6 Coasters I Want To Love But Can't

Seeing as it's Valentines weekend I thought I'd spending a little time talking about love in today's post. But no in a traditional sense - I'm talking about love lost, unrequited love, loves that just didn't live up to my fantasy. In a theme park/roller coaster context of course. You see, in the coaster world there are often coasters that, on paper, you just know are going to be love at first ride. Then you finally get to ride them and something (not the restraint) just doesn't click. There's just no chemistry between you - the theme park equivalent of swiping right and finally meeting up for a date and finding out they're totally vapid and incompatible with your standards. This is six coasters I really want to love, but just can't. 


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Believe it or not, despite my well-known opinion on this coaster by now, I was just as excited about Icon as the rest of you. Having absolutely adored Helix and knowing that occasionally Mack do create something right up my street (hello Lost Gravity) I was quietly rooting for this custom Mack multi-launcher to be the big hit that Blackpool Pleasure Beach deserved. 

Sadly, for me, the launches are lacklustre, the layout confused and meandering and despite having some redeeming features in the first airtime hill and the dip down into the tunnel before the first launch, it just wasn't enough to get me fully invested. And I try. I try every time I visit Blackpool to find more to love about Icon. I've given it chance after chance. But no, something two hearts just don't mesh and sadly this is the case here.  


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The Beast is that one coaster everybody makes out to be extra special - a life-changing experience and rite of passage for any self-respecting coaster enthusiast. And I was fully bought into this, so much so that I specifically chose it to take the honorary position of being my 1000th coaster credit. And I've never been so disappointed. 

Now I'm all for weird coasters that have you screaming 'WHY?!' the entire way round, but more in a The Ultimate sense where your knees are slowly being crushed and it's agonising but also you kind of love it? The Beast just...does nothing. It's a big wooden monorail as far as I'm concerned and having trims on pretty any moment where speed starts to pick up is unforgivable in my opinion. Damn you Beast! We were all rooting for you!


My relationship with Shambhala is a tragic tale. When we first met in 2012 it was euphoric from the very first ride. Exquisite floater airtime, unrivalled speed, glorious smooth transitions brought to a glorious crescendo with the final bunny hills. I was madly in love with this coaster after my first few rides and that weekend is one of the happiest I have as a coaster enthusiast, spending what must have been hours riding the thing over and over again as the sun set down on Salou. 

So imagine my confusion, my heartbreak, when reriding just a couple of short years later to find the experience had changed entirely. The airtime not nearly as exquisite, speed still there but feeling lacking in parts, the fabulous smoothness now a light rumble. I blamed myself at first - maybe I'd made it all up in my head, and that I was looking back on those first few rides with rose-tinted glasses and that the Shambhala I was riding this time was how it truly was. Disappointed and disheartened, I left that visit to Port Aventura confused and downtrodden but not totally ready to give up yet. 

Sprint ahead a few more years and I was ready to open my heart once more, but alas, although not quite the disappointment-fest of 2014's visit, that initial spark was well and truly gone. Combined with Port Aventura's horrendous decision to operate this three minute long coaster on a one-train operation and making the front row (aka best seat in the house) an Express Pass-only perk, it was sadly another tale of woe. I guess we'll always have Salou 2012...


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My beloved Intamin, how you gonna do me like that? There were many coasters I was excited to ride during our epic 2012 road trip across America, with i305 being very near the top of the list. The height! The speed! The incredible new look track design! Having spent the rest of the trip riding my fair share of other glorious Intamin creations and being blown out of the water every time (Skyrush, Bizarro, Storm Runner) I was convinced i305 was going to live up to my expectations and more, never once considering the possibility not only that it might fall short, but that I would come away actively despising it. 

For me, feeling light-headed and greying out on a coaster, travelling through a wild layout at speeds so high you can't even get a grip on what's happening and generally slamming into the brakes feeling exhausted and confused isn't my personal idea of a good time. For me, a great coaster is one I instantly want to re-ride when we pull back into the station and i305 was the exact opposite. I wanted OFF this vile thing and to never ride it again. But of course I did, just to see if it really was that bad. And turns out, it was. I felt bad because this was during an ERT session the park had kindly put on for us but I simply could not do it to myself a third time. To this day it still baffles me how anybody enjoys this ride, but I guess we're all built differently!


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When I was a baby enthusiast just starting out, trying different things and figuring out what worked for me and what didn't, I was always quite smitten with the 2009 Mack launch coaster blue fire Megacoaster at Europa Park. This thing seemed to do everything I love in a coaster and more: good theming, an epic looking launch and a creative looking layout to follow. Absolutely my type on paper. 

But I guess with youth and inexperience comes a certain naivety and I was definitely victim to this in the case of blue fire. The launch left me wanting more, so much so that the disappointment and confusion I felt tainted the remainder of the ride experience. The coaster equivalent of getting 'the ick' - it did something do awful and distracting to me that I became fixated on it, unable to look past the bad and focus on the coaster's good qualities. There's definitely a lesson to be learned here: never trust a book by its cover, or in this case never trust a coaster by its off-ride appearance because in reality you'll never know the truth until you ride for yourself. 


Carrie Bradshaw style coaster/dating euphemisms aside, before riding this coaster I was told by a veteran enthusiast that Boulder Dash was like 'the best sex you've ever had multiplied by ten.' And all I can say to that is damn, that dude must have been having some really bad sex because Boulder Dash was certainly nothing special in my experience. Don't get me wrong, the coaster did nothing wrong per se, it just wasn't mind-blowing, and when you've been promised an orgasmic coaster experience and you pull in to the station unsatisfied it certainly leaves a bad taste in ones mouth. 

I do believe Boulder Dash wasn't running its a-game when we paid a visit to Lake Compounce, and given its track record and impressive references it's a coaster I'm very willing to try again with. It seems to be a wild, crazy ride, a little rough around the edges but delivering an exciting and unpredictable coaster experience because of those quirks. And that's something I'm very much into, so I'm excited to see what I think of this coaster the next time I'm able to have a ride!

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I certainly wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to coasters and would describe myself as an optimistic rider - I yearn to love a coaster and go out of my way to pay attention to the good stuff but sadly there are some things that can't be forgiven!

What about you? What are some coasters you really wanted to like but it didn't work out? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,

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