Top 10 coaster reasons to visit the USA

Following on from my cold and calculated list of top ten countries for coasters, I thought it would be good to follow up with some warm and fuzzy (weather permitting) examples of the actual coasters that each one has to offer, a top ten within a top ten as it were.

In order to put some closure on this series for now I have to tackle America and to be honest I’m still in my early stages of stateside exploration. Before anyone thinks “where’s Steel Vengeance?” I won’t be speculating here on what I think the answers should be (secretly hoping for the Gravity Group woodies to win out) as that’s likely a topic for another time and this lot below will purely be based on what I’ve experienced so far myself.
As home turf to the current coaster Gods that are RMC, a traditional top ten of personal favourites here would be suspiciously similar to another list, so in the interests of keeping this fresh I’ve reluctantly skipped a whole bunch of their creations and opted to mix up the ride types a little by heading deeper down into my spreadsheet.

#10 Verbolten – Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Not everything over here has to be the biggest and baddest (wolf?). I’ve got a soft spot for all things with a good theme, a dark ride section or even multiple launches. Verbolten happens to tick all of those boxes and is very unlike anything else you’ll find on this list, or anywhere.

#9 Storm Runner – Hersheypark

Feels like it took forever for me to find an Intamin accelerator that actually had a layout worthy of it’s launch and after much nervous anticipation (they often break themselves) the moment finally happened on Storm Runner. With unique elements and crushing forces, this one really stands out to me as something special.

#8 GhostRider – Knott’s Berry Farm

From what I can tell, getting GCI in to retrack this legendary CCI was the best thing that could have happened to it. I only ever tried the end result (nowhere near enough times) and was amazed by how exciting and varied the layout was, exactly how I like my woodies.

#7 Fury 325 – Carowinds

While honestly not the coaster for me, I cannot deny the unique style of ride this B&M Giga brings to the table nor how much fun I had on it. It’s all a bit much when the staff are literally shouting in the station that it’s the best coaster ever, but I guess you have to be bold to draw attention sometimes and this creation certainly does that.

#6 Copperhead Strike – Carowinds

My heart lies with the Mack multi launch at the other end of the park though. Quirky in both theme and ride experience there’s a lot going on here and like Verbolten above it pretty much has everything I look for in a ride.

#5 Railblazer – California’s Great America

I can’t stay away from RMC forever can I? There’s only one layout of these off the wall single rail coasters (for now) and I don’t think you can really appreciate how ridiculous and amazing they are until you see one in action before your very eyes. As someone who cherishes the dwindling amounts of new ride types and experiences to be found in this hobby, the sensation of watching this thing zip around the course at unnatural speeds would have been enough to make this list, let alone riding it.

#4 Lightning Rod – Dollywood

Now I’ve started on them I probably won’t be able to stop. This particular RMC stands out across the whole industry for obvious reasons, namely for the launched lift, being the fastest wooden coaster on the planet and having the legendary quad down element. Also Dollywood.

#3 El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure

Winner of the Intamin woodie collection, this monster does everything you could ever want with the ride type and provides some of the best airtime on the planet. That statement alone is the holy grail to most enthusiasts and it’ll make you wonder why that big dull green thing in the background even exists.

#2 Skyrush – Hersheypark

You can only use phrases like ‘some of the best airtime’ if there’s also a the best and that’s probably Skyrush for me right now. It’s certainly the scariest anyway, with the unnerving power of the winged seating and those one of a kind, make or break restraints that I happened to get on with ridiculously well. An evening on this thing – ain’t nothin’ else like it.

#1 Twisted Colossus – Six Flags Magic Mountain

But that phrase applies to this one at all times of the day and night. Combining the ridiculous intensity of an RMC layout with the insane joy I get from duelling coaster interactions is just about the best thing I could have hoped for in a ride. To me it’s still their greatest achievement, but I’ll be more than happy when, not if, it gets topped.
Here’s to many more life changing rollercoaster road trips.

Top 20 coaster reasons to visit China – Part 2
Europe 08/20 – German Obscurity + Conny-Land by Mega-Lite

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