Does Theming on a Coaster Matter? | Theme Park Round Table
News Plus Notes provided this week’s topic. NPN posed the question: “Does theming on a coaster matter?”

I’m going to surprise even myself and say no. My answer is really more of a ‘yes, but…’. Let me explain. Theming on a coaster is something that I’m quick to give points for. It can take a ride from mediocre to memorable. But, I can’t think of a time where it can take a coaster that would be a ‘5’ to a ‘9’ or even an ‘8’.

While I really enjoy the Egyptian theming on Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa, it doesn’t completely affect my overall opinion of the ride. To me, theming is like seasoning a dish. If you start with a sirloin and add the perfect seasoning, you’ve got a winning dish, but the sirloin would still be quite tasty without it. And inversely, seasoning a gross dish usually doesn’t make up for its grossness.

Also, my top 10 coasters are a bunch of great rides with just a pinch of theming. And in some there’s nearly none at all like in the case of Cedar Point’s Magnum XL-200. While I really enjoy theming, no amount of theming could equal Magnum’s wild, almost soulful ride. It’s like it has a personality. Theming can add a lot to the experience of riding a roller coaster, but in the end it all comes down to the quality of the ride.

See what the other bloggers have to say on this week’s topic:
A Walk in the Park
Theme Park Village
News Plus Notes

What’s your take? Does coaster theming matter to you? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

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

5 Responses

  1. Matthew

    In my opinion, theming a roller coaster makes it a whole lot better. Take Alpengeist. It has what i think is the best theming in the world and its the number 1 inverted roller coaster. Also thats what Disney World is made of. Every ride they have there is themed and i like that. But Alpengeist is the best themed roller coaster in the world, well in my opinion.

  2. Tom

    I think it depends on the coaster. Space mountain, for exaple, would be a terrible ride without theming. But rides like Termanator salvation: the ride would still be a great ride without themeing.

  3. Quil

    I agree whith Tom on that one, space mountain is one of my favorite rides, but if you dropped the themeing, it would br plain boring.


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