Why Spinning Coasters Are Secretly Fab


On the blog tonight, whilst most of us are taking to social media to pay our respects to the mighty Nemesis as she celebrates her 25th birthday, I wanted to take some time to talk about a coaster type that I feel is largely uncelebrated yet secretly fab in pretty much every way. OK, so I may have edited the first sentence due to an unforeseen scheduling clash because I'm actually a pretty terrible enthusiast and didn't realise it was Nemesis's 25th birthday, but the fact remains that spinning coasters are fucking awesome and I'm going to take some time today to tell you why that is. This is not a topic up for debate, they're fab and I shan't be convinced otherwise.

So firstly, the humble spinning coaster is so bloody versatile. From tight corners on your typical Spinning Wild Mouse layout, to large swooping drops like those found on the Mack spinners to full blown launches, inversions and vertical drops like those found on the epic looking Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City. Nowadays you can pretty much send a spinning coaster through any kind of element and not only will it complete it with grace but it'll add an extra dimension of fun to that element because you're freaking SPINNING through the damn thing.

Next - they lend themselves pretty well to a narratively lead layout. I'm actually surprised we haven't seen spinning coasters used more often in this way because they're kind of perfect for achieving that dark ride + thrill blend that parks often strive for. But the spinning cars mean ride designers are forced to make the themed sections of the ride fully immersive because there's no telling which way the guests might be facing, so they need to ensure every nook and cranny is full of stuff to see and experience. Crush's Coaster does this in a very cute way pre-lift hill and Space Fantasy at Universal Studios Japan manages to totally immerse its riders into...whatever the hell that thing is trying to achieve but the fact remains it's a great vehicle to experience theming on a coaster!

The development of the spinning coaster has totally transformed the kiddie coaster scene meaning only good news for the credit whores among us! I really can't put my finger on why, but chuck a spinning train on and you're instantly elevated from a platform of total and complete shame delivered by the Wacky Worms of this world to a slightly less embarrassing experience for all involved. I think it might have something to do with the spinning cars meaning there's less eye contact between us getting the cred and the likes of the judgemental ride ops and worried parents stood on the ground wondering what this weirdo is doing riding the Big Apple with their kiddies.

They're actually pretty damn intense and manage to deliver a super fun experience on often tiny footprints. They're the perfect stepping stone coaster for smaller parks wanting to offer that next level of thrill for their punters who maybe can't quite yet afford a Vekoma Boomerang. You've got the terror of those hairpin turns alone, but add the extra laterals of a spin into the equation and I challenge any coaster lover to tell me these things aren't fun and intense. Given the choice between say...a powered Mack coaster and a spinning coaster I'd choose the spinner every single time for the thrill factor. Especially the Reverchon models - those things have perfectly formulated a fun little package of thrills in a neat and tidy little footprint that you just know is going to deliver.

So yes, I've had it with the snobbery when it comes to spinning coasters. Yes, they are often found in slightly erm...lower end establishments. Yes, they're often garish colours, covered with neon flashing lights and copyright infringing custom artwork, but there's no denying they ever fail to deliver a fun and exciting experience, and I would always choose an SBF Visa Compact Spinner or a Reverchon Spinning Wild Mouse over a non spinning alternative coaster of similar cost/footprint any day. They serve a purpose and that is to provide a step up in thrills and excitement for those looking to move on from the baby coasters of this world, and in my opinion that should be honoured and respected. Spinning coasters, I salute you!

Talk later xoxo,

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