Joel

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

What We Know About Carowinds’ 2019 Roller Coaster

Good news for fans of Carowinds. All signs point to a new roller coaster for 2019 and the park has started to tease the new attraction with a series of tweets. A sign of things to come? 🚜👩‍🌾🌽 #Carowinds pic.twitter.com/UecGe4b9kA — Carowinds (@Carowinds) June 29, 2018 We’ve sourced only the best timber for the mystic expansion of Byrd Farm. 🌲 #C...

Our Most Unusual Roller Coaster Experiences

With hundreds of roller coaster rides under our collective belts, we thought it’d be fun to share our most unusual roller coaster experiences. We figured since we’ve visited as many parks and strapped in to ride roller coasters as many times as we had, there’d be some odd experiences we could share. Just in time for April Fool’s Day, here are a few of those experiences. Get...

What’s Your Dream Theme Park Trip?

Is there a park that you’ve been dreaming to visit one day? For me it’d be England’s Alton Towers. It’s a unique theme park located in the English countryside on the grounds of a massive Stately Home (American Translation: A Castle!). There’s also a huge garden and the park itself is beautifully landscaped and very green. The park’s foliage and rolling topograph...

What Is a Hybrid Roller Coaster?

At the most simplistic level, roller coasters consist of tracks and support structures. Usually the material used for these components are the same. You’ll usually find steel roller coasters with a steel track and steel supports and wooden roller coasters with a wooden track and wooden supports. Hybrid roller coasters are roller coasters that have different materials for the track and suppor...

8 Ways to Visit More Theme Parks in 2018

If you’re a big theme park fan like me, then you’re probably already planing to visit a theme park or two this year. I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on how you can include more theme park trips in 2018. Have you been meaning to visit a certain park? Would you like to meet other enthusiasts? Here are some ideas you may not have considered that can help you visit more pa...

CoasterCritics’ Picks: Top 12 New Roller Coasters for 2018

What are the best looking new roller coasters opening in 2018? It’s time again, for the long-running tradition on CoasterCritic, of answering that question. This year, it’ll be a team-driven list based on a combination of all of our picks. Given that the majority of our readership is in America, we decided to focus on the United States. Here’s our top 12 new roller coasters for t...

Slinky Dog Dash Opens This Summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios, located in Orlando, FL, will be opening a new roller coaster along with the new Toy Story Land. Slinky Dog Dash looks to be a launched coaster designed by Mack Rides. Fittingly, the launches look relatively gentle and just enough to accelerate the cool Slinky-themed trains on their course throughout Toy Story Land. Opening Date & Height Requirements Curious if...

Why Changing Rebel Yell’s Name is the Right Move

Last week Kings Dominion announced that it was going to rename one of its roller coasters from Rebel Yell to Racer 75. The ’75’ refers to 1975, the year that the ride opened. And of course ‘Racer’ refers to its ride design featuring two tracks where trains race each other throughout its hilly course. The name is also reminiscent of similar ride Racer at sister park Kings Is...

Our Favorite Ride Experiences of 2017

Before we look forward to the upcoming theme park season, we thought it’d be fun to take one more look back at our favorite ride experiences of 2017. The Smiler at Alton Towers Surprisingly, my favorite ride experience of 2017 was not on one of the awesome RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) coasters – Wicked Cyclone and Lightning Rod – that I rode for the first time. It was on a coaster...

Review: Vortex at Carowinds

Vortex represents an era of roller coaster history. The Bolliger & Mabillard-designed ride opened in 1992 back when the novelty of riding a roller coaster while standing was still relatively new. Today, the number of surviving stand-up roller coasters is shrinking as many of them have been removed, converted to sit-down rides, and as parks have preferred to build other types of rides. Today, V...

Review: Carolina Goldrusher at Carowinds

Located in the Carolina Boardwalk area, Carolina Goldrusher is a steel mine train roller coaster that debuted during the park’s opening year in 1973. As you’d find on any mine train coaster, it features locomotive-themed trains that ride steel rails on a wooden support structure. It’s a family-friendly coaster that has no loops, relatively low speeds, and modest heights. Gold Min...

Review: Hurler at Carowinds & Kings Dominion

In 1994, the Paramount-owned Kings Dominion and Carowinds opened two wooden roller coasters dubbed, Hurler. The ride’s original theme was connected to the 1992 movie and Saturday Night Live skit, Wayne’s World. Back when it opened the sparse warehouse-like station had a few exterior touches to make it look more like a Hollywood studio building. The most overt tie-in was the video of Wa...

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