There were several obvious contenders for this honor and my own choice actually surprised me. I had expected my best ride experience of the year to be on Goliath at Six Flags Great America but despite the record-breaking speed, height and angle of descent, I actually got more of a kick out of X-Flight. However, neither coaster provided my best ride experience of the year. The winner is – suspense – Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland! There is absolutely nothing about this coaster that I didn’t love. Let’s start with the restraints. Unlike those on some other B&M coasters I’ve ridden – most notably Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure, on which I find myself sliding forward under the lap bar on the two left-banked turns – the lap bars on Leviathan are nice and snug and as a result I felt completely comfortable with them. I don’t always ride hands in the air when riding a coaster for the first time but on this one I knew that it would be OK, and man, was it ever! Because this coaster uses a chain lift in lieu of the elevator cable used on the two other “giga” coasters I’ve ridden (both Intamin models), I was afraid that the ascent to the top of the 306-foot lift hill would be agonizingly slow but in fact it proved to be impressively quick. The precipitous 306-foot drop into a tunnel at an 80-degree angle was breathtaking and the remainder of the ride did not disappoint. The left turn after the second hill came as a surprise and provided some good ejector airtime.
I was struck by the number of elements contained in this ride, including hammerhead turn, camelback and multiple hills with good floater airtime. I found it to be exceptionally smooth, fast (92mph) and just plain fun. I also found it interesting that unlike other B&M coasters I’ve ridden, this one has no brake run until the conclusion of the ride. As one with a preference for Intamin – and lately RMC – rides, I have to hand it to B&M for what they did with this behemoth (pun intended). It even looks beautiful, especially with the netting on the sides of the lift hill. Leviathan is a real winner.
Here's what other bloggers had to say about their best ride experiences of 2014:
Brian of DoD3: http://www.domainofdeath3.com/best-ride-experience-2014/
What was your best ride experience of the year?