Of all the coasters, coaster types, and coaster designers out there, some have really pulled together some incredible rides. Not in term of the rides' "feel" quality, but more of the engineering/physical/maintenence properties. A lot of coasters are just thrown together, gradually run themselves down, and as a result can lead to occurances the park hadn't planned on (cough cough arrow cough). Horrible maintence, addition of trim brakes, lower capacity, and other problems are just examples.
However, there are the golden gems that havn't gone to waste, and have proved that with a little tlc, these rides can really "live" and parks can get their moneys worth.
One coaster that seems to be this way, is Medusa at sfgadv. Despite its beginnings as a prototype, this ride has shown what precise engineering can do. All of the inversions are taken at a "perfect" speed. Capacity is also large. Besides an occasional shake or closure, the ride really hasn't had any problems at all. I really salute B&M for it.
Another ride like this would be Raptor. Same scenario as Medusa, just a bigger prototype from Batman. The ride yields great capacity, little problems, and great engineering. It's also funny how the line for this ride is unusually long all the time (well, before 3pm).
Now, there are also the horrible rides. I'm talking about those rides which basically are thrown together, and the park must suffer the consequences later. I'd have to say, GASM and Shockwave (arrow megaloopers) fit into this category. In their early days, these rides had long lines, and excited guests. Today, they're better off scrap metal. Trim Brakes, Maintence problems, horrible engineering, all make these coasters horrible, imho.
So, what are your Golden/Horrible rides?
----------------- How much more floorless can they get?
The Corkscrew at CP and to a certain extent, Nessie at BGW. Of course these problems might not exist if the company that designed them would also design ergonomic style seating, instead of being so tight and uncomfortable...cough cough Magnum cough.
Thunderbolt (Pippin), Jackrabbit and Racer. Hands down best engineering - especially cause they didn't have computers or calculators. (at least the ones that I know of, I know there are a few others in this category).
----------------- Steel - #1 Kumba, #2 Millie, #3 Mantis ||| Wood - #1 Thunderbolt, #2 Villain, #3 Gwazi "The key to a happy life is moderation" -- Jon Stewart
I'd say that most coasters are very well engineered. But, as far as the "horrible" rides go, I'd have to say Son of Beast tops my list.
PKI had more problems with that ride and lost a lot of money. Unless you're in the first couple cars it will give you a migrane and bruises on your knees (I'm 6'4") for the rest of the day, and lacks a constant speed. I sometimes wonder if it has enough speed to crest the next hill. And ride capacity? Ugh. terrible.
In my opinion, the thing that makes or breaks a coaster is the car and restraint design. For instance, B&M coaster cars are very comfortable and provide a good ride. The Wildcat at Hersheypark has padded, spacious seats, relatively speaking. It may be a rough ride but if that padding were not there, imagine how much worse it would be. Most Arrow coasters have cramped seating and are unpadded. Those shoulder restraints are not great either. Think about how important it is. Outer Limits at PKD was said to be a horrible ride but then they changed the restraints and it became much more popular. Drachen Fire's big issue was with the car design supposedly. As I have stated numerous times, this seems to be an Arrow trend, poorly engineered cars. Granted, Outer Limits is not an Arrow coaster, I just used it as an example of the car and restraint system. Think of how much better some of Arrow's older coasters would be if the cars had more room and the seats were more comfortable.
i agree with the raptor comment. also medusa was the first floorless and it worked out great for them. but its only 3 or so years old. i would say vortex at paramont canadas wonderland is an example of this too. its been up for a wile and its agreat ride(best in park) and it isnt that rough and they always run the two trains on it and its NEVER down. and its the fastest moving line in PCW
I would say Cedar Creek Mine Ride is a very well engineered ride. It is relatively smooth ride, and the helix is very smooth. Gemini's helix can be pretty rough, and CCMR is a much older ride than Gemini.
----------------- The ice age killed the dinosaurs, we killed ourselves.
You really have to put some years in before we can really tell how well engineered a coaster is.
Any Swartzkopf (sp?) looper is very very well designed. After all these years Mindbender, Sooperdooperlooper and the like are still smooth as glass.
Bad engineering? Wow I can throw all kinds of stuff here. Right off the bat I can point to some very very new rides that have become nightmares. Deja Vu, X, The Impulses. There are many many more that are a bit older.
----------------- All I need is 4.5 million bucks and a half a mile long sliver of land and maybe someone could build me my very own Shivering Timbers. ;)
Schwarzkopf is one of the best out there. Until I ride more than 2 Arrow coasters that are comfortable and as smooth as Schwarzkopf or B&M, I will never agree that the company is one of the best out there. Sure, the company has brought a lot to the table with tubular steel and groundbreaking rides but that was a long time ago. The rides age poorly and have mechanical problems too, at least the ones I have ridden. I think they tend to cut corners a bit, whereas B&M does everything thoroughly. The one thing I will never understand about Arrow is how it can create smooth rides like Gemini and Trailblazer yet design some very rough and not fun coasters like Magnum, Nessie, Corkscrew, and others that are rough. What changes did they make to cause these discrepancies? I realize the company changes hands every now and then but whatever is being done now is not working too well.
there are 2 ways to ruin an Anton....first, you can do what SFoG did and remove one....second is what SFMM did "for" (to?) Revolution, adding OTSRs....the rides were DESIGNED without them for a reason.....
Kenywood's Racer is near-perfection from a time when people took PRIDE in their work...and it SHOWS....:)
Beemers are SO well-engineered, even after 10 years people line up forever for a spin on one.....
I have to agree with Magnum Force that you have to wait so many years to really tell. Obviously, you have to salute the engineers from the twenties, the ones that still have many coasters open, especially John Miller. Alot of them lasted the depression, changes, and so much more. Not to mention, the use of no computers as well. As for worst, what about the "bat" at PKI. I understand it was a first, but it only lasted for a few seasons because of the poor design. Also, though I loved the coaster, what about the old Phantom at Kennywood. They had to add a brake before the vertical loop because of the speed, and even then, it was still pretty fast. They brake added alot of noise, which was terrible considering the houses a few hundred feet away. Son of Beast, I don't think is terribly flawed, though it is probably the roughest coaster I've ridden. I think it's just way too big for wood, and the speeds they are dealing with, they made it the best they could. Somebody said Wildcat at Hershey was rough, I honestly didn't seem to find it too rough. And, as for the constant Magnum thing, yes it hurts your legs much, but that's one thing I love about it, the constant airtime. The worst coasters ever, I think are either the Wild Mouse coasters I totally can't stand in general, or the huge Arrow loopers.
Look at Schwarzkopf coasters for great engineering. Old rides that work like a charm. B&M coasters need to be mentioned here as well. Take a spin on Batman: The Ride. 10 years old, and still gives the smooth intense ride it did when it opened.
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