My Top 10 Coasters

For some reason I really thought I'd written this already, but turns out I haven't updated it on the blog for years so it's something I'd keen to start doing at the top end of every new season. I find a top ten list can tell you a lot about someone. It can show you everything from which countries they've been able to visit, their manufacturer preference and if they prefer a ground-hugging multi-launcher over an airtime saturated giant. I also think people take them very seriously, which isn't something I personally do (to the point where I don't actually know mine by memory and have to revert to the note on my phone haha). I actually find that writing the list itself is extremely hard - I want it to be balanced and showcase the different parks I've been to but also be a true reflection of my taste and favourites.

I'm sure others who have a high coaster count can attain to the difficulty of narrowing the list down at this point - I know many who now revert to a top twenty, or indeed a separate top wood and top steel list to try and ease the process. But apparently I'm a masochist but I still force myself to brutally chip away until I have a shiny list of ten coasters I can undeniably say that I adore. Despite this, I don't actually put them in any real order after the first two or three so yh, sorry about that. I'm also a fickle beast and change my mind over and over so I'm hoping that this effort of recording the thing publicly as opposed to a slightly shady list on my phone will go some way towards changing that. Here we go then:

10 - Maverick, Cedar Point
I vividly remember watching the construction of this coaster and thinking it had everything I love in a ride: multiple launches, inversions taken at high speeds and tons of airtime hills and sexy transitions. So I was ecstatic that it rode every bit as good as it looked and made its way straight into my list.

9 - Dinoconda, China Dinosaur Park
It's a shame S&S stopped making these but honestly I don't blame them. Another thing I adore on a coaster is a feeling of total rag-doll-like helplessness where you're at complete mercy of the machine, and no coaster type does this better than the S&S 4D coasters. I'm always reminded of Goldilocks when it comes to this trio of insanity - Eejanaika is too much, X2 is not quite enough but Dinoconda is just right,

8 - Hyperion, Energylandia
Honestly I didn't pay much attention to when Hyperion was being constructed. I famously do not care for the bigger Intamin types so this one didn't really peak my interests and I'd be lying if I said the sole reason I wanted to go to Energylandia was for the beefy cred injection as opposed to any strong desire to ride anything there. But wow, Hyperion blew me away. Even in the approaching-zero temperatures of my first visit to the park, the thing was glass smooth with strong, sustained airtime in all the right places and some insane elements peppered throughout for that little extra spice. I didn't put in on the list after my initial visit in April but when I went back in September its glory was undeniable.

7 - Oz'Iris, Parc Asterix
Look, I love a B&M invert as much as the next coaster enthusiast but I've never been overly blown away by them apart from maybe Nemesis, but for me that's mostly in the theming. Then along came Oz'Iris and everything changed. This thing is so powerful and intense yet somehow manages to soar through its compact and twisted layout without leaving me feeling nauseous. Tons of gorgeous, floaty moments as you glide through inversion after inversion before the cherry on the cake with that final hidden zero g. It's stunning.

6 - Helix, Liseberg
Few moments have given me greater joy than a night ride on Helix, being flung towards the Gothenburg skyline at high speeds before disorientingly flipping into an inversion. The airtime is brutal and comes seemingly out of nowhere, forcing you out of your seat and into your restraint. It slithers and snakes around the hill like an apex predator on the hunt with just as much venom and determination.

5 - The Voyage, Holiday World
This went straight into my list when I first rode it back in 2014 and for some reason was removed between then and 2019 when I revisited the park. No idea how I forgot just how incredible this coaster is but my GOD it's breathtaking. Thundering through its layout the coaster gives absolutely no relief or moment to catch your breath before it'd diving down another hill or flying over another airtime hill. You can feel the raw power of it emanating from the train as you traverse the layout and it translates into an absolutely electric feeling of euphoria for the rider. Best wooden coaster in the world if you ask me!

4 - Formula Rossa, Ferrari World
Look, I like launches and Rossa delivers in every aspect on what a launch should do. It leaves you with that pit in your stomach that makes you think you just about can't take anymore before releasing you, and the payoff is a rush of pure adrenaline through your veins which courses beautifully as you race through the remainder of the track through beautifully smooth transitions and floaty airtime hills.

3 - Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Did you really think we'd get all the way through this list without mentioning RMC? There's no denying they make world-class coasters, but Steel Vengeance is a cut above the rest. It's in its own class entirely, and between the insane inversions as you hurtling through tons of wooden supports and myriad of airtime hills from the huge gliding beasts to mean little bunny hills, I'll leave it up to you to understand why.

2 - Taron, Phantasialand
Taron is what I would use as an example of theme park ride perfection. It's an absolute masterclass in how to design a coaster right in everything from the actual layout of the thing and how it rides to the train and track design to the exquisite theming that engulfs it and gives it its macabre and brooding personality. It's got speed, it's got insanely tight and thrilling transitions, its got airtime in bucketloads AND it's got a giant rock dragon AND a waterfall, plus a hidden launch within a smouldering pit. I honestly look forward to the day something comes along that beats Taron at its own game because having more awesomeness like this in the world can only be a good thing.

1 - SkyRush, Hersheypark
I wish I could more vividly remember how SkyRush felt to ride but hey, 16 rides during an ERT session wasn't for lack of trying. Did I come off severely bruised? Yes? Did I never want the night to end and will this to be my fate for the rest of eternity? Also yes. SkyRush delivered airtime in a way I had never experienced before and it gave me that first taste of the ragdoll sensation that I've since grown to seek out in coasters. There was something so tantalising and undeniably enjoyable about knowing that this thing could quite literally fling me to a brutal and painful death, save for the small slither of a restraint gripping my now multi-coloured thighs. Add to that the thrill of the speed and the general good vibes of a balmy Pennsylvania summer's eve and you'll understand why I hold it in such high regard.

So there we have it! Honestly I feel like a proud mother when I look back through it. I get very attached to coasters I love and have fond memories of so any new members that make the cut should feel very privileged indeed! Looking at the year ahead I can see a couple of contenders who might make the cut but only the season will tell!

Talk later xoxo,