Brilliant but obscure coasters?

I got to thinking (I know, I know...bad idea) about favorite and top rated coasters, and I had a "there must be more to coasters than this" moment. I mean, any enthusiast knows The Voyage and El Toro and Magnum and stuff like that, and the widely known rides ARE widely known for a reason. However, I'm thinking I'd like to ride a few "hidden gem" coasters this year. You know: rides that aren't necessarily the biggest or fastest or at a chain park but that have a quality about them that makes you love them. Interesting terrain, historical status, etc. What are your favorites? Any great ones in PA especially would be appreciated.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Off the top of my head (well, there's nothing ELSE there!)

Wooden Warrior in CT

Hellcat (formerly J2/Tsunami) in NJ

Tickler at Coney

Bobsleds at Seabreeze NY

All of these are just pure FUN. It's an interesting topic. I like Toro, Voyage, I-305, etc, more than any of these, but I don't have nearly as much FUN on them..if that even makes sense.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher,

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

I'm a big fan of old, classic stuff and I finally got to ride Leap The Dips at Lakemont last summer. That was a blast! A real home-made feel to it. Had a blast, and can't wait to get back.

Not to mention the Skyliner, not as ancient, but equally as fun. Both coasters could use a little TLC, but neither was rougher than some very popular wooden coasters we love so much.

The Mad Mouse at Little-A-Merrick-A is another favorite of mine. It's an oldie built by Hershell, I don't think there are many of this model left in operation. Hopping down on the floor of that little car with no seat belt or anything adds to the charm. The padding doesn't wrap over and around the back rest, so on the last couple bunny hops you gotta scoot up otherwise you might get a little *pop* in the back of the head.

LostKause's avatar

There is something special about the Skyliner at Lakemont Park. It's kind of unusual. The second fast and unbanked turnaround near the station gives it some character, along with the flat spots at the bottom of the drops. It's right behind a baseball field too.

It's very underrated, in my opinion.


"CoasterBuzz - It feels like home" :)

Nowhere near PA, but I absolutely love "Wooden Roller Coaster" at Vancouver's Playland.

Tekwardo's avatar

Two words: Swamp Fox. That is all.

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rollergator's avatar

Not really "obscure" but certainly hard to get to, and certainly brilliant: Tremors.

Sooperdooperlooper. I haven't been to Hershey in a couple of years but in most of my past trips to the park, except on very crowded days it seems like it gets ignored by a lot of people with little to no wait but is my favorite steel coaster at the park. It's not intense or that thrilling but is just a fun coaster that I feel like I could stay at for lap after lap. Also because going upside down with just a lap bar and no seatbelt is great.

ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't think Comet at Great Escape gets the love it deserves. Steel Eel is also underrated (though a long way from PA). Viper at SFGAm (also far from PA) is quite a ride, though the last time I was on it was 10 years ago.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Yoshi, the rehab on SDL reinvigorated it SO much. I absolutely loved it on my last trip to Hershey.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Vater's avatar

What rehab? The new trains? I didn't think it even needed reinvigorating.

Any Schwarzkopf will get the nod from me, but sooperdooperlooper and of course Mind Bender are in a class by themselves. Shockwave deserves a mention, too (partially because i'm sure gator will have something to say if I didn't). :)

Vater, I don't know if it was just the new trains, or if they reworked the brakes or some of the track, but I remember that coaster being pretty jerky when I rode it before whatever work was done. This time around it felt like a whole new ride.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Three of my favourites are:

All are obscure, and absolutely excellent.

^^I rode it in August 2011 and thought it was running perfectly (with an old train). I think sometimes we get conditioned by super smooth B&M rides.

Another thing is maybe you were riding the train that was out of service when I was there. It had been out of commission for some time; if there hadn't been anything wrong with it, I'm sure they would have put it on as there was a very long line for sdL that weekend.

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy,

RB, you weren't kidding! Two out of three look like they're in someone's back yard or driveway!

I am beyond green with envy at your coaster count. Though I think you may have an addiction issue. Ehehehehehe...

So I've gotta ask then: do you have a top five list? What are they? I'm still stuck on Toro as my favorite, but my count is sad.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

The Texas Tornado at Wonderland Park Amarillo, TX. It's way out with west Texas, but it's a fun, obscure ride. It's a mixture of a traditional steel coaster with some mine train elements. It has two loops, with the second loop being near the end of the ride. And it has a little quirkiness to it. The finale is the train dives into a tunnel out of the last loop and emerges to fly under some low lying branches. I can't wait to go back to ride it.  Wonderland Park also has a Monster Mouse with no seatbelts or restraints!

The Boardwalk Bullet in Kemah Texas (near Houston on the coast) is somewhat obscure, but brillant. A twisting ultra compact woodie, squeezed into less than an acre. A convulted ride, with plenty of crossovers.

Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

Thank you everyone for all the recommendations. Fantastic!

And Concrete Enchilada? May be the best name ever.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Walk-Off HBP's avatar

Powder Keg would be my entrant.

The trick was to surrender to the flow.

rollergator's avatar

Vater said:

Shockwave deserves a mention, too (partially because i'm sure gator will have something to say if I didn't). :)

Assuming I make Texas this year, I'll try and get a fuller understanding of the MindBender/Shockwave controversy. For now, they're simply the two best looping coasters in America...but 'Bender has way better tree cover ;~P

^Don't get me started on Mind Bender. While Shockwave is a GREAT ride, outstanding even, the layout is more basic and to the point. Mind Bender is like an orchestra of movements and timing, all perfect. And of course, THOSE trains (THAT air time, THOSE laterals, THOSE G's). Not too much, not too little. Totally different in front and back. Makes funny noises, too.

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