Summer is fast approaching, and that means metro Denver's two big amusement parks are now open on weekends. But comparing the two can be a bumpy ride, as we discovered when Byron Graham wrote about his favorite, Elitch Gardens, while Bree Davies defended the charms of Lakeside Amusement Park -- and then readers weighed in with their opinions on both of them.... See also: Why Elitch Gardens is the best amusement park in Denver Why Lakeside is the best amusement park in Denver
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As an avid amusement park enthusiasts (I've ridden 261 individual roller coasters), all of Denver's parks kind of suck; as good as the craft beer is in Denver, that's how terrible the roller coasters are. Still, picking between the two, Lakeside is a clear winner. Why? Because nearly everything at Elitch is a production model, a soulless clone of another ride. You can travel across America and ride the same exact layout in 30 different locations.
The author makes Mind Eraser sound like some hot thing when, really, it was cranked off the assembly line along with a thousand just like it. (And it's not even fun -- in the circles I run in, that ride is called a "hang-n-bang" because it violently bangs your head against the restraints. And don't get me started on the new Brain Drain; that's just a piece of shit carnival ride the cheap-ass management at Elitch is trying to pass off as a serious amusement park ride). The only exception to the clone rule at Elitch is Twister II, and that one's pretty decent -- not as good as Cyclone at Lakeside, though, which is more twisty, more intense, and has that fun moment where it looks like you're going to fly off into the lake. Wild Chipmunk isn't unique, per se, but it's among the last remaining coasters of that style (one of the very first steel coasters ever) and, in terms of posterity, that makes it pretty bad-ass.
So if you want coasters with no character that can be ridden anywhere else (probably in an overall better park), go to Elitch. If you want uniqueness, go to Lakeside. If you want to go to an actually good park, go out of state.
What do you think of Elitch Gardens? Lakeside? Post your thoughts below.