POLL – Pick the Next Coaster to Get the Texas Giant Treatment

Editorials and Rants

As soon as Texas Giant’s redesign was announced I, like many, wondered two things. First, I wondered if it would be successful? Having ridden Texas Giant last week, I can say with first-hand experience that it was a massive success. I gave it a 10 out of 10 and it entered my Top 10 list. Read my full Texas Giant review.

Secondly, I thought about which other woodies should get the steel track overhaul. That question is even more pertinent now that the Giant’s transformation went so well. Once other parks catch wind of the Six Flags Over Texas’ 2011 attendance numbers, rave reviews from park guests who had written off the ride, and all of the buzz on the Web, I’d have to think that they’ll start looking at their old rough woodies with low ridership and complaints as an upcoming project. They could bring in Rocky Mountain Construction and have them revitalize a park landmark and turn a weakness into a strength.

Anyway, I figured it’d be fun to pick the next wooden coaster to go steel. I’ll start the list with first three that I came up with.

Son of Beast at Kings IslandNominee #1 Son of Beast at Kings Island

Why Son of Beast? Son of Beast has been plagued by incidents and closings for years including a lawsuit that was recently settled. It was involved in an accident from 2006 that injured 27 people. The record-breaking woodie was closed in 2010 and will remain closed in 2011. I’m no engineer and I haven’t even ridden Son of Beast as it was closed when I went to Kings Island, but I’d have to think that an-all steel track redesign would make its layout less dangerous.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Nominee #2 Mean Streak at Cedar PointMean Streak at Cedar Point
Why Mean Streak? To me, wood has been a weakness in Cedar Point’s celebrated lineup mostly thanks to the enormous, but rough and head ache-inducing Mean Streak. Scan my review and the 30+ comments below it and you’ll see words like: “rough”, “head-ache”, “downright painful”, “intense pain”, “sore”, & “craptitude” over and over again. Well, that last word is only in there once, but you get the point.


Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Ghostrider at Knotts Berry FarmNominee #3 GhostRider at Knotts Berry Farm
Why GhostRider? At only 13 years old(!) GhostRider’s a textbook example of how woodies can go bad pretty fast. I don’t remember a whole lot from my ride other than it being painful and just too rough to be enjoyable. Knott’s seemed to be a bit limited on space for expansion and renovating GhostRider would allow them to add a new attraction without having to deal with the space constraints.


Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Grizzly at Kings DominionNominee #4 Grizzly at Kings Dominion
Why Grizzly? My old favorite has definitely seen better days. The ride’s signature tunnel with that swooping turn is quite painful now. I’d be all for a steel makeover, I’m just not sure if it’s enough of a ‘main attraction’ for Kings Dominion to put that much money in it.



Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Wildcat at HersheyparkNominee #5 Wildcat at Hersheypark
Why Wildcat? Riding Hersheypark’s Wildcat back in 2006 was one of the roughest rides I can remember. I was familiar with similar woodie Roar at Six Flags America, so after realizing how rough the ride was going I braced myself for the rides most intense transition and still paid the price. I gave it a 3.5 (Bad) and many of the 20+ comments agreed. But, others have said that the ride has gotten smoother in recent years. Read my full Wildcat at Hersheypark review.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


Boss Six Flags St LouisNominee #6 Boss at Six Flags St. Louis
Why Boss? I can’t say that I know much about Boss and I’ve never ridden it, but it received enough nominations from the readers so it’ll be the sixth and final nominee.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


UPDATE – Nominations are now closed. Thanks to the readers for nominating the last three roller coasters. I’ve added Yes/No polls to each of the nominees and voting will be open until 5/15. So, let’s see which of these roller coasters will be voted most and least deserving of an Iron Horse makeover.

What’s Your Take?
Which woodies deserve a steel reboot like Texas Giant’s? Nominate another woodie and be sure to state why you think it could use a similar upgrade. If a minimum of three commenters agree, I’ll add that coaster to the list. Once the list is done, I’ll create a poll and we’ll vote for the most deserving woodie to go steel. Images courtesy of CoasterImage and Naystin

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Son Of Beast is definitely going to be transformed within a few years. Kings Island spent millions of dollars that they aren't going tear down anytime soon. Now Mean Streak, I believe it will stay around a few more years as a painful ride before it is demolished.

  2. Mean Streak had a lot of track work done to it this past winter. I rode it a month ago and it wasn't that rough but it also wasn't that interesting. I rode it in the very front and the last car, I don't think there was any real "pop" of airtime anywhere on the track. A couple of the banked curves were taken so slow you could tell the track was too banked for the speed it now has. Any ride where the first drop is braked is obviously not running up to its potential. I haven't been on New or Old Texas Giant but Mean Stream would be an obvious candidate.

    Next door to Mean Streak, Maverick had a long line. Mean Streak was a walk-on, hardly anyone seemed interested in it. Wasted Potential: The Ride

    I think Maverick would be the best ride at Cedar Point if they used the "straps" that 305 at Kings Dominion has now. Maverick has too many transitions for the harder over the shoulder restraints, that is the only thing holding back the ride from being perfect for me.

  3. What about the rattler at six flags fiesta texas

  4. I think if Cedar fairs was actually going twards making a repair on the son of beast, that they shouldnt even give it the Texas giant treatment, they should give it the El toro prefabricated track, then add the loop back, give the ride some 90 degree banking turns, A steeper drop and maybe even add in a cable lift to the top… That right there will turn heads, and maybe even put the Son Of beast at the top of the leader charts.

  5. All those are great candidates for that 'Texas Giant' makeover…. it's hard to pick really….

    Even though this one hasn't been criticized for being rough and intense, I think Colossus deserves it.

    It's tall and fast; but other than that, it's a very boring coaster. With the TX Giant makeover, it could have a slightly taller and much steeper drop with more hills and more overbanked turns. just sayin'

  6. I've been on several coasters I thought were too rough to be enjoyed, but Wildcat was not one of them. Seems Gwazi (even with MF's) was rougher to me than Wildcat.

    Haven't been on Boss, but from what I hear it should probably be #2 or #3 here.

    Both Hurler's should *definately* be here too (make it a top 10). And probably both the Roars, Rebel Yell, Grizzy at CGA, and Georgia Cyclone too. I agree that Grizzly should be here, and SOB at #1.

  7. Realistically I think Cedar Point should look into the makeover.

    SOB would be a good candidate but REALISTICALLY speaking it just wouldn't do. SOB is too large and would cost a fortune for the renovation plus KI as already put a lot of money into this coaster its expenses are too high. SOB will be scrapped for sure in the coming years and hopefully whatever money they get (if any) will help them towards a new ride.

    Mean Streak at CP could do. Its a long ride dont get me wrong with a track length of 5427'. However its not THAT that far away from Texas Giant's length at 4920' (nearly 5,000) so the cost wouldn't be astronomical. I would say the renovation would be between 12 and 15 million dollars.

    I think CP could benefit form it a lot actually if they did it. No more major off season maintanence stuff…more crowds coming to the ride; and more positive reviews on their coasters. They could advertise themselves as having more top rated coasters than anywhere, if they already have not made that claim. (of course if the rennovation goes well) Im not biased I live in GA btw Im just saying..

  8. Wildcat, Ghostrider and the Boss – definitely no. CCI and GCI coasters need to be kept wooden IMO.

    Mean Streak would be the best option.

  9. I rather see Son of Beast get a prefabricated track rather than the steel horse treatment.. Prefab is like steel but still has the classic woodie look. (like the El Toro) If they use a prefab track it will be almost glass smooth, new trains and maybe make some modifications to the layout, 90 degree banking with the double helixs, and a very steep first drop, bring back the loop and maybe even having a cable lift and kings island might have a winner on their hands. This ride wasnt design flawed, it wasnt maintained properly; having the two longest wooden rollercoasters in the world was too much for kings island's maintenance staff…

  10. I went on mean strak recently after they retracked it this offseason, and it is actually smooth, enjoyable, and, beleve it or not, it added some airtime giving it a more thrilling sensation. Now only if they got rid of the trims…


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