The top steel roller coasters in the world are increasingly not-American. In this year’s Internet Coaster Poll, Superman Ride of Steel retained it’s title for another year, but it was the only U.S. coaster in the top ten. Korea’s Eagle Fortress which had a controversial 3rd placing last year with only 6 riders moved up to 2nd, now with still only 13. Germany’s Expedition GeForce was bumped out of the top 2 for the first time in eight years. Three roller coasters that debuted in 2008 stormed into the top ten.
Japan’s Kawasemi (Tobu Zoo) and Denmark’s Piraten (Djurs Somerland) are two Intamin Mega Lite coasters that placed 4th and 5th respectively. To me, Intamin Mega Lite’s seem to have similar layouts to hyper coasters only that they don’t break the 200′ barrier as hyper coasters do. Walibi World’s Goliath is an Intamin coaster with similar dimensions. While they don’t look all that impressive, they must be a lot of fun to have placed so high in this prestigious poll.
Two inverted B&M coasters came in at 6th (Nemesis) and 9th (Katun). Canada’s Wonderland’s acclaimed Behemoth B&M hyper coaster came in at a strong 7th and former looping coaster record holder Dragon Khan moved up from 20 to round out the top ten at 10th.
Here’s the complete top ten along with their places in last year’s poll:
1 Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England (Mass.) Intamin Hyper Coaster (1st)
2 Eagle Fortress at Everland (South Korea) Arrow Suspended Coaster (3rd)
3 Expedition GeForce at Holiday Park (Germany) Intamin Mega Coaster (2nd)
4 Kawasemi at Tobu Zoo Park (Japan) Intamin Mega-Lite Coaster (New)
5 Piraten at Djurs Somerland (Denmark) Intamin Mega-Lite Coaster (New)
6 Nemesis at Alton Towers (UK) B&M Inverted Coaster (6th)
7 Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland (Canada) B&M Hyper Coaster (New)
8 Goliath at Walibi World (Netherlands) Intamin Mega Coaster (8th)
9 Katun at Mirabilandia (Italy) B&M Inverted Coaster (5th)
10 Dragon Khan at PortAventura (Spain) B&M Looping Coaster (20th)
See the complete 2008 steel roller coaster poll results.
One has to wonder if Superman Ride of Steel will retain its title next year in its new form. Especially considering how close the top coasters were in the polling. See where top U.S. coasters like Maverick, Nitro, and Millennium Force placed in the full 2008 Steel Roller Coaster Poll rankings.
What’s Your Take?
Do you agree with the top steel coasters list? Have you ridden any of these coasters? Leave a comment below.