Coaster Counting: How to prioritize what coasters you should ride next
If you’re a coaster enthusiast, you probably keep track of how many roller coasters you’ve ridden in your life. We’ve covered multiple ways how people record their coaster count. We’ve even made our own Coaster Counter spreadsheet template you can download for free. Counting coasters often takes us to obscure family entertainment centers in the middle of no where just to ride a kiddie coaster. Or enduring a ride on that painful, janky old boomerang just to get the credit for our track record.
But what about the roller coasters you haven’t ridden? If you have limited time, budget or you simply don’t care about trying to ride every single SBF Visa spinning coaster, then you probably want to target the coasters you’re most likely to enjoy. What region of the country should you visit in order to ride the most “new to you” quality coasters with the least amount of travel in-between?
You could use roller coaster polls to try to determine where you should travel next. The Golden Ticket Awards, Coasterbuzz Top 100 Roller Coasters, and Coaster-net’s Thrilling 32, all list their top roller coasters as voted on or ranked by their followers. You could go down these lists starting from the top to ensure you’ve ridden the generally agreed upon “best” coasters. But these polls are based on other’s opinions. Your likes and dislikes may vary considerably.
Prioritize Your Personal List of “Must Ride” Roller Coasters
Why not get a list tailored specifically for YOU and what you like about riding a roller coaster?
I’ve made a tool you can use to help prioritize which roller coasters you should ride next. I call it the “Roller Coaster Ranker” until someone suggests something better.
First, go through the built in database and mark which coasters you have ridden.
Then, there are seven inputs: height, speed, length, inversions, positive gs, airtime, and theming. Using scroll bars, you set how important each one of these factors is to you. Love airtime? Crank it up to 100. Don’t like going upside down? Leave inversions at zero.
Using a series of formulas to give each coaster a score, the spreadsheet then automatically ranks them in the order of the preferences you set.
For example, if airtime, theming, and length were the most important factors for you (in that order), the best rides for you to target (out of the ones currently in the sheet’s database) are:
Here’s a demonstration video of how the roller coaster ranker works:
Additionally, there is a map that will show you where the parks are located that you should visit that have the highest scored coasters. A bunch of blue dots close together? Now you know where to take your next coaster trip!
Quickly Rank Your Coaster Credits
The other way this template can be used is to rank all the roller coasters you’ve ridden. If your count is huge, it would take a long time to individually compare and rank hundreds of coasters. This spreadsheet will instantly rank them all for you based on what your preferences are.
There are two downsides to the template right now: there are only 376 coasters in the database. And second, the theming, positive and negative g ratings are my subjective opinion. I rated each one on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best, and tried to be fair but you might disagree with them. I could also add a score for lateral gs.
Want to try our the Roller Coaster Ranker spreadsheet for yourself? Download it for free here.
At this time, this is mostly a proof of concept. But I’d love to know what you think! Do you find this tool helpful? Do you think you would use it? Let me know by emailing me or in the comments below.