Wooden coaster are more rare than steel coasters but that doesn’t stop some of them from being fantastic! Here are my top 5 wooden coasters.
#5: Thunderhead @ Dollywood in Pigeon Force, TN
Thunderhead is a very overrated coaster as many people tend to place it way higher than it deserves. It’s a very good ride but not that good as it’s very rough and its layout doesn’t help the roughness. However it was still good enough to make this list, so it does have redeeming qualities. First off, while the layout isn’t designed to be as rough as it is, it really is a good layout. It’s very intense and does not let up until the brakes. There are a ton of airtime hills and pops of airtime throughout the ride and the banked turns are pretty fun. The setting is also great as it’s on the side of a giant hill in the Smokies. So yeah. While Lightning Rod may be dealing with dumb issues every other day, Dollywood still has another fun coaster in Thunderhead and while it’s ridiculously overrated, it’s still a good ride.
#4: The Beast @ Kings Island in Mason, OH
The Beast is a very famous roller coaster and especially famous among enthusiasts for its night rides. And while it’s good enough for a much higher spot on this list at night, it’s still worthy of its high placement here during the day as it’s still a very fast coaster and very smooth for a woodie. The sensation of speed is similar to that of coasters like Millennium Force which is definitely not a bad thing, and it absolutely flies through those trees. At night it’s even better and one of the best experiences you can have on any coaster ever. It’s one of the best wooden coasters out there and totally worth checking out, even during the daytime.
#3: Switchback @ ZDT’s Amusement Park in Seguin, TX
Chances are, most people haven’t heard of this coaster. Heck, even a lot of enthusiasts haven’t heard of this coaster. And that makes sense. It’s in the middle of nowhere. However, there are plenty of reasons to go to ZDT’s. First off, the park is really fun and while it’s lacking in numbers, almost every ride they have here rocks. The flats are meh and Mad Raft is decent at best, but the other water rides they have here rock, plus they have two arcades! So yeah, ZDT’s is awesome. But what’s so special about Switchback? Well, first off, there’s the fact that it’s the only wooden shuttle coaster out there! That’s a nice bonus, but about the least interesting thing about Switchback. They really made use of the available space here. This thing is crammed into the park, and boy oh boy does it rock. It has ejector airtime and really keeps its speed throughout the course (at least going forwards). Everything about this coaster is awesome. The Timberliner trains are very comfortable, the overbank is forceful, and the ride’s pacing is flawless until the spike, where it starts to slow down a little bit, but even then it’s still very fun and intense. It’s no wonder this little coaster is one of the best coasters out there. Go out to Middleofnowhere, Texas to try it for yourself today!
#2: The Voyage @ Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN
The Voyage is one of those coasters that everyone talks about and is constantly ranked as one of the best wooden coasters in the world, and it definitely deserves that title. Everything it does is incredibly awesome. From the massive first drop to the insane amounts of airtime to the incredibly intense pacing, this ride has anything that anyone could want. It’s big, fast, fun, and intense. The PTC trains are nice and cushiony and definitely allow you to feel the insane amounts of floater air and especially the ejector air. The Voyage is so insanely awesome that everyone loves it. Holiday World is one of the best parks out there and The Voyage is certainly their star attraction. It’s definitely worth the trip to Santa Claus by itself.
#1: Outlaw Run @ Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO
Located at my all-time favorite amusement park, Outlaw Run delivers a fantastic ride. Everything about this ride looks like it shouldn’t be possible or like it wouldn’t feel natural, but when riding it, everything feels natural, and everything feels great! This ride has some of the best airtime ever, and some of it is sideways. Its pacing is amazing and it feels like it’s going too fast (which is totally a good thing). Despite being short, it feels so complete. It’s easily the smoothest wooden coaster I’ve been on, and it rocks. Get to Silver Dollar City and ride Outlaw Run. It’s amazing and the park is equally amazing.