In this week's poll, we ask whether the race to build bigger, faster roller coasters always benefits theme park visitors.
This week, Kings Island announced its latest roller coaster, Banshee. As our detailed preview reveals, the ride will be the longest inverted roller coaster in the world at 4,124 feet. It will include seven inversions and, interestingly, will reach its top speed of 68 miles per hour in the middle of the ride’s course, not at the bottom of the 150 foot first drop.
In its marketing materials, Kings Island is playing up the record-breaking nature of the coaster. In fact, almost every new coaster these days seems to break some sort of record. The Smiler at Alton Towers, for example, boasts a record-shattering 14 inversions, while Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain features the world's tallest vertical loop at 160 feet high.
Sometimes, the record-breaking nature of these creations is more than just a gimmick. The Smiler's inversions, for example, are not simply thrown together - they are part of an intricately-designed circuit and also play a role in the ride's theme (it's impossible not to smile after disembarking the coaster, such is the manic confusion caused by all those loops). Full Throttle's loop isn't just tall - it also features a unique top hat element that genuinely adds to the thrill of riding it.
At times, though, the chase for records can feel a little desperate. Disney and Universal rarely boast of records broken by their attractions - they don't need to, because the quality of every aspect of the rides is usually so high. Are Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Merlin and the like simply looking to paper over the quality cracks in their own designs? Or does faster, taller or longer really mean better?
Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll below - are record-breaking coasters always better?
Are bigger, faster, longer roller coasters always better?
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