Rollercoaster Ranking – SLCs

Contrary to the model name – the Suspended Looping Coaster, these rides have since been classified (amongst enthusiast databases at least) as ‘inverted’ rollercoasters. The first layout debuted in 1994 in the home nation of manufacturer Vekoma, just two years after the introduction of the popular ‘Batman’ B&M Invert.
The key difference these inverts had when compared to the ‘suspended’ designs seen throughout the ’80s was that the train is rigidly attached to the track and could therefore perform tighter manouevres, including inversions, and achieve compact layouts on flat land more easily. They also had the novelty of dangling guests legs in the air and thus threw in a bit of intimidation factor for good measure. This new concept soon became a staple investment to be included in any thrill ride lineup and Vekoma’s lower cost alternative managed to tap into a significant portion of that market.

While great news for the manufacturer, this successful business strategy has only ever manifested itself somewhere in between lamentable and loathsome for the coaster counters among us. The ride type is frequently regarded as one of the worst on the planet due to a combination of poor tracking and unforgiving oversized shoulder restraints that commonly result in ‘headbanging’ or ‘earbashing’. In short, the experience is generally unpleasant and not one that leaves you wanting more.

But more is the hand we’ve been dealt. The now prolific Vekoma SLC has been built 33 times while spanning an unusually long career for any coaster model, with the latest having been installed in 2017. Sadly throughout all this time there have been no more than a few variations in layout. There are currently 20 of the standard ‘689m’ version, several other ‘extended’ or ‘bonus helix’ editions of the same original design and a small handful of grim alternatives.

To add insult to sometimes literal injury (purely from this silly author’s selfish perspective), the early 2000s saw various Chinese manufacturers double down on this idea of low cost, highly repeatable SLC design and even ended up replicating both of the standard Vekoma layouts for the vast majority of their installations. With Golden Horse alone now ahead of Vekoma on quantity of sales for this ride type and several other companies striving to do the same, latest estimates would put the number of SLCs worldwide at over 100. A harrowing thought for anyone whose game is to catch ’em all.

How well (badly) have I fared so far then? In terms of the original Vekomas I’m just shy of halfway through the list at 16. By almost actively avoiding anything of this nature in China I’ve also managed to sample just 5 locally built equivalents across 3 separate manufacturers and I shall continue to try and stop myself from making it any more of a habit. For what it’s worth, here’s how these occupational hazards rank from miserable to manageable and any tangential anecdotes that may have helped me in making such ground-breaking judgements.

#21 Flare Meteor (Golden Horse) – Fantawild Adventure Zhuzhou (China)

I rarely use the phrase ‘burn it down’ about anything in the theme park world, but I have done here. Fantawild Adventure parks have a tendency to bring out the worst of me in general and then this ride decided to commence proceedings with two sharp punches to the skull during the first drop and turn. There’s literally no merit to this when it simply stems from poor implementation of a common as muck design. We’re off to a good start.

#20 Twister (Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd.) – Quancheng Euro Park (China)

This was an abomination of equal magnitude but it had certain quirks working in its favour. It’s a requirement to wear a green padded vest for this ride, which they supply you with in the station, so clearly they already know that this piece of hardware has the potential to cause physical injury. At least they aren’t afraid to admit this and embrace the fact that it’s going to continue.
It’s also not a layout inspired by any Vekoma and contains this weird poorly shaped inversion that throws at least one interesting sensation into the mix.
The bad? The cars bounced back and forth really badly while negotiating the track, a usually minor trait that you’ll see later on I had come to even enjoy a little for comedy reasons. This very pronounced equivalent of the effect was rough and unpleasant on the innards as well as the outtards.

#19 El Condor (Vekoma) – Walibi Holland (Netherlands)

The prototype that started it all. What a mess. It had the henchest restraints I had ever seen when I rode this thing and as they are literally already making physical contact there was absolutely nothing to be done to prevent them from gnawing away at your ears from first drop to brake run. Guests audibly swear on this ride more than I’ve heard on anything else in the world.

#18 Dragon In Clouds (Vekoma) – Happy Valley Chengdu (China)

I don’t think I disliked the ride itself as much as I despised the circumstances of this one. The queueline is made up of disgusting metal cages and the staff in this park (by far the worst in China for me) were having arguments with me about pointless seating nonsense while I’m dying inside, desperate to get the stupid thing over and done with. Oh, it was rough though.

#17 Odyssey (Vekoma) – Fantasy Island (UK)

Not even uniqueness can make this one shine in a sea of sludge. The tallest SLC in the world is pure custom goodness and I didn’t like it one bit. They clearly weren’t designed to handle such unprecedented speeds and that only adds to the calamity in this particular case.
Odyssey is notoriously hard to catch due to either technical issues or being susceptible to the awful weather on the North East coast of England so there is some joy to be found in all of this – I’m glad I’ve crossed it off the list.

#16 Suspended Coaster (Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd.) – Window of the World Changsha (China)

Having to do the notorious ‘Happy Valley exercises’ in preparation for some of the finest coasters in production is an entertaining laugh and a character building experience. Having to do them for an SLC is an insult and once again I was just dying to get this thing out of the way. It was far newer than the equivalent layout I had already ridden, from the same manufacturer, and therefore hadn’t yet been reduced to a terrible state. Give it time.

#15 Arkham Asylum – Shock Therapy (Vekoma) – Warner Bros. Movie World (Australia)

If I was being cynical I could claim that we had to revisit this park just to ride the SLC and complete the creds. We were actually just being smart and prioritising time spent on DC Rivals over queuing an hour for nothing but the coaster count (I’ve done far worse of course).
Having caved and come back anyway there was no queue at all, but that didn’t stop this from being a bad experience. My first encounter with vest restraints on these proved that they do nothing but highlight how sub-par the overall track quality is. These rides aren’t good, in case you hadn’t noticed yet.

#14 Limit (Vekoma) – Heide Park (Germany)

If I was being cynical I could claim that we had to revisit this park just to ride the SLC and complete the creds.
Actually I was just being smart and prioritising time spent on B&Ms and Intamin Woodies and then the weather decided to hail and thunderstorm the place into a full closure.
Having caved and come back anyway, there were other things to add to the count as well, but that didn’t stop this from being a bad experience. This was still early days for me and I certainly had noticed, these rides aren’t good.

#13 Vampire (Vekoma) – Walibi Belgium

Cheat! The only one on the list that never received the privilege of my photographic recognition. Instead this is a cheeky shot through the trees of the original Walibi SLC from earlier in the list. I’m sure you get the picture by now. They’re almost all the same.
Sadly we had to resort to paying for fastrack to add this to the collection, only to be thwarted in our cred running efforts by another Belgian park that day anyway. I remember absolutely nothing of the ride experience.

#12 MP-Xpress (Vekoma) – Movie Park Germany

What an eyesore. This was the first time I noticed the weird motion (mentioned above) that the trains can sometimes do on these which involves pumping backwards and forwards rather than the usual side to side that causes headbanging. In minor doses it doesn’t actually do a whole lot and I found it rather amusing, along with the whole setup of this ride. It’s unashamedly ugly, from the gravel service roads to the tin shed station.

#11 Kumali (Vekoma) – Flamingo Land (UK)

I believe I somewhat liked this one back in the day. It was a glorious time in which I didn’t count coasters, obsess over them on the internet or even comprehend that one day I’d be forced to subject myself to the many, many more ‘Kumalis’ out there. Basically it had character and individuality to me, before all this worldly knowledge that I’m spewing out here ruined that illusion – you’re welcome.

#10 Flare Meteor (Golden Horse) – Fantawild Adventure Shenyang (China)

Just cracking the top ten (what an honour) is my favourite Golden Horse in the list. I had some fun running to this one like a man possessed in order to squeeze in the +1 before an appointment with a timeslotted dark ride elsewhere in the park. It was a rather windy day, to the point of threatening ride closure and I actually felt the impact of this on ride through a somewhat unnerving almost-stall in one of the inversions. This particular Flare Meteor performed just fine overall and didn’t leave me with any more than the usual worry about other SLCs from the manufacturer – oh how they would prove me wrong.

#9 Mind Eraser (Vekoma) – Six Flags America

By far the most aptly named of these rides out there, this one promises to do what many further up in this post actually achieve. Fortunately it doesn’t deliver on the promise and was one of the most inoffensive around. It even looks rather nice, comparatively.

#8 Nio (Vekoma) – Greenland (Japan)

Nio is another of which I remember very little about in terms of the ride experience so it was likely fine. The dominating sensation here was that of intense joy – my first day in Japan (and what a way to spend it).

#7 Soaring Dragon and Dancing Phoenix (Beijing Shibaolai Amusement Equipment) – Nanchang Wanda Theme Park (China)

This one has a few things in its favour – they were playing K-pop in the station, it’s (finally) a custom layout and that crude phoenix on the front makes it by far the best attempt at a themed train on any of these that I know of. All of that combined with no major upsets make this my current king of Chinese built SLCs.

#6 Riddler Revenge (Vekoma) – Six Flags New England (USA)

We’re back in vest restraint territory again and I can now say that when paired with adequate tracking, the experience becomes a lot more… inconsequential. Fair play to this one, we saw certain guests choose to ride it more than once.

#5 Golden Wings In Snowfield (Vekoma) – Happy Valley Beijing (China)

I think for some reason, as yet unknown to me, that I slightly prefer this ‘Shenlin’ layout that was born out of another Happy Valley park, when it isn’t trying to hurt me. This one comes with bonus helix and an exceptionally long and well themed queueline that it doesn’t deserve in the slightest.

#4 Snow Mountain Flying Dragon (Vekoma) – Happy Valley Shenzhen (China)

As does this one. You could get lost for hours walking in the general direction of the station through decorative temple ruins and that would actually count as a good excuse to not board the ride.
This was the original ‘Shenlin’ installation, no bonus helix, and I don’t honestly know why it’s stuck with me as one of the better ones. Perhaps some foolishly naive nostalgia about it being my first day in China. Is it possible to have a gut feeling about such a gruesome topic? I have since passed on the opportunity to reride it during a subsequent visit – leave the memories alone.

#3 Rollercoaster Mayan (Vekoma) – Energylandia (Poland)

Straight out of the Vekoma catalogue that forms half of the park lineup at Energylandia, this is the newest build of a Vekoma SLC that I’ve ridden and it seems now that the vests are here to stay.
I was welcomed into the station with a complement from a friendly ride host about how beautiful Liseberg is (courtesy of whichever of their shirts I happened to be wearing, sadly I don’t exude such an aura without visual cue just yet). That alone is almost enough to win this list.

#2 Infusion (Vekoma) – Blackpool Pleasure Beach (UK)

My very first SLC experience and unlike any other in the list I’ve unashamedly ridden it several times (though not in recent memory). It’s one of the better behaved ones, not necessarily in a standout way but I guess I just like Blackpool, I like that it’s over water and… nope, that’s everything nice I have to say about it.

#1 Blue Tornado (Vekoma) – Gardaland (Italy)

Three trains. This bonus helix layout was operating with three trains on track. When observing the operational efficiency of a rollercoaster is the most entertaining aspect of the entire experience, you know you’re onto a winning design.

Rollercoaster Ranking – Stand Up Coasters

Time for a bit of cross-manufacturer comparison in the rankings. This dying breed of coaster has been far from a success story in the industry, the general consensus being that they aren’t very good. This makes me sad however, as some are actually very good, plus it’s a rare and unusual experience and we know how much I care about those. If conservation status ever makes the leap over to ’80s steel coasters, I’d be happy to become an ambassador (for a select few).

The type was first introduced to Japan in 1982 by local manufacturer Togo. Two of their existing coasters at the time were given modified Stand Up trains. One of these still stands today, offering both a seated and standing experience alternately on its daily cycle, but the other has sadly been lost along with the park it called home.

Arrow Dynamics had a go at a similar concept in the following couple of years over in the USA, taking a couple of existing coasters and attempting to retrofit them with new vehicles. Neither appeared to have much success, each operating for a single season before the ideas were abandoned. It took Togo themselves to bring the first purpose built layout over to the States in the form of King Cobra at King’s Island – a layout that was to be replicated several times both in the same region and back home.

Intamin joined the fray in 1986 at Six Flags Magic Mountain with their own version that spawned a couple of sequels, all with the same name for some reason and only one of which remains. Once the ’90s hit, it was B&Ms turn to take what they had learnt from previously helping Intamin and they went on to create the largest ever Stand Up coaster in the very same park. 1999 saw the final build of this type and there has seemingly been no desire or interest in reintroducing the concept this side of the Millennium.

Where once the pioneers were attempting to enhance the traditional sit down coasters by introducing a new riding position, these days B&M have flipped that idea on its head and have been gradually converting their originals back into sit down coasters with underwhelming results. As of writing, only 10 Stand Ups remain in operation across the world and I’m 70% of the way towards completion (sadly only one original layout left to go). Here’s the lowdown on who does it best and which ones you should catch while you still can.

#7 Green Lantern – Six Flags Great Adventure (USA)

There are many problems with the B&M models as far as I’ve experienced. Firstly, they’ve aged pretty poorly, particularly given the usual smooth and sophisticated nature of their creations. Combined with this, the restraint system is pretty diabolical, with a rock hard shoulder harness rising up on either side of your head, ready to give the ears a right good bashing on the now bumpy track. Green Lantern served this up a treat, even when I knew what to expect and thought I could handle it. For me it remains the worst ride to ever come from the manufacturer. Not a good start.

#6 Vortex – Carowinds (USA)

Aside from general discomfort, the main issue I take with the B&Ms is that they don’t do the sensation of standing any real justice. While clambering into the contraption you’re obliged to park your rear end on something similar to a bike saddle, taking some of the weight off of your legs and essentially putting you in an uncomfortable sitting position rather than actually doing what it was supposed to do in the first place. This was their first attempt and, as above, it was grim.

#5 Shockwave – Drayton Manor (UK)

The only remaining Intamin edition has similar seating issues to the B&Ms but thankfully less of the tracking issues mainly, I assume, due to the fact that it does very little with its layout – a grand total of 4 consecutive inversions and 2 corners. It has been a very long time since I rode this one and I distinctly remember being unnerved by the sensation, while not necessarily enjoying it. So it has that going for it.

#4 Riddler’s Revenge – Six Flags Magic Mountain (USA)

I persisted with B&M’s largest in the world layout and it rewarded me with semi-decent returns. Being newer it hadn’t quite been reduced to the same level of quality as the earlier models in this list and in the right seats (middle), in the right row (front), with the correct stance (brace), it turns into a long, fast paced and rather relentless multi looper with some interesting forces. I think there’s some praise in there somewhere.

#3 Momonga Standing and Loop Coaster – Yomiuriland (Japan)

It turns out Togo are the only manufacturer that did the concept justice in my eyes and they began it all with this one. You truly are just standing on a metal plate, surrounded by complicated, but not invasive, restraints and it’s an extremely surreal experience. Though the layout of this one makes Shockwave look like a masterpiece, the full force and feeling of flex through the legs in that loop is a sensation like little else in this game and I have a massive amount of respect for the madness.

#2 Milky Way – Greenland (Japan)

Kick things up a gear and you get a racing coaster that, rather than inverting, contains airtime. I’ll emphasise again that riders are literally stood on a flat surface while being subjected to said forces and as such, standing airtime is a terrifying thing, way out of the common comfort zone of a happy floaty feeling.

#1 Freestyle – Cavallino Matto (Italy)

Combine the two and you get a masterpiece. After 20 seasons of service, Canada’s Wonderland decided they no longer had a place in their hearts for this model, but thankfully it was saved from near extinction by this small Italian park. And what a gem they’ve salvaged.
Though I’d had unnerving airtime on a Stand Up before, my feet had never even left the floor. On this ride, the large hill after the loop throws riders clear off of their metal plate, into the confusing but not consoling restraints, with both arms and legs flailing in a moment of pure insanity. I’ve never before had to think about how I land myself on a coaster in anticipation of the next corner and for that alone, this attraction is something truly special to the hobby.
Personally I’m hoping that modern technology can revitalise this feeling some day, it certainly has potential. If not, I’d better get started on that conservation fund.

Rollercoaster Ranking – Mack Launch Coasters

If you know what my favourite ride is then there will be no suspense as to how this list turns out. Using what I consider to the best trains in the business, these LSM launch coasters began life as a prototype at Mack’s own testing ground and world renowned theme park – Europa Park. That particular example has spawned at least 7 other clones throughout Russia, Asia and soon to be Australia (with a twist), but with the subsequent addition of multi launch and passing launch features there’s some other massively varied layouts out there already for this model, and what a model it is.

I have successfully ridden all of the unique layouts across the world so far, if we don’t count Slinky (RCDB hasn’t and I’m not going to argue it just yet). It felt like a bit of a personal mission to make this happen as I have been so enamoured with the ride type over the past few years. In the earlier stages I may well have declared it my overall favourite kind of coaster but I think as none of them ever come close to touching the #1, a couple of other manufacturers have slipped into the foreground since. Not to say these aren’t amazing of course, nearly all of them can be found in my top 10% in one form or another – let’s take a look.

#10 Manta – Sea World San Diego (USA)

Ahh, the sight of those trains has me excited already. This one was, temporarily, the last in the set for me and the first ever multi launch version of these creations. And therein lies the problem, for whatever reason the train has a little pause to itself as it hits the second rolling launch, slowing down before speeding up again and this threw me quite a lot. It doesn’t just upset the pacing, it stunts what should be one of the highlights of the whole experience – that sudden surge of extra momentum to let you know the ride is far from over.
I still liked Manta a lot though, it’s a highly attractive package with some decent twists and turns. Fun for everyone. Of course something had to come last, even if it was really good.

#9 Star Trek: Operation Enterprise – Movie Park Germany

It feels rather harsh putting this one down here too because I massively enjoyed it. The queueline theming almost outdoes the ride experience if you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation like myself, but that’s not to say the triple launch features, reverse spike, top hat, inversions, weird speed bumps and Borg cube don’t all add to it as well. It literally has a little bit of everything and that really is the core selling point of the rides in this list.

#8 Capitol Bullet Train – Motiongate (UAE)

A similar vibe to the above but it felt like the layout flowed a lot better. Each element really hits the spot from both the dead straight reverse spike to the loop and the twisty airtime hill to the Zero-G roll. Mack always seem to nail these inversions for me, they may well be the manufacturer that actually introduced me to enjoying them and that’s yet another reason there’s such a strong showing here.

To plump the list out a bit and because the accompanying theming packages are really rather variable I’m going to list out all the Blue Fire clones I’ve tried individually. I’m not cheating and posting the same ride many times!

#7 Battle of Blue Fire – Quancheng Euro Park (China)

Not China’s best effort, this one had generic dance music blaring in the indoor pre-launch section and then other than a few big crystals around the entrance, some barren land and a metal roof. I wouldn’t normally complain about things like that but we’re literally comparing the same piece of hardware four times in a row here.
It’s nice that they kept a nod to the original’s name in at least. I think. I returned the favour by wearing a Europa Park shirt while riding. Not sure if anyone got the reference.

#6 Velociraptor – IMG Worlds of Adventure (UAE)

You call that barren land? This is barren land. Scorching hot desert in fact, the kind that you don’t notice while the ride is in motion but as soon as you hit that brake run, every speck of exposed skin screams at the ride to hurry up and get back inside. The pre-launch on this version had some dinosaurs on screens, hence the name, but the effect was ruined somewhat by poor timing and the door opening too early, whitewashing the projections.

#5 Launch CoasterColourful Yunnan Paradise (China)

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. That’s more like it China. The indoor section (and name) again left a little to be desired, with some rather uninspired decoration of ancient(?) artifacts on a plain background, but those elephants… They’re even tied into the lore of the evening show in this park. And I absolutely love stuff like that.

#4 Blue Fire – Europa Park (Germany)

Sorry, I haven’t actually spoken about the ride yet. Well here’s the original and still the best. The launch and starting overbank are far from the strongest sensations, but they look pretty. From there it’s the classic blend of variety that make these some of my favourite rides, with graceful inversions, some surprise airtime moments then one final in-line twist that’s everything but graceful. It whips your head around with some serious intensity, waking you right up if you dare to think the rest of the ride is forceless. In my earlier, weaker days that element was almost too much for me but now I just love it even more.
Why does Europa’s remain the strongest? The most elaborately themed pre-launch section, that lovely Icelandic decoration, German operational efficiency (4 trains at once? easy (the others all use 1)) but more important than any of that, for the one time out of many that it actually worked – on board music! I love the soundtrack to Blue Fire and that it’s specifically tailored to the coaster experience, synchronised with the elements and the duration of the ride. It creates an absolutely masterful moment.

#3 Icon – Blackpool Pleasure Beach (England)

Now we get serious, entering the true realm of the multi launch masterpieces and first up is my home favourite. I’ve laid out the reasons before on why this is the only coaster in the country that I actively seek out regular rerides on any more and that’s a true testament to the exciting and varied sensations it provides each and every time. Also another cracking soundtrack.

#2 Copperhead Strike – Carowinds (USA)

Just inching the lead on the above, the size, speed and footprint of these two multi launchers may lend themselves to some similarity but they’re also vastly different packages. Copperhead’s strengths lie in it’s own little pre-launch show like forebearer Blue Fire, the wackiness of the inversions – inventing brand new sensations with an insane roll out of the station and floptime in the vertical loop. On top of that we have the super weird rolling launch over a hill and seemingly random bursts of airtime anywhere in between.
I don’t believe this one is paced quite as well and I almost wish they went a little harder to really show the US market what these rides can really do, but I had an absolute blast on it anyway, it recompleted the set for me (tick!) and it suits the park remarkably well.

#1 Helix – Liseberg (Sweden)

I’m guessing you saw this one coming. As the best rollercoaster on the planet for me, Helix redefined my hobby, almost 1000 different coasters ago now, and it hasn’t been touched since. Location, layout, pacing, power. This is THE Mack launch coaster. Please, let’s have another one this good some day.

Rollercoaster Ranking – B&M Inverted Coasters

I feel like I’ve grown up on Inverts, with England being home to both of the Nemeses. It’s hard to believe some of them have been around for almost 30 years now, the same as me. These coasters really cemented themselves as a staple ride throughout the 1990s, particularly with the rise of the original and highly clone-able Batman layout. Orders slowed down in the new millennium and only 2 have been built in the last decade. With either every major park already having one or the prolific Vekoma SLC offering a deceivingly similar foot dangling experience to anyone else with a lower budget, there just isn’t a demand right now, other than the highly ambitious curveball that Gröna Lund are trying to squeeze in next year.

These were in the early days one of my absolute favourite ride types because of the always above average experiences they provided. Over time though they have started to fade on me a bit as my tastes have grown and changed. Intensity is their main strength and that definitely has its place in the market and in my life, it’s just that I simply like a wider range of sensations from my coasters these days and this isn’t something the current style of Inverts tend to offer. There’s still a lot of fun to be had on one of course, but without a drastic change of approach I don’t think there will be anything like this cracking the top 25 for a good while yet. 100? Easy.

I’m over halfway through the collection now and it’s amazing that nearly all of them are still going strong, some even being shipped halfway across the world to avoid the hardware going to waste. Missing out on Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure was a bit of a personal blow but I like to think that there’s a worthy replacement in its place now. You just can’t catch ’em all. Here’s how they stack up so far:

#18 Ozlris – Parc Astérix (France)

The newest build that I’ve ridden is surprisingly my least favourite. Ozlris generally seems to be rather well received and for a long time I was looking forward to riding this one that’s so tantalisingly close to home but we just didn’t seem to get on with each other. Right out of the starting block it punched me in the ear on the first drop, something I wouldn’t usually associate with a ride type of this calibre. Aside from that it just didn’t flow the same as these usually do. The entrance and exit from certain elements was awkward and I struggled to find any standout moments or to an extent anything particularly redeeming about the experience.

I am going to have separate listings for Batman clones here because even though they are the same layout, I’ve had some vastly different experiences with the model. This does also go to show how tightly packed most of this ranking list is, with very little separating a lot of rides and also, to an extent, how generic and formulaic certain designs turned out to be as I tried more and more of them.

#17 Diavlo – Himeji Central Park (Japan)

Diavlo was the worst of these clones. Even the distracting views couldn’t disguise the fact that this ride doesn’t get a lot of attention out here. It was running very cold, almost entirely empty and just never got the chance to get going. Add on the fact that the layout wasn’t anything new to us and the result was a very run of the mill coaster.

#16 Silver Bullet – Knott’s Berry Farm (USA)

If there’s one word I wouldn’t ever think I’d be using to describe an Invert, it’s ‘weak’. Silver Bullet was just that though and it’s a real shame as I wanted to like it a lot more. I really like the styling of the whippy sideways banked turn between loop and cobra as well as the overall look of the hardware but that shallow first drop… just doesn’t get the momentum going enough for the relentless ride I have come to expect from these. Back row, outside seat at night wasn’t enough to sell this one to me so I honestly don’t know what would.

#15 Batman: The Ride – Six Flags Great Adventure (USA)

While I’d rather ride Silver Bullet over the worst Batman in the world, I’d still rather ride any other Batman just to feel that insane wave of positive Gs that encompasses the first few tightly packed elements of the layout. The one at Great Adventure was my least favourite of these that still kicked my ass, mainly because it just looked a right state, like most of the park.

#14 Batman: The Ride – Six Flags Over Georgia (USA)

We used a Flash Pass on Georgia’s so it was slightly less of a chore and it looks a bit better. Otherwise I literally couldn’t separate them. How many consecutive vertical loops can we get with these photos?

#13 Batman: The Ride – Six Flags Magic Mountain

I’d say this was running the closest to how I remembered my first Batman, but it definitely wasn’t to the same level of intensity that I almost couldn’t handle in the past. From here on out I’d rather ride any other layout just for the sake of it not being a Batman clone, unless it’s the standout best version of one.

#12 Phaethon – Gyeongju World (South Korea)

Bad weather dictated that we never really had the chance to get properly acquainted with this one, a single lap after 5 hours in a Starbucks waiting for the rain to subside is not a good ratio. What this lap did demonstrate is that Phaethon lacked a little on the aggression front, with most of the inversions leaning towards graceful rather than intense. Good though.

#11 Katun – Mirabilandia (Italy)

Aww, the streak ends. This legend was my last real hope for a B&M Invert to enter the big leagues for me and after many years of anticipation it ended up as a massive disappointment. The problem with riding it rather late in the game is that this layout only really highlighted how ’99 verses the same’ many of these rides are, putting the same elements in more or less the same order with a different corner here and there. On top of that, while inherently forceful it didn’t excel at any particular sensation against anything else in this list, so that left Katun condemned to middle of the road territory.

#10 Alpengeist – Busch Gardens Williamsburg (USA)

Another legend, another let down. Never meet your heroes. While I adored both the theming details and the unique aspects of the layout on Alpengeist, it rode rather poorly in the first half and then completely ran out of steam after the mid course brake run. By the time it hit the final brakes the train was moving at a walking pace. Bonus points for comedy.

#9 Great Bear – Hersheypark (USA)

On the contrary, I think Great Bear may have been helped along by not being such a standout name in the coaster world. I had zero expectations and came off happy enough with the experience. Bonus points for that weird high up helix at the start.

#8 Nemesis Inferno – Thorpe Park (UK)

It would be satisfying for me to know that an above average B&M Invert lives just up the road, if I ever bothered to visit the place any more. On the rare occasion that I do now, this is my favourite coaster in the park and only seems to get better with age. The pre-lift tunnel adds character and both the start and ending sequences are particularly intense, with no real loss of pace in between.

#7 Flight Deck – California’s Great America (USA)

Finally we enter what I’ll call the snappy territory. A particular trait of this ride type that I’ve grown to love is when the train negotiates an inversion with a particular vigour and ferocity. While many examples have this smooth, refined and calculated sensation from start to finish, leaving you time to appreciate the sky below your feet, on others there’s one big ‘WHOA, what the hell was that?’ moment halfway through an element as it whips you round with a completely out of control feeling. I’m starting to think it’s an old school thing.
Flight Deck’s corkscrew has this by the bucket load along with a satisfyingly unique layout including an intense upwards helix unusually early on.

#6 Afterburn – Carowinds (USA)

Afterburn does this too, as well as being overall bigger and badder, though it’s equally as soulless with the poorly executed plane theme. The rarely seen Batwing is a nice touch and this ride made me excited for Montu again, so there may still be hope.

#5 Batman La Fuga – Parque Warner Madrid (Spain)

The best of the Batmen by far. Enter the foot ripping factor. This ride was almost more than I could handle. The positive forces that sustain throughout the entire second loop and subsequent turn affected me more than anything else in this list. It went beyond tingling or pins and needles, it downright felt like my legs were going to fall off and caused me to instinctively shout, flail and punch them as we went. Of course as you’ve seen above I’ve never experienced that sensation to the same degree since and though there is the slight worry that it’s me and not the ride, I’m not usually wrong about that sort of thing.

Probably most famously known as Raptor at Cedar Point, this ex-Japanese coaster isn’t much of a looker these days but it’s ridiculously intense to make up for it. The lack of mid course brake run means that it flies through the second half and by the time everyone’s screaming through the last helix it’s almost too much to handle. Both the cobra and the corkscrews have that lovely violent snap once again. The weird straight sections while it tries to sort itself out have a certain charm too.

The almost Nemesis beater for that sheer immersion factor, how can you hide such a huge piece of hardware so seamlessly? Black Mamba doesn’t quite have the layout to win out though and I still don’t know what the layout is to be honest, it just keeps inverting, diving and turning through an endless sea of tunnels packed full of more intense helices than anything else in this list. My fondness for this ride increased even further when we rode it at midnight during the middle of a fireworks celebration. A proper masterpiece.

I feel a compelling sense of loyalty to this ride even though I often say it doesn’t excite me any more – that’s the sad thing about home parks you don’t love. There’s still something very satisfying about this layout, the way it builds momentum out of seemingly nothing and the sudden lurching entry into that massive loop very late on in the game. The landscaping is of course top notch and a real trend setter for future creations, which I admire greatly.

But this still Japanese coaster is the best in the business for me and a perfect compilation of all my favourite moments from above. The rip your legs off Batman beginning (but twice as huge), the snappy inversions of Monster and a first drop that would make Silver Bullet blush. Chuck in a weird airtime hill to finish and I’ll let you off about the landscaping. Can this be topped?

Rollercoaster Ranking – Intamin Woodies

The world hasn’t seen Intamin build a new wooden rollercoaster for over 12 years now and it’s a real shame, as a certain few turned out to be particularly spectacular, still holding their own amongst the latest and greatest from the Gravity Groups and GCIs of today. Unlike these rivals, Intamin design and create many other ride types from their edgy and innovative steel coasters to a multitude of water and flat rides, so their portion of the wooden market has always been rather limited.

They began using the material in 1981, boldly putting out the world’s fastest wooden rollercoaster of the time at Six Flags Great America – American Eagle remains the largest set of racing woodies to this day. Over the next 20 years only a handful more were built, with most of the market interest coming from Japan.

Japan’s latest wooden installation in 2001 was also the last to be created in a traditional manner by Intamin. In the same year their now well renowned pre-fabricated design was also introduced over in Germany. This ‘pre-fab’ style involves a unique manufacturing process for the track which allowed woodies to go steeper, faster and smoother than ever before. Only 4 of these have been built so far and though they are still available as a product, all has gone quiet on that front, the most common assumption being that this is due to the comparative cost of purchasing one.

This was always a both desirable and achievable collection to me and I have managed to ride all of the pre-fabs now, along with a couple of the older style (still need that original). There really is no comparision in ride experience between the old and the new – the design is that revolutionary. I feel that I have to flesh out this list somehow though.

#6 Elf – Hirakata Park (Japan)

This little woodie is cute and fun, much like the park it lives in, but it really doesn’t do a whole lot. Some semblance of airtime and a lot of long corners. I hope this isn’t the reason Japan seem to have given up on wooden coasters.

#5 Regina – Tobu Zoo (Japan)

Sadly now defunct, Regina can only really be described as bigger Elf. It rode largely the same, albeit twice the size – some semblance of airtime and a lot of long corners. It’s hard to believe that these two were installed only 12 months before this game was changed forever. Definitely playing it safe here.

#4 Colossos – Heide Park (Germany)

Not playing it safe comes at a price though, and a particularly hefty one for Heide Park. By the time I reached Colossos in 2016 it appeared to be a shell of its former self. The airtime was strong, but it rode very poorly in the bottom of the dips and throughout the long corner (singular this time at least). The ride closed just 3 months later and after what appeared to be much deliberation by the finance department, underwent an extensive refurbishment. Reports would suggest that this didn’t really help much, which is a shame – this legendary coaster started something truly great.

#3 Balder – Liseberg (Sweden)

My favourite coaster is complimented by a cracking woodie and it would have to be, to make me even consider walking away from Helix for more than a few minutes. Balder is characterised by being both compact and weirdly smooth, squeezing in as much wild airtime as physically possible between the unwanted return of those long corners. The design is far from my favourite when it comes to wooden coasters as it becomes almost laughably predictable after a couple of goes, even though it’s still an amazing experience.

#2 T-Express – Everland (South Korea)

This remains the most recent installation and it’s hard to wonder how it could be topped. Allegedly the park asked Intamin to design a combination of the two most recently built pre-fab coasters, somehow on the side of a hill, and T-Express was born.
While I adored this ride the above story does bug me, as the second half is almost exactly Balder again, long corners and all. To its credit, the trains are longer and it seems to haul through this part a lot quicker with a slightly more out of control feeling. The first half is where it’s at though.
The steepness of the initial drop still defies belief and the shaping is simply awesome to behold on ride. You can’t even see all of it, it just disappears into nothing below you. The subsequent hill is one of the greatest moments of airtime in the world, ever, providing a sustained and surreal moment of not even knowing what to do with my arm, legs, anything. More of that please.

And here it is. More. El Toro was the last of the collection for me and the perfect way to finish it. Everything I loved most about the others rolled into one mind blowing package.
It has a slightly rougher edge to give it character and the whippiest corners in the business through the ‘bucking bronco.’ That first drop. That hill. That hill again. That other hill. If I hadn’t ridden Skyrush the previous day it would have been the most intense airtime ever.
Bow down to the bull.

Rollercoaster Ranking – Gravity Group

All this talk of Jungle Trailblazers has made me think I may as well get this list out too. You may already know that the Gravity Group are my most favouritest manufacturer right now, because every single wooden coaster of theirs that I have ridden so far is, or tries to be, the bomb. It’s no exaggeration for me, they just perfectly capture the essence of what I love about rollercoasters (specifically wooden ones) and deliver it in the most consistently aggressive package around.

Born out of Custom Coasters International in 2002, a manufacturer no longer with us, the team instantly began to redefine the modern ‘classic’ wooden rollercoaster. It pains me to say that I haven’t ridden their first four creations yet, all of which appear to be just as insane and easily sit on or near the top of my bucket list. I don’t think there’s anything I need more in life right now than the trimless night ride on Voyage that almost happened.

China has completely stolen their market as of late and that’s where I’ve been lapping up all the goodness so far. This list will obviously need a major overhaul once my covid-spited USA trip actually takes place but there’s a good chunk to chat about in the meantime.

#11 Twister – Gröna Lund, Sweden

Ah, all that praise, but we begin with a small dose of negativity. Twister wasn’t all there for me. I have huge respect for what it achieves in the miniscule footprint, setting the standard for Gravity’s incredible knack for generating pace out of tiny drops, but to fit everything in it ends up as mostly corners with several little hops and that just wasn’t enough. The noise and the steel supports (and the park in general) gave me a bit of a headache, so I probably didn’t give it the fairest of chances. Also the Timberliner restraints were off compared to any other I’ve done since, with the bar coming in much higher and more uncomfortably towards the chest.

#10 Jungle Trailblazer – Oriental Heritage Xiamen, China

Time for confusion. This is the Jungle Trailblazer where the hills were constructed in the wrong order, full details here. The promise was there but it ran out of steam and fell short every time. One of them had to come last I guess.

#9 Cú Chulainn – Tayto Park, Ireland

Ah, Ireland. It took too long for you to get a major coaster but you started in the big leagues. The pacing issues were here again, I managed to divide the ride into definitive thirds as we took our umpteenth lap on this beast. Amazing / good / alright. Bit too long, high bits in the wrong places.

#8 Timber, Walibi Rhône-Alpes, France

Sweet, baby Timber. This ride is glorious but oh so short. Clearly the bar was set here to not compromise on pacing so with a mere 60ft drop you get bucket loads of stupidly good airtime before being thrust into the brakes crying for more.

#7 Wood Express – Parc Saint Paul, France

Wood Express is where the real magic in France happened. Somehow the same sized drop as Timber then goes on twice as long and delivers 13 punchy airtime moments with near perfect consistency. It defies physics. My only downside with the small ones is that they just don’t have the sheer speed to be truly aggressive.

#6 Dauling Dragon (Blue) – Happy Valley Wuhan, China

I really wish I could have experienced the daulers in all their dauling glory, it might well have knocked it up a spot or two because I’m such a sucker for ride interaction. As it was I just had the one side to try and it was great, particularly the dawn of the sideways airtime hills that I admire so much.
A little on the long side, loses pace at the end and certain moments tailored to the intertwined experience have noticeably come off worse for it.

#5 Jungle Trailblazer – Oriental Heritage Jinan, China

This is the Jungle Trailblazer with the inversion that gave me a headache. I could also say the hills were constructed in the wrong order here, but the best ones are the littlest in the middle and to move them would be to do them a disservice. It’s just the follow up that doesn’t live up. Amazing, in parts.

#4 Jungle Trailblazer – Oriental Heritage Wuhu, China

Throw your hands up and say Wuhu (sorry). Approaching Jungle Trailblazer perfection but that ONE high up turnaround just… wasn’t necessary. The inversion seemed to work better this time and the rest is marvellous. The big spiters had big payoffs.

#3 Wooden Coaster – Fireball – Happy Valley Shanghai, China

The other big spiter. I rode this the day before the one above and it just edged it. Love the diversity in style on this one with the more traditional big hills and turnaround, even though it’s more Intamin’s forte. Just as if to remind you that Gravity are better though, it shifts a gear in the second half and gets stupidly out of control as it hurtles and hops between the structure in the wonderfully free and easy old PTC trains. Glorious.

#2 Fjord Flying Dragon – Happy Valley Tianjin, China

I hadn’t realised how well the PTC trains held up in the grand scheme of things, but they come in at number two as well. Fjord Flying Dragon is an absolute beast and the Jungle Trailblazer equivalent is a worthy tribute (if it had to exist at all). So aggressive, so much varied airtime, so much bruising. Why not number 1? The last one and a half hills don’t live up to the rest. The tiniest of margins.

#1 Jungle Trailblazer – Fantawild Dreamland Zhengzhou, China

Which makes it lose to the king. And the other king. Two Jungle Trailblazers in one and I should have resented it but I just love this ride so much. In one of the most amazing runs of my career (sadly unlikely to happen again) I did 4 of this list back to back and this thing came out on top. Raging relentlessness, pacing perfection, the ultimate Gravity Group package.
Your move USA.

Rollercoaster Ranking – Gerstlauer Infinity Coasters

To me, Gerstlauer started off as a manufacturer who often made very solid family rides, but when it came to the high thrill creations, starting with their Eurofighter models, they were quite a way off the mark. The clunkiness of the trains and the seemingly below average track quality meant that these never managed to stand out as good rides by their own merit, instead relying on the public marketability of either a strong theming package or the signature vertical lift hills and beyond vertical drops.

In 2008 they began an experimental phase, introducing LSM launches into the mix with two ‘Launch Coasters’ built in Europe over two years along with the integration of this technology back onto Eurofighters. This started to point them in the right direction, but there was still the matter of the trains and those awful shoulder restraints to sort out.

Their first Infinity coaster came in 2013 and smashed the world record for the highest number of inversions in any layout. Although Smiler had different trains to any Eurofighter, the nature of this record likely contributed to keeping the restraints the same.
Just 2 months later, all the hardware finally fell into place with the opening of Karacho. Open seating and minimalist lap bars not too dissimilar to the ‘clamshells’ found on a B&M hyper meant that, for me at least, the Infinity Coaster now had the potential to really shine. No one could have imagined where they would go with it next, but there have been some spectacular results.

For a very brief period of time, I would have ridden every one of this ride type in the world – between my cancelled trip to Adventureland, Iowa at the start of June 2020 and the opening of Pitts Special at Powerland in Finland by the end of the same month. For now we’ll just have to live without those two and examine the rest.

#9 Karacho (Tripsdrill, Germany) – Although it finally brought the lap bars to the table, this early attempt wasn’t quite all there for me. The awkward way it enters the launch by tipping you forward just moments before you get slammed back into your seat by the force of the acceleration is actually quite unpleasant. Beyond that, I didn’t encounter any standout moments in the layout and it became a rather forgettable experience.

#8 Madagascar Mad Pursuit (Motiongate, UAE) – As the first of these rides to not include any inversions, this entirely indoor launch coaster relies heavily on interacting with theming. It felt a little more like a family ride in that it never had any substantial moments of airtime and didn’t get particularly intense. I couldn’t but help get the sense that the ride was holding back a bit.

#7 Smiler (Alton Towers, UK) – It may have been lumbered with the shoulder restraints, but going upside down 14 times makes for a very intense ride experience even for the hardiest of enthusiasts, something I’ve come to appreciate more as time goes on. The airtime hills that interrupt the almost endless inversions are the most satisfying part for me. I can’t help but wonder how good this could have been.

#6 Fury (Bobbejaanland, Belgium) – Following the experimental trend of these rides, Fury was the first of its kind to have buttons in the seats that allowed riders to vote for whether they wanted to go forwards or backwards through the triple launch shuttle layout.
It was a very satisfying moment for me to end up going backwards on my first attempt as there’s nothing I love more than to be surprised by a layout. Sadly I spent most of the lap just willing the ride to give a little more. While disorientating and fun, I believe it lacked just one truly intense moment to span the gap between good and great.

#5 Gold Rush (Slagharen, Netherlands) – Though lacking a little in length, the next of the triple launchers manages to pack a lot more punch into it’s footprint. The flop out of your seat following the reverse launch halfway through an inversion is insane, the exit from the top hat provides a strong moment of ejection and the train moves with a lot more purpose throughout.

#4 HangTime (Knott’s Berry Farm, USA) – The rides seem to be getting prettier as we go. Rather than any launches, HangTime returns to the vertical lift feature and then adds a terrifying holding brake into the mix. With a ridiculous amount of freedom and openness from the trains, riders literally hang forward over the edge of this drop with barely any contact between body and restraint for several scary seconds.
Once the teasing is over, the vicious first drop hurls you into a layout that vaguely resembles one half of a Smiler – disorientating inversions punctuated by a killer airtime hill, providing the perfect answer to my earlier wondering about how good it could have been.

#3 Mystic (Walibi Rhône-Alpes, France) – Here we have yet another different style of layout. I really do admire the variety in this list so far.
The vertical lift is combined with the shuttle aspect to produce some incredible results. The twisted first drop hits in all the right places and the inverted spike that stalls the train before sending it backwards through the course is pure insanity. It dangles riders on their heads for what feels like eternity with almost nothing keeping you in your seat. That’s the moment that really sets Mystic apart.

#2 Junker (Powerland, Finland) – To me, this felt like the perfect evolution of the Gerstlauer launch coaster design. With no awkward starting gimmicks, riders are smoothly and powerfully fired into the initial top hat. Every moment from here on out contains a wicked contrast in forces, with the strongest ejector coming as a complete surprise out of the mid course brake run and there’s a particularly odd and intense sequence throughout the wonderfully novel Finnish loop inversion.
The result is an amazing all round package, which is exactly what I look for in a coaster. It’s also just that little bit longer than nearly everything above, which makes Junker even more satisfying.

#1 Schwur des Kärnan (Hansa Park, Germany) – As strong as some of the newer creations have been, 2015 really was the year of the Infinity coaster and there can only be one winner of this list, the beast itself.
The ambition and scale of this ride is unprecedented, housing and theming a ~240ft drop like no other, the highest Gerstlauer have ever been by a significant margin. Within the same building Kärnan hides yet another unique feature – a backwards vertical freefall during the lift hill.
The outdoor layout also puts most other similar sized hyper coasters to shame, with just two other high points in the first twisted sequence before the train plummets to the floor through some violent transitions and stays at almost full speed, low to the ground, for the remainder of the course.
In complete contrast, the only inversion is taken at a snails pace and, apologies for mentioning them one more time, the trains give this a spectacular sensation, keeping it incredibly intense to the very end.
There’s no other experience like this on earth, and with good reason.

Rollercoaster Ranking – B&M Flying Coasters

The B&M flyer is a ride type I’ve been familiar with for most of my coasting life. It started life as a prototype at Alton Towers, following fairly hot on the heels of Vekoma’s largely unpopular attempt at a flying coaster. Unlike the competitor, you board the trains in a standard upright manner and when ready for dispatch the seats hinge upwards from behind you, lowering your face towards the floor and hanging you into the vest restraint in a prone position. This remains a great moment for witnessing the terror in unsuspecting guests as it is a particularly unusual and scary way to begin a coaster. The lift hills are equally unnerving, often with nothing but open ground below you, slowly getting further away as you climb.

Prototype aside I have since come to learn that what these rides excel most at is intensity, something I especially admire in an attraction these days. For sheer physical duress on the body they are usually the most intense coasters that B&M create (along with perhaps one or two of their inverts).

One of the main contributors to this is the pretzel loop element, or any other element that involves the train diving you head first towards the ground and then having you pinned onto your back before returning to the flying position. While these inversions can be a little too much for some to enjoy, I am a huge fan of this unique and unrelenting force that literally takes your breath away, pushing the air from your lungs and making your head spin.

I am happy to declare that I have currently ridden every layout of B&M flyer in the world, with only a couple of cloned versions still to ride, so let’s see how they size up.

#7 Air/Galactica (Alton Towers, UK) – The aforementioned prototype is the exception to the rule when it comes to intensity. The only inversions Air has are a standard roll and the ‘fly to lie’ which, though it puts you on your back for a portion of the layout, does not subject you to much in the way of strong forces. It ends up being rather uncomfortable and the feature has yet to be repeated in another layout. Air’s strong points are the unique way it gains momentum through the starting double drop and the moments that best emulate flying, low down over some grass and rocks.

#6 Crystal Wings (Happy Valley Beijing, China), Superman Ultimate Flight (Six Flags Great Adventure, USA) & Superman Ultimate Flight (Six Flags Great America) – This ranking comes with a caveat. The layout itself is objectively better than the previous entry but if it’s a Superman clone I tend to enjoy it less than Air. Crystal Wings has very strong theming which greatly enhances the ride experience and particularly after riding that version first, I resent riding undecorated copies of it at Six Flags parks.
The layout begins strong with a pretzel loop but then seemingly runs out of inspiration, taking corner after corner with little excitement before ending in an underwhelming roll.

#5 Tatsu (Six Flags Magic Mountain, USA) – I was a little disappointed to find this ride performing below par for what I had experienced with others. The setting and landscape had massive potential and I absolutely love the way it saves the pretzel loop until the end of the layout, diving off the side of a mountain to achieve it – I’m a sucker for a good use of terrain.
My main issue is that it’s like the Supermen in reverse, the first section of the ride is just corner, roll, corner, roll, corner, roll, none of which really get things going. By no means is this a bad ride and I’m fairly sure it gave me DVT with its intensity, but the upcoming competition is just too strong.

#4 Acrobat (Nagashima Spa Land, Japan) & Manta (Sea World Orlando, USA) – Another layout, another pretzel. This beauty starts stupidly intense and then maintains it through the following corner, well beyond sensible limits. Other than the brief respite provided by the mid course brake run (the only one to have this), the remainder of the layout manages to keep things more interesting than the above, with lower to the ground swoops and a corkscrew that snaps a lot more than the average roll on these rides.

#3 Starry Sky Ripper (Joyland, China) – It seems the time had finally arrived to attempt some different elements on these rides and this Chinese anomaly took it to serious extremes. After an unusual straight drop and following large turn, the ride enters a 540° roll.
Wait, you say, I’ve been ragging on rolls this whole time.
Yes, but that extra 180° makes a world of difference. While thinking ‘oh, it’s another one of these’ it continues to rotate past expectation and then the track just falls from underneath you, head first into a drop with a complete wow moment. What better way to follow this than with a vertical loop, essentially tightening the experience of a pretzel and in the reverse direction.
This sequence of elements is simply mind blowing, but then the ride loses steam a little like the others and ends on some corners and yes, you guessed it, rolls.

#2 Harpy (Xishuangbanna Sunac Land, China) – I almost didn’t go and ride this due to my strong disapproval of cloning ride layouts and some rather lazy research. On the surface, this looks like another Superman clone. In reality, it fixes everything about that ride. Once again, the start is the same but, like Acrobat, the intensity of the pretzel is held well after it ends. Suddenly the train lurches to the ground in a completely unexpected manner – I could have sworn there was some airtime on this flyer.
The rest remains intense, essentially cutting the faff out of the Acrobat layout and only having the better of the two inversions. I adored this ride in the middle of nowhere and it made me beyond happy to discover that it was both unique and amazing.

#1 Flying Dinosaur (Universal Studios Japan) – The newest installation to date. Take a compilation of everything you’ve read above and then double the intensity. This is not just my favourite flyer, but my favourite overall B&M coaster and the ride should potentially be made illegal. For a manufacturer that is often declared too safe with their designs as of late, having built their success on crowd pleasers, Flying Dinosaur just exceeds every boundary.
A huge drop takes you straight into the 540° element of Starry Sky Ripper, no holds barred, plunging out of that onto your head and into a half loop. Before you can recover, you’re diving head first into a pretzel loop. That’s the two most intense elements these rides have to offer, back to back. I don’t know what happens from here but all I can tell you is that it provides absolutely no time to regain any sense of composure from the previous experiences, the ride just continues to abuse you – head spinning, out of breath, until the brake run. And I bloody love it.

In doing my research for this list I have just noticed that the rankings follow the exact order of age for these rides so they’re clearly learning more each time and getting better and better. I do hope the world sees a few more layouts in future, as they’re clearly on a roll.