Friday Five - Top 5 First Drops

Welcome to the Friday Five! This will be a fairly short series of my top 5's. I'd like to see what your top 5's are, so let me know in the comments, lets see if i've missed something, or if there's somewhere I really need to visit!

So today I'm looking at first drops, a very important part of a ride, for me this is the first impression and needs to be good! I'm sure you'll see by my choices that I have quite a particular type of drop that I like, those few seconds of floating before the drop really hits you is important, and it may well be why I haven't enjoyed launched coasters quite as much as everyone else seems to! Do note, these are not overall my top 5 coasters overall.

1. Superman / la Atracción de Acero - Parque Warner Madrid

Here we have a B&M floorless, the ride overall is actually very good, I really enjoy this coaster , but that first drop is magic, I couldn't choose between front or back row here as they are equally as good in their own way, definitely worth riding (at least) twice to enjoy both!

The drop comes in two parts, the first part just gets you moving, and what helps the drop be enjoyable wherever you are on the train as the back end of the train isn't being whipped over the top of the lift while the front is already halfway down before the speed hits. The floaty feeling of the drop and the force at the bottom of it make it a great experience, especially when all there is to see in front of you is the rest of the ride you're about to get.

2. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando

Another B&M, an airtime filled out and back Hyper, and an amazing one at that!

I believe the train really makes a difference on this one, the open exposed feeling and just having the lap bar really lets you make the most of the drop, anywhere you end up in the train give a great ride.

At the front, you get a little bit of suspense cresting the lift, a fantastic view, really lets the excitement build, and before you know it, the trains been thrown off the lift and you get that floaty feeling combine with great speed and then an incredibly smooth transition at the bottom without sacrificing the force. I really enjoyed the coaster as a whole and can't wait to visit again for some more rides!

3. Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa

Another B&M, seeing a theme here? This particular coaster does happen to be tied for the number one spot for overall coasters, it is a fantastic ride and looks fantastic too.

Again we have a 2 part drop, the initial part getting the train over the lift to give the best transition to the main drop. The difference with Kumba to Mako and Superman though is it is a nice swooping drop rather than a straight over, a bit less floaty too, but there is something about the swoop round that really gets the ride off to the best start! I think the picture below, from back in 2009 shows just how much I love this ride and the first drop. (If you're not familiar, the ORP is taken at the bottom of the first drop) I'm on the right, and if you've joined any PBE Events you might recognise Andy and Tara from this photo too! The one below is from 2001!

4. Shambala - PortAventura

Yet another B&M, a hyper this time. This is a coaster I have strange feelings about, it's on this list so obviously I love the first drop, but it's a strange one after that, I always feel like there's something missing, and I really don't like that messy turnaround. Overall, it's a decent coaster though.

The drop though, let's get back on track, it's a massive drop, a 255ft drop, into a tunnel! Plenty of that floaty but fast action that I enjoy, and it's height just give it a bonus too I think. I'm not sure if I prefer the front or back rows, but what I do think is it might be further up this list if the ride ops weren't intent on cutting everyone in half with the restraint, it can make a big difference just having that tiny bit of room to breathe!

5. Megafobia - Oakwood

A woodie! Some CCI brilliance and a wooden coaster that manages to get the first drop spot on! I do love the whole ride, fun from start to end. I tend to find most woodies though, certainly older ones, the ride improves as you go along, but I feel that might be a quirk of how coasters were 'designed' back in those days!

The back row of the train has to be the best! I recon without a lap bar, the flick from lift hill to first drop is forceful enough to get me back to Cheshire without the petrol bill! The forceful ejector nature of the start of the ride really lets you know what you're in for, your backside won't be seeing much of the seat being the main message! It's not a tall drop, and it's over quickly, but it is fantastic!

Let me know your favourite drops below, do you agree with my favourites or do you prefer something a bit different?


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