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This post is a response to a recent story on the Kevin and Nate show which brought up the excellent question and age old rivalry of CP and SFMM. These parks have contended for the position of having the most roller coasters for many years. *A disclaimer: I have been to CP, but not to SFMM* First of all, CP has the edge in numbers of coasters with 17 compared to SFMM’s 15. SFMM has made a statement to their defense saying that they have coasters of greater quality than CP. This, of course can be disputed. Ride on ride comparisons, as tried in the Kevin and Nate show and RollerCoaster! magazine have yielded ties. I will not try one of these myself as I have never been to SFMM, and therefore my opinions cannot be valid. Even though there is much controversy surrounding coaster polls, I will take a look to see if we can see a definite winner in the results.
According to Mitch Hawker’s 2007 coaster poll:
4 Millennium Force
23 Top Thrill Dragster
46 Magnum XL-200
61 Blue Streak
103 Wicked Twister
170 Mean Streak
245 Intamin Bobsled (Disaster Transport)
279 Iron Dragon
304 Cedar Creek Mine
334 Arrow Corkscrew (Corkscrew)
All others recieve 358s
Cedar Point gets at total of 3107 points for an average of 182.76 points/coaster
SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN
49 Batman The Ride
71 Riddler’s Revenge
190 Deja Vu
219 Superman The Escape
284 Gold Rusher
All others get 358’s
Six Flags Magic Mountain gets a total of 2553 points for an average of 170.2 points/coaster
This shows that on average, SFMM coasters perform better (by about 10 points) than CP’s coasters in the polls. In the end, this is such a small difference that, for the accuracy of the poll, tells us nothing but that the coasters in the two parks are of about the same “thrill quality”. CP has more coasters in the top 50 with 5 compared with 2 on the SFMM side. This means that CP has more standout coasters, but SFMM has a stronger supporting cast of rides.
In the end, to determine the winner we have to look at non coaster elements of the experience. Examples of this would be customer service, non-coaster rides, and park layout. It really up to you to discern which park is better!
P.S. Check this post for more on CP’s coasters.