Coasters are often forgotten about by enthusiasts and the general public when they become rough or they stand in the shadow of newer coasters. Sometimes a ride never becomes well-known even though it truly deserves more recognition. Today we’ll be looking at five such coasters in California. Either they receive too much criticism in our eyes, or they simply don’t get recognized enough. Let’s take a look at 5 Underrated Coasters in California!
5. DEMON at California’s Great America
Demon opened in 1976 under the name “Turn of the Century”, before later being altered to include the two vertical loops, rather than hills, as well as changing names and themes. People often complain about Arrow looping coasters being quite rough and Demon is not excluded from said complaints. In our opinion however, Demon is a wonderful classic looping coaster that can be enjoyed by aspiring and seasoned coaster enthusiasts alike. Are there a few rough transitions here and there? Sure. But on the whole, especially in recent years, Demon has been running very smoothly. The first drop is very fun, the tunnels are great, and the classic Arrow corkscrews provide just the right blend of positive Gs, laterals and air/hang-time. Overall, it may not be the most incredible coaster by today’s standards, but Demon sure is a lot of fun.
4. VIPER at Six Flags Magic Mountain
We all know Viper. The last remaining seven-looper from Arrow. This coaster used to be world-famous for being intense, tall, and well… featuring seven inversions. The ride is still somewhat famous, but for the reason that it’s rough. This ride does throw you around a bit, but it seems a lot worse when you compare it to the star attractions elsewhere in the park. The park is home to giant record-breakers like Tatsu, Full Throttle, Riddler’s Revenge and Twisted Colossus that are (no denying it) smoother, and of course newer. Nonetheless, Viper is still a quality coaster that delivers some of the most intense forces guests can experience, anywhere. From a twisted 171 ft. tall drop, a 144 ft. elevated loop (as seen below) into a high-speed forceful 180 degree turn and a double loop. The ride also features a unique Batwing element and a double-corkscrew offering hang-time. The forces are great, the ride is immense and the experience has an old-school touch to it. Besides the ride not being all-that-rough, in our opinion, it’s also a large ride that offers great views and classic inversions. We love it, and hopefully it’ll receive (vest-restraints) Vekoma MK1212 trains soon, so everyone else can officially love it too.
3. GIANT DIPPER at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Giant Dipper was built in 1924 by Arthur Looff, and even at 91 years old, it is one of the best wooden roller coasters in the state. It begins with an incredible pitch black pre-lift section that is sure to startle first-time riders. After enjoying the wonderful coastal views on your ascent, you are in for the ultimate classic coaster experience. The un-banked turnarounds of the double out and back layout provide incredible lateral forces which is contrasted wonderfully with hearty airtime being delivered on the drop of just about every hill. We’ve talked about this coaster so much I’m sure you know how much we love it. A ride so old, filled with so much history, being able to still deliver a world class ride experience is not a feat to be ignored, thus Giant Dipper comes in at number three.
2. MANTA at SeaWorld San Diego
Gaining more popularity lately is the always-awesome Manta. This Mack coaster is the official proof that we need more Mack coasters in the United States (preferably California, of course). The ride is often considered a family-coaster, and people seem to quickly forget about a ride when it’s for “families”. But despite being a family coaster, it offers one of the best ride experiences in the state. This Dual Launch coaster is built with respect to the terrain as there is a local 30 ft. height-restriction. The ride still features a 54 ft. tall drop, water effects, two launches, and… pops of airtime. All we can ask for right? Well there’s more. The theming is visually stunning for people standing by, waiting in line and for riders. The multi-media launch tunnel for example creates an element to the ride experience other coasters wish they had. Family coasters can be awesome top 10 qaulity rides too. And Manta is the prime example, being one of our favorite coasters overall. And definitely the best Family Coaster in California.
1. PSYCHO MOUSE at California’s Great America
Surprise! We bet you weren’t expecting that. Psycho Mouse is one of the few Arrow wild mouses ever built, and in our opinion, the most overlooked coaster in the state. “But it’s just a wild mouse” well, yes, but it’s the best wild mouse you’ll ever ride. The turns up top are incredibly powerful and are sure to send you flying into your neighbor. The barely banked turn off the top level leading into the drop is so fun and unique, and each succeeding drop and hill actually provide a good amount of airtime. It’s not the world’s most intense coaster, it’s not the most original model, but it may just be the best wild mouse you’ll ride. People talk about Manta, and Giant Dipper, and Viper, but Psycho Mouse has flown right under the radar. For such a fun little gen of a coaster to go so unnoticed, we couldn’t help but put Psycho Mouse at number one.
Of course these are just some of the coasters we find underrated in California. We’re confident you may find other coasters underrated as well! Let us know what coaster you find most underrated by commenting below!
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