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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June Poll Results: Favorite Classic Designer and July Poll: Favorite 1998 Roller Coaster

Ok so the results are in!
With just over 30 percent of the vote, Herbert Schmeck, my personal favorite designer, was the overall favorite classic wood coaster designer for our June poll. Schmeck had a way with rides. It is tough to find designers that have the ability to create such balanced and complete rides. Even one of his shortest creations, the 27 foot tall and 900 foot long Rollo Coaster at Idlewild feels like a complete ride and a great experience. Some of the other designers create great parts of rides that are fantastic, but seldom create such perfectly balanced rides that do not let up like Schmeck's as seen in the pinnacle of his work, the Knoebels Phoenix, seen below.
In a solid second place, John Miller, an excellent designer gathered 23 percent of the vote. Miller is a fantastic designer as well, bringing us such classics as the Kennywood Racer, the old Geauga Big Dipper, and my personal favorite, the Kennywood Jack Rabbit. There is no better sense of airtime on any ride than on the large double down drop on this coaster. I give Schmeck my personal edge because he created rides that were balanced greatly. The John Miller, gimmicks for lack of better words, like plunging down ravines, were so awesome though, making Miller still an excellent designer.
John Allen, another awesome designer, garnered the third place vote. He falls closer to the Schmeck school in design, as someone who was protege to Mr. Schmeck. My favorite designs from him are the Lakemont (originally Roseland) Skyliner, the Myrtle Beach Family Kingdom Swamp Fox, and the Cedar Point Blue Streak three other designs that just do not let up. John Allen represented a transition into building bigger and badder rides, leading towards rides like the Kings Island Racer and Kings Dominion Rebel Yell, two awesome sets of coasters. You can also credit him with providing some guidance on the legendary Kings Island Beast. Below is a photo of the Lakemont Skyliner.
Ed Vettel, designer of the legendary Conneaut Lake Blue Streak and Lakeside Thunderbolt, came in a  solid fourth with 10 percent of the vote. Vettel was one heck of a designer, and if more of his designs still remained, I am sure he would have garnered more votes. To me, his designs are like if you mixed Schmeck's complete designs with the fury of John Miller's designs. They represent a complete ride with multiple moments where your body does not quite know what just happened. I hope to experience the Lakeside Cyclone one day, but I know how much I love the Conneaut Blue Streak. My father tells me about the legendary Thunderbolt from the old Willow Grove Park near Philadelphia and I hope to experience the similar ride in Denver someday. In the mean time I will enjoy my Conneaut Lake Blue Streak!

Church and Phare received a few votes and there were also a few write-in ballots with Cobb, Traver, and one other represented. I kept Cobb out of the poll because I felt that his designs are not quite in the classic realm yet and no more Traver rides remain, sadly. The closest design we can find to a Traver is the Hershey Wildcat, so get out and ride that!

Now vote for your favorite coaster on the right hand side of the page from the class of 1998! This is a pretty solid and geographically diverse lineup, so make your choice!

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