Note: I have decided to only rank rides I rode since becoming an actual enthusiast a little less than two years ago. Also, this order is not set in stone, and there are several rides I could totally see myself moving around.
Ok I know most people aren't that into stand up coasters, but this one gets a pass
Ok but seriously, I was not expecting to love this ride as much as I did. The first half of the ride is nothing to write home about, but the 2nd out-and-back maneuver is insane! That airtime buffet, especially in the front (IMO), is unbelievable. You stand up on all four of those hills, at speeds that feel like they may as well be 70mph, one track that's way too smooth for a ride originally built in the 40s. My first ride had me laughing like a lunatic on those final hills. The one word that immediately came to mind after getting off this for the first time is 'bliss', which I feel is the best word to describe Phoenix. What an awesome ride.
1b. El Toro.
This was my first "elite" coaster I rode after becoming an actual enthusiast, and boy did it deliver! From the back, the pull off that first drop is mental, as your violently ejected so fast you have a hard time believing that just a second ago you were navigating a flat 5mph turn-around. The next two camelbacks follow up with some more of that insane lift-your-shirt-off ejector. Next section lacks the insane airtime that preceded it, but is still a blast as you navigate that turnaround and floater hill at very good speeds, before crossing under a couple dramatic head choppers. before cresting the legendary rolling thunder hill. Now being honest, I didn't feel that much stronger air on the RT hill than any of the other camelbacks, but I've only been able to get on Toro 4 times across my two visits when it was operating, and it's still an awesome moment so who cares. The finale is very fun, maintaining good speed, and fun banked turns. On my first 2 rides in 2017 Fright Fest, I remember good airtime over the final two bunny hops, but on my 2018 visit on labor day, I didn't notice much air, but regaurdless, El Toro is awesome.
If Phoenix's airtime comes straight from heaven, then Skyrush's airtime comes straight from Hell (in a good way). The ride kicks off with my absolute favorite first drop (in the back). You whip over the top and get some strong ejector, but somehow, about halfway down the drop, you get a 2nd distinct pop of even stronger ejector from out of nowhere. That first drop makes you feel like you're going to die. This is an intense
ride. Following the first drop, you then whip into a crazy series of sustained ejector, positive G's, laterals, an awesome stengel dive, and the legendary -2g hill. This ride refuses to let you doze off even a little bit, and I love it. My one big complaint that keeps me from loving it more, is the pain. The restraints, more often than not, crush my thighs throughout the whole ride, and I need to fight/ignore the pain the whole time. I can completely understand why some people hate this ride, but I like the layout and forces enough to forgive the SkyRush side of Skyrush.
4. Goliath. (RMC)
My first and so far only RMC did not dissapoint. I know this is one of the weakest RMCs, but a weak RMC is still a very strong coaster, and this ride is proof of that! Kicking it off with a strong first drop, this ride gives very good air, fun laterals, and two fun inversions. Some people aren't that big fans of the turnarounds, but I'm quite fond of them, they have nice laterals, and diving off of them is a blast. Also that jump into the brake run is awesome. The main issue with this ride is obviously its length, but what it does have is a ton of fun.
5. Twister. (Knoebles)
Just a little behind Goliath is Twister. What an all around fun ride! I love the awesome laterals, funky layout, and surprise pops of air. I was only able to snag two rides during my visit: one during the back in the day, and one in the front row at night, and while the former was fun, the latter was head and shoulders above it. This ride deserves to be ridden at night in the front row. The structure whipping around you, the wooded environment, the sensation of speed, and the pops of airtime you only get at the front row make this my favorite ride at night that I've been on. Phoenix may overshadow it, but Twister is still fantastic! That tunnel is a great way to end the ride too.
6. Storm Runner.
Not unlike Goliath, this ride is short, but packs an awesome punch. I was only able to ride this once since becoming an enthusiast, so I chose the front row - I do not know how other rows feel. That out of the way, you start off with a smooth, powerful, and overall awesome launch. You're whipped into the back of your seat before rushing and twisting up the Top Hat for a pop of airtime. The rest of the ride is an awesome mix of speed, inversions, as well at two more pops of airtime entering the heartline roll and jumping into the break run. The flying snake dive is also a lot of fun, and I wish other coasters included this inversion. Finally, the short twisty section at the end actually had significantly stronger laterals than the pov would lead you to believe. This ride is just a ton of fun!
7. Nitro. (SFGAdv)
Smooth, long, graceful, and floaty make this a very enjoyable ride! While not particularly intense, Nitro gives very good floater in pretty much all rows. In the back, you get a more forceful ride with a bit stronger air, but the front provides more sustained air, as well as a more floaty feeling (as opposed to the back where you feel being pulled down more than floating up). The helix is also fun, especially when it's running fast, and I must give this ride props for continuing to give great rides even in sub-freezing temperatures, and I enjoy how it retreats into the woods.
8. Superman: Ride of Steel. (SFA)
While it has some significant flaws, Superman delivers a very fun ride, and is my favorite ride at my home park. The first drop is always a blast: in the front, you get an awesome feeling of crazy speeds, and in the back, you get a brief pop of ejector. The first hill isn't anything too special, but the 2nd hill gives you some really fun air, the final three hills each deliver very good pops of ejector, that make this ride one of my favorites. However, this ride is too flawed for me to rank it higher. The most obvious flaw is the two over-sized helices. They look kinda cool, but they're just as pointless as they look on the Pov's. Aside from the occasional bit of laterals upon entering them, they don't deliver much force, and their only good quality is a nice sensation of speed, and two (actually very good) headchoppers. The straight section is also pointless, but doesn't last too long, so I forgive it. Sit in the front for the best ride!
9. Kingda Ka.
It may be a rattley one-trick-pony, but this is still a great adrenaline rush. Unfortunately, when I went, the line for front row was really long, and they only ran one train despite a long line (and yes, the train had to wait for Zumenjaro every time). However, I took 2nd row as a consolation prize, as I am tall enough to see over the back of the seats for front fairly easily. While not smooth, the launch is quite forceful, and it lasts forever (compared to most launches). The ascent up the tower is a rush, the drop is a ton of fun, and taking in your surroundings during that brief moment on the top is an awesome experience. Plus, the hill at the end does offer some floater if you pay attention.
10. Wild One.
The 2nd oldest coaster in America still packs a punch. I honestly adore this ride. I love that a ride over 100 years old still offers thrills that rival many newer wooden coasters, even if it was heavily modified throughout its life. Many of the hills deliver fun floater, particularly the double down, and the ride maintains its speed quite well. The final helix delivers a great dose of laterals to finish off the ride. My favorite row is 2nd-to-back.