NCL Free At Sea

My Best Single Ride Experience Of 2013

By on 01/01/2014

Now that 2013 is officially over, it’s time to take a look back and reminisce about all the fun that we had. Like we did last year, a few of us theme park/roller coaster bloggers thought it would be fun to once again write about our best single ride experience that we had during the past year.

Not having traveled much in 2012, I had big plans to change that in 2013, going as far as buying a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass with hopes of getting out to both Cedar Point and King’s Island. That trip didn’t materialize, but I was able to make it out to a few West coast parks that I hadn’t been to in quite awhile, and I even picked up a few new credits along the way.

In addition to riding several classics that had eluded me for years, I was also fortunate enough to ride some brand new roller coasters as well. They included Coast Rider at Knott’s Berry Farm, Gold Striker at California’s Great America, and of course Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain. I had hoped to ride Undertow at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, but it wasn’t open yet when I visited. My consolation prize was getting to ride Giant Dipper, which was the very first roller coaster that I ever went on, and hadn’t been on in over 30 years!

Although they are very different coasters, each with their own unique charms, it was a very close call for me between Full Throttle and Gold Striker. However, I am going to give the edge to Gold Striker at California’s Great America. Built by Great Coasters International, it’s 3,197′ of high-speed, twisting, non-stop action.

From the moment you leave the station, you never stop smiling. This is one of those coasters that is just plain fun. Even though the maximum speed is only 54 MPH, you really do feel like you’re going a lot faster than that. As I mentioned in my review of the ride, the only straight pieces of track are the loading station and the lift hill. Other than that, you’re constantly turning one way or the other.

You can read all about Gold Striker, including lots of pictures, in my official Gold Striker write-up.

Check out what some of my fellow bloggers said was their best ride experience in 2013:

I’ll be doing a lot more traveling for work in 2014, starting with two international trips in the first two months, so I hope I’ll find some time to visit some new parks over seas. I would also like to still get out to Cedar Point to do a good old fashioned comparison with my home park of Six Flags Magic Mountain. 2014 should be a very good roller coaster year for me.

Let’s hear from you! What was your best single ride experience of 2013?


  1. Marcia

    01/02/2014 at 8:21 am

    My single best ride experience was Manta at SeaWorld Orlando. I just love that ride! It’s definitely my favorite coaster I’ve been on out of my measly coaster count of 10. It has an awesome theme, I love the whole ‘flying’ idea, that pretzel loop is amazing, and the whole thing is just totally cool. I just wish it wasn’t 12 hours away from me.:)

  2. Miklo De La Noche

    01/02/2014 at 4:49 pm

    it had to be superman. my girl and I got on for the first time last year and it blew us away. it was my first time going to magic since ’96. there was a lot of roller coasters i hadn’t been on and they were all awesome (expecially X2) but the speed and suddenly finding ourselves 400′ in the air was one of the most exhilarating experiences ever. when we got off we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. we immediately got back in line for another go. of all the good times last year that one stands out the most. we make sure to get on at least once every time we go.

  3. Kevin

    01/03/2014 at 10:10 am

    If we’re talking rides, not only coasters, my best ride experience was by far going on Lex Luthor. There was so much adrenaline and excitement pumping through me as we (my sister and I) climbed the huge tower. The drop felt like it went on forever and when it ended, my sister and I had huge smiles on our faces. It was amazing!

  4. Casey

    01/05/2014 at 11:48 am

    Mine’s a tie between X2 and Lex Luthor. They are both SO GREAT! Also, Full Throttle is probably somewhere in my top 5 as well.

  5. Andrew

    01/10/2014 at 6:02 pm

    My best experience this year was my first time on Full Throttle. Everyone at school was telling me just how this ride is pure amazement, and I was jealous. The last time I went to six flags then was in 2011, which is pretty long for a SoCal thrill seeker. I also checked the Coasterguy website and YouTube daily looking for updates, so my anticipation was pretty high. When some friends of mine wanted to set up a day to go, my excitement soared through the roof. On the day of, we ran to Full Throttle the moment the park opened and waited about ten minutes, and to our luck, we got the front row. All I could say after the ride, was “wow”. It exceeded my expections like no coaster has before. I finally got a pass again this year, and have been on it six times now, and is my favorite at SFMM!

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