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I searched and didn't see anything like this so I thought it could be a fun topic. What is everyone's list of favorite roller coaster first drops? Also, be sure to list if it's in a particular seat. And different seats can count as a spot, as seen in mine. I love drops with airtime and weightlessness, so that is mostly how my list is ranked. Feel free to indicate if there's any particular reason you chose that seat/ride.

1. El Toro (Back seat. I've never experienced more intense airtime before)

2. Diamondback (Back seat. All I can say is WOW.)

3. Maverick (Back seat. Extreme ejector air.)

4. Millennium Force (Back seat. Major airtime.)

5. Banshee (Back seat. Not only was I extremely surprised by this airtime, it is super intense.)

6. Diamondback (Front seat. I love how you hang there at the time.)

7. Steel Force (Back seat. Tons of great airtime.)

8. Nitro (Back seat. Great airtime.)

9. Millennium Force (Front seat. It's fun hanging at the top, but I especially love it for the view.)

10. Dragster (Front seat. Can't beat the view. Even though it's short, it's worth it.)

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1. Beast any seat: topping the lift hill and seein nothing but woods and oh wait are we going under ground

2. Banshee/Bat front row: the idea of hanging below the track and going I the ground

3. Griffin front row: see above but now they hold you on the lift

4. Diamondback front row: anticipation

5: Son of Beast front row: nothing like looking out ad thinking well if I go out on a coaster

6: Top Thrill Dragster any seat: the slow crest an quick plummet

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And it's not a coaster but since Terpy mentioned Demon Drop, I'd have to give an honorable mention to Zumanjaro.

The suspense as you ascent...

Then slowly crawl to a stop...

Giving you several seconds to grip tightly (or in my case, stick your legs out and put your arms out :))...

And to enjoy the amazing view...

Before suddenly plummeting down to the Earth, getting faster and faster the farther you drop...

Big Droppy Thing sure is incredible and sure does have an amazing big drop.

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From what I remember, SoB had an amazing first drop. It's been a while so I don't really remember the rest (besides the loop, which was also great), but from what I've read here it wasn't too spectacular.

I'm not sure what my favorite first drop is though. I guess I'd say Maverick or Diamondback.

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5) Millennium Force - front

I enjoy the long, smooth ride as it picks up speed after the great view on the way up.

4) SOB - front

This one is probably mostly nostalgia but I used to love the pucker factor as you crested the hill.

3) The Beast - front

I've been riding since I was young and even though I could close my eyes and know exactly where I am on the course I still love the rush of air and echo of the tunnel.

2) Banshee - back

The pull over is amazing and leads into the rest of the ride with the best forces of the ride you can get.

1) Diamondback - back

If you like Banshee's pull over, you'll love this one. I used to prefer front seat only on DB but have since learned to appreciate the rear.

Honorable mention) Top Thrill Dragster - front

There's only one drop and little anticipation leading up to it but it's half of a one trick pony that certainly has one GREAT trick. Slowing for a split second to see the curvature of the earth before plummeting straight down watching track disappear under you at a rapid pace is almost sublime.

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For me, a good first drop has to be about more than airtime and forces. The visuals presented have to be something to marvel at as well. The view from the top, however short, helps immensely. As the late John Allen believed, psychology is a powerful element when designing a roller coaster.

I'm mainly going by ones I've ridden and already experienced.

The Beast's first drop has a load of suspense to it. The park has told you at that point the ride is one of the longest in the world, yet you can only see the crests of the 2 lifts, leaving much in mystery. The first drop peering off into the Ohio hills and woods into that dark hole in the ground sets up the ride perfectly. While I hated most of Son of Beast besides the loop, the first drop had to be the only other thing. Stengel did design it like a steel coaster, but the swooping drop before the main 214 ft drop worked from a rider standpoint at least (knowing what it did to the structure is something else entirely). I like Arrow drops that do this sort of thing as they have that pre-drop to get it through the turn, and by the time you get to the main drop, its sailing over the crest, and you're doing it up at 100 ft+.

I'm not too fond of most of the ride, but I really liked Fahrenheit's first drop. I'm not the biggest fan of vertical lifts, but its a great view of the Midway America area and it just drops like a rock from there. The vertical lift kind of takes away your awareness of how high you actually are, so when you crest, its kind of a surprise and that 131 ft hill feels higher than it is.

I really like the look of GCI drops. They're very angular with a nice combination of air time and lateral forces, plus they're likely dropping into a maw of twisted wooden track below. Lightning Racer's twin twisted drops are a beautiful thing to see with the synchronicity, both from the view of the ride and watching below. Banshee and Medusa (now Bizarro) have this quality as well, but with the inverted/floorless cars, the ground just looks like its rushing up at you while you're spinning towards it with that added weightlessness. GASM at NJFTP wasn't quite so quick in acceleration on the way down, but that made it kind of graceful IMO. Anaconda's drop doing this while dropping into an underwater tunnel is also quite awesome.

I think Millennium Force and Magnum benefit from being next to the lake. Its another way a coaster feels taller than it is to me, by being around a body of water. Millennium Forces quicker lift is also kind of unnerving for those not used to it or don't ride it a lot (like myself). It's great seeing those 2 first drops unfold on Magnum and Millennium Force.

Great Bear is another that sticks out. Its kind of got a weird partial figure-8 bit before its main drop, which really tilts you to the side before dropping. Hershey and B&M really did an amazing job shoehorning it in there the way they did.

This may not quite be a first drop, but I have to mention Mystery Mine's 2nd chain lift and drop thereafter. This kind of goes along with Fahrenheit's lift, but the added enclosure kind of makes you unaware of how high you're going, plus it has the hold before the drop which is a nice touch before a very quick ending. I like Tennessee Tornado's drop because of that kind of thing as well. My first time on it I rode it in the back, didn't realize the first drop was a huge tunnel, and it totally took me by surprise.

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All of my rides are KI related, so. lol

Banshee (Back Left): Never had a chance to try the right side yet, but oh my, I love the back on the first drop, and just about everything else.

Diamondback (Front seat) I like being able to see the track, and hanging over the drop for a bit.

Vortex (Car 5) Absolutely LOVE Car 5 on Vortex, I tried it out a few days ago, and it was the smoothest time I've had on Vortex.

The Beast, Front car. Front row (Nothing to say here.)

Invertigo (Backwards last: That means you fall forward first.) I like going backwards last, backwards first feels weird.

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While I hated most of Son of Beast besides the loop, the first drop had to be the only other thing. Stengel did design it like a steel coaster, but the swooping drop before the main 214 ft drop worked from a rider standpoint at least (knowing what it did to the structure is something else entirely). I like Arrow drops that do this sort of thing as they have that pre-drop to get it through the turn, and by the time you get to the main drop, its sailing over the crest, and you're doing it up at 100+ ft.

I don't know why but I am obsessed with pre-drops, to the point where I considered starting a "favorite pre-drop?" thread at one point. I think it's the anticipation of the drop and the rest of the ride combined with the fact that you're no longer attached to the chain and therefore at the point of no return that gets me excited.

Son of Beast had a phenomenal pre-drop. I still love Vortex's pre-drop, and I even enjoy The Bat's as well. I loved King Cobra's, especially on the inside (the right) with no catwalk or railing to the side of you. That "exposed" feeling really was neat.

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Good topic!

My experience is limited due to only being on about 45 coasters but I will give it a shot! My list is as below.

7. Sheikra- Front Row, Left edge. The slow creap around the top to the hold position is great. First drop with the wind and view. Its a blast.
6. Steel Hawg- front row. Drop angle beyond 90 degrees? What more do I need to say?!?!
5. The Legend- Back Row, Right Side. The curved drop gives good laterals near the bottom and the head chopper going into the tunnel at the base is fun.
4. Vortex- Back Row, Right side. This drop to me feels like a RCT drop. Just a completely straight drop with the "maximum angle allowed" at the time. Getting lifted off your seat on a ride you we preparing for the loops and inversions is still a pleasant surprise.
3. Gatekeeper- front row, either side. I couldn't pick a better side for the drop. The right side the floor drops from underneath and you are flipped upside down. The left side drags you ever so slowly over the track and inverts you for the drop. Both sides are awesome and exciting.
2. Millennium Force- Back Row. The first time I rode this thing I heard about the first drop. I was told that you just have to experience it. Well I have and the floater air that you get in the back row starting down that hill.... you can't help but to enjoy it!
1. Diamondback- Back Row. That sensation of getting pulled down before you actually crest the hill is just fantastic. I love the way you just pop out of your seat and don't hit it again until you are at the bottom of the hill. The view is outstanding and the speed is great. This is my favorite first drop on a roller coaster.

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I love I 305's first drop from the front seat. I don't like that drop as well further back. It is more intense the further back you sit and only ride I've actually understood what "graying out" means.

The Big Droppy Thing has an amazing first drop and view.

Diamondback, Intimidator, Nitro (not in any specific order, but all similar) and Millennium Force all from the front seat are all tops in my opinion.

Banshee front row middle or 84.

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All at Carowinds (I don't get out much):

NightHawk (that intense feeling you get even though you know what's going to happen)

Intimidator (the pure thrill of a 211' drop, specifically in the back seat)

Afterburn (the back seat is better if you want speed)

Thunder Road (somehow it's kinda scary even though it's not very tall)

Hurler (I love the small dip before you crest the hill and drop)

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Well, while I only have Kings Island and Holiday World to choose from really...so here are my "picks" for best first drops in those parks...

Kings Island

The Beast

This one's pretty much a given. For a first time rider, at the top of that hill you are (unless you watched a POV or something) FINALLY able to see some of the ride as most of it is hidden in the woods and not visible from the main park. And then you see that itty bitty tunnel, and realize you're going in it. The second lift and drop into the helix would also count as one of my favorites, simply due to the stunning visuals (seeing all of Kings Island, especially at night, is stunning) and the fact the drop seemingly takes FOREVER before you actually hit the tunnel but this is about first drops- but for the record, BOTH huge drops on Beast are awesome.


Perhaps the most "intimidating" drop in the entire park, as not only is this a pretty tall coaster at 167 feet, but it's inverted and to further amplify how high you are you're looking down at Flight of Fear, Racer, and Adventure Express as you reach the top. Then the Banshee screams and you drop 150 feet- and it's curved. Simply awesome.


Of course, being 230 feet tall has its advantages. It's crazy how you are looking down at Vortex & Beast from the top- and those are 2 HUGE attractions- and then the image of the rest of the track ahead of you is impressive. And then the drop itself, especially from the back- WHEE! AIRTIME UP DA WAZZOO!!! :P


Like Banshee and Diamondback, Vortex's drop is going to get auto-points due to its huge size. Add a cool pre-drop and nice airtime in the back seats, and you have a pretty darn solid first drop.

The Bat

Unlike the other coasters listed, The Bat's drop isn't all that big in comparison, as it's under 80 feet tall, but where this ride shines is the visuals. It's like Beast's 2nd lift view in reverse- you get to see the whole park again, but from a VERY different angle. And the fact you aren't quite as high makes the other rides look bigger as well.


While all 3 wooden coasters at the park have nice first drops, I'm only going to list the one I consider the best of the bunch...

The Legend

While it's not as large as the drop on Voyage, Legend's first drop is still superior to its bigger, younger stablemate. Voyage just takes you straight up with a pretty standard drop, though it has a nice view of the woods ahead. But Legend's drop is epic: first, there is a pre-drop dip similar to what Son of Beast had but on a smaller scale. Then, you have special audio effects- a wolf howls and you are warned NOT to look back. You also have a GREAT view of the waterpark and Voyage from the top. Then comes the drop- not only does it mimic Beast with a teeny weeny tunnel (Raven also does this but Legend does it better), but it curves, giving you a mix of airtime on the way down (especially from the last car) and then some good laterals at the bottom. THIS is how you kick off a ride.

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1. Vortex - Back seat.

2. Banshee - Back seat, far right.

3. The Beast - Front seat.

4. Diamondback - Back seat, far right.

5. Gatekeeper - Middle row, left side.

6. The Bat - Front seat.

7. Adventure Express - Middle row.

8. The Racer - Blue side, back seat.

9. Woodstock Express - Back seat.

10. Banshee - Front seat.

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