ACE Coaster Classics: Do they compare today?

Monday, March 11, 2002 1:07 PM

I was just thinking about the ACE Coaster Classics there are, and just how good these old, cherished rides really are. Now, I know saving old coasters is important, but do they deliver the thrills we seek?

The only ACC I've ever been on is Lakeside Cyclone at Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver, CO. I was really looking forward to my first "old" coaster, but it somehow let me down. I only had time for one ride in the back row, and maybe not getting "the best seat" deterred by experience. The first half of the ride was good (I thought I was about to die from its awesome laterals), but the bunny hops didn't satisfy. Overall, I'd take another ride on it, but it just wasn't what I expected.

So, how are other ACCs you've ridden? I'm sure there are some really good ones out there (I hear Kennywood has a few...), but how do you feel about the ones you've ridden?

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Monday, March 11, 2002 1:10 PM
Does anyone have a list of these coasters and their requirements to fit into this catagory.
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Monday, March 11, 2002 1:17 PM

I think the ACE Coaster Classic thing is a joke anyway. Americana's Screechin' Eagle lost its "classic" status because seat dividers were added. The ride is exactly the same, but it's somehow no longer a classic. The rules are too cut-and-dry.

I think new rules need to be made - rules that can accommodate rides that everyone knows are classics (Eagle, etc.) and even newer rides that are legends in their own time (Magnum, Montezooma, etc.)

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Monday, March 11, 2002 1:47 PM

My Guide to Ride 2000 has an Ace Coaster Classic list.

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Advance to "Roller Coaster". Do not pass go and do not collect 200 dollars.
www.geocities.com/yankeesfan1127/EastCoasterDatabase.html

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Monday, March 11, 2002 2:01 PM

I must dissagree with Den here, The ride is way different between a ride with dividers and without.

Americana Screechin' Eagle used to sit you down on you partners lap after the turn around drop. Last time I rode it in '98 it had a different train that had dividers and I found the ride considerably much more TAME.

I have also not ridden a gerstlauer equiped coaster that I don't have ranked high (Except maybe Twisted Sisters) To me these trains give a classic ride, No highbacks, No dividers and if you don't get stapled tons of airtime! Woodies were mean to toss you about a bit and Im all for fighting to keep what we have and get more if possible.

Different rides provide different sensations, Phoenix is basically a out and back figure eight, Because it only has Buzzbars it allows you to get airtime as far as you body will raise instead of a individual ratchet stuffed down in you lap.

Gerstlauers and non divider equiped trains like NAD's and old non retrofit PTC's allow side to side sliding and in some cases latteral airtime, SFWOA Big Dipper in the front seat is a blast because of this as well as Villain which provides just about every ride sensation there is.

I flat plain loved Legend because of the lattera air and I hope the ride is near as good as it was. Im was told by a certain maintence guy that he tried to get buzzbars on every other seat but it was deemed all or nothing so it will have ratchets. He also told me he expects it to be faster (A very good thing)

I just get a giddy feeling on coasters with little restraint, They just seem funner to me, LTD has no restraints and I was sliding from one side to the other and even got a good pop of airtime near the end. (Watch it before its final turn around, The back wheels leave the track about 4 inches!). Kennywoods Jackrabbit with only a leather strap gives you the impending feeling of doom from the double dip!

I have indeed been given this response from the president of PTC as to Dividers. ("We have to protect people from themselves") I understand this statement but I don't have to like it!

Chuck, Whose top coasters are close to Classic status if not., Legend (Gerstlauer), Villain, Cheetah, Phoenix,

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Charles Nungester
167 coasters and hopes to be over 200 by the end of 2002 :)

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Monday, March 11, 2002 2:49 PM
camden park has two classic coasters, the big dipper and the little dipper. the big dipper is the only coaster with NAD trains i've been on. it was a great ride simply because of the restraints. i would love to see those restraints on the backwards racer @ pki. that would blow my mind!

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seek first to understand
then to be understood

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Monday, March 11, 2002 2:59 PM

Johnathan said:
camden park has two classic coasters, the big dipper and the little dipper. the big dipper is the only coaster with NAD trains i've been on. it was a great ride simply because of the restraints. i would love to see those restraints on the backwards racer @ pki. that would blow my mind!

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seek first to understand
then to be understood



Funny thing is, Racer is one of many coasters that did in the beginning only have Buzzbars, No dividers and no highbacks that have been IMHO Butchered.

Chuck, who understands why but don't have to like it

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Charles Nungester
167 coasters and hopes to be over 200 by the end of 2002 :)

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Monday, March 11, 2002 4:07 PM
Just ask JulieSFO, see loves SFWoA's Big Dicker...I mean Dipper!
jeremy
--It's a POSSE thang, you dont *want* to understand
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Monday, March 11, 2002 5:23 PM

You'll have to remember that the whole point of designating a coaster an ACC is not that it's the best or anything. Before theme parks came along, seat dividers, head rest, seat belts, trim brakes, etc. were almost unheard of. Now just about all coasters have them, except for the elite list of special gems that ACE had rightfully designated as offering a classic coaster ride experience. As trivial as seat dividers sounds, it does indeed diminish from the classic ride experience.

In the case with Lakeside's Cyclone, may not be the best or most thrilling, but riding in those beautiful classic cushy trains with nothing more than a lap bar is what makes this a classic coaster ride that only a few other coasters can offer, without going back in a time machine to the past, to the way coasters used to be allowed to run.

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Monday, March 11, 2002 5:32 PM
The Coaster Thrill Ride at the Puyallup Fairgrounds is an ACE coaster classic, and it earns that distinction. I have never floated so much on a ride, and the lack of dividers, as well as the single bar (w belt attachment) is a wonderful thing. The most amazing thing to me is the fact that I could, if I wanted, commit suicide easily on the thing because there are no restrictive restraint systems on it. It is a ride in the truest sense because you hang on. It is almost impossible to take pictures on it. I tried last year (again) and they still don't come out the way I envision them, and I am a good photographer. Regardless, I like 'em and I will ride 'em. I don't like being held in....I like the feeling of danger and the fact that I get tossed around some.
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My personal favorite website!
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Monday, March 11, 2002 6:44 PM

My #1 coaster is an ACE Coaster classic,the Vancouver PNE Coaster.Your only restaint is a lap bar and this coaster delivers massive airtime!This is the standard that I rate other coasters by.

My list of wood coasters I have ridden by rank;

1.PNE Coaster(ACE coaster classic)

2.Puyallup Fair Coaster Thrill Ride(ACE coaster classic)

3.Dania Beach Hurricane,Dania Beach,FL

4.Collosus SFMM

5.Pscyclone SFMM

In summary,I tend to rate the older coasters higher.They seem to deliver a smoother ride and more airtime,but then I haven't ridden a CCI coaster yet.I will fix that when I go to Silverwood this summer.

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I can fix anything.....where is the duct tape?

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Monday, March 11, 2002 6:57 PM
Rob,when you ride the PNE Coaster this spring,you definitely get that feeling of danger.It is almost impossible to ride Coaster without grabbing the lapbar after the 4th drop.

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I can fix anything.....where is the duct tape?

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Monday, March 11, 2002 7:02 PM

The Big Dipper at SFWoA is awesome, especially in the back seat riding alone. You literally get tossed from side to side, which obviously you don't get with seat dividers. It is imPOSSible to stay on one side of the seat, and it would not be nearly as much fun with the dividers.

The ride also gives you extreme standing air on the bunny hills on the way back, which would also be totally ruined by ratcheting lapbars.

I'd be a little worried to ride some newer coasters like SOB with Classic status lapbars and without seat dividers, as they are pretty rough already, but changing Big Dipper would be a tragedy.

Now, the coaster itself makes a difference, too. High Roller at Valleyfair is braked so hard that it is pretty tame and you barely get a tickle of floating air, and then only in the front seat. It is not really designed to give laterals, so seat dividers wouldn't really make any difference either.

So, the well-designed "wild" classic coasters benefit greatly from the ACE specifications, where you really don't notice the difference on the tamer ones.

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Monday, March 11, 2002 7:14 PM

Uhm, Skittlebrau. SOB has no seat dividers, I have gotten massive airtime off the first drop in the back left seat and also get a nice latteral pop off the loop drop. If the coaster is running right (Cold cloudy day) The second half will pin you to the side in the second helix and the final drop before the station gives nice airtime in back. I also at times get float air on the drop into the first helix.

Chuck, Who has ridden Sonny 157 times and can honestly say hes gotten Sonnys best rides probably only a dozen times. Cold cloudy days!

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Charles Nungester
167 coasters and hopes to be over 200 by the end of 2002 :)

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Monday, March 11, 2002 7:36 PM
Ron, looking forward to the Coaster! Just wait until you get to ride those Silverwood CCIs!!!! Amazing rides. I'm sure you will still find that Coaster floats your boat. A classic is a classic because it is classic.
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www.tripowered.com It has arisen!
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Monday, March 11, 2002 7:47 PM

I guess that I have been on quite a few coaster classics.

Jackrabbit-KW

Racer-KW

Thunderbolt- KW

Comet- Waldameer

Giant Dipper- Belmont Park

Blue Streak- CP (not a ACE classic anymore...)

Not sure if all of these are in fact ACE classics, but generally I like these rides, occassionally more than newer woodies. For example, Thunderbolt is my favorite woodie, topping even Ghostrider. I love the Giant Dipper, the Jackrabbit is incredible... FOr the most part I really like the classics.

Some are a bit underwhelming, like Waldameer's comet or Blue Streak, but for the most part classics are not only important to amusment park (and American) history, but are generally pretty cool rides!

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Xcelerator-
0-82 in 2.3 seconds! =Wow!

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 4:11 AM

There is one BIG problem with this whole classic category. You could build a new coaster that adhears to all of the classic rules and instantly have a "classic" coaster on your hands... while a true Classic that has been altered for what ever reason (perhaps for... oh, I dont know... something called SAFETY), could lose its status.

To me, the term "classic" has to be earned over time. You can not build a "classic". Right here in central PA, we have Thunderhawk (Dorney), Comet (Hershey) and Pheonix (Knoebels). None of these are elegible for ACE classic status for a variety of reasons. However, if a park were to build a coaster that meets all of the requirements, ACE would Swoop in and bestow the "Classic" status upon it. It doesn't make sense... 3 coasters that are 79, 56 and 55 years old respectively are NOT eligible for ACE classic designation, but yet a brand new coaster could be.

To me, a coaster that has stood the test of time (and I don't mean 10 or 20 years... I am talking decades... 50+ years lets say) is every bit as much of a classic than any on those on that list.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 5:03 AM

According to aceonline.org (ACE's web site):

To be eligible for ACE Coaster Classic status, the coaster must meet the following criteria:The coaster must use traditional lap bars that allow riders to experience so-called airtime, or negative G's (that sensation of floating above the seat!!). Individual, ratcheting lap bars do not meet this requirement. The coaster cannot use bucket seats or seat dividers. Instead, ACE Coaster Classics allow riders to slide from side-to-side. ACE Coaster Classics allow riders to view the upcoming drops and thrills. Coasters with headrests on every seat, or the majority of seats, restrict this view and are not eligible for ACE Coaster Classic status. On ACE Coaster Classics, riders are free to choose where they sit. Some parks' operating procedures assign seating; these coasters are not eligible for ACE Coaster Classic status.

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It seems that ACE does NOT necessarily say how good the ride is, just that it falls in this criteria. If it falls in this criteria, I think it would be recognized as a classis, even if the ride isn't that great.

Link to the actual list: http://www.aceonline.org/classics.htm

Zimm
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www.themeparkbrochures.com - Theme Park Brochures and Maps

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 5:16 AM

Classic status is a style of ride, Clear view, Freedom of movement ect.

Most coasters are relativily safe in terms on not throwing people out, The majority of the accidents have always been rider misconduct. Such as the case where the guy wiggled out of Anaconda trying to show off.

OH, I think I'll stand and show off for the girls! Bang, Your dead!

No park wants a death on their hands weather it was the rides fault or not (Most likely not) So now many parks have installed extra saftey measures to keep riders from doing stuff they shouldn't.

Like I said, Its a style of ride, Not to make some coaster a instant classic. Zippin Pippin has been restored to Classic status to give riders the ride it was made to give :)

Chuck

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Charles Nungester
167 coasters and hopes to be over 200 by the end of 2002 :)

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 5:22 AM

Charles Nungester said:


Americana Screechin' Eagle used to sit you down on you partners lap after the turn around drop. Last time I rode it in '98 it had a different train that had dividers and I found the ride considerably much more TAME.

I also rode SE last in '98, and while you don't land in your partner's lap anymore, you DO land on top of the seat divider! It's rather painful but you're laughing so hard you don't notice.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.


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