Top 10 Worst Coasters

Largely I try to keep a positive vibe here on my little corner of the internet, but every now and then I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun to have a big ol' bitch! You always see enthusiasts discussing their Top 10 coasters - "What's your Top 10?", "Di that new coaster make it into your Top 10?" etc, etc. But sometimes I think the more interesting coasters are the truly awful and downright terrible ones - the ones that leave your spine feeling shattered and your head feeling like you've just woken up in a Blackpool B&B after a hardcore night at the Velvet Coaster. The coasters that are memorable for all the wrong reasons. I've had a few chats with people recently about how I've become a little disenchanted with RMC - purely because you KNOW they're going to be great. Like, the worst RMC is still better than the best coasters of some other manufacturers and because of that there's no mystery or intrigue - I definitely think it's easy to become bored be perfection. But I'll save that discussion for a different blog post - today I'm here to chat shit so let's get to it. Brace yourself for my Bottom 10 WORST coasters!

And, disclaimer, these are all coasters that I'd consider 'substantial' coasters - obviously things like Wacky Worms and whatever aren't amazing but I think you have to take the context into consideration. A kiddie coaster can't be considered 'worst' because it comes with no expectations - it can't disappoint because you never expected it to impress. Also these are in no particular order because, to be honest I couldn't actually be bothered to rank them. Here goes nothing...

Let's just get this one out of the way as it's always been the one that's caused the most controversy for me. I'll set the scene. It's 2012 and I'm on my first ever American coaster road trip. For years I'd been scouring CoasterForce and following the construction of some of the coasters we'd be riding on this trip, one of the coasters I was most excited for was i305. As an Intamin fangirl I was mesmerised by this kind of rebirth of the Intamin big boys - new track design, new trains and my first ever non-launched giga coaster! I was fucking stoked to ride this coaster. Earlier in the trip we'd been on another new-wave Intamin coaster, SkyRush, and it shot straight into my number 1 spot and only served to further heighten my excitement for i305. And we had ERT! The stars were aligning and I couldn't wait to finally experience the obvious euphoria that awaited me.

Yh, this coaster blew for me. All of the power and speed from that HUGE first drop is only used to throw your body through hills and transitions so intense that you see spots and don't even get a chance to catch your breath to fully be in the moment and feel everything this coaster is throwing at you. To put in bluntly, it's too fucking much. Whereas the likes of SkyRush and Taron get that furious intensity just right, i305 overdid it for me, to the point where I only managed one more ride on the thing before deciding that I hated it and had no interest in riding it again. It's a lesson in how not to do intensity on a coaster.

A very fresh entry to this line-up and, urgh, with such good reason. I wrote a post not too long ago about how actually, Spinning Wild Mouse coasters are actually pretty fun? They're a cheap option for parks with less budget without having to compromise on the fun and thrill. The forces from the spinning bring the joy of funfair flat rides, the hairpin turns add that element of adrenalin and fear and the well placed drops and hills provide those tiny pops of airtime to set it all off. So what the hell happened with Viking Roller Coaster?! This. Thing. Is. VILE! I mean truly detestable. Firstly, let's talk about those restraints. SO unnecessary. I've only been on one other SBF Visa spinner and that's Twister here in the UK, which doesn't have OTSRs, so no idea with they were deemed necessary here. Spinning Wild Mouse trains are claustrophobic anyway, so you can imagine what adding cumbersome, uncomfortable restraints into the mix feels like.

Then the way the coaster rides is just...it's hideous. It feels like being in a car with somebody who hasn't quite yet learned how to drive. That shunting and chugging and grinding of the vehicle trying to roll forward but not quite being in the right gear and taking corners incredibly slowly because you're not confident enough to take them quickly. Everything that's fab about Spinning Wild Mouse coasters Viking Roller Coaster spits on and decides to do the opposite. Those hairpin turns usually taken at speed are dull and slow, the forces usually created by the spin in the second half of the coaster are non-existent as the trains take a slow, clunky controlled spin that one has to wonder why it even bothers. And to add insult to injury, despite the slow cautiousness, it still somehow manages to be clunky and painful. Just awful.

OK, so this might not have been so bad had I not been experiencing what is still to this day the worst hangover of my life, but that doesn't excuse these despicable coasters existing. I've chosen Ukko because it stands out to me as one of my most hateful coaster experiences, however I would be tempted to read this entry as a general disdain for all SkyLoop coasters, Maurer or otherwise (looking at you, Chinese knock offs). I've ridden hundreds of coasters, and to this day these are the only coaster type that I just do not feel safe on. Vertical lift hills are putrid in pretty much all instances, but to have that vertical lift-hill transition into the hangtime filled nightmare that is that first, slow inversion is pure torture. Riding these is evidence of my dedication to the cred count - I don't think I've ever actively re-ridden one of these contraptions!

And that's not even the worst part of the experience - anybody who has been on a SkyLoop knows where I'm going with this. Is there any moment on a coaster more horrendous than when the vehcile flies through the layout only to be caught vertically mid-air so that the train can be slowly lowered back into the station? There is NO way to ride this moment that doesn't result in whiplash and minor head trauma as your skull smacks back into the seat. And to add insult to injury - THE WHOLE TOWER SHAKES WHEN YOU'RE CAUGHT. Just urgh, burn them all.

Once known as Iron Wolf, now known as Firebird, I rode Apocalypse at Six Flags America back in 2012 and I was pretty stoked to ride this thing. Not only was it the first B&M stand-up coaster, it was also a coaster I'd admired from afar as a child in the Richie Rich movie and had always dreamed of riding. Plus it's a B&M, realistically what could go wrong? Erm, turns out a lot. I don't have a ton to say about this one because the memory of it isn't as vividly etched in my brain as some of the other traumatic experiences I'm chatting about in this post, but mostly I remember discomfort, claustrophobia and pain. Weirdly I think that Togo are the only manufacturer to really nail the stand up coaster, and for B&M to make something so painful is surely testament to what a hunk of junk Apocalypse or whatever you want to call it is. Boo.

I've always been a bit of a secret Vekoma fangirl and have often been known to defend the old school Vekoma loopers. I genuinely don't think the majority of them are as bad as many enthusiasts make them out to be and I think the overwhelmingly negative opinion of them in the community is based more on mob mentality that people's actual experiences. And I truly believe that. Except for Goudurix, which not only lived up to its reputation as a truly nasty piece of shit, it exceeded it. The thing is, on paper this coaster looks fucking AWESOME and across the lake it looks so badass and intimidating. It's the perfect embodiment of the craziness of the late 80s/early 90s theme park scene, where every theme park was at war trying to build the next biggest and baddest coaster. It's a beast.

Thing is, I really wish I'd have been able to ride this thing when it first opened. I think I first visited in like...2012 maybe? 23 years after this coaster made its debut. Yh, the years have not been kind to this Vekoma monster, and what resulted was one of the most painful coaster rides of my life. I think I made a point of ensuring I sat closer to the front of the coaster too to try and minimise any headbanging or pain - to no avail. I do think that being short works against you in these old school Vekoma coasters - you essentially end up with the restraints up around your head, meaning any transition results in brutal headbanging. 7 inversions and over 3000ft of track of that later and you can imagine the headache I was nursing after. I've visited the park a bunch of times since then and have never ridden it again.

When making this list I was surprised at how many wooden coasters were not on this list, and I think that's down to my belief that wooden coasters shouldn't be glass smooth. Wooden coasters are a little more..rustic and rough around the edges and therefore I've always found that I'm slightly more forgiving towards them. All I can say is thank god Hurler doesn't exist any more because this coaster was the most remorseless piece of shit I've ever had the misfortune to board. It seems to...take joy from inflicting pain? That's the only explanation I can think of as to why this coaster exists because it certainly wasn't designed to be fun. Or if it was then the creators epicly, epicly failed. Literally from the first drop the roughness caused me to crack heads with my friend I was riding with and I had to endure the rest of the rumbling layout with a concussion. I just remember praying for the thing to end - I honestly think you could extract confessions for the world's atrocities from innocents by forcing them to ride Hurler. Good riddance, may it rest in pieces.

In true Chinese fashion, Flying Coaster is not a flying coaster at all, but in fact a Chinese knock-off launched motorbike coaster from a company called Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co., Ltd. And to look at you'd never know it was a knock off. Not really. It doesn't really have any notable kinks in the track and the trains don't look a million miles away from the Vekoma originals. So..what the fuck why is this thing so painful? The launch on this thing, somehow don't ask me how it accomplished this, resulted in me being winded the entire way around. Like it literally felt like somebody had punched me in the gut. Not from the actual launch mind you- but like..half way through the launch? It's just so unnecessary! I looked around and literally nobody riding was having fun, which surely nullifies the coaster's entire existence? Dumb, pointless and painful, the worst possible outcome for a multi-million pound investment.

Listen, I know some of y'all are in mourning for this piece of shit, but let's be real. G-Force blows. Yes, it's unique for the UK and brings an element of diversity to the table, but at what cost? Surely you'd prefer a smooth and fun coaster that you can ride in a few more places than a painful, tiresome one-of-a-kind pain machine? For something to be awesome in its uniqueness it at least has to be good and fun to ride, and G-Force just ain't. It suffers from that hideous vertical, inverted lift-hill thing that Maurer love for some reason (seriously does anybody actually like this element or were Maurer just doing it to be 'unique' and 'cool'?) And then for the rest of the ride it just kind of, rattles and rumbles its way agonisingly around the layout before finally providing its riders some relief as it pulls back into the station.

The annoying thing about G-Force is the layout looks really cool. Like if you were going to analyse the layout from a YouTube POV I think you'd be pretty fair to assume that this looks like a fun ride. Fun looking transitions, areas that should provide loads of airtime and some neat little inversions. Too bad the shopping trolley that you have to ride in is so rickety and uncomfortable that trundling through this layout might as well have been replaced with a tin can being pushed down a hill. Lord knows it would have been cheaper.

A big factor in a lot of coasters that I'm not particularly fond of is the discomfort of the restraints, and because of this I'm kind of surprised that more flying coasters (actual flying coasters, not motorbike coasters that decide to call themselves flying coasters for god knows what reason) haven't featured. I feel like the B&M flyers are never that bad to be honest, it's more that I personally don't love them. Volares I feel very much sit in the camp of you expect them to be bad so they can't really factor in a list of 'worst ever' because they come with that pre-assumed terribleness, but I am sad to note that once again we find ourselves in 00s Vekoma camp and this time it's the monstrous Flying Dutchman model. I feel like there's a good reason there's not a ton of these, and it's because they're utterly, utterly abhorrent.

Let's start with the restraints. Sooooo undignified. I mean, the B&M versions aren't much better as they hoist you into the doggy style position to ride, but there is something really vulnerable and grotesque to me about the way you're strapped in and slowly lowered onto your back in the station as the other awaiting riders gawk at you. It's a pretty uncomfortable situation to be in. Then you...lay on your back as you ascend the lift hill? Vile. You know what's even worse? The train stopped on the lift-hill in the blazing sun as it leaves you there to roast. Awful, awful positioning. And if that wasn't uncomfortable enough, you then have to clunk your way around a layout with the intensity of any other larger Vekoma model of that time. It's just discomfort all round - not outrageously painful but a deeply unpleasant experience all the same. Definitely one and done on these bad boys.

You might be wondering why I haven't mentioned any Vekoma SLCs on this list - the poster boy coaster of the 'worst coaster' debate. Well, yes SLCs are pretty vile, but I do think I'd be undercutting my argument a little with this last coaster if I'd mentioned an SLC alongside this atrocity. I speak, of course, of the Chinese knock-off SLC, in particular Flare Meteor at Fantawild Adventure. Honourable mention to Shenzhou Coaster at Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park which gave its best shot at ensuring I could never carry children when I rode it, but I feel Flare Meteor was truly in a league of its own - a sincerely appalling specimen in every aspect. I always go on about enthusiasts being dramatic with coasters being painful - often coasters are rough and clunky yes, but actually painful...I'd argue they're few and far between. Flare Meteor is actually brutal - my ears were red and swollen when I came off after the bashing I received. Honestly I was almost to the point of tears, why Golden Horse felt the need to rip off an SLC of all things is beyond me! Just...why?!

I really enjoyed writing that - why is bitching about shit coasters so much fun? I'm really excited to see if any more crap ends up on this list after my upcoming trip to America, I'm sure some stinkers await. Comment below with your least favourite coaster!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

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