Mitch's Wood Coaster Poll - Results

Friday, December 7, 2007 1:22 PM
I haven't been on any prefab woodie yet, but next year, I should ride Everland "T Express" (mix of Balder and El Toro? YES!!!!!), El Toro and possibly the new "Mammut". I'll see how they compare...

Tripsdrill is a small family park that likes to invest in strange and usually good attractions. They got 2 tilt freefalls with lap bars and wacky effects (hams on strings starts flying around!), a bathtub themed Mack log flume, the prototype Gerstlauer Bobsled (custom steel twister with hairpin turns, helixes and airtime hills) and other unique rides. They got a good relationship with Gerstlauer, so its natural they go with them. Total cost of Mammut plus the new area around it is only 6 millions euros (8.8 millions USD). If they would have went with Intamin, I can't imagine how much it would have cost!

Friday, December 7, 2007 2:32 PM
The Intamin track consists of big blocks of laminated wood that are cut out by CAD milling machines.

As for El Toro getting rough: I guess this has nothing to do with the track but with the wheels. I know the feeling from Colossos, which can get quite horrible when the wheels are worn out. The track joints are very painful when that happens. New wheels will solve this problem.

The new Cordes/Gerstlauer woodie will have a new form of pre-fab track. I don´t yet know how it will be done.

Friday, December 7, 2007 4:51 PM
...and this is the best thing about the poll itself: the conversations it starts. Everyone's opinions are valid and deserve to be heard, never disparaged. So here's two of mine:

1. It's a good list but I wish more people gave higher scores to some of the more classic experiences, like Schmecks and Allens. Nice to see Phoenix at #7, but for me it's up there with the best stuff being built today. Also would have like to have seen anything from Kennywood or any of the big old Allens place somewhere notable. Not that they're BETTER - but they're as worthy. Maybe not as extreme, though certainly more rideable in my own experience, especially when the cars have simpler means of restraint. I can't imagine a more fair and thorough way to measure "best" than the system Mitch has devised, but it seems "best" is now synonymous with "most intense", "most extreme", etc - rather than "most fun", "most magical". Giant Dipper on a summer night or Scream Machine on a humid Georgia afternoon? HEAVEN. Eh. I'm an old fart.

2. Any of you resisting a visit to Six Flags Great Adventure - I totally understand. The park was a total train wreck the last several years (decades?). But beleve me, the ultimate GAdv cynic - something happened in the last year, I don't know what, I don't know how, but they got it together. It's not perfect, it never will be, but you'd never know the place from just a year ago. Just go. Don't deprive yourself. The park is a joy.

Friday, December 7, 2007 5:09 PM
I dunno that the park is a joy, yet. But, some of their rides are. For my group though, we have fun wherever we go. So, it doesn't matter. That's what parks are all about to me - spending time with your friends. No matter how crappy a park is, we always manage to have a blast. :)
Friday, December 7, 2007 6:28 PM
OK, "the park is a joy" was maybe a little over the top. Too much December spirit, I suppose. Or coaster deprivation. Five weeks already, and not a foreseeable ride for the next few months at least
Friday, December 7, 2007 6:49 PM
matt.'s avatar I'll make the effort this spring and if it's lousy I'm coming back here and petitioning for Seahawk & the Wave to be banned for life.
Friday, December 7, 2007 7:48 PM
The only ones on the list I rode are TH,ET,Voyage and BD. I say El Toro is probably the best out of those 4 just for the airtime. Its true that Voyage is more out of control but El Toro's first drop and drop over Rolling Thunder make it worth while.

I also love TH and even though there's not much to Boulder Dash it still kicked ass. Actually on the other hand I think BD may be better than Voyage. Let the flaming begin.

Friday, December 7, 2007 8:00 PM
delan's avatar I also thought ET kicked ass this year. Rough? Not to me. There were three things this year that I considered the "8th world wonder" worthy. 1) the iphone, 2) the Lexus LS600h, and 3) El Toro Toro Toro!
Friday, December 7, 2007 8:17 PM
Mammut WILL have poly wheels, got that directly from the Gerstlauer rep at IAAPA. I am in the camp that the wheels are more important in the feel of a wood coaster than the prefab vs laminated track construction. Therefore I ranked Balder, EL Toro and Colossos down slightly in my poll because of that hard-to-describe "feel" issue.
Friday, December 7, 2007 8:44 PM
Where is the Hurler?
Top 5, in no particular order: 1. MF 2. Maverick, 3. Kraken 3. El Toro, 4. TTD 5. Superman Krypton Coaster Top overrated coasters: 1. Incredible Hulk (Boooooring!) 2. Nitro 3. Expedition G-force 4. Goliath(SFMM) 5. Any Dive Coaster
Friday, December 7, 2007 8:51 PM
^ Hurler PKD is at 112. Hurler PCar is at 110. But more importantly, who cares?
Friday, December 7, 2007 9:48 PM
matt.'s avatar I rode Hurler at PCar this year for the first time and it was really quite good. Maybe it will bump up a few spots as more people get down there with it running well.
Friday, December 7, 2007 10:23 PM

SFGAdv lover said:
^ Hurler PKD is at 112. Hurler PCar is at 110. But more importantly, who cares?

It is actually the best coaster I have ever been on. That includes Hades, Voyage, Boulder, El Toro, Mean Streak, and Son of Beast.

Top 5, in no particular order: 1. MF 2. Maverick, 3. Kraken 3. El Toro, 4. TTD 5. Superman Krypton Coaster Top overrated coasters: 1. Incredible Hulk (Boooooring!) 2. Nitro 3. Expedition G-force 4. Goliath(SFMM) 5. Any Dive Coaster
Friday, December 7, 2007 10:59 PM
^ I'm all for people having their own opinions, but that's quite an opinion. To each his own... I suppose.
Friday, December 7, 2007 11:52 PM
Did anyone notice that ET beat out SROS and SROS beat out Voyage so if it was included in the poll Voyage would be tied with ET for best coaster. To see those reults scroll down the page.
Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:03 AM
Hi I'm new here but have been a casual reader for some time. I would just like to give my thoughts to the coaster poll.

From what I gather here there are many who believe that the prefabricated Intamin wooden coasters with the polyurethane wheels break tradition and don’t feel like a true wooden coaster. I also think that there are a lot of anti Six Flags people here who can’t see past the fact that it was Six Flags who has built this wonder in the coaster industry.

To say that El Toro is not a true wooden coaster is ludicrous. If anything Voyage is the imposter here with its steel support structure. At least El Toro has a traditional wooden frame. I think if you’re going give El Toro a demerit for having polyurethane wheels you have to give an equal demerit to Voyage for its steel support structure. There is no question that El Toro gives you the better ride, the smoother ride, and has the better drop so why isn’t it number one? I’ll tell you why it’s not and the answer is Six Flags.

It’s so disgusting to see that so many people can’t look past the faults of Six Flags and fill out their polls honestly. Why hasn’t Voyage received a lot for criticism for having a steel support structure? I just don’t understand how a wooden coaster that gives you a better, faster, smoother ride that has a structure built entirely out of wood, has hands down the most comfortable wooden coaster trains on the market can loose. It’s a shame and a disgrace that people would vote The Voyage #1 this year.

So all of you close minded scared people can keep on riding your “#1 wooden coaster” with your steel support structure and outdated trains while I’m riding a bigger, faster, smoother coaster with better airtime and comfy trains. El Toro is #1 in my book and if took the rest of the general public and put them on both coasters I’m sure they would agree with me.

SFNE Online! Your Six Flags New England Resource!
Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:07 AM
Jeff's avatar

halltd said:
Am I wrong in thinking Intamin wood track is laminated as well? I thought the only difference was it was done in a factory and shipped in sections to the site. From looking at it, it certainly looks like a bunch of laminated wood with plates of steel on the top and sides.
"Laminated track" refers to the layering of wood. These new Intamin rides are milled from solid pieces of wood, steel joints are fitted to each end. Pieces of road steel are then attached to cover the gaps. See here or here.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:13 AM
SFNE Online, many people like PTC's. If people are rating coasters on what matter to them in an experience, then who are you to say their criteria is wrong?
Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:26 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar ^ But, but... IT HAS A STEEL STRUCTURE!!!1!

Notice how that is his/her *only* point of argument? What's that old saying about a grain of salt?

Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:38 AM
Jeff, not to be nitpicky, but having seen uninstalled "pre fabricated wood", its not one solid piece of wood. For example, the piece of wood used for the upstop wheel is bolted in place.

The structure of the ride is built using the standard method of assembling a frame on the ground, then hoisting it up with a crane and then bolting it in place.

The only difference I see between the prefab rides and "Standard" woodies is Cordes figured out a new way to build a woodie and then Intamin added poly wheels to it. Poly wheels alone won't save a woodie, as evidenced by Coaster Express.


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