Theory on CCI "woodies poll" dominance

Tuesday, November 5, 2002 9:28 AM
In a news item thread coasterdude318 said: "Heck, take a look at the CCI-dominated polls and I really don't see where you get any impression that GCI rides are "better"."

This gave rise to a bit of thought in me. With Mitch Hawker's internet woodie poll running as I type, I thought this would be a decent enough hour to express my opinion on these things.

Point Blank, I do *NOT* think that CCI coasters are inherently better than GCIs. Actually, I would proffer the opposite opinion, that GCIs are the superior grade of coaster. Whether this is due to design, construction or choice of train, I dont know. But it seems to me that the GCIs have had far less *issues* than the CCIs.

Which brings me to the question of why are CCIs rated so high in "enthusiast" driven polls. Well, my *best* guess is due to the three most important things to remember in business:
location,
Location,
LOCATION!

I have observed an overwhelming bias among coaster enthusiasts towards smaller parks. And less face it, when you're already having a good time, a ride doesnt have to "work as hard" to get you in a good mood. Conversely, if you're already irritated before boarding, you're less likely to give an outstanding opinon. I am *fully* convinced that if say Lightning Racer was in the enthusiasts "Sweethart" park Holiday World, it would be right there at #1 or 2. Moreover, I'd guess that if Raven was anywhere *but* HW, it would not make many lists at all (see Cyclops @ Big Chiefs).

So where am I going with this? Not very far actually. I'm just trying to point out that there are many "mitigating factors" that may go into a coasters rating by a so-called enthusiast. Let that marinate on the mind for a minute ;)
lata, jeremy
--who *does* think that The Legend is the most perfectly designed woodie *despite* being in a small park in southern Indiana :)

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 9:52 AM
I can't help but disagree and disgaree strongly. The reason why Legend, Raven, Boulder Dash, Ghostrider, Cornball Express, Tonnerre De Zeus, Megafobia, and Shivering Timbers are ahead of Wildcat (the highest rated GCI on my list for this year) and Cyclops (#40 out of 81 on my list) is because I honestly believe they're better rides, not because of location. That should be quite evident by the fact that the CCI installations mentioned span 3 countries and both US coasts. Fact is, they are "that good". Cyclops isn't in my top 10 not because its at Big Chief's (which I prefer to Indiana Beach, Oakwood, Parc Asterix, and Michigan's Adventure, believe it or not), but because its so short (1650 ft) and isn't even the best coaster in the park (Zeus is, IMO).

GCIs haven't been perfect either. I've heard nothing but how rough Wildcat has been in the last couple years (more 2000 and 2001 than 2002).

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Alan

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 9:58 AM

I agree, to an extent... here comes my $.02.

Many coasters ARE rated so highly because of their location... that can be denied up and down but its the truth. There are many enthusiast "sweetheart" parks (as you accurately pointed out) that get the lion's share of positive press. Whether it is deserved or not, well, that is another discussion for another time, I suppose! But yes, I have a feeling that any woodie that makes it into Holiday World, Indiana Beach, Silverwood and Knoebels is going to be looked upon with more favor than one going to Cedar Point, Big Chiefs or (*gasp*) Six Flags.

I don't agree, however, about Hershey, as it seems to be one of those enthusiast "sweetheart" parks. While I am a HUGE fan of Lightning Racer, I think that most look somewhat down upon it because it fails to deliver massive airtime and other intense forces that cause coasters to rank so highly in the Poll. Personally, I feel the Wildcat would fare a lot WORSE in the Poll (all things considered equal) had it been built as a Six Flags coaster.

But, all in all, an extremely interesting and valid argument that 2Hostyl has made here.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:01 AM
2Hostyl said:

I am *fully* convinced that if say Lightning Racer was in the enthusiasts "Sweethart" park Holiday World, it would be right there at #1 or 2. Moreover, I'd guess that if Raven was anywhere *but* HW, it would not make many lists at all (see Cyclops @ Big Chiefs).

I agree Lightning Racer and Wildcat are great GCI coasters and is is true the majority of enthusiats seem to be huddled into the midwest territory, and are also big fans of HW.

There is nothing wrong with loving HW because it is a great park. But sometimes I think those two coasters blind the fact that there are other coasters made not by CCI but also by GCI!

Look at Viper @SFGAM great coaster doesn't get the props that are due.

That's just my opinions.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:01 AM
To me though comparing GCIs and CCIs are like comparing apples to oranges. I really love them both. While CCIs are there to give you an insane slam you around and through you out of your seat experience, GCIs tend to more focus on...."dancing" I guess. Two totally different experiences. While I think CCI has made some stinkers (Boss) there isn't a single GCI I've been on that I haven't loved.

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WOOD: It does a body good.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:06 AM

I think we can't really judge coasters by the company at all. My two favorite wooden coasters are the Raven (CCI) and Wildcat (GCI), and the Legend (CCI) and the Villain (CCI) are good, but I didn't really dig Lightning Racer (GCI) or Twisted Twins (CCI) at all.

Same goes for B&M. I love Raptor and Mantis, but not Chang or RR. I'm not going to make any pre-judgements based on company.

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:10 AM

I disagree.

CCIs rank so highly because the designs are more 'in tune' with what most enthusiasts want: Airtime, a heightened sense of speed, and agressive laterals.

GCI coasters are briliant designs in my book, but they just don't offer the extreme forces that the CCIs do.

I really don't think location has much to do with it at all. Is Michigan really that popular? Idaho? Connecticut? Alabama?

You have to go to number seven on Mitch's poll before you get to anything in Indiana (and that's The Legend, not The Raven)...

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sonic life

*** This post was edited by chris on 11/5/2002. ***

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:25 AM
I compare it to the whole B&M, Intamin hyper arguement. While you'll get no arguement out of me that B&M supplies the higher quality product overall, the fact is more enthusiasts prefer the *intensity* and out of control nature of Intamins. I'm of the opinion that while GCI woodies are fun, they just don't have the strong laterals that CCIs have. The highly banked turns might have something to do with that. ;)

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:29 AM

Alrighty then, I just *know* you all have ben waiting for me to "weigh in" on this one.....and given what the scale in our lunchroom says, I can do that *in abundance*. Ah, the good life...:)

Anyhow, I must agree that the "enthusiast mindset" DOES *tend* to favor the wilder rides....given the legal environment in CA/NY/NJ, I think it's a pretty safe bet that you'll find the rides to be "toned down" a bit in the interests of PERCEIVED safety....

Also, smaller parks have a MUCH greater *investment* in their few big rides, meaning they'll *tend* to take better care of them. I'll even *wager* that as coasters age in smaller parks, they SHOULD do better than similar coasters in large chain parks....not *necessarily* from people "bashing" the large chains, more of an indication to which the smaller parks RELY on those few big attractions for their livelihood...if SFGAdv lost RT entirely, they'd have NO wood at all, yet the park in ENTHUSIAST minds at least would be virtually unchanged....

For my money, both GCI and CCI make (or made) great rides that we can ALL be thankful for....ratings only become "meaningful" when you compile LOTS of differing opinions...which is why Mitch's poll is SO widely respected in our "community"...

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:37 AM
By the way, Lightning Racer is a masterpiece. I'd take it in my backyard anyday. ;)

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:38 AM
I kinda missed your 'location' point the first time around, I think.

Looks like you're referring to location in 'small' or 'large' parks, not in terms of geography.

I'll give you that, to a degree.

But then I see that *gasp* a Six Flags woodie ranked higher than Raven last year. *And* a Cedar Fair woodie came in at #2. ;)

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sonic life

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:41 AM

Well lets see, My Top Ten as posted in Mitches poll. Includes last ridden in and Former rank.

1. Timbers (Timbersfest 2000) '01 it was 15th. CCI 70+ rides total.

2. Boss (2002 first visit) Got 42 rides including 30 in the last two hours :)

3 Villain (2001) I've had both good and bad rides, When it's good, It's daym good!

4. Raven (2002 Aug 15th and SRM) Former rank 6th

5. Pheonix. For it's size and layout, This coaster is just plain fun fun fun. Former rank 5th

6. Screechin Eagle at Lesoursdsville. I have ridden this coaster for decades. I don't know why but after a three year hiatous this coaster just hit the spot.

7. Big Dipper at SFWOA. Another coaster that is just plain fun and can be ridden as a coaster should be.

8. Cornball Express. I don't know why, Last year it was outside my top ten but after three visits this year. It just grows on you as fun fun fun.

9. Legend, My former #1 fell almost out of the top ten and would be out based upon early rides this year. I returned in August and found the first half better than ever. The part after the helix while more re-ridable was far less intense. Im sure it will climb back up in my ranks as the G train took almost a year to break in.

10. Riverside Cyclone. Probably the only coaster that had me saying, IM GOING TO DIE at least 5 times durring the ride. Tonned down??? Maybe but I never got to ride it the other way so I don't know what I am missing. The rides I had in 2001 were awesome.

Chuck, who says the nearest GCI in his list is way down at 30th, 31 and 32nd with the only three he's ridden. Lion, Tiger and Outlaw.

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Charles Nungester.
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:56 AM

While I'm sure there's exceptions Jeremy, I think you've got something there. I think more tends to be forgiven in a small park (some people might even call it charm) "Oh look at how that building hasn't been painted forever. Isn't that just charming?"

Where as in a big park I think the expectations are higher, and things get ridiculed quicker, and that's not just regarding coasters.

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Fav Steel: Millenium Force Fav Wood: Viper

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 10:59 AM
I have to agree that a good park atmosphere can make a coaster ‘feel’ better then it would in a lesser park. Especially when we are talking about coasters that you may only get to ride once a year (or even less). If I am pissed-off because the line is slow, the ride-ops are rude, or the crowd is obnoxious, I have trouble enjoying a coaster as much as I should. Plus, if my experience at a park was generally positive, I think that subconsciously comes into play when I’m filling out a poll.

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Bob M.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 1:58 PM

I really don't agree. The two GCI's I have rode (Lightning Racer and Wildcat) pale in comparison to Timbers, Raven, Legend, Cornball, Villian, and even teh dells coasters.

Sure they are fun, but I found them rather Tame force wise. On my rank of woodies the GCI's fall towards the bottom of the list. My list of favorites that is as I loved the coasters but they are not of the quality of the Midwest CCI's (or honorary CCI's in Viper's case) and they come no where near touching the two masterpieces out in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 2:05 PM
I personally love GCI's (I have only been on one poorly maintained CCI in my life). Although I agree they are somewhat tame, I do not need sheer intensity to enjoy a ride. Wildcat and Lightning Racer may lack extreme airtime, but their location and twister layouts put them both in my top ten. Roar, another great ride, is also in my top 10 (Roar East). I don't expect a lot of airtime on a GCI, just like I don't expect a lot of loops on a B+M hyper. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy it for what it does have. GCI may not be as intense, but it is tough to beat in my book. Wait till mext year when I go on Boulderdash-I hope I can rate it higher (even so, LR is tough to beat).

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How many rides must a man go on, before you may call him a fan?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 2:20 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with the park. (Contrary to Hostyl's opinion)

It's the lure for me, The coaster that thrilled me, Made me laugh. Made me want to come back for more again and again.

These coasters get me to drive or fly thousands of miles to ride them and spend tons of money in pursuit of the perfect coaster (Which there is none) :)

I still got alot of GCI experience to get in. While the three I have ridden have been good and fun, They were not so much as to get me to travel back to them just for the coaster. I am told Lightning Racer and Roar West are very good and in LR's case, Very Fun as well.

Chuck, who dose like HW, IB, Knoebels and other parks, but finds some great woodies at places like SFNE, SFOG, PKI, SFSTL who all BTW are not in his charming catagory. Oh and how bout SFKK? One coaster there ranks very high and it's Dinn/Fetterman despite being possibly the worst park in the country at times.

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Charles Nungester.
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 2:26 PM
I personally think that the GCI's give more airtime.Even though Boulder Dash is my #1 it doesnt give as much airtime as Wildcat. If GCI had the chance to use the terrain CCI gets to use they would also get very good ratings.

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Coaster count:32
top3:Boulder Dash, Steel Force,Wildcat(Hershey)

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 2:49 PM
With CCIs, it's not really about airtime(although some have quite a bit), it's laterals and intensity. You wind up holding on for dear life while being amazed that they can keep so much continuous speed from begginning to end.

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 3:08 PM

Regarding the differences between GCI and CCI, if I want a nice healthy does of airtime, I'll take CCI. If it's laterals and a more complex layout- GCI all the way. Both are (were) great companies in their respective fields.

I believe location does have somthing to do with CCI's being more popular than GCI's, but one other factor comes into play: The ratio of CCI coasters to GCI coasters- 34 to 8. (one of those being under construction at Celebration City) CCI has more than 4 times the amount of coasters GCI does. There are only 5 parks in which you can find a GCI ride- that has a LOT to do with it. These two companies are equal in terms of quality IMO, but its much easier to ride a CCI than a GCI. Bottom line: If there were more GCI's, I believe they (GCI) would be more widely recognized.

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

*** This post was edited by BullGuy on 11/5/2002. ***

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