Thursday, July 3, 2003

Tristate coasters put to the test


Here are the vital stats on the 46 Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana roller coasters we rode and rated. The Butt-o-meter calculates air time, ie. the number of times fannies fly out of seats.

Click the "review it" link to offer your opinions of each coaster.

Coaster Height
(feet)
Speed
(mph)
Length
(feet)
Duration Wait
(minutes)
Features Quirks Butt-o-meter
CEDAR POINT
Blue Steak
Review it
78 40 2,558 1 minute, 45 sec. 0-15 A classic out-and-back wood coaster; it even has an old-fashioned cupola atop the first hill. Considered a great starter coaster for parents and younger children. Even at age 39, it gives incredible air time. 11
Cedar Creek Mine Ride
Review it
48 Varies. 2,540 2 min., 42 sec. 0-15 Considered an excellent starter coaster. It's steel-track job that provides a quiet moment after being tossed around. Based on the runaway train theme, it has wonderful wooded scenery. Oh, and two lift hills. 2
Corkscrew
Review it
85 48 2,050 2 min. 0-15 In 1976, it was the world's first triple-looping coaster and so popular that year it had 3-hour lines. It's built right over the midway, so guests walk 15 feet below the track. It's also a real head-banger. 2
Disaster Transport
Review it
63 40 1,932 2 min. 0-10 It's a dark -- very dark -- ride full of surprise turns and unexpected dips. The big thrill here is the element of surprise. Tons of special effects, including strobe lights all the time popping in your face. 0
Gemini
Review it
125 60 3,935 2 min., 20 sec. 0-15 Twin track coaster (the red train is faster than the blue) that keeps cutting back in on itself. Watch everyone duck at the "low beam section." It gives more rides than any other coaster at CP. No wonder: Its air time is legendary. 10
Iron Dragon
Review it
76 40 2,800 2 min. 0-15 Suspended coaster that spends most of its time in the treetops. A few quick turns give the cars some major sway power. Considered an intermediate coaster; true coaster fans nicknamed it "Draggin' Iron" because of its slow speed. 0
Magnum XL-200
Review it
205 72 5,106 2 min. 15-30 The steel coaster has three lift hills, a spectacular view of Lake Erie and three tunnels with special effects. When it debuted in 1989, it was the world's tallest and fastest. It shows no signs of aging. 11
Mantis
Review it
145 60 3,900 2 min., 40 sec. 15-30 The steel-track stand-up coaster flips you upside down, spins you sideways and scrambles brains with a 360-degree flat spin. Your head bangs a lot on the shoulder harness and those bicycle seats aren't terribly comfortable. Adjust them carefully. 0
Mean Streak
Review it
161 65 5,427 2 min., 45 sec. 15-30 The venerable wooden coaster hugging the shore is one of CP's most popular. Sharp turns and twists, plus a steeply banked track give it its thrills. They're not kidding about "mean." If you don't like being tossed around, sit in the middle. If you like bumps, go for the back. 7
Millennium Force
Review it
310 93 6,595 2 min., 20 sec. 30-60 The steel coaster is s absolutely relentless with its 80-degree drop that actually arches inward. It was the first coaster to top 300 feet. You actually feel the temperature change at the top of the hill. Riders in August frequently get off with small bugs plastered to their face. 3
Raptor
Review it
137 57 3,790 2 min., 16 sec. 30-45 The suspended, floorless steel coaster is dizzying: six times upside down, two corkscrews and a zero gravity roll. Cars swing so far out you can actually see people tucking feet in -- sometimes shoeless feet. It's a real demon on flip-flops. 5
Top Thrill Dragster
Review it
420 120 2,800 37 sec. 2-4 hours World's tallest, world's fastest; descends at a 90-degree angle. Track twists all the way up and down the hill. 3
Wicked Twister
Review it
215 72 2,700 1 minute 30-60 It's two vertical, twisted towers. Cars are launched (0 to 72 mph in four seconds), up one tower, fall backwards and climb the other. Three times. The big thrill is the launch, but seasoned riders love the part where the train stops at the top of the hill and just hangs there. 3
WildCat
Review it
50 40 1,837 1 minute, 25 sec. 0-15 Riders sit in four-person cars and get their thrills from hairpin turns and sudden drops. Bright yellow cars look like mini-Chevrolets and toss riders around without mercy. 4
HOLIDAY WORLD
The Legend
Review it
116 65 4,042 2 min. 0-15 Built amid the treetops, this wooden coaster travels through struts holding up waterslides and around tree trunks for some surprising twists. It has four tunnels, all with floors to increase the noise. No trees were cut down to build it. 10
The Raven
Review it
110 60 2,800 90 sec. 0-15 The classic wooden coaster is considered one of the world's best because of its air time. Quality air time at that. Another one that travels through the tree tops. Its air time is more than a bump. You actually hang in mid-air up to 5 seconds. 11
INDIANA BEACH
Cornball Express
Review it
78 45 2,260 1 minute, 40 sec. 0-15 This bright yellow wooden job looks tame from the ground, but the steeply banked tracks and sudden drops give it an unexpected twist. It's a bit of a head banger because of the sudden, sharp turns. The back seat is especially, uh, invigorating. 9
Galaxi
Review it
40 30 1,300 1 minute, 20 sec. 0-15 It's not as tame as it looks, thanks to a series of small hills that give it more air time than you'd think. It's more of a juvenile coaster, which means it's an excellent starter for coaster wimps. 4
Hoosier Hurricane
Review it
110 55 2,650 1 minute, 40 sec. 0-15 Classic wooden out and back, known for wonderful air time and harrowing turns. Beautiful scenery up there, but everytime you look down, all you see is water. Most trips downhill give the illusion you're about to get a dunking. 7
Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain
Review it
35 25 1,420 1 minute 15 It's a dark ride with four riders to a train, two facing forward, two backward. Sharp turns -- 180 degrees on a 6-foot radius -- and sudden drops give it a major kick. Every thing that happens comes as a surprise because of the darkness. Even at 25 mph, some of those drops produce major air time. 4
Tig'rr
Review it
38 35 1,300 1 minute 15 Riders in individual trains on this steel number are treated to vicious hairpin turns as the coaster twists and turns in on itself. It's believed to be the last coaster in the country with no restraints. 6
PARAMOUNT'S KINGS ISLAND
Adventure Express
Review it
63 35 2,963 2 min., 30 sec. 30 The steel track keeps things smooth on this heavily themed (lost temple) coaster packed with a volcano, python, spears and some surprisingly good hills. It's a starter coaster, popular with whole families. Because of the themed ride and the scenery, the front seat is a must. 3
Beast
Review it
141 65 7,400 4 min., 30 sec. 30 Two lift hills, three tunnels, a double-deck helix and an unheard of 4-minute ride make it an all time favorite. A smooth favorite at that. For 25 years it has held the record as world's longest coaster -- a feat unheard of in the industry. It's use of the natural terrain means no other park can ever duplicate it. 7
Beastie
Review it
NA 25 NA 1 minute 0-30 It's a juvenile coaster, but even hard-core coaster freaks will tell you the wooden out and back is a classic with some really decent air time. Leg room's cramped, but it's a great coaster for parents and children. Considered a good starting point for coaster wimps. 3
Face Off
Review it
138 55 NA 1 minute, 30 sec. 30 Riders on the suspended, floorless steel coaster sit facing each other, not always a pretty sight. Two 72-foot inversions pack a major punch. Its nickname is Vertigo, and there's a reason for that. You'll understand as you stagger down the exit ramp. 4
Flight of Fear
Review it
NA 54 2,705 3 min., 40 sec. 30-60 It's a steel track dark ride that takes you from 0 to 54 mph in four seconds -- unheard of when it debuted in 1996 as the world's first linear launch. 30 vertical curves and 25 compound horizontal curves give it its punch. It's air conditioned so extremely popular in lousy weather. And always a surprise, thanks to the inky darkness. 4
Racer
Review it
88 61 3,415 2 min., 3 sec. 15-30 The double track wooden coaster is loaded with those camel hump hills that are famous for good air time. Riders can ride forward or backward, but whichever direction they take, back seat is favored for maximum air time. 10
Rugrats Runaway Reptar
Review it
52 25 1,129 1 minute, 30 sec. 15-30 The lime green suspended steel coaster is more fun than it looks, thanks to a design that gives the cars more sway than most suspended coasters. Consider it a starter coaster, extremely popular with whole families, from the kids to granny and grampie. 0
Son of Beast
Review it
218 78 7,032 3 min. 30-60 The world's highest and fastest wooden coaster, it has three major drops. It's also the only wooden coaster with a 118-foot loop. Take the front seat for scenery, back for air time. Son is a real monster, a favorite among coaster fans because it's non-stop between the hills and the sharp turns. Not to mention that loop. 8
Top Gun
Review it
78 51 2,352 1 minute, 30 sec. 30-60 The suspended steel coaster -- a seventh generation suspended -- gives some of the best back and forth sway in the business. Even on a hot day, this is a cool ride as it swings and sways through the treetops. Excellent starter for coaster wimps. 4
Vortex
Review it
148 50 3,800 2 min., 30 sec. 0-30 Three vertical loops, two lift hills, a corkscrew and you're upside down six times at brain rattling speed. It was the world's tallest when it opened in 1987; also the first to turn you upside down six times. People describe it as a pretzle on steroids. 5
SIX FLAGS KENTUCKY KINGDOM
Chang
Review it
154 63 4,155 2 min., 35 sec. 30-60 The yellow and purple steel stand-up coaster loops upside down, banks almost sideways and corkscrews relentlessly. When it opened in 1997 it broke five records, including world's tallest and fastest stand-up with the most inversions. 4
Greezed Lightnin'
Review it
142 60 583 35 sec. 30-60 The steel coaster launches at 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, shoots straight into a vertical loop, then up a 142 foot tower. Then repeats the whole thing backwards. It's new this year, so lines are long. It uses a catapult system similar to aircraft carriers. 4
Road Runner Express
Review it
50 28 1,200 2 min. 0-15 Riders sit in mini-cars that hold four. Thrills come from the hairpin turns, constant switchbacks and sudden drops. It looks so tame, but riders come off it dizzy, some with wobbly knees. It's all those sudden turns. 2
T2
Review it
98 60 2,170 60 sec. 15-30 The steel, floorless coaster has five inversions and heaven only knows how many twists and turns. Cars sway out so far they're frequently sideways It's a pretty shocking sight with its fresh coat of hot pink paint and bicycle handlebars to hold on to. For those who hold on. 5
Thunder Run
Review it
89 53 2,850 3 min., 15 sec. 0-15 The traditional wood coaster has a terrific first dip -- arched a bit inward -- and steeply banked tracks that toss you all over the seat. Some of the turns are banked as much as 70 degrees, so count on beating up whoever's in the next seat. 5
Twisted Twins
Review it
75 55 5,281 3 min. 0-15 The twin track wood coaster is built so it looks like you're constantly on a collision course with the other train. It's another one with steeply banked turns. The pink and white trains are named Stella and Lola, with Lola the faster of the two. Both give the same air time. 10
SIX FLAGS WORLDS OF ADVENTURE
Batman Knight Flight
Review it
161 65 4,210 3 min. 30 The yellow and blue steel coaster is relentless from the top of the lift hill on -- you start sideways, zoom through a 120-foot loop and then, well, go upside down a lot. It's the park's most popular coaster, so expect a wait. It also holds the record as the world's longest floorless coaster. 5
Big Dipper
Review it
65 32 2,600 1 minute, 45 sec. 0-15 It's a classic out and back wooden coaster with a lot of camel-back (small) hills to maximize air time. Built in 1925, it's a living antique but extremely popular because of the nostalgia factor. Also a good starter coaster. 9
Double Loop
Review it
95 54 1,800 1 minute, 30 sec. 15 It all happens so fast on this steel Down a 95-foot hill and straight into a 55-foot loop, then straight into a 65 foot loop. It was one of the nation's first looping coasters and pretty scary at the time, but now considered fairly tame. Good starter coaster. 2
Mind Eraser
Review it
125 50 875 1 minute, 50 sec. 15-30 It's a boomerang coaster, meaning it shoots you out forward, brings you back backwards, and then repeats it three times. You really never know whether you're coming or going on this thing. That's how often it alternates between forward and backward. 4
Raging Wolf Bobs
Review it
80 42 3,426 2 min. 0-15 It's a classic wood coaster with 13 hills, 26 curves and an 80 foot drop, all coming in rapid fire succession. There's nothing like a classic out and back with its camel hump hills to deliver the air time. 9
Serial Thriller
Review it
120 60 2,038 2 min. 15-30 The suspended steel coaster delivers its thrill with eight inversions and enough sway to the cars that you're fairly sure you're going to hit the poles. The scariest part is when it plunges downhill to within eight feet of mother earth. That's mighty close at 60 mph. 4
Superman Ultimate Escape
Review it
180 70 630 1 minute 15-30 The steel coaster's induction launch gets you to 70 mph in three seconds. From there, it's up a spiraling tower, down backwards and up another tower. You do it six times. The red, blue and yellow coaster was the world's first spiraling impulse coaster with a launch fast enough to make eyes water. 4
Villain
Review it
120 60 4,000 2 min., 30 sec. 15 It's a classic wooden coaster with 12 drops and 14 really tight turns on banked tracks. Its air time holds you up to five seconds. A favorite among coaster enthusiasts, it is consistently in "Amusement Business'" top 25. 4
X-Flight
Review it
115 50 3,340 2 min. 30-45 Cars on this lime green steel coaster recline so riders are parallel to the track. Or later, parallel to the ground, upside down, eight times. Riders are also sideways a lot. It's Ohio's first "flying" coaster, a thrill ride designed to make riders feel they are actually flying. It's not for the timid. 6