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Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City Review

When Silver Dollar City announced Outlaw Run, their new coaster for 2013, I, like everyone else, was amazed. It broke numerous world records including steepest drop of a wooden coaster and first woody since Son of Beast to include inversions. Of course, we were all excited to see how it would turn out. Ladies and Gentlemen, Outlaw Run does not disappoint.

The main story of Outlaw Run is this: you are a passenger on a stagecoach which has been attacked many times. In order to stop these attacks, the stagecoach company has decided to use really fast horses to try and outrun the outlaws.

There is heavy theming inside the station. Even the ride operators have special uniforms. After riders hop into the trains which were custom-made by Rock Mountain Coasters, they’re off. The lift hill is especially fast for a wooden coaster but you still get time to look around at Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. At the top, there is a small dip before the first drop. It is the last breath before the madness begins.

The first drop is excellent, the airtime is especially great in the back seat (airtime moment #1.) As the train dives into a ravine, it reaches sixty-eight miles-per-hour before flying up into the Outside Banked Turn. This was the element that first got people interested when the ride was still under construction and it is just as insane as it looks. My recommendation, sit on the left side of the train to get some insane airtime on the transition into the turn (airtime moment #2.)

The train turns around like there’s no tomorrow and jumps over a twisting airtime hill (airtime moment #3) and dives into another ravine. Being Outlaw Run, the train doesn’t stay there long before flying up another airtime hill (airtime moment #4.) One of the surprise elements of the ride was the overbanked turn under the lift hill. There are some nice headchoppers and there is even more airtime on the drop after the turn (airtime moment #5.)

The element that I was most curious about wasn’t one of the inversions, but actually the Wave Turn. It sort of looks like a hill but the track is turned ninety degrees to the right, you can see a picture here. If you had your eyes closed, you really woudn’t be able to tell that you’re sideways. There is good ejector airtime on it though (airtime moment #6.) There is a small hill that follows this which has just about the most insane airtime on the ride (airtime moment #7.)

This leads us into the finale and the thing that everyone was talking about, the double barrel roll. Each of the twists is different, the first one is traveled at a fast pace but still has some hang time (airtime moment #8,) the second is much slower, especially in the back seat (airtime moment #9.) From there, the train glides onto the brake run, safe from the outlaws.

Here’s a POV of Outlaw Run:

Outlaw Run is insane. All the elements work perfectly together and there is no moment to catch your breath. After riding it eight times though, I couldn’t decide whether to give it a nine or a perfect ten. I finally decided that if I am having to debate this hard about it, that in itself should keep it from the perfect score. It is really, really close though. It has made it in my top ten list at #9. It beat out Top Thrill Dragster as the closest ride to a ten. If I gave out 9.5 ratings, Outlaw Run would get it.

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Have you ridden Outlaw Run? What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading!

 

The Voyage at Holiday World Review

OK, for those who don’t know, it’s been a little over three months since I’ve posted anything. I didn’t mean for the break to last that long but a trip to the Florida Keys and a vacation through the Midwest have taken up a lot of time. Anyway, I’m back!

On my trip through the Midwest, I’ve visited numerous theme parks. One of these was Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s one of the few places that is loved by everyone, I’ve never read a bad review of the park or its biggest coaster, The Voyage. The Voyage is a 1.2 mile ride through the forest in back of Holiday World.

I was very curious to see how the ride would compare to the other wooden coasters that I’ve ridden, especially El Toro, my favorite. The Voyage is actually a lot like The Beast; they are both in the back of their park, they both ride off into the woods, and they are both really, really long.

The ride begins with a one hundred sixty-three foot lift. At the top, all riders can see are the next two hills before the track ventures out of sight. The first drop didn’t seem a whole lot steeper than other wood drops but it was still fun and had some decent floater airtime in back. After the initial plunge, there were two hills that also had some good long airtime. A tunnel was located at the bottom of the second airtime hill.

After emerging from the tunnel, there is a small hill that provides the first moment of ejector air before diving into another tunnel. The second tunnel doesn’t last long before yet another airtime hill is ridden. This is where it gets interesting. The train travels through a third tunnel before entering the spaghetti bowl turnaround. There are several hidden moments of airtime in this turnaround along with two of the infamous ninety degree turns.

A dive into another tunnel leads to the mid-course brake run. Because these brakes slow the train down so much, everyone thinks that the second half won’t match the intensity of the first. The Voyage is just getting started. When the brakes have done their job, the train dives under the ground yet again for one of the best moments of the ride, the insane triple down in the dark. As most riders aren’t expecting multiple drops underground, the screams on the second moment of falling are generally pretty loud. The third part of the triple down is where the insane airtime is. It’s much steeper than I first expected and provides great airtime in back.

After the triple down, there are a series of hidden hills, wave turns, tunnels, and one more ninety degree turn to make the trip back to the station even more insane than the ride out. As the train rolls back into the station, riders exit exhausted. It’s one of the strange things about The Voyage; it really is exhausting.

In addition to being similar to The Beast, The voyage is also similar to Maverick in that it beats you up on purpose. I rode it fourteen times in one day and I prefer the second to last row because it tends not to beat me up too much yet it still has the great airtime. At first I wasn’t sure what to rate it because it is so intense. After a few rides though, I knew that it was a ten out of ten. I guess any ride that can be addicting enough to ride fourteen times in one day deserves that honor.

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Overall, it doesn’t have El Toro’s ejector airtime, however, it does have a bit more floater airtime. I wouldn’t say it is quite my favorite wooden coaster, however it comes in at a close second. After riding the coaster, I watched the POV and counted the number of airtime moments on the ride. The final number was twenty-four. Here’s the POV:

During my trip I discovered that I really like Holiday World, it has become my favorite small park. It is very clean, the staff is excellent, and they have three great coasters. I also really enjoyed the free soft drinks.

Also, The Voyage has a record-breaking twenty-four seconds of airtime which means that I was weightless for over five and a half minutes during the day on that coaster.

Have you ridden The Voyage? What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

The Smiler Will be Completely Insane

It was over a year ago that the blueprints for Alton Tower’s new coaster were revealed. At the time everyone thought it would have eight inversions which was impressive considering that manufacturers rarely venture above seven.

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A few days ago Alton Towers released The Smiler app for Android and iOS. This game allows one to ride a very basic version of the ride and gain points to buy elements which enhance the layout. From what’s been constructed of the ride so far, the layout seems pretty accurate. I haven’t played it enough to buy all the elements but those who have say that the ride will have a few more than eight inversions.

Thanks to thesmiler.com for the picture.

ThemeParks-UK has finished the game and they say that there will be fourteen inversions. Yup, that’s twice as many as any coaster we possess in the USA. If the app is accurate to the real life version the inversions are as follows: Heartline Roll, Inverted Drop, Pretzel Loop (two inversions), Batwing (two inversions), Corkscrew, Inverted Drop, Sea Serpent Roll (two inversions), Cobra Roll (two inversions), Barrel Roll, and a Corkscrew/Barrel Roll combo.

Overall, it looks like an insane ride. In addition to the inversions, The Smiler will also have this weird contraption:

http://www.themeparks-uk.com/images/stories/alton-towers/altontowers-thesmiler-themarmaliser.jpg

Called The Marmaliser, it’s supposed to have the ability to make soon-to-be-riders smile. How will it do this? No one’s really sure yet. Don’t worry if your confused about the layout, inversions, and scenery, you’re not the only one.

After all of this, The Smiler will certainly be better than Alton Tower’s last coaster. Here’s a No Limits POV:

What do you think? Does The Smiler look too intense or does it look exiting? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

 

Top 10 New Coasters for 2013

Every year in February, I post a list of my top ten most anticipated new coasters for the year. So far, 2013 look like it’ll be great with tons of new rides opening around the world. Here are my picks:

10: Flying Over the Rainforest at Ocean Kingdom

Flying Over the Rainforest would probably be higher on the list if  more information was known or if it were closer to America. It’s a B&M Wingrider and includes three inversions, a Dive Drop, a Zero-G Roll, and a Heartline Roll.

9: White Lightening at Fun Spot Action Park

Fun Spot Action Park is a go-cart park in Orlando. This year however, it will open two coasters. One family ride and White Lightening, a woody. Built by GCI, it’ll be a smaller coaster that should provide lots of airtime.

8: Hades 360 at Mount Olympus

http://www.trbimg.com/img-50a6ab21/turbine/la-trb-iaapa-2012-coasters-rides-11201217-001/600

If this had been a completely new coaster it would rank near the top of my list. However, Hades has already been open for eight years. Mount Olympus is just adding a Zero-G Roll. That’s right their modifying a wooden coaster to go upside down. Woodies with inversions seem to be a trend this year (like Wingriders last year.)

7: Storm at Etnaland

This is one of those rides that hasn’t gotten much attention yet looks like it’ll be fun. In its relatively short layout, it manages to include at least five airtime moments, a heartline roll, and a helix.

6: Gold Striker at California’s Great America

Gold Striker will be a wooden twister coaster. California’s Great America has gone since 2000 without a new coaster so it is long overdue.

5: Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain

http://www.thecoastercritic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Full-Throttle-Six-Flags-Magic-Mountain-2013-Roller-Coaster-sm.jpg

Six Flags Magic Mountain has more roller coasters than any other park on the planet. Full Throttle is the park’s eighteenth coaster! It’s also includes some unique elements including an odd diving inversion, a backwards launch, and an airtime hill over the world’s largest vertical loop.

4: Smiler at Alton Towers

We’ve known about Smiler for a while. It’s been over a year since the blueprints were leaked. Overall, it looks like an excellent ride. The track will contain eight inversions, two lift hills, and lots of turns. There will also be a special element that will allow more inversions.

3: Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Iron Rattler is a Rock Mountain Iron Horse coaster. This type of ride has wooden supports and steel track. It’s only the second of these rides ever to be built and the first to include an inversion. The ride will also have four overbanked turns and loads of airtime.

2: Gatekeeper at Cedar Point

Because Cedar Point is a very famous park, Gatekeeper is by far the most famous coaster opening this year. Like Flying Over the Rainforest, it is a B&M Wingrider. However, Gatekeeper is much larger. It’s elements include the world’s tallest inversion, five other inversions, two keyhole elements, and a helix.

1: Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City

Outlaw Run is without a doubt my most anticipated new coaster for 2013. Somehow they managed to fit a ton of exiting elements into the layout, here are some of the best:

  • World’s second fastest woodie
  • World’s steepest wooden drop
  • World’s first Outside Banked Turn
  • World’s only inverting woodie
  • World’s first wooden overbanked turn
  • Nine airtime moments
  • Double Barrel Roll

Another entry for Rocky Mountain Coasters, Outlaw Run is the ride to watch this year. Here’s an incomplete POV

So that’s my list, what do you think? What are your top picks?

Check out my most anticipated rides for 2012 here.

What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

 

My Second Anniversary and Favorite Posts

Two years ago today, on February 5th 2011, I started the Coasterblog. If you really care, you can read more about the beginning here. I’ve published over 200 posts in this time, however there are some that stand out as my favorites. Here are my top ten favorite and most memorable posts from the past two years.

#10: SheiKra

I had to include this post because of its long history. It was the most read post of 2011, my first year. Before Millennium Force, this was my favorite coaster. Read SheiKra.

#9: El Toro

It’s no secret that I’ve become an El Toro fanatic since riding it last summer. One of the few coasters that I’ve ridden that gained a perfect 10 out of 10 review, the ride is insane. For some reason I am always referring to the post. Maybe it’s because I want a picture from it. Maybe it’s because I need to remember how fast it went. Most likely though, it’s because it is a great ride. Read El Toro.

#8: Legendary Coasters

A top ten list of coasters that have had the most influence on other rides. It includes famous rides such as The Beast, Coney Island Cyclone, Magnum Xl 200, and Big Bad Wolf. In fact, it’s the only list to ever gain a sequel (sort of) in the Most Legendary Newer Coasters. Read Legendary Coasters.

#7: X2

The reason that this is one of my top ten favorite posts is simple: it shows how different my writing style was when the blog was started (this was my second post.) It’s a great ride but my review is a bit confusing to read. Read X2

#6: X-Flight is Landing at Six Flags America

With only ten views, this is one of my least read posts. It does have an interesting story though. I normally only write one post per day however, I didn’t know that Six Flags would announce their new attractions when the day began. After they were announced, I couldn’t wait until the next day to write about X-Flight, the coolest looking of the new rides. I actually wrote this post while riding in a car in Chicago (the city where the ride would be built.) Read X-Flight is landing at Six Flags. Great America.

#5: Ninja at Six Flags over Georgia

The only 1 out of 10 coaster that I’ve ever ridden, Ninja was a horrible ride. However, I do like the review just because I kept on needing more derogatory adjectives to describe it. Again, it’s one of the first reviews that I wrote. Read Ninja.

#4:x Maverick

Maverick’s review is likely not too special to anyone else. The reason it has taken the #1 spot is because it was a year in the making. When I first rode maverick in 2010, I wasn’t impressed at all. However, everyone else seemed to love the ride. I pretty much promised myself that I wouldn’t write a review until I had ridden it again. When I did re-ride in 2011, my opinion changed drastically. Now it is one of my top ten coasters. Read Maverick.

#3: Top 10 New Coasters for 2012

So many great coasters opened last year that it was very difficult to narrow it down to a top ten. In the end though, the list covered just about all the rides that I was exited about. It became my most read post soon after its publishing, it still holds that title today. It is also my most commented upon post with ten comments. Read Top 10 New Coasters for 2012.

#2: Millennium Force

It was my very first post (which is why it’s so memorable.) It also takes the crown as longest review I’ve ever written. Because I hadn’t gotten my review format or writing style down yet, it is very different from practically everything I’ve written. Plus, it’s my favorite coaster on Earth, that’s got to count for something. Read Millennium Force.

#1: The 5 Best Ride Manufacturers

Here it is, my single favorite post ever. While some will find it surprising that this is my #1, that doesn’t change that it is. I was trying to find a good topic to write about when this idea popped into my mind. For some reason, not many people have written about it before and the subject of ride manufacturers is one of my favorites. It took me a while to write because I knew it needed to be interesting. After it was finally finished, it received a tremendous amount of views (for this site at least.) Because of all these factors, it is my favorite. Read The 5 Best Ride Manufacturers.

Honorable Mention:

Crazy Water Slides, Top Thrill Dragster, Early Leviathan Reviews, The Top Ten Rivalries In Theme Parks

So there you have it, my top ten. I’m sure some of these posts left you scratching your heads so I would like to hear from you what your favorite posts have been.

What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

 

Coaster Competition: Griffon vs. SheiKra

Coaster Competitions are pretty much the same as the Coaster Critic’s Coaster Showdowns (I get a lot of ideas from his site). I will compare and contrast two coasters that are alike in one way or another. Griffon and SheiKra are two dive coasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Busch Gardens Tampa. They are both great rides.

Theming:

Griffon’s station is themed to look like a European building, it is made of wood and stone. After the first drop, the pathway that the ride dives under is also themed. Other than that, there really isn’t much theming. SheiKra’s station looks like an African building, like Griffon, it is made of stones and wood. When the coaster dives down its second drop, there are ruins that it flies through. For this round I have to choose SheiKra.

Drops:

Normally, this category would be “setting,” however, both rides are on relatively flat ground so it wouldn’t make one ride better than the other. Because these are dive coasters, I’ve changed the category to drops. Griffon’s first drop is five feet taller at two hundred five feet tall, it also dives under a pathway. Its second drop is one hundred thirty feet and is also vertical. SheiKra’s first drop is two hundred feet tall. Its second drop is one hundred thirty-eight feet tall but it isn’t quite ninety degrees, however, it does dive through the aforementioned ruins. These ruins give SheiKra the upper hand in this category.

Layout:

Griffon has a two hundred five foot lift hill. It also includes two Immelmann loops, one more than SheiKra. There is a splashdown at the end. SheiKra has a two hundred foot lift hill. It also includes an Immelmann loop. There is a splashdown at the end on this ride too. Because it has an extra Immelmann loop, Griffon wins this category.

File:SheiKra (Busch Gardens Africa) 05.JPG

So SheiKra is the winner!

You can read my review of SheiKra here.

You can read my review of Griffon here.

Thanks to Wikipedia and TieKu 001 for the picture.

What do you think? Should Griffon have won? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

Unique Coasters: Winjas

Unique Coasters is a type of post where I highlight a certain coaster that is unique. They aren’t necessarily the largest or most insane coasters but they are all one of a kind. Winjas is a pair of dueling, indoor, spinning coasters at Phantasialand in Germany.

The Ride:

Because it is indoors, Winjas’ layout can be hard to decipher. Both tracks use elevator lifts to reach the highest point in the track. While the ride is rising, the cars tilt forward to connect to the track at the top. After a drop, both sides navigate tight turns before a large helix around a Vekoma drop tower. At the final set of block brakes, the track tips again. One track teeters forwards and backwards, the other tilts sideways. After navigating a few more turns the track reaches the station.

Why is it unique?

Well, Winjas has extremely elaborate theming. The ride is made to look like it takes place in an underground city called Wuze Town. Also, there are few, if any, other spinning coasters that duel. Aside from that, it is indoors and the track has all of those special tricks.

You can see other pictures of Winjas at the RCDB.

You can see other Unique Coasters Posts here.

What do you think? Do you know of another unique coaster? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

 

 

Wood Coaster Poll Results Are In!

Every year there are two major polls that list the top ten roller coasters. The more famous is the Golden Ticket Awards, taken by Amusement Today magazine. Enthusiasts tend to bash the GTs because they tend to lean toward US coasters. The other poll is taken by Mitch Hawker and is considered more accurate although it’s only listed wooden coasters in the past few years. To vote, one lists all of the coasters that he/she has ridden, then places them in order of best to worst. Then the results of each caster are compared to other rider’s lists to find what the best overall ride is.

If that’s still hard to understand, here’s how Mitch Hawker puts it:

Each coaster is compred one at a time to every other coaster to see whether more people who have ridden both of them preferred one or the other. A coaster is given a “Win” for each coaster that more mutual riders ranked behind it, given a “Loss” for each coaster that more mutual riders ranked ahead of it, and given a “Tie” for each coaster that the same number of mutual riders ranked above it and below it.

Coasters are ranked by their overall winning percentage (where ties count as half of a win and half of a loss). In the event that two coasters end up with identical winning percentages, the tie is broken (if possible) by determining which of the two won the mutual rider comparison between those two coasters.

Here are the winning results from this year:

So the only ride in the top ten that I’ve been on is El Toro (Six Flags Great Adventure) It’s #1 on the Golden Ticket Awards too. Coming in at the bottom of the list is Anaconda at Walygator Parc in France. Here’s a POV in case you are one of the (apparently) lucky people who hasn’t ridden it:

What do you think? Which coaster do you think should have won? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

 

Gatekeeper Construction Update

When Cedar Point announced their new-for-2013 Wing Coaster, many enthusiasts wondered how it would change the park’s skyline. Now that Gatekeeper is under construction, pretty much everyone is amazed with how nice the entrance will look.

So far they have completed the track on the lift hill, the first drop, the Immelmann Loop, the airtime hill, and the beginning of the first corkscrew.

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It will be the world’s tallest Wing Rider at one hundred seventy feet. That first inversion/drop thingy will also be a record breaker.

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Because I live in Florida, I often forget that there is snow elsewhere. Often people don’t realize that Cedar Point’s rides are built in freezing temperatures.

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So far that’s what’s been built of the two towers that riders will fly through. It’s not much yet but they’ll be bigger eventually.

Thanks to CoasterForce for the pictures

Here’s an animated POV of Gatekeeper:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/b9fLbdwq8_k?list=UUyR9C6ocv0yTbn6YDWDZbAQ&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

Theme Park Highlights In 2012

2012 was a very big year for coaster and theme park enthusiasts. Some have even gone so far as to state that it was the best year in recent memory (I’d still say 2006 takes that title.) Here are some of the biggest events of the past year, all dates listed are when the rides and attractions opened to the general public:

March 24, May 16 – The Two Wing Riders Opened

File:DW Wild Eagle.JPG

As the nation’s first Wing Rider coaster, Wild Eagle opened in late March to rave reviews. It won the Golden Ticket Award for best new ride.

X-Flight opened at Six Flags Great America, it features a unique Wing Over inversion/drop combination. It also includes four other inversions and a keyhole fly through element into its layout.

May 6 – Leviathan Opened

2012′s biggest roller coaster, Leviathan opened at Canada’s Wonderland. At 306 feet tall, 92 mph, and 4,586 feet long, the ride is the world’s fourth giga coaster.

May 24 – Transformers: The Ride Opened

Universal Studios Hollywood opened the state of the art dark ride. Transformers uses the same technology as the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman at Islands of Adventure. Some reviewers have stated that the special effects make the ride seem real.

May 26 – Skyrush Opened

Another type of winged coaster, Skyrush’s outer seats are the only ones that extend to the sides. The inner rows have floors. Because the ride was quite possibly the most intense coaster that opened this year, the trains were outfitted with more comfortable restraints.

June 15 – Cars Land Opened

Cars Land is a highly themed area at Disney’s California Adventure. The main attraction is Radiator Springs Racers, a car ride that uses the same technology as Test Track at Epcot and Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo DisneySea. Other rides include Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires.

July 7 – Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom Opened

Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is the world’s tallest drop tower. At 400 feet tall, the ride provides five seconds of free fall. It even reaches terminal velocity on the way down! The Coaster Guy named it as his Single Best Ride Experience of 2012.

December 6 – The First Stage of the Fantasyland Expansion was Completed

The Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is still in the process of being renovated with all new rides and attractions. There is a Little Mermaid ride and a Beauty and the Beast themed area. When the expansion is completed, the area will also be home to The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster.

So much happened in 2012 that I know I’ve probably forgotten some rides. If you know of another major ride that opened this year please comment!

What do you think? What other important events happened in 2012? Please comment. Thanks for reading! :-)

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