As soon as Texas Giant’s redesign was announced I, like many, wondered two things. First, I wondered if it would be successful? Having ridden Texas Giant last week, I can say with first-hand experience that it was a massive success. I gave it a 10 out of 10 and it entered my Top 10 list. Read my full Texas Giant review.
Secondly, I thought about which other woodies should get the steel track overhaul. That question is even more pertinent now that the Giant’s transformation went so well. Once other parks catch wind of the Six Flags Over Texas’ 2011 attendance numbers, rave reviews from park guests who had written off the ride, and all of the buzz on the Web, I’d have to think that they’ll start looking at their old rough woodies with low ridership and complaints as an upcoming project. They could bring in Rocky Mountain Construction and have them revitalize a park landmark and turn a weakness into a strength.
Anyway, I figured it’d be fun to pick the next wooden coaster to go steel. I’ll start the list with first three that I came up with.
Nominee #1 Son of Beast at Kings Island Why Son of Beast? Son of Beast has been plagued by incidents and closings for years including a lawsuit that was recently settled. It was involved in an accident from 2006 that injured 27 people. The record-breaking woodie was closed in 2010 and will remain closed in 2011. I’m no engineer and I haven’t even ridden Son of Beast as it was closed when I went to Kings Island, but I’d have to think that an-all steel track redesign would make its layout less dangerous.[poll id=”29″]
Nominee #2 Mean Streak at Cedar Point Why Mean Streak? To me, wood has been a weakness in Cedar Point’s celebrated lineup mostly thanks to the enormous, but rough and head ache-inducing Mean Streak. Scan my review and the 30+ comments below it and you’ll see words like: “rough”, “head-ache”, “downright painful”, “intense pain”, “sore”, & “craptitude” over and over again. Well, that last word is only in there once, but you get the point.
Nominee #3 GhostRider at Knotts Berry Farm Why GhostRider? At only 13 years old(!) GhostRider’s a textbook example of how woodies can go bad pretty fast. I don’t remember a whole lot from my ride other than it being painful and just too rough to be enjoyable. Knott’s seemed to be a bit limited on space for expansion and renovating GhostRider would allow them to add a new attraction without having to deal with the space constraints.
Nominee #4 Grizzly at Kings Dominion Why Grizzly? My old favorite has definitely seen better days. The ride’s signature tunnel with that swooping turn is quite painful now. I’d be all for a steel makeover, I’m just not sure if it’s enough of a ‘main attraction’ for Kings Dominion to put that much money in it.
Nominee #5 Wildcat at Hersheypark Why Wildcat? Riding Hersheypark’s Wildcat back in 2006 was one of the roughest rides I can remember. I was familiar with similar woodie Roar at Six Flags America, so after realizing how rough the ride was going I braced myself for the rides most intense transition and still paid the price. I gave it a 3.5 (Bad) and many of the 20+ comments agreed. But, others have said that the ride has gotten smoother in recent years. Read my full Wildcat at Hersheypark review.[poll id=”33″]
Nominee #6 Boss at Six Flags St. Louis Why Boss? I can’t say that I know much about Boss and I’ve never ridden it, but it received enough nominations from the readers so it’ll be the sixth and final nominee.[poll id=”34″]
UPDATE – Nominations are now closed. Thanks to the readers for nominating the last three roller coasters. I’ve added Yes/No polls to each of the nominees and voting will be open until 5/15. So, let’s see which of these roller coasters will be voted most and least deserving of an Iron Horse makeover.
What’s Your Take?
Which woodies deserve a steel reboot like Texas Giant’s? Nominate another woodie and be sure to state why you think it could use a similar upgrade. If a minimum of three commenters agree, I’ll add that coaster to the list. Once the list is done, I’ll create a poll and we’ll vote for the most deserving woodie to go steel. Images courtesy of CoasterImage and Naystin