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Best Parks for Coasters

08/25/16 at 08:28pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #46
This is a neat article on Antique woodies that are still operational and worth riding.

Where? Behind the rabbit?
Thanks given by:  Nicole, Zachary, Zimmy, strycker
11/22/16 at 08:23pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #47
I've visited all of the new parks and ridden all the new coasters I'm probably going to in 2016 so I thought it was time to update my list. Parks that are new to me since I put the original list together will include a "NEW" next to their name. Parks that have added something or changed something that impacts my opinion of their lineup with have a "UPDATED" next to their name.

Like last time, parks will be color-coded green, orange, and red based on my opinion of their lineup. Coasters I highlight at each of the parks are coasters I consider to be not only great, but also in some way unique and hence, worth visiting the park for. If a coaster is good but undeserving of the highlights listing, I'll list it under honorable mentions.

Adventure Park USA
If you're driving through New Market, Maryland stop in. It's a neat little place with two actual coasters (plus a kiddie coaster). That said, nothing here is worthy of specific mention. Given the rate at which they're growing though, maybe they have plans to up their game further in the future?

Busch Gardens Tampa (UPDATED)
Last time around this park was orange. The addition of Cobra's Curse (a fun, interesting family coaster), was enough to tip the scales this time around. The wide variety of really solid coasters make this park worth your time. Highlights here are Cheetah Hunt and Kumba. Honorable mentions go to Cobra's Curse, Montu, Scorpion, and SheiKra.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Great park with a stellar collection. Don't really need to defend it much to this audience, but the highlights here are Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot, Loch Ness Monster, and Verbolten. Additionally, I'd put Griffon and into the honorable mentions category.

The worst Cedar Fair park I've ever visited. Unfortunately, it is also home to Fury 325- one of the greatest coasters I've ever ridden. Fairly mediocre collection otherwise. Highlights here are Fury 325 and Afterburn (RIP Thunder Road). Honorable mentions? Only Intrimidator Intimidator.

Cedar Point
In contrast to Carowinds, this is the best Cedar Fair park I've ever visited. Is this the holy grail of amusement parks? No. Is it a really good park? Yes. Highlights here are Maverick and Millennium Force. Only honorable mentions I have for this park are Blue Streak and GateKeeper.

Dollywood (UPDATED)
This is another park that has graduated up to green this year. I just returned from my fourth trip to Dollywood and I can safely say I've fallen in love with both the park and its collection. Lightning Rod is a coaster god. Additionally, though it hasn't been very consistent for me, I have now had an incredible ride or two on Thunderhead. Also, call me crazy, but this year I've moved FireChaser Express to the highlights category. It's a quirky, fun, and brilliant family coaster. Anyway, the highlights here are FireChaser Express, Lightning Rod, Mystery Mine, and Thunderhead. An honorable mention goes to Tennessee Tornado.

Dorney Park
Dorney is a great park that's lacking a crown jewel attraction. It manages charm in the same league as Cedar Point but doesn't have the headliner it needs to put it on the map. This is the park I wish Fury had gone to. Highlights here are Hydra The Revenge and Talon. Honorable mentions are Steel Force and Thudnerhawk.

Fun Spot America (Kissimmee) (NEW)
Come for the credits if you have a wristband and then get the hell out ASAP because everything good that its Orlando brother has, this park lacks. No highlights or honorable mentions.

Fun Spot America (Orlando) (NEW)
This is actually a neat, charming little park. White Lightning is the only highlight here, but it is well deserving of that title.

Ah, my favorite amusement park in the country. A must-visit in my honest opinion. Highlights here are Comet, both sides of Lighting Racer, Skyrush, and Storm Runner. Honorable mentions go to Fahrenheit, Great Bear, and Superdooperlooper. I'm pretty sure Laff Trak belongs on the honorable mentions list as well, but I haven't gotten a chance to ride it myself just yet.

Holiday World
Another of my favorite parks and definitely the woodie capital of the world. It's also worth noting that Splashin' Safari is the best water park I've ever experienced. The highlight here is The Voyage. Simply a masterpiece. Honorable mentions go to The Legend and The Raven. Though I haven't experienced it personally yet, Thunderbird looks like it belongs on the honorable mentions list as well.

I love that Idlewild exists and I think it's an incredibly neat park to visit- just not for their coasters. That said, I'm going to give an honorable mention to both Rollo Coaster and Wild Mouse for being two little coasters that actually took me by surprise.

Another unique (and incredible) Pennsylvania classic. Like Dorney, it has a great base collection, but it needs that one big headliner to really put it on the map. That said, I prefer Kennywood to Dorney. Highlights here are Jack Rabbit, Phantom's Revenge, and Skyrocket. Honorable mentions go to Exterminator, Racer, and Thunderbolt.

Kentucky Kingdom
There has been too much change since I've visited for me to accurately judge this park, but Lighting Run and Storm Chaser both look like incredible additions. Plus, it sounds like Thunder Run is running better than ever.

Kings Dominion
GASP! Did I just list Kings Dominion as orange? Yeah, I did. I (of course) love the park, but it feels like there are large holes in its collection. The only highlight I have to give here is Intimidator 305. Honorable mentions go out to Avalanche, Dominator, Flight of Fear, Rebel Yell, and Volcano.

Kings Island
Kings Island is in the same place as Kings Dominion in my book collection-wise. I wholeheartedly believe Kings Dominion to be the better park though. Kings Island has a solid collection, but not a great one. Highlights are Banshee and Beast. Honorable mentions go to Bat, Diamondback, Flight of Fear, and Racer.

Another park with a collection that I'm uncomfortable judging right now. Knoebels has added three (!) coasters since I visited just a couple years ago. When I was there, their collection was far from diverse (it only consisted of two woodies), but I'd consider both of those woodies (Phoenix and Twister) to be highlight-worthy attractions. Incredibly intrigued by Black Diamond, Flying Turns, and Impulse. I suspect all three are likely worthy of honorable mentions if not better.

Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida is a neat family park, but, like Idlewild, you're not going to visit for its collection. I wouldn't say there's a highlight here, but I'll give honorable mentions to Coastersaurus and Dragon.

Morey's Piers (NEW)
I was blown away by this park. Sadly though, coasters aren't its strength. That said, there is a ride here well worthy of highlighting: Great White. No one talks about this coaster so I wasn't expecting much, but my rides on it were brilliant. It is actually a top ten woodie for me now. Also, sidenote: Nor'Easter was down for its huge renovation. Might it make its way into the highlighted category next year?

SeaWorld Orlando (UPDATED)
Ignoring variety for a moment (which isn't actually that lacking to be honest!), I believe SeaWorld Orlando has the most consistently high quality coaster collection of any park I've ever visited. Journey to Atlantis, Kraken, Manta, and Mako are all highlights. If you can only stop at one park in Florida and coasters are the name of the game, SeaWorld Orlando wins.

Six Flags America (NEW)
My expectations were low, but I was pleasantly surprised by SFA. Their collection (or even any of their coasters individually) isn't going to win any awards, but that doesn't mean there aren't coasters worth visiting for. Roar, Superman: Ride of Steel, and Wild One all get highlights here with a special shout-out to Roar for being the surprise of the year. Also, an honorable mention goes out to Batwing because I'm a masochist who loves Vekoma Flying Dutchmans these days.

Six Flags Great Adventure (NEW)
This may be the quintessential American amusement park (there's a lot of good and bad in that statement). The big thing to take away here is that quality is generally medium to high, but the coaster variety is one of the greatest I've ever experienced. Anyway, I'm just going to jump right into the coasters because there's a lot of them. Highlights: Batman The Ride, Bizarro, El Toro, and Nitro. Honorable mentions go to Dark Knight, Green Lantern, Joker, Kingda Ka, and Superman Ultimate Flight.

Six Flags Over Georgia (NEW)
I was really disappointed in this park. I had heard rumors of charm and quality but, even just a few weeks into the season, that couldn't be further from the truth. Anyway, coasters. Highlights: Goliath and Mind Bender (LOVE!). Honorable mentions? Dare Devil Dive and Superman Ultimate Flight.

Six Flags St. Louis
Not a great park and certainly not a great collection. I don't have a single coaster to highlight for Six Flags St. Louis, but I'll give out a few honorable mentions: American Thunder, Batman The Ride, Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast, and Pandemonium. Mr. Freeze could have been a highlight for me, but unfortunately, it's basically a clone. It's a great ride, but I'd rather go to Six Flags over Texas and ride theirs.

Universal Studios Florida
Don't visit USF for coasters. Only highlight here is Revenge of the Mummy. Neither of the others are even worth mentioning. Love the park, but not for coasters.

Universal's Islands of Adventure
Of the two Universal parks in Orlando, this is the better for coasters, but it's still a bit of a snooze-fest. I don't have anything to highlight here honestly. Honorable mentions go to both sides of Dragon's Challenge and Hulk (presumably new Hulk as well?).

Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom
The worst of the Florida Disney parks. No highlights here but I'll give an honorable mention to Expedition Everest for being a surprisingly solid coaster.

Walt Disney World: Epcot
No coasters here. Makes my job easy.

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios
Small park that's undergoing a major overhaul. Only coaster here, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, would fall into my honorable mentions category. It's unique, but not really a very good coaster.

Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom
Like all the other Disney parks, you don't visit for coasters. That said, I'll give an honorable mention to Space Mountain for being a flashback to a very different time in roller coaster history. Plus, it still manages to be a pretty fun ride.

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Our biggest foe is our inclination towards complacency and willingness to settle for mediocrity.
Thanks given by:  Bill E, SWStevo, Jesy, CastleOSullivan, strycker, MAZ
11/22/16 at 09:59pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #48
Quote:Blue Streak


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Thanks given by:  Zachary
11/26/16 at 04:00pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #49
ROAR at SFA truly was a great ride. I mentioned that one time in my trip report. The park is pretty decent, but the management and non caring attitude of the workers takes it down two notches. And no Grizzly mention at KD?? Not even an HM? I know it's rough, but by design.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
Thanks given by:  Zachary
11/26/16 at 05:32pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #50
Zachary's views on Grizzly tend to spark controversy.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  Zachary
11/26/16 at 06:29pm in Best Parks for Coasters (Latest Edit: 11/26/16 at 06:30pm by strycker.)
Post: #51
(11/26/16 05:32pm)Nicole Wrote:  Zachary's views on Grizzly tend to spark controversy.

Oh, was unaware of that. Will bite my tongue then.. hehe

It's probably much like mine of Rebel Yell.. the last ride I took on it left me in pain for two weeks with a back issue.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
Thanks given by:  Zachary
11/26/16 at 08:02pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #52
Although I don't think Grizzly is a bad coaster, I'd rather ride Woodstock.
11/26/16 at 09:31pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #53
Grizzly is my favorite coaster at KD, but that doesn't mean it belongs on any 'highlight' list. It's short, it's old, it's rough, and it helps to 'know how to ride it'. As opposed to recommending it to people unfamiliar with its quirks.

Where? Behind the rabbit?
11/26/16 at 09:45pm in Best Parks for Coasters (Latest Edit: 11/26/16 at 09:52pm by Nicole.)
Post: #54
(11/26/16 08:02pm)Psyduck Wrote:  Although I don't think Grizzly is a bad coaster, I'd rather ride Scooby Doo.

Fixed that for you.

(11/26/16 06:29pm)strycker Wrote:  It's probably much like mine of Rebel Yell.. the last ride I took on it left me in pain for two weeks with a back issue.

Probably I'd disagree, since RY backwards is one of my favorite woodies. And since I an a hyper fangirl, forwards is my kinda ride, as well.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  strycker
06/22/17 at 02:37pm in Best Parks for Coasters
Post: #55
We (BGW) have it better than some parks, fer shure.

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Wisdom from a mug ~ In the time before airlines & electricity, the countries of medieval Europe developed distinctive styles architecture suited to their regions. Traditions & culture grew separately as well. The diverse heritage of many Americans is celebrated here in Busch Gardens at Williamsburg.

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