What makes a great coaster?

Monday, March 15, 2010 3:04 PM

Once again, I am representing a group of senior-level students at the University of Central Florida, and we are doing a study on market-able rides. All we want to know is this:

What do you think makes a great coaster?

If you can, please give examples. Anything helps!

Monday, March 15, 2010 3:10 PM

One that gives me a smile at the end of a ride.

Sometimes that is due to airtime, sometimes due to disorientation, sometimes due to themeing, but its completely subjective.

Monday, March 15, 2010 3:29 PM

Og there are SO many qualities that can make a great coaster.

1. It's gotta be not only rideable (from a safety prospective) but rerideable. You have some coasters out there that are fun once or twice, but beyond that, they loose their appeal. An example of a good rerideable coaster (for me at least) is the Yankee Cannonball @ Canobie Lake. Magum XL-200 & MF @ CP are other examples.

2. It has to be a fun layout. This can mean that even with a simple out-n-back woodie, should have a variety of things going on. One of the coolest layout coasters I have ridden was Twister at Knoble's. You don't know where you're going half the time!

3. With a few execptions, the ride should fit with the surroundings. For example, some rides look as if they've been plopped down with no thought of what's around them or is going to be around them.

4. It mustn't be painful to ride. Some rides bash you around so much that you feel like you need a bottle of asprin & a trip to the chripractor after you ride them.

5. The ride needs to have a broad appeal. If you build a ride in a family park that has a 54" min rider height, it's worthless. But if you build a ride that has a 48" height, mom & dad can ride it with the kids and have fun together.

6. The ride's gotta be reliable. When designing the "systems" it's OKAY to crib stuff from other industries that have a proven record of using it, like MF's elevator cable lift or the magnetic brakes on Top Thril Dragster. Besides, when somebody walks into a park an sees a ride is down for the bazillionth time, they're going to stay far far away. Use the K.I.S.S. menthod and don't overcomplicate things.

7. Think about who you're designing the ride for. Do you really need a 300 ft lift hill on a kiddie coaster? Will the ride seem too tame for a teenager?

8. Don't build a ride soley to break a record. You want something that has a total package (kinda like a georgous girl who can also paint like Van Gogh and cook like Julia Child), not a one-trick pony that will be boring & outdated next year.

Am I missing anything?

Monday, March 15, 2010 3:46 PM

*Rideability - comfort of the ride - doesn't hurt, not crushed or squished in seat

*Location/operation - At a park that operates well/guest friendly. Staff of ride fills seats quickly/safely and lets you pick which seat to sit in. Ease of getting on/off, proximity to the rest of the park. A ride that has little or no

*Uniqueness - Isn't a 'cookie cutter' ride (see Vekoma Boomerang, and arguably, most rides from B&M)

Monday, March 15, 2010 5:37 PM

Voyage. 'Nuff said.

Last edited by Mamoosh, Monday, March 15, 2010 5:38 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010 6:41 PM

^I prefer Legend ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010 6:52 PM

I second the Voyage notion.
I am also a fan of Maverick but I know how a lot of people feel about that one.

Monday, March 15, 2010 7:12 PM

^blue fire Megacoaster (see rcdb.com) is a better, more rideable version of Maverick ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010 8:00 PM

I like turtles..

Monday, March 15, 2010 8:07 PM

There absolutely has to be something good at the end of the ride, for me. My top rides like S:RoS SFNE, PR, the Phoenix, and El Toro don't hit their best moments until midway or even later through the ride. On the other hand, I don't get that much out of rides that are boring after the first drop or first few elements. In fact, just about every coaster that has an MCBR looses points in my book, just because there's almost never anything great after the MCBR and the pacing suffers greatly.

Monday, March 15, 2010 10:27 PM

Oh Andy...you're going to love Voyage! ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 1:05 PM

I know I will. I guess I'm mostly thinking about B&M MCBR's which are so low to the ground that they basically just have a meandering trip back to the station (with a corkscrew or two, if applicable) afterwards.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 2:22 PM

Air. Speed. Height. That goes for both wood and steel. :) And lets not forget personality, reliability, and a very fast-moving line!

What else is there in life? ;)


Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Tuesday, March 16, 2010 2:25 PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:16 PM

^Yes, air!

Airtime where you actually rise out of the seat.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:22 PM

CoasterDemon said: ^Yes, air! Airtime where you actually rise out of the seat.

CoasterDemon said:
^I prefer Legend ;)

And you prefer Legend and it's heavy laterals over Voyage and it's more-than-ample airtime? Now you have me really confused, Billy :)

Last edited by Mamoosh, Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:23 PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:28 PM

^I sure do! I love Voyage, just can't ride it as much. Also, I really like the variety Legend has. The airtime on Voyage is tough seeing that by the 3rd drop, the lap bar has you cemented to the seat :(

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:31 PM

What makes a great coaster?

Great designers;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:41 PM

"When a great mommy coaster and a great daddy coaster love each other very much..."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:31 PM

What about the relevance of the ride to the park? Consider those few rides out there that "make or break" the park. What about them stands out?

When I think about rides like The Beast or Maverick, I think it would be more about breaking records and trying new things rather than just plain airtime. I mean, airtime is pretty much the holy grail of coaster enthusiasts, but given the right about of laterals and special effects, any coaster could have a potential for greatness.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:36 PM

^Mine would be Six Flags Over Georgia/Mindbender.

I know I'm NOT in the majority on that one - loved Cyclone and GASM years ago, but they seem to have lost it.

After my last visit there, Mind Bender is the only reason - and a very damn good one in my case - to go there again.


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