Vertical Horizons

Research and Musings around the amusement park world.

Fun With Statistics 2013 – Part 2

As seen in the last section China has more roller coasters than anywhere else these days so I thought it would be interesting to break this down a bit.

As anyone who has been to parks in China knows Spinning Mice, Powered Coasters and Jungle Mice are ubiquitous. Thankfully the RCDB puts all these rides into their own subsets so it’s possible to make a break down for each country.

Below are two pie charts comparing the USA and China which shows the percentage of rides that fall into these subsets in each country. The slice labelled other rides will in theory include all larger and theoretically more thrilling rides (However Junior rides like roller skaters are included in Other)



Amazingly Wild and Jungle Mice take up over a third of all coasters in China while the featured ride types alone make up almost 60%. This is in comparison to the USA where all the featured ride types make up only 13% of all coasters.

Moving on I decided to take a look at the top 100 roller coaster according to the popular Mitch’s Poll. I took the top 100 rides from the 2012 poll results and split them up by manufacturer. Below is a graph showing a breakdown of the top 100 by manufacturer.


Impressively B&M have 45 of the top 100 coaster while Intamin take up 26. Other manufacturers split up the remaining 29. If we take a look at just the top 50 then Intamin and B&M take up an even larger chunk of the pie.


Intamin increase their slice significantly here compared to B&M which suggests the rides Intamn do have in the poll are in the top 50. Both companies are well known for building quality roller coasters and these graphs show their reputation is well deserved.  B&M currently have 85 operating rides worldwide and Mitch’s poll puts the 10 rides with the Batman: The Ride layout together, this means that out of 85 total coasters, 54 of those (63.5%) are in the top 100.

Below is a simple graph showing the number of operating coasters from all the companies which had coasters in the top 100 with the addition of a Zamperla, Togo and Golden Horse for comparison. (and a little amusement)

16-company numbers

This shows that quantity certainly isn’t quality with the most plentiful 4 firms only contributing 2 of the top 100 coasters. There are a couple of things to mention about this graph. First is that it includes both steel and wood coasters. Secondly is that due to the way the RCDB lists things it includes rides which companies may only have worked on in part. For example both Giovanola and Intamin worked on Shockwave at Drayton Manor, UK so it will be counted under both companies.

On a side note Arrow without S&S would place just below Mack while S&S would sit between Giovanola and Premier.

I decided to take a closer look at the top two companies from Mitch’s poll B&M and Intamin and see how their rides break down in terms of Geographical spread.

The following 2 graphs show how Intamin and B&M’s rides are split worldwide.



These graphs show the number of rides in the labels rather than percentages but it’s clear the biggest market over the years for both companies is North America with Europe second and Asia catching up in third. The lack of B&Ms in Africa, South America and Australia could be due to the high cost of one of their rides being out of reach for smaller parks.

While both companies are doing well in Asia they will suffer competition from local Chinese firms who don’t always follow copyright law. While no direct knock off B&M’s or Intamins have surfaced yet Beijing Shibaolai Amusement Equipment and Golden Horse both offer B&M imitations. Hebei Zhongye Metallurgical Equipment Manufacturing are also constructing the delayed 11 looping coaster at Jinling Happy World which looks very similar to the Intamin multiloopers.

Talking of everyone’s favourite IAAPA cast out’s Golden Horse. Here’s how their rides break down geographically.


All but two of their rides reside in Asia (119 of the 131 are in China). The two that can be found in North America are bizarrely found in Honduras.

Moving back to more popular companies I decided to break B&M’s coaster output down a bit more. The graph below shows how all their rides are split by type. For this graph I used all rides built up until 2013 so it includes the Flying Over The Rainforest and Nitro but does not include the wing coaster due to open at Heide park in 2014.


Inverted Coasters are clearly their largest market although we haven’t seen many built in recent years. Wing coasters already take up 7% while Stand-Ups have stayed stagnant for years.

Seeing this made me wonder exactly how B&M’s output varies year on year. The next graph is quite confusing to begin with but it shows the percentage of B&M’s output each year which has been taken up by any given coaster types. Worth noting is that relocated rides are not counted, So in all these graphs Iron Wolf was built in 1999 and is not shown when it was relocated in 2012.


Looking at this you can see the Stand-Ups in blue which disappear after 1999 while in 2013 Wing Coasters take up the majority of B&M’s output. The graphs shows the popularity of their Inverted rides has died off since the 1990s The Flying Coasters have not be particularly consistent sellers while the Mega Coasters have performed strongly recently.

B&M have been building rides for almost quarter of a century now so I decided to take a look at one measure of how their rides have progressed. I took the average height of rides built each year and put the results in the graph below to show how the average height of their rides has increased over time.


Here we can see a slow but steady increase in the average height of the rides built each year by B&M. Unfortunately I could not find information on the height of either Hair Raiser or G5 so they are not included.

Interestingly if you stacked up every B&M built so far on top of each other they would stand around 12,300ft tall. Almost enough to reach Lake Titicaca the world’s highest navigateable lake.

That’s it for section 2 next time I’m going to have a look at the parks themselves before goofing around a bit with some stupid statistics.


One response to “Fun With Statistics 2013 – Part 2

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