coasterbill wrote:It's very cool, but it needs a lot of tweaking.
Man, I tell you what, if I could get my hands on the max positive and negative G-force data for each and every roller coaster (or at least find a way to estimate it reliably), that would increase the accuracy on my sheet by at least 10,000% (it's a very scientific estimate). Sadly, not even rcdb.com has much of this type of data. Some have g force data listed, but way too many do not have it. Is it weird that I fantasize about visiting every roller coaster on Earth with an accelerometer on board so I can get the data myself?
Well, it's been nine months since I last posted in this topic, so here is the most up-to-date top 50 on my spreadsheet (I made a handful of tweaks under the hood as well).
Also, over the past month or two, I have been exploring the idea of enhancing these park rankings using numbers by ranking other types of rides. I now have spreadsheets for steam railroads (US and Canada only; main source: steamlocomotive.com) and classic carousels (US and Canada only; main source: carousels.org). I may expand those two to include UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, but probably no further than that, as the type of info I need is not covered that well for non-English-speaking places. Anyway, I also created a small, master spreadsheet that combines all three grand total scores from these types of rides and ranks all the US and Canada locations with their overall score. In a nutshell, the overall winner by a huge margin is Cedar Point, followed by Hersheypark and Knoebels (the original Disneyland is also in the top 10). I also created a spreadsheet for Ferris wheels worldwide over 40 meters (131.23 feet) tall, but I decided against including this in the master spreadsheet, as there are only 70 on that list and only 16 of those are in the US or Canada.
I will post any and all of these new data rankings I made if you are interested.
Also, researching railroads and carousels has been interesting because it widened the scope of the types of locations ranked beyond simply amusement parks. Here is an example of what I mean: this is the master spreadsheet with only the locations shown that have railroads and carousels, but no roller coasters (#1: Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan). If I continued to only focus on roller coasters and other thrill rides, I would never have known that some of these places even existed.
Okay, I updated the railroad spreadsheet to include all the known railroads in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand (in addition to the US and Canada). Here is the top 10 from that:
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Chama New Mexico USA USA & Canada Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Alamosa Colorado USA USA & Canada Queensland Rail Heritage Fleet North Ipswich Queensland Australia Oceania Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park England UK Europe Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Durango Colorado USA USA & Canada SteamRanger Heritage Railway Mt. Barker South Australia Australia Oceania North Yorkshire Moors Railway Pickering England UK Europe Statfold Barn Railway Tamworth England UK Europe Grand Canyon Railway Williams Arizona USA USA & Canada Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad Garibaldi Oregon USA USA & Canada
Also, as expected, when all the scores are grouped by state/province, England is way the hell out in front; however, when grouped by country, the US is just ahead of the UK by a nose.
Meanwhile, on the carousel spreadsheet, here is its top 10 (only the US and Canada are on this one, as info for carousels in other countries is scarce):
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Charles I.D. Looff Santa Cruz California USA Knoebels Kremer's Carousel Works Elysburg Pennsylvania USA Flying Horses C.W. Dare & Co. Oak Bluffs Massachusetts USA Crescent Park Looff Carousel Charles I.D. Looff Riverside Rhode Island USA Logansport Riverside Park Dentzel Carousel Co. Logansport Indiana USA Conneaut Lake Park T.M. Harton Co. Conneaut Lake Pennsylvania USA Spokane Riverfront Park Charles I.D. Looff Spokane Washington USA Nassau County's Museum Row Artistic Caroussel Mfg. Co. Garden City New York USA San Diego Balboa Park Herschell-Spillman Co. San Diego California USA Castle Park USA Dentzel Carousel Co. Riverside California USA
Interestingly, on the 2014 Golden Ticket Awards issued a few days ago, the Knoebels Grand Carousel was #1 and the Sanata Cruz Looff Carousel was #2.
Last edited by Jackdude101 on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:25 am.
Finally...for now...here is the Top 50 from the Attraction Rankings spreadsheet, which combines the scores from the roller coaster, railroad, and carousel spreadsheets. 529 separate locations in the US and Canada are represented on it. If you can't be bothered to open the image, the supreme overlord of this ranking by a gigantic margin is Cedar Point. That place just has everything and then some!
Here is the same table from the Attraction Rankings spreadsheet showing the Top 50 locations that have scores in more than one category (locations that have a score for roller coasters, but no scores for railroads and carousels are not included, for example):
Personally, I can subjectively say that Lightning Run is the best coaster I've ridden. I'd prefer not to reverse-engineer my own brain, though, and simply conclude that "I like it a lot." You may quote that in your dissertation, sir.
I just have to say the amount of selection bias in this thread, along with your attempt to derive a formula for the mystical quantity of "objective betterness," are kind of hilarious. It's certainly an entertaining read, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing how closely you can get your formulas to trend toward the Mitch Hawker poll data. You should make some comparison graphs.
nannerdw wrote:I'd prefer not to reverse-engineer my own brain, though, and simply conclude that "I like it a lot." You may quote that in your dissertation, sir.
I guess the main goal of all of this is to take my own personal experiences with rides and which ones I like the most (favorite non-looping coaster: Millennium Force, favorite looping coaster: Montu, etc.), apply tech data towards an overall score in such a way that these rides I like are at or near the top, and from that determine which rides are EQUALLY as good, which I have never ridden before or probably will never ride in my lifetime. As a specific example of what I mean, I might ask the following, "I like the Greenfield Village living history museum. I wonder how well it ranks to other living history museums that I have never been to that have similar attractions I like and whether any of those other locations would have a higher score (Greenfield Village turned out to be the top-scorer for living history museums, as it has a steam railroad AND a classic carousel)." So yes, the scoring system is subjective, but the data used is not, and in many cases the scoring is close to or matches several of the better-known subjective top attraction lists. In essence, it allows me to get a general idea of what a location has to offer in terms of attractions without actually visiting it. We can't all be blessed to have the time and means to travel the world just to visit theme parks (I would if I could), so, for me at least, these spreadsheets are the next-best thing to being there.
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