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What ride type represents each decade?

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. When I was looking back through the General Discussions & Opinions forum at some of the old topics, I found this particularly interesting topic that @Jarrett made back in 2016 about which coaster represents each decade: http://coasterforce.com/forums/threads/the-most-decade-coaster-ever.40058/
So I thought it might be fun to do a similar thing, but with coaster types instead of specific coasters. I'll start from the 1970s as that's when I'd say steel coasters first properly took off, but you can start from whenever. So, these are the coaster types that I'd say represent each decade:
  • 1970s: Arrow/Vekoma Corkscrew - The 1970s is the decade where inversions on coasters started to appear as we know them today, and after Corkscrew at Knott's Berry Farm opened in 1975, it seemed as though most parks across the world were installing coasters of their own with an extremely similar layout to Corkscrew. If you look at all of the Arrow and Vekoma Corkscrew coasters built (excluding relocations), the vast majority of them were built during the 1970s, with a few installations being built in the earlier part of the 1980s.
  • 1980s: Arrow/Vekoma Custom Looping Coaster - Now, I know that this is essentially the same basic ride hardware as the coaster type I identified for the 1970s, but here, I'm referring to the larger custom models as opposed to the smaller clones like in the 1970s. Between them, Arrow and Vekoma built 32 of these types of rides, and excluding relocations, quite a number of the original builds were during the 1980s. Many of the major theme parks across the world were building custom loopers in the 1980s, or so it seems.
  • 1990s: Inverted Coaster - Now this one was an easy choice for me! I was originally going to limit it to the B&M inverted coaster, but the Vekoma SLC was also an extremely popular choice during the 1990s, especially towards the latter half of the decade! After Batman The Ride at Six Flags Great America took the industry by storm in 1992, absolutely loads of major parks were building inverted coasters. From the Batman clones being built in most Six Flags parks to the huge custom beasts being built in other major parks to the Vekoma SLCs, it seems as though the inverted coaster was the coaster type to build in the 1990s!
  • 2000s: Intamin Accelerator Coaster - I'd say that this one was another relatively easy choice for me, as even though only 14 Intamin Accelerator Coasters were built, all of them apart of Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi were built during the 2000s. Looking back, it seems as though Intamin's hydraulic launch technology was the coaster craze of the 2000s; many major parks were rushing to build this ride type! From the tall, fast monsters like Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka to the pocket rockets like Rita and Senzafiato, it seems like parks were doing whatever they could to get a hydraulic launcher into their coaster selection during the 2000s. And hydraulic launches were literally only being built during the 2000s because as far as I'm aware, the only hydraulic launch coaster built outside the 2000s was Formula Rossa in 2010; none others have been built since.
  • 2010s: Multi-Launch Coaster - Now, this one was quite a difficult one to decide. I was originally going to put RMCs forward as the coaster type of the 2010s, but RMCs are still a relatively niche product compared to multi-launchers, in my eyes; in the 8 years since New Texas Giant first opened, RMC have built or are building 20 roller coasters. Multi-launchers, on the other hand; if you lump together all the different types of multi-launcher from the compact Premier Sky Rocket IIs to the sprawling Mack and Intamin multi-launchers, I'd hazard a guess that the number built this decade is at least 40 or 50. The definition of multi-launch coaster is quite broad, so I'm counting both the swing launches (a la Sky Rocket IIs) and the coasters with more than one launch track (a la Mack and Intamin multi-launchers). It seems as though tons of parks have built some form of multi-launch coaster this decade, whatever the type. To me, they just seem like a far more commonly seen type of coaster in this decade than RMCs.
So, what ride type do you guys think represents each decade?


Mega Poster
Firstly, thanks for not starting the thread with "Sorry if ...". Keep it up, please :)

Secondly, as far as I'm concerned, the 2010's are absolutely defined by RMC. Launch as many times as you like, you're not going to get anywhere close to RMC's sterling output. ALL their coasters are world class, without exception. Calling them "relatively niche" does them a huge disfavour.

Matt N

Strata Poster
Firstly, thanks for not starting the thread with "Sorry if ...". Keep it up, please :)

Secondly, as far as I'm concerned, the 2010's are absolutely defined by RMC. Launch as many times as you like, you're not going to get anywhere close to RMC's sterling output. ALL their coasters are world class, without exception. Calling them "relatively niche" does them a huge disfavour.
You're very welcome!

To tell you the truth, when deciding the 2010s' candidate, I was extremely undecided as to whether to go for multi-launchers or RMCs. I only went for multi-launchers because it seems like far more parks are buying them than RMCs. I certainly agree that RMCs are also a defining coaster type of the current decade as well as multi-launchers!


Hyper Poster
I'd be inclined to agree with most of those options but as Farley has pointed out, RMC definitely represents the 2010's, completely re-shaping the industry. Multi-launch coasters are sure as hell popular but they have only built on existing ideas. RMC have blazed the trail this decade. And although Schwarzkopf didn't exclusively manufacture one type of coaster, I feel as though their coaster output really changed things in a similar fashion to the Arrow/Vekoma stuff of the 70's and 80's. The Jetstar 1 & 2 models as well as the Alpen Blitz, Wildcat & Looping Star models are etched into history in a significant way. They did so many popular things it's hard to pin down a specific type.


Roller Poster
I agree with Matt N's list with the exception of the early 2000's. I feel like B&M and Intamin hypers were the status symbol for any park with a bit of money, and even though there aren't a ton of them around they seemed to be the hot new(ish) thing to have at the time.


Mega Poster
IMHO - The 90's really belonged to b&m's inverting creations. This was when your average now 7 inversion layout was something truly revolutionary. If we take a look the statistics, then we see a total of
Notable names include
Montu - One of the greatest, If not the greatest inverts out there! It has 7 inversions, and was the first to feature the beloved batwing. Fun fact, there used to be crocodiles in the pre-lift section.
Kumba - The first B&m sitdown ever built. It had the OG 7 inversion layout. It was the first coaster to introduce a dive loop, had the OG Cobra Roll (Which has held up insanely well) first dive loop, First Loop around the lift hill, and more.
Afterburn - Arguably the best paced invert, also has a batwing.
Nemesis - The most unique invert, and also one of the best. Nemesis shines with its intense, whippy, and creative layout.
Raptor - The best sounding invert has the first cobra roll on an invert, and it also has an agressive, whippy layout that makes Millie cry. Yes, I just said that Raptor's better than Millie.
Batman The Ride - It was the one, the one that put b&m into their dominant 90's position. It had the first zero g roll, which is amazing. Everytime you ride it, you go back in history.
Dragon Khan - This one is the only eight inverting B&m out there.
Alpengeist - Mr. Big Boi here is a absolute monster ( including that cobra roll), it was a beast and yeah.
Pyrenees -
Bizarro - Medusa East.
Dragon Challenge - RIP.
Incredible Hulk - The Gp's favorite coaster.


Strata Poster
I understand the multi-launcher choice for the 2010s. Several different manufactures are pumping them out so they deserve a mention, but without a doubt the obvious choice for me is RMC. They revolutionized the industry and have even impacted other manufactures: we're starting to see Premier, S&S, and even Intamin play around with some RMC-like elements such as stalls and off-axis hills. Simply put: you don't have a discussion like this and not include RMC.

I do like what @Catmaydo said about the hypers in the 2000s though. Accelerators are also a good choice but this was around the time where the hypers were generally considered the best ride in the park, so I'll go with that.


Hyper Poster
1960s would have been the rise of the portable, compact coaster— various manufacturers’ Zyklons, Schwarzkopf Wildcats, and Zierer Flitzers dominated the small park market.