Here is the much anticipated interview I had with The Coaster Critic. It’s really interesting and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
1 and 2.
How did you become The Coaster Critic? What does being The Coaster Critic include?
I’ve always liked opinionated reviews of any kind. And, I’ve always liked writing. So, when I started getting into roller coasters, I decided to take my interests and merge them together by creating a site where I review roller coasters and write about theme park news.
3. What about all your other sites? What do they include and what inspired you to make them?
My other sites are Theme Park Geekly (an online magazine for theme park fans), Theme Park Hype (a social link and news sharing site), and Theme Parker (a theme park news aggregator). Theme Parker was formerly called Theme Park Syndicate. I was inspired to make them because I like new ideas and challenges. There was nothing quite like them out in the the theme park web so I thought it would be fun to create them myself.
4. Of course I have to ask- what is your favorite roller coaster? What about theme park? And why? 5. Also, I happen to know you have a favorite coaster and a best coaster. Which is which? How do you determine that?
My favorite roller coaster is Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa. I’ve begun to like different types of roller coasters over the years, but I think I’ll always have a soft spot for a good old smooth and forceful looping coaster. Kumba’s just about perfect and it uses the terrain in a unique way. It also has a picturesque tropical backdrop.
The best roller coaster I’ve been on is Bizarro at Six Flags New England although I haven’t ridden it in its current form. Sentimentality aside, Bizarro provided the best experience of any coaster I’ve encountered. It blew me away and I couldn’t find a single thing I didn’t like about it. That’s why it’s the best in my opinion.
My favorite theme parks are the Busch Gardens parks. Both the Tampa, FL and Williamsburg, VA parks offer world-class roller coaster, have excellent park operations, and are great-looking. I recommend them both to pretty much everybody that I run into when the topic of theme parks comes up.
6. What is your least favorite ride or coaster? And why?
I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked about my least favorite roller coaster. Cyclone at Six Flags New England has the lowest rating of any coaster I’ve reviewed (1/10 – “Demolish”). But, I’ve heard that it’s a much better ride since a re-tracking process has taken place. So, I’d have to think that it’s not a 1 out of 10 anymore.
7. How do you review coasters?
To review roller coasters, I consider how they measure up against similar rides. I also have a rating scale with names like Good, Great, and Average. That makes it easier for me to grade them. At the end of the day it’s all about comparing the ride’s elements to other similar rides. Did this ride have more or less airtime? Was it rougher or smoother? And so on.
8. What advice do you give to other people who wasn’t to be a coaster critic as well?
My advice to someone that would like to review roller coasters is pretty simple. Give some background information about the ride you’re going to review. Try to explain your experience as best possible and be specific. Wrap up your review with a letter grade, rating score, or some other rating system. Ratings help to let the audience know just how much did or didn’t like the ride. That’s about it.
9. Anything new or exciting we can expect in the future from The Coaster Critic?
Be on the lookout for developments over at ThemeParker.com. It may be a while, but I’m planning on slowly transforming it into something very big, but it’s going to be a long process. Once it’s complete it’ll be the product of about a decade or so of all my different online projects. I’ll have more details later this year I hope.