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    Theming Comfort Hangtime Dead spots

    For those who were comparing Copperhead Strike to Maverick from the start, I knew that would not be the case. The launches were more forceful than I was expecting, and the three great moments of hangtime (heartline roll, 1st loop, cutback/inverted tophat) compliment the one ejector hill (as I anticipated, the one right after the first loop). The ride overall has solid positive Gs, with a few unexpectedly snappy transitions (most notably the one immediately following the Stengel Dive through the first loop) and airtime pops that keep the coaster fresh and exciting. Copperhead Strike makes a better first looping coaster for coasterfans in training than an intense and exhilirating ride, ala Maverick. Though it must be said that Carowinds did a good job with theming this coaster. There are many little details around the queue line that might help occupy a few minutes while waiting for Copperhead Strike. Overall this is a very solid coaster, but not the most intense — I think it’s going to be a huge crowd-pleaser though.

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    Airtimes Intensity Duration Rattle Intensity

    This is my favorite coaster of all time. Riding The Voyage at night, in the back row, with no trims on and thunder in the distance made this literal insanity. The first few hills are a nice warm-up, providing decent floater and even ejector on the small bunny hill. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face during the spaghetti bowl section, which gives some crazy laterals and a few pops of ejector diving into the mid-course. The third drop on the triple down caught me off guard on EVERY SINGLE ONE of my 9 rides, providing some absurd ejector airtime. The return run is the roughest part of Voyage, but it combines wild ejector airtime with ballistic pacing and side-of-your-seat-slamming laterals. The roughness does wear you down however, but it just adds to the intensity and out of control feeling of this coaster.

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    Nice surprise! Intensity Layout Rattle

    Twister is a great contrast to the legendary Phoenix, also at Knoebels. In place of the literal standing airtime and graceful swooping motions of Phoenix is a barrage of constant lateral G’s and fast-paced transitions diving in, out of and around Twister’s colossal superstructure. The coaster picks up its pace just after lift hill number two — that first turn gives some surprisingly strong laterals, just before the train hits the first drop. The rose bowl double helix is an eyecatcher that doesn’t let up on its G-loaded curvature. The rest of the ride is a fast-paced victory lap through the structure, into the hillside using a tunnel, and completes one last turn before the brakes. The only downside is that Twister is pretty rough, especially toward the back.

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    First Drop Inversions Intensity Too short Capacity

    Tennessee Tornado is a great ride by Arrow loopers’ generally low bar of quality. It has a fun first drop that takes you straight through the hillside, the huge vertical loop and then the two quick and intense inversions following the banked turn. However, right after you exit the sidewinder you pop up into the brakes — the original plan with 6 inversions would’ve been an outstanding coaster, had it been built. This coaster always runs one train, but the lines are generally not very long to begin with.

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    Pace Intensity Theming

    Vortex deserves too much hate in my opinion. It’s a solid B&M coaster, certainly one that packs an unassuming punch, and doesn’t have a lot of roughness compared to other rides like Rougarou or Batman: The Ride. This is my fifth favorite coaster at Carowinds, behind Intimidator, Copperhead Strike, Afterburn and Fury 325.

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    Location Comfort Intensity Too short

    Manta is a beautifully landscaped and graceful flying coaster, with the pretzel loop giving some insane G’s. The queue is interestingly enough a manta ray exhibit, which makes waiting in line just that much more tolerable, and the exit line is tucked off in between the mid-course and station. As the only other flyers I’ve ridden are Firehawk at Kings Island and Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Over Georgia, this bests both of them far and away. The layout is quite substantial, but it feels a lot shorter than it actually is — this is the only con I can think of on Manta, and it’s a minor complaint at that. All in all, Manta is a coaster that looks just as good as it rides!

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    Nice surprise! Location Masterpiece Dead spots

    Going in, I was told that The Beast was a dull, pointless and rough ride. After a 50-minute wait to ride this coaster at night, I was praying that the wait would actually be worth it — contrary to what I’d been told. I was nearly stapled by my own doing just before The Beast dispatched. Rolling around the first bend and up the first lift hill, I hoped that The Beast could deliver a legendary night ride. Inching down the first shallow drop, the train surprisingly picked up a lot of speed — and lots of roughness with it. I felt like I was flying through the woods at 100mph due to the bouncy roughness (which surprisingly worked in The Beast’s favor), even when the trims hit on multiple occasions. Was I actually riding a roller coaster at one of the largest amusement parks in America, or had I actually been transported to a national park while The Beast had me in its claws? Either way, I was shocked by how much I was enjoying this ride! It all came to a temporary halt as The Beast climbed lift hill #2. Finally, I was reentering society again as I could see Vortex, Diamondback and the iconic Eiffel Tower replica in the distance; yet, The Beast hadn’t finished toying with me already. The double helix finale is easily one of the greatest moments of any coaster; I was pinned to the side of my seat for its entirety — we dove into the tunnel, back into the woods, into the tunnel again and then out of it once more. And just as it gets really good, The Beast skids into the final brake run. My experience with The Beast at night was so much better than I expected; instead of a mundane, forceless and rough ride, I got one that I will remember for ages to come. It proved to me why this coaster stands as such a legendary ride, and that the coasters of yesterday can certainly compare to the ones of today. The Beast is my personal favorite roller coaster at Kings Island, besting Diamondback, Mystic Timbers and Banshee.

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    Capacity Pace Disappointing! Dead spots

    Dominator is a well-crafted coaster, but as with most of its floorless kin (that are not named Kraken) it doesn’t deliver much of the intensity from classic B&M creations. I don’t remember much of my experience on Dominator, but the first loop did deliver some good hangtime and the whole ride had a consistent pace to it.

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    Launch Too short Disappointing! Dead spots

    Coming in, I was told that Volcano was the 2nd best coaster at Kings Dominion — only to the legendary Intimidator 305. Unfortunately, this was not the case, but regardless Volcano made for a thrilling and unique ride. The volcano itself was an excellent piece of scenery that was a major eye-catcher from anywhere else in the Safari Village, and made the coaster just that more daunting from afar. The first launch gave some kick to it, and the turn immediately succeeding was not very forceful. The zippy second launch into the 155-foot sidewinder packed a punch — it’s a real “WOW” moment that was for sure the highlight of this coaster. However, Volcano just peters out after this point; the turn-into-heartline-roll sequence is quite repetitive, and taken at a speed just too slow for any whip yet just too fast to give any decent hangtime. The 80-foot dive finale caught me off guard somewhat, but that was shortlived as the train slammed into the final brake run. All in all, Volcano was a fun coaster with a great setting and one moment of awesomeness; yet, because it wasn’t nearly as intense as I’d been told, I was let down. I certainly miss it, but not as much as several other coasterfans do.

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    Airtimes Comfort Fun

    Mako is one of the best B&M hyper coasters ever built. It’s my 2nd favorite, just behind Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia.

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    Theming Rattle Too short Disappointing!

    I was told the Mummy was a great coaster, with a thrilling experience and spectacular theming merged into one. The latter was absolutely true, but the former... not so much. The darkride segment in the beginning of the Mummy is a great introduction to what I expected to be an even greater ride. Unfortunately, after the turntable segment and uphill launch, I felt a noticeable rattle on Revenge of the Mummy’s circuit — right up until the actual ending brakes. The abrupt coaster sections made the ride feel incomplete, and when we hit the brake run I couldn’t believe that the Mummy had ended its terror on me — and I’m not talking about the fake ending either, as creative as it was. Revenge of the Mummy may have amazing theming, but at the end of the day it is merely a family coaster in the dark.

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    First Drop Theming Dead spots

    The theming is really what makes Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts such a good ride. In terms of a coaster, it’s a very unique but forceless ride; but in terms of a darkride, it is one of the best in the world! The short tilt track segment is the only one of its kind in America and starts this coaster off with a bang, although the rest of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts feels hardly like a coaster and more-so like a darkride with rotating seats. I used to be a huge fan of Harry Potter around 5 years ago, so I’m glad to having recognized who and what was going on at the Gringotts bank during my ride. Overall, this is my 2nd favorite ride at Universal Orlando Resort (just behind Harry Potter and Forbidden Journey) and absolutely worth an hour’s wait!

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    Comfort Intensity Rattle Capacity

    Scorpion was my 150th coaster credit, chosen by me for my love of Schwarzkopf’s classic coasters and this model’s rareness. It did somewhat deliver that hallmark Schwarzkopf intensity in the vertical loop and bizarre but awesome 900° helix, however, there was a very prevalent rattle throughout the entire ride. The train seemed to be frantically shuffling about as soon as it hit that loop, resulting in some awkward jolts and bounces from side to side. Putting this con aside, Scorpion is a solid family looping coaster that delivers a reasonably fun introduction to going upside down for coasterfans in training.

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    Airtimes Location Intensity Disappointing! Lap Bar

    Lightning Rod was all the rage back in 2016. No one talked about anything BUT the world’s first launched wooden coaster, meaning that my hype for this ride had skyrocketed for when I would finally get to experience it in October 2016. It certainly did live up to my absurdly high expectations, but the very next morning my thighs were riddled with black-and-blue bruises. Then, it placed at my 4th favorite spot, just behind Mako, Fury 325 and Skyrush. I revisited Dollywood in spring 2017, and was able to get one ride on Lightning Rod. Unfortunately, I was stapled — meaning that I couldn’t feel any of the incredible airtime that I’d experienced back in 2016. Thankfully I came off with no injuries, but this experience disappointed me greatly. My most recent ride was in December 2017, in which the ride ops caught me trying to get more room. I begged and used the old “puff out your stomach” trick (which worked), and I actually secured some room! The airtime was great, sure, yet I didn’t find this altered version of Lightning Rod to be nearly as intense and airtime-filled as the former one I had ridden the previous October. While Lightning Rod’s layout makes for a fantastic ride, the restraints, inconsistent quality and colossal hype unfortunately ruined it for me. There’s no denying that it is a very impressive coaster — however, the quality of my more recent rides on it did not match the sheer insanity that this coaster delivered back in October 2016. It’s the flagship attraction at Dollywood and a must-ride for any coaster enthusiast like me, but I have yet to understand why others rate it so much higher than I do.

  • Kw6sTheater

    Location

    The interactions with Runaway Mine Train and the park railroad made this a bit more interesting than your usual kids coaster.

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    Airtimes Comfort Pace Intensity

    New Texas Giant was the first RMC, and it’s not half bad! I really enjoyed the first half — the awesome first drop, step up into the series of enjoyable high-flying overbanked turns combined with the mental bunny hill before the mid-course brake run just keeps getting better and better. Unfortunately, after the mid-course New Texas Giant feels much less like an RMC and a lot more like a family ride with airtimeless hill after airtimeless hill. Only the last three or four hills just before the final brake run give airtime, and it’s floater at that. Still, New Texas Giant is very long when compared to the other two RMC’s I’ve ridden — Twisted Cyclone and Lightning Rod — but everything before the mid-course is awesome, yet everything after it... not so much.

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    Location Fun Too short Dead spots

    Trailblazer is a decent mine train that I rode back in the summer of 2014 during my first visit at Hersheypark. It’s a relaxing family coaster featuring cool interactions with Storm Runner, the railroad and the monorail and has a nice ending.

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    Pace Intensity Hangtime Too short Capacity

    I’ve had two rides on Fahrenheit, my first being on an overcast day in June 2016 — unfortunately for me, rain started pouring down just as Fahrenheit ascended the vertical lift. But after a reride in July 2018, I had a much better experience on it. Fahrenheit provides both hangtime, good pacing and intensity in the same ride — it even throws ejector airtime at you just before the brakes! My favorite moment on Fahrenheit had to be the Norweigan loop or the airtime surprise finale. But unfortunately, this coaster’s poor capacity means that its line is regularly in excess of 30 minutes. Fahrenheit is ultimately my 3rd favorite coaster at Hersheypark, behind Storm Runner and the absolutely mental Skyrush. It’s a great multi-looping coaster that makes me wish Intamin made more like it.

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    Location Comfort Fun Dead spots Intensity

    Great Bear is one of the better coasters at Hersheypark. It’s not on the level of Skyrush, Storm Runner or Fahrenheit, but this coaster is definitely not a bad one. It’s one of the weakest B&M inverted coasters that I have ever ridden, placing around Raptor at Cedar Point (in dead last) and Batman: The Ride (Six Flags Over Texas). Needless to say however, Great Bear has a very unique layout with an interesting location at the edge of Kissing Tower Hill. The helix pre-drop is an enjoyable, swooping maneuver that leads into the actual curved drop. The trio of inversions that follow provide some nice forces, most notably the Immelmann. A powerful overbanked turn over Spring Creek ensues just before a whippy corkscrew — but unfortunately, Great Bear peters out from here. The train rises up into a drawn-out, forceless S-bend running right above Coal Cracker leads into the final brake run. All in all, Great Bear is a somewhat short but still fun B&M inverted coaster, bar the last ten seconds of it or so.

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    Theming Fun Layout Too short Intensity

    While not on the same thrill scale as its amazing next door neighbor Montu, Cobra’s Curse does what it can to provide an enjoyable family coaster experience. While I can imagine the queue is not fun on crowded days, I enjoyed its tight, winding passages that evoke feelings of being inside an old Egyptian tomb. I didn’t get to watch much of the preshow, as my wait was only around 5 minutes, but what I could see was an interesting projection sequence of dramatic music and blinking lights. The ride operators kept capacity up for sure; as when I got to the station, there was constant movement! Whether it be the creatively engineered dual elevator lift, moving station or even a train whizzing over our heads, Cobra’s Curse never seemed to stop and breathe. Before the elevator lift, there’s a clever show scene that is making reference to “reawakening him” and rows of statues with glowing red eyes. At the top of the elevator, the train tips out towards the Cobra statue but quickly dives down and takes a turn into a helix. This part had a bit of a rattle to it, unfortunately, but it all comes to a head as you hit a mid-course brake run that turns the train backwards! Another helix ensues, this time with some bunny hops injected into the curvature; and then, you hit the zippy second lift hill. This part is definitely my favorite segment of Cobra’s Curse, as the constant slalom-style overbanked turns made for an oddly satisfying, repetitive sensation — but it ends all too soon as the train dives under the train tracks and hops into the final brake run. All in all, Cobra’s Curse is a very solid family coaster. It has some great theming with an in-depth backstory, great interaction with the railroad and surrounding pathways, and the ending section was so much fun; however, I can’t help but point out that when Cobra’s Curse was announced I expected it to have a more twisted and long layout than it actually ended up being. This is a good coaster for everyone in the family, as it’s not too intense like Montu, Kumba or SheiKra are but provides a decent enough thrill to warrant children begging their parents for another re-ride.

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    First Drop Capacity Fun Too short

    SheiKra was one of the first coasters I ever rode as an official enthusiast, just the visit after I braved my fears of going upside down on Kumba. I rode Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg just the month before; and while I slightly prefer Griffon due to its great location along the Rhine coupled with more airtime, SheiKra is still a very good ride. SheiKra’s iconic first drop never ceases to thrill me, giving quite a lot of good floater air; the rise up into the Immelmann and swoop around into the mid-course is certainly an exciting yet more relaxed manuever; and the mid-course brake run provides a nice pause just before that great second drop into the tunnel. From the lift hill, my eyes were constantly on the humongous structure of RMC Gwazi, watching for any sort of movement or maybe that photographed purple track from a few weeks ago. I pointed out to my best friend (who was at the park with me, also riding SheiKra) that “There’s RMC Gwazi,” and it turns out that a coaster enthusiast from New Jersey was sitting right next to me. We struck up a conversation about Rocky Mountain Construction during the lift hill, and on the final brake run we began discussing Intamin — interestingly enough, he was a ride operator for Kingda Ka so this guy mentioned quite a bit about the unreliability of their creations — but, I’m getting ahead of myself. After the tunnel dive, the train soars right over the Zambia Smokehouse — a place I’d had meals at during a few of my many Busch Gardens Tampa visits when I used to live in the area — and hits the splashdown. I may or may not have gotten hit by a few droplets of water at this time. After a large rise, the train spiraled into the final helix. It was here that I caught a distinct view of RMC Gwazi’s purple track with my own eyes, albeit for a split second as we hit the final brake run. SheiKra is definitely the 3rd best coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, merely behind the sheer greatness of Kumba and Montu but ahead of Cheetah Hunt, Scorpion, Cobra’s Curse and Sand Serpent. It is a thrilling ride with some great views and good floater airtime. It’s definitely worth your time, if you happen to be at Busch Gardens Tampa.

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    First Drop Duration Harness Disappointing! Dead spots

    Admittedly, I used to loathe this ride very much. This is because I thought it was very overrated for a long time; I still do, but to a lesser extent. Cheetah Hunt is a pretty good launch coaster, albeit lacking the snappy transitions, wild airtime and insane G’s of its Ohioan cousin (Maverick, my 3rd favorite coaster). The first boost of acceleration into that overbanked turn is nothing much, merely a slight kick to start things off. The dive into the second launch provides some laterals and then you are pushed back into your seat, only to be lifted out of it at the top of that figure-8 hill. I remembered floater airtime being there, but I got some pretty substantially sustained airtime at that part of Cheetah Hunt to my surprise. The winding part at the top of the hill gives a nice panoramic view of Busch Garden Tampa, but you are lifted out of your seat once more as the train dives into a trench. An awkward straight section ensues as Cheetah Hunt clears the railroad tracks, followed by a gently twisting airtime hill over the skyride. The heartline roll provides a split second of hangtime, but it is interrupted by a mid course brake run. You’re whipped to the side as the train dives into the quarry that Rhino Rally — As a young one, this was my favorite ride at Busch Gardens; it was a jeep tour ride with an awesome collapsing bridge scene and enjoyable narrative — used to travel through. After some trim brakes and a sharp turn, Cheetah Hunt zigzags between the rocks in a thrilling series of back-and-forth S-curves — my personal favorite moment on the ride — and curves around into the third and final launch. The Maverick-esque airtime hill immediately following it provides a great pop of ejector airtime, followed up by another awkward section — a series of S-curve hills with no reminiscence of force, airtime or whip whatsoever. And at long last, Cheetah Hunt ends with a hop into the final brake run. All in all, Cheetah Hunt is a very solid ride. It straddles the line between a family-thrill coaster and an all-out thrill machine carefully, meaning that this coaster has much inconsistence in its layout — some moments, like the rise up the first hill with sustained floater airtime, heartline roll, S-curves in the rockwork and sharp airtime hill after the third launch are flat-out awesome, and more what you’d expect from an amazing ride like Maverick or Storm Runner — however, other parts of Cheetah Hunt appear much more tailored to the families; some that come to mind are the figure-8 element at the top of the first hill, the pointless meandering sections just before the second launch and final brake run, as well as the gently twisted hill that hops over the skyride. Cheetah Hunt is definitely far from being a bad coaster; however, when one inevitably associates it with top-tier Intamin rides like Maverick, Storm Runner, Skyrush and Intimidator 305, it pales in comparison.

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    Comfort Pace Fun Dead spots

    Autosled is a solid family coaster that provides some great and close interactions to other attractions at Galaxyland — the new for 2018 HAVOC, Galaxy Orbiter, the kid’s play area and even the park’s train ride! This coaster can be somewhat jerky at points, most notably the part just after the lift hill; however, it delivers a mostly smooth and very relaxing experience that families will love. Autosled is the only Zierer Tivoli I have ever ridden.

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    Pace Intensity Layout Rattle

    The first time I rode this coaster, I loathed it. Thunderhead, in any other seat other than the front, is a rough, painful and unenjoyable ride. In the front, it’s a masterpiece! Laterals and pacing galore as well as a nice sustained bit of sideways floater air, and the station flyby is fun during the ride but REALLY loud for those waiting in the station.

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    Airtimes Theming Discomfort Dead spots

    Gemini is a solid coaster with some decent pops of airtime. However, the transitions are a bit jarring and the majority of the layout is your generic ‘70s wooden coaster flair — lots of outs & backs in a row. I think some theming, even putting some decor in the center of Gemini (around where the ending helix is) would do this coaster a lot of good.

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    Capacity Location Dead spots Layout

    It’s a fairly decent coaster as far as mine trains go. I didn’t loathe this one, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it either. I did it for the credit!

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    Pace Rattle Disappointing! Intensity

    Raptor, from what I was told, was one of the best B&M inverts. However, this was not the case. Maybe it was that my 90 minute wait for this coaster was the longest I would endure on my 7 parks in 8 days road trip, or that Raptor wasn’t particularly forceful like other B&M inverts, or that it had a bit of a rattle? Either way, I wasn’t a big fan of this coaster.

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    Airtimes Location Comfort Intensity

    If you are going in expecting an intense coaster — you will be disappointed. Apollo’s Chariot delivers superbly on the airtime scale, and nearly every hill on the second half (with at least some room) will throw you out of your seat! This coaster has a beautiful setting chasing right along the Rhine River, with the first three airtime hills that line it giving some very good floater airtime. The drop off the midcourse is taken quickly resulting in some pretty powerful ejector air, as is the 50ft ravine dive finale. This is my 2nd favorite coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, second only to Alpengeist.

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    Location Fun Headbanging

    Loch Ness Monster was the first coaster I rode at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It’s the best Arrow looper I have ever ridden, beating Tennessee Tornado by a slim margin due to its surprisingly intense interlocking loops and the awesome helix-that-goes-on-forever in a faux cavern. However, the worst moment of the ride is the ascent just after the second loop; I hit my head pretty hard on the restraint, so thank goodness the ride hit the brake run right then and there. The hill and turn that wraps around the Land of the Dragons kids area is not super enjoyable either. All in all, the scenic setting along the Rhine river combined with aforementioned reasons above make Lochy a pretty fun classic coaster.

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    Airtimes Location Fun Lap Bar

    Goliath is a top 10 coaster for me. It delivers great airtime on every hill (most notably, the hill that hops over the train tracks) and the helix delivers some decent intensity. I love how this coaster creatively goes outside the park and weaves its way back in. However... the ride operators are very strict on this coaster, and have stapled me on all but one time on Goliath (hence the 4.5-star rating, from that single outstanding lap)!