. RMC steel/wood hybrids like Steel Vengeance (world record for most airtime) are known for this. I usually prefer this kind.

Looping coasters and inverts and rides with a ton of helixes usually offer positive G forces where you feel heavier. Think of the helixes on Expedition Everest. The wildest version of this can even cause you to “grey out,” where you briefly slip out of consciousness.

I’ve had good luck on standup coasters, but that’s rare. I usually kneel when the seat is locked in, that way when I stand there’s more room between my groin and a hardened plastic cudgel. I wouldn’t recommend this genre unless you’re being a completionist.

Jokers, El Toro is my second favorite woodie as well! The Voyage at Holiday World is my favorite pure woodie, and my #2 overall. I’m curious what yours is.
Boulder Dash! I used to live about 10 minutes away from Lake Compounce and I fell in love with it.

Honestly, El Toro might beat it, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve ridden it.
 

Mickeynerd17

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Adding to Jokers’ great insight…There are a few kinds of airtime (negative Gs) you might experience on a coaster. A ride over 200’ with lots of hills like Nitro or Apollo’s Chariot (or Mako at SeaWorld Orlando) will offer floater airtime where you slowly rise up out of your seat. That’s closest to the Tower of Terror sensation.

Other rides offer more sudden and violent ejector airtime, where you’re suddenly flung upwards. RMC steel/wood hybrids like Steel Vengeance (world record for most airtime) are known for this. I usually prefer this kind.

Looping coasters and inverts and rides with a ton of helixes usually offer positive G forces where you feel heavier. Think of the helixes on Expedition Everest. The wildest version of this can even cause you to “grey out,” where you briefly slip out of consciousness.

I’ve had good luck on standup coasters, but that’s rare. I usually kneel when the seat is locked in, that way when I stand there’s more room between my groin and a hardened plastic cudgel. I wouldn’t recommend this genre unless you’re being a completionist.

Jokers, El Toro is my second favorite woodie as well! The Voyage at Holiday World is my favorite pure woodie, and my #2 overall. I’m curious what yours is.
LOL, that may have freaked me out more, but I still appreciate it! 😆

Probably the hardest thing for me to overcome is airtime. For some reason that sensation has always scared the crap out of me when it starts, which is why I don't like drop towers, but once I'm in it I'm fine. It's just starting the sensation. Thankfully riding ToT a few times has helped me with that, but the fear still exists. Also I would at least try one stand-up to say I've done one. I want to be a completionist, but we'll see how much I can handle!

You’d have to ride it - or any coaster with over-the-shoulder restraints - more defensively, since otherwise you could bang your head against the restraints and get an awful headache.
I'm a bit confused, as from my personal experience trying not to fight the coaster, or any ride for that matter, makes for a better experience. Is this an exception, or am I thinking of something totally different?
 

MickeyMouse10

Well-Known Member
58446559e9d2687f7e16c06e604cec6b.jpg


Whoa, you guys know your .

I'm more of an old lady when it comes to rides. I like to say it's because of motion sickness... but I probably still wouldn't go on the big ones. They always look like the unreal coasters on Looney Tunes cartoons, which go passed the clouds.
 

MickeyWaffleCo.

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I'm a bit confused, as from my personal experience trying not to fight the coaster, or any ride for that matter, makes for a better experience. Is this an exception, or am I thinking of something totally different?
Usually that’s true, but many inverted coasters have over-the-shoulder restraints that are very large and uncomfortable. If you don’t ride it defensively you’ll find your head is repeatedly banging into them, which doesn’t make for a fun experience.
 
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Mickeynerd17

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Usually that’s true, but most many coasters have over-the-shoulder restraints that are very large and uncomfortable. If you don’t ride it defensively you’ll find your head is repeatedly banging into them, which doesn’t make for a fun experience.
I can understand that.

I'm imagining something like RNRC, which has over-the-head restraints, but my head usually doesn't constantly bump against the sides. Perhaps I'm already riding defensively without knowing (highly unlikely, but possible).

I guess I'll just have to figure it out once I'm there.
 

MickeyWaffleCo.

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I can understand that.

I'm imagining something like RNRC, which has over-the-head restraints, but my head usually doesn't constantly bump against the sides. Perhaps I'm already riding defensively without knowing (highly unlikely, but possible).

I guess I'll just have to figure it out once I'm there.
Just making sure you saw that I edited my original message due to a typo. I’m mostly referring to inverted coasters when it comes to the uncomfortable restraints.
 

Disney Dad 3000

Well-Known Member
Hello there my fellow armchair imagineers!

As a final send-off before I go to college, I'm undertaking a MASSIVE roadtrip all around the east coast to different amusement parks to "catch up" on the insane coasters I've been missing and become a more well-rounded theme park enthusiast.

Parks I'm planning on visiting:

Six Flags over Georgia
Dollywood
Kings Island
Cedar Point
Kennywood
HersheyPark
Busch Gardens VA

Not 100% sure on these but will try:

SF Great Adventure
Kings Dominion
Carowinds

So, as a Disney fan who has never ridden anything crazier than Rockin' Rollercoaster, which coasters should be a must-do for me and which ones should I be careful about in terms of roughness? I'm going to try and ride as many as possible, but I would like an opinion from those of you who've actually gone to at least one of these parks. Many thanks in advance!!!!

I hear Carowinds is great, if nothing else for the cool dads that supposedly live in the area.

Usually that’s true, but many inverted coasters have over-the-shoulder restraints that are very large and uncomfortable. If you don’t ride it defensively you’ll find your head is repeatedly banging into them, which doesn’t make for a fun experience.

Yep. I enjoyed the Hulk coaster at IOA, but man I had a headache when I got off of it. Was the beauty of something like Velocicoaster for me, with only the lap restraint.
 

spacemt354

Chili's
20220416_132828.jpg


That sounds like a really great trip @Mickeynerd17 - as it becomes more finalized keep us posted as I don't want to tip the scales one way or another but I was very impressed today with Great Adventure.

Your list of parks seems to hug the east coast - I'm not sure where the starting point is but if one of your must do's is Hershey, the trip to Six Flags Great Adventure is maybe another 2 hours east, so not too far compared to the distance of Six Flags Over Georgia to Dollywood which is about 3 and a half hours.

Just something to keep in mind, unlike Disney parks, you do have to purchase a locker for your belongings. It was $1 per ride, or $8 to move around, the latter option was much easier. Was able to ride pretty much everything today aside from Green Lantern and Joker (stand-up coaster and spinning coaster, they aren't my thing) so I can't comment on those, but I'll rank these in order of intensity

1. Kingda Ka
- you'll feel your cheeks move back on the launch and I even got a little fuzzy vision on the descent (a grey-out) which is a coaster phenomenon that feels weird the first time you experience it but for fanatics is something to cheer on haha

2. The Jersey Devil - This was my first time on it today and wow it packs a punch. It's short, but decently intense. And it also depends on where you sit. It's a single rail Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) coaster, so it's butter smooth but also very whippy around the corners. This was actually my first RMC coaster and wow I can see why @D Hulk loves Steel Vengance and Iron Gwazi, good lord I could only imagine how intense those are in comparison to this.
Also based on the line configuration, the ride is in constant motion, so it's hard to ask for a certain seat. The further back you sit, the more intense. That's pretty universal across most coasters. I needed a drink after this one 😂

3. El Toro - After being down for repairs late last year, this ride just reopened and it's just as good as I remember it, if not slightly less intense. Again it's where you sit. It was my brother's first time so we sat towards the front and even for coaster novices this is very doable and a lot of fun. There's a reason it's ranked so high on many coaster enthusiasts lists!

4. Superman: Ultimate Flight - A clone of a ride you'll have in Six Flags Over Georgia. It's a quick ride, but if you've never experienced a flying coaster before, the first inversion could be a sensation that throws you off. It's more the flying sensation than anything that makes this a 'must-try' as a coaster itself it's layout isn't that impressive.

5. Batman: The Ride - this is another clone of a ride you'll find in Six Flags Over Georgia, but if you do happen to skip it there, just know I do find the loops very tight, slightly uncomfortable, and you pull a lot of negative Gs. A good comparison intensity wise is Dueling Dragons in IoA.

6. Medusa (formally Bizarro, formally Medusa) - This was the world's first floorless coaster. This ride is basically the same as before just with a different paint scheme. If you've been on the Incredible Hulk , in my opinion it's about the same level of intensity. It's smooth but with a lot of loops, inversions.

7. Nitro - I could ride it over and over. It's the floater airtime and a great first drop that really sell it. (4-7 on this list are by the manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, B&M for short), who are known for developing smooth hypercoasters and looping coasters, however many with similar layouts)

There are some others such as Skull Mountain, The Dark Knight, and Runaway Mine Train, but they are no more intense than Disney coasters such as Big Thunder.

My SFGA Top 5 favorites
1. El Toro
2. The Jersey Devil
3. Kingda Ka
4. Nitro

5. Medusa

I hope this helps!
 

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