We’ve rated and reviewed many coasters over the last few years, and although we’re usually not fans of listing/ranking rides or parks, we do create an annual California TOP 50! You might, and likely will, disagree, and that’s totally fine! That’s what this TOP 50 is all about! Of the many rides in the state, we selected the 50 we think are best! Here are places 50-41 in the California TOP 50 of 2016!
We would like for you to understand that all rides in our TOP 50 went through our own rating/ranking system that created a TOP 50, the way we think the rides are ranked best! By the time the entire TOP 50 has been published, our minds may have changed, because with this much variety and top quality rides in CA, it’s insanely hard to get to a ranking. We’ve ridden all the rides again in 2016, and thus our list differs from previous years. Here’s part ONE, enjoy!
50. Green Lantern: First Flight
Although many detest this ride and claim it’s painful (most of our members included), there are others that love it. Green Lantern: First Flight’s flipping aspect adds an unpredictability to ride, not to mention the fact that each drop is quite forceful and provides some strangely angled positive and negative forces. It may be considered painful by many, but we’ve given it a spot on this list for its sheer force and unpredictability that others love.
This roller coaster features two lift-hills and some funny pops of airtime. The first section of the ride is primarily a few quick turns leading into the bigger second lift-hill. The second half of the ride has a very nice combination of drops, lateral movements, theming, and surprise sections that offer quick pops of airtime. There’s a lot to this coaster, as it is undoubtedly one of the better mine-train coasters out there!
48. Gold Rusher
As the first coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, this Arrow Mine Train coaster was considered quite thrilling when it opened in 1971. Gold Rusher has been around the mountain for a few decades and over the years different rides have wrapped around it, such as Log Jammer that was taken out, and now Full Throttle flies over the ride. Gold Rusher passes through and past the park’s mountainous terrain filled with trees at 35 MPH. It’s one of the few family coaster at the park that, like Ninja, is fun for guests of all ages. Luckily this awesome classic hardly ever has a line.
47. Boomerang/ Boomerang Coast to Coaster
Vekoma Boomerangs are the world’s most common model of coasters, and we have two here in California at Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. On both rides, riders are pulled backwards up a 120 ft lift hill before dropping, snaking their way through a Cobra Roll and a Vertical Loop. The train then engages the second lift hill before riders drop backwards doing it all over again. Although not the smoothest rides in the world, these boomerangs pack in a swift and powerful punch, thus their shared spot on the list.
46. Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the world’s most famous theme park rides and a true Disney classic. This 15 minutes long ride will takes guests through relaxing bayous, stunning caverns, pirate battles and much more. The sheer length is not all this ride has going for it. There are dozens of animatronics bringing this experience to life. In fact, Pirates of the Caribbean pioneered the audio animatronic technology. This ride is largely family based, with the only thrilling elements being the two drops toward the beginning of the ride, thus we’ve decided not to put it too high on the list. Regardless, Pirates of the Caribbean is a great dark ride and we’re lucky to have it here in California.
45. Timber Mountain Log Ride
One of the earliest log flume type of attractions was Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. After we rode it a lot over the years, it’s still one of our favorite log flumes around. The ride combines superior theming (with new animatronics and scenes added during the 2013 refurbishment) with two excellent drops, one of which is located in the dark, the other is the iconic drop off the ‘mountain’ rock work. Overall, the ride is very well maintained and combines everything you look for on a log ride, which includes smells, light effects, water falls and a crazy amount of awesome animatronics.
44. Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror is soon to be overhauled into Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, which is all the more reason to appreciate this California Adventure staple.Guests will check into the Hollywood Tower Hotel, in which they approach an old service elevator to embark on their eerie journey. As soon as the ride begins the elevator shifts backwards, giving the sense that this will be no ordinary elevator ride. You then shoot up into a few show scenes, before of course, you drop significantly in the dark. The ride continues rising and dropping, before bringing you to the top of the tower to admire your view one last time, and drops you again. Tower of Terror will certainly be missed and it one of our favorite attractions at that park, thus its spot on this list.
43. Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye is one of the newer Disney dark rides, and it’s a good one without a doubt. After walking through one of the most interactive and impressive queues you’ll ever encounter, guests approach their jeep to begin their off-road adventure. It begins with a very impressive alternating sequence show scene in which you look into the eyes of a goddess, and it’s non stop from their. The large temple room is absolutely stunning, and some of the animatronics, especially the cobra, are incredible. The finale of course is an absolute classic, where guests dodge the rolling boulder in the knick of time. This ride has a few cheap effects here and there, and a few dark sections which keeps it from being higher on our list. However, Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye is one fantastic dark ride and is not to be missed.
42.Transformers The Ride 3D
Transformers: The Ride 3D is a perfect modern type of dark ride. The combination of immersive crystal clear 3D scenes projected on a multitude of large screens and awesome practical sets and effects make this ride so awesome. Along the way you will encounter many characters from the franchise such as Bumblebee and Optimus, and in all honesty, this ride does a better job of putting you in this universe than the movies ever did. The narrative elements keep you focused on the task at hand and this ride is just great. It doesn’t have very many physical thrills, thus it’s spot in our Top 50, but this is the gold Standard for modern dark rides.
Undertow is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s newest coaster, and it fits in excellently at this family based seaside park. Guests climb the lift hill and are treated to some incredible views, before approaching the drop. The back to back seating means half the car drops backwards, which is a lot of fun. After the drop, the spinning mechanism unlocks and the ride pulls no punches from here on out. You drop into an 85 degree banked turn, a series of S-curves, and a helix before spinning into the brakes. It’s not the world most intense roller coaster, but Undertow is pure fun and a perfect fit for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Thanks for checking out the first part of the 2016 California TOP 50! The next 40 spots will be published in the next couple of weeks!
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