"USA Steel List"
The "USA Steel List" (broken out by category in order of how I rank them)
Diamond Back (KI)
Apollo’s Chariot (BGE)
Raging Bull (SFGAm)
Talon (Dorney Park)
Dragon Challenge (IOA)
Great Bear (Hershey Park)
Silver Bullet (KBF)
*Superman Krypton (SFFT)
Batman Dark Knight (SFNE)
Hydra The Revenge (DP)
B&M Sit Down
Incredible Hulk (IOA)
Wild Fire (SDC)
B&M Wing Riders
*Gate Keeper (CP)
Wild Eagle (Dollywood)
Millennium Force (CP)
Kingda KA (SFNJ)
Sky Rush (Hershey)
Storm Runner (Hershey)
*ROS (Darien Lake)
California Screamin’ (DCA)
Cheetah Hunt (BGT)
Intimidator 305 (KD) (Down)
Phantom’s Revenge (KW)
Steel Force (Dorney Park)
Expedition Everest (AK)
Powder Keg (SDC)
Magnum XL-200 (CP)
Mind Bender (SFoG)
*Shock Wave (SFoT) (Down, Maintenance)
*New Texas Giant (SFoT) (Down, Thanks Fat Lady)
*Iron Rattler (SFFT) (New)
*Full Throttle (SFMM) (New, opened late in the year)
USA Top 10
Millennium Force (CP)
Diamond Back (KI)
Phantom’s Revenge (KW)
Kingda Ka (SFNJ)
Apollo's Chariot (BGE)
* = Yet to ride these coasters.
My USA Steel List = 65 USA Coasters, I have been on 55.
GTA "The List" = 40 USA Coasters, I have been on 37.
I travel the country riding roller coasters. My favorites are steel. They are the highest, fastest, launched, and offer the most thrill. Don't get me wrong, I like a good woodie if it doesn't shake my head like a basketball.
There are basically two roller coaster polls out there at this time. The Golden Ticket Awards, and Mitch Hawker's poll. Some web sites also have a top 10 in the steel and wood category.
The Golden Ticket Awards is a major publication, with a complete staff, and
an awards ceremony each year. The awards are posted in the parks on
posters and logos at ride entrances, it means something. The parks brag
about their results and rankings. Most fans (the general
public) don't know what this means, but the coaster fans do.
Mitch Hawker's poll has been around for a while, it's thought of as "the
other poll" if you don't like the GTAs. It uses a complicated
form to send in the results.
So what if you don't agree with either poll? The answer, make your own. When the GTAs come out, their steel ranking is referred to as "The List" which is a top 50. Many fans grumble at the results. I look it over and check off all the coasters I've been on. Not only does the order of "The List" matter, but checking off all the coasters one has been on, which I call a "Bucket List."
How can one rank the coasters if they haven't ridden them? Watch videos and compare them to similar rides. The GTA list includes coasters from outside the USA, 10 of the 50 are from other parts of the world. I've been to Alton Towers in the UK, but traveling to other countries is tough when there are plenty of coasters in the USA I haven't been on. That's why I took "The List" and broke it out into categories, ranking them in order for USA coasters.
I have a spreadsheet of these results of each list side by side, right click
to save to your hard drive.
Many fans list how many coasters they've been on, which is called a "coaster count" where fans travel the country getting "credits." I think this is stupid, because fans go on kiddie rides. Does it really matter how many coasters you've ridden? Yet I look at trip reports of coaster events, and see grown men going on kiddie rides for credits (and looking very foolish). The other problem with a coaster count, is you may not enjoy the park when you're going on kiddie rides, versus what you actually like. A coaster count means nothing to me, and I don't have one.
An interesting point noted by Tim Baldwin (GTA), is the 1st coaster with an inversion doesn't appear in the top 20 until #14. To me, inversions don't matter, because you are held in the seat with centripetal force. In fact, most inversion elements make my head bash against the shoulder restraint. So to any suits reading this, I don't care about inversions, and it seems most fans agree. Maybe this is why no B&M floorless coasters appear on "the list" at all. I do enjoy the 1st drop of the floorless coasters such as Kracken at SWF. But the B&M Hypers offer the most height, speed, airtime, and thrill. The Intamin rides take this to the ultimate, adding launched acceleration, which is why they are at the top of the list. With heights of 456 feet and speeds of 128 mph, it's hard to beat Intamin for pure thrill.
What if you don't understand the abbreviations up above, or are new to this?
A good site to visit is RCDB. Use their search function to find the
coasters listed up above.
What is the bottom line in all of this? Checking off your
"Bucket List" of rides, and to the parks, it's Attendance Results,
which can be found here.
When parks put in thrill rides, they end up in coaster lists like the above, on TV shows, people talk about them, and fans like me visit. The term for this is called a "destination park" which means fans travel from all over. If you want me to visit, then put in unique Thrill Rides. Family rides may offer something for everyone, but they end up in the middle of most lists, and there's no "buzz" about them like a good Thrill Coaster.
The reason why more fans don't show up for thrill rides, is because the parks market them as death machines where you may not survive. This is the farthest thing from the truth. For most people, after they go on a thrill ride, and realize they survived, they want to go again, and they want even more Thrill. This is the problem with family rides, they start off lame so the general public can go on them, but offer nothing for the thrill fanatics like me. A good example of this is Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa. It's a great Intamin coaster, "feels" like an intamin thrill ride, but is basically a tamed down version in terms of height, speed, and acceleration. If the parks would just market the thrill coasters as FUN then more fans would show up and ride them. It really bugs me when I see coasters shows on TV, and they always have a scaredy cat person going on the ride for the first time, who is screaming like they're going to die. But after they get off the ride, guess what? They want to go again. The parks allow this to happen, letting the producers of coaster shows portray the rides as death machines that might crash entering the station. Once again, this is the farthest thing from the truth, but there it is on TV. I travel where the most thrill is located and tell my co-workers to do the same. For example, I'm not telling a co-worker to visit Busch Gardens Tampa to ride Cheetah Hunt. No, no, no. I'm telling them to visit Cedar Point because of all the Intamin thrill rides they have, and Hershey Park would also be up there. The marketing of thrill coasters needs to change so people are not scared to ride and the parks will continue to build them.
End of Report. Thanks for reading.
Email me at [email protected].