Joel

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...

Top Coasters

Top Ten Roller CoastersAs most roller coaster enthusiasts, I’ve got a top ten. Kumba at Busch Gardens Africa (Tampa, FL), is my all-time favorite roller coaster. It’s an ultra-smooth looping coaster located in Busch Gardens’ lush tropical setting. Below is the list of the absolute best roller coasters that I have ridden. There’s my complete top ten and a list for top wooden...

Roller Coaster Reviews

More Past Roller Coaster ReviewsRaging BullSix Flags Great AmericaBorn: 1999Drop: 208′Speed: 73 mphMake & Model: Bolliger & Mabillard Hyper CoasterReview: Raging Bull’s a Bolliger & Mabillard hypercoaster from the same designers of the popular Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure and Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Europe. So I was excited when I arrived at Great Amer...

Roller Coaster Day = My Birthday

Suddenly my hobby makes a lot more sense. I found out today that I was born on National Roller Coaster Day. Back on August 16, 1898, Edwin Prescott submitted a patent for a looping roller coaster. Eighty-one years later to the day I was born. Coincidence? I think not. Finally, I can say something more interesting than, “Madonna and I share a birthday” or “Elvis Presley died on my...

’06 Coaster Season Starts Off Chocolatey

I hate waiting in lines just as much as the next guy. Maybe even more so. When I go to theme parks my time is usually limited and I’ve often got a long drive ahead of me. “Get to the park, ride the coasters, and get out” is usually the game plan. So, when I found out that Hershey Park was going to open its season with a special Spring Preview and half-price admission, I was there...

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