Joel

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

Coaster Reviews

My Highest Rated Roller Coaster ReviewsLed Zeppelin – The RideHard Rock ParkBorn: 2008Height: 150′Speed: 65 mphInversions: 7 (Vertical Loop, Cobra Roll, Zero−G Roll, Vertical Loop, Corkscrew)Make & Model: Bolliger & Mabillard Looping CoasterReview: Led Zeppelin: The Ride is the headliner in Hard Rock Park’s ride lineup. Creating a great new rock-themed park is a draw, but...

Volcano, The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion

Virginia’s Only Active VolcanoI was there the first day this coaster opened in the Summer of ’98. Thanks to the LIMs (linear induction magnets) which have changed the face of roller coasters, the launch is one of the most amazing coaster experiences I’ve ever witnessed. The acceleration is so raw and powerful. Anyway, it’s indescribable how cool it feels. 0 to 70 in a matte...

Top Coasters

Top Ten Roller CoastersAs most roller coaster enthusiasts, I’ve got a top ten. Kumba at Busch Gardens Africa (Tampa, FL), is my all-time favorite roller coaster. It’s an ultra-smooth looping coaster located in Busch Gardens’ lush tropical setting. Below is the list of the absolute best roller coasters that I have ridden. There’s my complete top ten and a list for top wooden...

Roller Coaster Reviews

More Past Roller Coaster ReviewsRaging BullSix Flags Great AmericaBorn: 1999Drop: 208′Speed: 73 mphMake & Model: Bolliger & Mabillard Hyper CoasterReview: Raging Bull’s a Bolliger & Mabillard hypercoaster from the same designers of the popular Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure and Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Europe. So I was excited when I arrived at Great Amer...

Roller Coaster Day = My Birthday

Suddenly my hobby makes a lot more sense. I found out today that I was born on National Roller Coaster Day. Back on August 16, 1898, Edwin Prescott submitted a patent for a looping roller coaster. Eighty-one years later to the day I was born. Coincidence? I think not. Finally, I can say something more interesting than, “Madonna and I share a birthday” or “Elvis Presley died on my...

’06 Coaster Season Starts Off Chocolatey

I hate waiting in lines just as much as the next guy. Maybe even more so. When I go to theme parks my time is usually limited and I’ve often got a long drive ahead of me. “Get to the park, ride the coasters, and get out” is usually the game plan. So, when I found out that Hershey Park was going to open its season with a special Spring Preview and half-price admission, I was there...

Coaster Rehab

Coasters are over 100 years old. The oldest operating coaster in the world is Leap the Dips at Lakemont Park (b. 1902) in Altoona, PA. Leap the Dips operated from 1902 to 1985. Then it sat in decay until 1999 when it was restored. Unfortunately, many coasters don’t age very well and for one reason or another are never rehabed. Their rides become bumpy and rough to the point where ridership b...

Final Destination 3

My wife and I must have a thing for bad horror movies. We just seem to end up at more of them than we probably should and we usually aren’t rewarded with a scary experience. Nothing different when we caught Final Destination 3. But, I have to admit I was curious to see how Hollywood would do the doomed coaster thing. From some of the images I’d seen and the trailers I was pretty sure t...

Mr. Six Headed to Retirement Home

As the coaster season is already underway and theme parks begin their heavy marketing and promotions, don’t expect to see that creepy, old geezer dancing to techno. And, if you happen to live in New England, you may notice a coaster mysteriously change names. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who recently took over control of Six Flags, has decided to axe the Mr. Six character and his po...

Predator @ Darien Lake | Coaster Reviews

Darien Lake & Predator offer that New York charm On a trip to my wife’s home park in Western NY, I got to experience what Darien Lake had to offer. The Predator was definitely a memorable ride. It’s a wooden coaster located in the back of the park near one of the lakes and Superman: Ride of Steel. The layout looks interesting at first glance, so at first I was pretty excited. While...

Cedar Point: Coaster Heaven or Coaster Hype

I’m a quality over quantity guy so I’m not impressed with Cedar Point’s 16, count ’em, 16 coasters. More doesn’t impress me, better does. And living in Virginia, I’m not exactly a stone’s through from Sandusky, OH (an hour from Cleveland). So through the years as my coaster odyssey has continued I’ve conquered the parks nearer to me. But no matter ho...

What’s in a Name?

Early coaster names were often named after animals or weather events like the Wild Cat and the Twister. I’m sure originality was a problem back in the Golden Era of roller coasters. At one time in the first half of the 20th century there were around 1500 coasters operating in the U.S. (In comparison, today there are only about 600.) So you had the Coney Island Cyclone and the Riverside Cyclo...

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