Top Ten Coasters- 1980

Sunday, March 9, 2003 1:10 PM
My family is moving at the end of the month, and I was going through some of my dad's old junk. I stumbled upon a book of lists. One of the lists was Tom Gunderson's 10 Greatest Roller coasters. Man, is this list ancient.

I'm only 15, but for all of you that are older than me and fell in love with the coasters of the 80's, here is what this coaster fanatic rated them:

1. Mindbender- SFoG

2. The Hurricane (currently Arkansas Twister)- Circus World

3. Runaway Train- SFoT

4. Screamin Eagle- SFStL

5. Python- Dark Continent, BGT

6. Great American Scream Machine- SFoG

7. Willard's Whizzer- SFGA

8. Space Mountain- Disney World

9. Turn of the Century (now named Demon)- SFGA

10. Jet Racers- SFoT...I have no clue what this one is, but it can't be Runaway Train since it's already been listed. Possible rides could be Judge Roy Scream, Shockwave, or Mini Mine Train. Does anyone know?

What other coasters where your favorite? I was surprised to see some coasters not on here, like Kennywood's two classics, Beast, etc. Must have not gotten to them. Enjoy.

I lost my hat on Poison Ivy. How pathetic.

Sunday, March 9, 2003 1:19 PM
SFOT had a Schwarzkopf speed racer.

What a great list. Come on, who doesn't have an old mine train in their top ten! ;)

Also, those aren't coasters of the 80s man, try 70s :)

- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

Sunday, March 9, 2003 1:21 PM
The Whizzer? The Whizzer!! (Sorry, it will never have the "Williard's," for me).

Woo Hoo!! That's a fun list to look over, especially considering it's the first time I've ever seen my first coaster anywhere near a top ten list. How times do change (although, in all seriousness, I wonder if this guy needed to get out a bit more. Even in 1980, Whizzer was more than just a little tame...).

I hear America screaming...

Sunday, March 9, 2003 1:32 PM
Well, around 1980, from what I've been told by the old timers, the top 3 coasters in the world were Texas Cyclone, Coney Island Cyclone, and Mr. Twister. For steel, it was the Schwarzcopfs (Revolution, Mindbender, Sooperdooperlooper) that were most favored. Stayed that way through the entirety of the 80s, really.


Sunday, March 9, 2003 2:28 PM
Peabody, FWIW, the top ten coasters *of* 1980 would've been built in the seventies for the most part...;)

The duo at SFoG certainly have aged well, can't really say that much for the one at BGT...;) Whizzer is still a darn fine ride, basically runs like SDL (minus the loop of course)...

Sunday, March 9, 2003 2:33 PM
LOL, that's funny to actually see the RMT on any top ten list. Personally, I think it runs very well for it to be that old and an Arrow (it really does feel like a mine train). One thing I find odd, though, is that Shockwave isn't on there.

Also, Big Bend (SFOT's speedracer) closed in 1979. Guess coaster news wasn't spread so quickly back then... ;)

Am I really that shy?
*** This post was edited by The Shy One 3/9/2003 7:36:20 PM ***

Sunday, March 9, 2003 3:08 PM
I remember the Texas Cyclone being just about everybody's #1 coaster in the eighties. I would like to know if anyone ever rode the Texas Cyclone in its hey day and could describe what the ride was like. I went to Astroworld in 82 and could have ridden it, but I was only 8 and it just looked terrifying. I just could'nt bring myself to get on it. Regret it now of course. I've ridden it recently and I think it's a good ride. But I'm sure nothing near what it was in the 80's. Could somebody please enlighten me as to what it used to be like?
Sunday, March 9, 2003 3:52 PM
If you're talking about the whole decade - I'm surprised no one has mentioned Magnum yet.
Sunday, March 9, 2003 4:04 PM
You know, some people really need to look a little more carefully: There is a definet difference between "1980" and "1980's" Not to mention that it ought to be "The 1980's" if you're going to go there. This thread is about a list made in 1980, which means the coasters discussed will be from the seventies (at least, mostly), not the 80's.

I hear America screaming...

Sunday, March 9, 2003 4:34 PM
Ahh yes, 1980.

Marriott still owned Great America.

100ft coasters were considered tall.

Arrow was dominating the coaster scene.

5. coasters in a park was considered a decent amount.

We didnt have the internet to gripe and moan about coasters.

"The good old days" :)

Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

Sunday, March 9, 2003 4:56 PM
I have to give the SuperKid (Steve) his due. Nice job, this list is incredible. And here's the kicker: What were the six coasters at the Point in 1979 (counting the one removed in '79)? And none of them made that list. Is it odd? No, not in the least bit. Cedar Fair really didn't have that household name that Six Flags, Busch and Disney had in the 70's or still for that matter. Let me clarify this: A common question that my kids today ask at school during our Physics/Math/ Rollercoaster unit is "Cedar Point has other amusement parks?" They have no idea that KBF, WoF,VF, MiA, Dorney are owned by that same company that holds the Cedar Point nameplate.* Nor do I see people in the 70's knowing the same. Thus, look at the parks owning those coasters on the list. Gemini would be the only coaster I could see breaking that list. The reason I know this is that I'm an old fart carelessly blowing wind.

The Mindbender and Space Mountain are still favorites of mine. Great thread! Another stroll down memory lane.

*A quick edit or thought on that: Is it because it's not Cedar Fair: Knot's Berry Farm or Cedar Fair Worlds of Fun? For the reason why people don't know that these parks are owned by CF, but we all know a Six Flags, Disney or Busch park because their corporate name is on the front of the label? Your thoughts??
There's nothing like a woodie...
*** This post was edited by Woody 3/9/2003 10:02:57 PM ***

Sunday, March 9, 2003 6:06 PM
Hmm..I would have though Lochness Monster would have been up there.

Party goin on in the corner.....gotta be California!

Sunday, March 9, 2003 6:07 PM
Great reply Woody

But my only question is why is The Beast missing from the list??

Sunday, March 9, 2003 6:12 PM
I think everyone needs to keep in mind this is just one person's list. This was not a poll or a group's list. Just one guy and they are all from a few parks.
Sunday, March 9, 2003 6:27 PM
Woody said: The reason I know this is that I'm an old fart carelessly blowing wind.

That's damn funny, Woody!

Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...
*** This post was edited by Chaindog 3/9/2003 11:27:45 PM ***

Sunday, March 9, 2003 7:23 PM
Woody, you points are quite insightful. And i would like to add that clearly in 1980 CP was merely a successful regional park. They had just bought Valleyfair! in 1978. And Cedar Fair Ltd wasn't a reality until Feb. 1983. So it was quite impossible for anyone to know of Cedar Fair and quite improbable that anyone outside of Ohi/Mich would know what Cedar Point was. Even if they briefly held the tallest coaster record for a year.

As for your quick thought; it seems to me that while a corprate entity, Cedar Fair isn't quite a brand concept that SF and Disney is. While there is some similarity to marketing stategies and graphic logos from park to park, it seems that the CF is happy to allow aquired parks to maintain their own identities while growing in the company. On the other hand it is SF's goal to make ever branded park to be as close to the others in attractions and feel. They want to be like McDonald's so that no matter where you are in the world you know what you get when you walk into a SF park.

Monday, March 10, 2003 1:18 AM
When I was a kid (late 70s & Early 80s), I definitely remember Texas Cyclone, The Beast, Thunderbolt (Kennywood), Colossus (SFMM), Mr. Twister (Elitch Gardens), American Eagle, & the original Coney Island Cyclone being favorites for wood. Loch Ness Monster, Revolution (SFmm), Demon (Sfgam), King Kobra (PKI), The Bat (PKI), Big Bad Wolf, & the various multi-looping coasters (Double Loop, Mindbender, Orient Express) & Shuttle loops (Greezed Lightning / Tidal Wave / Laser Loop) were steel favorites.

I also remember Gemini being quite popular, but since it was a Steel/Wood hybrid, it was harder to classify.

Ahhhh… the early 80s….

Monday, March 10, 2003 1:22 AM
Oops... I forgot about the Disney coasters (Space Mountain & Thunder Mountain Railroad).

Guess they seemed more like themed attractions (like Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion) than conventional roller coasters.

Monday, March 10, 2003 3:49 AM
As Wooday said, I'm surprised that Gemini, built in 1978, isn't on the list considering it was a record breaker for it's time. It's also still one of my favorites at CP.

The other coasters at CP at the time were Blue Streak, Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Wildcat, Corkscrew and Jumbo Jet (the one that was removed and was similar to Whizzer). None of the above coasters would have been widely known.

And I also know this because of MY old fart status. I remember when Blue Streak and Scamper were the only coasters at CP (my first trip in 1966).
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
*** This post was edited by CPLady 3/10/2003 8:50:52 AM ***

Monday, March 10, 2003 5:54 AM
I can't believe the Idora Park Wildcat isn't on there. It was definately a top 10 in 1980 imo.



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