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Coasters you like more than most and coasters you like less than most

Matt N

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Hi guys. You may remember the other day that I created a thread about parks you like more than most and parks you like less than most, and as a follow-up to that one, I thought it might also be fun to tackle that topic from the perspective of roller coasters; so, what are some roller coasters you like more than most and roller coasters you like less than most?

I’ll get the ball rolling with some of my choices for each category… I could pull up quite a few nominees in both categories for this, but to keep it fairly short, I’ll stick to 5 coasters for each category.
Coasters you like more than most
  • Wicker Man, Alton Towers - To most, this is seemingly an average, disappointing woodie that doesn’t live up to the cross valley plans. For me, though? My favourite ride at Alton Towers, my favourite UK and favourite all-time woodie (I can sense some controversy there… more on this below), and one of the most fun coasters I’ve ever ridden! Yes, it might not be the most intense coaster on the planet, but I think Wicker Man delivers a lot, personally; it’s fast paced from start to finish, it has really fun twists and turns, it has really comfortable trains, it’s fairly smooth in wooden coaster terms, it’s developed some surprisingly excellent airtime in recent years, particularly towards the back, and overall, in spite of most seemingly finding it a poor woodie, I think it’s the pure pinnacle of fun, and a coaster I could literally sit on all day without getting bored or feeling any unwanted side effects!
  • Icon, Blackpool Pleasure Beach - The second of the 2018 UK duo also makes it in here for me! Icon is a ride that seems to have few strong fans, and many who are apathetic towards it, but one that I personally have a lot of love for! Yes, it isn’t the most intense ride on earth. Yes, the launches aren’t the strongest. However, it is the UK ride that puts the biggest grin on my face! There’s a huge number of things I like about Icon; there’s a plethora of excellent airtime moments, including some that really surprise you, the ride always feels fairly exciting (even if it’s not the fastest in sections), the trains are gorgeous, the inversions are lovely, the twists and turns are profiled to perfection, it’s really smooth, and overall, I find Icon a hugely fun coaster that puts a huge smile on my face every time! In spite of many people’s general antipathy towards it, Icon is my favourite UK coaster, and my #2 coaster of all time behind only Mako at SeaWorld Orlando!
  • Rita, Alton Towers - Another Alton Towers staple, and I’ll admit that this is one I would never have included in a million years a few years back, but since getting back on it for the first time in 4.5 years back in 2020, all of my recent rides on Rita (4 separate rides across 3 separate visits) have been really quite excellent, with no real roughness issues, brutality, sore ears or headaches at all; even the worst recent ride I had only had a mild bit of bumpiness to it! My September 2021 rides in particular were really fab! I got my first front row ride, which was really quite smooth, and even my back row ride straight after only had a very mild rattle to it, which while it did make it marginally less smooth than the front row ride, was barely noticeable whatsoever; I’ve had rougher rides on Nemesis! And even notwithstanding anything to do with Rita’s smoothness; man, it’s really been putting a smile on my face lately! That launch, while not quite there on Stealth’s, admittedly, is still a rush like no other, and I actually think the ride doesn’t have a bad layout after the launch; I’ve experienced some legitimately brilliant pops of ejector on Rita, and although the drawn-out turns aren’t the most inspired, admittedly, and do partly hold it back from ranking higher for me, I think the euphoria of the launch and the airtime pops are enough to make it a really enjoyable ride that I certainly enjoy more than most! Overall, I like Rita a lot; I often feel quite sorry for it, what with how it’s seemingly become the unloved stepchild of Alton Towers’ coaster collection! And perhaps controversially, in spite of the two rides’ reputations, I notably prefer it to Stealth (more on that later…)…
  • Rock’n’Rollercoaster, Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Even though most enthusiasts seemingly view this as pretty middle-of-the-road to poor, I’d had this ride hyped up to me a fair amount by my dad and sister prior to riding (they’d done the Paris version many years before and absolutely loved it to bits), and while I perhaps didn’t revere it quite as highly as they did, I must admit that unlike most enthusiasts, I most certainly see where my family were coming from on this one, as I thought Rock’n’Rollercoaster was certainly a pretty rockin’ ride (pun intended) myself! For starters, the launch felt really intense for an LSM launch; had I not known any better, I’d have presumed it to be hydraulic, and it’s easily up there as one of the most intense-feeling launches, if not the most intense-feeling launch, I’ve ever experienced! Also, I thought that the ride seemingly hurtled through the layout at fair pace, packing a thrill around every corner; those inversions and turns felt awesome! And while it had a bit of a rattle which took away ever so slightly, I didn’t think it was overly rough at all (although sitting in the front row may have helped with that)! Overall, I’ll admit that I liked Rock’n’Rollercoaster a lot; certainly more than most seem to, anyway, and it’s controversially my favourite Disney World coaster (more on that later…)!
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Universal Studios Florida - Most seem to think of this as complete and utter rubbish, but based on my most recent rides in 2016 (admittedly 5.5 years ago now, so my opinion may change when I reride)… I didn’t dislike it at all! Yes, it’s not one of my all-time favourite coasters as it was when I first rode in 2014 (on my first ride, HRRR really blew me away, becoming my then favourite coaster in Florida and 2nd favourite coaster of all time behind Swarm!), nor do I regard it quite as highly as some of the others I’ve mentioned in this category, but I like it, and I hold it as a solid top 25 (out of 79) and 7/10 coaster! I think the ride seems to pack a tangible sense of speed and exhilaration throughout, and I seem to remember the non-inverted loop being a really excellent ejector airtime moment, with a couple of other (admittedly notably weaker) airtime moments sprinkled within the layout too! I also don’t remember it being particularly rough, in spite of its reputation; it rattled a little, but I don’t remember it feeling overpoweringly rough by any stretch, and I have a fairly low roughness tolerance. I’ve certainly ridden many rougher coasters than HRRR, from memory! I’ll admit that HRRR perhaps doesn’t have the most interesting or eventful of layouts past the first element, and I would rank it a little more highly if it were less rattly, but on the whole, I remember quite liking it, and I certainly seem to enjoy it a lot more than most based on all the trash talk directed towards it!

Coasters you like less than most


  • Nemesis, Alton Towers - Starting with a big, controversial one! Don’t get me wrong, I like Nemesis a lot, and I fully understand why it’s so coveted and iconic to so many people, but I don’t place it on the same godly pedestal that most enthusiasts seem to; it’s not my favourite UK coaster, and perhaps controversially, I (narrowly) prefer Nemesis Inferno. I think it’s more down to it not really being my absolute favourite type of ride more than anything else.
  • Stealth, Thorpe Park - Another big, controversial UK choice! I used to love this coaster, and don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like (the launch is sensational, the top hat airtime is excellent, and even the bunny hill into the brakes can really deliver sometimes), but my last few rides on it have been really quite bumpy, and had me coming off of it with a bit of a headache (although it’s not unbearably rough by any means; certainly smoother than Colossus). I also find the restraints dig in quite a bit by the end of the ride. As I implied above, I’ve been finding Rita noticeably smoother and more enjoyable than Stealth as of late, and I’ll admit I find it surprising that Rita has the reputation as the “rough” Intamin Accelerator in the UK! In terms of Stealth; most covet it as their favourite Thorpe coaster and among their favourites in the UK, but I’d genuinely say it’s 4th out of the big 5 at Thorpe for me based on my last visit, purely due to the increased roughness and headache factor (it’s below Inferno, Swarm and Saw, in case you’re wondering)
  • Megafobia, Oakwood - Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some enjoyable rides on Megafobia, but like Nemesis, I don’t personally place it on anywhere near the same pedestal as I know many do. For many, I know that this is easily their favourite UK woodie, one of their favourite UK coasters, and one of their favourite woodies of all time, but I don’t personally hold it in that regard. My favourite row is the front, and up there, it does have some fun airtime pops, but I’ve honestly felt like Wicker Man’s have been feeling stronger lately, and that ride also has really consistent fast pacing, fun transitions, and a consistently fairly smooth ride experience, which Megafobia lacks. While Wicker Man blitzes through the layout, Megafobia feels like it has numerous dead spots throughout, and notably loses pace towards the end. I also find Megafobia pretty temperamental; on my last Oakwood visit in 2019, I had 4 rides, with 2 in the front, 1 in the middle, and 1 on the back, and the ride experience wildly varied dependant on what seat I sat in. In the front, there were some fun airtime pops and the ride wasn’t especially rough (although still perhaps a touch rickety for me to fully rate it in places); this was my favourite seat. In the middle, the ride was still not particularly rough, but just felt profoundly average, and didn’t really have much of anything sensations-wise. In the back, it had 1 or 2 more intense pops of airtime (the first drop and drop out of the turnaround in the back are some of the strongest airtime pops I’ve yet experienced), but the back was actually my least favourite row, because I found it a bit too rough for me to enjoy; to paraphrase Fawlty Towers, back row Megafobia “[gave me] a damn good thrashing”, and the roughness was considerably more overpowering in the back than in the front and middle to an extent that I didn’t expect. Overall, I don’t dislike Megafobia by any means, but I don’t personally hold it on the same pedestal among woodies as most do; of the 7 woodies I’ve done, it places 3rd for me, and a notable peg below the top 2. Controversially, Wicker Man reigns supreme among UK woodies for me by a considerable distance, even when excluding the theming!
  • Expedition Everest, Disney’s Animal Kingdom - A lot of people absolutely love this, and while I do enjoy it every time I ride it, don’t get me wrong, I don’t seem to like it to the same extent as most, and it never fails to leave me feeling slightly cold and underwhelmed for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ll admit that I’ve always found the long wait for the switch track to move itself on Everest to kill the mood slightly (I personally think that Thirteen executes the backwards trick far more slickly, and I dare say that ROTM at Universal does too), and for such a long ride, I do think the actual “proper coasting” section feels surprisingly short and lacking in dynamic manoeuvres compared to even other Disney coasters, but those are extremely harsh criticisms on my part, as Everest is a Disney coaster aimed at families after all, and a Disney coaster built before switch track technology was commonplace, at that. Don’t get me wrong, Everest is a fun family coaster that I enjoy, and has spectacular theming and cool tricks, but something about it always leaves me slightly underwhelmed, and I can’t quite place what.
  • Olympia Looping, Travelling - I’d heard a hell of a lot of hype for Olympia prior to riding, so that may have killed it slightly for me, but I’ll admit that I was pretty underwhelmed when I finally rode it at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in January 2020. I won’t deny that the ride is an absolute masterpiece when you take into account its travelling status, and I feel honoured to have ridden such an influential piece of coaster history, but even though I was hoping for something that would rank pretty highly (it was almost my sole reason for visiting HPWW), it wasn’t really my cup of tea at all. I won’t deny that the ride lived up to its billed intensity, but it provided this in a very different way to what I was anticipating; it didn’t make me black out or even grey out, but it was a very weird, dizzying kind of intensity that’s difficult to describe. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable at all for me, and I felt quite nauseous and dizzy getting off. The second main con was the trains/restraints, which I wasn’t personally keen on at all. The trains are very tight legroom-wise (even for me, who isn’t especially tall at 5’9.5”), and the shoulder bars really dug in during the ride to a pretty painful extent; on my second ride, I was wincing in pain going around due to how much the shoulder bars were digging in. Overall, I get why people like Olympia, and I fully appreciate its iconic status and history, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me; when combining the weird, nauseating intensity and the painful shoulder bars, it’s not a coaster I’m especially keen on at all from a ride experience perspective. I just don’t think it’s really my kind of ride.

But what are some coasters that you like more than most and less than most? As ever with this type of thread, I apologise if there’s anything controversial in my list, and if you need anything clarifying, don’t be afraid to ask!

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Coaster I like more than most


Grand National. Yes its rough and shaky as anything.....but what did people expect from a roller coaster well over 80 years old!!?? I find it good solid fun whenever I go to pleasure beach and its just an absolute classic. 


Big one. Sticking to the Pleasure beach, Big one may be a bumpy as heck coaster with little to no airtime but it has one of the best first drops I have experienced and is also just fun. A night ride on it is also legendary


Coasters I like less than most


Wodan. Now I do like Wodan, but I just feel it pales compared to other GCI coasters. Its airtime is not as good as that on Mystic Timbers and it also doesnt feel as rapid or as out of control as Troy. So whilst I like the ride, it just leaves me feeling short changed compared to the two I have just mentioned.


Icon. Now this ride is GOOD for the Uk market. I however just find it to be 10 percent decent elements and 90 percent slowly plodding around doing nothing. I can absolutely see why some adore this ride given its smoothness and interactions with the rides around it. I just want something more out of control,eventful and intense. This delivers none of that.

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I think mine are quite similar to @Martin Doyle


Roller coasters I like more than most


The Big One - Obvious first choice is obvious.  It has mixed opinions across enthusiasts, I've been told so many times that I "shouldn't" like it, but after hundreds of rides on it I'm still buzzing and grinning from ear to ear when it hits the brake run.


I adore this coaster because it has so much character.  Everything about it from the sound of the lift hill, the raucous nature of it, the 'unconventional' transitions, the way it slams you about, it's just incredible.


The first drop is still the best first drop I have ever ridden and I love the rest of the layout because it whizzes along at height and slams you into the turns, dips, banked hill crests, and I love the dives under its own and other ride's structures.  Going over the hill behind Skyforce then diving under Big Dipper and being slammed out of your seat into the MCBR is one of my favourite compilation of elements of any coaster.


Also - for better or for worse, the experience changes so much depending on the weather.  In 2021 it seemed to run better than ever, to the point where on a late night riding it was running so fast and wild, that it was the best ride I've ever had on it and one of the best I've had on any coaster.  It genuinely felt like they'd put an engine in the back of the train or something, it was absolutely wild.


So with all of that in mind.  I appreciate why it's not for everyone - to some people it's an archaic coaster with old tech - and that's fine!  But to me, it's an incredible feat of engineering, represents Geoffrey Thompson's amazing ambition and is a staple of the roller coaster industry.  Most importantly though, to me, it's still a phenomenal ride when pitched against modern coasters.  I'd describe it as 'timeless.'


Grand National - Again, predictable one from me.  Grand National is one of my favourite roller coasters of all time and like The Big One, still firmly sits in my top 10 despite me having been to various parks worldwide.


It's an absolutely wild coaster, packed full of insane amounts of airtime, laterals, unpredictability and really has that wild out-of-control feeling.  I love the layout of this ride, the way it gets more and more intense as it goes - the first big turnaround is quite calm, but by the last few you get these insane forces that really throw you across from one side of the seat to the other.


I have never, ever found this ride rough, it's absolutely mental but in the best way possible.  On top of that, factoring in its age and incredible history, it's a ride I have such a massive appreciation for and again - still stands up as one of the most intense, extreme rides out there.


Steeplechase - A ride that I feel doesn't get the credit it deserves.


It's not the most thrilling or big ride out there but it's so unique and different.  Being able to race two other lanes, sat on a horse on roller coaster track is just brilliant fun, and I also like how well the first half is landscaped and integrated with its surroundings.


Then the second half is fun with the interactions with Big Dipper, The Big One and Icon, and again it's just a ride that's so different and fun.


Nemesis Inferno - I joke that it's the only coaster at Thorpe I enjoy but I do enjoy it a lot.  It doesn't have to be "as good as Nemesis" to be good!


Inferno is decent in the morning but by the evening it's a wild, raucous blitz through inversions, forceful dives and turnarounds, and I just hit the brake run absolutely buzzing every time.

An extremely underrated ride in my opinion.



Roller coasters I like less than most


Icon - again, similar to above.  Icon is a ride I tried so hard to appreciate when it first opened at BPB, it had so much promise and the layout is very cleverly integrated with the park's other rides.  Also being a PB fan it was something I wanted to support.


Having ridden it enough times for the "new factor" to have worn off, I just really don't like it.  I don't think it's a terrible coaster so to speak, but it just doesn't do anything for me.


I find the pacing of it to be terrible, and a couple of decent elements don't save that.  Perhaps if the layout was taken faster it would be much more effective, but as it is, it just seems to meander round and also has the worst "finale" of any modern coaster.


It's also a huge shame that the elements that elevate it - mist, soundtrack, lighting - don't always work.


Almost every other major coaster at BPB slams into the brakes and leaves me grinning, Icon crawls into the brakes with a couple of boring s-turns, a dodgy airtime hill and the least effective near miss of the ride.  It's not even in my top 5 rides at Pleasure Beach, let alone the UK.


Such a bitter disappointment, but I'm glad that others seem to enjoy it more than me.


Oblivion - It's a masterclass in how to build up suspense through its theming - oh wait, no it's not, because the theming is broken and tampered with beyond repair.


It has a great first drop, but they forgot to build the rest of the layout.  It's like if Big One had its first drop and then went into the brake run, and it was built after?!   No, I appreciate elements of it were good, but those elements are knackered and the ride just doesn't hold up for me.


As much as the drop is good, a drop and a turn into the brakes do not make a good coaster.


Stealth - Similar issue to above, it's half the height of rides that existed before it and doesn't do anything ambitious or new.  It's like a diet Top Thrill Dragster and didn't even beat UK height records when it was built.

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Just to reply to the two above me, Grand National is nerfed by those awful Kumbak trains. The layout with the old trains was absolutely fine but I cannot stand the trains. They make the thing unrideable. Age has nothing to do with it, 100 year old Rutschebanan at Tivoli is incredibly smooth and enjoyable. 


As for mine




Scream and Medusa Both are these are fantastic B&M floorless coasters that don't get near enough credit for being fantastically paced, intense and exciting rides. Scream gets more abuse but frankly they are both car park coasters. But this is Six Flags, not Galaxys Edge and these are both excellent rides. 


Gatekeeper I loved this ride, it really does the wing rider justice with huge inversions, air time and great near misses. For me, its personally flawless ;)


Schwur des Karnen One of the most terrifying rides I've ever been on. I don't know how Gerstlauer came up with this but its off the chart.




Top Thrill Dragster Awful ride. Not worth the queue, no matter how fast or exciting the ride is. You could ride Raptor 30 times in the time it takes on TTD and you'd have a much more exhilarating time doing so. The dread from rollbacks made the queuing experience awful.


Leviathan A 300 foot B&m should be so much more then what this is. But it's just disappointing frankly. It feels way too short and compared to Behemoth in the same park, is so much less interesting. You can tell they learned their lessons from this when they built Fury 325.


Expedition Ge Force This is my automatic go to when I think of a ride with a mighty reputation that did nothing for me. It meanders around doing nothing in particular for me to rate it particularly highly and I actually think Goliath at Walibi Holland is a far better ride. 


Cheetah Hunt This thing is actual garbage. It doesn't do anything well for me, another ride that just goes on and on and not doing anything particularly well. 


The Big One Boring, dull, meandering, pointless shallow drops that don't do anything whatsoever. We could have had a British MagnumXL, we got a 200 foot big apple. 

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Coasters I like more than most:

Kingda Ka

Was a massive surprise to me and was my favourite ride at the park when I went there in 2016. It’s still currently at my number 2 spot, though my number 1 I haven’t ridden since 2014 and isn’t nearly as fresh in my memory so this is kinda my number 1 coaster in a way. It’s definitely the most impactful coaster I’ve ridden!


The Big One

Specifically in the 2nd and 3rd to back row (elsewhere I think it’s kinda ok). It just feels like it’s speeding like crazy around the course in those seats. And the long ride time with this speed is just amazing! I’ve said it before on this forum but in those seats, it’s my favourite coaster in the UK.

Spinball Whizzer

This ride just brings me so much joy! It takes its elements with some pretty good speed and is pretty intense, more intense than many “thrill” coasters I’ve ridden. it’s also got a nice upbeat theme which is nice for a change when every other major coaster has a darker theme. Weirdly I rank this fairly high up amongst the coasters at Towers, honestly I’d probably take it over Th13teen, Rita, Oblivion and Galactica.


Coasters I like less than most:

Nemesis Inferno

This ride is kinda a hit or miss with me. Some days I’ll get a highly forceful old school B&M invert experience, other days it just feels a tad forceless and on those specific rides (which is probably about 50% of the time) it feels the weakest out of the 5 coasters to me. But I don’t hate the ride, far from it, I still try and ride it every time I go! I do love giving it the nickname Nemesis Inferior though 😆



Yeah I know, another Nemesis on this list. Now I do think it is an amazing ride and I’ve enjoyed every ride I’ve had on it and unlike Nemesis Inferno, it’s always a hit. I just simply don’t quite like it as much as many other enthusiasts but I do appreciate and respect the ride massively.



I found this ride fairly rough when I rode it in 2016, though the only 3 times I rode it were all in the back so that probably affects my opinion drastically. But even looking past that, it felt like any other B&M sit-down I’ve ridden. I thought Kraken was far superior in many ways.

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Hello my name is Benin and I actually like Goudrix.


Beyond the Papillon de Triste, the reputation seems to be... strange? The last visit Zeus was running far worse than Goudrix was, which presumably explains why that's getting a revamp.


It's also a very photogenic coaster. But I just feel its not only a ride that has garnered an unfair reputation but it's actually fun to ride as well.



Icon is ok, just not Helix. I'll also mention EGF, because beyond the first drop (a common Intamin issue) its just meh. The restraints are also awful and Goliath at Walibi Holland is a much better ride.

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1 hour ago, Benin said:

Hello my name is Benin and I actually like Goudrix.


Beyond the Papillon de Triste, the reputation seems to be... strange? The last visit Zeus was running far worse than Goudrix was, which presumably explains why that's getting a revamp.


Goudrix was literally 50-50 for me. One ride was smooth and enjoyable, the other was nightmarish. First ride was in the front of a car, the second in the back of a car, but I would refuse to believe that that was the sole reason for such wildly different experiences.




As for rides a like more than others:

Grand National - Not rough at all, don't get the hate.

Lost Gravity - This is genuinely absolutely fab.

The Swarm - Has a special place in my heart


And rides I like less than most:

The Smiler - Horrid painful ride, won't ride it again.

Olympia Looping - In the context of being a travelling coaster, it's a spectacle. But the ride is not enjoyable.


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10 hours ago, JoshC. said:


Goudrix was literally 50-50 for me. One ride was smooth and enjoyable, the other was nightmarish. First ride was in the front of a car, the second in the back of a car, but I would refuse to believe that that was the sole reason for such wildly different experiences.




As for rides a like more than others:

Grand National - Not rough at all, don't get the hate.

Lost Gravity - This is genuinely absolutely fab.

The Swarm - Has a special place in my heart


And rides I like less than most:

The Smiler - Horrid painful ride, won't ride it again.

Olympia Looping - In the context of being a travelling coaster, it's a spectacle. But the ride is not enjoyable.



Kind of why I find topics like this funny. In one breathe you say Grand National, not rough, can't understand why anyone would see it as rough and then the next breath, Smiler is unridable. 


I think the complete opposite.


Roughness is such a personal thing and I wouldn't personally say I couldn't understand why some would find a ride rough when quite clearly, some people do. 

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9 hours ago, Mark9 said:

Roughness is such a personal thing and I wouldn't personally say I couldn't understand why some would find a ride rough when quite clearly, some people do. 


I guess I haven't worked it particularly well. But here's the thing, I've had two rides on Grand National and they were not at all 'rough'. From my experience, I genuinely cannot see why people would call it rough, for example. Perhaps I was just lucky.


Could say something similar for my first ride on Goudrix. It was great, if a little intense. But nowhere near as rough or uncomfortable as people described. So again, from my experience, I genuinely could not see where the hate comes from. 

That was until my second ride, where I had a complete opposite experience.


I can only go off my experiences. Me saying "I don't get the hate" for a ride isn't to invalidate the experiences of others. Obviously people do hate it and have their reasons, and some ride it incredibly rough. Fair enough. But simply, my (limited) experience doesn't help me understand why people do hate it as much as they do.

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