I rode it a really long time ago, probably early 90's so the specifics of the experience are a little fuzzy, but after watching the on-ride footage I remember those funky hills not having much airtime before the second lift and being uncomfortable in a herky-jerky way. I rode it when it had shoulder harnesses, so the headbanger effect definately ruined it overall, but that second half was amazing in the deep woods section. The experience, especially because of the ride's length, is VERY unique and cannot be compared with other rides. There's a lot of flat sections, plus that weird slow section at the top of the second lift, and like the Beast can be easily criticized in lacking many of the standard elements essential for a non-looping coaster, however somehow is still great because the experience is so crazy and so long.
Another funky thing about that coaster is that there were several bras nailed to the hand rails at the second lift. Apparently the turn off the lift is so slow that British ladies remove their bras and toss them on the catwalk. When a maintenance person finds a bra he nails it to the hand rail.
^I thought Vortex was ok when it opened. There was soooo much hype for it. That first drop is the bomb. After that first year, I would ride it one time every time to check it out, it was alays so darn rough.
I had a list of 5 coasters on my "DO NOT RIDE" list:
Vortex Dragon at Adventureland Orient Express (but somehow, the last time I rode it, it was great!)
Geez, I can't even remember the other ones... For some reason, I wanna say Tornado at Wonderland - I remember it being quite the back breaker.
Anyway, I guess I should focus on coaster I like, right!?
I rode Vortex 2 summers ago, first time since like '93, and sure nuff, it was horrible.
But even rides like the Great America Shockwave, as brutal as it was, I rode it alot - so I really 'learned' how to ride, to not get hurt.
And it was always fun making pocket change under those Arrow Velcro seat pads ;)
I do miss it, it was much better than the B&M flyer that has taken it's old spot.
And I've said it a million times, what if Morgan came in an pulled a 'phantom's revenge' on it? I came up with so many great designs, wouldda been nice!
Please. Anaconda has one little rough spot. Vortex has a few, but neither coaster is close to being 'horrible.'
I have a friend in the UK whose favorite coaster is The Ultimate. Granted, his track record isn't huge (all European coasters), but he has ridden coasters like Megafobia and Nemesis. He, like myself, appreciates uniqueness in a coaster over many other variables, and Ultimate is definitely unique. He mentions that it's horribly designed--for instance, as Rye.D.Ziner pointed out, it runs out of steam so much at the end that a third lift was necessary, and the crazy section after the second lift has turns that are not banked nearly enough for the speed at which they're taken. However, its things like that which make the coaster so quirky and fun. He even says it beats the hell out of you, but it's so much fun he doesn't mind.
I rode the Ultimate in 2006. I liked it because I thought it was very unique. It is a very strange ride - the 2 lift hills are extremely slow, and the section after the 2nd lift is very fast and brutal. Still it has its own unique charm in my opinion.
I will put my 2 cents in. I rode it in 2002 and actually liked it. First half felt like riding a scenic railway. The 2nd half is where (like someone else mentioned) all hell broke loose! The next morning we were all comparing "ultimate" bruises!