This park/coaster season wasn't anything especially remarkable, but I felt it was cool enough to write a bit about.
- By renewing my Platinum Pass at a discounted rate in '09, my 14 visits to Cedar Fair parks (10 being Cedar Point) worked out to $10 apiece including parking. Nice.
- The season began at Cedar Point on my 30th birthday in May. Good weather, good friends, good times. Actually, that last sentence is a decent summary of the summer in general.
- Memorial Day weekend: First visits to Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Got to re-experience some old Geauga Lake rides and add three great B&M's to my list. BGW is beautiful and just fun to walk around.
- My first HoliWood Nights (with 8 adults squeezed into a Legendary cabin), bookended by a brief stop at Kings Island on the way down and Beech Bend on the way back. Really wish there were more reason to visit BB than just Kentucky Rumbler, which is awesome, but alas...
- Picked up a local credit: the Little Dipper at Memphis Kiddie Park! (And yes I rode with my friend's kid, so it wasn't pure credit-whoring.)
- I have to admit that GL's Wildwater Kingdom is a really nice waterpark, and I spent about 4 hours there. Still sad to see emptiness and crumbling on the other side of the pond.
- I really wish I could get to Waldameer more often, because I <heart> Ravine Flyer II. We only got there once this year, but RF2 was running amazingly smooth, even more so than its inaugural season.
- Coasting For Kids: Rode Gemini 114 times, raised money for a great cause (more than I expected), made new friends, great weather, good times, etc. etc.
- A nearly impromptu trip to Conneaut Lake Park the first day the Blue Streak was up and running again, added that credit; fulfilled some of my "urbex" urges by taking pictures of an old midway building whose roof is being supported by an extension cord wrapped around a column. Or so it appears.
- "Bonus weekend" at Cedar Point: That magical Sunday between Labor Day and HalloWeekends, which this year included ERT for passholders. But ERT was essentially all day long; the park was busy enough to not feel empty, but even Millie was nearly a walk-on. And because my friend's kid rode Jr Gemini with me earlier in the day, I managed to ride all 17 coasters in a single visit, which is kind of a neat statistic to have. The Dragster ERT was pretty much a 3-train wait for the front seats, with the rest of the train being filled by people waiting at the exit ramp. It was a beautiful, comfortable night -- and no bugs, either! It totally made up for my lack of Dragster riding the rest of the season.
- Phoenix Phall Phunfest: My first time was 3 years ago, and I was not a phan of Phoenix in the slightest. But since then I've greatly broadened my coaster horizons, and I'm more aware of what I like. I discovered I really like Phoenix in the first two rows, and it finally became one of my top 10 favorite woodies. Still no love for Twister though, even if it does have a cool sign/logo. Did I mention great weather, good friends, making new friends, good times?
- PPP weekend as a whole was pretty epic, and included my first visit to a Six Flags park (Great Adventure) on a deliciously uncrowded Friday night; a stop for pictures and some exploring of the Centralia mine fire; a few hours at Dorney; and some Sky Rocketing and Bayern Kurving at Kennywood. Much like with Knoebels, it was nice to revisit KW's classic woodies and see if my opinions changed after 3 years. Still not a big fan of Thunderbolt, but Racer and Jackrabbit are fun. Sky Rocket's first half was stellar; too bad it doesn't offer much after that.
- I'm also amazed that RavenAir and I drove nearly 17 hours that weekend and talked almost the entire time -- even at 2 a.m. on the last leg of the trip -- and not just about park-related stuff. For someone who's not an inherently talkative person, it's just a cool general life thing that I felt was worth mentioning.
- Today is most likely the end of my 2010 coasting season, which is why I write this. I was originally going to go to CP on closing day, but the weather was really nice this afternoon, and I decided I'd rather spend it with friends today than go alone next week in the cold. As dinnertime came, a rainstorm was approaching, so I cut the day a little short and just took a spin on Magnum on the way out.
- All told, I added about 37 new coasters this year, depending what counting method you use. Coaster Counter has me at 127, and CBuzz at 125.
I'll again have the Platinum Pass next year, but now have the added temptation of the Six Flags parks, since I got the pass. Hopefully we'll be seeing a Great America visit in 2011, and/or possibly New England. HoliWood Nights is already on the calendar -- gotta ride those Timberliners and use my ticket voucher from last year -- and I'm thinking PPP will now be an annual event for me.
I don't have an "extra buckets of money"-style travel budget ( ;) ), but since I've become an enthusiast I'm glad to make these extended weekend trips my vacation outlet at this point in my life. Good weather, good friends, good times!