California is home to so many fantastic coasters, we are lucky to live in a state with such a wide variety of high quality attractions. Having the great collection that we do, there are bound to be a few elements or moments that strike a chord with each individual, and that is what we are here to talk about. Not necessarily the best coaster elements in the state, but rather those that Sean and Byron have the most affinity for personally. These elements deliver memorable and unique experiences for us, and thus are our personal favorite elements in the state.
5. Tatsu Horseshoe Turn
Tatsu is a ride jam packed with crazy and fun elements, including the infamous world’s largest Pretzel Loop. That however seems a bit too obvious. An element of the ride that is often forgotten on this terrain traversing beast is the Horseshoe turn. After a quick corkscrew and Zero G Roll, the train enters the Horseshoe turn in which riders are banked well over 90 degrees facing the sky as they are swung around the tight curve over the midway below. This element really delivers on the gimmick of a flying coaster and captures the sensation of flight perfectly. On an inversion heavy ride, the Horseshoe turn is an unexpected and wonderful experience.
4. Xcelerator Launch
Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm is one heck of a thrilling ride. As coaster enthusiasts, we sometimes fail to get very enthused by coasters. We are overexposed and experienced and as a result, certain elements the general public would consider thrilling, come off as rather boring and mundane. Xcelerators launch for us, is a distinct exception. Blasting from zero to 82 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds in not only thrilling, but it is actually physically straining. The power off this launch literally knocks the wind out of you, and that is an experience even seasoned coaster enthusiasts get rattled by. No one walks off of Xcelerator and says “That overbanked turn really made the ride”. This ride is all about the launch, and it delivers for us every time.
3. Medusa Sea Serpent Roll
Medusa is Northern California’s largest coaster, and among the massive layout there is a lot to offer riders. The element that stands out to us in particular, however, is the one-of-a-kind Sea Serpent Roll. As opposed to your standard Cobra Roll, you invert once, bottom out, then go back and invert the other way. As a result, the element is not only unique, but each part of it feels more distinct as you don’t invert in the same manner both times. The element has a perfect blend of positive forces and weightlessness, while also delivering some sweet foot-choppers in the front row. For us, you can’t go wrong with the Sea Serpent Roll.
2. Flight Deck Final Helix
Flight Deck is one of the star attractions at California’s Great America, and for good reason. The ride never lets up it’s relentless pace from lift to brakes, and in our opinion, it saves the best for last. After a powerful corkscrew, the train dives over the nearby lake picking up even more speed. The track banks 90 degrees as riders are punished with a plethora of positive g force, all while hovering only inches above the water. It’s an incredible finale to the ride that integrates scenery, banking and g force. We just can’t get enough of it.
1. Twisted Colossus Top Gun Stall
Six Flags Magic Mountain delivered a world class airtime machine with the one-of-a-kind Twisted Colossus. With riders traversing both sides of the ride, it creates for some wonderful dueling elements between the two trains, but none stand out more than the one and only Top Gun Stall. Riders on the blue side will rise into a steep and powerful airtime hill. As the train above them inverts, the blue side riders are thrown into their restraints by the strong negative forces. The green train rises up into to a Zero g Stall, and the entire the train is suspended upside down floating perfectly balanced between the seat and restraint, complete weightlessness. The blue riders reach up to the train above, the green reach down to the train below, each extending their arms with the assist of each side’s unique forces. This incredible dueling experience is unique, and delivers a great experience both times around. Twisted Colossus’ Top Gun Stall is pure coaster bliss.
Thank you very much for reading. Don’t forget to check out our picture and video filled Raging Waters Los Angeles review (includes reviews of all slides), truly a great water park! These are our favorites but what are yours? Make sure to leave your list in the comments below and let us know!