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Small coasters that do a lot with their size and large coasters that waste their size


Matt N
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Hi guys. Size is often used as a marketing tool by parks, but many enthusiasts (myself included) believe that size isn't everything. For my money, it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it. So my question to you today is; are there some coasters that work against that traditional assumption that "bigger is better"? Can you think of small coasters that you think make the most of the size that they have, and also some larger coasters that you think squander their size somewhat?

 

I'll get the ball rolling with my suggestions.

 

For a smaller coaster that makes smashing use of its size, I'm going to nominate Mine Blower at Fun Spot Kissimmee. They crammed a fair few airtime hills and a fairly large inversion into a coaster that is only 80ft tall and a little over 2,000ft long, and takes up a very compact footprint little larger than some backyards; I find that a hugely impressive use of size, personally! It's an absolute whippet of a coaster, and I think Gravity Group deserve huge applause for the sheer amount of thrill they crammed into Mine Blower's somewhat diminutive size and stature!

 

On the other end of the spectrum, for a larger coaster that squanders its size somewhat; I loathe to say this slightly, as it's an older ride now and I do think its layout doesn't entirely deserve the hate it often gets, and it also wasn't really built for airtime, but the first coaster that came to mind for me here was The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. While I digress that the Big One wasn't built for airtime, and was also only the world's 2nd hyper coaster, I don't think it does a huge amount with its sheer size, and I'll admit that the ride was one of my biggest coaster disappointments when I first came off it in 2018. I don't think I've ever had a single hint of airtime on the Big One, and while I'll admit that the ride does have its moments in terms of speed and intensity, a fair amount of it is spent meandering around not doing a huge amount. I'm probably being unfair given BPB's tight footprint and the Big One's age, as well as BPB's design focus on visual impact over thrill, but it was sadly the first coaster that came to mind in this category for me.

 

But what are some coasters that you feel make the most of or waste their size?

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Small coaster I'd have said Wild Mouse at BPB prior to it getting knocked down, that thing used to chuck you about left, right, up and down and covered a very small area. Certainly my favourite coaster in the UK when it was about. Now I'd probably go with Backlot Stunt Coaster at King's Island. I was expecting a naff kids coaster as it looked small and didn't take up huge amount of space , but what happened was I massively greyed out more than any other intense coaster I'd ever down literally after the naff launch and into the helixes. You want intense helixes then this thing will tick all the boxes. I 

 

Coasters that are disappointing for their size? Would have to go with diamondback. The thing looked incredible and was expecting it to be on par with Shambhala but instead was probably the most disapointing large coaster I'd ever been on.

 

Or Mystic Timbers. Again was expecting something great having been on Wodan and Wickerman which I both enjoyed. But nope just lacked any umph. Though seems I'm in a minority with that. 

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Small coaster? Think I’m also going to have to say Backlot Stunt Coaster. What is packed into it’s space is absolutely sublime and amazing. That helix alone warrants it’s position here IMO. 
 

And big coaster wasting space? Valeavn comes to mind. It just doesn’t really do anything outstanding or different to any other dive coasters or the other (and much better) B&Ms within the same park. 
 

Blivvy has the drop, Valkyria has the variety and Baron has the theming/backstory. This one just exists tbh. 

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Obvious one here, Nemesis. Everyone knows why.

 

 

Big coaster that is a waste.. mmm. Leviathan at Canadas Wonderland. Behemoth in the same park is a much better ride are is basically the same, just longer and with far more air time.

 

I'll throw in Top Thrill Dragster as well. Waiting for the thing is a nightmare because of the risk of roll back. You go on it and sure, it is thrilling. but I want more than just twelve seconds of actual thrill, it severely under-delivers.

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On 12/23/2021 at 12:14 AM, Mattgwise said:

Or Mystic Timbers. Again was expecting something great having been on Wodan and Wickerman which I both enjoyed. But nope just lacked any umph. Though seems I'm in a minority with that. 

 

Yes. Yes you are!! 😛

 

For me the obvious small coaster that did a lot with its space was wild mouse at blackpool. Just an absolutely brilliant nostalgic ride and is truely missed. The other I will go with is Balder at liseberg. Doesnt take up that huge a space at all and is a quality wooden coaster.

 

Big coaster that wastes its size. Now the one I am gonna go with is either Diamondback or Silver Star. Two absolutely naff hypers. Sorry if that triggers any of the "Europa is perfect" brigade 😜

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