Highlighting the Low Points
Usually my lowest rated coasters and worst experiences involve a painful ride. Sure coasters, especially wooden ones, should throw you around a bit and I don’t consider myself fragile or pain averse. But some rides I’ve experienced were just unforgivably rough or suffered from terrible park operations and maintenance. Here are the Top 3 Worst Experiences I’ve ever had on a coaster:

Predator at Six Flags Darien Lake

After being greeted by a monument to theme park vandalism in Predator’s queue, I wondered whether Darien Lake cared how their park looked. Nevermind that, I thought, on to the ride. About half way up the lift hill, the train came to a stop. After the break down, I was rewarded with a rough, badly paced ride. Check out my full review.

Exterminator at Kennywood
Exterminator is a dark ride housed in a themed building at Kennywood. The ride was dark which I was excited about, but after a while we just began spinning over and over. All I remember is darkness and spinning with no or breaks, pacing, or the ability to see any theming. When we got out of the ride, we noticed a woman that rode with us that almost fell as she was getting off. It was very disorientating, and not in a good way. We looked like we were walking away from a car crash or something. I’m not sure what the designers were thinking.

Cyclone at Six Flags New England
The chipped white paint and overall aging appearance should’ve tipped me off, but nothing could prepare me for this ride. I got off this monstrosity holding my lower back. I felt more like 62 than 26. From the impersonable teens running the ride to the chipped paint to the single train operation with it’s back seat roped off. Forgive me all you hardcore woodie fans, I don’t know this coaster from its hallowed past as the ‘Riverside Cyclone’. So it gets no points from me for its rep. All I have to judge it by is the rough, painful, trim break heavy trip I took on this demolition candidate.

What was your worst coaster experience? Ever been stuck on a ride? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

56 Responses

  1. XYZ

    I was lucky many times. I've seen people stuck on Flight Deck/Top Gun and Delirium numerous times. Though, they were only stuck for a few minutes.

    Of course, everyone is thinking about people being stuck on Invertigo for hours while reading my post.

  2. Surya

    I rode the Cyclone in SFNE in may, and part of it was very rough, the other part was refurbished with what looked like the new Rocky Mountain topper track and that part was really excellent!

    • Quil

      Hopefuly they'll fix up the other part as well. I love old woodies, but The SFNE Cyclone was way too rough.

  3. Adam Myers

    Rolling Thunder @ Six Flags Great Adventure: This Is probably the worst Roller Coaster in America if not the world. i just rode it for the 4th time last week, and let me tell you it was down right painfull, irritating, and not fun at all. first of all its hard to know which track you're gonna end up on because the entrance isnt marked at all, and if you have a flash pass you cant even choose they just put you on the right track. Anyway the trains are extremely uncomfortable and the "buzz" bar does nothing to keep you secure and the seatbelt is so hard to get to close. The ride stars of with a mild non banked turn out of the exit which make a slight screaching sound and then you go up the small lift hill which takes what seems like forever to get to the top, and then you finally go down the hill which starts shaking and rattling you like a magic #8 ball. it doesent even feel like the trains are attached to the track. on the turn even though there is a seat seperater between the two seats it doesn't do anything to keep you seperated. and after a bunch of uncomfortable hills you reach what i call the banchi turn which literally sounds like banchis screaching in your ears and is extremely rough. Finally you hit the brakes and this awfull ride ends overall if i could rate this ride it would be in the negatives. i pray that they will demolish this ride within the next 3 years.

  4. Jack

    I've got 3.

    A few years ago, when i was 9, I was at BG williamsburg. I'd already done Griffon in the back, and it was great, but in line the next time, my dad went to the front. He said he'd let me walk through, he pushed me in my seat and my mom slammed the restrains shut. I begged them to let me off, but the ride started. I ended loving it, but the lift hill was torture, I was crying the whole way.

    Mean Streak is crazy rough, when I got off of that, my back was killing me. I can't believe that hasn't been said yet.

    One time, I was on a El Toro, and half-way up the list, the train stalled. It stayed there for a second, than dropped. We went down. The anti-rollback kicked in, and we just kept going like nothing happened

  5. judsun

    Corkscrew at Cedar Point was the first looping coaster I ever rode – probably 1979. I rode it about 20 times that day and loved it. But the Corkscrew at Geauga Lake banged my head back and forth into the shoulder harness like a pinball. That was either the same year or the year after – can't really remember.

    I'm pretty sure those were manufactured by the same company – same trains, same track, same over the shoulder harnesses. At least that I how remember it. Not sure why one was so much rougher than the other.

    The Texas Cyclone at (RIP) Astroworld was a very rough ride as well, but I still loved it.

  6. Coaster Nut

    Definitely Mean Streak at Cedar Point. I've never felt so beaten up by a coaster. It tosses you around like a rag doll. I don't mind a rough ride, but this was ridiculous. It gave me aches in my back, neck, chest, and shoulders. Ouch! While there was an hour-long line to get on the nearby Maverick, there was NO LINE for Mean Streak in the middle of the day. Gee, I wonder why?

  7. Dan

    The Exterminator is fun, but I'm wondering why they bothered with all the theming when you are spinning through most of it. You can't see anything. Oh, and the dip right before the station? Very dumb. I went over that sideways. That hurt a bit as I got slammed into the side of the car.

  8. Alex Fahner

    My worst coaster experience was Flight Deck at Canada's Wonderland. It hurts every time I go on.

  9. RC lover

    I think my worst experience on a ride was the Dare Devil Dive at six flags,Georgia. It takes you up so slow and you're completely sideways and it hits your back to the seat for like 2 minutes on the way up.

    • Martin

      Wow, I rode that today and loved it. The lift hill takes about 15 secs…the rest of the ride is very average, but not a bad experience.

  10. @mattmcirvin

    The closest I've come to being stuck was a few weeks ago on the kiddie Polar Coaster at Story Land: some kid dropped his hat on the track immediately after boarding the train, so we sat in the station while they got a guy who was authorized to fish it out.

  11. Bobbie Butterfield

    Anaconda at Kings Dominion would probably be my choice among the coasters I rode during the past year. The ride got off to a good enough start with a drop into an underwater tunnel but the first two inversions were painfully rough. I got knocked about mercilessly and who needs it?

  12. BizarroFanatic

    My worst roller coaster experience was on the Grizzly at Kings Dominion. After the drop of the first hill, my seatbelt came undone. On the slow turn I tried to buckle it back up, I did but right after the next drop it came undone AGAIN. At this point I just resorted to clinging around the lap bar with 1 hand and trying to buckle my seatbelt with another hand. I told the operator what happend and he refused to check my seatbelt because he thought I was jerking on my seatbelt to make it become undone. I will never do any roller coaster without a seatbelt or a coaster that has a seatbelt like the ones on Grizzly and Hurler.

  13. Bobbie

    My worst coaster experience happened on Mind Eraser at Six Flags New England. This coaster was so rough – on my head, neck and shoulders – that I couldn’t wait for the ride to end. I actually had no problem at all with Cyclone at the same park. My second worst coaster experience was on Maverick because I got stuck on the lift hill for almost 45 minutes and became ill as a result, in addition to getting a severe sunburn. Ironically, once Maverick was back up and running, it turned out to be one of my best coaster experiences.

  14. Koolcat

    The blue streak at Cedar Point because the lap bar doesn’t seem to work and the ride is uncomfortable.

  15. Shane

    Worst coaster experiences:
    1. Wildcat Hersheypark
    2. Corkscrew Canobie Lake Park

  16. Judy P in Pgh

    Sometimes women forget painful things, like childirth ;), so I made a special mental note that the following were on the BOTTOM of my list for painful reasons: Predator, Darien Lake; Timber Wolf, Worlds of Fun (comes with a warning sign at the entrance and a “chicken exit” on the platform); Gwazi, Busch Gardens, Tampa (Tiger and Lion sides were both so bad that I rode multiple times in different seats, convinced that it HAD to get better. It didn’t,) Ninja and Carolina Cyclone, both at Six Flags over Georgia; SkyRush at HersheyPark, which left documented bruises on my thighs, along with Wildcat; Wild Beast, Canada’s Wonderland; Hyperonic XLC at King’s Dominion (headache!); and the 2014 addition to the list, Hellcat at Clementon Park where the maintenance crew told us “we only ride in the FRONT. Front was bad, back was worse and middle was excruciatingly painful!

    The Voyage is incredibly intense and beat the crap out of me 2 years ago, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to believe that.

    No “bottom” list would be complete without Mean Streak, Cedar Point.


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