Rank Alton's coasters in terms of ride experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 14th Nov 2018.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    As my opinions are seemingly ever-changing, I have made a few marginal updates to my list following my visit yesterday, as well as a bit of general thought about these rankings. I’ve italicised any rides that I’ve moved around:
    1. Wicker Man - It’s still my favourite ride at Alton by a fair distance, and yesterday’s visit only exacerbated that, to be honest! I had my first ever ride in row 12, and it was obscenely fantastic; the ride was hurling us round corners at what felt like breakneck speed, and with the insane ejector airtime, it literally felt like a bucking bronco! The back row lap was possibly one of the most airtime-filled rides I’ve ever had on a UK coaster, and I was screaming my way round it; I still had a huge smile on my face and a spring in my step by the time we were getting on Runaway Mine Train! As much as I’m raving about the back row, though, even the 2 laps I had in row 4 were breathtaking! To top it all off, the rough patch I nitpicked about last time was non-existent yesterday; the ride was nice and comfortable all the way round! Overall, you’ve probably heard enough about my thoughts on Wicker Man by now, but my rides yesterday topped July 2020 as my favourite experiences I’ve ever had on Wicker Man; it was honestly breathtaking, and I’m tempted to go even further and say it might well be my favourite UK coaster after my experiences yesterday. I’m undecided between it and Icon, as while Icon is more my usual style, Wicker Man was running so amazingly yesterday I almost think it deserves a promotion. What do you guys think? 10/10, #3 overall, no change
    2. Oblivion - Nothing’s drastically changed compared to my last experience on this, to be honest. 9/10, #7 overall, no change
    3. Nemesis - Ditto with above, although I wouldn’t say I enjoyed yesterday’s ride quite as much as my last one due to there being some slight headbanging compared to my last run. 8/10, #13 overall, no change
    4. Galactica - I do have a real soft spot for Galactica, I’ll admit! Even though I haven’t ridden since July 2020, I decided to bump it back up after a bit of thought, as it’s such a nice, smooth, fun coaster that always puts a smile on my face! However, I’ll admit it would be even higher if it didn’t have that fly-to-lie element at the start; even though I find this element a lot more palatable forces-wise than the pretzel loop on Manta, I find being on your back for that extended period with the blood rushing to your head a tad uncomfortable. Overall, though, Galactica is still such a fun ride that never fails to put a smile on my face! 8/10, #17 overall, +1
    5. Rita - Rita was never one I used to particularly enjoy, but it’s seemed a lot smoother lately, so has had somewhat of a renaissance within my rankings as of late! However, the reason I decided to drop it is because my April 2021 ride seemed a tad more rattly, and didn’t do quite as much for me as the September 2020 ride. Rita is still a far cry from the rough and painful rides I used to have, though! 7/10, #19 overall, -1
    6. Runaway Mine Train - RMT is such a guilty pleasure of mine! Even though we were towards the front of the train on my most recent ride (row 7), it was still really fast and fun; those helixes, especially the last one, are amazing, and feel a lot faster than they probably are! The ride is also pretty rerideable, and tracks surprisingly smoothly for a coaster of its age! Overall, as much as it’s probably criminal that I rank Runaway Mine Train above 4 other coasters at Alton Towers, including 2 SW coasters, it’s just so fun and always puts a smile on my face every time I ride! In that sense, I almost feel like I’m under-ranking it, but I feel like #26 is probably the highest I could justify, as if it went any higher it would be above the likes of Expedition Everest (Everest is currently only one spot higher than RMT)! But in conclusion; RMT is really, really fun! Choo Choo! 6/10, #26 overall, +1
    7. Thirteen - I do like Thirteen, and I think it’s a fun, remarkably smooth family coaster, so in a sense, I almost feel bad ranking it so lowly, but my reason for dropping it is because I do think it’s felt a little disappointing on my recent rides. I’m not sure if this is related to COVID/the reduced capacity on the trains or not, but my last ride in April 2021 did feel somewhat sluggish; the ride had less of its regular floater pops, and it even felt like it was limping somewhat through the usually fairly vigorous backwards section. The ride’s just generally felt a tad like it’s been lacking something on my more recent rides compared to some of my past rides. Don’t get me wrong, though; Thirteen is still an enjoyable family coaster, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it ends up being boosted back up a bit once I’m able to ride it with full trains again! 6/10, #28 overall, -1
    8. The Smiler - In spite of the fact I appreciate it as a feat of engineering, and I’m still quite mesmerised by it even 8 years on, I’ll admit Smiler isn’t my favourite coaster. I’ll admit, however, that it wasn’t running badly at all on my ride yesterday; I was sat in the front row, and aside from the usual suspects (the ending was quite rough, and there were 1 or 2 other jolts in bits of the layout), the ride was generally quite smooth, with little more than a very slight rattle during the rest of it! However, with that being said, I would still enjoy Smiler more if those jolts weren’t there. Also, even though I do appreciate the relentlessness and creativity of the layout, and I definitely see why people like Smiler, I think the ride is possibly a little too intense/nauseating in its execution to be one of my favourite coasters. 6/10, #33 overall, +1
    9. Spinball Whizzer - On my last ride in April 2021, Spinball was not as bad as I’d remembered, and was smoother than I’d previously remembered with a good layout, but as I have a somewhat weak stomach when it comes to spinny rides, the rapid, lurching transitions in certain parts of the layout and the general spinniness (is that a word?) was a little dizzying, and did make me feel a tiny bit queasy after my last ride. Still, I think it’s a reasonable family coaster! 5/10, #39 overall, -1
    10. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure - No major change. 3/10, #59 overall, no change
    Last edited: 29th Jun 2021
  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    Sorry to double post, but following my recent trip, mine has changed a bit yet again. I’ll keep it fairly brief and mainly go over the most notable changes:
    1. Wicker Man (10/10, #3 overall, unchanged)
    2. Oblivion (9/10, #5 overall, unchanged)
    3. Nemesis (9/10, #10 overall, unchanged)
    4. Thirteen (7/10, #17 overall, +3) - I have to say, my recent ride on Thirteen was the most enjoyable I’ve had in a while! It was great fun; the outdoor section had some fun pops of airtime, and some fun twists and turns, and the backwards section was more fun than I’d remembered! All in all, Thirteen definitely went back up in my estimations after a reride; it was really good fun!
    5. Rita (7/10, #18 overall, unchanged)
    6. Runaway Mine Train (7/10, #27 overall, unchanged)
    7. The Smiler (6/10, #36 overall, +1)
    8. Galactica (6/10, #40 overall, -4) - Oh, Galactica. I did used to really like this, but my last experience, although not bad by any means, was rather disappointing; it didn’t do anywhere near as much for me. I do still think that the layout is rather nice and pleasant, and the ride is nice and smooth, but I’ll admit that I found the whole flying coaster riding position quite uncomfortable, which really took away from it for me; I was going round the ride thinking about how the riding position wasn’t very comfortable at all. I also find the fly to lie to not be the most comfortable of elements; I’m not personally huge on how the g-forces rush to your head. Overall, while I wouldn’t say I dislike Galactica by any means, I’ve certainly gone off it a fair bit. That’s nothing against Galactica as a ride; I just don’t think the prone position is really for me.
    9. Spinball Whizzer (4/10, #50 overall, unchanged)
    10. Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure (3/10, #65 overall, unchanged)
    Last edited: 13th Sep 2021
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  3. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Interesting change in rankings. I see Rita has moved down quite a lot even though you enjoyed your ride considerable according to your trip report. I suppose you just enjoyed thirteen more. I think you have to take into account the amound Rita can change per ride. One day it can feel great the next its awful (as my last ride was). Its also interesting to see your consistently high ranking for runaway mine train. I like the ride and absolutely loved it as a kid however my last ride this year I really wasn't impressed. My dad and I should not have been in the same row for starters and that was incredibly uncomfortable (although I acknowledge this was our fault not the rides). Secondly, I found it a bit janky and jerky in places. Particularly just before the drop leading into the rapids tunnel. It seemed to make a massive clunk here for no real apparent reason. They layout though, among the trees, must make it one of the best powered coasters out there.
    Matt N likes this.
  4. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

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    1. The smiler
    2. Wicker man
    3. Nemesis
    4. Oblivion
    5. Galactica
    6. Th13teen
    7. Rita
    8. Spinball
    Matt N likes this.
  5. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Well @Matt.N seems to change his list more times than I change my pants. I just realised I never posted one at all in this thread. So purley in terms of track and train (because mine would change ALOT if it wasn't a case of that) as if all where built on a flat car park (The Smiler almost is isn't it?):

    1. Nemesis - but only just believe it or not....

    2. Oblivion - don't care what anyone says, I love the damn thing.

    3. The Smiler - roughness is over stated. It's not as bad as is made out and is a long coaster in a park that's full of teeny weeny ones. Surely it has to get credit for that?

    4. Rita - "Boo, hiss, you evil man! Rita needs to be removed immediately....." etc etc

    5. Wickerman - it's ok. Strip away the theming and pre show etc.... it's just OK. Missed opportunity of a woodie if its judged just by track and train layout.

    6. Spinball - Better layout than Fury and Crush. It does the job.

    Really struggling with the rest now as I can easily skip all of the following on a visit.

    7. Thirteen - What is the point in the outdoor section, really?

    8. RMT - It's a Mack powered. Not much to say.

    9. Air (because without the "theming", track and train it's still Air) - even talking about this coaster bores me.

    10. - Octonauts - Not even good as a kiddie coaster.
    JAperson and Matt N like this.
  6. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    Favourite Ride:
    1. Nemesis
    2. Oblivion
    3. The Smiler
    4. Wicker Man
    5. Galactica
    6. Rita
    7. Th13teen
    8. Spinball Whizzer
    9. Runaway Mine Train
    10. Octonauts
    Matt N likes this.

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