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2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced

frontrow frontrow Profile

Posted:
9/18/11 at
9:24:08 PM

On Saturday Sept. 17th Holiday World hosted the 2011 Golden Ticket Awards ceremony. Every year I look forward to seeing the results and this year I was even more eager, being that I had the honor of participating by sending in a ballet. The results were pretty predicable; Cedar Point was awarded best park, Holiday World was the cleanest and friendliest park, The Voyage was rated best wooden coaster, etc. We all know the drill. Probably the biggest surprise was the shake up in the steel coaster rankings. The New Texas Giant ranked# #6 in it's first year. It's always interesting to see the shuffle of coaster rankings year to year.

As for my ballet; out of 23 categories I only voted for the winner in 5 of them. In fact 7 of my favorite choices didn't even show up as a top 5 popular choice including my vote for best park. I guess that's a good thing. I voted strictly by what I thought was the most deserving recipient. My ballet did make a small difference in the steel coaster rankings. Behemoth came in at #15, just 2 points ahead of X2. I ranked Behemoth #2 on my list, giving it 9 points ranking it one spot higher than it would have been. Maverick came in at #21, a single point higher than Sheirka. I ranked Maverick 10th, giving it that 1 point it needed to break that tie. I voted Titan #7, giving it 3 points. Titan beat out Steel Force for #25 by just one point. Ride OF Steel tied with Volcano for #29 and my 2 points I gave to ROS forced that tie.

All and all I had a lot of fun with it. Although the differences I made are small but, at least I made some type of mark. I recommend all of you to participate in the future. I think you'll have fun with it like I did.

http://www.goldenticketawards.com

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/18/11 10:54:37 PM

> As for my ballet;

I didn't know you were a ballerina! LOL! Sorry, I couldn't resist! :~)

I really wish they would do separate awards for the US and Europe/Japan. And how can you not have a Six Flags on the list?

Jen

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/18/11 11:09:35 PM

I'm kinda surprised AC was knocked down to 7th despite Nitro still 3rd. I know it really doesn't matter, but it just seems strange. I also wonder how much higher Gwazi went up with the new trains.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/19/11 12:22:08 AM

Gwazi actually fell out of the top 50, along with The Grizzly and Georgia Cyclone. As for the steel coasters, Storm Runner fell out of the top 50. Phantoms Revenge climbed into the #5 spot. The 5th best steel coaster on the planet, really? I guess I'm the minority.

I agree with Jen, there should be separate rankings for coasters over seas. On the steel coaster list, I've ridden 32 out of 50. If you only count North America, I've ridden 32 out of 42. As for the wooden coasters, I've ridden 24 out of 50. I've ridden 24 out of 38 in North America. I can't give a world wide assessment because I've never been over seas and I would think that the majority of the voters haven't either.

Another thing I would like to see changed is how best park is determined. How it is now you get one vote. I voted for Six Flags Great Adventure. I would like to see this category to be based on a point system like the coasters are. For example, you vote for your top 5 parks. Your #1 gets 5 points, #2 gets 4 points and so on. I felt the same way Jen did when I saw the top 10 parks. I couldn't believe a Six Flags park didn't make the list. The only way The Golden Ticket Awards will be more accurate is if more people participate and they tweak the scoring system a bit.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/19/11 12:28:18 AM

That sucks, not like Gwazi is my fav, but I would've figured the MF trains would've at least helped bump it up to w/in top 50 wood.

I agree about the need to change the voting system. No suprise there will be favorites and repeat winners.

edit:
I agree overbanked, their list of indoor coasters are not ones I'd put at the top either. THe only one of the 'winners' would be Rockin' Rollercoaster since that is the most thrilling. THe others have either theming or park location going for them.

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 9/19/11 1:52:51 AM

Either Flight of Fear didn't make the Best Indoor/Enclosed top five; I like them better than all of these coasters that made the list; Space Mtn(WDW), Rock & Rollercoaster(WDW) and Revenge of the Mummy(USO). I can't say that I'm a fan of the Golden Tickets, or any 'official' coaster rankings list.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/19/11 2:21:13 AM

Another thing I noticed is there are a bunch of "friendliest park", "cleanest park", etc but no "best thrill park". I bet that why there's no SF parks in there. A category like "Best Park" is way too open for interpretation because we all judge parks differently. How can they not have a best Thrill Park category? I would also like to see a best flat ride category. They have so many categories that are of no interest to most (best Christmas event? really?) but there are others that would be more relevant.

And Phoenix is not even close to being better than El Toro. I actually really liked that coaster but comparing it to ET? No.

Does anyone know if Griffon or Sheikra ever made the top 10 in steel?

Jen

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/19/11 2:23:47 AM

> Gwazi actually fell out of the top 50, along with The
> Grizzly and Georgia Cyclone. As for the steel coasters,
> Storm Runner fell out of the top 50. Phantoms Revenge
> climbed into the #5 spot. The 5th best steel coaster on the
> planet, really? I guess I'm the minority.

Where did you find the top 50 in the categories? I'm just curious to see them.

Jen

Edit: I found it in the PDF. Can someone explain how TTD is #9 and KK is #33?! This list is ridiculous.
Here's the link to the PDF - it's on page 38 (wooden on page 57):
http://www.goldenticketawards.com/pdfs/2011_golden_ticket_section.pdf

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/19/11 3:03:13 AM

Exactly: Like Nitro and AC, both are nearly similar yet both ranked differently. And, looking at the list, looks like some editor made an error: Phantom's Revenge is not B&M.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/19/11 7:12:44 AM

> Another thing I noticed is there are a bunch of
> "friendliest park", "cleanest park",
> etc but no "best thrill park". I bet that why
> there's no SF parks in there. A category like "Best
> Park" is way too open for interpretation because we
> all judge parks differently. How can they not have a best
> Thrill Park category? I would also like to see a best flat
> ride category. They have so many categories that are of no
> interest to most (best Christmas event? really?) but there
> are others that would be more relevant.

> And Phoenix is not even close to being better than El Toro.
> I actually really liked that coaster but comparing it to
> ET? No.

> Does anyone know if Griffon or Sheikra ever made the top 10
> in steel?

> Jen

I've been following The Golden Ticket Awards for a while. Before I had a computer I would have a copy of the list of winners and top rated coasters sent to me. We would use it as tool in determining what parks to visit and where the best coasters were located. Years ago they would rotate categories from year to year. Now it seems as if they settled for the same list of categories. Some of the current categories are irrelevant in terms of park achievements. I think the reason they settled for this group is that it makes counting the ballots easier. I would like to see some different categories like the ones you mentioned.

As for the coaster rankings I don't recall the dive coasters being in the top 10. They're usually around that 15 to 20 spot. Every year TTD is ranked much higher than Kinda Ka. I have no idea why that is. As far as the wooden coasters, the last 5 years The Voyage has been #1 and Phoenix, El Toro, Boulderdash, and Thunderhead shuffle around in that top 5. Last year El Toro was #2, Boulderdash was #2 the year before that, and Thunderhead was occupied that spot also. I voted for El Toro as my #1 wooden coaster. I had The Phoenix at #8, it would have been #9 if I would have rode Boulderdash before the deadline. It comes down to the personal preference of the voters and sometimes the results are a joke.

Another flaw that I have noticed the parks that host the national convention really climb the rankings along with the coasters in that park. For example, last year Kennywood was the host. Sky Rocket ranked 17th. This year it dropped to 44th. This year SF Over Texas was the host. Titan went up 17 spots and I I'm sure The New Texas Giant wouldn't have came in 6th. I guess the majority of the panel are ACE members and they seem to vote for the coasters they ride that year. The final list does seem a bit ridiculous but it's also interesting to see how different my personal list is from a group survey. That's why I wanted to vote.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 9/19/11 8:12:39 AM

I've noticed this trend over the past decade, but now it is 100% -

No looping coasters in the top 10 steel. Isn't that strange? We now love airtime, hieght and speed over inversions. Loopers used to be all the rage.

It's not a bad thing, just an interesting change in taste.

- Pat-O

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/19/11 8:34:22 AM

Hey Pat, I know you have ridden The New Texas Giant recently. Out of curiosity did it make it into your top 10 steel coaster list?

Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by MommaBeast MommaBeast Profile at 9/19/11 12:01:25 PM

LMAO...

I can remember heated arguments over the years about what the #1 should be, etc., etc.

I've always maintained MF is theee best steelie out there, hands down, no question, no contest. Back in the day when S:RoS edged it out of it's coveted #1 spot, all kinds of S:RoS lovers jumped on the bandwagon.

I am smiling now, scanning the top 10 steel list, searching and searching for that S:RoS ride...hmmm..nope...don't see it. I rode it and never saw the 'all that' factor in it whatsoever (gotta remember I'm not an airtime fan).

Here's the moral to this story: MF has lasted the test of time. It's appeal to the masses (I'll concede that not all think MF is the end all/be all in steel coasters) is tried and true and continues to this day. It delivers. I love it. And lil lady, even after 11 years, you're still #1 in my book.

And apparently many others' books too :D

~MommaBeast

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/19/11 12:16:08 PM

Superman ROS is now Bizarro and it's ranked #2. My top steel coasters are #1 I305, #2 Behemoth, #3MF, and #4 Bizarro. In my opinion those 4 coasters are a tier above the rest and are really close to each other. Anyone who rates any of those 4 as the best steel coaster has a really good argument. I like all 4 for different reasons, each is different from the other. I can see why MF is your favorite and I can see how it still is rated #1 in The Golden Ticket Awards. I never heard anyone say anything negative about MF. After 11 years it's still running like it's brand new.

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by drachen drachen Profile at 9/19/11 1:41:09 PM

> I never heard anyone say anything negative about
> MF.

Wait 'til Chuck (Coaster Fanatic) gets on here...

One thing I've learned over the years is that there is no right and wrong to our preferences in roller coaster. No one is wrong to have Millennium Force number one, just as no one is wrong to dislike it.

I love it, and it's still the best steel coaster out there for me. I'm glad to see that my favorite steel coaster is still in the top 10 - Magnum XL-200.

However, these rankings are very subjective and don't mean a whole lot to me. I like to read through them, but that's all it is for me - a good read.

For example, I went to Idlewild for the first time this year. It's a nice park, with three kids areas. However, I don't understand why it's considered a kids park, when the real 'meat' of the park is the waterpark and Old Idlewild area and both are geared toward teen-aged to adult guests.

Even when I compare the kids areas to other kids parks, it's nowhere close to the best. It shouldn't even be considered for this award.

What I believe has happened here is the enthusiasts like the park(and let's face it, the AT voters are 95% enthusiasts), associate the with the kids areas, and vote for it as a kids park - which it is not.

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by MommaBeast MommaBeast Profile at 9/19/11 2:09:56 PM

> Superman ROS is now Bizarro and it's ranked #2.

:)

2nd to none? lol

~MommaBeast

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 9/19/11 3:38:14 PM

I agree with the New Texas Giant as being the best new coaster for 2011, but #6 overall? That seems high to me. It barely gets in my top 10.

- Pat-O

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by MommaBeast MommaBeast Profile at 9/19/11 3:55:48 PM

> I agree with the New Texas Giant as being the best new
> coaster for 2011, but #6 overall? That seems high to me. It
> barely gets in my top 10.

> - Pat-O

Yeah, some of these are so unrealistic in how/where they placed.
But to each his own.

~MommaBeast

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by pyl-driver pyl-driver Profile at 9/19/11 9:11:32 PM

I have not been on either Cheetah hunt or Texas Giant, but seen many polls of new best ride and CH one every one I looked at including a huge margin lead on newsplusnotes.com poll. I am very pleased to see MF win best steel, and my home coaster Shivering Timbers #9 in woodies. I just don't understand how Knoebels, Dollywood, and Holiday World are in top 10 for best park. They got Cedar Point right for #1, but am I missing something on those three parks with very little extreme rides. I know theres more to a park but no SFGADV, SFMM, BGT, HERSHEY, SFGA, DISNEY freaking World. Not one in top 10, really?? Dollywood-HW-Knoebels better, I would strongly disagree!! My top 10 parks....(havnt been to all)
1.Cedar Point
2.Disney World parks
3.Busch Gardens Williamsburg
4.SFGADV
5.SFMM
6.HERSHEY
7.Europa
8.Alten Towers
9.SFGA
10.Busch Gardens Tampa

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/19/11 9:32:59 PM

If the ballot was set up to vote for your top 10 parks, here's how I would have voted.
1) SF Great Adventure
2) Cedar Point
3) Busch Gardens VA
4) Islands of Adventure
5) SF Over Georgia
6) Kings Dominion
7) Hershey
8) SF Over Texas
9) SF Great America
10) Mt. Olympus
With the addition of Leviathan, I'm sure Canadas Wonderland will make into my top 10 next year.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/19/11 11:32:13 PM

> I just don't
> understand how Knoebels, Dollywood, and Holiday World are
> in top 10 for best park. They got Cedar Point right for #1,
> but am I missing something on those three parks with very
> little extreme rides.

Because they are great PARKS, not just places with the most rides.

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by Coaster316 at 9/20/11 7:21:50 AM

> For example, I went to Idlewild for the first time this
> year. It's a nice park, with three kids areas. However, I
> don't understand why it's considered a kids park, when the
> real 'meat' of the park is the waterpark and Old Idlewild
> area and both are geared toward teen-aged to adult guests.

If Idlewild shouldn't be considered a kids park, how many parks would actually fall into this category? Idlewild's a no-brainer for this category personally.

- Jeff

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/20/11 8:36:11 AM

>My top 10 parks....(havnt been to
> all)
> 1.Cedar Point
> 2.Disney World parks
> 3.Busch Gardens Williamsburg
> 4.SFGADV
> 5.SFMM
> 6.HERSHEY
> 7.Europa
> 8.Alten Towers
> 9.SFGA
> 10.Busch Gardens Tampa

Sorry, but it seems strange to me to have a personal Top Ten park list when you haven't been to all of them.

Mike

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/20/11 9:21:08 AM

> I just don't
> understand how Knoebels, Dollywood, and Holiday World are
> in top 10 for best park. They got Cedar Point right for #1,
> but am I missing something on those three parks with very
> little extreme rides.

> Because they are great PARKS, not just places with the most
> rides.

Which is why I think they need a Best Thrill Park category, everyone has a different opinion on what this category means. When I think of best park in my head it's who has the best rides. But even as best overall park experience, as many interpret it as, why isn't Hershey in there? I think it's one of the better well rounded parks out there. They have something for everyone, it's well maintained and for a larger park, they have pretty good food (although I agree with Knoebels taking the top spot here - yum!)

Jen

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/20/11 9:28:48 AM

> For example, I went to Idlewild for the first time this
> year. It's a nice park, with three kids areas. However, I
> don't understand why it's considered a kids park, when the
> real 'meat' of the park is the waterpark and Old Idlewild
> area and both are geared toward teen-aged to adult guests.

> If Idlewild shouldn't be considered a kids park, how many
> parks would actually fall into this category? Idlewild's a
> no-brainer for this category personally.

> - Jeff

I live 40 minutes from Idelwild, but my vote for best children's park went to Magic Kingdom. Most small children wish they could go to Disney World and MK really geared towards younger children.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/20/11 10:06:44 AM

> I just don't
> understand how Knoebels, Dollywood, and Holiday World are
> in top 10 for best park. They got Cedar Point right for #1,
> but am I missing something on those three parks with very
> little extreme rides.

> Because they are great PARKS, not just places with the most
> rides.

Knoebels is a great park with a great collection of flat rides and The Phoenix is a top 10 wooden coaster, although I strongly disagree that it's the second best wooden coaster. Coasters like El Toro, Hades, and Boulderdash are on a whole different level. Knoebels does have good food. I voted for BG Williamsburg but Epcot and Knoebels came to mind. As far as it being ranked 2nd best park, I'll say this. A month a ago my 3 kids and I visited Knoebels. The next day we visited Lake Compounce. All 4 of us liked Lake Compounce better. So IMO, that 2nd place ranking is extremely over rated.

Holiday World was awarded cleanest park and friendliest park. The 3 parks that came to mind in terms of friendly staff were Dollywood, Beech Bend, and SF Great Adventure. I ended up voting for Dollywood. I've been to Holiday World 3 times and every time the bathrooms have been gross. The 3 parks that I was stuck on in terms of cleanest were Islands of Adventure, BG Williamsburg, ans Mt Olympus. My vote went to BG. Holiday World is a great park, but once again as far as "small parks", Mt. Olympus is my favorite.

Dollywood is a really nice park and with the addition of Wild Eagle along with Thunderhead and Mystery Mine they are becoming a world class destination. Once again I think a top 10 rating is a little over rated at this point in time.

All 3 of those parks are great parks, but parks like Hershey, Kings Dominion, and SF Great Adventure should have been ahead on that list and that is just to name a few.

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 9/20/11 11:29:37 AM

I never been to Wisconsin and Indiana, but I kinda have this spectulative feeling waterparks aside, that Mt Olympus is basically "Hades, and everything else", and Holiday World seems like "Voyage and everything else". Please tell me if I'm right or wrong; What other coasters/flats stand out at those parks? Don't get me wrong, I still would like to visit those parks one of these days.

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/20/11 12:17:35 PM

> I never been to Wisconsin and Indiana, but I kinda have
> this spectulative feeling waterparks aside, that Mt Olympus
> is basically "Hades, and everything else", and
> Holiday World seems like "Voyage and everything
> else". Please tell me if I'm right or wrong; What
> other coasters/flats stand out at those parks? Don't get me
> wrong, I still would like to visit those parks one of these
> days.
> * This Post Has Been Modified *

As for Mt. Olympus; Cyclops is a really fantastic coaster. While it's just barely out of my top 10, some people on URC have it in their top 10. Zeus would also be really good if it was smoother. Mt. Olympus has most unique go cart tracks and I love go carts. The thing that really stands out is the theming. It's a beautiful well maintained park. When your in the park you feel as if you are visiting a world class destination.
As for Holiday World; The Raven and The Legend are really good coasters. My first visit was before The Voyage was built and those 2 coasters made the visit very enjoyable. Pilgrims Plunge is a really water ride. The only complaint I have about HW is their water park is what stands out. If they put the effort in the amusement park that they put into the water park, HW would be a world class destination.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by squirrels at 9/20/11 12:47:47 PM

"Golden Ticket" aren't "roller-coaster people". They're "amusement park people".

This is obvious in the kinds of things they review. Things like:
- Best shows
- Best kids' area
- Best food

Forgive me if I don't speak for everyone, but as a true "roller-coaster person", I don't give two sh**s about how good a park's food is. If I wanted food, I'd go to a restaurant and come back, instead of spending $12.00 on a plate of substandard nachos.

Golden Ticket is looking at roller coasters not from the perspective of a coaster-fan or thrillseeker, but from the perspective of your average amusement park patron. To use the "Rollercoaster Tycoon" lingo, the average patron is more interested in "excitement" than "intensity". Thus many of the looping roller coasters get short shrift compared to longer, hillier hypers. Too much "thrill" to the average person isn't a good thing.

I think another big thing they look at is "stay-power". Is it a coaster that you could "ride all day"? From a thrill-seeker perspective, I'd argue that Intimidator 305 is a "better" coaster than Millenium Force. However, the average person's stomach can tolerate 2 or 3 passes on a coaster with that many "g"s before tapping out. (or on a 6-inversion B&M monster) Millenium, on the other, hand, is a coaster that you could ride all day or all weekend, again and again, and enjoy the ride each time without having to worry about getting sick or beat up. I'd say Maverick at CP is probably my favorite roller coaster right now, but honestly...it wears you out. Maybe 3 would be my limit on that unless I'm trying to prove a point. :p

And it's not just about the ride, but the overall experience. Why is Kingda Ka rated so much lower than TTD? Any thrillseeker/coaster enthusiast could argue that the extra height and speed plus the bunny-hop hill make Kingda-Ka the superior ride. If nothing else, it should be right above TTD, because the ride itself is virtually identical from a coaster-lover perspective.

However, I've always thought TTD had the better theming. KdK is shoved off in a corner of 6F-GAdv where there are few other rides. TTD, on the other hand, is in the CENTER of Cedar Point, esssentially an iconic landmark. You can sit in the pool of the Hotel Breakers and watch the huge race-light tree on the tophat tower flashing yellow-yellow-green all night. Not to mention that the rumble of the sound effects and the howl of the hydraulic motors launching the car can be heard from pretty much anywhere in the park. KdK lacks in presentation. As GY34 said once, it was a lot better when they first opened and had tigers roaming the area, but these days, there's no hoop-la. Everything leading up to the launch is rather nondescript...no build-up, you just taxi out, sit, and then launch.

And then there's the reliability issue. Coaster fanatics can easily overlook down-time. An average visitor to the park doesnt' remember the thrilling ride up and down Kingda-Ka, though...they remember going past the ride three times and it being down for maintenance. That kind of thing DOES affect the overall experience for those who aren't solely interested in a coaster's merits as a coaster...people like those at Golden Ticket. Not that TTD doesn't have down-time, but it usually lasts about 10 minutes at a time. KdK can be down for half a day at times.

Once you look at it in that light, I can easily see the awardees for best steel coaster:

# NAME PARK LOCATION YEAR FROM POINTS
1 Millennium Force Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio 2000 Intamin 1540
2 Bizarro Six Flags New England Agawam, Mass. 2000 Intamin 1201
3 Nitro Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, N.J. 2001 B&M 864
4 Goliath Six Flags Over Georgia Austell, Ga. 2006 B&M 794
5 Phantom's Revenge Kennywood West Mifflin, PA 2001 Morgan/Arrow 756
6 New Texas Giant Six Flags Over Texas Arlington, TX 2011 Rocky Mountain 743
7 Apollo's Chariot Busch Gardens Williamsburg Williamsburg, Va. 1999 B&M 643
7 Expedition GeForce Holiday Park Hassloch, Germany 2001 Intamin 643
9 Top Thrill Dragster Cedar Point Sandusty, Ohio 2003 Intamin 627
10 Magnum XL-200 Cedar Point Sandusty, Ohio 1989 Arrow 510

I too would like to see a "Best Thrill Coaster" list. In fact, you could create a whole award category for different types of roller coasters:

-Most Thrilling Coaster
-Coaster with Best Airtime
-Coaster with Best Inversions
-Most "Intense" Coaster
-Most Innovative Coaster
-Most "Rideable" Coaster
-Best Coaster theming

Etc. etc. ad-nauseum. you could even get into things like, "Most memorable first drop" or "best coaster launch".

But this list does well enough for the average theme-park-goer.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/20/11 1:37:12 PM

I agree changes should be made in terms of the categories. Some of them are important like friendliest park, cleanest park, best water ride, best landscaping, best fun house, best new ride, etc. All these things add to the over all park experience and adds up to what you think is the best park. The majority of the panel is made up of middle aged ACE members that have been to a lot of different parks. I'm a coaster guy. I rarely ride anything but coasters unless my kids are with me or if something is unique or intriguing. My favorite part of the ballot was voting for my top 10 steel and wooden coasters. I would love to see some categories like you mentioned that are dedicated to coasters. If those categories were on the ballot here is how I would vote.
Coaster with best air time: El Toro
Most thrilling coaster: Hades
Coaster with best inversions: Montu
Most intense coaster: I305
Most Innovative coaster: Magnum
Most Ridable coaster: Thunderhead
Best Coaster theming: Dueling Dragons
Most memorable first drop: Millennium Force
Best launch coaster: Storm Runner
These are fun categories. Like I mentioned before they used to change the categories from year to year. Maybe I shoot them an email with that suggestion.

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by pyl-driver pyl-driver Profile at 9/20/11 1:47:51 PM

> "Golden Ticket" aren't "roller-coaster
> people". They're "amusement park people".

> This is obvious in the kinds of things they review. Things
> like:
> - Best shows
> - Best kids' area
> - Best food

> Forgive me if I don't speak for everyone, but as a true
> "roller-coaster person", I don't give two sh**s
> about how good a park's food is. If I wanted food, I'd go
> to a restaurant and come back, instead of spending $12.00
> on a plate of substandard nachos.

I agree and your hilarious!

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 9/20/11 4:36:58 PM

^^^Me too, I totally agree. Squirrels had me rolling. LOL

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Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/20/11 10:25:42 PM

I 3rd that notion. I don't care what the GT awards ranks certain coasters. Montu will always be at least top 2 for me. I also love Dominator, to me that would be among my top 10. I-305, hopefully with the new restraints and no trims on the first drop will rise up to top 5. I-305 I could ride at least 10 times in a row if not for the banging i got from the old horrid otsrs.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by squirrels at 9/21/11 11:13:12 AM

> I 3rd that notion. I don't care what the GT awards ranks
> certain coasters. Montu will always be at least top 2 for
> me. I also love Dominator, to me that would be among my top
> 10. I-305, hopefully with the new restraints and no trims
> on the first drop will rise up to top 5. I-305 I could ride
> at least 10 times in a row if not for the banging i got
> from the old horrid otsrs.

I wish Maverick at CP would switch to the same restraints...that seems to be the chief "pain complaint" I get from everyone who rides that coaster. Usually you can lead your head into the turns on the first half because you see them coming. On the second half (after the tunnel launch), they come up so suddenly you're pretty much bouncing off the OTSRs no matter what.

Any coaster that features "snap-turns" like that should have OTS straps instead of hard restraints. I wonder if it's something with the way the past-vertical drop throws you against them that makes straps inappropriate for that coaster.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/21/11 2:07:46 PM

I totally agree. B&M's otsr's are fine because they are very big and pretty much 'pin' your body into the seat. Intamin's otsr is basically just 'straps' to hold down the lap segment of the restraint. I wonder why they even bother with the 'straps' in the first place if the lap is attached to the seat on the side.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/21/11 2:51:34 PM

> I totally agree. B&M's otsr's are fine because they are
> very big and pretty much 'pin' your body into the seat.
> Intamin's otsr is basically just 'straps' to hold down the
> lap segment of the restraint. I wonder why they even bother
> with the 'straps' in the first place if the lap is attached
> to the seat on the side.

It's the "illusion of safety" phenomenon. You know, like when people think they are safer when flying because they can't bring shampoo on an airplane. All both do is ruin the ride.

Jen

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by squirrels at 9/21/11 4:08:23 PM

> I totally agree. B&M's otsr's are fine because they are
> very big and pretty much 'pin' your body into the seat.
> Intamin's otsr is basically just 'straps' to hold down the
> lap segment of the restraint. I wonder why they even bother
> with the 'straps' in the first place if the lap is attached
> to the seat on the side.

> It's the "illusion of safety" phenomenon. You
> know, like when people think they are safer when flying
> because they can't bring shampoo on an airplane. All both
> do is ruin the ride.

> Jen

Not necessarily. It depends a lot on the ride.

With Kingda Ka, you could get by with a lap-bar, as illustrated by TTD. Even Millenium Force gets by with just a lap-bar. However, MF is pulling a lot of positive Gs to keep you in the seat whenever it does any maneuvers besides its drops. Same with Nitro...hills and a high-G turnaround, so you're either pinned in your seat or pinned against the lapbar.

Look at something like Maverick or Fahrenheit that has a first drop greater than 90*. You are literally DUMPED forward against the restraints...going past-vertical without any positive Gs to keep you in the seat. If your lapbar isn't VERY tight, it seems feasible for you to slip out of the seat behind the lapbar on a maneuver like that.

Similarly, something that performs "snap-turns" like I305 or Maverick produces a "flinging" effect on the rider. Again, the throwing from side-to-side over time could work a rider loose from a simple lapbar. If your head WASN'T bouncing off of the shoulder restraints, then your entire body would be whipping side to side violently. Same with B&M wingovers.

Would you trust a lapbar to hold you in place?

I'm willing to bet the engineers at Intamin are thinking about more when they design restraints than how best to ruin your fun. ;)

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/21/11 4:30:41 PM

> It's the "illusion of safety" phenomenon. You
> know, like when people think they are safer when flying
> because they can't bring shampoo on an airplane. All both
> do is ruin the ride.

> Jen

> Not necessarily. It depends a lot on the ride.

> With Kingda Ka, you could get by with a lap-bar, as
> illustrated by TTD. Even Millenium Force gets by with just
> a lap-bar. However, MF is pulling a lot of positive Gs to
> keep you in the seat whenever it does any maneuvers besides
> its drops. Same with Nitro...hills and a high-G turnaround,
> so you're either pinned in your seat or pinned against the
> lapbar.

> Look at something like Maverick or Fahrenheit that has a
> first drop greater than 90*. You are literally DUMPED
> forward against the restraints...going past-vertical
> without any positive Gs to keep you in the seat. If your
> lapbar isn't VERY tight, it seems feasible for you to slip
> out of the seat behind the lapbar on a maneuver like that.

> Similarly, something that performs "snap-turns"
> like I305 or Maverick produces a "flinging"
> effect on the rider. Again, the throwing from side-to-side
> over time could work a rider loose from a simple lapbar. If
> your head WASN'T bouncing off of the shoulder restraints,
> then your entire body would be whipping side to side
> violently. Same with B&M wingovers.

> Would you trust a lapbar to hold you in place?

> I'm willing to bet the engineers at Intamin are thinking
> about more when they design restraints than how best to
> ruin your fun. ;)

That was meant to be a joke.

Jen

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by drachen drachen Profile at 9/21/11 6:17:19 PM

>>> For example, I went to Idlewild for the first time this
>>> year. It's a nice park, with three kids areas. However, I
>>> don't understand why it's considered a kids park, when the
>>> real 'meat' of the park is the waterpark and Old Idlewild
>>> area and both are geared toward teen-aged to adult guests.

> If Idlewild shouldn't be considered a kids park, how many
> parks would actually fall into this category? Idlewild's a
> no-brainer for this category personally.

When I think of a Children's Park, I think of parks that are entirely geared to families with children under 12 years of age. Idlewild does not fit there. It's fun for all ages.

Though I have yet to go to one, the Legoland parks come to mind, as well as parks like Storybook Land and Dutch Wonderland. I think Dutch Wonderland is a far superior park for kids (in many aspects).

How do I judge? Well, I can see it in my own young kids. They absolutely light up at Dutch Wonderland. It wasn't the case at Idlewild.

Don't get me wrong. I really liked Idlewild. But it's no kiddie park.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by drachen drachen Profile at 9/21/11 6:50:18 PM

> Not necessarily. It depends a lot on the ride.

True.

> Look at something like Maverick or Fahrenheit that has a
> first drop greater than 90*. You are literally DUMPED
> forward against the restraints...going past-vertical
> without any positive Gs to keep you in the seat. If your
> lapbar isn't VERY tight, it seems feasible for you to slip
> out of the seat behind the lapbar on a maneuver like that.

It really has little to do with the first drops. Rather, it's because both rides (as well as Storm Runner and Cheetah Hunt) have inversions.

Only in recent years have we started to see multi-element looping coasters designed with only lap-bar restraints (Daredevil Dive, Wicked). But those designs are tame compared to these Intamin rides.

Intamin created a less intrusive restraint system for its looping coasters, starting with Storm Runner. Cedar Point followed suit with the same restraint for Maverick, as did Hershey with Fahrenheit, and BGT with Cheetah Hunt.

With the ejection history that Intamin's mega-coasters have with their original lap-bar restraints, either parks have decided against those restraints, or Intamin will no longer design a train in the U.S. with only lap-bars. The design of the coaster (aside from inversions) has little to do with it.

> Similarly, something that performs "snap-turns"
> like I305 or Maverick produces a "flinging"
> effect on the rider. Again, the throwing from side-to-side
> over time could work a rider loose from a simple lapbar. If
> your head WASN'T bouncing off of the shoulder restraints,
> then your entire body would be whipping side to side
> violently. Same with B&M wingovers.

Again, I don't think the snap turns are the issue. If I-305 was built before the 2004 SFNE accident, I am certain it too would have the Intamin T-bar restraint like Millenium Force. The same can be said for Kingda Ka.

> Would you trust a lapbar to hold you in place?

Yes.

The only odd ball in this whole Intamin restraint thing is El Toro at Great Adventure, which of course has lap-bar restraints. True that it's a wooden coaster, but if that ride doesn't eject riders, nothing will. It has snap turns all over the place - and the most intense negative G's I've ever experienced. It has a perfect safety record too.

I am hoping and praying that Skyrush has only a lap-bar system. But I have my doubts.

> I'm willing to bet the engineers at Intamin are thinking
> about more when they design restraints than how best to
> ruin your fun. ;)

Right, they're thinking about covering their asses so they aren't sued again.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile at 9/21/11 6:50:40 PM

> Not necessarily. It depends a lot on the ride.

> With Kingda Ka, you could get by with a lap-bar, as
> illustrated by TTD. Even Millenium Force gets by with just
> a lap-bar. However, MF is pulling a lot of positive Gs to
> keep you in the seat whenever it does any maneuvers besides
> its drops. Same with Nitro...hills and a high-G turnaround,
> so you're either pinned in your seat or pinned against the
> lapbar.

> Look at something like Maverick or Fahrenheit that has a
> first drop greater than 90*. You are literally DUMPED
> forward against the restraints...going past-vertical
> without any positive Gs to keep you in the seat. If your
> lapbar isn't VERY tight, it seems feasible for you to slip
> out of the seat behind the lapbar on a maneuver like that.

> Similarly, something that performs "snap-turns"
> like I305 or Maverick produces a "flinging"
> effect on the rider. Again, the throwing from side-to-side
> over time could work a rider loose from a simple lapbar. If
> your head WASN'T bouncing off of the shoulder restraints,
> then your entire body would be whipping side to side
> violently. Same with B&M wingovers.

> Would you trust a lapbar to hold you in place?

> I'm willing to bet the engineers at Intamin are thinking
> about more when they design restraints than how best to
> ruin your fun. ;)
> * This Post Has Been Modified *

It has been proven time and time again that lapbars are just as safe as OTSRs. Think about Maurer Sohne coasters that have a vertical lift hill that continues upside-down at the top flipping level and back into another inversion all with just a lap bar. Think of the new Dare Devil Dive EuroFighter coaster at SFOG, which has only a lapbar with a beyond-vertical dive and inversions. Think of the heavy negative Gs on Magnum XL 200 with just a lap bar. Think of Flight of Fear, and other Premier launchers that have switched to lapbars a while back, which have tall inversions, and a high-speed corkscrew.

OTSR straps make sense on I305, as they keep people upright during quick transitions, but still provide most of the freedom of lapbars. And apart from the super-fast transitions of Intamin's recent creations, Almost any example of an element on a coaster that uses OTSRs, there exists that element on a lapbar-only creation. (not including special cases such as flying coasters.)

EDIT: Some of this was already stated in the post before mine. just realized.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/22/11 7:14:54 AM

Not having access to the internet until last Dec. really kept me in the dark in terms of news in the amusement park industry including roller coaster accidents. Now after reading about the accidents that have occurred on Intamin hyper coasters, it makes me think twice about letting my kids ride these coasters. They haven't ridden any of the 3 Superman ROS coasters, but they have ridden MF and El Toro. In fact my youngest son rode MF when he was right at 48 inches tall. Now I'm reconsidering stopping at SF America on the way home from BG and Kings Dominion next year. My kids and I are veteran riders, therefore we don't rely on ride ops checking the restraints. We make sure our seat beat is tight and the restraint is locked into place ourselves. With these ejections that have occurred maybe I should considered the restraints of a particular coaster before allowing them to ride.

I love the lap bar restraint as much as everyone on here. It wasn't long ago that we were riding Kennywood's Jack Rabbit with only a leather strap holding you in and was so disappointed when they did install regular seat belts. I think the time has come to modify these lap bar restraints. As much as I hate it from an enthusiast point of view, I think the parks need to put safety first and take the necessary measures in terms of modifying these lap bar restraints. If I owned a park that had one of these Intamin coasters, I would be changing the restraints. As much as I don't like OTHR, that is what I would have on an Intamin coaster.

When I'm riding an Intamin coaster with those OTHR I keep my head as forward as possible off the headrest, even on the launch coasters expect for Kinda Ka. People think I'm crazy that I305 in it's original form is my favorite steel coaster. It never did beat me up, nor did Maverick or any other Intamin coaster like Storm Runner or Volcano. The only OTHR that beat me up is some of the Arrow loopers. The only thing I don't like about OTHR is it restricts my arms and I can't put my hands up and my whole body feels more restricted. If OTHR is what is necessary to make some of theses awesome hyper coasters safer then I'm all for that change.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile at 9/22/11 8:10:53 AM

Here's a tip: DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT! The issues with the T-bar of Intamin hypers have been fixed, and each case of an ejection was due to riders of excessive size (up to or exceeding 300 lbs) being allowed on, and in one case, the rider's lapbar wasn't secured to begin with. Nowadays the restraints have been modified and the belts shortened. They are perfectly safe, even for your kids reaching the height requirement.

If they were left unmodified, the coasters would have never re-opened.

-Josh

Re: Look Who's #1 --- AGAIN woot by Coaster316 at 9/22/11 8:15:08 AM

> How do I judge? Well, I can see it in my own young kids.
> They absolutely light up at Dutch Wonderland. It wasn't the
> case at Idlewild.

> Don't get me wrong. I really liked Idlewild. But it's no
> kiddie park.

Wow...I guess agree to disagree fits in here. I can understand that there are parks that are more geared toward children, but I can't agree that Idlewild isn't a kids park.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/22/11 12:22:03 PM

> Here's a tip: DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT! The issues with the
> T-bar of Intamin hypers have been fixed, and each case of
> an ejection was due to riders of excessive size (up to or
> exceeding 300 lbs) being allowed on, and in one case, the
> rider's lapbar wasn't secured to begin with. Nowadays the
> restraints have been modified and the belts shortened. They
> are perfectly safe, even for your kids reaching the height
> requirement.

> If they were left unmodified, the coasters would have never
> re-opened.

> -Josh

Ditto. They are safe and if I had kids I would let them ride as long as they met the height requirements. As Josh stated, there were specific reasons those accidents happened and most of the time it wasn't even due to the restraints, it was operator error either not checking restraints properly or letting people who did not fit the size requirements ride.

On the other topic, think about TTD's restraints. When you are going vertical down the top hat do you ever feel like you are going to seriously fall out? No. I'd bet that type of restraint would work on the other coasters as well although it may bring more restrictions to who can ride without OSTRs (size, disabilities, etc) so that would be the only downfall.

Jen

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by squirrels at 9/22/11 2:59:00 PM

> On the other topic, think about TTD's restraints. When you
> are going vertical down the top hat do you ever feel like
> you are going to seriously fall out? No. I'd bet that type
> of restraint would work on the other coasters as well
> although it may bring more restrictions to who can ride
> without OSTRs (size, disabilities, etc) so that would be
> the only downfall.

> Jen

Don't think of it with regard to the orientation. Think about which way the FORCES are pulling/pushing you.

On TTD, your body is pushed back into the seat from launch, up the hill, to the peak. There is a slight tug upward (against the leg-restraints) as you peak out at the top, but it's mostly straight up, and it's not "violent" at all. Then on the way DOWN, not only are you pressed back into the seat again, the downward spiral twists around an axis above the head-line, generating positive Gs to hold you even further in the seat.

Again, I'll use Maverick as an example...on the first drop of that ride, anyone will tell you that you are literally DUMPED against the shoulder-harness, putting a LOT of weight on it. It tips over in a way that your body, if suspended that way long enough, could eventually slip from a simple leg-bar. Your entire body's weight/force is being pulled UP and BACK, the one way you DON'T want to be pulled with a simple lapbar. If you were trying to escape from TTD, for example, that's the direction you would pull yourself to wiggle free.

Add to that the "snap-turns"...which have a "flinging" effect that pulls the body in the same direction. With OTSRs, you're banging your head and upper body off the restraints. Without them there, your entire bodyweight would be flung side-to-side under negative Gs. The fear is that the violent back-and-forth could "shake you loose".

There's none of that violent back-and-forth on rides like Magnum. The lift-hill isn't steep enough to get a true "up-and-back" force, so the force is either pulling against the lapbar directly or pushing against the seat. Even the turn-around, where you're tipped off to one side, creates a decent amount of positive G to hold you in the seat. (disconcerting as it may be)

My 0.02.

You also have to account for variations in the rider body type...height, weight, etc. Maybe a lapbar would be safe on any coaster for 99% of people riding, but more than 100 people ride these coasters in a day. ;)

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile at 9/22/11 3:37:53 PM

> You also have to account for variations in the rider body
> type...height, weight, etc. Maybe a lapbar would be safe on
> any coaster for 99% of people riding, but more than 100
> people ride these coasters in a day. ;)

A lapbar is safe for 100% of those riding. If there is an issue, it's because either the rider is being stupid, or ride ops didn't make sure the restraint was locked properly, or was too afraid to turn away someone who didn't fit properly.

A lapbar would work perfectly on Maverick as far as keeping people in the train goes. The first drop wouldn't dump anyone out whatsoever. The quick turns would be the reason to keep some sort of OTSR, as they keep the rider upright instead of flailing from side to side, but you certainly would not be "shaken loose."

Top Thrill Dragster has negative-to-zero gs all the way through the twist down, and only begins positive gs when the track begins to transition back to level.

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Tomes at 9/26/11 4:59:31 PM

I agree with RollerCoaster Freak.

Nobody is geting out of the lap bar.. As long as you can legally ride, (height restriction, no legs amputated etc) you are staying in the seat.

I love how everyone (myself included) talks about it sometimes like we were members of the safety inspection and design teams... No, the restraints on roller coasters like these have to be 100% fail-safe. Enough people ride them every year to where 99.999999% is not enough. And one death can cost more money to Intamin and Cedar Fair than what they made off installing the ride, so it wouldn't be worth it to either.

I'm pretty sure one of the only reasons Maverick has OTSR as opposed to lap bars is because it would be extremely uncomfortable through some of the twists and inversions, but it's NOT because you'd fly out.

I forget where I saw this, but I think it was on Maurer Söhne's website - it was a video, or actually a couple of videos illustrating the most flexible acrobatic lady performing some acrobatic moves, and then trying get out of one of their lap bar restraint. Not physically possible. It also showed a car full of people in with their lap-bar fastened, and a crane picks up the car and turns it upside down for a couple of minutes.. Now that seems like it would be actually dangerous because of the bloodflow to te head, but I'm just telling you what I saw.

Fatalities on roller coasters are unacceptable and parks often stop working with companies that have recurring incidents, if it turns out to be the design's fault (not the case in the recent S:ROS incident). That being said there are other reasons why some roller coasters use OTSRs and some use Lap Bars. Mostly depending on how uncomfortable it would be to be held by your laps and thighs on rides that twist quickly in certain directions. But then on some rides, they can prove that a lap-bar design improves the ride experience without causing discomfort - so they switch - like they did on Mr. Freeze in St. Louis.

There are SOME roller coasters still in existance that have unsafe restraints, especially mine rides. Some of them are extremely loose, and if someone wanted to, they could jump off in the middle of the ride. As soon as something like this would happen, all attractions with similar restraints would close for investigation and then they will all be forced to change their restraint systems. Something similar actually happened on the Cat In The Hat ride at Islands of Adventure, where a kid flew off during the ride spinning.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/27/11 2:17:12 AM

> But then on some rides, they can prove that a lap-bar
> design improves the ride experience without causing
> discomfort - so they switch - like they did on Mr. Freeze
> in St. Louis.

Batman and Robin The Chiller comes to mind as well. Wasn't that coaster similar to Mr. Freeze?

I'd like to pose an another lap bar only question: Boomerangs, Vekoma SLCs and Inverts. Would they work on those? If someone could figure that one out it would save a lot of neck pain.....

Jen

Re: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards announced by Tomes at 9/27/11 9:28:41 AM

That would be awesome if they did :-)

Honestly I don't think it's going to happen, at least any time soon, because the train is suspended below the track, it's so much easier for the restraints to come in from the side as they do now, and lock downwards. They would have to seriously redesign their trains to be able to have lap bars on them, and with all the inversions that are involved in inverts and SLCs, it may not suffice comfort-wise. Also, with ur legs hanging off completely as they do, and all the air you're feeling, they probably think the ride experience is awesome enough to where they don't need to spend millions of dollars trying to improve it.

However, if it does happen, I'm in :-)