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Is Tower of Terror a roller coaster?


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ToT (and many other similar ride types around the world) have long been classed as Roller Coasters for the purposes of classification (as well as record holding).

Although this is from a Wiki page, it does hit the nail pretty well on the head in my opinion:

At its simplest, a roller coaster consists of a track that rises in designed patterns, sometimes with one or more inversions (such as vertical loops) that briefly turn the rider upside down. The track does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably wild mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

So ToT is a shuttle, single car, with a track that rises once.

Whilst I fully appreciate your opinion Brad, I must disagree over the discussion being semantics (although off-topic). The general concensus in the wider community is that the ride type is in fact a coaster - even to a point that some class it's bigger brother - Superman: Escape from Krypton as a Strata Coaster - the criteria of which is a roller coaster that exceeds 400 feet. (from the same wiki page posted earlier):

Superman: Escape From Krypton at Six Flags Magic Mountain was the first to break the 400-foot (120 m) barrier, but since it is a shuttle roller coaster that does not complete a full circuit and its drop is only 328 feet (100 m), some do not classify it as a strata roller coaster, but most people do.

From this page:

Superman: Escape from Krypton (originally known as Superman: The Escape) is a steel shuttle roller coaster built by Intamin at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, United States. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest and joint fastest roller coaster in the world. It is similar to Tower of Terror II, which opened two months prior at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. It was originally intended to open in 1996 but was delayed due to several issues with the launch system. The ride closed throughout the latter half of 2010 for the transformation into "Superman: Escape from Krypton" from "Superman: The Escape". The refurbished ride opened on March 19, 2011 with new trains that face backwards. The ride was also redecorated with a new color scheme.

As of 2013, Superman: Escape from Krypton has the third tallest structure, the joint fifth fastest speed and the third longest drop.

Edited by AlexB
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And that's what I was trying to get at, I'm not even going to argue that it ISNT a roller coaster. I understand that categorically it is, I just personally don't think of it that way.

If I was taking a mate/family member to DW for the first time and they said 'i want to go on a rollercoaster first', I wouldn't even think of ToT2, it would be straight to cyclone, or possibly Buzzsaw (Which I also struggle to think of as a roller coaster, but more so than TOT2). You may think that's wrong, and I agree technically it is, but it's just how I think.

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What does everyone think of Wild West Falls? Most flume rides feature wheels and track for the drops, but WWF differs in that it features both uphill and downhill sections. The only difference between it and Storm, which is overwhelmingly considered a type of roller coaster, is that it features lateral motion.

Surfrider at Wet'n'Wild is considered a coaster; Shockwave at Dreamworld generally isn't. Both of these rides are effectively a U/W-shaped version of Tower of Terror.

The answer at the end of the day is that it's subjective and at times arbitrary...

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I tend to agree with the manufacturers with most of these.

ToT - Coaster (Intamin Shuttle Coaster - interesting to note they seem to have stopped making them - or I couldn't find it on their site)

Storm - Coaster (Mack Water Coaster)

WWF - Log Flume/Flume* (I guess it doesn't have to be logs anymore) *Not sure what the manufacturer calls it, but to me it's a flume

Shockwave - Coaster* (Not in my opinion, I'd consider it a flat, but Zamp says otherwise)

Surfrider - Not a coaster

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I think the discussion on Shockwave vs. Surfrider is an interesting one.

From memory (and it's been a while) - isn't Surfrider's propulsion contained within on the track? Isn't the 'car' a free wheeling vehicle propelled by LIM or similar?

I don't know if the 'manufacturer's name' is the yardstick though - because although Surfrider is a 'Halfpipe Coaster', the Shockwave is a Disk'O Coaster, but to me, it's just an extension of the Disk'O which is a flat. Although there are exceptions to the rule on both sides, i'm generally of the view that if the car train gondola is capable of propelling itself (such as the Scooby cars when the eyes detect a fire) means it DOESN'T COAST, and therefore isn't a roller coaster.

Shockwave propels itself, so in my view it isn't a coaster.

Again as I said there can be exceptions on both sides so its always going to be a grey area and a bone of contention for those who don't necessarily agree.

For me personally - my yardstick is Duane Marden. If it's on RCDB, it's a coaster.

Edited by AlexB
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RCDB lists Mack and Intamin bobsleds, but not toboggan/alpine slide rides that feature. Nor are Wiegand's alpine coasters on RCDB. If it's the onboard-controlled brakes, well Luna Park's Scenic Railway and several others feature onboard-controlled brakes, and are considered a roller coaster by RCDB.

RCDB separates gravity-powered roller coasters from powered coasters, but doesn't list Zamperla Disk'Os.

(Duane runs an amazing site; I'm certainly not calling his judgement into question so much as playing devil's advocate.)

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OK here's how I'd define a coaster.

-Rolls uphill under its own power at least once (excludes diskos and alpine coasters, but includes mack bobsleds and halfpipes.

-Park and manufacturer refer to it as a coaster.

If its on RCDB its a coaster.

Another way to think of it is the overarching category a ride sits in....Many enthusiasts count "coaster credits" but imagine in an alternate universe people counted "flat ride credits" or "water ride credits" or "dark ride credits" etc.

You can only count something once, so if you were counting WWF or splash mountain you'd count it as a water ride primarily, but if you were on storm you'd count it as a coaster.

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Zamperla DiskOs aren't coasters as they're internally powered, while Surfrider has more claim to be a coaster IMO as it does rely solely on gravity at times, and is not powered all the way.

TOT I would consider a coaster, and Buzzsaw I definitely consider a coaster and can't see how anyone could claim otherwise. It may be short, but it still follows the typical coaster formula of lifthill>drop>rise, and is predominantly gravity powered.

Logflumes with hills do bother me though. I don't personally count them as most people agree not to, but I have considered it.

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