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CoasterForce's Favorite Coasters - 2019 Edition

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Thank you again to all for ranking your top 10 roller coasters! Our crack team of analysts, spreadsheet artists, field researchers, algorithmic mathematicians, academic calculators, and quantitative number crunchers (aka @Hixee, @Pokemaniac, and @Hyde) have been hard at work analyzing all respective rankings for comparison.

One of the most visited threads in the General Discussions section of the forums is the "Top 10-ish" thread, where people rank their ten (or more) most favorite coasters. We have combed through the thread and collected all the Top 10 lists posted over the past year, from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019. This data has been analyzed to find CoasterForce's most popular coasters of the 2019 season.

As with last year, we tabulated each top 10 roller coaster ranking, breaking out each roller coaster as ranked by each member of the community. We then divided each roller coaster's average ranking by the number of times it was ridden by members. The number you see next to each roller coaster is this final calculation; the lower a number, the more highly rated it was among all members.

The resulting top 25:
RankRoller CoasterAverage RankingAverage Ranking/Number of RidesNumber of Rides
1Steel Vengeance1.890.0728
2Taron3.670.1427
3Helix3.460.1424
4Lightning Rod3.060.1817
5Voyage4.630.1924
6Skyrush4.680.2122
7El Toro4.420.2319
8Untamed3.60.2415
9Fury 3254.350.2617
10Wildfire5.310.3316
11Maverick6.320.3319
12Nemesis5.760.3417
13Taiga2.170.366
14Expedition GeForce4.830.412
15Intimidator 3053.670.419
16Zadra1.750.444
17Shambhala6.140.4414
18X25.550.511
19Hyperion5.730.5211
20Storm Chaser6.250.5212
21Twisted Colossus6.30.6310
22Boulder Dash3.830.646
23Twisted Timbers6.40.6410
24Millennium Force6.110.689
25Top Thrill Dragster70.710

To dig a bit more into the 2019 Top rankings, here are a few graphic breakdowns for comparison. With this first table, we mapped out average ranking vs. number of rides. The higher a roller coaster is charted into the upper left-hand side (that is, topmost rank and large number of rides), the higher it is in our rankings:



It's also interesting to note how number of rides actually follows an exponential curve, tapering off at a relatively predictable rate. Would not have necessarily expected this, but it indicates there are a core set of "expectedly ridden roller coasters" for the average coaster enthusiast:


As it was last year, you may notice a number of roller coaster that have different average rankings vs. average rankings/rides. If we ranked roller coasters based on average rank alone, it's a rather different result. Overall, we still prefer to consider over number of rides, to help ensure the rankings are reflective of the entire community vs. a few select members. (That being said, Zadra is well worth a higher ranking, which we expect to go up in 2020 as more members visit Energylandia):

RankRoller CoasterAverage RankingAverage Ranking/FrequencyNumber of Rides
16Zadra1.750.444
1Steel Vengeance1.890.0728
34Python in Bamboo Forest212
57DC Rivals221
13Taiga2.170.366
45Expedition Everest31.52
45Katun31.52
73Dive Coaster (CP)331
73Jungle Trailblazer331
4Lightning Rod3.060.1817
37Sheikra3.331.113
3Helix3.460.1424
55Mine Blower3.51.752
8Untamed3.60.2415
2Taron3.670.1427
15Intimidator 3053.670.419
31Mako3.750.944
22Boulder Dash3.830.646
85Gatekeeper441
85Thirteen441
85Wonder Woman441
9Fury 3254.350.2617
29Wicked Cyclone4.40.885
7El Toro4.420.2319
63Big One4.52.252
5Voyage4.630.1924

Comparing year-over-year: While Steel Vengeance remained #1 from 2018, we saw a number of key roller coasters move up and down in the rankings. Of biggest note compared to last year:
- Untamed, Taiga, and Zadra all made respective debuts as new for 2019 coasters
- Helix moved up 4 slots to #3 overall
- Wildfire moved up 11 slots to #10 overall
- Maverick sunk 7 slots to #11 overall
- Hyperion rocketed up in the rankings a full 39 slots to #19

A few key factors that can influence why roller coasters move up and down in the rankings from 2018:
- New roller coasters ridden by members
- Roller coaster trips to key spots can cause surges in roller coaster mentions
- # of riders remains most influential in our rankings as it was last year

It's also exciting to report that of our Top 25, we calculated 321 riders in 2018, but that number has gone up in 2019 to 369 riders!

Here is the Top 25 Year over Year Ranking Comparison in table breakout:
Roller Coaster20182019Difference
Steel Vengeance110
Taron321
Helix734
Lightning Rod24−2
Voyage853
Skyrush46−2
El Toro1073
UntamedN/A8N/A
Fury 3251192
Wildfire211011
Maverick411−7
Nemesis13121
TaigaN/A13N/A
Expedition GeForce18144
Intimidator 305251510
ZadraN/A16N/A
Shambhala1417−3
X2818−10
Hyperion581939
Storm Chaser1520−5
Twisted Colossus421−17
Boulder Dash1922−3
Twisted Timbers2223−1
Millennium Force1624−8
Top Thrill Dragster2325−2

As we had a little more time and data capture for 2019 vs. 2018, we also thought it'd be interesting to play with the rankings slightly, to show various alternative considerations you could apply to how coasters are ranked, such as logging the results (this help consider strong outliers) and removing top and bottom-most votes for each respective roller coaster (also helps control for outlying votes). You can check out all of these rankings on our calculation sheets, found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lCPhr-YEZabub5THt336rXnjHxDnVGCsqoVf0NURjQo/edit#gid=2025773595

That's it for the 2019 rankings of CoasterForce's most favorite coasters! Remember to head over to the Top-10(ish) thread to post your list, which will be counted towards the 2020 rankings! As you can see in the rankings, there were some very close calls where the rank of certain coasters could have changed if one more Top 10 list was posted. Maybe yours would have made the difference? We all hope to see your list in the rankings next year, so we can count the 2020 favorites with even greater accuracy!
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Really great work by Hyde here, crunching all the numbers. Of course, another huge thanks to the 65 of you who posted their lists. This couldn't have been done without you.

Some observations from the data:
  • Where are the wood coasters? Aside from El Toro and the RMC hybrids, wood coasters are nowhere to be seen in the Top 20. At 22, Boulder Dash is the only wood entry outside of Intamin and RMC in the top 25. I seem to recall that polls like this used to have a more even distribution between wood and steel back in the old days.
  • Speaking of RMC, they're doing really well among us enthusiasts. At a glance, I spot 8 of their creations in the Top 25, among them the first place. They're still not quite outdoing Intamin, however, which is represented by 10 coasters in the list. However, Intamin has been building coasters since the seventies, while RMC's first creations came about in 2011. Between them, these two companies have built 70% of the rides on the list. B&M comes next with 3. The remaining ones are one Mack, one S&S, one Gravity Group and one GCI.
  • There is a clear preference trend towards new coasters (suggesting that coaster designers get better at their craft as time goes by). The only coasters in the top 10 not built this decade are Voyage and El Toro. Nemesis is the only coaster in the Top 25 to be built before 2000. Boulder Dash and Millennium Force both turn 20 next year, though.
  • Aside from the RMC coasters (which, in fairness, dominate the list) there aren't many multi-inversion coasters in the Top 25. Only Helix, Maverick, Nemesis, Taiga and X2. The fact that Helix ranks third suggests that these coasters can be well-liked, but apparently the concept hasn't been executed on a top-tier level often enough, at least among RMC's competitors. Only two of the aforementioned five multi-inverters have been built this decade. Steel coasters seem to be more popular when they are focused on airtime.
  • Two of the three B&Ms featured in the top 25 are also among the three tallest coasters ever built by the company (that have opened as of writing this). But why isn't Leviathan on the list?
  • Impressively, Cedar Point has four of its coasters in CF's top 25 of 2019: Steel Vengeance, Maverick, Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster. Then again, with the number of riders being a major factor in the rankings, this stands to reason. Lots of people go to Cedar Point. All but Steel Vengeance vanish from the list if number of riders isn't taken into account - but interestingly, Gatekeeper pops up instead. That being said, on that list it barely outranks Thirteen, so one might question how much merit that methodology has.
What are your observations?
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Where are the wood coasters? Aside from El Toro and the RMC hybrids, wood coasters are nowhere to be seen in the Top 20. At 22, Boulder Dash is the only wood entry outside of Intamin and RMC in the top 25. I seem to recall that polls like this used to have a more even distribution between wood and steel back in the old days.
I think Voyage was still a wooden coaster the last time I checked?
 

Howie

Active Member
I think Voyage was still a wooden coaster the last time I checked?
Ah but is it? A good portion of Voyage's structure is built from steel so it could, technically, be classed as a hybrid.

On the whole I'm very happy with that list, good work goons. Well, Taron and Maverick are too high and Shambhala, X2 and TTD are too low, but otherwise that's a very respectable set of coasters.
Of course, the next obvious question to ask is; how many of CF's top 25 favourite coasters have you been on, and of the ones that you have been on, how would you rank them?
I got 15/25, and I think I would rank those 15 coasters something like this:

1. Steel Vengeance
2. Helix
3. X2
4. Shambhala
5. Nemesis
6. Untamed
7. El Toro
8. Top Thrill Dragster
9. Wildfire
10. Storm Chaser
11. Taron
12. Voyage
13. Intimidator 305
14. Millenium Force
15. Maverick

A few differences in the general order of things - it would seem I'm not as big a fan of the Intamins as the general populace - but pretty much all of those coasters (except Maverick) would get a mention in my own personal top 10% ish.

By the way, I'm sure last year's list went up to 100? Wasn't there even one of those 'list challenge' type things? Come on chaps, pull yer fingers out. ;)
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Cracking job. Loved poring over the spreadsheets. That and my boy Helix at #3 makes me happy enough.

Did you do any playing with alternate ranking methods using the available data from people's top bigger than 10s? (20s, 25s, 30s...)

how many of CF's top 25 favourite coasters have you been on, and of the ones that you have been on, how would you rank them?
16/25

1. Helix
2. Twisted Colossus
3. Skyrush
4. Taiga
5. Twisted Timbers
6. El Toro
7. Lightning Rod
8. Untamed
9. Taron
10. Wildfire

Cool
Fury 325
Expedition GeForce

From a certain point of view
Nemesis
Intimidator 305
X2 (What's that thing the internet people like saying these days? Eejanaika - hold my beer)

Don't get it
Shambhala
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Did you do any playing with alternate ranking methods using the available data from people's top bigger than 10s? (20s, 25s, 30s)
unfortunately not, as Top 10 are the best we have available for the widest part of the community.

Glad you guys have enjoyed the rankings!

Going forward, I am going to be most interested in following CF’s ranked coasters over time. You can see a few coasters have rocketed up or dive bombed down from last year; I am curious if this is a matter of where we plan our lives (hunting at recency bias and human tendency to more highly rate recent experiences) or other factors at work.

I also encourage folks to play with alternate rankings. I ultimately wanted to see if there was another, better methodology to use with our (honestly small) sample size. Didn’t find anything more eye opening, especially when trying to control for highly-ranked, little-ridden coasters. But still fun to do, and see what coasters will probably top the thrown once ridden more.
 

Edward M

Well-Known Member
Of course, the next obvious question to ask is; how many of CF's top 25 favourite coasters have you been on, and of the ones that you have been on, how would you rank them?
Pointless ranking? Hold my beer...
  1. Steel Vengeance
  2. Lightning Rod
  3. Helix
  4. Taron
  5. Skyrush
  6. X2
  7. Voyage
  8. Untamed
  9. Wildfire
  10. Boulder Dash
  11. Fury 325
  12. Maverick
  13. Storm Chaser
  14. El Toro
  15. Top Thrill Dragster
  16. Twisted Colossus
  17. Shambhala
  18. Millennium Force
  19. Intimidator 305
So 19 out of 25 is pretty good! Interestingly, SteVe, Helix, and Wildfire are in the same place in these rankings as they are in my own.
 

davidm

Well-Known Member
RCDB classifies it as a hybrid. Its load-bearing structure is all steel.
But the distinction between "wooden" and "steel" coasters has nothing to do with the support structure, it is only to do with the running rails; "hybrid" is irrelevant in that distinction. RCDB does not call Voyage a hybrid at all, it calls it a Wood coaster with a hybrid sub-category (down in the "Details" section).

Come on people, this is coaster-goonery-101 for crying out loud! ;)
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
Of course, the next obvious question to ask is; how many of CF's top 25 favourite coasters have you been on, and of the ones that you have been on, how would you rank them?
I got 15/25, and I think I would rank those 15 coasters something like this:
19/25

RankRoller Coaster
1Steel Vengeance
2Zadra
3Lightning Rod
4Skyrush
5El Toro
6Taron
7Storm Chaser
8Helix
9Outlaw Run
10Fury 325
11Voyage
12Boulder Dash
13Expedition GeForce
14Hyperion
15Maverick
16Wildfire
17Shambhala
18Top Thrill Dragster
19Millennium Force

The top 10 of CF's list is very similar to mine, Zadra will climb next year, don't think Storm Chaser will get up there as there's too many snowflakes to bring up the average for that ride.
Shambhala is in it's rightful place imo, and I can imagine that the large 2 at CP will drop out soon.
 
Tbf this should be the go to coaster ranking for all enthusiasts. I trust the judgement of those on here over the usual suspects.

I've done 11 and would rank them...

1. Steel Vengeance
2. Skyrush
3. Taron
4. Untamed
5. Nemesis
6. Maverick
7. Helix
8. Storm Chaser
9. El Toro
10. Millennium Force
11. Shambhala
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Only 14/25. Any of those not in the states I have yet to be on short of Wildfire.
 

TMCoasters

Member
I've done 11/15 and I rank them like this:

1) Voyage
2) Helix
3) Boulder Dash
4) Maverick
5) Skyrush
6) Wildfire
7) Storm Chaser
8) Steel Vengeance
9) El Toro
10) Top Thrill Dragster
11) Millennium Force

For reference, the whole of CF ranked them as:
1) Steel Vengeance 2) Helix 3) Voyage 4) Skyrush 5) El Toro 6) Wildfire 7) Maverick 8) Storm Chaser 9) Boulder Dash 10) Millennium Force 11) Top Thrill Dragster
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
Outlaw Run didn't make the list, bro.
Which begs the question; why the hell didn't Outlaw Run make the list?? :oops:
It came in at number 12 last year.
Likely was ridden a while back so others have leapfrogged it or those members have left. SDC is not a park many Europeans have been to either.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Outlaw Run didn't make the list, bro.
Which begs the question; why the hell didn't Outlaw Run make the list?? :oops:
It came in at number 12 last year.
Saw a pretty big slide, down to 27 this year; one of the biggest negative moves in the rankings from last year. Ironically Twisted Colossus saw the biggest downward move of our top 25 from last year - still can't figure out how it make #4 overall in 2018? :p
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
  • Where are the wood coasters? Aside from El Toro and the RMC hybrids, wood coasters are nowhere to be seen in the Top 20. At 22, Boulder Dash is the only wood entry outside of Intamin and RMC in the top 25. I seem to recall that polls like this used to have a more even distribution between wood and steel back in the old days.
I have a feeling that most of them have slid out of people's top tens or they're considered hybrids. I know I have a few of these sitting at 11-20: Ravine Flyer II, Phoenix (that didn't even make the list, did it?), Roar-o-Saurus, and Mineblower are up there, but not high enough to make the list.

  • There is a clear preference trend towards new coasters (suggesting that coaster designers get better at their craft as time goes by). The only coasters in the top 10 not built this decade are Voyage and El Toro. Nemesis is the only coaster in the Top 25 to be built before 2000. Boulder Dash and Millennium Force both turn 20 next year, though.
As I mentioned in your decade in review topic, the landscape has changed for the better so this result does not surprise me, but I still wonder how much recency bias is at play here. I'm sure it'll always be a noise factor, but I'm not sure if there's a way to quantify it.

  • Two of the three B&Ms featured in the top 25 are also among the three tallest coasters ever built by the company (that have opened as of writing this). But why isn't Leviathan on the list?
Leviathan's length doesn't help its case and it doesn't quite have the oompf that Fury has. It's still a great ride - there are just better.


Thank you, @Pokemaniac and @Hyde, for putting together the list! This is a really cool and unique thing that CoasterForce does - I think that essentially all other groups' lists are opinion based so it's neat that we can share something that's statistically driven.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I've sadly only done one of the top 25;
  1. Nemesis
It currently ranks as my #7 out of the 67 coasters I've ridden, so I'm not sure I'd personally rank it as high as the poll does. But as the saying goes, everyone has their own opinion!
19/25

RankRoller Coaster
1Steel Vengeance
2Zadra
3Lightning Rod
4Skyrush
5El Toro
6Taron
7Storm Chaser
8Helix
9Outlaw Run
10Fury 325
11Voyage
12Boulder Dash
13Expedition GeForce
14Hyperion
15Maverick
16Wildfire
17Shambhala
18Top Thrill Dragster
19Millennium Force

The top 10 of CF's list is very similar to mine, Zadra will climb next year, don't think Storm Chaser will get up there as there's too many snowflakes to bring up the average for that ride.
Shambhala is in it's rightful place imo, and I can imagine that the large 2 at CP will drop out soon.
As you're a UK member, can I presume you either haven't ever visited Alton Towers or just haven't ridden Nemesis, as that was in the top 25 at #12, but doesn't seem to appear in your ranking?
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
I've sadly only done one of the top 25;
  1. Nemesis
It currently ranks as my #7 out of the 67 coasters I've ridden, so I'm not sure I'd personally rank it as high as the poll does. But as the saying goes, everyone has their own opinion!

As you're a UK member, can I presume you either haven't ever visited Alton Towers or just haven't ridden Nemesis, as that was in the top 25 at #12, but doesn't seem to appear in your ranking?
I'm just **** at counting mate. Probably confused that with Outlaw Run.
 
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