5 in ‘10, 5 to Ride from ‘09

Inspired by Brian’s post, I thought I’d put together a list of the new coasters I was most excited about in 2010. It could also double as a list of the rides I’m most excited for. Thinking about this also brought to mind some of the rides from 2009 that I think are still new and interesting enough to merit mention – and that neither of us have ridden yet. I chose to leave out stars people were familiar with, like iSpeed, Fireball, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, and El Toro and focused on some of the more interesting, less ridden ones. Both lists are in ordered by excitement (most cool #1), though these are the ’short lists’, so they’re all very notable. Follow the break to see the lists:

5 in ‘10

1. Intimidator 305

Hopefully you’ve heard of this coaster. The first Intamin Giga Coaster since Millennium Force in 2000, it will be one of only 3 traditional-style, lift-hill coasters over 300 feet. Millennium Force is my reigning #1 coaster, and I’ve ridden most of the usual suspects. 305 has a significantly different layout that looks to solve some of the complaints about the giant in Ohio while keeping in the really great aspects. Specifically, they’ve added airtime and some tighter turns, but they’ve kept a low and fast layout. One other notable change is that the first drop goes right into a turn, which should result in a great speed sensation. The one potential chink in the armor is the restraints. Millennium Force enjoys only lap restraints (Intamin T-bars), but King’s Dominion has said 305 will be getting restraints with an over the shoulder component of some type. That might not seem like a big deal, but it certainly made more of a difference than I thought it would on Kingda Ka, and that’s not an uncommon sentiment. All considered,  I think it has the potential to become a top-1o-or maybe even the favorite-coaster for many people – though a lot is riding on how those restraints affect the ride. This is definitely the most exciting and anticipated coaster for me since I’ve become an enthusiast. It’s also personally exciting because it’s in the US; this should be one we get to ride and cover.

2. Unknown Flying Coaster at World Joyland

As you might know, I’m very fond of both flying coasters and unique, interesting coasters. This coaster will land firmly in both categories if it materializes as predicted. I’m still somewhat dubious about the details, but there’s rumors that RCDB got the inversions from B&M at IAAPA. Assuming those inversions are correct, this ride will represent a radical departure from anything B&M has done with a flying coaster before, and as such will present a unique experience. With B&M’s strong reputation, I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with. Unfortunately, there’s not too much more to say, as there’s still little known about this ride.

3. F1 Coaster

The RCDB link for this isn’t very helpful; check out here for some pictures or here for the concept video. What will allegedly be the world’s fastest coaster starts with a launch (undoubtedly intense), but unlike the last two speed record breakers, it keeps going after that. A ground-hugging layout should keep the high speed going and really take advantage of that to make for an awesome sensation – and another world-class Intamin coaster. There’s something for everyone here, too – they added some bunny hills toward the end for the airtime fanatics. They even thought to add a midcourse brake run, so hopefully we won’t see some of the capacity problems that Intimidator 305 will experience.

4. Intimidator

After my lackluster experience with Diamondback, you wouldn’t think I’d be eagerly anticipating a B&M hyper. However, I think this has potential to be a bit different. It’ll be tall, but pretty much the same height as Behemoth and Diamondback. What’s interesting to me here is the layout. It looks to me like this is a bit tighter and less reserved than is characteristic of B&M, especially in their hypers. In addition to airtime, we also get some exciting twists like this one and the transition you see in the upper left corner of this shot. OK; admittedly, those are from the same element, and I could well be setting myself up for disappointment, but I think it has the potential to be a great ride. Also exciting is that this is another one we’ll actually be able to ride and cover.

5. Ring Racer

This probably isn’t a very good ride. Let me repeat that – this probably isn’t a very good ride. Given my experience on Hypersonic, I’m really hesitant to have any expectation of quality. S&S did use a different track type (no more I-beam) and allegedly new trains (although the fact that they share the same seat arrangement and stupidly low 8-person-train-capacity makes me wonder).  That layout screams boring at best and painful at worst. So, with all of these concerns, why is it in my top 5? Simple: fast and unique. Also, there is the possibility that S&S will redeem their thrust-air line here, which I wouldn’t have predicted we’d see any more of before they announced this. One final thought is that I was expecting that I’d be putting this in the 2009 category, and it did operate below full potential a few times in 2009, but it hasn’t fully opened to the public yet – or reached its top speed, which is really the interesting part.

Honorable Mention: Big Air

It’s unclear whether this coaster is open yet, so I couldn’t really put it in either category. Either way, credit to E-Da for actually trying to help Vekoma bring one of their crazier concepts to life. I certainly wouldn’t have trusted the engineers to get all of these mechanics right; it’s a pretty complex design, but I’m happy to see how it turns out on someone else’s money. I wish them the best of luck, and look forward to hearing about when this wacky coaster actually operates.

5 to Ride from ‘09

1. Blue Fire

The first launched Mack coaster; it’s been getting great ratings, and it has very interesting seats and restraints. What’s not to like? It has a pretty good looking layout and even a smidge of theming. It’s also one of the few new coasters being built with inversions and only a lap-restraint, but here’s hoping we’ll see more of them. That handle from the restraint still looks ridiculously goofy, though.

2. Tranan

If it weren’t for Blue Fire appearing so high in various rankings, this probably would have been number one. I have to admit, when I first saw this coaster as a concept, I never imagined it would see the light of day – especially given the mechanical disaster that was the first 4th Dimension coaster, which is clearly very related. Nevertheless, less than a year later, someone had bought one, and now it’s actually operational. I’m pleasantly surprised; this is certainly one of the more interesting and innovative designs we’ve seen recently. If you’re unfamiliar, descriptions won’t do it justice; check out the official videos.

3. Stingray

Again, it’s no secret that I love flyers, and Stringray is one of the more interesting ones. It’s quite a departure from anything that’s been done so far, in particular the half of an outside loop (which can be seen near the lift in this picture – and is an important step in proving it is possible to someone *cough*Brian*cough*). Given their past performance with vertical lifts (the ill-fated Déjà-Vu series), I’m fairly impressed that this actually seems to be operating, although given its location, any details on downtime are pretty hard to come by. It’s a pity it’s somewhat obscure, because again, I’d love to see more experimentation with outside loops.

4. Fluch von Novgorod (or Anubis)

Two very cool new Gerstlaurer launched coasters came out in 2009. Both have nice layouts with steep vertical hills and fairly intense launches. While Anubis’s inversions look great, I have to hand it to Fluch for the very cool theming. Anubis also is notable for its more unique trains, which deviate from the common Eurofighters but also have fewer seats. I’d love to get on either of these – or both.

5. Tornado

This could be somewhat of a very make-or-break coaster…it’s a spinning coaster, and there’s only so much you can do with that, right? Two particular elements of this coaster are interesting to me: the launch at the top of the lift and the restraints. The launch is really amusing to me…why even bother with the lift? It’s certainly a unique, strange, interesting way to do it. The restraints are yet another new Intamin over-the-shoulder design, and may be the ones we see end up on Intimidator 305… we shall see. I’m also not a fan of the current generation (as seen on Maverick – although they admittedly were fine on Baco),  so I’m hoping this will be an improvement.

6. Mega-Lite

Or its sibling. Alight, admittedly, I said only 5, and this layout and type were hardly new for 09. However, they’ve been getting fantastic rankings, and the POVs only seem to reinforce that. It’s a ride type I’d love to get on, and fortunately, based on current trends, one we’ll be seeing more of in the future.

Honorable Mention: Mumbo Jumbo

Someone call the Thrope fanboys because I’m mentioning this but not Saw…but seriously, there are countless Eurofighters around, but there’s only 2 El Loco’s. The forces on these rides are undoubtedly quite different from nearly any other coaster out there, and that’s certainly interesting. These rides certainly live up to their model name (El Loco, or “crazy”). I’ve been there, done that with themed Eurofighters, thanks to Mystery Mine, but I’m still eagerly anticipating getting my first taste of this type.

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