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Coasters that were built too early?

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
I just remembered another one, although I don't think it could have been built much later given the name it got: Steel Dragon 2000.

Nagashima Spaland was hit by a dose of ambition and decided to build the biggest, tallest, longest coaster ever - and it still retains that last record 20 years later. Only one coaster built since has a taller lift hill than it. It's one heck of a machine, its second hill is bigger than many other hypercoasters out there. And to build this beast, they went to... Morgan.

Granted, it wasn't a bad choice per se. At the time, they were one of very few companies to make hyper coasters, being behind coasters such as Wild Thing, Mamba, Steel Eel, and Steel Force. For coasters of that size, it was either them, Togo (dodged a bullet there, at least!) or Giovanola, with Arrow having delivered their last Hyper a few years before. B&M was technically in business at the time, but had explicitly rejected working with coasters over 70 meters until the 2010s. So it's not like Morgan was the worst choice available, but... imagine if Intamin had been put on the case, fresh off of designing Millennium Force, and built SD2K as its bigger brother. Granted, it would probably have to be called Steel Dragon 2002 or something like that, missing the Year of the Dragon by some margin too, but... Millennium Force's bigger brother!

Notably, Morgan didn't stay in the hypercoaster game for long after SD2K. They built the Superman hyper at Six Flags Mexico, and a small terrain coaster for Gilroy Garden, and since then, nothing. I think Chance Morgan was a thing for a while, but they didn't produce any coasters under that name, and Chance Rides hasn't built any Hypers since either. Whatever happened to the spirit of Steel Dragon 2000, it didn't stay for long at the company.
Luckily for Nagashima Spaland, it seems like Morgan worked to perfect their craft and applied lessons learned with each ride they designed. Of the Morgans I've ridden, they seem to get better by opening year.
 

Dante2k

New Member
Not necessarily built too early but when building Air at AT didn't they spend to much on the seat mechanisms therfore financially couldn't put in a lot of the themes and things they were going to?
I guess a case of getting the ride out too early when it wasn't as planned.
 
Rita

A few years later after Maverick maybe a multi launch LSM Intamin would have been more interesting for Alton Towers although very pricey compared to Rita I believe. Could have been higher capacity with 2 launches and obviously a much longer track. And thus maybe more of a desire to create a better theme. Maybe a Towers' ghost chase related theme or so. But more family friendly something like Ghostbusters type of stuff rather than the constant horror thing.

Maybe this could have then been rolled into a single SW coaster project rather than Rita AND Thirteen. Maybe it would have pushed the possibility of drop track and multi launch from Intamin sooner.

Edit: Just noticed that Desert Race was mentioned in the thread so basically same coaster.
 
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Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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Well, one I always think of is Son of Beast.- Had PKI waited a year or so, and went with Intamin instead, for a 170ish ft prefab... (Colossos opened in 2001, one year after SOB), then that probably would have been something really special (as all the prefabs are).
I'm going to go with the S&S 4D coasters. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say I don't think we've seen a manufacturer yet really perfect this coaster type either.
In a very particular lens, I would argue that Maverick was built about five to seven years ahead of its time.
My mind immediately went to all three of these; hallmark roller coasters with less than sterling record - be it track removal, early retirement, or destruction of a company, respectively. In looking at the IoA Intamin Blitz (and Maxx Force at SFGAm), Maverick would undoubtedly have kept it's high speed barrel roll with different heartline design, had it been built in 2020 vs. 2007.

A balance I strike in my mind is what "too early" is defined as. Much of the roller coaster industry comes from an iterative approach; a new technology or concept is introduced, with subsequent roller coaster designs further expanding/scaling the technology. So what makes a roller coaster "too early", versus a proof of concept, built with the intent of building better, more advanced coasters of the same style down the road? E.g. Intamin Mega coasters, evolving into Gigas (And also definitely agree with @nadroJ that Arrow/S&S 4D is still being perfected ;) )

I would argue that the Vekoma Flying Dutchmen was too early in it's opening. Absolutely a proof of concept with super forward thinking design and ride style; however Vekoma totally missed the mark on rider comfort and ease of use, which really hampers the ride experience. B&M Flyers are far more comfortable, but also feel more, fly-y? Or at least spend proportionally more time face down than face up, lending themselves to the experience of flight. And at least as Vekoma appears to try to reinvent the concept, they still appear to be finding their niche application and pivot.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Sorry to bump this thread, but in hindsight, I think Takabisha at Fuji-Q Highland would have benefitted from being built a little bit later.

I’ve never ridden, but it looks like it would definitely have benefited from being an Infinity Coaster instead of a Euro-Fighter. I imagine it could have been absolutely spectacular with the lap bar trains and Gerstlauer’s much improved track profiling that can be found on the newer Infinity Coasters, what with its seemingly very graceful, hangtime-focused layout, but at the time, Fuji-Q were stuck with the Euro-Fighter design, which was intended for much simpler, more compact coasters built at much smaller parks. As such, while I’m sure Takabisha is still a great ride, it feels a little out of step with the rest of Gerstlauer’s Euro-Fighter arsenal, and I’ve always felt that the ride would have been far more at home within the Infinity Coaster lineup.
 

Pokemaniac

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It has just occurred to me that the term "paradigm shift" was what I was looking for this whole time. All this time, we've been talking about coasters built right before the paradigm shifted and somebody either found a better way to pull off the same concept, or realized the concept was rubbish and scrapped it entirely, in both cases leaving the park with a somewhat underwhelming purchase.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good nomination to come with the revelation, but Coaster Express at Parque Warner Madrid will have to do. It's the last woodie built by RCCA before they went bankrupt, built just as GCI were stepping up their game, and just as its parent design company Intamin was starting to implement the Plug'n'Play woodies. It's built a year before Balder, and two years after the acclaimed Lightning Racer, but apparently rides like a washing machine with a brick in it. Coaster Express was built just as people started expecting woodies to be either a little less rough or a little more thrilling, unfortunately, Coaster Express appears to be neither.
 

Anthony K

New Member
When I watched the POV of Hagrid's Magical Creatures my first thought was of Expedition Everest. That pause at the broken track section was ambitious but now it can be done so seamlessly, it seems a shame they didn't wait for technology to catch up with their ambitions.
 

Will

Active Member
Unfortunately, I don't have a good nomination to come with the revelation, but Coaster Express at Parque Warner Madrid will have to do. It's the last woodie built by RCCA before they went bankrupt, built just as GCI were stepping up their game, and just as its parent design company Intamin was starting to implement the Plug'n'Play woodies.
I still didn't find it all that rough, but it IS incredibly boring. Endless rambling helices do little for me and the idea that it could've been an Intamin or a GCI instead has made me a little sad!
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
When I watched the POV of Hagrid's Magical Creatures my first thought was of Expedition Everest. That pause at the broken track section was ambitious but now it can be done so seamlessly, it seems a shame they didn't wait for technology to catch up with their ambitions.
Ooh, I’d definitely agree with Everest. I’ve always felt like that stop in the middle really kills the flow; you sit there for what feels like ages while the track switches, and after a bit of time, you’ve ascertained that there’s only really one direction the train can travel in. By comparison, your aforementioned example of Hagrid’s built in 2019, and even rides like Thirteen built in 2010, execute this trick far more slickly.

However, I get that it was innovative at the time, so I think it deserves applause for that.
 

CanobieFan

Active Member
Snip snip....
.....Takabisha at Fuji-Q Highland.....
.....I imagine it could have been absolutely spectacular with the lap bar trains....
This, basically. I was honestly disappointed when I found out Ninja Turtles at Nick Universe was going to still have shoulder restraint, although I believe it was addressed in a topic for that ride/park... either here or elsewhere...but I did see something where Gerstlauer said they were unable to to do the lapbar trains on a ride that both launched and had a lift hill... and maybe the hold before the drop? But there was too much going on on the underside of the car for lapbars.... which would have greatly increased the experience for TMNT, while not rough, did have one VERY pronounced head bang every single time I rode it no matter how I tried to avoid it.
 

gavin

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Ooh, I’d definitely agree with Everest. I’ve always felt like that stop in the middle really kills the flow; you sit there for what feels like ages while the track switches, and after a bit of time, you’ve ascertained that there’s only really one direction the train can travel in. By comparison, your aforementioned example of Hagrid’s built in 2019, and even rides like Thirteen built in 2010, execute this trick far more slickly.

However, I get that it was innovative at the time, so I think it deserves applause for that.
And Big Grizzly Mountain in 2012. The backwards section isn't anywhere near as good as Everest's, but the change in direction is executed so much better.

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HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Gerstlauer said they were unable to to do the lapbar trains on a ride that both launched and had a lift hill... and maybe the hold before the drop? But there was too much going on on the underside of the car for lapbars...
Never thought about it from a physical perspective like that before, always assumed it was health and safety getting in the way.
Damnit Gerstlauer, try harder!
 
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