Top 10 Most-Missed Coasters of the 2010s Decade – Attraction Awards

Welcome back to the Attraction Awards of the 2010s — we’re highlighting the best roller coasters and attractions that opened (or in this case, closed) over the last decade. Last month, we asked readers to nominate their favorites in each of these five categories:

The Coaster101 team gathered the nominations, narrowed them down and ranked them in a list of 10 for each category. Through the end of the month, we’re revealing each of those five top-10 lists.

While the 2010s will be remembered for the stellar roster of new roller coasters built, there were also (too) many to which we said farewell. These are the 10 most-missed roller coasters that closed over the last decade:

10. Great American Scream Machine (1989-2010) – TIE

Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, NJ

Photo © Amy

One of three large, seven-inversion Arrow Dynamics coasters built at Six Flags parks, Great American Scream Machine stood tall over Six Flags Great Adventure’s parking lot, greeting guests as they entered the park. Opening as the tallest and fastest looping roller coaster in the world, Great American Scream Machine featured a slew of back-to-back elements, including three vertical loops, a double-inversion batwing and two consecutive corkscrews.

Great American Scream Machine’s last day of operation was July 18, 2010. It was replaced in 2011 by the Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) stand-up coaster, Green Lantern. It was relocated from the then-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom, where it operated as Chang.

Photo © Six Flags Great Adventure

Great American Scream Machine Stats

  • Length: 3,800 feet
  • Height: 173 feet
  • Drop: 155 feet
  • Speed: 68 mph
  • Inversions: 7

10. Mean Streak (1991-2016) – TIE

Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH

Photo © Cedar Point

Mean Streak was one of 11 coasters designed and manufactured by Ohio-based Dinn Corporation. Its imposing size commanded the Cedar Point skyline for years after its opening. However, it gained notoriety over its lifetime for its jarring and surprisingly sluggish pacing. Despite efforts to re-track and improve the ride for guests, the coaster’s popularity continued to decline, especially as bigger and flashier coasters opened around it.

On August 1, 2016, Cedar Point announced that the coaster would close on September 16, 2016.

Mean Streak

Soon after, Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) began transforming the coaster’s structure into the steel-tracked Steel Vengeance, which opened in 2018.

Steel Vengeance

Mean Streak Stats

  • Length: 5,427 feet
  • Height: 161 feet
  • Drop: 155 feet
  • Speed: 65 mph

Read our review of Steel Vengeance, Mean Streak’s successor.

9. White Cyclone (1994-2018)

Nagashima Spa Land – Nagashima, Kuwana, Mie, Japan

Only the second wooden coaster to be built in Japan, White Cyclone was a wooden behemoth manufactured by Intamin and designed by the Ohio-based Stand Company. The coaster’s massive structure towered over the Ise Bay. Like many other large wooden coasters built in the ’80s and ’90s, it became progressively rougher over the years.

Shortly after it closed in early 2018, RMC began transforming the coaster into a hybrid, steel-tracked coaster, just as it did with Mean Streak at Cedar Point.

Photo © Yuko Kobayashi, )

The coaster reopened as Hakugei in 2019.

White Cyclone Stats

  • Length: 5,577 feet
  • Height: 139 feet
  • Drop: 129 feet
  • Speed: 63 mph

8. Rolling Thunder (1979-2013)

Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, NJ

Though a traditional racing wooden coaster, Rolling Thunder’s two tracks did separate from one another and vary slightly throughout the course of the ride.

The opening of the massive El Toro wooden coaster in 2006 brought new attention to Rolling Thunder as it crossed both over and under the second half of El Toro’s layout, as seen in the photo above.

Rolling Thunder closed in 2013 to make room for a pathway leading to the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom drop ride built on the supports of Kingda Ka. The coaster gave more than 42 million rides of its 35-year lifespan.

Rolling Thunder Stats (both tracks)

  • Length: 3,200 feet
  • Height: 96 feet
  • Speed: 56 mph

7. Firehawk (2007-2018)

Kings Island – Mason, OH

Opening at the now-defunct Geauga Lake (then known as Six Flags Worlds of Adventure) in 2001, X-Flight was only one of three of Vekoma’s “Flying Dutchman” flying coasters ever built. Following Cedar Fair’s purchase of the Six Flags park in 2004, the company opted to move X-Flight to Kings Island, where it opened in 2007. There, it operated until 2018 when it was removed to make room for the recently announced Orion B&M giga coaster.

Firehawk Stats

  • Length: 3,340 feet
  • Height: 115 feet
  • Speed: 50 mph
  • Inversions: 5

6. Gwazi (1999-2015)

Busch Gardens Tampa – Tampa, FL

Florida’s only dueling roller coasters opened and closed after less than 20 years of operation. Both appear on this list.

The first is Gwazi, the dueling wooden coaster that opened at Busch Gardens Tampa in 1999. Manufactured by Great Coasters International, Gwazi — with a “Lion” side and a “Tiger” side — broke the mold of how two side-by-side wooden coasters could interact with one another. While dual wooden coasters were previously limited to simply “racing,” Gwazi introduced the idea of near-miss moments, multiple crossovers and similar — but not identical — layouts.

Despite a re-tracking and new trains, Gwazi couldn’t deliver a smooth ride commonly found on other GCI wooden coasters. The “Tiger” side of Gwazi closed in 2012 and was followed by the mothballing of the “Lion” side in 2015.

The coaster stood silent for several years while rumors of an RMC conversion ran rampant through the coaster community.

Then, on March 1, 2019, Busch Gardens Tampa officially announced that Gwazi would be reborn as the hybrid “Iron Gwazi” in 2020.

Gwazi Stats (both tracks)

  • Length: 3,508 feet
  • Height: 105 feet
  • Drop: 92 feet
  • Speed: 51 mph

Don’t miss our Iron Gwazi construction update to see what the future holds for Gwazi’s remnants.

5. Disaster Transport (1985-2012)

Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH

Photo © The Plain Dealer

Opened as the outdoor, bobsled-style Avalanche Run, the coaster was enclosed and reworked as the sci-fi-themed Disaster Transport in 1990.

Photo © Cedar Point

The renovation included a themed queue, custom soundtrack, a slew of special effects and two robotic animatronics. But over the years, the number of special effects dwindled.

On July 13, 2012, Cedar Point announced that Disaster Transport would close later that month. In August, it was demolished to make room for the Gatekeeper wing coaster, which opened in 2013.

Disaster Transport Stats

  • Length: 1,932 feet
  • Height: 63 feet
  • Speed: 40 mph

4. Thunder Road (1976-2015)

Carowinds – Charlotte, NC

Named after the 1958 movie of the same name, Thunder Road debuted in 1976 to rave reviews and a buzzworthy selling point of being the only roller coaster to cross a state line (North Carolina and South Carolina). The coaster was based on Kings Dominion’s Rebel Yell (now Racer 75) and featured two nearly identical tracks that paralleled each other.

Thunder Road closed in July 2015 and was demolished the following month. The next year, the park’s Boomerang Bay water park was rebranded “Carolina Harbor” and was built on the land formerly occupied by the coaster.

Thunder Road Stats (both tracks)

  • Length: 3,819 feet
  • Height: 93 feet
  • Speed: 58 mph

Read our farewell to Thunder Road and an in-depth history of the coaster.

3. Vortex (1987-2019)

Kings Island – Mason, OH

Continuing the string of looping Arrow Dynamics roller coasters to close over the last decade, Vortex’s late 2019 closure came as a surprise to the coaster enthusiast community. The Arrow coaster, despite offering a rough ride like many of its sibling coasters, had remained a well-liked attraction at the park. Following Firehawk’s closure in 2018, the departure of Vortex leaves Kings Islands with only three inverting roller coasters.

Vortex Stats

  • Length: 3,800 feet
  • Height: 148 feet
  • Drop: 138 feet
  • Speed: 55 mph
  • Inversions 6

2. Volcano: The Blast Coaster (1998-2018)

Kings Dominion – Doswell, VA

Volcano: The Blast Coaster was one of the most unique roller coasters built in the ’90s and opened to widespread acclaim thanks to its two launches, unconventional layout and unique themeing. A work of Intamin, Volcano was the world’s first inverted coaster to be launched by a linear induction motor (LIM) and was the company’s only full-circuit inverted launch coaster.

Partially built inside a manmade volcano formerly home to a Smurf-themed dark ride, Volcano featured two launches that helped propel the ride to its top speed of 70 mph. The coaster’s iconic “roll out” inversion appeared to “erupt” out of the top of the volcano like a plume of volcanic ash.

The coaster was plagued by maintenance woes over its lifetime. For undisclosed reasons, the coaster closed abruptly in the summer of 2018. In February of 2019, the park announced that it would not reopen. The coaster and the mountain were both removed in the following months.

The park has teased but not officially announced what will replace Volcano.

Volcano: The Blast Coaster Stats

  • Length: 2,757 feet
  • Height: 155 feet
  • Drop: 80 feet
  • Speed: 70 mph
  • Inversions: 4

1. Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge (1999-2017)

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure – Orlando, FL

The only B&M coaster to be removed (and not reopened in a new location), Dueling Dragons’ closure was a tragic one for long-time fans of the dueling inverted coasters. Known later in its life as Dragon Challenge after being absorbed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the coaster remained a popular ride at the park, even after the coasters stopped “dueling” in 2011.

The fast-paced coasters were filled with dizzying inversions and several near-miss moments where trains would appear to come dangerously close to one another. The ride was unlike any other B&M and remained a fan favorite all the way to its demise.

Soon after the coaster was removed, construction began on its replacement, the multi-launch Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which opened in 2019:

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Photo © Universal Orlando Resort

Dueling Dragon Fire/Chinese Fireball Stats

  • Length: 3,200 feet
  • Height: 125 feet
  • Drop: 115 feet
  • Speed: 60 mph
  • Inversions: 5

Dueling Dragon Fire/Hungarian Horntail Stats

  • Length: 3,200 feet
  • Height: 125 feet
  • Drop: 95 feet
  • Speed: 55 mph
  • Inversions: 5

Read our read about our final rides on Dueling Dragons and our “19 for ’99” feature of the coaster.

Don’t miss our list of the top 10 steel coasters that opened in the 2010s as well as the top 10 wooden coasters.

Stay tuned as we reveal the remaining two categories later this month:

  • Best Non-Coaster Attractions
  • Most Innovative Attractions

What coaster that closed in the 2010s do you miss the most? Let us know in the comments section below.