Joel

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

Cedar Fair Buys Paramount Parks

Breaking News…Paramount finally found a buyer for its five parks. Cedar Fair (current owner of Cedar Point, Knott’s Berry Farms, Dorney Park, Geauga Lake, Worlds of Fun, Valleyfair, & Michigan’s Adventures) has bought Paramount’s parks for $1.24 billion in cash. The five parks Cedar Fair will acquire are:Canada’s Wonderland, near Toronto; Kings Island, near Cinci...

SheiKra @ Busch Gardens Tampa | Coaster Reviews

An Underwhelming Ride on the U.S.’s only Diving Machine I rode the highly anticipated SheiKra the Monday after it opened in May of 2005. Coaster designers, B&M have finally graced the U.S. with one of their inventive Diving Machines. These coasters offer an unprecedented 90 degree drop. If that wasn’t enough, there are brakes at the crest of these drops that hold riders as they sta...

Cedar Point Slightly Overrated

My trip to Cedar Point was successful. I rode my 100th coaster (Millennium Force) and ten more while I was there. The weather was a factor as it hampered ride operations all day. In fact, Top Thrill Dragster didn’t run until about 3 in the afternoon. I’ll be adding a full trip report soon. I’ll also be reviewing the eleven new coasters that I’ve ridden. Overall, Cedar Point...

Large Storm Makes Midwest Its Home

Just my luck. Every since Wednesday of this week the weather map of the country has shown a huge stationary storm just hanging out over Ohio. And it’s suspected to remain there for at least a few more days. I’ve already bought my plane tickets so I’m still going to go Cedar Point. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the dreary forecast will scare a lot of the park-goers away. Who̵...

Best Days to Visit Theme Parks

I’m often asked about the best time to visit theme parks. In order of best to worst, here are the best days to visit theme parks. Weekdays Early or Late in the SeasonWeekdays early (March, April, and early May) and late (September and October) are the best time to visit theme parks. Many parks will only have weekends open during these times of the year, but some do offer weekdays. These days...

Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Don’t Sleep on This Swingin’ Old Suspended CoasterThe Big Bad Wolf is the perfect example of why I love Busch Gardens Williamsburg. And it’s not even the park’s best roller coaster, but it does give you an experience that would be nearly impossible to find anywhere else. A suspended terrain coaster that flies through a Bavarian village then dives to a river. Try finding tha...

Coaster & Theme Park MySpace Pages?

Tracking Coaster TrendsI was perusing MySpace the other day and I found a whole niche of coaster and theme park MySpace pages. Some could possibly be created by savvy corporations that are hoping to ride M ySpace’s breakout popularity. I can’t help but applaud smart marketing. But it seemed likethe majority were created by fans. Like this one for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Then there&...

Hulk Saves Woman & Chances of Dying on a Roller Coaster

The Flipside of Roller Coaster Accidents There’s been a lot of news lately about coaster accidents. You’re still a lot safer on a roller coaster than pretty much all other moving vehicles. It’s the percieved danger that makes it fun. In a car chances of death are 1 in 18,000 and in a plane chances of death are 1 in 350,000. You even have a better chance of dying from parts fallin...

Contenders for The Coaster Critic’s 100th

The first coaster I ride on my trip to Cedar Point will make my 100th new coaster. Here are the contenders: “The Historical Favorite” Magnum XL-200When Arrow built the Magnum in 1989, Cedar Point had set a world record by breaking the 200 foot barrier for the first time. Other than being a record-breaking coaster the Magnum has been a favorite of enthusiasts for years. It offers a daun...

100th Coaster at Cedar Point

I’m not one of those coaster fanatics that wants to ride every single coaster on the planet. I have a wife, a career, and I would like to have kids someday. Not to mention traveling around the world or even all over the U.S. would be pretty darn expensive. I’m also not really into how many coasters I’ve ridden. I know some enthusiasts will shamefully ride kiddie coasters just to ...

Coaster Reviews

My Highest Rated Roller Coaster ReviewsLed Zeppelin – The RideHard Rock ParkBorn: 2008Height: 150′Speed: 65 mphInversions: 7 (Vertical Loop, Cobra Roll, Zero−G Roll, Vertical Loop, Corkscrew)Make & Model: Bolliger & Mabillard Looping CoasterReview: Led Zeppelin: The Ride is the headliner in Hard Rock Park’s ride lineup. Creating a great new rock-themed park is a draw, but...

Volcano, The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion

Virginia’s Only Active VolcanoI was there the first day this coaster opened in the Summer of ’98. Thanks to the LIMs (linear induction magnets) which have changed the face of roller coasters, the launch is one of the most amazing coaster experiences I’ve ever witnessed. The acceleration is so raw and powerful. Anyway, it’s indescribable how cool it feels. 0 to 70 in a matte...

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