Roller coasters like Wildcat, Disaster Transport, and Son of Beast will be or have already given their final rides this year. With all of these roller coasters retiring in 2012, it got me thinking about the best roller coasters that I’ve ridden that are now no longer with us. Let’s discuss our favorite defunct coaster this week and least favorite next week.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye To…

Big Bad Wolf Flies Through the Bavarian VillageI had to look over my list, but I came up with a few. Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Big Bad Wolf is my obvious top pick for most missed and best defunct coaster. Verbolten’s a solid coaster with a pretty neat overall experience, but I kind of missed flying through that Bavarian Village at the speed of fright. Which reminds me, I still need to write up a Big Bad Wolf vs. Verbolten roller coaster showdown.

After Wolfie, the Geauga Lake roller coasters that weren’t lucky enough to be relocated come to mind. Villian was a large CCI woodie. It operated at the park from 2000 to 2007. It had a unique trick-track section which was a straight section of track that dipped to the right and then to the left. It had its rougher spots, but the majority of the ride was just fun and fast.

Raging Wolf Bobswas a smaller gentler woodie that my wife and I had a number of fun rides on during an empty day at the park. I thought that Raging Wolf Bobs was already gone, but this satellite image of the park shows that its still partially standing.

Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake

Raging Wolf Bobs is the woodie in the center of the image. To the left, you can see the footers for the B&M floorless coaster Dominator that was moved to Kings Dominion. The edge of the lake is just below the footers. View map here.

These weren’t amazing rides by any means, but I still wish that they could have found a new home. For anyone interested, NewsPlusNotes has a great comparison post with before and after aerial images of Geauga Lake here: Aerial Antics: Weeds Grow at Geauga Lake

Future Candidates

Unfortunately, there are a few possible future candidates out there. The awesome CCI woodie Rampage, is currently for sale, but if it’s scrapped it’ll be right up there near or at the top of my list. There are also some fun roller coasters just rotting away at Hard Rock/Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, SC like the B&M looper Time Machine.

Which roller coasters were you sad to see go? If you haven’t ridden any coasters that have been scrapped, you can include roller coasters that have been relocated to another park. Check back next week when I’ll ask you the worst defunct coaster you’ve ridden.

26 Responses

  1. DRU

    I have to give an honorable mention to Batman and Robin the Chiller. It was my first LIM launcher and had a super fast launch. I don't miss them because the ride capacity was horrible, and it broke all the time.

    My 1st favorite defunct coaster was The Great American Scream Machine at SFGA… This one will work the same for both Best and Worst Defunct coasters for me.

    Best, When I was young and it was my first multi inversion coaster it was amazing!

    Worst, As I rode the newer coasters over the years I lost my tolerance for the head banging and those restraints almost breaking my collar bones every time I rode her.

    When I ride in the similar trains on Nessie I have to leave the bottom of the OTSR's about a foot away from my gut to leave enough room for my shoulder height. It's kind of scarier that way also…

    • RCTPro

      But Batman and Robin aren't defunct in the sense that they wern't scrapped, sure you'd have to go to Brazil next year to ride them again (check RCDB), so i wouldn't exactly call them defunct since they're getting a second chance somewhere else, while i haven't yet been on a defunct coaster, I have no canidates

      • DRU

        Wow! I did not realize they still lived. Maybe Brazil one day…

      • CoasterCritic

        I said in the post that it was okay to include removed rides as well as I know not everyone has been on a defunct/demolished ride that’s either in coaster heaven or coaster hell. We’l discuss the latter in next week’s post.

      • RCTPro

        I don't exactly consider a coaster defunct if it gets a second chance somewhere else CC, so my definiton on the term defunct slighty differs from yours, but I do undrestand your point.

      • CoasterCritic

        Let me be clear. I agree on what makes a defunct coaster truly defunct. I was just saying that people could include rides that weren't truly defunct, just removed as I knew not everyone has been on a ride that's been demolished. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. Jeff

    Definitely My #1 defunct is Mister Twister aka Twister at the original Elitch's Gardens.
    Also Big Dipper at Geauga Lake.

    For steel my #1 defunct is the Orient Express at Worlds of Fun
    Also the Big Bad Wolf
    Jet Scream at Six Flags Over Mid-America –> moved to Astroworld then scrapped
    Zambezi Zinger at Worlds of Fun –> moved to Cafe Park in Columbia where I'll never be able to ride it again.

  3. Mark

    Texas Cyclone.

    Also Hercules at Dorney, although I only rode it when it was new and not too bumpy.

  4. cft925

    I agree with Joel on Big Bad Wolf… Not the most thrilling or fastest coaster out there, but the theming really made this a great ride.

  5. firewalk13

    I too miss Raging Wolf Bobs from Geauga Lake. That was the first roller coaster I rode that was new when I was new to roller coasters. Though still operating in different locations, dominator (formerly batman) and firehawk (formely x-flight) we're both awesome the first and only time I rode them at Geauga Lake when it was worlds of adventure. One summer in particular (2003 I think, when TTD was new), It was awesome going to cedar point then over to GL (six flags) which finally had a large, solid coaster repitoire (and a floorless and flying coaster) where CP had neither, but a brand new 420 foot monster. Really though, I miss all of Geauga Lake's coasters (but not villain as I never got a ride on it, and definitely not Serial Thriller (an SLC which I don't really care at all where it is currently operating)and it was only 40 mins away from home vs. Sandusky (cedar point) at 90 minutes away.

  6. Kristofer

    Big bad wolf is really my favorite, but I also liked Hypersonic xlc, although it was uncomfortable.

  7. Quil

    Even though I never got to ride it myself, The Nightmare at TGE is a very missed ride.

  8. @mattmcirvin

    As with many commenters here, my sentimental favorite is The Big Bad Wolf.

    But another impressive one was Mister Twister at the original Elitch Gardens, the 1960s John C. Allen woodie that provided the inspiration for Knoebels' Twister and the current park's Twister II (neither of which I've ridden).

    • cft925

      I am a fan of Twister at Knoebels. It is one of the most intense woodies I have ridden. As the name would suggest, you feel a lot of lateral g's on this coaster, and I was always a bit dizzy when I got off this ride.

      • @mattmcirvin

        That's what I remember Mister Twister being like, too! It was the first big coaster I ever rode, and it was a little too much for me at the time. That first swooping turn off the lift hill was pretty terrifying.

        The Knoebels Twister is actually a mirror image, with some other modifications so it can fit in the available space (like the two-part lift hill).

  9. Matt

    For me it would be laser a dorney park. Even though it isn't defunct, it was sold to a german fair company that uses it as a travel fair ride. Laser was a nice compact Schwarzkopf looper with 2 loops and a turn through one of the loops and some nice helices. I've only ridden three defunct coasters (including laser), but the other two will be in next week's post, as I think it was a good move to remove them.

  10. Gearhart

    Big Bad Wolf was an excellent ride, but I only got to ride it a handful of times in it's last couple weeks of operation so there's not as much attachment to it as some have. A ride I was genuinely sad to see go (but hasn't been scrapped yet so there's SOME hope of it being rebuilt somewhere else) was Speed the Ride at the Sahara casino in Las Vegas. It was like Mr. Freeze light in a broad sense, but with some uniqueness all it's own. It was always crazy launching down the tunnel through the building straight into an overbank that dropped down underground next to the Strip, immediately powering into a good sized vertical loop before hitting the second launch into the second half. As a sentimental favorite though, I will always miss my beloved Wacky Soap Box Racers at Knott's Berry Farm. My first "big" non-kiddie roller coaster when I was a kid. It had such quirky, charming theming and was always fun to race four wide on those unique monorail like tracks.

  11. Robert

    I'd have to go with Big Bad Wolf as well. It was my first suspended coaster, and easily the best out of the three I've been on (Top Gun at Kings Island and Iron Dragon at Cedar Point being the others). The theming was fantastic, and it was just a fun ride. Not too intense, but not boring either. Two other defunct coasters I've been on are the Great American Scream Machine at Great Adventure and Hercules at Dorney. The Scream Machine was painful and I was happy when it was removed and I was very young the last time I rode Hercules and barely remember it so its hard for me to have an opinion on that one.

  12. Joe

    My favorite defunct coaster is actually Great American Scream Machine formerly at Six Flags Great Adventure. Nobody will ever know how much I miss it.

  13. The House of VB

    The Texas Cyclone at Astroworld in Houston, Texas was the best. We lived about a 1/4 of a mile from Astroworld, so my brother and I each purchased a season pass for $19.95. We spent just about every weekday during the summer of 1976 at Astroworld and we always rode the Texas Cyclone at least once. My brother and I must have logged at least 100 rides on the Cyclone during that summer. That is a great memory that I have of a wonderful roller coaster.


  14. Zac

    I simply can't decide between two of them; I'm calling it a tie. TBBW at Busch Gardens was such an awesome ride. The theming was phenomenal, by the time it closed it was a true rarity as an Arrow Suspended, and it was just an overall classic ride. It also holds a very special place in my heart because when I was four years old and went to BGW for the first time, I stood on that bridge over the Rhine and saw TBBW's final dive over the river and the Loch Ness Monster's interlocking loops and if there was ever a single moment in time that I fell in love with roller coasters, that was it.

    I also miss Batman and Robin: The Chille a LOT. Like the first poster, it was my first launched coaster, and getting over that fear of the launch was a major milestone for me in my coaster riding. I remember it back in the day when it still had the OTSR… I can guarantee you if it hadn't been retrofitted it might have won the title of my worst defunct coaster! Once both sides got the lapbars though, it was golden. That ride had a lot of power packed into such a short time, plus the positive Gs at the base of Batman's top hat were INSANE!

    Did you ever get around to doing a Verbolten and BBW showdown? If you did, I can't find it!

  15. Matthew

    My favorite defunct coaster is Disaster Transport, it wasn’t the fastest or thrilling, but it was unique. I also liked Wildcat even though I rode like three times. 🙁

  16. Darryl

    Both the Coney Island Tornado and Thunderbolt are sorely missed as well as their wooden, free rolling Bobs (similar tho the Mack version. You can add the Palisades Park Cyclone to that list also.

  17. The Borgified Corpse

    I’m sure that this is a minority opinion but I really liked Psyclone at Magic Mountain.

    And while I never got to ride it, I really regret missing out on the High Roller at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. The one time that I went there while it was operating, I got sick from some bad fish at the buffet, so I couldn’t do it.


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