Highest throughput coasters in the world outside of Disney and Universal?

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Hi guys. Capacity is often a huge part of the decision making behind parks buying a major coaster, and it can also hugely influence the guest experience. Some of the highest throughput coasters in the world are located at theme parks owned by Disney and Universal, but I’d be intrigued to know; from your experience, what are some of the world’s highest throughput coasters not owned by Disney or Universal, both in terms of theoretical throughput and how fast you feel the queue moves?
 

Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Hi guys. Capacity is often a huge part of the decision making behind parks buying a major coaster, and it can also hugely influence the guest experience. Some of the highest throughput coasters in the world are located at theme parks owned by Disney and Universal, but I’d be intrigued to know; from your experience, what are some of the world’s highest throughput coasters not owned by Disney or Universal, both in terms of theoretical throughput and how fast you feel the queue moves?
Top of the list is Europa Park, I don't know if you've been there but just watch:
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Top of the list is Europa Park, I don't know if you've been there but just watch:

I haven’t been to Europa Park, but I know how notoriously efficient the operations there are! Is there any particular coaster that sticks out to you in this regard?

I’ve always heard good things about Silver Star throughput-wise, and with 36 rider trains, B&M hyper lap bars and Europa operations, I can imagine that that is a formula for excellent throughput! I wouldn’t like to say without having been, though.
 

Jonathan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Helix <3
Was gonna say just look at EP. I've not been there since EuroSat was refurbed, but beforehand, the queue before the escalators into the dome itself was ALWAYS moving. If the whole thing stopped for more than a couple of minutes, something wasn't quite right.
 

Burbs

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Iron Gwazi
Silver Star is an institution when it comes to throughput really. Other rides at EP have fast moving queues which are down to a mix of high-capacity and physically narrow queue lines (old Sat and Fjord Rafting for instance), but to be fair there's not much there which moves slowly when running on full capacity, which in itself only happens if the park is quiet or there's a technical problem.
 

John

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Silver Star is a good starting point but there are a few other candidates, depending on what you allow. If travelling coasters are in, then the throughput of Olympia Looping on max capacity is just bonkers (5 trains, 28 people per trains, loading times way below 30s). If you want to stick to permanent rides, but are allowing twin tracks coasters, then something like Gemini at Cedar Point would be a good bet, with 4 trains of 30 people and excellent operations. Sticking with Cedar Point, Magnum would be a good bet for a single track coaster - like Silver Star it's 3 trains of 36 with some very fast operations.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
It would appear that Silver Star is a popular choice, but I’ll admit that Olympia Looping is one I forgot about that was almost scarily efficient; I don’t think we ever stood still in that queue!

With regard to Magnum, wouldn’t that surely qualify the Big One as well? I know Big One’s trains are shorter, but both it and Magnum run 3 trains.
 

John

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Big One has not run 3 trains in YEARS. Nowadays they struggle to get the 2nd train out before the first one is in the brakes, it won't get 1000/hr.
 

John_P

TS Member
Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens eats people for breakfast, impressive as well considering it was built in 1914!

This is definitely the fastest throughput coaster I've been on. Was absolutely rapid.

I think in the UK Nemesis must be the best currently.
 

pluk

TS Member
Oblivion is/was capable of a throughput that rivals Silver Star and I'm sure has the highest realistic potential throughput at Towers. It used to move a frightening number of people, absolutely constant movement through a full queueline. Obviously its a big ball of faff now, but with a bit of effort it could go back there.

I love the way those always moving loading coasters operate, where the trains form a sort of omnimover on the platform before peeling off the front after loading. Surely they really push throughput boundaries?
 

rob666

TS Member
Once upon a time, the Grand National was an absolute queue muncher.
Four running trains, no seatbelts, no lap bars, no stupid kumbak sensors...cars unloaded and sent out again in less than a minute.
Then progress came in.
 

Cheese

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Helix, Liseberg
I love the way those always moving loading coasters operate, where the trains form a sort of omnimover on the platform before peeling off the front after loading. Surely they really push throughput boundaries?

No doubt Pluk you or someone else will remind me of what should be an obvious example, but I'm struggling to think of any coasters doing this other than Maurer spinners. In the case of those I think it's more about trying to improve the efficiency of an inherently low capacity ride type. I doubt the rolling loading is really quicker than the despatch time you could achieve by stopping the car to load it, and indeed some or all of the travelling ones do have conventional stations, but as soon as you stop the cars you're going to get some dawdling guests thinking they've got all the time in the world to board. Keep the cars rolling through and now your guests subconsciously feel that there's no time for faff - we want to keep this car moving, so hand your bag over and sit down sharpish. That's going to knock precious seconds off the average despatch time on a ride that relies on a high rate of 4 person despatches per hour.

Less obvious nominees for Queuemuncher awards that I can think of are Colorado Adventure at Phantasialand and Liseberg's wonderful Lisebergbanan - two rides that offer totally different ride experiences, but are both huge, sprawling, crowd pleasing family coasters featuring plenty of trains, lap bar restraints and efficient despatches.
 

Funcone

TS Member
Rip Ride Rockit and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure both have continuous loading stations, although this topic's about coasters that aren't at Disney or Universal. If you count the Mack inverted powered coasters (Arthur and Dragon Gliders) as roller coasters (RCDB does) then they have continuous loading stations. Do the Intamin water coasters like Divertical have a continuous loading station?
 
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Ian

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Dizz, Bobby’s Yarn Land 🧶
I’ve always found the Maurer setup a little odd, mainly because of the way they seem to often stop and wait. The way staff still have to come back to the front of the platform and dispatch seems a bit odd (basing this on the two Merlin ones, as I don’t think I’ve encountered another yet, so it could be more procedure than hardware...).

Arthur and Cobra’s curse “feel” more efficient, as the trains never have to stop. Once tagged they take care of themselves and accelerate out of the station once the block ahead is clear. The problem with Arthur in my experience is that it has very little tolerance. Due to the number of trains it can run, it only takes a brief stoppage for it to back up, and the second part of the ride then starts to feel fragmented.

Colorado Adventure is always a good shout. For a ride that can run with just two members of staff (one op and one platform host) and a traditional station, it can eat a huge number of riders. It’s helped by a simple, shared lap bar and ease of loading. The platform host spends their day walking from front to back to restraint check, hitting the dispatch button, then walking back to the front as the next train pulls in, ready to do it all over again. They can check the whole length of the train without ever having to stop, thanks to the basic restraints. It’s a simple but effective setup.

RCDB lists it at 2300pph. I make that a train every 48 seconds or so? It doesn’t seem to have much trouble getting to 1800pph in my experience, but I think they’d have to be really pushing it to get close to the RCDB figure?.. Quick Pass can add a distraction for the staff due it to coming from the exit. DLP’s BTM is listed at 2424pph and that has dual stations, for comparison.

Staff have a huge part of play in getting high throughputs, but a big part of it comes down to how well designed the ride is. I remember people saying that working Th13teen, while it isn’t a massively high throughput coaster, it’s fairly easy to maintain the flow (at least when you don’t have arbitrary procedures and processes in place). Other rides require a real extra effort and push to achieve their numbers. Oblivion can be an absolute machine, but it needs a well trained, unhindered team who can really exert themselves. On paper the theory of that ride is when it’s on dual loading you send the next pair as the second shuttle on of the previous set is just about to clear the lifthill. I can’t think that it’s managed that in donkeys though :(
 

Ted

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Kondaa
Speaking of Phantasialand, I found the throughputs for Taron with restrictions due to the pandemic to actually be fine in their own right. No idea what it's like in normal times though.

I thought FLY wasn't too shabby either.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Out of interest, what is it that makes rides easier and harder to attain a throughput on?

Is it things like additional restraints (e.g. seatbelts), or simplicity of the base restraint (for example, I imagine that something like Thirteen is quite easy, with just a simple lap bar)? Or is it to do with other things, such as station design and braking system speed?
 

Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Out of interest, what is it that makes rides easier and harder to attain a throughput on?

Is it things like additional restraints (e.g. seatbelts), or simplicity of the base restraint (for example, I imagine that something like Thirteen is quite easy, with just a simple lap bar)? Or is it to do with other things, such as station design and braking system speed?
A combination of the above. Coasters with good throughput generally have fairly large trains, run multiple trains and have fast staff. Coasters with lower throughput include rides with small cars (e.g. wild mouse or single car spinning coasters), coasters running on one train and rides where staff are just slow.
 

John

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Park procedures plays a huge part in it. Some parks have very thorough H&S policies on rides which leads them to spending a lot of time doing additional checks, whilst at some parks you pretty much set off as soon as you're sat down. Europa Park used to dispatch their mine train without checking the restraints - if it looked like everyone was seated it just set off, then the staff would visually check the bars as the train left the station. That's on a ride that allows you to dispatch with the bars open. They've changed that now and throughput is quite a bit lower as a result.

Station design is also important. Steel Dragon 2000 has individual lockers on the exit platform. After the gates open, everyone has to store all their stuff and lock it away. This is a very slow process compared with just putting everything on a long shelf or (even faster) having people store their belongings prior to boarding.
 
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