Most Overrated Roller Coasters

Most Overrated Roller Coasters: Which Roller Coasters Can’t Live Up to the Hype?
Manhattan Express at New York New York Hotel & Casino - Las VegasThere are roller coasters that are very highly regarded. Some of these rides deserve their status, while others are way over hyped or overrated in my opinion. “Overrated” lists will always be controversial as everyone has their own take on which rides are good and even which rides are as good as advertised. While I’ve thought about doing a post like this before, I was prompted again by Judy passing along Arthur Levine at About Theme Park’s List. His list is roller coasters that didn’t live up to the hype. He describes hype as being from the parks or from theme park fans.

Arthur Levine’s list includes: Time Machine, High Roller, Kingda Ka, Hypersonic XLC, Dark Knight (Great America & Great Adventure), Goliath (Magic Mountain), Manhattan Express, Son of Beast, Beast.

I invite you to visit his list to learn Levine’s rationale behind each pick. Before I even clicked through to read his list, I decided to make my own so that I wasn’t biased in any way by his picks. But, I made my list based on my own interpretation of overrated: roller coasters that are regarded higher than they should be. This doesn’t mean that these are not good roller coasters, but they have a somewhat bloated reputation that they don’t really live up to.

Here’s my list of the Most Overrated Roller Coasters:

Ghost Rider at Knotts Berry Farm
Ghost Rider may just be a victim of time. When I rode it in 2008, it was one of the roughest and jerkiest rides of the year. It may have deserved its status years ago, but not anymore. Sadly, I know that West coast enthusiasts don’t have too many wooden coasters to really enjoy and be proud of. So the hype around Ghost Rider could be based on the wooden coaster vaccuum out West. Hopefully Terminator Salvation helped to fill that void somewhat.

Raven at Holiday World
I love Holiday World, but I’ve never understood the crazy enthusiast infatuation for this woodie. It is a terrain ride, which I can definitely appreciate. And when I rode it, Raven was fairly smooth and fun, but it had a ridiculously lofty reputation for what it is. In a way, I’m glad that it was so celebrated as it helped put Holiday World on the map. But at the end of the day I’m still puzzled as to why Raven is so loved. I got off a bit underwhelmed.

Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain
A Goliath Dissapointment at Six Flags Magic MountainGoliath is about the 125,000th example of bigger not always being better. Sure it’s larger than a number of other hyper coasters in the States, but it flat out doesn’t deliver. The first drop isn’t steep enough and the twister layout has one airless hump-shaped hill. The remainder is a set of helices that would be fun if the g-forces weren’t so strong. If you don’t mind blacking out (or maybe just graying out if you’re lucky) then Goliath might no be so bad for you. I’d like to save my brain cells, so for me, Goliath’s size, but lackluster layout fell way short of the hype. Read my full Goliath review.

Kingda Ka (& Likely Top Thrill Dragster)
While it’s no doubt an insane experience to be rocketed to 128mph in only a few seconds, Kingda Ka is not the roller coaster it’s hyped to be. It’s way too short an experience to mentioned in the same breath as the best of the best in the World. While I haven’t ridden Top Thrill Dragster, all indications would allow me to include it as well. I know that the consensus is that it’s better than Kingda Ka (because of the lap bars), but in my opinion these Strata coasters are more thrill rides than full-fledged top notch roller coasters like The Voyage or Apollo’s Chariot. In the 2009 Golden Ticket Awards, Top Thrill Dragster was ranked as the 10th Best Steel Coaster in the World. I find that hard to believe. Read my Kingda Ka review and the Kingda Ka vs. Top Thrill Dragster showdown where my readers gave Top Thrill the edge.

Millennium Force at Cedar PointIs this Millennium Force's Sole Airtime Hill?
Before I start my explanation, I would like to ask anyone who hails from the great Buckeye state, Michigan, parts of Indiana, and Western PA to take a deep breath. Here goes. Your beloved giga coaster doesn’t live up to its lofty reputation. It almost does. I gave it a 9 out of 10. But the lack of airtime is the ride’s down fall. With a layout that (in theory) is meant to provide air, it did not deliver when I rode it. I know some disagree and others agree. I’m looking forward to getting back to Cedar Point one day so that I can give Millennium Force another try. If it had half the aitime of Bizarro (S:ROS at SFNE) than it would probably be a 10 and in my opinion deserve it’s status. But, BIG and FAST, wasn’t enough for me. Read my full Millennium Force review.

Formerly Overrated, Now Just Scrap Candidates
Hypersonic XLC may be more of a regionally hyped ride, but it was nonetheless hyped to be a bigger deal than it actually was. Thankfully, the five blink-long XLC has been scrapped so the debate over the ride is pretty much over. Cedar Point’s Mean Streak was a huge dissapointment, but I think the word is out enough on that ride to where it’s not rated highly enough to say it’s overrated. I haven’t ridden Son of Beast, so I can’t speak from my own personal experiences. But again all indications would lead me to believe that it was very overrated. Son of Beast has been much hyped over the years, but has suffered many breakdowns, caused a lawsuit even after it was de-looped, and has been hammered by enthusiasts.

What’s Your Take?
There’s plenty to discuss here. What do you think of my list and Arthur Levine’s list? Do you agree or disagree? Which roller coasters do you think are overrated? Leave a comment below. Some images courtesy of CoasterImage.