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Rank the GCIs

Matt N

CF Legend
I've finally done a second GCI (new in italics)...
  1. Wodan Timbur Coaster - Europa Park: This coaster is well and truly demented like no other ride I've ever been on! It's absolutely relentless from start to finish, it's packed with airtime, the turns are great fun, the first drop is awesome, it's very smooth in woodie terms (the smoothest woodie I've done... somehow manages to be smoother than the ride below, which I didn't think was possible on a traditional woodie); what's not to like? In terms of particular elements I like; I love the first drop, and I love the fun little run of ejector pops at the end, although to be honest, all of it's pretty great! I've noticed that it seems to take the strongest elements of each of the 3 modern woodies I'd done previously (Megafobia, Mine Blower and Wicker Man), and merge them all into an exceptional wooden roller coaster; the first drop and turnaround sequence feels somewhat Megafobia-inspired, while the really fun turns, smoothness/comfort factor and general twisty design feel Wicker Man-inspired, and the little run of awesome ejector airtime pops at the end feel quite Mine Blower-inspired! All in all, Wodan is truly unhinged, but manages to be brilliantly nuts without being excessively intense or remotely rough, which I think is a truly brilliant art in a wooden roller coaster! 10/10, #3/91
  2. Wicker Man - Alton Towers: Wicker Man may not quite be my favourite wooden roller coaster anymore, but it's still a phenomenal ride, in my opinion! There's lots of great airtime (although I don't think the ride feels as packed with airtime as Wodan, with a greater emphasis on fun turns as opposed to the heavy airtime emphasis on Wodan), the turns are really fun, the s-bend drop and initial rush towards the structure is awesome, the drop off of the u-turn into the airtime hill and final pass through is awesome, the ride is generally pretty smooth as far as traditional woodies go (although bizarrely slightly rougher than Wodan, it's fast-paced throughout... interesting given that Wodan is arguably more intense and 6 years older)... I really do love it, and I think it's such a phenomenal woodie! The reason it sits behind Wodan at #2 is because while very fast-paced and exciting throughout, it doesn't feel quite as relentless as Wodan in a way that I can't quite place my finger on, and it also doesn't have quite as much of a strong airtime emphasis as Wodan, either; that's not a bad thing per se, but I did prefer Wodan's stronger airtime emphasis myself. The pops WM has (and there are a fair few of them!) are probably not too far off Wodan's in terms of strength, possibly even on par, but Wodan just packs more of them in throughout the layout; that ride feels like it gives airtime at every chance it gets, whereas Wicker Man doesn't go quite as all-in with the airtime pops. Overall, though, I think Wicker Man is a phenomenal coaster, and a super fun ride that I absolutely love! 10/10, #5/91
All in all, I have to say that I'm loving GCI coasters so far, based off of the 2 I've done both sitting in my top 5 and ranking in my 10/10 tier. I love the twisty layout style filled with fun ejector pops, I love the fast pacing and excitement throughout the layout that GCI always master, and I think that the company also strikes the perfect comfort and rerideability level for a wooden coaster! I can't wait to ride more GCIs!

For context, Wodan and Wicker Man are my 2 favourite wooden roller coasters at present. The one Gravity Group ride I've done (Mine Blower) sits below both, at #6/91 and a 9/10.


Giga Poster
1. Troy, Toverland (still the best one <3)
2. Gold Striker, California’s Great America
3. Thunderhead, Dollywood
4. Joris en de Draak, Efteling
5. Apocalypse, Six Flags Magic Mountain
6. El Toro, Freizeitpark Plohn
7. Heidi, Plopsaland de Panne
8. White Lightning, FunSpot Orlando
9. Wodan, Europa Park
10. Wicker Man, Alton Towers
11. Thunderbird, PowerPark
12. InvadR, Busch Gardens Williamsburg
13. Lightning Racer, Hersheypark
14. Wildcat, Hersheypark
15. Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa
Haven‘t updated this since 2018, but I did 5 new ones in 2019. I’ve also re-ridden Wicker Man, Heidi and Wodan in 2021/22 and they’ve shuffled around a bit.

1. Troy, Toverland
2. Renegade, Valleyfair!
3. Gold Striker, California’s Great America
4. Thunderhead, Dollywood
5. Joris en de Draak, Efteling
6. Mystic Timbers, Kings Island
7. Prowler, Worlds of Fun

8. Apocalypse, Six Flags Magic Mountain (been over 10 years since I’ve ridden this now so probably not the most accurate ranking)
9. Wodan, Europa Park
10. El Toro, Freizeitpark Plohn

11. Wicker Man, Alton Towers
12. Heidi, Plopsaland De Panne

13. White Lightning, FunSpot Orlando
*14. Thunderbird, PowerPark
*14. American Thunder, Six Flags St. Louis
16. InvadR, Busch Gardens Williamsburg
17. Lightning Racer, Hersheypark
18. Kentucky Rumbler, Beech Bend
19. Wildcat, Hersheypark
20. Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa

I would love to do some of the ones in Asia. Troy has been on top for 9 years, but I’d be very surprised if at least one of Wood Coaster, Python in Bamboo Forest or Jungle Dragon didn‘t surpass it.


Mega Poster
I somehow haven't posted in this one yet. It'll get updated late this year, but nevertheless, let's go...
  1. Troy, Toverland - Relentless pace with a myriad of forces. Top 5 woodie.
  2. Mystic Timbers, Kings Island - Excellent pace, loads of airtime, and redefines what an out-and-back coaster can and should be. The Beast only wishes it was this good.
  3. Wodan, Europa Park - A seemingly mammoth coaster with fantastic pace and airtime.
  4. Thunderhead, Dollywood - Mike Boodley's greatest opus. A clinic in creating airtime in places you would never expect and somehow never running out of momentum.
  5. Prowler, Worlds of Fun - An absolutely wild ride, but the finale is very weak.
  6. Texas Stingray, SeaWorld San Antonio - Definitely a different design style as it marks a change in the head layout creator, but I really enjoyed the shift. Large and swooping in the first half followed by a relentless, hauling run to the finish in the second half.
  7. White Lightning, Fun Spot America - Truly an excellent woodie. It's only downfall is its short length.
  8. Kentucky Rumbler, Beech Bend - It feels criminal to have this ride ranked this low, but it's more of an indication to GCI's quality.
  9. American Thunder, Six Flags St. Louis - Same as above. It's a really, really solid ride. It's just not remarkable.
  10. Joris en de Draak, Efteling - A bit tame compared to the others above it, but still really fun.
  11. Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa - It was never smooth, but it was never as bad as people made it out to be. I don't miss it, but I always enjoyed it.
  12. Lightning Racer, Hersheypark - As with all of the older GCIs, it's fun but lacks in the airtime department.
  13. Wildcat, Hersheypark - Fun, but really lacks in the airtime department.
  14. InvadR, Busch Gardens Williamsburg - It's on the short side, but not nearly as wild as White Lightning. However, it was never meant to be. It's a family coaster and it serves its purpose really well.
  15. Roar, Six Flags America - Almost no airtime and it still has PTCs. Still fun, but just not as good as literally any other GCI.


Slut for Spinners
  1. Mystic Timbers
  2. Thunderhead
  3. Texas Stingray
  4. Apocalypse
  5. Gold Striker
  6. Kentucky Rumbler
  7. American Thunder
  8. Prowler
  9. Renegade
  10. White Lightning
  11. Lightning Racer
  12. Roar
  13. InvadR
  14. Wildcat
  15. Gwazi

New additions bolded. Lightning Racer plummeted after my recent visit - Hersheypark has not been maintaining their woodies like they used to.

  1. Mystic Timbers
  2. Thunderhead
  3. Renegade
  4. Texas Stingray
  5. Apocalypse
  6. Gold Striker
  7. Kentucky Rumbler
  8. American Thunder
  9. Prowler
  10. White Lightning
  11. Lightning Racer
  12. Roar
  13. InvadR
  14. Wildcat
  15. Gwazi

Nothing new ridden, but a bit of a reshuffling. After 30 minutes of night ERT this past Saturday as part of Buzzed Bars Coaster Club's ValleyStumble event, I completely understand the love for Renegade. This beast is GCI at their peak. Airtime in every single transition, incredible laterals, rambunctious and aggressive changes in direction. My core muscles still hurt from the marathon we had on it (also I'm very out of shape lol). The more I rode it, the more I liked it. Truly a shining gem they have up in Minnesota.


Mega Poster
1. Troy, my number 2 woodie, behind Wildfire
2. Gwazi, impressive, but already very rough when I rode it in 2009
3. Joris en de Draak, it misses almost everything I like in a woodie, which makes it almost end up at the bottom of my wooden coaster list. Just before Bandit (MPG) and Grizzly (CGA).


Hyper Poster
1. Mystic Timbers - Best by far for airtime once it warms up
2. Wodan - The most intense and relentless
3. Joris - Pure fun especially at night
4. Lightning Racer - Great layout/s
5. Gold Striker - Bit of a letdown but still good
6. Wicker Man - Punches above its weight
7. Thunderhead - V rough but good in places
8. Apocalypse - Rough but bland layout
9. Wildcat - Tear it down


Theme Park Superhero
Guess it's been a while since I've looked at this one, 3 years of nothing but Heidi clones wasn't much to sink the teeth into.
Time has served them well now though.

1. Python in Bamboo Forest - Absolute beast. Goes on forever and never lets up. We bonded.
2. Wood Coaster - Another beast that goes on forever and never lets up. Can't believe it exists.
3. Mystic Timbers - So good it was tearing itself apart. Don't go in the shed.

4. Jungle Dragon - Big, fun and terrainy, but not quite their A-game.
5. Kentucky Rumbler - What a curveball. Such a strong start and packed full of killer rather than filler.
6. Wodan - A bit of theming and music help it stand out. Also gave me that joyous laughing effect throughout. (Need to reride this)
7. Prowler - Mostly faff-free and the more intense than usual laterals were a nice bonus.
8. Renegade - Still well above average, just faced a lot of stiff competition in a single week.
⬆️9. El Toro - Short but very fun.

⬇️10 & 11. Joris en de Draaks - Effects, music, racing and pacing elevate these above the others. Ran awfully on the last visit though.
12, 13 & 14. Heidi, Wilkolak & White Lightning - Short but fun.
15 & 16. The Lightning Racers - I know I said one side was better than the other, but I've already forgotten which, so that sums that up.
⬆️17. Troy - Doesn't do enough with it's size, not as well paced. Still a laugh. A good dose of waterboarding helped a bit.
18. Thunderbird - Lower middle of the pack, seems about right.

19. InvadR - Short but not quite as fun.
20. Desert Rally - Fun but not quite as short.
21. Thunderhead - See below.
22. Gold Striker - Another case of not doing enough with it's size. And headaches.

⬆️23. Wicker Man - Meh, but getting better with age
24. Roar - Some wood
25. Wildcat - Some corners (won't be missed)


Strata Poster
1. Renegade - Great layout with some surprising moments, mixed with the perfect amount of woodie aggression. Definitely the best I've done so far.

2. Mystic Timbers - A bit smoother than above but still maintains that aggression. Has the best setting and another fantastic layout.

3. Texas Stingray - Very smooth, long layout, good pace, but it kinda lacks the "wild woodie" feel.

4. Thunderhead - Has some impressive pacing and length but just suffers being a tad rough (though apparently it's in better shape now?). Still pretty intense and has some good airtime.

5. Invadr - It's honestly probably worse than White Lightning, but I guess I was just more impressed with Invadr. It's actually pretty fun in the back and does a good job of what it needs to do.

6. White Lightning - It has some good moments but just suffers a bit in length.

6. Lightning Racer - The racing is obviously the best thing about this ride, and it does have a couple pops of airtime, but it doesn't offer a whole lot. Couple spots in the beginning are a little rough too.

7. Wildcat - Piece of ****. Surprised it hasn't been RMC'd yet. RMC TIME LET'S GOO!


Mega Poster
  1. Mystic Timbers
  2. Wodan
  3. Renegade
  4. Troy
  5. Prowler
  6. Joris en de Draak
  7. El Toro
  8. Lightning Racer
  9. Heidi The Ride
  10. Wickerman
  11. Thunderhead
  12. InvadR
  13. Wildcat
  14. Roar (SFA)
  15. Gwazi