Joel

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

NPR Interview on the 200th Birthday of Roller Coasters

April 13th was considered the 200th anniversary of the first roller coaster. These very simple early roller coasters were inspired by the ice slides of Russia. It was “The Promenades-Aériennes” or “The Aerial Walk” in Paris. Passengers walked up a set of stairs to ride a bench down the 600-foot track at 40 mph. – NPR I joined NPR’s afternoon radio show All Thing...

Comic Book Roller Coasters – Round 4

We’ve reached the final four in the Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament. Before moving on, let’s look back at Round 3 which saw yet another super close showdown. Round 3 Recap: Superman Escape From Krypton Slips Past Mr Freeze Mr Freeze Reverse Blast faced yet another tight match-up. This time it fell short of what would have been a major upset as the record-breaking Superman Escape ...

Kings Dominion’s Hurler Getting an RMC Upgrade for 2018

UPDATE 8/16: Kings Dominion has announced details about the new roller coaster that will replace Hurler, read about the new Twisted Timbers roller coaster.   Kings Dominion’s wooden roller coaster Hurler has been closed since the end of the 2015 season. Now enthusiasts are seeing signs of a rebirth. In the Loop recently posted a video giving us a peek at the ride’s track removal a...

Top 9 New Roller Coasters for 2017 – Part 2

Here are my top picks for the best new roller coasters opening in 2017. As I stated in Part 1, I decided to focus on North America. Again, let us know how you’d rank them in the comments. 5 – GaleForce at Playland’s Castaway Cove In Ocean City, New Jersey beach-goers will have more than just the waves and warm sun to look forward to. Playland’s Castaway Cove is set to open a comp...

Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament – Round 3

It’s time for Round 3 of the Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament. There was a particular showdown in Round 2 that created a tie for days. With the tie finally broken, let’s move on to the next round. There are now eight roller coasters left. First, let’s take a look back at Round 2. Round 2 Recap: Super Close Showdown & 4D Coasters Crushed Mr Freeze Reverse Blast passed Superman ...

Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament – Round 2

Ready for Round 2 of the Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament? Now that the play in round is over, we’ve got our Top 16 squaring off in eight super-powered showdowns. will be the play in round as these 8 roller coasters will battle it out for spots in the top 16. First, let’s take a look back at Round 1. Round 1 Results – Bizarro Crushes The Dark Knight! In a floorless coaster b...

Review: Big Apple Coaster (Manhattan Express) at New York New York Casino

Big Apple Coaster (formerly Manhattan Express) is one of the most notable features of the Las Vegas skyline. You’ve probably seen it in countless movies and TV shows. The red TOGO-designed steel coaster traverses loops, twists, and turns on top of the New York, New York Hotel & Casino. Fittingly, the ride has scaled down versions of popular New York City buildings as an excellent backdro...

Comic Book Roller Coasters Tournament – Round 1

I thought it would be fun to combine two things that I really enjoy, roller coasters and comic book characters. And there are so many super hero and super villian-themed roller coasters that it seemed like a good idea to put them in a March Madness-style tournament and have you pick the winners. The Set Up In order to make the list of entrants manageable, here are a few conditions: The tournament ...

Hydrus – Casino Pier’s New Roller Coaster

Casino Pier’s New 2017 Roller Coaster, Hydrus Seaside Heights, New Jersey’s Casino Pier will be opening an exciting loping roller coaster called Hydrus. It will be replacing Jet Star, which was washed out to sea by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hydrus will stand 72 feet above the boardwalk, boast a beyond-vertical drop of 97 degrees, and take riders through a short, but thrilling 1,050 foot...

Top 9 New Roller Coasters for 2017 – Part 1

It’s time take a look at the new roller coasters opening in 2017. It’s a bit of a quieter year for new roller coasters in North America as RCDB lists 21 compared to 46 in 2015 and 38 in 2016. Given that, I decided to keep it to a Top 9. As usual, I’ll rank them by least to most anticipated. Make sure to let us know how you’d rank them in the comments. Here’s Part 1 of...

Real Rides & Roller Coasters of Katy Perry’s Chained to the Rhythm

This week pop star Katy Perry released the music video for her new single, “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley. It features a 1950’s-inspired futuristic theme park and some great special effects. The video merges real rides, completely fictional rides, and real rides with some out of this world, physics-bending features. In the video, Perry brings some deep topics to a ...

What Are Your Theme Park Travel Plans in 2017?

With most theme parks across the country opening in the Spring, a new theme park season is almost upon us. Where am I headed? I hope to return to my home park, Carowinds. They’re adding four new flat rides. They are also re-theming Carolina Cobra as The Flying Cobras. It’s easily the best Vekoma boomerang roller coaster I’ve experienced thanks to the open restraints reducing head...

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