I think with Intamin's Plug and Play woodies, wooden rollercoasters will become more popular as they are able to go higher and faster without getting rougher. I think steel will always be built more than new wooden coasters because you can do more things with steel and it is more marketable.
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I think alot of it is that the general public prefers steel. When I went to Hershey when Lightning Racer was brand new, I came off with some friends, and they started talking about how "It would have been better if it had loops and was steel like the Great Bear". Wood just doesn't have the same effect on the GP like steel does.
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I think there will always be a passion and park need for wooden rollercoasters. Steel coasters are not so much "more popular" as they are "easy to clone". The proliferation of steel coasters easily dimishes if we were to look at new designs (steel) versus new designs (wood). I am beginning to see a trend in parks whereby new seel coasters are introduced to make a profit but new wood introduced to make a statement.
The other indication that wood coasters will continue to be produced is longevity. Although steel is easier to maintain, steel appeal does not show longevity. Wood Coasters are each unique to themselves and it seems they never lose their appeal. A look at the Internet Wood & Steel Polls to some degree bears this out. The top 25 or even fifty has a wide variety of coaster spanning decades in creation dates. The top 25 steel are always "the newest" - always the "record breakers". You don't see many early steel coasters cracking into anyone's top 10 lists.
Finally, even amongst the most strident coasters fans you will sometimes here people call for or at least consider the removal of a steel coaster. That just doesn't happen with wooden coasters. I think there tends to be more respect and reverence for wood coaster design and preservation - perhaps it is the lives of the trees sacrificed or perhaps it is recognition that a "good" or, especially, "great" woodie ride is a engineering feat to be celebrated.
Ya know, I was just gonna post a thread like this the other day. I think wood is becoming a thing of the past kinda. Doesn't seem like anyone is talking much about em anymore. What new exciting things can they do to woodies? I think they've explored every aspect, or maybe not? Steel? Theres worlds and worlds yet to be explored.
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Derrick Whitsett said: What R the plug and play coasters?
If you mean what are the plug and play coasters (see TOS), they're the Intamin woodies including Colossos at Heide and Balder at Liseberg. They're manufactured off site and assembled on site (just like a steel coaster) so they ride incredibly smoothly. The also run a modified version of the Intamin Hyper trains.
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I am guessing it is just the *overlook* factor, we know GCI's coasters are for the most part *Money*, and with Intamin's new design, and S&S"s new woodie division people might just be overlooking OW in this thread. I am sure this will be a great ride and don't worry it will get plenty of appreciation. ------------------ "Rock over London..Rock On Chicago..Wheaties, Breakfast of Champions"! -Wesley Willis