10-Best: Roller Coaster Rides of Your Life

Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:36 PM

You misspelled best. :-P

Friday, September 19, 2014 12:12 PM

My 10 best memories from coaster riding are probably the following:

1) My first ride on the Great Bear in 2000. It was a huge breakthrough for me because it just seemed so massive and intimidating that I swore I'd never ride it when it opened 2 years prior. It took all day to work up the courage to do it, but the dam essentially burst that day (although it would be another year before I was willing to ride every coaster there, as the Sidewinder still seemed too scary for me at that point).

2) My first lap on Millennium Force in 2002. I'd waited two hours, through part of a thunderstorm, before giving up and going to get dinner. When I returned, the storm had passed and the wait was but a few minutes. It was the dark of night, and it was positively mind-blowing.

3) Working at Geauga Lake in 2005. I had never even been to the park until I started working there, and it turned out to be an amazing summer. There was a huge group of us in rides who became amazing friends, and nearly a decade later, when I'm in their vicinity, we still get together and have an awesome time. My summer at Cedar Point the following year wasn't nearly as special (although I LOVED my TTD crew mates), but I got some lasting friendships out of that one as well.

4) Superman - Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England in 2007. It was my first summer at an airline and I decided I was going to try and hit up some places that were pretty easily accessible (Hartford being a pretty high-frequency market from my home airport), so I opted to discover this supposed Millennium Force-beater one day. I give the edge to the Ohio giga these days (although at the time, I thought the superhero-themed hyper was the winner), but it was awesome checking another legend off the list.

5) Batman - The Ride at Six Flags St. Louis in 2009. That was sort of a Six Flags summer with me taking my first visits to the St. Louis, Illinois, and Georgia parks, checking off the last 3 B-TR clones I needed to get at US SF parks (Great White remained the last one in the US that I needed, period, until I finally got it this year). Anyways, I had waited nearly an hour and a half for it, choosing the front row upon finally reaching the station, and I was so completely blown away by a ride I had previously enjoyed, albeit finding it perhaps a bit unremarkable. That forever changed after that lap (and every subsequent lap on any of them), and to this day it still remains my #2 overall coaster.

6) X2 in early 2011. When I first went to SFMM 4 years prior, it was undergoing its transformation from X into X2, but even on that first visit, I'd already heard so much about it. To finally get to experience it, with friends no less, and to find out how simply amazing it was, was really a fantastic memory.

7) Expedition GeForce in 2012. My uncle was on a business trip over in Germany and suggested I come and join him. We went to Holiday Park (the only park we had actually planned on visiting), and our first ride that day was Expedition GeForce. It was the first coaster I had ever ridden outside of the United States, and given its almost mythological status due to its reputation as well as its location, it was awesome being able to get all the way out to it. The beautiful German morning, the stellar location amidst fields and forests, and experiencing that ride for the very first time in the front row, no less, combined to deliver a spectacular memory I'll enjoy forever.

8) That day in general. My uncle decided that he hadn't experienced enough of Germany's great coasters, so upon my mention of Europa, he decided we needed a second round of awesomeness. We got there in the afternoon well aware of our long drive back to Frankfurt that night (mind you, this is the day of my arrival and I didn't sleep an ounce on the flight over), but we still managed to ride not only every major coaster, but also grab encore laps on blue fire and Silver Star (his pick as the best coaster of the trip, whereas I still haven't decided if it or EGF was the better ride).

9) 2012 in general. My track record reached 100 when I was 19 years of age, with the now-defunct Big Dipper at Geauga Lake taking the distinction of being the ride that brought me into triple digits. In 2012, I decided to try that accomplishment again, only doing so within a 12-month period instead of the better part of 2 decades. I succeeded, with, and I'm still bothered by this, lol, Primeval Whirl putting me at my goal. The plan was for it to be Kraken instead, but it was down for annual maintenance. Nonetheless, I got to ride my first international coasters, I got every Cedar Fair B&M checked off (prior to that year, I had only experienced Intimidator), my first international rides, and fun times with fun people at several of those parks.

10) This one's going out of chronological order, but I like it because it's one of the most special at all and I wanted to end on a really high note. It was 1996, and my immediate family as well as my family on my Mom's side took our first visit to Disney World as a group. For all of the cousins except me, it was their first trip ever (I'd been down once just before my brother and my older cousin were born, so this was the first one I would actually be able to remember seeing as I was just 2 on the prior visit), and it was spectacular seeing the magnitude of the complex. To be able to truly experience it all for the first time in each other's company, and to really grasp how massive and immersive it all was, was one of the highlights of my life in general.

Friday, September 19, 2014 6:10 PM

You forgot our non vomit filled Vortex ride...

Friday, September 19, 2014 8:47 PM

I thought about including that, but I didn't have the full green Slurpee vomit experience as a point of comparison. :)

Besides, it's Vortex.

Last edited by sirloindude, Friday, September 19, 2014 8:53 PM
Saturday, September 20, 2014 10:55 AM

That was only the second time I've rode that since I puked on Andy 10 years ago and you're the only other enthusiast to have ridden it with me, lol.

Saturday, September 20, 2014 3:40 PM

11) That time I rode Vortex with Tek and managed to be spared an identical result to his previous ride with Andy. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2014 5:41 PM

My #1 ride: Front row El Toro, in the rain, at night. AMAZING. It felt out of control and wild. They closed the coaster down for the weather immediately afterward.

Other memorable ones...I got stuck on the hill of Thunder Road at Carrowinds back when they ran the backwards train with a friend who was afraid of heights. We teased him mercilessly for the twenty minutes or so we were there, haha. When the chain started moving again, the ride seemed better for the wait.

My first ride of Apollo's Chariot as a middle schooler, next to some guy I didn't know who bragged about how he'd already ridden it a dozen times and he'd hold my hand if I got scared. :/ He then shrieked like a banshee over all the hills and RAN off the coaster when we pulled back in, dead white.

Of course, any day on a coaster is a good day for me, but those unique ones are the memories that stick out. :)

Monday, September 22, 2014 6:23 PM

Voted up because I really like the idea of getting stuck facing backwards.

Monday, September 22, 2014 7:35 PM

And I voted up because I very much agree with the last sentence. Any day on a coaster is a good day.

I don't think I could come up with ten "best-of" stories. I have alread mentioned my favorite coaster moments in a few other threads, but I like to hear myself talk, so...

One of the greatest moments of my life was on Wicked Twister, front row, in 2001. A few of us off-duty Cedar Point ride hosts were out riding coasters that night. After the harnesses were checked, it began to rain very hard. The spiral track directed the water down the middle in such a way that it created a waterfall that fell directly onto me and my riding partner as we were pushed up the spike. Best ride of my life.

I also had a wet ride on The Beast about a decade ago, after a very hot day. The rain had made the track slippery. The train didn't roll through the course, but rather slid through the course. It was also the best ride of my life.

Another best ride of my life was my very first front seat ride on Millennium Force. Assigned seating made getting a front row seat very rare. This story also includes rain, but at 92 miles per hour, in the front seat. I had to cover my face because the raindrops felt like needles. In hindsight, it was the ride of a lifetime.

There are many other memorable rides I have had, and they don't include rain. They are rides that I shared with loved ones. There is nothing like the bonds that are made by riding a roller coaster with someone you love.

Monday, September 22, 2014 8:15 PM

I'm kind of curious as to how you rode Wicked Twister in 2001, because it opened in 2002. :)

I agree that the first time in Millennium Force's front seat was my favorite ride ever. It helped that the power went out when I was on the lift hill and stranded me for 20 minutes. They slowly inched us to the top of the hill and I was hanging down the drop before the rest of the train pushed me down. It was so cool going over the bunny hop next to the station because everyone in line was cheering. I was given a front of the line pass that I used to sit in the same seat on the same train. Both rides were simply incredible.

Another of my favorites was my first night ride on The Beast. It was crazy. The helix finale was insane. I love how there is a light at the top of each lift hill and nowhere else on the rest of the ride.

Finally, there was nothing quite like my first ride on Top Thrill Dragster. I was so nervous on the launch track, but as soon as the light signaled green I was amazed at the sheer speed of the ride. It may be a one-trick pony, but it's got one of the best tricks I've ever seen.

Monday, September 22, 2014 10:57 PM

My past is foggy. That must have happened in 2006 then. Now that I think about it, I worked at Universal in 2001. Cedar Point was graced by my presence for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Universal had me at the end of 2000 and most of 2001. Cedar Point was extremely lucky to have me back there working in 2006, I believe.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 11:03 AM

LostKause said:

Another best ride of my life was my very first front seat ride on Millennium Force. Assigned seating made getting a front row seat very rare.

Well, technically, you had just as much of a chance of getting the front seat as you did any other seat on the train. :)

I mean, I'm just saying. - I know what you mean, though. It was like winning the lottery when you got assigned that seat.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 9:02 PM

It's like Raaaaaaiiiiiiaaaaiiiin on your wedding day...


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