When we ranked the Top 5 years for new coasters in 2015, 1999 just missed the cut, coming in as an honorable mention. In honor of the 20th anniversary of a pretty solid year for coasters (with a few real standouts), we’re going to be starting a series covering 19 of our favorite coasters from 1999. Every other Thursday we’ll post a new short feature on one of the rides (going alphabetically). At the end of the series, we’ll let you guys vote to try to come up with a definitive* ranking of the best coasters of 1999. See, this way we managed to avoid actually having to decide ourselves.
1999 was an interesting year for roller coasters. A few companies were reaching the tail end of their existence. Arrow Dynamics would open their last looping coaster before going out of business just a couple years later. Custom Coasters International would also fold just a few years down the road (although they had plenty more projects in them before the end). At the same time, Great Coasters International was just starting to get going, opening two rides in one year for the first time.
The last brand new B&M stand up coaster was built in 1999 (although obviously B&M wasn’t going anywhere). Speaking of B&M, 1999 also saw them build a coaster that used a launch (Incredible Hulk), which was, and still is, a rarity for them. That was part of a new little park that opened in Florida called Islands of Adventure.
The list we’ve got coming has a good mix of coasters on it. Some are still operating and very popular, like Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and some are still operating, but, uhh, less popular. A few of them closed or relocated (for better or worse). And some of those that closed underwent major refurbishments, like Hulk, or conversions, like Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom becoming Joker, and reopened (in at least one form or another).
So stay tuned for the series starting next Thursday, March 14, and check back every other week for a new coaster from 1999. Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter what your favorite coasters from 1999 are (or were). If we’re not already including them, we’ve still go time to change our list!