We just launched our review of Northern California’s newest coaster, The Joker. But with two RMCs in the state, an inevitable question was raised…The question has been asked by many readers and followers on our Social Media platforms and around the state. Which Californian Rocky Mountain Construction Hybrid Coaster is better? The longest Hybrid Coaster on earth, or the newest? Twisted Colossus or The Joker? Let us dive into that…
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Twisted Colossus and The Joker are both incredible coasters, there’s no denying that. Both are airtime filled and offer an experience very rare in the state of California. But many seem to wonder which is ‘better’, we’re going to try and best answer that.
Let’s start with pre-lift. Essentially the very first aspect of both rides are their pre-lifts, both are quite twisted and filled with tiny little hills, both better than most other pre-lifts out there. Nonetheless the pre-lift on The Joker is definitely better than the one found on Twisted Colossus. The pre-lift on The Joker looks funky, but is pretty crazy once you actually ride it. It’s filled with airtime, little pops of ejector, and the little twists create lateral sensations. On Twisted Colossus the pre-lift looks funky and airtime filled, but the actual experience once on the ride doesn’t quite match that description. It fails to create some real forceful or surprise moments. So in a few words: The Joker’s pre-lift throws you around, Twisted Colossus’ doesn’t.
Let’s now discuss some overall aspects of the two rides before heading into the next main elements. The length of Twisted Colossus is, of course, significantly bigger than that of The Joker. The Joker being about 3,200 feet long and Twisted Colossus just 10 feet short of a whopping 5,000 feet. Twisted Colossus also features two lift hills and a couple of important elements are to be experienced twice during the duration of the ride, definitely making Twisted Colossus stand out when it comes to the ride duration and ride length.
This should not be confused with pacing. Twisted Colossus may be longer, but the pacing is interrupted by a lengthy second lift hill. The Joker is an uninterrupted experience that doesn’t let riders take a breath ’til it hits the brake-run. A lot of Twisted Colossus’ ride time is made up from trains going up the lift-hills, The Joker lift isn’t only faster, but is also a minuscule part of the overall ride duration. The pacing aspect is most definitely better on The Joker, there’s simply no break in being thrown around that awesome Rocky Mountain Construction coaster!
Let’s now talk about the drops found on Twisted Colossus and The Joker. The Twisted Colossus drops are 80 degrees steep and the initial drop found on The Joker is 78 degrees steep. These are just numbers, and in fact are so close to one another that these values don’t justify which drop(s) is better. If you’re looking for a hint of lateral movement, you’ll like The Joker’s drop best, but if you’re looking for shear ejector airtime straight down a slightly taller drop, then you’ll like Twisted Colossus’ drop better. Taking in account that Twisted Colossus lets riders experience such awesome drop twice… we must say we prefer the drops on Twisted Colossus.
Before talking about the inversion aspect of both rides, let’s talk about speed. There’s only a 4 MPH speed difference between The Joker and Twisted Colossus, which have top speeds of 53 MPH and 57 MPH respectively. Though the difference isn’t large Twisted Colossus has a layout that shows off this speed more than The Joker does. The first elements after the main drops on Twisted Colossus are largely spread out hops through which the trains fly at the high speed, The Joker’s speed isn’t shown off in any particular element but becomes very noticeable when it rockets through the Step Up Under Flip for example. The speed aspect is something so minor comparing both overall layouts that it doesn’t seem to be of any importance when trying to decipher which coaster is the ‘better’ one.
Inversions on the other hand are a very important aspect of both rides. Some prefer inversions, some don’t. Neither are very inversion-filled rides, but the inversion game is won by The Joker if you ask us. Quantity doesn’t mean anything in this case, as we purely look at the quality of the inversions. The Step Up Under Flip on The Joker is something new and unique, and offers a type of high speed inversion that Twisted Colossus can’t offer. But even with comparable inversions like the Top Gun Stall on Twisted Colossus and the Zero G Stall on The Joker, The Joker takes it. The Top Gun Stall and Zero G Stall both offer floating time, a very similar feeling, though The Joker seems to creep through it a tad slower. The real difference is structurally. The Top Gun Stall is awesome when riders race the other train, but if they’re not, there’s no head-chopper like effect. On The Joker on the other hand the head-chopper effect is crazy, not only the structure but also the wooden paneled platform in the middle of the element is scary close to the train, creating an unbelievably awesome effect. When it comes to the Zero G Roll on both rides, Twisted Colossus’ Zero G Roll offers actual weightlessness as where The Joker offers a bit more hang time if you will. Depending on what you prefer you may like the Joker’s Zero G Roll better than that on Twisted Colossus or vice versa. Overall The Joker does inversions better than Twisted Colossus, if you ask us.
Let’s talk airtime and lateral forces. Both are crucial aspects to pretty much any coaster experience nowadays, and particularly on the two Californian RMC coasters. Starting with airtime, the airtime is solid and intense on both rides, no doubt. Twisted Colossus throws the airtime at you all ride long as where The Joker’s airtime isn’t found as continuously. The quality of airtime is simply astonishing and of high quality on both rides, though there are more airtime moments on Twisted Colossus then there are on The Joker. Nonetheless, The Joker’s few airtime hills may just beat Twisted Colossus’ airtime hills overall. It’s a question of quality vs. quantity. Either way, plenty of air on both rides!
The laterals though are definitely better on The Joker. As where Twisted Colossus’ only true lateral elements are the High Five and Double Down, The Joker is all over the place and throws you through various lateral-force filled elements. Such as the Breaking Wave Turn and the multitude of turns low to and high from the ground. The line-up of lateral elements on The Joker creates a very well-rounded experience as where Twisted Colossus may just feel more like an out-and-back type of coaster. We prefer a well-rounded experience in this case.
Then there are aspects of each ride that you can’t compare easily. One of these aspects is the racing on Twisted Colossus. When you’re racing another train it’s simply a marvelously spectacular and fun experience that totally blows The Joker out of the water. But when you don’t race on Twisted Colossus there are several elements that may just feel a bit repetitive (though you can never have enough airtime, honestly). The Joker has a tight layout optimizing the previously twisty GCI structure, which is entirely different that Twisted Colossus’ massive structure. Does this create a more spectacular ride experience? No. But it does provide a crazy amount of head-chopper elements and a layout that feels quite more diverse.
In conclusion, it depends on what you’re in the mood for, or what you prefer, really. If you’re looking for a nonstop airtime filled experience, then Twisted Colossus is your place to be. If you’re looking for a well-rounded experience combining airtime with awesome inversions and better lateral movements, then you’re going to like The Joker better. Neither is by any means worse than the other, both coasters deliver something key to a crazy outstanding experience in California: Air. But all sorts of aspects determine which ride is better, and it’s up to each person what aspects they value most. Want a continuously well-paced experience? then The Joker is right up your alley. If you don’t care about the pacing as much and would rather experience crazy vertical drops twice, continuous airtime and the occasional racing, then Twisted Colossus is likely your favorite. We love both, and depending on the mood we’re in, we may just like The Joker better one day, and Twisted Colossus the next.