Showdown: Montu vs Banshee

Overview What these two have in common is that they’re inverted coasters built by B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard).  Montu, located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, opened in 1996 whereas Banshee, located at Kings Island in Mason, OH, opened in 2014.  Both are notable for being record setters.  Back in the day, Montu was the tallest and fastest inverted coaster ever built, a record long since broken,...[Read More]

Showdown: Diamondback vs. Nitro

Overview What these two have in common is that they’re hypercoasters manufactured by B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard).  Both are notable for providing fabulous floater airtime.   Nitro, a first generation B&M hyper located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ, opened in 2001 and Diamondback, located at Kings Island in Mason, OH, opened in 2009. Layout and Elements Both coasters featur...[Read More]

Showdown: Volcano: The Blast Coaster vs. Maverick

Overview What these two have in common is that they’re dual launch coasters manufactured by Intamin.  Both reach a maximum speed of 70 mph. What they don’t have in common is that one (Volcano) is an inverted coaster – officially a suspended catapult coaster – and the other is a “blitz coaster” which rides on the track.  Volcano, located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA, opened in 1998 and Ma...[Read More]

Showdown: Magnum XL-200 vs. Steel Force

Overview The common denominator – apart from the fact that Magnum XL-200 and Steel Force are steel hypercoasters – is that both were record breakers when they opened.  Magnum, located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH and manufactured by Arrow Dynamics, was the first hypercoaster to be erected.  Steel Force, located at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA and manufactured by D.H. Morgan, was the first coaste...[Read More]

Showdown: Superman Krypton Coaster vs. Dominator

Overview The common denominator is that Superman Krypton Coaster and Dominator are B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) floorless coasters.   Superman, operating since 2000, makes its home at Six Flags Fiesta Texas while Dominator, operating since 2008, is located at Kings Dominion.  (Dominator actually opened in 2000 as Batman:Knight Flight and has a rather complicated history, in that it first ope...[Read More]

Showdown: Batman:The Ride vs. Raptor

Overview What these two have in common is that they’re B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) inverted coasters.  Batman has been cloned numerous times, with installations at half a dozen Six Flags parks.  I’ve ridden the original at Six Flags Great America and a clone at Six Flags Great Adventure so am basing my observations on those experiences and more specifically, the installation at Great Advent...[Read More]

Showdown: Gatekeeper vs. X-Flight

Overview There are only four wing coasters currently operating in the USA.  X-Flight at Six Flags Great America was the second one to open and Gatekeeper at Cedar Point was the third. (The first was Wild Eagle at Dollywood and the fourth was Thunderbird at Holiday World.) Layout, Theme and Setting Gatekeeper is aptly named in that part of its track overhangs the entrance gates to Cedar Point.  It’...[Read More]

Showdown: Iron Rattler vs. Outlaw Run

Overview What Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City have in common is that both are RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) terrain coasters.  What they don’t have in common is that one (Iron Rattler) is a former wooden coaster retracked with steel whereas the other is a wooden coaster built by RMC from scratch. Layout, Theme and Setting Iron Rattler, themed after a...[Read More]

Showdown: Kumba vs. Bizarro

Overview Although I hesitate to compare a traditional “sitting coaster” to a floorless coaster, in this case the reason for doing so is a compelling one.  After riding Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa within the past several months, I tried to think of a coaster I’d ridden which was the most similar in design and the one that immediately came to mind is Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure.  (Other po...[Read More]

Showdown and Rant: Goliath v. Stinger

Never a fan of Vekoma boomerangs, some of which I found torturous, I rode two that I actually enjoyed so thought that it would be interesting to compare them.  I was planning to post this sometime next month but just got word that one of them (Stinger) is being removed from its park so posting this now is more timely. Layout Goliath is a giant inverted boomerang – one of only half a dozen currentl...[Read More]

Great Bear vs Talon | Roller Coaster Showdowns

Great Bear Anecdote When I came up with the idea of comparing Great Bear and Talon, I was reminded of something that happened in June of 2014 at Coasting For Kids, a fund-raising coaster marathon at Dorney Park during which I set a personal record of 36 rides in one day (12 on Steel Force, 16 on Talon and 8 on Hydra).  On one of my rides on Talon I found myself sitting next to a teenage boy who st...[Read More]

Fury 325 vs Intimidator 305 | Giga Coaster Showdown

With the opening of Fury 325 this year, comparisons to other giga coasters were going to be inevitable. This showdown might have even more interest than most as Carowinds and Kings Dominion are in bordering states (North Carolina and Virginia). So, there’s a better chance that more people have ridden both or plan to. First, let’s define a giga coaster as many have been asking due to Ca...[Read More]

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