Montu vs Alpengeist - Roller Coaster ShowdownFor this roller coaster showdown I’m pitting two of the most popular inverted roller coasters against each other. In a kind of sibling rivalry battle, sister coasters Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will face off against Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa. I guess you can file this heavyweight match up under ‘so obvious that I didn’t think of it.’ Thanks to reader Guilherme for suggesting it. As with past showdowns, I’ll go element by element picking a winner each time. And then, I’ll pick an overall winner. This will be a tough showdown as I’ve given them both my highest rating, a 10 (Superior). Here we go.

Theme – Snowy German Alps vs. Dry, Sandy Egypt
Both rides have above average roller coaster theming elements. Alpengeist is in the beatifully green and wooded Busch Gardens Williamsburg. So, to simulate the snowy theme, there are rocky areas that are painted white, skis attached to the trains, statues of skiers, and a tunnel themed as if a skier flew threw it. The concept an out of control ski lift for an inverted coaster makes a lot of sense, but I have always likened Alpengeist more to flight because of its speed and intensity.

Montu’s Egyptian theme is top-notch. There are Egyptian ruins all around, the pathways are a lighter concrete (simulates sand), and Florida’s natural tropical foliage seems to fit in really well. Plus, the ride’s subterranean trenches have the same ancient bricks as the ruins. It all just fits together perfectly. Even though a bigfoot or yeti-like snow beast is much more familiar than Montu, an Egyptian god of war, Montu’s overall theme is much better executed.
Edge: Montu

Lift & First Drop – An Adventurous High Altitude Climb vs. Is That My Car?Alpengeist - Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Intamin10
Alpengeist’s lift hill is mammoth in size. On the way up you have the incredible experience of seeing these huge trees shrink and shrink as you look down through your feet.  It feels every bit as high as the listed 195-feet tall. Even taller really. And the swooping drop has a jet-like acceleration as that large vehicle (your securely seated in) tries to break the sound barrier. 67 mph on Alpengeist feels very, very fast and that’s why I call this ride the F-22 of Roller Coasters.

Meanwhile, Montu’s lift is angled towards the outside of the park. It’s one of the only times you don’t feel so fully immersed in the ride. Also, the drop is pretty pedestrian for an inverted coaster. Seeing the parking lot and a quick glimpse of cars whizzing by can’t compare to Alpie’s high-altitude, high speed opening.
Edge: Alpengeist 

Overall Layout: High Altitude Speed & Power vs. Pacing Perfection & Subterranean DivesMontu at Busch Gardens Tampa
After the aforementioned 170′ plunge sends Alpengeist’s train to what feels like about Mach 1, a well-placed Immelmann returns you to the skies with a twist. Then another high-altitude inversion follows via a vertical loop. Next, it’s off to the Rhine River to meet up with neighboring mythical creatures Loch Ness and Griffon. There, the ride gets its roughest with mid-air cobra roll (interestingly, the opposite of the below-ground batwing on Montu). The ride slows a bit and comes back to earth after a brake run. It finishes with a corkscrew and a helix after a drop through a little themed “hole” by the log flume and a zero-g roll.

Montu’s succession of loops is one of Bolliger & Mabillard’s finest works of art. There’s not a foot of track that I would change. The flow of the ride is near perfect. Montu’s layout includes: lift hill, 128′ drop, 104′ tall Loop, a tunnel, a graceful Immelmann near the ruins, a never disappointing Zero-G Roll, a rare buried batwing, a smaller 60′ tall Loop, and a memorable Corkscrew during the ‘Death Star’ run. I really do love the size and power of Alpengeist (hence it’s high rating in my top ten roller coasters), but Montu’s layout is near perfect.
Edge: Montu

Overall Showdown Winner
So Montu gets the win in this roller coaster showdown. I’m still a huge fan of Alpengeist and there’s really no loser between these two world-class roller coasters.
Overall Winner: Montu 

Bonus Round: Mythical Mascot Showdown – Hawk-Headed Egyptian God of War vs. Snow Beast of the AlpsMontu vs Alpengeist - Roller Coaster Showdown - Mascots
In a mythical cage match between these two, I’d have to put my money on Montu’s god-like abilities. The furry snow beast does look pretty intimidating to a mere mortal like myself, but it’d be no match for a god.
Mascot Winner: Montu

Read other roller coaster showdowns. And, check out my full Alpengeist and Montu reviews. I often compare Alpie to flying in a plane or jet, read pilot and coaster enthusiast Joel Rogers’ ( thoughts on flying versus roller coasters: Interview with Joel from Coaster Gallery Talks Photos and Flying.

What’s Your Take?
Do you agree with my winner? Who do you pick in this showdown? Suggest another showdown? Leave a comment below. Photos 1, 2, 3 via (Creative Commons) – Flickr Users Maulim, Sigsegv, & Intamin10. Photo 4 courtesy of

24 Responses

  1. Matt

    I am very gald to see you do another showdown. Even you said that you didn't do any last year. This was great and was very in depth. Good job! I am suprised Montu won because in your top 10 Alpengeist is rated higher. I rode Alpengeist, now I really want to ride Montu! I suggest for another showdown: El Toro vs The Voyage.

    • The Coaster Critic

      Thanks Matt. To be honest, I was surprised Montu won too. To make my top ten, I just think to myself: "Which would I rather ride?" So it might be that I like Alpengeist better, but Montu's a better ride. But, since my top ten is supposed to be the best roller coasters I've ridden, Montu should technically move up one. And I might just do that. They're both 10's and both right next to each other in my list. So, it wouldn't be a big change. That's what I get for doing such an in-depth comparison I guess.

  2. 2coastercrazy

    This showdown is an absolute classic! I have rode both roller coasters yet I could never really make out what coaster was better, and it is very nice to see your opinion.

  3. Kristofer

    I rode alpengiest about 4 years ago and montu about a month ago. I do have to say that montu is better, but I do need to catch up on alpngiest. Montu will be hard to beat though.

  4. Player 118462.

    I like alpengiest a bit more, although I would've chose montu if the midcourse brakes didn't slow it down so much.

    Also, I have some ideas for showdowns:

    T-Express vs. El Toro

    Saw vs. Mystery Mine

    Desperado vs. Pespi Max Big One

    ISpeed vs. Storm Runner

    Mindbender vs. Shockwave

    Windseeker vs. Starscreamer

    • Player 118462.

      Also, if rattler gets the iron horse than

      The Rattler Reborn vs. The New Texas Giant

    • Quil

      I'm pretty sure that about half of those would be impossible seeing as CC hasn't ridden many of the coasters you listed. Try listing American Coasters if you want to get better results.

  5. Prof.BAM

    Leviathan vs. Millenium Force

    Battle of Defunct Coasters (Freestyle Music Park's Time Machine doesn't count SBNO).

    • Quil

      Lol, I thought you were saying that Leviathan and Millennium Force were defunct at first.

  6. coasterer22

    I got excited when I saw a new roller coaster showdown on the home page, and got even more excited when I saw what coasters were in it. I've only ridden Alpengeist, and it's my favorite inverted coaster. I have to ride Montu someday…

    My suggestion: Lightning Racer vs. Gwazi

  7. Gearhart

    totally agree with you that Montu's pacing is near perfection, that's why it's still my personal favorite despite having gone on much more coasters the past couple years that many enthusiasts rank higher. Although Alpengeist is fairly bad*** as well that rough cobra roll knocks it down quite a bit for me.

  8. Joe

    i wish there was more airtime in alpengist although ive never rode montu duelingdragons was great with the air time on the red track

  9. Gstarr

    I liked both rides. But, I’d have to give the edge to Alpengeist. Only because you can never see out of the park on the ride. You feel like you are in another place during the entire ride. (I’m not sure if it feels like the Alps on a hot, humid, VA summer day) but, it’s definitely an experience!! The “Death Star Run” part of Montu is killer, though!!!! Close battle!! Winner – Alpengeist!!

  10. Mike

    I have to go with Montu. For whatever reason Alpengeist is the only B&M invert that gives me headaches/naesous feeling when I get off of it. It's one of the few coasters that does that to me. I think it is an incredible coaster beyond that but I really loved the flow of Montu.

  11. Joshua hall

    Good, montu won, but nemmisis inferno should have been in it and therefor won.

  12. Ben

    Montu. Definitely. It has amazing forces on the batwing and even the corkscrew is intense. Alpengeist has a great first drop, but to be honest, when I rode it the cobra roll hurt a lot. Montu doesn’t really hurt at all, it just has astounding forces on the inversions. Montu is awesome.

  13. Michael Mehler

    GUYS! No mention here of the fact that Alpengeist has been since the day it opened “the world’s tallest, fastest, most-twisted” inverted coaster. BGW broke the mold with this one…If you want intense, you got it. Beautiful? You got it. And I would have to disagree with Montu winning the theme category. Been on both and they’re both incredible. Both are superior in theming (thank you Anheiser Busch) but Alpengeist is epic in every way.


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