Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I got the idea for this edition of Top 3 Thursdays from Jake at Coasterdom. Recently, he did a post listing his favorite roller coasters from the year he was born. He was working with a pretty strong year; 1991. My birth year was a bit more sparse, but the top pick is undeniable. Here’s my list of the best new coasters 1979 had to offer:
3 – Rolling Thunder at Six Flags Great Adventure
Rolling Thunder makes the list for what it might have been when it opened, not for what it is. The two times I’ve ridden it I was bored and rattled like a maraca. It’s been a few years so maybe it’s been rehabbed. If it hasn’t it’s in desparate need. When will Six Flags overhaul and re-theme their woodies? At least Cedar Fair is good about rehab. Carowinds has been working on their racing woodie Thunder Road a bit at a time for the past few seasons.
2 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland
Big Thunder Mountain is a popular family ride at Disneyland. Over the years, it has spawned clones at three other Disney parks including The Disney World clone that was one of my first roller coasters. I’ll never forget how we convinced my Mom to ride Thunder Mountain and how scared she was. Truth is, I was probably a little scared too until I realized how that it didn’t have any big drops. Roller coasters weren’t really my cup of tea when I was 8. See images of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.
1 – Beast at Kings Island
There was really no contest in this list. The Beast was by far the best coaster that opened in my birth year. The legendary roller coaster has topped favorite roller coaster lists for decades. And, although I get hammered for it occasionally, it’s still in my Top 10 as my 2nd woodie and 4th coaster overall. I think it angers some because there are fanboys who have it ranked high because of sentimentality or homerism. I’m from Virginia and I rode it when I was 26, so neither of those reasons apply to me. It was such a unique and thrilling voyage into a wooded area that I loved it. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of terrain coasters and I did right a few times at night. These factors play a big part in my love for the Beast. Read my complete Beast at Kings Island review.
Other notable coasters that debuted in 1979 were: Wildcat at Cedar Point, Corkscrew at Michigan’s Adventure, a water coaster called Vikingar/Water Chute at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and Revolution at the defunct Libertyland (Memphis, TN). There were a ton of steel coasters with corkscews as this was during the steel looping coaster boom. See the full list here.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of my picks for the class of 1979? Do an advanced search on RCDB, pick your birth year for “Opened”, and find coasters from your birth year. What’re your picks? Leave a comment below.