Top 3 Thursdays!Reader DC suggested I write the antithesis of Top 3 Worst Roller Coaster Experiences, my all-time favorite roller coaster rides. I’ve ridden over 200 roller coasters and had probably over a thousand actual rides. Of those rides these are the three that stand out the most.

3 – A Train of Our Own On Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake (Fall 2005)
I do a lot of solo trips, so it was fun visiting Geauga Lake back in 2005 with a partner in crime for a change. I cleverly inserted a trip to the park in our plans to go to travel to Eastern Ohio for a wedding. It’s a good thing that I did as the park closed for good only a few years later.

It was a dreary, chilly Sunday in the Fall. Geauga Lake was pretty empty and we rode nearly everything there with almost no wait. The woodie, Raging Wolf Bobs surprised me with its pretty smooth and interesting course. I braced for the worst my whole way through the first ride and was surprised to find that I could pretty much let go and just enjoy the ride. My wife wasn’t a big fan of wooden coasters and I had been abused enough over the years that I was pretty shell-shocked. Raging Wolf Bobs was a kind of diamond in the rough. We rode it at least three times and at times we had the train to ourselves. Later, I found out that the ride had received some extensive rehab. So anyone who may have ridden before this time may have had a much rougher experience.

Raging Wolf Bobs - Geauga Lake

While she doesn’t keep a top ten list, I’ve reminded my wife for years after that trip that her number one woodie was Raging Wolf Bobs. Read my Geauga Lake posts to learn about its relocated rides and its demise.

Demon at Six Flags Great America

2 – A Shockingly Fun Ride on Demon at Six Flags Great America (Summer 2006)
The 30 year old Arrow Looper known as Demon is not a showstopper by any means, but it did almost overshadow my ride’s on the Great America’s main attraction Raging Bull. I was just so impressed and caught off guard by the ride’s unusual smoothness (it’s not a B&M, but for it’s age it was great) and the fun, campy Demon theme. I loved that the park was still playing the 70’s theme song in the station. The highlight was the short tunnel with disco-lights that kind of follow you as you zoom through it. I also liked the corkscrew right by the waterfall of blood. Everything was dated, but well-executed and a lot of fun for this looping coaster fan. Read my full Demon at Six Flags Great America review.

1 – Unforgettable Night Rides on The Beast at Kings Island (Summer 2007)
After years of anticipation I finally made the trip to Kings Island and took on the legendary Beast. Just as I’d heard, the massive terrain coaster took me on an unreal adventure through the Ohio wilderness. I know that some aren’t a fan of its circuit, but I found it amazing and unlike anything else. Maybe I’ve made coasters like it on Roller Coaster Tycoon years ago. Or maybe it was a lot like the imaginary coasters I daydream about, but flying through the woods at night with no like but the moonlight and fireflies decorating the trees was easily one of the best coaster experiences of my life. Read my full review of The Beast at Kings Island.

What’s Your Take?
What are your all-time favorite roller coaster rides? Was it about the people you rode with or the ride that the roller coaster delivered? Chime in by leaving a comment below. Images courtesy of Coaster Image.

25 Responses

  1. Matt

    Maverick at cedar point, el toro at six flags great adventure. Both of these rides were some of my favorite because they exceeded my expectations for them. For Maverick, I thought it was a family coaster or that it was going to be boring. However, after riding I was very shocked to know it was a very fun and awesome ride. It was my second favorite ride at cedar point, and is now in my top 5 favorites. For El Toro, i thought it was going to be a rough and old woodie(i did not know it was made only a few years earlier in 2006). It blew me away with the smoothness and high level of intensity. El Toro is also in my top 5. P.S. Glad to see another top 3 thursday.

    Reply
  2. Prof.BAM

    My favorite experience on a ride was probably my first trip on Valleyfair!'s hypercoaster Wild Thing. I say so because I rode with my aunt and she kept swearing all the way out, and back.

    Reply
  3. Quil

    My favorite coaster experience was when I rode Bizzaro for the first time at night. The sound was broken, but the fire and light effects were working fine, and at night, it was awsome.

    Reply
    • MDC

      Bizarro at night is awesome (and the sound was broken when I rode it too, which is a good thing).

      Reply
  4. coastercrazy 9

    Nitro at six flags great adventure at night is amazing, especially the helix near the ground.

    Reply
  5. Trent

    Mine would have to be Top Thrill Dragster at 10:00 at night, I was in the second row and when we got to the top I could see all of the lights from the rides in the park, it was awesome.

    Reply
  6. L.J.

    ~Grizzly at Kings Dominion at night is amazing as you rocket through the forest!

    ~Volcano: the Blast Coaster was sure euphoria for me the launch, the loops, everything!!!!

    ~Who can forget Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia, one of my favorite rides!!!

    ~I rode scream machine and was veerry impressed by the fact that it has aged well. It is extremely fun with all the airtime and speed and it wont break your neck!!

    Reply
  7. Frank

    I consider myself a coaster junkie, I plan all my vacations around theme parks. What might be the best coaster ride ever was when I visited Cedar Point Halloween time in 06 and rode Millenium Force, great ride. What I would consider second to that is riding Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa. Montu surprised me with the multiple inversions and dips close to the ground it felt like the coaster was going straight underground it was incredible!

    Reply
  8. Dom

    Air in the dark. Love it. You have no idea where the ground is, and you end up very disorientated, especially when you go through tunnels..

    Reply
  9. DC

    Just three? After over five decades of riding these incredible scream machines, picking out just three outstanding experiences is difficult at best. Initially I’d have to eliminate one-time anomalies, such as rain-slicked, overly greasy tracks (The Wild One) or just sheer darkness of a moonless night ride. (The Raven)

    Here goes, in no particular order. Shivering Timbers, because of the insane number of hills and subsequent airtime (Green train, front car, last seat); Nitro, for the sheer freedom of the minimal restraints and a pitch black night and Millennium Force because that put me over 300’ for the first time and was glass smooth, fast and infinity re-rideable. (It’s tied with Intimidator 305 for basically the same reasons.) This list could change at a moments notice, as there are dozens of excellent candidates I’ve ridden.

    Just three? Sigh… Maybe next we should do a personal top 40 list, like Billboard Magazine.

    Reply
  10. Jenn

    My favorite coaster experience has to be The Millennium Force at Cedar Point . The best at dusk or in the dark.

    Reply
  11. Dave

    Mine would have to be The Beast at night as well. I have rode it at night around 20 times. My very favorite ride was when it started to rain right as we rolled out of the station. I remember roaring through the woods way faster than usual, and when the ride was over i was soaked. Theres just nothing else like it…

    Reply
  12. eric

    I think the only memorable coaster experiences happened just this year.

    1. Knott's Xcelerator is at the top just because it was my first coaster that topped 200' and went over 80 mph. The fastest I had been on beforehand only went up to 50 and the tallest I had been on beforehand only went up to 160'. It was just perfect for me XD

    2. I rode three floorless coasters in the East coast (Hydra, Bizarro, and Dominator). Here's the funny side of it; while I was riding them, a rain storm just happened to pass over each individual theme park. It hurt having rain drops pelting my face at high speeds. Nonetheless, all three of them were amazing. I don't think it could've been any better.

    3. Phantom's Revenge was the best airtime-filled experience of my life. End of Story. XD

    Reply
  13. Jack

    my favorites are millennium force,magnum XL 200,Bizzaro six flags new England,and silver star

    Reply
  14. Andrew

    just went to king's island last week and i always save the beast for last for that exact reason. we were the last ride of the night and my friend and i started yelling "Uno mas!!" and got the whole train to yell to send us again. They did and we got to ride it twice in a row in the pitch black. Nothing beats it.

    Reply
  15. RC lover

    3. Mr.Freeze-St.Louis,Missouri because it had bold features and interesting curves,and it went backwards! Such an incredible ride, I agree you should deff ride!!!!!
    2.Achrophobia-Atlanta,Georgia because it is an instant thriller with the originial leaning out seat with the incredible drop speed is just amazing!!!
    1. Top Thrill Dagster-Cedar Point, Ohio because it shoots off to 120 mph in 2 seconds with the 426 ft. tall with the cork screw while coming down. It’s my favorite and with always be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  16. Jack

    top 3 #3 diamondback by the way why aren't you going on the diamondback

    #2 millennium force

    #1 (tie) Maverick and Magnum XL 200

    Reply
  17. Cp guy

    3. Tie X Flight at great America and Magnum XL 200 Cedar Point

    2. Millenium Force Cedar Point

    1. Top Thrill Dragster … Race for the sky Cedar Point

    Reply
  18. Coaster Nut

    3. Maverick – Cedar Point
    2. Millenium Force – Cedar Point
    1. Intimidator 305 – King’s Dominion
    I absolutely love I-305 because it is a great combination of my next two favorite coasters. It has the speed of Millenium Force (along with a 305-foot first drop) and the twists and turns of Maverick.

    Reply

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