Jan 042023

NO ONE ASKED, but I’m doing it anyway because my life is dreary and rollercoasterless right now.

You guys, riding roller coasters has been like, therapy-adjacent for me over the last several years.  It is maybe the most dorkiest thing I have going on and I truthfully do not give a single shit because falling down the rabbit hole of coaster manufacturers and CoasterTube has been SO MUCH FUN and truly elevated the experience of riding roller coasters in general. Like, before my first ride on T-Express at Everland in 2018, I was a casual coaster rider at best. I was definitely more into dark and flat rides.

I can’t believe that prior to 2018, I had no idea what Rocky Mountain Construction was. OR EVEN B&M. I don’t even think I knew who manufactured Steel Phantom/Phantom’s Revenge, let alone knowing that there were TWO manufacturers!

And just like Kpop, this is something that we all enjoy as a family (well….Chooch is not so into Kpop anymore but still likes Korea in general).

2022 was full of so many coasters, and new-to-us parks, too! Henry and I even went to parks just the two of us numerous times too, like on a date kind of! (Kennywood 3x, Cedar Point, Waldameer.)

Before I get into the coasters, here’s a list of all the parks we went to in 2022:

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Seaworld Orlando
  • Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
  • Busch Gardens Tampa
  • Fun Spot Orlando
  • Fun Spot Kissimmee
  • Carowinds
  • Kennywood (at least 7x I feel like?)
  • Cedar Point (3x)
  • Six Flags New England
  • Waldameer
  • Michigan’s Adventure
  • Sylvan Beach
  • Morey’s Piers
  • Six Flags Great Adventure
  • Hershey
  • Mt. Olympus
  • Six Flags Great America
  • Dollywood

I *think* that’s all of them!

And now for my Top Coaster Experiences of the year! I’m considering the whole entire experience, not just “wow this is the greatest coaster ever” because if we’re being honest, Steel Vengeance is probably still my #1 coaster but EVERY EXPERIENCE TRYING TO RIDE THE FUCKER HAS BEEN MISERABLE. First of all, it’s located in one of the busiest parks in the country so the wait time is always absurd. Second, it’s a maintenance nightmare. Almost EVERY SINGLE TIME WE HAVE BEEN IN LINE FOR THIS, IT HAS BROKEN DOWN.

So no, Steel Vengeance will not be on this list. And it really breaks my heart!!

In no particular order, other than maybe the order in which they were ridden, here is my list with POVs!!

  1. Pantheon – Busch Gardens Williamsburg: I literally tried to tell this story to anyone who would listen when we came back from the trip. My mom totally cut me off when I tried talking about it the night we had cake for Chooch’s birthday because I guess she thinks this shit is so boring, lol. BUT NOT YOU, BLOG. Anyway, Pantheon had only been open for about a month when we rode it and you might think, “You ran all the way to this ride, almost passed out, only to be told it was down for testing and then proceeded to wait for 2 hours in line waiting for it to open, how was this a good experience?” IT.JUST.WAS. It made that first ride (first train of the day, front row!) so much more meaningful and memorable. We became pals with the ride ops, shared knowing laughs with the other people in line with us, collected inside jokes like Pokemon. It was such a highlight of our spring break trip and the coaster itself is PHENOMENAL. There is nothing else like it.

2. MAKO – Sea World OrlandoYou guys is this my favorite hyper? I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE?!!? Hilariously, we thought this was Chooch’s 150th or 200th (I forget) coaster but of course his spreadsheet was wrong and it ended up being some kid coaster, lol. Anyway, this is making the list because toward the end of the night, the ride attendants let us stay on for like 3x in a row (and we probably could have cycled this even longer but dumb Henry was waiting for us off-ride because it was time to leave ugh).

3. VELOCICOASTER – UNIVERSAL: Yeah, this is a top 5 / top 3 coaster for me, fam. It is pretty much flawless. The queue was LIKE A WELL-OILED MACHINE, it kept people moving through so smoothly. The locker system? Mwah. The theming? Perfection. THE RIDE ITSELF? MIND-BLOWING. This was one of the coasters I was legit worried about when planning this trip because I thought for sure the lines would be out of control, but the longest we waited for this was probably 45 minutes. We rode it MULTIPLE times, front row, back row, in the morning, afternoon, night. Every single ride was ridiculous. Speechless. Believe the hype.

4. Iron Gwazi – Busch Gardens Tampa: Our spring break trip was really so fucking hype, I still think about it all of the time, especially this RMC MASTERPIECE. Ask me on a certain day and I might just say that this is my favorite coaster, not Steel Vengeance. (Actually, it’s neither of them because something changed for me this year and we will get to that shortly!) This coaster blew my mind. I can’t even explain it but I want to make a pilgrimage to Idaho and kneel at the feet of everyone inside the RMC headquarters. Honestly. It’s crazy because this POV looks like it runs so slow but in actuality it feels like this thing is trying to fucking kill you. Like, it has no right to do the shit it does.

5. Great White – Morey’s Piers: You guys. Riding an iconic wooden coaster that literally goes out over the beach in Wildwood, while Morey’s Piers is closed to the general public, and the only light is courtesy of the fucking moon? Uh, yes this is going to make it in my Top Whatever List of 2022. SUCH A VIBE.

6. El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure:  Our luck with El Toro has been awful but three times was definitely the charm last August when we went to Great Adventure and FINALLY got to ride this. NUMEROUS TIMES. Honestly? This coaster was not even running to its potential* but it was STILL a crazy-good experience. Painful? OH FUCK YEAH. I had a wicked bruise on my elbow for days after. But true coaster psychopaths ride this bitch. The ride ops are fucking nuts. The station is CHAOS. Every fucking moment I spent on this thing was an experience. I will never ever ever forget the madness of musical seats, fighting to get a spot on the last train of the night. It was us and our people. Every single motherfucker in that station that night was CRAZY. I felt crazy, too! I had so much adrenaline from these cycling night rides that it was hard for me to even go to sleep that night. What an experience.

*(it actually got shut down ONE WEEK LATER after a bunch of riders got injured when it hit a POTHOLE in the track, way to care for your rides and patrons, Six Flags. I hope that Six Flags does the right thing and fixes this baby so that it can reopen and provide SAFE RIDES like Intamin intended. Also, I should note that this is basically the sister coaster to T-Express in Korea, the coaster that turned me into an enthusiast!!)

OK and now for my KING, my BAE, my OPPA. I truly believe this is my forever #1, especially after this season.

PHANTOM’S REVENGE. HOMEPARK PRIDE. I have raved about this steel god enough times on here that you have to know by now. I want out of town friends to visit me so that I can take them here and make them ride this because it is SHEER JOY and there is no other coaster like this in the world. It makes nearly every enthusiast’s Top 20/Top 50 list and it makes me so proud.

It just never gets old. The track is now purple, but here is an older POV. It doesn’t do this thing an ounce of justice.

Well, that’s all for today! Please, if you feel like it, tell me what your favorite coasters are! What’s your home park? Favorite park? Best coaster memory? I love reading these things!


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