On our flight back to Belgium after our short roller coaster trip to Cedar Point, King’s Island and Canada’s Wonderland, we discussed our list of favorite roller coasters and discovered that there were quite a few surprises in there! We’ve categorized them as ‘meh’, ‘wow’ and ‘yeah but’ and thought it would be cool to share it with you. Here we go!
Meh – we really expected more…
It really hurts that I have to put Diamondback at the top of this part of the list. Don’t get me wrong: Diamondback certainly was a smooth and fun ride. But after riding it 4 times (2 times in the back and 2 times somewhere in the middle), we all agreed that Diamondback wasn’t the ‘monster packed with lots of crazy airtime’ we read about and expected. We were riding it early morning though, perhaps that might have something to do with it.
2. Magnum XL-200
Despite it inspiring countless similar steel roller coasters and being the first hypercoaster ever, we weren’t in love with Magnum XL-200 as other enthusiasts seem to be. We loved the bits of ejector airtime, especially during the last parts of this legendary ride, but there were a little too many bumps and kinks for me to completely enjoy this coaster in all its glory.
Wow – better than we expected!
3. Top Thrill Dragster
First ride of the trip! We know these Intamin strata coasters have a lot of down time due to technical complexities and weather conditions, so that’s why we went for a ride on Dragster first. Luckily we got to ride it 4 more times, 2 of which were front row. And wow, compared to Kingda Ka, this one is way better. Better restraints, cooler view and overall a less rough ride than its big brother in New Jersey. We love you Six Flags, but Cedar Fair wins this one.
Raptor was one of the coasters we rode many times because of the light crowds. We felt that the ride got more and more intense every time we went on it. We preferred the back seat and thought the forces we felt in the cobra roll and during the part after the MCBR (especially the helix) were unreal. The fact that we saw the ride operators clean up vomit two times wasn’t a coincidence, believe me.
Before our visit to Canada’s Wonderland, we had done our research – naturally. We noticed that most enthusiasts favored Behemoth over Leviathan. After riding both coasters 5 times, we have to disagree. Sorry! Leviathan’s mix of height, feeling of enormous speed and fresh elements (the low turns and almost inverted turnaround come to mind) made up for an experience worthy of making this list. One point of critique though: the final brake run felt like a MCBR. Why not get rid of the karting track to add some little more action?
Damn, Arrow Dynamics! After riding Vortex, I forgive you for the severe headache you gave me on Corkscrew in Cedar Point! It’s clear from just watching this coaster that it’s going to be a way more forceful ride than similar ones in Cedar Point or Six Flags Magic Mountain. We were completely blown away by the speed and quick turns. Perhaps our biggest surprise!
7. Mystic Timbers
There’s a reason why this roller coaster has won the Golden Ticket Award for best new ride of 2017. We rode it a few times and after a while I was able to lean in those Millennium Flyer trains like a pro slalom skier. Moreover, I thought the theming was pretty cool, especially when you’re heading up the lift hill and you’re constantly being warned for not going any further. The shed, however, was a little disappointing. But perhaps we’re just spoiled when it comes to theming as De Efteling and Europa-Park are within driving distance for us.
Yeah, but – not sure yet…
The Beast is arguably the most legendary roller coaster we rode during our trip. We really felt a sensation of incredibly high speeds and forces while traveling (what seems like 10 miles on those endless straight parts of the track) through the woods. On the other hand, the trims were ruining the party a little bit (although naturally we understand that these trims are necessary) and we all prefer wooden roller coasters that are rough but not too rough.
I swear I’ve watched the POV of Gatekeeper hundreds of times before even booking our plane ticket to go ride it ourselves. As enthusiasts we all know B&M for its smoothness and well thought out sequence of ride elements. Here’s the thing though: while I really enjoyed the ride and two people of our group even blacked out a little during that first Immelmann loop, I thought Gatekeeper was perhaps a little too tame and smooth. It was not like, say, Flug der Dämonen in Heide-Park, Germany.
What do you think of these roller coasters? Any surprises in this list? Let us know!