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Top 10(ish): 2021 Edition - page 102

RTcmix

Roller Poster
So for that reason, I thought that Banshee looked to have lots of lovely negative g’s in its inversions, and also looked to strike the same nice balance between thrill and rerideability!

There's some decent hangtime on that last roll, but not much else in the realm of negative g's. The layout is mostly about positive g's.

I absolutely loved my Banshee rides in 2018 and 2019, so I used to roll my eyes when I heard other enthusiasts Banshee bashing because of a rattle. This year was a different story. I've had two separate trips to KI this June, and got on Banshee both days. First trip I got a back row ride. The layout felt much less interesting than I remembered, and there was a NASTY rattle. I got off thinking "Well that was a ride" and had no interest in waiting for a second lap.

On my next trip I had a fastlane, and thought I'd give it another go. Maybe my previous trip had just been a bad day? Front row ride this time, and even in the front row it was one of the shakiest rides I've ever had on a B&M. For the second time I had absolutely no interesting in a reride. Just out of curiosity, (and because I'm apparently a glutton for punishment) I decided to take a spin on Invertigo for comparison. Thanks to the fastlane I only had about 10 minutes between the two rides, and the rattle on Banshee was significantly worse than on the 22-year-old vekoma.

I also enjoy smooth, floaty elements mixed with positives, so Banshee should be a great ride. Unfortunately when it's running like this it seriously diminishes the experience.
 

Edward M

Strata Poster
Can't believe I forgot to update this?!? Rode Jersey Devil a few weeks ago, and, while it needed some time to warm up, that first half ended up riding viciously after an hour of operation. Lovely, lovely stuff.

  1. Lightning Rod- Still not confident in putting this above SteVe, but I did so for a variety of reasons. One is that my memories associated with LRod are still among my favorite I've had at a park. Those ERT night rides just a few days after opening where that coaster was hauling WAY too fast. Bragging rights I have not attained before or since. Then, there's the layout. As great as SteVe's maximalist approach to airtime is, I have some major gripes with it. The biggest of which is how unmemorable the elements of its second half are. Don't get me wrong: the second half of SteVe is probably the greatest stretch of coaster track out there. But, for me, I prefer a layout with distinctive elements and moments. The way SteVe handles itself is to get lost in its structure, getting airtime whenever and however it can. I like how LRod is so simple in its approach. You can list off its elements by hand: launch, first drop, wave turn, outward high five kinda wave turn, airtime hill, quad down, turnaround. Lastly, and simultaneously the most surface level and personal, is the park it's in. I just want my favorite coaster to be in a park that is quintessentially southern. After 5 years in NYC, I've come around to my love of the southern USA, flaws and all. And I just love the prospect of my favorite coaster being in this park that is all about that part of the country. Not only that but also in a park named after the queen herself: Dolly Parton.
  2. Steel Vengeance- Still though, SteVe is the best coaster I've ridden. I may not prefer the maximalist approach in general with coaster layouts, but SteVe takes maximalism to such an extreme that it becomes a category of coaster unto itself. There really are two types of coasters: Steel Vengeance and everything else.
  3. Helix- People who don't think Helix is one of the best coasters on the planet are CRAZY. What more could you ask for?!? It's got the most fully realized layout of any coaster. Floater airtime, ejector airtime, lateral airtime, hangtime, launches, and terrain hugging positive Gs all over the place. Then, you've got one of the greatest settings for a coaster on a hillside in the downtown of a Swedish city. THEN, you've got the best trains on any coaster. What other coaster train could I fall asleep in? THENNNN, you've got the sheer length of it. Providing 7 inversions, two launches, and about as large a variety of forces that you can ask for. Even as I'm typing this out, I'm wondering how on earth this isn't my favorite coaster.
  4. Outlaw Run- This was the coaster that I grew up with. I visited every year during my most formative coastering years, 2013-2017. I haven't ridden it since, but my memories of it are as strong as ever. Even among RMC's topper track offerings, Outlaw feels distinctly wooden. I think ElToroRyan said it best when he talked about how the steel wheels and the track create this riding sensation that's to die for. It just tears through the woods with element after element of iconic RMC airtime. Then, there's how the ride felt in its opening year. It's hard to understand how unique this coaster felt at the time. Sure, we had amazing coasters like El Toro and the Voyage to define just how far wooden coasters could go. But, Outlaw Run was truly the next generation of wooden coaster. It had the flexibility of a steel coaster with the distinct feel of a wood coaster.
  5. El Toro- The biggest jump of any coaster I've ridden. It is my home coaster, more or less. And, I've ridden it more than any other coaster. I would like to argue, here and now, that El Toro is the best paced coaster I've ridden. From a sheer storytelling standpoint, it's flawless. A fast chain lift into a slow turnaround creates a perfect sense of anticipation. Then the unreal first drop, where it feels like level ground you're sitting on is being pulled out from under your feet. Two perfectly placed airtime hills with intense ejector that lasts just long enough. The coaster turns around with a distinctive wood coaster crunch in its valley. Next is the most important part of the ride: the quick break. I've heard criticism of the airtimeless hill between the turnaround and rolling thunder hill, and I used to be a part of that criticism. However, after 40+ rides, I think it's vital to making the ride feel substantial. Much like how a third act only feels climactic because of the lull at the end of the second act. It is a quick breather before the best part of the ride. You might think I'm speaking of the rolling thunder hill, which is a part of the highlight of the ride. However, my favorite moment on the ride is the twister section. It tears through this section like nobody's business, with strong positive Gs making the track scream out. Every time the coaster hits this section, I'm reminded why this is one of my favorites. It finally finds its way to the brake run, ending one of the most perfectly constructed rides ever built.
  6. Taron - Taron is one helluva coaster. The way it weaves over and around both itself and the land it dominates is such a pleasure to watch and to ride. Just a shame that it's at such a mediocre park (ducks and hides).
  7. Skyrush- This coaster feels like a mistake. Like somebody put the wrong numbers into a coaster designing program. From its lethal quirk on the first drop to its "who in their right mind would put this airtime hill so low" first two airtime hills to its far too aggressive banking changes to its restraints that are designed for the ultimate sense of freedom and ultimate sense of pain, it just feels like a science experiment gone wrong. A science experiment that cost $25 million and is now a staple of one of the most popular parks in the country. Who let this happen?
  8. Voyage- The best coaster layout. Never before or since has there been such a clever use of terrain on a coaster. Climbing up a hill only to fall back down it, which ends up with a coaster over a mile long that somehow feels faster hitting the brakes than it did after the first drop. I'm dying to get back on this one. It has absolutely everything I love about a coaster, and it should be higher up. However, I last rode it in 2016. And it was absolutely brutal. Among the roughest coasters I've ever ridden. I hear nothing but immense praise for how it's been riding after 2020, and I could easily see this shooting up the list once I can reride. Lastly, I cannot express in words how lethal a moonless night ride on this is. Riders be warned... it's a lot.
  9. X2- The highest placed coaster I've only ridden once. And what a ride it was!! Front row during the sunset with no idea just what I was in for. Still, I have so much trouble placing any coaster I've only ridden once. It remains one of the best single coaster rides I've had, but the flaws in its experience were apparent even in that one go. It starts and ends as well as a coaster can, but it has a very laggy middle as it quite literally shuffles its way to the second raven turn. Really need to get back on this.
  10. Phoenix- Went on a rant just a few pages back. Needless to say Phoenix SLAPS.
  11. Beast- Far and away the toughest coaster to rank. I haven't ridden this since my two rides in 2012 as a young and starry eyed enthusiast. However, it blew me away, and I still hold immense respect for it. It can be hard to understand just how revolutionary this coaster was. Built with the same mindset as a backyard coaster, it's one of the most impressively crafted ride experiences in the world. Sure, it may not have any airtime and can seem like a series of straight track. But, that, to me, seems like such a wasteful way to view an experience like this. There's no other coaster that seems to defy what a coaster should be. It plays by its own rules, completely outside what enthusiasts would consider a good ride. Its emphasis is on being a singular experience; a true beast of a ride. Going out miles into the middle of nowhere. Going out so far that it needs a second lift to even make it back. I still think of the Beast as the avant garde coaster. It breaks nearly every rule of coaster storytelling in an effort to create something completely new, and I think it fully succeeds. What other coaster reaches its top speed at an unknown moment; either after its second drop, before its second lift, or right before its climactic double helix. There has never been a coaster like the Beast before or since. It may not be a coaster enthusiast's definition of a great coaster, but I think that makes it all the more unique and worthwhile. I don't think every coaster needs to be an airtime machine or chock full of laterals. Some can simply be so fully themselves that they are their own genre of coaster. The Beast is the Beast, and no other coaster can make such a bold claim.
  12. Fury 325- I got a handful of rides on Fury in 2016, but it was such a rushed visit. I didn't get to know the coaster like I wish I could've. Still, the quality of the ride is extremely apparent. With an emphasis on trying to help the rider understand just how fast they're going, it's the ultimate realization of what a giga coaster can be. The same low to the ground turns and sense of speed that I305 has, but the GP can actually ride it. It's the opposite of everything I expect from a B&M, and I just love it for that.
  13. Boulder Dash- Ah Boulder Dash. One of the quintessential wooden coaster experiences. Hopping up and down a mountain for its first half then finishing with a fantastic plethora of airtime hills.
  14. Wildfire- The most beautiful coaster ever built with one of the best starts to a coaster. It really loses steam in its second half, but I can't help but still love it for its uniqueness.
  15. Untamed- My big issue with the smaller RMCs is they all bleed into one another. Much like SteVe's second half, it's a lack of distinctive elements in favor of squeezing airtime out of every moment possible. Of these smaller RMCs, Untamed is easily the best, if only for having its own distinctive elements throughout the layout. Still, I do find it a bit unmemorable as a totality. I think I may be spoiled by RMC at this point.
  16. Jersey Devil Coaster- When Jersey Devil is nice and warmed up, it HAULS. Easily one of the best first drops in the world followed by one of the best inversions in the world with its wondrous dive loop. A shame it loses so much steam in its MCBR and has a very lackluster finale. Still, everything leading into the MCBR is absolutely brilliant.
My God, what a monstrous post I've made!! Turns out I've got a lot to say on certain coasters.
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
Should've been paying attention to this... I am indeed due for an update. No new creds but a few changes.

1. Steel Vengeance
2. Skyrush
3. Lightning Rod
4. Voyage - Moved up from No. 10... those trimless night rides man. If it was up to the night rides alone, I'd probably put it at No. 1, but the average day rides are still more of a lower Top 10 ride for me. I think 4 is a fair spot.
5. Ravine Flyer II
6. Maverick
7. Storm Chaser - Swapped places with Maverick. Wasn't running as fast as last year (apparently that's been the case all year), but still has some fantastic airtime.
8. Nemesis
9. Phoenix
10. Mako

11. Phantom's Revenge
12. Wicked Cyclone
13. Nitro
14. Mystic Timbers
15. Millennium Force
16. Twisted Cyclone
17. Top Thrill Dragster
18. Goliath
19. Montu
20. Storm Runner

21. Fury 325
22. Lightning Run
23. Fahrenheit
24. Diamondback
25. Superman: The Ride
26. Stealth
27. Intimidator
28. Manta
29. Kumba
30. Thunderbird - Decided to replace Gatekeeper with this, as I finally realized Thunderbird is indeed the better wingrider.
Couple new entries and an old one welcomed back in.

1. Steel Vengeance
2. Skyrush
3. Lightning Rod
4. Voyage
5. Ravine Flyer II
6. Twisted Timbers
7. Maverick
8. Storm Chaser
9. Nemesis
10. Phoenix

11. Mako
12. Phantom's Revenge
13. Wicked Cyclone
14. Nitro
15. Mystic Timbers
16. Millennium Force
17. Twisted Cyclone
18. Top Thrill Dragster
19. Goliath
20. Montu

21. Storm Runner
22. Fury 325
23. Lightning Run
24. Diamondback
25. Superman: The Ride
26. Stealth
27. Manta
28. Apollo's Chariot
29. Kumba
30. Intimidator 305


Twisted Timbers is a better version of Storm Chaser, and has better pacing than Maverick, earning its spot above those two rides.

It took me 8 years to re ride Apollo's Chariot, and while it's one of the weaker B&M hypers, that still makes it better than most coasters. It's smooth, has some fun airtime, and is very rerideable.

I struggled to squeeze Intimidator 305 on this list, but I figured I might as well squeeze it in for now as it'll inevitably be kicked out anyway pretty soon. If it wasn't for the first turn, it'd be much closer to Fury for me. 305 does a much better job with the speed and transitions than Fury does, but it's just not rerideable.

Losses:
Thunderbird was previously #30. It did its time.

Kicked out Intimidator, previously #26. It's my least favorite B&M hyper, and considering all the other hypers I have on this list, it's just not that necessary to include at this point.

I was kinda surprised to find that I had Fahrenheit at #23. It's a great looper and certainly unique, but I dunno, I didn't feel comfortable having it that high up.


I'm hoping to update my spreadsheet/stats at some point and share some of it with you all. I also would like to go back and see what my Top 10s were throughout the years... I remember when Storm Runner was a Top 10er... now it's all the way down in the 20s!
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Fair enough; I experience the same trouble further back than about my top 5, and even my top 5 can be quite fluid in terms of order barring the top 1 or 2 (the only coasters that have stayed pretty consistently ordered over the years since I’ve ridden them are Mako and Icon at the top end, and Infusion at the bottom end), although in fairness I’ve ridden substantially fewer coasters than yourself (I’ve only done 74, whereas your profile states you’ve done 502; congrats on 500, by the way!)!

Speaking of which; I’ve made a few changes to my coaster ranking since I last posted in here! As many of you probably know, my rankings are very, very fluid, so there have certainly been some changes! So without further ado, here is my current top 10, with some justifications (I’ll try and keep them reasonably short; let’s see how successful I am, what with my reputation for rambling…)!
Matt N’s Top 10 as of June 2021 (with descriptions)
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando: It’s been 5 years since my first and last rides on this, so I’ll admit I’ve been in a bit of a quandary as to whether to demote Mako to a lower spot, below more recently ridden rides like Wicker Man, Icon and others. However, I decided against it, as the fact my rides on Mako still stick so positively in my head compared to anything else I’ve ever ridden, even compared to stuff I’ve ridden more recently, 5 years later kind of says it all as to how much I adored it at the time! So for that reason alone, it’s staying at the number 1 spot until I ride something that dethrones it (I’m not sure whether that’ll happen any time soon), or I reride it and it drops (again, I’m not sure I’ll be reriding Mako any time soon)! You all already know why I loved Mako so much (amazing sustained airtime, smooth, fast, fun, rerideable etc…), so I won’t bore you with details on that front, but I’ll admit I am nervous to reride it, as I’m worried that newly ridden rides like Icon and Wicker Man will make Mako seem less amazing… 10/10
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Controversially, I do really love Icon! I’ve ridden it 4 times on 2 separate visits to Blackpool in 2018 & 2019, and it’s really struck a chord with me, hitting all the right notes each time! It’s fast, it’s thrilling enough to give you a kick but not too intense to be fun, it’s smooth, it’s rerideable, it has some amazing ejector airtime, the trains are lovely, the rapid transitions are great, and on the whole, I see little not to like about Icon from my personal perspective! Sure, the launches aren’t the punchiest (although I don’t personally think they’re as feeble as they’re often made out to be), and the ride as a whole isn’t exactly an intense, pedal-to-the-metal g-machine, but I just find it tremendously, tremendously fun, and it puts a smile on my face and gives me an urge to reride every time! And surely coming off a coaster smiling and wanting to go round again is the most important indicator of enjoyment, is it not? 10/10
  3. The Swarm - Thorpe Park: I was in a quandary as to whether to give this or Wicker Man (spoiler of what #4 is…) the bronze medal within my coaster rankings, but I ultimately decided to settle for The Swarm. Even though I feel that Swarm is perhaps more objectively flawed than Wicker Man (the tight harnesses possibly bother me more than any niggle I have with Wicker Man), I think it’s slightly more my usual style than Wicker Man, and I do come off of it feeling genuinely elated and with a huge urge to reride every time; in fact, from experience of a quieter day at Thorpe, there’s few things that satisfy me more than multiple back-to-back Swarm rides on a quiet Thorpe evening, in my opinion! It’s one of those coasters where I feel like I could literally go round and round and round on it all day without getting bored or feeling ill; there’s so much I love about it! It’s smooth, it strikes the perfect balance between thrill and fun factor, the sustained hangtime/negative g-force (especially on the first drop and final inline twist) is absolutely sublime, I love the wing-over drop, and overall, I just love it to bits! As I mentioned above, though, the restraints are a minor niggle; they never used to bother me at all, but as I’ve grown taller and generally bigger, I’ve noticed the tightening more, and I’ve generally found them less comfortable. That’s only a very minor niggle, though; Swarm hits all the right notes for me overall, and is more than deserving of my #3 spot! 9/10
  4. Wicker Man - Alton Towers: I’m not usually a hardcore wooden coaster fan like a lot of enthusiasts, but I’d have to say that Wicker Man is most definitely a ride I make an exception for; I find it tremendously fun, fairly smooth in wooden coaster terms, and very rerideable! The ride is really, really fast, it has some smooth yet exceedingly fun transitions, many surprising pops of ejector airtime, and as I’ve said with the rides above, it strikes the perfect balance between thrill and fun factor, in my opinion! However, the reason I couldn’t rank the ride above Swarm and in my #3 spot is because I did notice a slight rough patch in the ride’s final wicker man pass through on my last ride that detracted slightly (although as I’m the only person to ever notice this, it could have been a one-ride anomaly; that’s certainly a thing with woodies), and my most recent ride in the front row, while still exceptionally fun, didn’t offer quite the same wow factor as my July 2020 rides did. I’d also say that Wicker Man is slightly less my usual style than the rides above it. In spite of this, though, WM still does everything I’d ever want it to; it hits all the right notes and I still absolutely adore it! I’ve also heard very, very good things about Wicker Man as of late, so if it’s running well when I visit Towers again on Monday, it could well find itself sliding back into the top 3! 9/10
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee: I know that 2 wooden coasters in my top 5 might possibly contradict my earlier statement about not being a hardcore wooden coaster fan, but Mine Blower is the other ride that I’d say I make an exception for! I should preface what I say about Mine Blower by saying that I only had one ride on it, in the front row, with a practically empty train. However, in spite of this; Mine Blower did impress me, and I think there’s a lot to like about it! The ride is fast-paced from start to finish, and I absolutely love that bouncing, darting sequence of airtime moments the ride incorporates! I also love the ride’s sole inversion; that zero-g roll provides a really excellent moment of sustained hangtime! I know it’s in stark contrast to the more abrupt, erratic sensations in the rest of the layout, but I really like how the start of the ride contrasts with the rest of it! I was slightly worried about Mine Blower’s roughness prior to riding, as I have a low roughness tolerance and I’d heard numerous reports about Mine Blower’s roughness, but on the front row, I’d personally say I didn’t find it overly rough; no more so than something like Wicker Man, anyway. One slight caveat I admittedly have is that I don’t like the trains as much as the GCI trains; the restraints are a bit tight, and I think the GCI rolling stock generally feels a bit more comfortable, in my opinion. Overall, however; even though I’d say Wicker Man just edges it for me in terms of woodies, I was very impressed by Mine Blower, and I’d say it’s a more than worthy candidate for a favourite woodie! 9/10
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers: This ranking may surprise some; heck, it even surprises me seeing as despite really liking it for many years, I’ve never had it above my top 20 previously, and I was actually not a huge fan of it on my first ride back in 2013. However, a ride in April 2021 really put this coaster into perspective for me. On my last ride, the sustained airtime over the drop was absolutely sensational (easily my favourite Alton Towers airtime moment), the sense of speed and raw thrill in the tunnel was unrivalled, and even the airtime into the brakes was surprisingly great! Since riding SheiKra in 2016, I’d always ranked that coaster a fair bit higher than Oblivion, but I’d have to say that Oblivion in 2021 wowed me slightly more than my ride on SheiKra in 2016 did, from memory (although it must be said that my memory of SheiKra is getting somewhat hazier; I’d have to reride SheiKra to be sure). As much as Oblivion may not have SheiKra’s extra padding elements-wise, something I’ve grown to appreciate about Oblivion (and “one-trick pony”-style coasters in general) is how concise it is. It’s a hit of raw adrenaline that doesn’t faff around; it gets straight to the point. Out of the two “one-trick pony” coasters I’ve done (Oblivion & Stealth), I’d say they’re both pretty interchangeable (spoiler; Stealth is #7!), but Oblivion slightly edged it for me because as much as it lacks a raw gut-punching sensation quite like Stealth’s hydraulic launch, I find it a bit more comfortable (I’m not a huge lover of the more cramped trains and bulkier restraints on Stealth, and the ride also has an ever-so-slight rattle that Oblivion doesn’t; at least, it did in the front, anyway), and I’d also say that Oblivion is more consistent between seats; Oblivion feels pretty similar anyway, whereas Stealth is notably enhanced by riding in the front row, in my opinion. Overall, this is probably the highest I can justify placing Oblivion given the one-note, short nature of the ride experience, but pound-for-pound, it delivers all I could ever want from it! 9/10
  7. Stealth - Thorpe Park: As I alluded to above, this could quite easily have been #6, as I’d say it and Oblivion are fairly interchangeable, although I went with Oblivion above Stealth as I feel like Stealth has 1 or 2 very slight flaws and caveats that Oblivion doesn’t. But let’s cut to the chase; I love Stealth, and similarly to Oblivion, I had a ride in July 2020 that really put it into perspective for me and made me rank it far more highly! I rode in the front row, and it made me realise all the things I love about it; the launch is a raw gut-punch, quite unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced (even Rita’s launch), and the top hat provides some surprisingly brilliant airtime! There’s another little airtime moment before the brake run, too! Overall, I have a very similar review of Stealth to the review I had of Oblivion; the success rate of the ride’s elements in terms of whether they deliver is virtually flawless, and pound-for-pound, it scores top marks. I’d also say the same as I did about Oblivion above in terms of loving Stealth’s conciseness; yet again, it’s a raw hit of thrill that gets straight to the point. However, as I said with Oblivion above; Stealth’s elements are very few. The ride is short and somewhat one-note by nature, which ultimately limits how highly I can rank it. I’ll also reference the slight flaws that place it marginally below Oblivion once again; the trains aren’t as comfortable, it’s less consistent/more dependant on circumstances (although it delivers in every row, I’d certainly say that the front is Stealth’s “magic row”, for sure), and the ride has a very slight rattle that Oblivion doesn’t (although this inhibits the ride to a much lesser degree than the other two flaws I’ve listed, in my opinion; it’s only a very slight rattle, or at least was in the front row). Overall, though, I think Stealth is a fantastic coaster, and a hit of raw adrenaline quite unlike anything else I’ve ever done! 9/10
  8. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa: My memories of Busch Gardens Tampa are getting hazier with time, as it’s close to 5 years since my first and only visit, but I do remember very much liking Montu! I remember it being relatively smooth, as B&Ms mostly are, but also packing a real punch! It was a long ride, but one that kept its momentum throughout, and it had many awesome inversions and moments of positive force! The one ride I had certainly sticks out as my favourite ride I’ve had on a B&M invert, and I remember really liking it at the time, but I’m unsure whether I’d rank it quite as highly now, as my tastes have changed slightly towards rides with more negative g’s and a wider variety of forces on offer as opposed to rides with little aside from positive g’s. Still, Montu is a fab invert, in my opinion! 9/10
  9. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa: As I alluded to in my musings about Oblivion above, this is probably a tentative ranking until I get a reride on SheiKra, but in spite of me now saying I rank Oblivion a bit higher, I did still really like SheiKra, from memory! The ride is massive, which adds a certain element of fear to it, and I remember the drops and big, swoopy elements being really nice! I really do need a reride, though; based on my recent experience with Oblivion, it might well end up pushing SheiKra up a few spots… 9/10
  10. Nemesis - Alton Towers: I previously had SeaWorld’s Kraken here, but as much as I remember that being great at the time, I only had one ride and it’s getting ever longer since I had that ride, and I feel like Nemesis deserved a spot given how brilliantly it was running last time I rode it, so I slid Nemesis into the #10 spot instead. Nemesis is a coaster I don’t rate as highly as I used to, but I have to say that it was running excellently on my most recent ride in April 2021! The ride was glass smooth, with just the right amount of force, no headbanging, and decent pacing through elements that can sometimes feel like dead spots, so for what Nemesis is, there’s honestly nothing I could majorly criticise about my last ride! Not to mention I admire its raw brilliance as a structure and a feat of engineering; it still blows my mind how John Wardley packed so much into that pit! I also have a long relationship with Nemesis, and it’s perhaps one of my most ridden coasters of all time (I’d have to work that out…), so I do have a lot of love for it, in that regard! However, although it delivers for me in every row, I would say that Nemesis definitely has a “magic row”, and for me, that’s the front! There’s nothing quite like the sense of speed you get on Nemesis’ front row from feeling like you’re just narrowly missing the rock, and you truly feel at mercy to the ride on the front row in a way you simply don’t in the other 7 rows! Overall, I still think Nemesis is a fantastic inverted coaster that I always really enjoy; even if I don’t rank it quite as highly as others, that’s simply because as I said about Montu above, I don’t personally rate coasters focusing exclusively on positive g’s quite as highly as I used to. 9/10
So, that’s the top 10! In hindsight, I really did fail miserably at my mission to be succinct, didn’t I?

For a bit of further context, here’s my top 30 coasters, along with my personal rating out of 10 for each of them:
Matt N’s Top 30 Coasters as of June 2021 (without descriptions)
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10)
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10)
  3. The Swarm - Thorpe Park (9/10)
  4. Wicker Man - Alton Towers (9/10)
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10)
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10)
  7. Stealth - Thorpe Park (9/10)
  8. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  9. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  10. Nemesis - Alton Towers (9/10)
  11. Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (9/10)
  12. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (8/10)
  13. Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  14. Incredible Hulk - Universal’s Islands of Adventure (8/10)
  15. Rock’n’Rollercoaster - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (8/10)
  16. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10)
  17. Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park (8/10)
  18. Galactica - Alton Towers (8/10)
  19. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - Universal Studios Florida (7/10)
  20. Rita - Alton Towers (7/10)
  21. Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (7/10)
  22. Megafobia - Oakwood (7/10)
  23. Slinky Dog Dash - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  24. Avalanche - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (7/10)
  25. Thirteen - Alton Towers (7/10)
  26. Space Mountain Alpha - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  27. Expedition Everest - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (6/10)
  28. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  29. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  30. Runaway Mine Train - Alton Towers (6/10)
So, that’s the top 30, of the 74 coasters I’ve done! As you probably know, my list and my opinions are fairly fluid, so this could well have changed again substantially by the next post I make in here, as I’m very indecisive!

If you’re looking for a certain ride you think I might have ridden and it isn’t in there, here’s my complete ranking of all 74 coasters I’ve done on Captain Coaster: https://captaincoaster.com/en/tops/192
I told you my opinions were fluid, because the list has changed again after having visited Alton Towers & Thorpe Park in very short succession of each other! I’ll try and keep this post short, and go over the main changes to the top 30 in as much of a succinct way as I possibly can (rides that have moved are italicised). For reference, my current coaster count is 74:
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10)
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10)
  3. Wicker Man - Alton Towers: I had what were quite possibly my favourite rides ever on this on my last Towers visit! The rough spot I complained about last time was gone, and I had my first ever back row ride, which was absolutely obscene! The pacing was ballistic, and the ejector airtime was some of the most berserk I’ve ever experienced; it felt like how I imagine Steel Vengeance to be, with the non-stop strong ejector flinging you over what feels like every hill! As much as I rave about the back, though, even my other 2 rides in row 4 were absolutely phenomenal; Wicker Man has definitely grown to be a firm favourite of mine! (10/10)
  4. The Swarm - Thorpe Park: As much as this has dropped below Wicker Man, let me tell you that that is no slight against Swarm by any means, as I had possibly some of my favourite ever rides on it on my most recent Thorpe visit! I got on the front row for the first time ever, and it was sublime; you really feel like you’re flying along at phenomenal speed in the front! The ride had all of its usual pros, like smoothness, just the right balance of thrill and rerideability (I love Swarm because it’s intense enough for you to get a kick out of riding, but it’s not too intense, if you get what I mean), and those amazing floaty inversions! The last in-line especially is just a phenomenal sensation that I wish could go on forever; I love those negative g’s you get through it! To top it all off, the restraints, while still not my favourite, were not as much of a niggle this time, meaning that the ride is now a 10/10 for me again! The only real reason the ride is below Icon & Wicker within my UK top 3 is because it doesn’t have as much in the way of airtime/negative g’s as the other two, and the restraints also aren’t quite as comfortable, but to be honest, all 3 are fairly close to each other, and a particularly good or somewhat underwhelming ride on any of them could tip the balance in a different direction. But to summarise; I really love Swarm, and it was riding phenomenally on my recent visit! (10/10)
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10)
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10)
  7. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  8. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  9. Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park: Controversially, I’m actually on the team that prefers Inferno to Nemesis! As much as coasters with little to them aside from positive g’s aren’t my absolute favourite rides these days, I’ve got to say that Inferno was running excellently on my most recent Thorpe visit! I rode in row 4, and it was fairly smooth, intense without being too intense (if you get what I mean), and maintained a great sense of speed throughout, so it gets a firm thumbs up from me! (9/10)
  10. Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (9/10)
  11. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  12. Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  13. Nemesis - Alton Towers: This dropped a tad because it didn’t seem to be running quite as well on my recent visit. I rode in row 7, and it was still fun, but it seemed slightly rougher than my previous ride, and it generally seemed less enjoyable to me than my April ride. To its credit, I think Nemesis is an engineering marvel, its layout and location are wonderfully unique, and if you’re into really intense rides, I think sections of it (most notably the helix) are notably more intense than any section of Nemesis Inferno, but for me, intensity isn’t everything, and I generally find Inferno to be smoother (as much as I’ll stop short of calling Nemesis rough, as I don’t think it is, it’s a somewhat fierce coaster, and showing its age a bit in places), to have a more consistent sense of speed throughout and to be generally a bit more enjoyable. Please don’t kill me, Nemesis fans! (8/10)
  14. Incredible Hulk - Universal’s Islands of Adventure (8/10)
  15. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10)
  16. Galactica - Alton Towers (8/10)
  17. Rock’n’Rollercoaster - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  18. Rita - Alton Towers (7/10)
  19. Stealth - Thorpe Park: This one dropped quite a bit, unfortunately. It’s a difficult one to rank, as my front row ride last year was obscenely amazing, but my row 6 ride recently, while fun, just didn’t seem to hit quite like my last ride did. The launch didn’t feel quite as forceful, the airtime didn’t seem quite as strong (although middle of the train could be to blame for that, in fairness), and the ride, while I wouldn’t call it rough, seemed bumpier than my last ride on Stealth, which did detract slightly for me. Still, Stealth is a fun coaster that always provides a rush; those hydraulic launches always provide a raw thrill unlike anything else, and the airtime over the top hat is still really good! (7/10)
  20. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - Universal Studios Florida (7/10)
  21. Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (7/10)
  22. Megafobia - Oakwood (7/10)
  23. Slinky Dog Dash - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  24. Avalanche - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (7/10)
  25. Expedition Everest - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (6/10)
  26. Runaway Mine Train - Alton Towers: I can sense some judgement coming about the fact that a Mack powered coaster is in my top 30 and only a hair away from my top 25, so I apologise for this being so high, but I’m ashamed to admit that RMT is perhaps the textbook definition of a guilty pleasure coaster for me! Even though I was sat towards the front of the train (in row 7) on my most recent ride, it still felt fast and was still a really fun ride! It has some great helixes and turns, feels fast and fun throughout and although it might not be the most thrilling, earth-shattering ride around, it never fails to bring a smile to my face, and surely that’s what this hobby is all about? The aforementioned smile on my face after riding almost makes me tempted to push it up even higher, but I’m not sure I can quite justify ranking it above something like Everest, so I’m afraid #26 is probably the highest I can get away with… (6/10)
  27. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  28. Thirteen - Alton Towers: Oddly, this dropped a fair bit in spite of the fact I haven’t actually ridden it since I last posted in here; am I weird, or can riding one ride affect your ranking of another without you needing to even ride it? The ride I’m referring to here is Runaway Mine Train, which jumped a bit; when I rode that on my most recent Towers visit, I thought it was ranked too lowly given my actual opinion of it, and I thought to myself “I actually think I enjoyed that ride on RMT more than my last ride on Thirteen” in spite of the fact that Thirteen was a good couple of spots and a whole point above. So when looking at the rides around it, I unfortunately felt it was reasonable to drop Thirteen from a 7 to a 6 given my recent rides on it and the fact that I found RMT more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do like Thirteen; it’s smooth, with some nice twists, turns and pops of floater in the outdoor section, and the indoor section is fun! However, the reason for it dropping is that it’s felt a bit more sluggish on my recent visits, and like it’s had less of that fun floater than previously; on my most recent ride in April 2021 in particular, even the backwards section which is usually surprisingly vigorous felt like it could have used a little extra oomph. That could well be social distancing affecting things, however; I’ll see what it’s like once I can get onto it with a full train again! (6/10)
  29. Space Mountain Alpha - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  30. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
So, that’s my (current) top 30! When I visit Legoland and Paultons at the end of this month, it’ll probably change again; as much as I’m not expecting any new top 10 entries or anything from either of these, I’m hoping that some of the higher-level stuff at Paultons might possibly make the lower end of my top 30 given that some of the rides at the lower end of the list are less than intense thrill machines.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
I told you my opinions were fluid, because the list has changed again after having visited Alton Towers & Thorpe Park in very short succession of each other! I’ll try and keep this post short, and go over the main changes to the top 30 in as much of a succinct way as I possibly can (rides that have moved are italicised). For reference, my current coaster count is 74:
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10)
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10)
  3. Wicker Man - Alton Towers: I had what were quite possibly my favourite rides ever on this on my last Towers visit! The rough spot I complained about last time was gone, and I had my first ever back row ride, which was absolutely obscene! The pacing was ballistic, and the ejector airtime was some of the most berserk I’ve ever experienced; it felt like how I imagine Steel Vengeance to be, with the non-stop strong ejector flinging you over what feels like every hill! As much as I rave about the back, though, even my other 2 rides in row 4 were absolutely phenomenal; Wicker Man has definitely grown to be a firm favourite of mine! (10/10)
  4. The Swarm - Thorpe Park: As much as this has dropped below Wicker Man, let me tell you that that is no slight against Swarm by any means, as I had possibly some of my favourite ever rides on it on my most recent Thorpe visit! I got on the front row for the first time ever, and it was sublime; you really feel like you’re flying along at phenomenal speed in the front! The ride had all of its usual pros, like smoothness, just the right balance of thrill and rerideability (I love Swarm because it’s intense enough for you to get a kick out of riding, but it’s not too intense, if you get what I mean), and those amazing floaty inversions! The last in-line especially is just a phenomenal sensation that I wish could go on forever; I love those negative g’s you get through it! To top it all off, the restraints, while still not my favourite, were not as much of a niggle this time, meaning that the ride is now a 10/10 for me again! The only real reason the ride is below Icon & Wicker within my UK top 3 is because it doesn’t have as much in the way of airtime/negative g’s as the other two, and the restraints also aren’t quite as comfortable, but to be honest, all 3 are fairly close to each other, and a particularly good or somewhat underwhelming ride on any of them could tip the balance in a different direction. But to summarise; I really love Swarm, and it was riding phenomenally on my recent visit! (10/10)
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10)
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10)
  7. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  8. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  9. Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park: Controversially, I’m actually on the team that prefers Inferno to Nemesis! As much as coasters with little to them aside from positive g’s aren’t my absolute favourite rides these days, I’ve got to say that Inferno was running excellently on my most recent Thorpe visit! I rode in row 4, and it was fairly smooth, intense without being too intense (if you get what I mean), and maintained a great sense of speed throughout, so it gets a firm thumbs up from me! (9/10)
  10. Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (9/10)
  11. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  12. Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  13. Nemesis - Alton Towers: This dropped a tad because it didn’t seem to be running quite as well on my recent visit. I rode in row 7, and it was still fun, but it seemed slightly rougher than my previous ride, and it generally seemed less enjoyable to me than my April ride. To its credit, I think Nemesis is an engineering marvel, its layout and location are wonderfully unique, and if you’re into really intense rides, I think sections of it (most notably the helix) are notably more intense than any section of Nemesis Inferno, but for me, intensity isn’t everything, and I generally find Inferno to be smoother (as much as I’ll stop short of calling Nemesis rough, as I don’t think it is, it’s a somewhat fierce coaster, and showing its age a bit in places), to have a more consistent sense of speed throughout and to be generally a bit more enjoyable. Please don’t kill me, Nemesis fans! (8/10)
  14. Incredible Hulk - Universal’s Islands of Adventure (8/10)
  15. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10)
  16. Galactica - Alton Towers (8/10)
  17. Rock’n’Rollercoaster - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  18. Rita - Alton Towers (7/10)
  19. Stealth - Thorpe Park: This one dropped quite a bit, unfortunately. It’s a difficult one to rank, as my front row ride last year was obscenely amazing, but my row 6 ride recently, while fun, just didn’t seem to hit quite like my last ride did. The launch didn’t feel quite as forceful, the airtime didn’t seem quite as strong (although middle of the train could be to blame for that, in fairness), and the ride, while I wouldn’t call it rough, seemed bumpier than my last ride on Stealth, which did detract slightly for me. Still, Stealth is a fun coaster that always provides a rush; those hydraulic launches always provide a raw thrill unlike anything else, and the airtime over the top hat is still really good! (7/10)
  20. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - Universal Studios Florida (7/10)
  21. Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (7/10)
  22. Megafobia - Oakwood (7/10)
  23. Slinky Dog Dash - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  24. Avalanche - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (7/10)
  25. Expedition Everest - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (6/10)
  26. Runaway Mine Train - Alton Towers: I can sense some judgement coming about the fact that a Mack powered coaster is in my top 30 and only a hair away from my top 25, so I apologise for this being so high, but I’m ashamed to admit that RMT is perhaps the textbook definition of a guilty pleasure coaster for me! Even though I was sat towards the front of the train (in row 7) on my most recent ride, it still felt fast and was still a really fun ride! It has some great helixes and turns, feels fast and fun throughout and although it might not be the most thrilling, earth-shattering ride around, it never fails to bring a smile to my face, and surely that’s what this hobby is all about? The aforementioned smile on my face after riding almost makes me tempted to push it up even higher, but I’m not sure I can quite justify ranking it above something like Everest, so I’m afraid #26 is probably the highest I can get away with… (6/10)
  27. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  28. Thirteen - Alton Towers: Oddly, this dropped a fair bit in spite of the fact I haven’t actually ridden it since I last posted in here; am I weird, or can riding one ride affect your ranking of another without you needing to even ride it? The ride I’m referring to here is Runaway Mine Train, which jumped a bit; when I rode that on my most recent Towers visit, I thought it was ranked too lowly given my actual opinion of it, and I thought to myself “I actually think I enjoyed that ride on RMT more than my last ride on Thirteen” in spite of the fact that Thirteen was a good couple of spots and a whole point above. So when looking at the rides around it, I unfortunately felt it was reasonable to drop Thirteen from a 7 to a 6 given my recent rides on it and the fact that I found RMT more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do like Thirteen; it’s smooth, with some nice twists, turns and pops of floater in the outdoor section, and the indoor section is fun! However, the reason for it dropping is that it’s felt a bit more sluggish on my recent visits, and like it’s had less of that fun floater than previously; on my most recent ride in April 2021 in particular, even the backwards section which is usually surprisingly vigorous felt like it could have used a little extra oomph. That could well be social distancing affecting things, however; I’ll see what it’s like once I can get onto it with a full train again! (6/10)
  29. Space Mountain Alpha - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  30. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
So, that’s my (current) top 30! When I visit Legoland and Paultons at the end of this month, it’ll probably change again; as much as I’m not expecting any new top 10 entries or anything from either of these, I’m hoping that some of the higher-level stuff at Paultons might possibly make the lower end of my top 30 given that some of the rides at the lower end of the list are less than intense thrill machines.
Going to need you to travel as soon as you can. Please. PLEASE.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Going to need you to travel as soon as you can. Please. PLEASE.
My mum & dad are understandably quite reluctant to travel abroad for the foreseeable future in spite of the fact that fully vaccinated Britons (we’re all fully vaccinated) can come back without quarantine from 19th July, simply because they don’t want the uncertainty of not knowing if we’ll need to quarantine for 2 weeks or whatever on arrival in a particular country, which I can fully understand. I think things like masks being required on flights and PCR tests are also understandably putting them off.

With that being said, though, I am travelling to a new-to-me major park at the end of the month in the form of Paultons Park! I’m excited; it’s really raved about at the moment, and it’s the first major new park I’ll have visited since Epcot in April 2019, as well as quite possibly the most prolific UK park I’m yet to visit (although Flamingo Land could also be a contender for that)!

Also, I’d be intrigued to know; what is it you don’t like about my current (admittedly, mostly home-grown) ranking? Admittedly, though, I am excited for the day that my update to the top 10 isn’t just the same rides reshuffled, and I actually have some new blood within the list!
If he did, it would take poor @Matt N about three years to finally settle on his new rankings and go round all the topics with updates. :p
As sad as I am to admit it, that is a fair point; I’m terribly indecisive, and my rankings are awfully fluid! I tend to go with a policy of ranking based on my most recent experience with a particular coaster, which does mean that my list inevitably changes more often than most people’s.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Chin up Matt, you're nearly 18 so give it a year or two and you'll be jetting off on solo European cred jaunts with either job money or student loan money. Not long to go buddy.
Hopefully! I’m very keen to get to mainland Europe when I can, although my mum & dad have said we might be able to go to Europa Park for our first ever visit in 2022 if all goes well! From that park, I’m hoping at very least that Blue Fire, Wodan & Silver Star might make my list; given that Europa’s big 3 exactly parallels my current top 3 in terms of ride types present, I’m optimistic!
I was also keen to visit PortAventura, but Europa is one of the few parks that my parents have looked legitimately quite enamoured with whenever they’ve seen it (at least, my mum was pretty sold on the hotel resort & restaurants), and I feel like there’s more chance of me loving Europa; Europa has more coasters that it looks like I’d really like and gets rave reviews, whereas PA would be quite reliant on me loving Shambhala, and it seems a bit more hit & miss reviews-wise.

I’ve got a question, though; is solo European travel as cheap & easy as the likes of Sanbrooke make it look? I’ll admit I always get quite big ideas whenever I read trip reports of cheap European jaunts on here, or see the likes of Sanbrooke or @nadroJ travelling easily to Europe on their YouTube channels, but when I talked to my mum about the ways some enthusiasts did cheap European travel, she gave me a disapproving look, and her exact words were “does this face look like it’s catching £10 Ryanair flights and staying in the cheapest place we can find on booking.com?”. I don’t mind the sound of that, personally, being more enamoured with the idea of visiting some amazing parks for a remarkably cheap price, but I think my parents have somewhat more expensive taste when it comes to foreign travel.
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
Hopefully! I’m very keen to get to mainland Europe when I can, although my mum & dad have said we might be able to go to Europa Park for our first ever visit in 2022 if all goes well! From that park, I’m hoping at very least that Blue Fire, Wodan & Silver Star might make my list; given that Europa’s big 3 exactly parallels my current top 3 in terms of ride types present, I’m optimistic!
I was also keen to visit PortAventura, but Europa is one of the few parks that my parents have looked legitimately quite enamoured with whenever they’ve seen it (at least, my mum was pretty sold on the hotel resort & restaurants), and I feel like there’s more chance of me loving Europa; Europa has more coasters that it looks like I’d really like and gets rave reviews, whereas PA would be quite reliant on me loving Shambhala, and it seems a bit more hit & miss reviews-wise.

In my opinion, Europa is lacking in world-class coasters, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect multiple new entries in your top coaster list. (There might be some, but lower your expectations is what I’m saying.)

However, Europa is fantastic as a PARK experience, and if you go in with that mindset, it’ll be nearly impossible to be disappointed.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
In my opinion, Europa is lacking in world-class coasters, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect multiple new entries in your top coaster list. (There might be some, but lower your expectations is what I’m saying.)

However, Europa is fantastic as a PARK experience, and if you go in with that mindset, it’ll be nearly impossible to be disappointed.
Through that lens, though, I’ve been told that my current top coaster list lacks world-class coasters, so as the ride types of Europa’s big 3 (Silver Star, Blue Fire, Wodan) align perfectly with the ride types of my current top 3 (Mako, Icon, Wicker Man), I’m optimistic!
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
Through that lens, though, I’ve been told that my current top coaster list lacks world-class coasters, so as the ride types of Europa’s big 3 (Silver Star, Blue Fire, Wodan) align perfectly with the ride types of my current top 3 (Mako, Icon, Wicker Man), I’m optimistic!
Yes, your current list is England and Florida, so some Europa coasters might make the list now. But in the longer term they’re likely to fall off a top twenty as you get to places with more intense coasters. Maybe not, but probably.

Still, my point was you definitely SHOULD be excited about Europa — as a park experience. It’s a wonderful place.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Yes, your current list is England and Florida, so some Europa coasters might make the list now. But in the longer term they’re likely to fall off a top twenty as you get to places with more intense coasters. Maybe not, but probably.
Wodan sits at #20 for me - I have had some ridiculously good rides on that!
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
Wodan sits at #20 for me - I have had some ridiculously good rides on that!
That’s why I added “Maybe not!” And some really love Blue Fire.

I loved Wodan’s theming more than the coaster ride (which I liked a lot, too), and that fits in perfectly with my overall Europa experience.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Yes, your current list is England and Florida, so some Europa coasters might make the list now. But in the longer term they’re likely to fall off a top twenty as you get to places with more intense coasters. Maybe not, but probably.

Still, my point was you definitely SHOULD be excited about Europa — as a park experience. It’s a wonderful place.
To be honest, I was mainly talking about these rides making my list in the short term! I’m just keen for some new blood to enter my list, to be honest!
 

TMCoasters

Mega Poster
After a couple trips to some local-ish parks in Maine and New York my list has seen some decent movement.

1. Voyage
2. Python in Bamboo Forest
3. Hades 360
4. Helix
5. Dinoconda
6. Boulder Dash
7. Cyclone (Coney Island) - I was so excited to finally ride this ultra-classic golden age wooden coaster. But wasn't nearly ready for just how great it would be! The entire ride is filled to the brim with varying airtime: brutally strong ejector, sustained ejector, floater. Almost every turnaround also gives some of the best laterals out there, especially the last two, which without the seat divider will send you flying and then crush you against the side of the train. I couldn't stop laughing and even after 16 rides I was in awe after each element.
8. OCT Thrust
9. Maverick
10. Skyrush
11. Lightning Run
12. Wildfire
13. Storm Chaser
14. Superman The Ride
15. Phantom's Revenge
16. Thundercoaster
17. Steel Vengeance
18. El Toro
19. Gale Force
20. Time Traveler

Other notable entries:
46. Turbulence - What an underrated coaster! This unassuming Mack spinner is paced to absolute perfection, flying through every single element except for the super floaty first wave turn. The spinning is pretty extreme and produces some crazy sensations of sideways and backwards airtime as well as some awesome laterals and positive Gs!
47. Excalibur (Funtown) - This CCI is a tale of two halves. The first half has some great laterals but is fairly focused on airtime, which is does quite well! Good airtime where you'd expect (mostly) and a couple good surprise airtime pops too! Then the second half forgets about the airtime and just goes full on laterals all the way to the brakes. The hardly banked turns are all executed well and give some fantastic forces!
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I told you my opinions were fluid, because the list has changed again after having visited Alton Towers & Thorpe Park in very short succession of each other! I’ll try and keep this post short, and go over the main changes to the top 30 in as much of a succinct way as I possibly can (rides that have moved are italicised). For reference, my current coaster count is 74:
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10)
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10)
  3. Wicker Man - Alton Towers: I had what were quite possibly my favourite rides ever on this on my last Towers visit! The rough spot I complained about last time was gone, and I had my first ever back row ride, which was absolutely obscene! The pacing was ballistic, and the ejector airtime was some of the most berserk I’ve ever experienced; it felt like how I imagine Steel Vengeance to be, with the non-stop strong ejector flinging you over what feels like every hill! As much as I rave about the back, though, even my other 2 rides in row 4 were absolutely phenomenal; Wicker Man has definitely grown to be a firm favourite of mine! (10/10)
  4. The Swarm - Thorpe Park: As much as this has dropped below Wicker Man, let me tell you that that is no slight against Swarm by any means, as I had possibly some of my favourite ever rides on it on my most recent Thorpe visit! I got on the front row for the first time ever, and it was sublime; you really feel like you’re flying along at phenomenal speed in the front! The ride had all of its usual pros, like smoothness, just the right balance of thrill and rerideability (I love Swarm because it’s intense enough for you to get a kick out of riding, but it’s not too intense, if you get what I mean), and those amazing floaty inversions! The last in-line especially is just a phenomenal sensation that I wish could go on forever; I love those negative g’s you get through it! To top it all off, the restraints, while still not my favourite, were not as much of a niggle this time, meaning that the ride is now a 10/10 for me again! The only real reason the ride is below Icon & Wicker within my UK top 3 is because it doesn’t have as much in the way of airtime/negative g’s as the other two, and the restraints also aren’t quite as comfortable, but to be honest, all 3 are fairly close to each other, and a particularly good or somewhat underwhelming ride on any of them could tip the balance in a different direction. But to summarise; I really love Swarm, and it was riding phenomenally on my recent visit! (10/10)
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10)
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10)
  7. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  8. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  9. Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park: Controversially, I’m actually on the team that prefers Inferno to Nemesis! As much as coasters with little to them aside from positive g’s aren’t my absolute favourite rides these days, I’ve got to say that Inferno was running excellently on my most recent Thorpe visit! I rode in row 4, and it was fairly smooth, intense without being too intense (if you get what I mean), and maintained a great sense of speed throughout, so it gets a firm thumbs up from me! (9/10)
  10. Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (9/10)
  11. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  12. Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  13. Nemesis - Alton Towers: This dropped a tad because it didn’t seem to be running quite as well on my recent visit. I rode in row 7, and it was still fun, but it seemed slightly rougher than my previous ride, and it generally seemed less enjoyable to me than my April ride. To its credit, I think Nemesis is an engineering marvel, its layout and location are wonderfully unique, and if you’re into really intense rides, I think sections of it (most notably the helix) are notably more intense than any section of Nemesis Inferno, but for me, intensity isn’t everything, and I generally find Inferno to be smoother (as much as I’ll stop short of calling Nemesis rough, as I don’t think it is, it’s a somewhat fierce coaster, and showing its age a bit in places), to have a more consistent sense of speed throughout and to be generally a bit more enjoyable. Please don’t kill me, Nemesis fans! (8/10)
  14. Incredible Hulk - Universal’s Islands of Adventure (8/10)
  15. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10)
  16. Galactica - Alton Towers (8/10)
  17. Rock’n’Rollercoaster - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  18. Rita - Alton Towers (7/10)
  19. Stealth - Thorpe Park: This one dropped quite a bit, unfortunately. It’s a difficult one to rank, as my front row ride last year was obscenely amazing, but my row 6 ride recently, while fun, just didn’t seem to hit quite like my last ride did. The launch didn’t feel quite as forceful, the airtime didn’t seem quite as strong (although middle of the train could be to blame for that, in fairness), and the ride, while I wouldn’t call it rough, seemed bumpier than my last ride on Stealth, which did detract slightly for me. Still, Stealth is a fun coaster that always provides a rush; those hydraulic launches always provide a raw thrill unlike anything else, and the airtime over the top hat is still really good! (7/10)
  20. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - Universal Studios Florida (7/10)
  21. Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (7/10)
  22. Megafobia - Oakwood (7/10)
  23. Slinky Dog Dash - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  24. Avalanche - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (7/10)
  25. Expedition Everest - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (6/10)
  26. Runaway Mine Train - Alton Towers: I can sense some judgement coming about the fact that a Mack powered coaster is in my top 30 and only a hair away from my top 25, so I apologise for this being so high, but I’m ashamed to admit that RMT is perhaps the textbook definition of a guilty pleasure coaster for me! Even though I was sat towards the front of the train (in row 7) on my most recent ride, it still felt fast and was still a really fun ride! It has some great helixes and turns, feels fast and fun throughout and although it might not be the most thrilling, earth-shattering ride around, it never fails to bring a smile to my face, and surely that’s what this hobby is all about? The aforementioned smile on my face after riding almost makes me tempted to push it up even higher, but I’m not sure I can quite justify ranking it above something like Everest, so I’m afraid #26 is probably the highest I can get away with… (6/10)
  27. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  28. Thirteen - Alton Towers: Oddly, this dropped a fair bit in spite of the fact I haven’t actually ridden it since I last posted in here; am I weird, or can riding one ride affect your ranking of another without you needing to even ride it? The ride I’m referring to here is Runaway Mine Train, which jumped a bit; when I rode that on my most recent Towers visit, I thought it was ranked too lowly given my actual opinion of it, and I thought to myself “I actually think I enjoyed that ride on RMT more than my last ride on Thirteen” in spite of the fact that Thirteen was a good couple of spots and a whole point above. So when looking at the rides around it, I unfortunately felt it was reasonable to drop Thirteen from a 7 to a 6 given my recent rides on it and the fact that I found RMT more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do like Thirteen; it’s smooth, with some nice twists, turns and pops of floater in the outdoor section, and the indoor section is fun! However, the reason for it dropping is that it’s felt a bit more sluggish on my recent visits, and like it’s had less of that fun floater than previously; on my most recent ride in April 2021 in particular, even the backwards section which is usually surprisingly vigorous felt like it could have used a little extra oomph. That could well be social distancing affecting things, however; I’ll see what it’s like once I can get onto it with a full train again! (6/10)
  29. Space Mountain Alpha - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
  30. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (6/10)
So, that’s my (current) top 30! When I visit Legoland and Paultons at the end of this month, it’ll probably change again; as much as I’m not expecting any new top 10 entries or anything from either of these, I’m hoping that some of the higher-level stuff at Paultons might possibly make the lower end of my top 30 given that some of the rides at the lower end of the list are less than intense thrill machines.
Minor top 30 updates after my visit to Paultons Park (new in bold, moved in italics):
  1. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando (10/10)
  2. Icon - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (10/10)
  3. Wicker Man - Alton Towers (10/10)
  4. The Swarm - Thorpe Park (10/10)
  5. Mine Blower - Fun Spot Kissimmee (9/10)
  6. Oblivion - Alton Towers (9/10)
  7. Montu - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  8. SheiKra - Busch Gardens Tampa (9/10)
  9. Nemesis Inferno - Thorpe Park (9/10)
  10. Kraken - SeaWorld Orlando (9/10)
  11. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  12. Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida (8/10)
  13. Nemesis - Alton Towers (8/10)
  14. Incredible Hulk - Universal’s Islands of Adventure (8/10)
  15. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa (8/10)
  16. Galactica - Alton Towers (8/10)
  17. Rock’n’Rollercoaster - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  18. Rita - Alton Towers (7/10)
  19. Stealth - Thorpe Park (7/10)
  20. Storm Chaser - Paultons Park: This really surprised me! I wasn’t sure if I’d be huge on it, seeing as I’m not a huge lover of spinny rides, on the whole, but it was great fun! The level of spinning was very tolerable, and the ride was smooth & comfortable, yet well-paced and surprisingly vigorous in places! To be honest, even the bits that look fairly slow on POVs feel quite fast! Easily my favourite spinning coaster, and a great addition to Paultons and the UK industry, in my opinion! (7/10)
  21. Megafobia - Oakwood (7/10)
  22. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - Universal Studios Florida (7/10)
  23. Cheetah Hunt - Busch Gardens Tampa (7/10)
  24. Slinky Dog Dash - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (7/10)
  25. Flight of the Pterosaur - Paultons Park: This possibly surprised me even more than Storm Chaser did! I never thought this looked overly interesting in POVs, but it actually rides very well! It’s paced well, and is blissfully smooth, yet surprisingly forceful in places; very fun family coaster! (7/10)
  26. Avalanche - Blackpool Pleasure Beach (7/10)
  27. Runaway Mine Train - Alton Towers (7/10)
  28. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Disney’s Magic Kingdom (7/10)
  29. Thirteen - Alton Towers (6/10)
  30. Expedition Everest - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (6/10)
My coaster count now sits at 79, and in terms of the other Paultons coasters I rode; Velociraptor is at #31 (quite a fun, smooth little ride, and I felt it rode better than Accelerator at Drayton Manor, but not quite up there with the top 2 for me, and the backwards section wasn’t my favourite), Cobra is at #32 (would have easily been in the top 30 had it not been for the section of wild mouse-style laterals, which I’m not a huge fan of) and Cat-O-Pillar is at #58 (didn’t seem as fun as Treetops at Oakwood, and rode rougher).
 
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Youngster Joey

Strata Poster
Update time from my first post pandemic trip

1: Steel Vengeance
2: Lightning Rod
3: Voyage
4: Storm Chaser
5: Twisted Timbers
6: Outlaw Run
7: Goliath (SFGrAm)
8: Shambhala
9: Phoenix
10: X2
11: Leap the Dips
12: Maverick
13: El Toro
14: Space Mountain (WDW)
15: Thunderbird
16: Phantom's Revenge
17: Lightning Run
18: Matterhorn Bobsleds
19: Twisted Colossus
20: Superman (SFNE)
21: Mystic Timbers
22: Tatsu
22: Leviathan
23: Fury 325
24: Wicked Cyclone
25: Banshee
26: Boulder Dash
27: Ravine Flyer II
28: Top Thrill Dragster
29: Bobsleds
30: Afterburn

No new additions but twisted timbers managed to move up 5 slots for me after this last trip. It's almost worth a trip to KD itself but sadly there's not a great supporting cast around that ride for me. Hopefully whatever comes after the freespin to replace volcano will make the park worth a return trip.

A few other notes from my trip. Apollo's Chariot is still a damn good ride once it's warmed up even if it's not the best hyper. Dominator is really missing a 0G roll and if the corkscrews weren't quite so aggressive it'd be in serious consideration for this list. Griffon is still super fun even after all these years. ****ing BGW had a train sitting in pantheon's station looking like it could open whenever but it seems they either have no intention or are being told they can't open it. I heard many people in attendance complaining that it wasn't open while at the park, so it seems it no longer just the enthusiasts who are getting frustrated. SEAS is losing a lot of the good will they built up these last few years the way this year is going so far.
2nd post pandemic trip update

Hit up Sesame Place, Six Flags Great Adventure and Morey's Piers (along with a trip to seabreeze a few weeks back). (new additions in bold)

1: Steel Vengeance
2: Lightning Rod
3: Voyage
4: Storm Chaser
5: Twisted Timbers
6: Outlaw Run
7: Goliath (SFGrAm)
8: Shambhala
9: Phoenix
10: X2
11: Leap the Dips
12: Phantom's Revenge
13: Lightning Run
14: Thunderbird
15: Space Mountain (WDW)
16: Maverick
17: Oscar's Wacky Taxi
18: Matterhorn Bobsleds
19: Superman (SFNE)
20: Twisted Colossus
21: El Toro
22: Tatsu
23: Leviathan
24: Mystic Timbers
25: Nitro
26: Fury 325
27: Boulder Dash
28: Ravine Flyer II
29: Top Thrill Dragster
30: Great White (Morey's)
31: Wicked Cyclone
32: Banshee
33: Afterburn
34: Firechaser Express
35: Bobsleds

I have to tell you all I was not expecting RMC ejector to try to murder my legs on Oscar's Wacky Taxi and I'm here for it. Easily my favorite of the 3 Family GG's I've ridden.

Nitro was running REAL well in the 103 degree heat. Jersey Devil sadly spited me.

Great White in the pitch black at night after raining for 7 hours was quite the incredible experience it was HAULING. earlier in the day we maybe made it up a quarter of the lift hill before the chain took over, on that night ride the chain picked us up at least half way up the lift hill if not further. Just a crazy experience that's probably not ever going to be replicated again.

Also shout out to Great Nor'Easter for showing to me how good SLC's would actually be without the **** trains and restraints

Finally after having re-ridden bobsleds I learned they retracked and profiled the ride. It's a much smoother ride experience but because of that what really made it great and special for me was the janky ejector you'd get because of the profile of the ride and that's just neutered and not there anymore. It's just not the same ride it was my entire life anymore. It will probably live in that spot forever for nostalgia reasons and all the great fond memories i have of my rides on it (hell its the ride that sparked my enthusiasm) but if I was ranking the ride objectively for what it is now it'd be no where close to my actual rankings.
 

Bedholm

Roller Poster
Top 25 post 2021 summer in Europe. Didn't expect to see my top 15 have 4 new entries this year and an rmc of all things become my #1 but being shocked is a good thing.
1. Zadra I've never been an RMC fan. I've been one of their harshest critics for years so it comes a massive shock to me that an RMC became my #1, Zadra is as close to coaster perfection as a coaster can get. Perfect pacing backed up by a very diverse quality driven layout. Every element is different yet still amazing and complements every other element well. It's like every mistake RMC ever made over the years was rectified and everything RMC ever did right was improved upon with Zadra.
2. Expedition GeForce Even after being trimmed into oblivion this year this is still the best coaster I've ridden for sustained ejector.
3. El Toro (NJ)
4. Voyage
5. DC Rivals HyperCoaster
6. Taron
7. Phoenix
8. Skyrush
9. Wildfire (RMC)
10. Helix
11. VelociCoaster A perfect swiss army knife coaster that does so many thing amazing but the theming is a tad disappointing and the lack of even one true sustained ejector hill and a weak top hat are the lone drawbacks.
12. F.L.Y. Given there's still no povs, the coaster is still fairly new, the theming hides a lot of the coaster, and I hadn't really heard all that much I had no clue what to expect from FLY. What I was left with was a coaster that completely blew me away. Easily my favorite non sitdown coaster and without a doubt the best flyer I've been on. Airtime on a flyer mixed with the best theming I've experienced on a coaster and a very long duration makes for a nearly perfect attraction.
13. Lightning Rod
14. Intimidator 305
15. Ride to Happiness Riding Time Traveller and not being impressed i didn't expect much. Much to my surprise the spinning was a lot better and the layout is infinitely stronger. The airtime and inversions on this are amongst the best out there. The transition into the 2nd launch and the overall duration are 2 significant flaws though.
16. X2
17. Hyperion It's technically a shame this ride is at Energylandia as while it's still extremely good I have 0 desire to ride it as Zadra is just that much better. It's hard to say with any confidence but I think I'd rank it higher if it were at a different park.
18. iSpeed
19. Millennium Force
20. Fury 325
21. Shambhala
22. Piraten
23. Wicked Cyclone The way WC runs on slick track is honestly scary. Way too fast which is an extremely good thing. This ride literally jumped over 60 spots because of the rain.
24. Twisted Colossus
25. Maverick
 
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