2005 Park Trip Essentials

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 8:31 PM
As usual, the weather sucked in my neck of the woods today. I went out for some lunch at Penn Station and into a cold, rainy mess. When I got back to work I found myself in a grouchy mood about the weather. I don’t know if it is the relatively closeness to the beginning of the season or the fact that I have a project at work kicking my tail, but I spent a lot of time staring out the window today while thinking about miscellaneous park things. And now that the intro is over, let us get to the topic!

What are your trip essentials?

I was thinking about things that I need before my first trip. Very random but good for daydreaming and hopefully discussion.

1) Floppy hat (or fisherman’s hat if you prefer calling ‘em that). I shave my head and bald head under hot sun for hours in a line equals heat stroke. Or queasiness none the less. The best part is that it easily rolls up or folds in my hand or pocket while on an attraction.

2) Deep pockets. We’ve all had close calls. I distinctively remember riding Montu only to get off the train to find my wallet under my shirt on my chest. To this day I nearly get an aneurysm trying to decipher that one.

3) Money. Of course. This should probably be top of the list. However, being a college student living pay check to pay check you learn how to make due on very little.

4) Season pass if applicable. I guess I’m getting forgetful “in my old age.” I’ve left my PKI Gold Pass at home three times over the past two years. Luckily the people at Guest Relations accommodate those of us who do this and do so in a very friendly demeanor. The stories they must tell later! Each time this brings much embarrassment to my girlfriend who always says “Just leave it in your wallet!” It wouldn’t be a normal season without bringing her embarrassment! This leads me to...

5) Girlfriend. Because I must. J/K, really! :) I love when my normal crew (girlfriend, brother, and cousin) is with me. They’re all enthusiasts and they make the trips for me. Its soo much more than the rides. And finally...

6) A good attitude. Seriously, I think this one is important. This is my hobby and I love it. But sometimes I might be at a park or on a ride that isn’t my cup of tea. If I go in with a bad attitude it doesn’t matter if park officials are passing out money. More than likely I’ll end up going through the motions, not giving the situation a chance. I always save judgment for the parking lot and the trip home.

How about you all? My usual winter indulgence of No Limits and coaster videos is pretty much dead. Anything that will keep me occupied to tie me over to April and my first trip of the season (and the OSU Spring Football Game) is much needed! *** Edited 3/24/2005 1:35:16 AM UTC by OHIcOaster***

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 8:47 PM
I always wear cargo pants, or shorts. The extra pockets are indispensable.

In those pockets I put a hard glasses case so that my specs can survive a day at the park. Of course a wallet. And an altoids tin with cigarettes and a lighter inside, again to ensure that they make it through the day.

That and a t-shirt and my trusty Birks are all I need for a day at the park.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 9:01 PM
Cargo shorts with Velcro or buttoned pockets might be falling out of fashion (unless Old Navy decides otherwise), but anything looks better than a fanny pack. :) Seriously. Have some self-respect!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 9:30 PM
I agree cargo shorts are a must. I can't remember what I did with all my stuff before they were around being that a fanny pack was NEVER an option! I'll even take it a step further and say that in the early and late months in the season cargo pants with zip off legs are very handy. How many times does the weather look iffy early in the day only to have the sun come out later on and cook you in regular pants? Zip! Shorts!
I don't wear a wristwatch so I have a little "Park Watch" that clips onto my belt loop. I hate those times that I forget it!
A few years ago I bought a lightweight "Rain Suit" which I've used on numerous foul weather occasions. I remember the snaps on the hood slapping me silly during my first ride on Hypersonic XLC which made for a hilarious onride photo.
Since I have so many pockets I do bring along the Gameboy. We might go the whole day without playing it but I like having the option in case of breakdowns or just long lines. A little Warioware makes the time fly by. :)
This is a great topic that came up since I'm packing up all this stuff right now in preparation for our annual Easter Weekend Coaster Extravaganza! SFOG and PCW here we come! Keep your fingers crossed for us hopefully getting a ride on Deja Vu. This will be our third attempt at getting a ride. The other two(at SFMM and SFGAM) looked pretty but we didn't get to ride. :(
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 9:56 PM

Jeff said:
Seriously. Have some self-respect!


I'll take my health over fashion any day, though. Carrying a glucose meter and emergency candy eats up a fair amount of space...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:08 PM
One thing not mentioned is a digital camera. I would never go without it. You never know when you might be lucky enough to get a cool shot of something, usually something unusual. Also I like to take shots I think are neat to put in my e-photo album. The camera is always with me!

I wear cargo shorts, the more pockets the better. My gf wears a fanny pack, no matter how many times I've said its dorky looking, but she's a girl so she can get away with it moreso then a guy.

We also bring a watch you can clip on something, always nice to know the time, as soemtimes its hard to find a clock in the parks.

I don't wear hats, I hate hats, so thats always one less thing I worry about. In fact I make sure to bring the least amount of items needed into a park, as I'd hate to lose anything, or inconveience myself. I see people bring in bookbags full of junk, an extra pair of shoes, cell phones and many valuables. Me? I keep everythnig out in the car, where I feel its mroe safe then being walked all around an amusement park.

I do agree with a good atittude. On busy days, you know the park is gonna test your patience, either lousy employees who are stacking coaster trains, line jumpers, and standing in long, long lines. I come in with low expectations at Six Flags, or small, lesser known parks. I always seem to leave happy, unlike some who think they got to bring up all kinds of complaints to upper management, then go on the forums and rant forever, just so they can share to the world how bad of an experience they had. *** Edited 3/24/2005 3:08:38 AM UTC by Dan D McD***

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:42 PM

Never leave without a map!

I will go as far to say to never leave without a handy binder containing directions to parks, reservation information, etc.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:52 PM
That's a good call. We've only done one hardcore road trip (sort of, we flew to Baltimore first and rented a car), but good directions are essential. Never trust online mapping sites. Trace the route for yourself or you'll get yourself lost!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:53 PM
SUNSCREEN!!!!!!!!! I am a white boy!!!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:14 PM
Good point, Jeff. I always print out the directions from my favorite online mapping site (MSN Maps), but use that only as a reference along the way.

Fingernail clippers are also essential. It is one of those things that you will need after a week but may have forgot to pack.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:58 PM
Satellite Radio. I used to listen to just cd's in my car since I hate 95% of all the stuff most radio stations play. Since I bought Sirius back in September I rarely listen to cd's now in the car. #27 HARD ATTACK! and #23 HAIR NATION I also carry plenty of CD's just in case.

Boots I love my 14 eye ox blood Grinders had them for about 5 years now and still kick around in 'em almost daily. I don't know when the last time I had a pair of real sneakers.

Chucks If I'm not wearing my boots I'm sporting a pair of Chucks.

Camo's I only wear camo cut off shorts. They used to be pants but after the bottoms get ratty they get made into shorts!

Hair Bands :) No, not Poison, or Motley Crue. Ones so I can pull my hair back. Coaster hair sucks!

Digital Camera never know when you will see a mullet or Elvis.

I can't think of anything else other then the typicals, map, money, season passes, etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:31 AM
Bring sandwich-sized plastic bags (Zip-loc, etc.) for the wallet...

and pre-completed Q-Bot registration forms!

Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:37 AM
The two things I do roller coastering is wear light color T shirts and a pair of white walking shoes. Normally I wear dark color shirts and black shoes but the sun would have bake me waiting in line wearing black.
Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:10 AM
Cargo Pants - Deep pockets always handy...have never been in danger of wallets/keys/glasses case falling out with cargo pants or deep pockets.

Backpack - Essential for carrying around things like sunscreen, umbrellas/ponchos if it might rain, park maps in case one is not sure where to go, food/drink if it is bottled/packaged well...etc etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2005 1:34 AM
Whether they go out of style or not, cargo pockets will always be an essential to me. This lesson was learned the hard way September 2003 when my cell phone made a surprise appearance during the brake run of S:UF at SFGAdv. The damn thing slid forward out of my regular pants pocket, hit the steel catwalk 10 feet below, slid diagonally into one of the walls, then deflected off and slid diagonally into the OTHER wall before finally reaching the end of the platform about 100 feet away and plummeting the extra 20-30 feet to the ground below. Strangely, while the battery pack and case were a wash, the phone was recovered about two weeks later and still worked relatively consistently until its very recent retirement. But let the lesson be learned! ;)

--Dave, Motorola customer for life since September 2003

Thursday, March 24, 2005 5:30 AM
Yes, pants/shorts with DEEP pockets is VERY essential.

Maps, cell phone, shades, camera, my fleece sweater, aspirin, eye drops, and of course my cooler of beer/soda (for the motel of course....lol.)

Oh, and season passes/cash.


Thursday, March 24, 2005 7:46 AM
Deep pockets for my cell phone. My husband
who rarely rides has everything else stashed
in the bottom of the stroller. Sunscreen,
water, maps, and he also never leaves home without the digital camera. I stash a couple of bucks in my sock, grab my phone, and call him when I'm off the ride and track him down.
Pre-cellphone/ walkie talkie I once wandered
around Cedar Point for 45 mins and find him
at the snoopy bounce.
Thursday, March 24, 2005 8:50 AM
I invested in a neck wallet that zips this year. Tired of worrying about the season pass, wallet, change sunglasses falling out of my pockets when I get on a four inversion coaster.

Join AAA, you save the membership fee in hotel costs alone, plus they usually have theme park discount tickets.

Thursday, March 24, 2005 9:27 AM
Ok. I guess I have no self respect since I bring a fanny pack. ;) Last time I carried sunscreen in a deep pocket was at PKI. I was riding Delirium and when I exited the ride, I had a pocket full of sunscreen. Let me tell you, I pulled a handful of sunscreen out of my pocket and it was a mess. Coincidentally, that was the first time I had been on Delirium. My uncle, who was too afraid to ride, said that it looked like I enjoyed the ride too much and had blown a load in my pants. Funny stuff!

***Edited for spelling *** Edited 3/24/2005 2:28:05 PM UTC by Coasterbuzzer***

Thursday, March 24, 2005 9:51 AM
I must say I dont' trust any pocket that doesn't button or zip. Even deep pockets are not to be trusted. Everything stays in my regular pockets (I hate the knee banging that happens when you have a cell phone in a low pocket and are trying to walk a midway) until I get just about up to ride, then it goes into the aforementioned buttoned/zippered pocket.
The other thing I bring is a non-fitted hat. I have one fitted hat and made the mistake of wearing it last year. Its a lot easier to just strap the hat to my beltloop than try to fold it into a pocket.
I agree with the digital camera. We had a disposable last year, and after a couple pictures didn't turn out, we are going digital this year.
The last thing to bring is friends. Wandering a park yourself isn't as much fun as sharing it with a group of friends.

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