What are you taking??? VC is miles better than HRRR. Its got great airtime, theming and the roll is greatVelocicoaster - This was easily the most disappointing ride of the trip. The only element that really stood out to me was the final inversion. The forces were minimal in both airtime and positives aside from the top hat and aforementioned final inversion. The theming was good but that doesn't make up for what the ride was lacking.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - This was easily the biggest surprise of the trip. It's almost the complete opposite of Velocicoaster with it's strong forces in both airtime and positives. The layout has some great moments and the vertical lift is a fun experience.
Eh, it just didn't do it for me. The airtime was pretty weak in both duration and strength aside from the top hat and final roll, which to be fair were good elements, and the ride really lacked in positive Gs all around. Furthermore the ride never really made me feel anything if that makes sense. A ride can be weak in forces and have no airtime as long as I'm having fun. That's not to say I wasn't having fun on VC but most of the ride just had me going meh. I can totally see why someone might like Velocicoaster, it just isn't for me.What are you taking??? VC is miles better than HRRR. Its got great airtime, theming and the roll is great
The Ride to Happiness
We approached RTH compromised; it was hours of ‘anti-fun’ on the road speculating whether it was going to open. The agony meant that it was initially more important ‘to just get the damn thing done’ than whether the ride was actually good or not.
Other factors didn’t help. It opened late due to high winds and then re-closed for that reason at least once. One train ops meant that it was consistent 40 minute queue; a maddening wait for such a quiet day. For reasons unknown, all the off-ride queue music / dialogue was completely off, including in the station (I assume that giant mech lady is supposed to be saying something audible?). Plus, Mrs. Nitefly - who had RTH as her most anticipated ride globally (!) - was feeling quite poorly. Bah, what a terrible combo of things! Despite these elements, we had four rides in total.
After one ride, there was no doubt: RTH was clearly elite (which in Nitefly-speak means A+ rank, in the top 19). It then kept growing on us…
I had heard two key things about RTH. First, that the spinning isn’t that intense. I agree. I’m very sensitive to feeling ill from an aggressive spin and I’m pleased to say that the motion involved was more a sense of being slowly turned in different orientations that anything more stomach churning. However, it did make the inversions unique, disorientating and altogether ‘extreme’, particularly when you inverted during a ‘faster spin’. I think the sensations you can get are not wildly dissimilar to the inversions you can get on a flat ride like, say, Samurai at Thorpe Park.
The second thing I’d heard is that it has shocking airtime. I agree. Wow, no kidding, this thing is wild. The ‘top-hat’ immediately after the first launch has genuinely aggressive ejector in the front car and you we be similarly launched in the back car off of the ‘first drop’ (after said ‘top hat’). Several other moments really cranked that dial too - including the finale hills.
What I hadn’t heard much about were the occasionally strong positive forces, which caught me off guard. Combined with the negative Gs and spinning, this ride is unsurprisingly fatiguing for those that lack a strong stomach. Ride smoothness is decent, but it’s not ‘glass’ and this combined with the positive forces made it occasionally testing. We endured, but the poorly Mrs. Nitefly had a stabbing headache by her second ride. We ended up taking shelter in a restaurant for about an hour to guard against creeping nausea (in a manner not dissimilar to our time at Holiday World). Of course, the stressful morning probably didn’t help us feel rosy. Pack ibuprofen and paracetamol and stay hydrated to be on the safe side.
As others have mentioned, your rides will vary in quality. Our lesser two rides, which happened to be our first, put the ride in the realms of VelociCoaster. Great stuff, but not god-like. It was the latter two rides that put it closer to Mt. Olympus, as it then became clear that the ‘pure roller coaster’ aspects of RTH are ****ing outstanding, far exceeding my expectations. This really is one of the best layouts of any coaster I’ve been on; a sprawling mess with a set elements that’s surely sent all other manufacturers back to the drawing board. The aforementioned ‘first drop’ is exhilarating (particularly in the back car) and the airtime hill during the second launch (again particularly in the back car) probably beats the likes of Pantheon for absurd unforeseeable airtime, if you’re going backwards. Even without added spinning ‘oomph’, the inversions when taken at an angle are totally surreal. Doing a vertical loop facing sideways will have you grinning from ear to ear. Even the usual worst-sex-ever Mack launches have been replaced by two that have decent kick.
A key question though… does a roller coaster that mixes it up with ‘flat ride’-like sensations (like those found on Samurai) make a good coaster? Hmm. It’s definitely awesome in its own way and super fresh, but I don’t necessary ‘want’ those sort of motions on a coaster all the time, as neat as they are. Similarly, as much as the possibility of getting an astonishing ride adds to RTH’s appeal, the possibility of getting a lesser ride takes away from it slightly too.
All of this has made RTH really difficult to fit into my rankings, but I’ve settled on it belonging to my ‘S-Class’ of rides, sitting just outside of my top 10.
All coasters in a ‘higher category’ are considered by me to be superior to all coasters in a relatively ‘lower category’, but the order of the ranking within each category is more marginal and loose.
1 - Steel Vengeance
2 - Iron Gwazi
3 - Lightning Rod
4 - Maverick
5 - Zadra
6 - Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
7 - Mystic Timbers
8 - The Phantom’s Revenge
9 - Millenium Force
10 - Intimidator 305
11 - The Beast
12 - **The Ride to Happiness**
Everything A+ rank and higher is what I consider ‘Elite’.
13 - VelociCoaster
14 - Hyperion
15 - Lech Coaster
16 - Nemesis
17 - Pantheon
18 - Expedition GeForce
19 - Twisted Timbers
20 - Fury 325
21 - The Voyage
22 - Space Mountain (Orlando)
23 - Shambhala
24 - Storm Runner
25 - The Legend
26 - Orion
27 - El Toro
28 - Gatekeeper
29 - Montu
30 - Taron
Other ‘A Rank rides’: Storm Chaser (Kentucky Kingdom), Mako, Nitro, Kingda Ka, Gemini, Revenge of the Mummy and Wodan.
Notable rides that don’t make ‘A Rank’: Skyrush and F.L.Y.
In conclusion, RTH is a killer ride that’s easily one of the very best coasters I’ve been on. Until this point I’ve considered Mack to be one of the lesser manufacturers, but I’m now very keen to see what they can pull off at Europa and Thorpe next year.
Bravo, Ride to Happiness, bravo *claps*