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No room for sentiment! What plays into your rankings?


Giga Poster
Of course, all coaster ranking is a subjective process, but how subjective do you let the process get? All rankers assess based on their own personal ride experience to some extent, BUT ...

Do you allow sentimentality or nostalgia to play a role? For example:

A. I've been riding that coaster since I was a kid; it's magically entwined with my childhood now and my love for it surpasses any sense of reason.

B. That was my first major coaster. I was terrified, but my father rode with me and I was exhilarated when I made it through. I even felt my Dad was proud of me, and now that coaster will always have a place in my heart.

C. Ah, that's the coaster where I first held a girl's/boy's hand ...

Etc., etc., etc. So when you rank coasters or just say what your favorite coaster is, do you let these kinds of factors play a role, or do you try to maintain stricter criteria?


Theme Park Superhero
Depends how often you get the opportunity to ride it again, I believe.
I often find nostalgia works best when you don't revisit.
I probably do include such feelings in rankings, but they can be erased quite easily by an up to date experience.


Giga Poster
Depends how often you get the opportunity to ride it again, I believe.
I often find nostalgia works best when you don't revisit.
I probably do include such feelings in rankings, but they can be erased quite easily by an up to date experience.
Yes, I know what you mean. I rode some favorites of my youth in the last year and it was a harsh dose of reality.
Still, I know I do let sentiment creep into my assessments of coasters-- and for some it doesn't creep but barges in.


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
I do, as that same sentiment shapes my experience while riding.

It's difficult to maintain a 100% objective view of roller coasters, as so many factors play into your ride experience: what was the weather like, how was the queue, did you get a "rattle-y" train, did you eat before riding, were there a lot of bugs out, did you get the first ride in the morning/last ride at night, etc. So too, do our emotions play into how we judge a roller coaster. If you have a preconception that all B&M's are forceless, or RMC's have awkward transition; that is what you are going to be paying attention to while riding. And so, for nostalgic/fond memories and sentiment of riding with friends and family play into that same preconception as well.

The most objective I can be about my rankings are:
1. Re-ridability - how fun is the ride after multiple rides.
2. Novelty - what makes this ride unique and distinct.

After that, all the factors listed above play into my rankings, which will give me a different experience than the next coaster enthusiast. RF II and Maverick remain my top wood and steel as I have yet to have a bad ride in both rain and shine, and have ridden them with various friends and family which creates fond memories. I rank X2 so highly because I have only ridden it at night, which gives a tremendous ride. I rank Skyrush lesser as it was really hot the day I visited, and the trains were stacked in the brake run which didn't help with the tight restraints. And so on, and so on down my list.


Strata Poster
My ranking is based mostly on enjoyment. Sentiment does however come into play. For example Space Mountain (WDW) is in my top ten. I have been riding SM since I was ten years old and ever since then I have loved the ride. The music, the theming and the coaster itself never fails to put a smile on my face.

Bat Fastard

Hyper Poster
I base my rankings on enjoyment and rerides usually. I love coasters that are balls to the wall, that's why I have 5 RMCs in my top 10. Exhilarating coasters get the edge for me over more "refined" and "drawn out" coasters, hence why Dragster is above Millennium in my rankings (fight me). Ejector airtime and big, steep drops are my nirvana, as my top 10 probably indicates. El Toro, Lightning Rod, Fury 325 and MAYBE i305 are all coasters that look like they will crack my top 10 with the first two being coasters I see as potential new #1's. I will be riding all of these this summer (knock on wood) and expect my top 10 to change a lot because of these coasters.


Strata Poster
Yes - particularly when judging parks, a lot will be affected by my mood or the company at the time of my visit - in truth, that's probably why I don't like Tivoli Gardens or Efteling.
It doesn't affect coasters quite as much, although that's why I've got a soft spot for Lynet, for example, much more than I have for Karacho or Anubis. In the old days, I probably rated Corkscrew at Alton slightly higher than it deserved to be as well, just because it was my first 'big' ride.


CF Legend
Definitely, it's probably the reason I rate Stealth so highly - I'll never forget the moment I first rode it and the feeling of pure adrenaline when I got off. Amazing.

I also have an affiliation with parks I've visited at Halloween/in October. it's my favourite month/time of year in general, so any park I visited for the first time when it was decked out all spooky and fab is definitely held highly for me!


Hyper Poster
Nah, no sentiment here. It's all my enjoyment, and coasters like Nitro that mean alot to me (was my screen name for a long time!) has tumbled from #2 to off the list. Great Bear is another, been riding it every year (till I moved to FL) since I was tall enough, always went with my family and it was such a wonderful time at Hershey. I still love the ride, but it's just not up to the others on my list and sentimentality doesn't factor it. Guess I'm cold!


Strata Poster
looking through my top 10, the only one which may have a bit of sentiment involved is Nemesis - I first rode it in about 95 or 96, and have loved it since, and don't think any other band m invert comes close. But - I don't know how I'd feel now if my first b and m invert, (picking one's that were open at a similar time, and I've ridden) - was a Batman clone, raptor (or orochi) or montu, and I'd only ridden nemesis within the last few years.

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
I think i have a bit of reverse sentiment in my top 10. Whilst its primarily based on ride experience its also based a little on whats not accessible to me, like i love Nemesis and it probably is a top ten coaster but its so easy to go and ride and I've done it so many times that it just doesn't appeal to me in a way a slightly less superior ride that was harder to get to does. That said my top 10 is pretty much an order of rides that i'd like to re ride and since i ride Nemesis a few times a year it doesnt make that list. An example would be Raptor at Gardaland, IMO its not as good as Nemesis but I'd rank it higher just because I'd rather go and ride Raptor even if just for a little variety. Doesn't really make sense but hey ho.


Mega Poster
I'm basing my top almost only on how exhilarated I feel on the final break run (and during the ride).
It's not really effective and I have a tough time deciding between the coasters in my top 7. Shambhala is clearly in front, but then ...


CF Legend
100% enjoyment for me. "Did I enjoy this more than that?" etc, etc

There's some (seemingly) weird **** near the top of my coaster rankings like Temple of the Night Hawk because it's just ridiculously enjoyable; and there's some technically fantastic roller coasters that I think are naff because they're just dull and boring such as Expedition Ge Force.

To me, if a ride is immensely enjoyable, it has achieved its primary objective as a form of entertainment.

Edward M

Strata Poster
I wouldn't say sentiment directly plays a big role for me, more indirectly. My enjoyment of a ride like Millennium Force would be different if I were to have ridden last year instead of 2012. At the time, I had never been on anything like it at all. It will always have a place in my heart for being the coaster that turned me into a coaster enthusiast. Still, Fury 325 doesn't hold a dear place in my heart like MF, but it is just better. I enjoyed it more. In the end, it really just comes down to which I enjoyed more. However, I do think that sentiment will be a factor for a few rides (namely MF and Beast). It is just hard to avoid!


Giga Poster
My Top 10 is probably, like most people, a sentimental top 10. It always tends to be that way because it's a collection of your own personal preferences, which ties into the experiences you've had on those rides (also linking to nostalgia).

For example, I know Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens is far from the most exciting ride in the world, yet it sits in my Top 10 because of various other reasons outside of just the 'coaster experience'. It's the history, and the story behind it and my own personal experience with that ride and also the fact I got to enjoy it with good company. It all plays a part for me.


Captain Basic
There's a tiny bit of sentiment in my Top List. Best example is Viper at SFGAm. Most would pass this as a filler coaster, whereas I see it as the park's main Airtime Machine. I've been riding this for years, and have recently grown to love it, earning itself a spot in my Top 10. Otherwise, I guess Goliath is the next closest thing to being sentimental.


Roller Poster
I go off enjoyment alone. I used to loove Magnum XL 200 back in the day but it just rides too rough for me now and can't get near my top ten, sentiment be damned. Now if I was doing an all-time top ten and I was judging it from how it rode in the early 90s that's a different story