Are RMC Coasters Really That Good?

It's been a while since I've done one of these chatty-style, pouring my brain out into a blog post type posts so I felt it was about time for another one. This is something I've attempted to tweet about for a while but there's too many factors to discuss to keep it to such a concise format, so I wanted to flesh it out a bit on here instead. What I want to chat about, and a question I was asking myself a lot this year as I rode a grand total of five new RMC coasters in 2019, is are these coasters really that good? I appreciate that's a bit of a 'triggering' statement in itself so let me extrapolate on that a little bit first before I really dive in to what I want to say. Bear with me.

When I ask if they're actually that good, that doesn't mean to negate the fact that of course they're fucking good. Like objectively, as rollercoasters, the majority of RMC coasters are really fucking good (aside from Twisted Colossus, so I'm told). Somehow the magician that is Alan Schilke seems to have cracked the formula for designing the perfect rollercoaster, and thus every RMC coaster comes with this unspoken but definitely universally understood prerequisite that whatever it is, however big or small, long or short, brutal or floaty and everything else in between, you know you're in for a good ride. It's pretty much a certainty, hence why so many parks are investing in the things.

But that's where my question comes in - if you KNOW something is going to knock your socks off, if it's absolutely without a doubt going to at least be an 8 or 9 out of ten, then where's the fun? A lot of the coasters I adore or ones that have been the most memorable have been coasters I've unassumingly boarded and been utterly blown away by because I had no pre-conceived notion that this thing was going to be good. And for me, a large part of my enjoyment of coasters comes from that uncertainty. And that's a tricky thing to try and explain, and by no means am I complaining. I get it, it sounds pretty ridiculous to be like "urgh, this obviously excellent coaster isn't good because I KNEW it would be." Like obviously that's ridiculous but at the same time, especially after my ride on the obviously amazing Untamed, it's something I've found myself thinking when I get off of RMC coasters. I got on the ride knowing it was going to be good because hell, it's RMC, of COURSE it's going to be good and personally there's something a little sad about that. First world problems right?

And that notion feeds directly into my personal preference of actively avoiding spoilers where I can for any ride I'm going on before I go on it. Once I've ridden the thing then yes, I want to know all of the opinions. I will inhale POVs and podcasts and blog posts and anything else I can get my hands on to see what the rest of the world thought of the experience and how my personal experience matched up with what the community are saying. But I hate boarding any ride for the first time with any expectation. And that works both ways - I don't want to know if the entire world thinks this coaster is shit because then my experience is tainted from the offset that I should expect it to be shit - if I don't find it shit my opinion might be slightly elevated because I went in with low expectations, and on the other end of the spectrum if I go on something that's been hyped up to death and it inevitably doesn't live up to the glorified reviews I'm unfairly disappointed because nothing could ever match up with the godly reviews some enthusiasts had given it. It sucks to have your experience corrupted by something like that.

Let's go back to that aforementioned perfect formula again for a sec. I'm no coaster engineer and for somebody so into the things I surprise people by just how little I know (or indeed care) about the physics and engineering of how coasters and rides are designed. It's just not something I'm that interested in personally. But yes, the good folk at RMC have perfected this formula that means no matter what they do now they seem to be able to guarantee the perfect ride. And they've managed to do it without resorting to formulaic layouts like the Intamin Plug and Play wooden coasters where you can see the airtime laid out for you in black and white. The other thing RMC have managed to master is their ability to combine all the different aspects of what people adore about coasters into one neat little package. They deliver in nearly every category - you've got speed, ejector airtime, floater airtime, snappy transitions, sexy inversions, wild and unusual elements we've never seen or experienced before, the smoothest thing you'll ever ride yet forces so extreme you end up with literal bruises from the restraints.

And yet somehow the predictability remains.

It makes me sad to know that my experience of any RMC I go on in the future will be impaired by the fact that I know it's going to be magnificent - for me there absolutely is a joy to having my breath taking away unexpectedly and that's something I'm never going to get from an RMC because I depart the station expecting to have my breath taken away. Can a coaster truly be that good if it always lives up to your expectations and never exceeds them, is I guess what I'm asking here?

Talk later xoxo,


  1. First, let me assure you that Twisted Colossus is excellent. I was pleasantly surprised by the Mobius layout, which added something to my overall delight. I agree that hype can make a great coaster less great. I got to ride Steel Vengeance over the summer, and I believe it is the most overhyped coaster out there. That doesn't make it less excellent, but it does take away a little of the pleasure of discovery.

    One of my best coaster memories was my first ride on Shockwave at Six Flags Over Texas. I was expecting a basic, old-school Arrow-type looping coaster, and was absolutely blown away by the smooth, thrilling ride and pops of airtime.