Change background image
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Does a coaster have to have good theming/a good story for you to enjoy it?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Matt N, Feb 10, 2018.

?

Does a coaster have to have theming for you to enjoy it?

  1. Yes

    9.1%
  2. No

    90.9%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    402
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Best Coaster:
    Mako
    Best Park:
    Alton Towers
    Coaster Count:
    56
    Sorry if there's already a thread like this, but I thought it would be an interesting debate. Basically, what I'm asking with this thread is "does a coaster have to be a themed experience for you to rate it highly?".

    For me, a coaster doesn't need amazing theming for me to enjoy it. Just look at my top 3: I wouldn't say that the theming on Mako, Montu or SheiKra is particularly mind blowing. Admittedly, Mako's queue is nice and the plaza with the shipwreck is stunning, but they didn't impact my high rating of the coaster at all. It was the actual roller coaster itself that secured its place as my number 1.

    Alternatively, there is what I like to call the Shawn Sanbrooke point of view, where a coaster has to have theming for him to enjoy it. For example, he rates Tron at Shanghai Disneyland higher than he rates Formula Rossa due to Tron's theming. I personally don't buy that a Vekoma Booster Bike beats a record-breaking Intamin Accelerator, but hey ho, it's just a matter of opinion. He also said that he couldn't enjoy Scream at SFMM, a B&M floorless that I think looks pretty decent, "knowing that [he] was on top of a car park". Now I love Shawn's videos and am an avid fan of his channel, but I don't think a coaster needs theming for me to enjoy it.

    So, what are you guys' opinions?
     
  2. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

    Likes Received:
    2,159
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Best Coaster:
    Lightning Rod
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    538
    Fury, X2, Skyrush, and I'm sure many more (I'm just running through my top 10 picking obvious ones) are excellent examples of coasters that have no real theme to speak of, yet are absolutely world class rides.

    The notion that a ride has to be themed to be good would write off an awful lot of incredible coasters.
     
    DelPiero and Matt N like this.
  3. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Best Coaster:
    Steel Vengeance
    Best Park:
    Universal Studios Fl
    Coaster Count:
    338
    Nah. Some of the best coasters in the world have little or no theming to them.
    I suppose, logistically at least, it could be because most of them are big'uns. Yes, we all know that 'size doesn't matter' but be honest, the vast majority of the world's top rollercoasters are huge, monster things and the bigger a coaster is, the harder (and more expensive) it is to theme it. I mean, how would you 'theme' a B&M giga coaster?
    You can't have repeated near misses with fake rockwork at 300ft in the air, right?
    So pretty trains and some nice station music is all we have any right to expect on these things, really.
    On those rare occasions where we are gifted with a Nemesis or a Taron or a Tron, bonus! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  4. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    714
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Best Coaster:
    Helix
    Best Park:
    Liseberg
    This fellow seems to get worse every time you talk about him.
    Another no here. It may elevate something that wouldn't be very good without theming, but it doesn't drag the big boys down at all.
    Tron better than Rossa doesn't seem extremely farfetched. Not enjoying something for a car park is daft though.
     
    DelPiero and Matt N like this.
  5. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    791
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Best Coaster:
    Steel Vengeance
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    200
    Agree with you above. Good theming can improve a coaster, but it isn't absolutely necessary at all to make a good coaster. Although complete bare surroundings like on Monster at Walygator do play down my enjoyment a bit, but that's about it really.
     
    Will and Matt N like this.
  6. Ireeb

    Ireeb Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Best Coaster:
    Blue Fire
    Best Park:
    Europa Park
    Coaster Count:
    20
    I also think it's not necessary for a great coaster, but I do believe that any coaster can be made even better with good theming. Especially well-themed, story-telling queues and stations increase anticipation for me and make the waiting more pleasant. It just rounds it off and turns a great roller coaster to a great experience for all senses.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  7. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

    Likes Received:
    1,107
    Trophy Points:
    573
    Best Coaster:
    Dunno
    Best Park:
    Tokyo DisneySea
    Coaster Count:
    1431
    Nah, I enjoy both. Good theming can absolutely elevate a mediocre coaster to something quite special, but lack of theming isn't going to detract from an excellent ride.

    Tron is actually a good example. It's a good coaster, but the whole package actually turns it into something quite outstanding. The Mack water coasters at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom are another example. Cloned rides which are elevated thanks to theming and interactions with animal exhibits.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
     
    Matt N likes this.
  8. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    678
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Best Coaster:
    Schwur des Kärnan
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    852
    I've been dithering over this for a while because almost all of my favorite rides are heavily-themed and theming is something I particularly enjoy. My number one is Kärnan FFS. I've literally raised it so high because of the theme.

    The answer, however, has to be no. There are some coasters that are totally amazing without a having a theme. And in a few cases, they don't need one (Coney Island coaster for example would be silly if they tried to theme it). For it to work without a theme, it has to be bloody good though. It has to be able to carry itself.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  9. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    442
    Trophy Points:
    286
    Best Coaster:
    Katun
    Best Park:
    Europa Park
    Coaster Count:
    504
    No, but it helps and can go a long way towards turning an 8 or 9 to a 10, so to speak.
    Nemesis or the two big coasters at Hansa Park wouldn't be the same without theming, but the lack of it doesn't make something like Leviathan any less good.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  10. LiveForTheLaunch

    LiveForTheLaunch Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    177
    Trophy Points:
    258
    Best Coaster:
    Eejanaika
    Best Park:
    DisneySea
    Coaster Count:
    564
    As almost everyone has said, a coaster without theming isn't necessarily bad, but theming can certainly help elevate a mediocre coaster to higher ranks. My top ten literally has almost no theming whatsoever because the coasters are outstanding on their own, but they'd be mind-blowing (well, some already are) if theming or some sort of backstory was incorporated into the experience.

    As a side note, the thought of Hades 360 with a proper Underworld theme makes me giddy.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  11. zazobo

    zazobo Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Best Coaster:
    Shambhala
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    I'm really big on themeing for me it totally makes a coaster, but if a coaster was simply in a nice setting (ie not above a concreted over plot) with some nice landscaping then it's enough to elevate the experience into something more pleasant for me.
     
    Matt N and Ireeb like this.
  12. Ireeb

    Ireeb Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Best Coaster:
    Blue Fire
    Best Park:
    Europa Park
    Coaster Count:
    20
    Yeah, good landscaping can be a replacement for theming.
     
    Matt N and zazobo like this.
  13. zazobo

    zazobo Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Best Coaster:
    Shambhala
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    I almost find that a totally baron bit of land is distracting from a coaster? I'm not sure if that makes ANY sense, but it seems to break the immersion for me.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  14. Zwaman

    Zwaman New Member

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Best Coaster:
    /
    Best Park:
    /
    No. Some of the best coaster I've ridden have no theming and landscaping at all. However, good theming and especially landscaping can help. For example, the fact that Lisebergbanan is a terrain coaster really adds to the ride experience. The same applies to Baron 1898, where the theming in combination with the landscaping transforms a solid but not outstanding coaster in an fantastic experience. So I guess I think in the same lines as some previous posters in this topic. Theming and landscaping can help to elevate a coaster to a better level, but to be a world-class coaster, the coaster itself also needs to be outstanding, although exceptions always exist.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  15. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Trophy Points:
    258
    Best Coaster:
    Steel Vengeance
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    466
    The way I look at it is that theming compliments and enhances a ride generally. There's also varying levels of theming.
    The ones with epic theming such as Taron, Karnan, Nemesis, Baron 1898, Black Mamba, Wodan, ROTM etc enjoy varying success because of the hardware but are elevated due to the theming being pumped to insane levels. Without the theming they likely wouldn't be as highly rated.
    Others have a smattering of theming to compliment what is already an excellent product, such as Superman(SFNE), Maverick, Helix, TTD, Montu, Wildfire, Lightning Rod, Wicked Cyclone, Lost Gravity, Shambhala etc it enhances these without being a major part of the experience.
    Others don't even really bother with a theme, save an entrance or trains as it's just not needed/hard to theme such as Fury, Skyrush, EGF, Renegade, Goliath, MF, Big One, El Toro, Phoenix etc.

    It's rare to find a coaster which is very well themed as well as delivers highly on the hardware level, really only Taron does that so far, hence why it's so highly rated overall. But no, of course it doesn't have to have theming to be enjoyed.
    Many times will people note on how great the theming is on this or that cred, but stick Taron's theming on a Mack Mouse and you don't have a good end product.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  16. sandgrown

    sandgrown Active Member

    Likes Received:
    147
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Best Coaster:
    Wild Mouse
    Best Park:
    The Pleas
    I'm not fussed. I think the surroundings matter, i.e. it's great to see the beach or rows of houses from rides at BPB - or that Boulder Dash ride you lot have pointed me in the direction of would give an amazing sense of being on a secret runaway train - whereas an empty car park isn going to be a bit of a downer. - but as long as you've got that I'm not overly bothered, although I can see how it might be nice. In particular, the theming in the queue area makes absolutely :emoji_zipper_mouth: all difference to me. The theming in the queue for the Batman Fuga ride at Parque Warner was great, but I just wanted to get on the ride. If they removed it completely, it wouldn't change my opinion of the ride one jot.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  17. jayjay

    jayjay Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    500
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Best Coaster:
    Kärnan (Hansa Park)
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    364
    Theming helps a coaster feel like an adventure. A great coaster still needs the coaster part to be great, but theming can make a coaster more easily memorable. You remember hovering over the atrium on Arthur or the bunny hops through the castle on G'Sengte Sau. Combine it with a great coaster, and you have some exhilirating moments like diving through a building on Taron!
     
    Matt N likes this.
  18. ImagineerTim

    ImagineerTim Gamesmaster 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

    Likes Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Best Coaster:
    Taron/TOTNH/VHF
    Best Park:
    Efteling
    No it doesn't have to. Best example is Temple of the Nighthawk at Phantasialand.
    It's a very fun and long ride and there is almost no great theming, but atmosphere is created with the Station and the music.
    Story is overrated. The complete experience must be fun and immersive. All details aren't necessary, if the atmosphere and the good ride system is not there.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  19. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    434
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Best Coaster:
    Steel Vengeance
    Best Park:
    Tokyo Disneysea
    Coaster Count:
    275
    Theming can certainly elevate a ride, but I don't think a coaster needs theming at all. X2 is pretty much a parking lot coaster, but that doesn't stop it from being perfection. However, a coaster like Raging Spirits that's very meh as a coaster is extremely elevated by its elaborate theming. In fact, that applies to most of the Disney coasters.

    But to answer your question, no.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  20. Pink Cadillac

    Pink Cadillac Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    679
    Trophy Points:
    203
    No theming is just one factor that can make a roller coaster better, like having positive Gs or airtime. Like theming, having airtime on a coaster is great (the more, the better!), but I wouldn't say airtime is essential for a coaster to be enjoyable.
     
    Matt N likes this.

Share This Page