88-Year-old grandmother loves Diamondback at Kings Island

Posted Saturday, July 17, 2010 1:14 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Careening through stomach-turning twists and 200-foot drops at speeds nearing 80 mph, Thelma Gratsch takes on Kings Island’s toughest steel monster like it’s just a walk in the park. The “88-years-young” season pass holder from Mount Lookout estimates she’s ridden Kings Island’s highly touted Diamondback coaster more than 50 times since its opening day in April 2009. And she said she’s in no mind to slow down anytime soon.

Read more and see video from WLWT/Cincinnati.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 1:17 PM

Good for her! Go, go, go, Thelma! May I be so spry, or even among the quick, when I'm that age. :)

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 1:22 PM

I wonder if she could marathon the ride. Honestly, Gonch and I tried to take continuous laps on media day and after five, you need a break.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 6:02 PM

I hope to be able to still ride coasters at 88.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 9:57 PM

Jeff said:
I wonder if she could marathon the ride. Honestly, Gonch and I tried to take continuous laps on media day and after five, you need a break.

Yeah, I'm not a power rider.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 10:34 PM

Most I seem to be able to handle is 10, at around 8 in a row I really start to feel goofy. I made it to 13 on the voyage, don't know how that works.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:52 PM

When I worked at the park she and her family were there almost everyday. They are great people and helped make the summer fun.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 8:51 AM

Rides like I-305 (original) and Voyage, I can only do a couple rides in a row. But, Diamondback I could sit on all day long. Assuming I would get food and bathroom breaks. :)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:44 PM

^Agreed. Very "comfortable" ride (and seats)... :)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 3:05 PM

Probably the most re-rideable coaster in the park, unless you count Runaway Snooptar.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 5:15 PM

One morning at Cedar Point a few years back my son and I got picked to do a Millennium Force commercial. After 13 straight re rides we had to quit. I was ready to quit after about 8 rides but I did not want to disappoint the boy so I kept going. After 13 rides he looked at me and said Dad I can't do this anymore. What a fun memorable day at the park with the son!

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 6:11 PM

I did Magnum something like 50 times in one day, probably 11 years ago now, and that was a bit much. I'd never even try to do that again. I did a dozen or so laps on Millennium Force for a Discovery Channel something or other, but found that pretty easy.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 6:49 PM

I did Magnum only about 13 times for some kind of photo shoot thingie, and it was one of the greatest times I have ever had on a coaster. It only lasted about an hour, but I was SOOOO ready to get off of it.

I also did some kind of film shoot thingie for MF. It lasted all day, about 8 hours, but we were stuck in the station most of the time while they took care of on ride cameras and stuff.

The Mantis photo shoot thingie was the one that nearly killed me. I had to get off of the ride one cycle before everyone else did. I think we rode it 9 or 10 times... I can't remember.

For some reason, I don't think that DB would be so bad to ride for a few hours.

One of my favorite things at a park, other than riding the coasters, is waiting in line for the coaster, as long as the lines isn't really long. I love to watch the ride, anticipate it, and people watch.

On topic, I really hope I can still ride coasters when I'm 88.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 7:28 PM

I doubt I would have any problem riding Diamondback over and over again. Ive done Magnum 15 times in a row, and didn't pay/feel it until the day after. "Traditional" Hypers (ie all hills very little positive and lateral Gs) are the most rerideable for me.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 8:46 PM

I did 80 rides on Sheikra during a media but that's not saying much. Now the 45 rides on Rampage in a 3 hour ERT was real power riding.
Truthfully I'm pretty sure I could marathon DB all day with no problem other than boredom. It's the mildest of the B&M speedcoasters(Goliath, Apollos chariot, Nitro) I've ridden.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 8:51 PM

I found Intimidator to be a bit more mild. Though I only got 4 rides on it.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:05 PM

I did Diamondback like 9 or 10 times with Jeff on that media day business. That was more than enough.

I have absolutely no interest in riding a coaster even that many times in one day.

Quite frankly roller coasters just aren't that interesting. They're one part of the overall park equation.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:17 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
They're one part of the overall park equation.

I agree. However, it's not often that the opportunity presents itself to sit on a coaster as long as you want. So, when given the opportunity, and the proper ride, I will sit on it until asked to get off.

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Monday, July 19, 2010 12:15 AM

^^Oddly enough, and despite my love for coasters above all else, I think I found myself arguing on another site in favor of significantly lower coaster counts at parks in exchange for making the ones that remain really interesting.

I think a park like Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is in many ways more of a complete park than others with coaster counts more than 3 times larger, understands your point of view, and I would think that the incredible success of parks that take the time to do the rides they do have properly over the ones that pack every square inch of land with footers shows your mentality to be that of the masses. I'm not saying that parks like CP and SFGAdv are somehow poorly attended. Quite the contrary. I do think it speaks volumes, though, when what rides you have are so well-loved that you don't have to add a monstrous new ride every year or 2 to keep people interested.

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Monday, July 19, 2010 11:14 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
I did Diamondback like 9 or 10 times with Jeff on that media day business. That was more than enough.

I have absolutely no interest in riding a coaster even that many times in one day.

Quite frankly roller coasters just aren't that interesting. They're one part of the overall park equation.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking about Coasting for Kids. I'm going to take part in as much of that ride session as I feel the need to, but I'll probably take it in smaller doses throughout the day.

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