Amusement park Memories. What's your favorite?

Saturday, June 9, 2012 7:54 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I was reading a few trip reports, and it had me thinking about some of the great park trips I have had in my lifetime. I am not talking about a top ten list or anything like that. I am talking about special moments, or park visits that I have had, that stick out above the rest. I'll give you a few examples, and you can share yours. Let's get a conversation going!

I was 17 when I went to Walt Disney World for the first time. I was so excited to go, as most kids are. (or used to be) I think the most exciting part was that I was going to get to ride Space Mountain. While, I was not that impressed with Disney World itself, I loved Space Mountain, and I thought the Haunted Mansion was genius. I was also greatly impressed with Epcot Center. We spent 4 days at Disneyworld, and it's one of my favorite park memories.

The next on my list would be my 1991 trip to Kings Island. And, you most likely already figured out that the single reason I wanted to go to Kings Island was to ride The Beast. I was greatly impressed with Kings Island, and was not let down by the Beast. Even though the line was long, that did not stop me from riding 4 times each day that we were there. Just knowing that I rode the longest roller coaster in the world, had me jumping for joy. It was also a very nice park. We spent 3 days there.

Next up would be a long trip to two parks. Canada's Wonderland, which I had been to a few times, and my first visit to La Ronde park in Montreal. I think the most exciting part of that trip included going to two of the biggest cities in Canada, and that Montreal was amazing! I also loved La Ronde! Even though it didn't have a lot of big coasters, Le Monstre and Cobra still made it into my top ten, and they had some of the coolest rides I have seen. My favorite for being strange, was Ovni. Like a Gravitron, only you sit down, and the cars inside go up and down the walls. Very cool. They also ran their flats like the carnies do, and it's the only park I have been to that had a McDonalds inside the park. With McDonalds priced food, and not inflated park food CEDAR FAIR!!

My other favorite park memories involve Cedar Point. Mainly the debut of Magnum XL 200, and Raptor. We also made the trip just for Mean Streak, which was actually a very exciting and smooth coaster it's first few years. My first trip to Cedar Point was in 1985. I went on a tour bus with a local bar for gay days. This was back with DT was Avalanche Run. I instantly fell in love with Cedar Point that day. I went back every year after that.

I can't leave out Six Flags Great America. My first trip there was in 1978, when it was Marriotts Great America. I was in the 6th grade, and we had an awesome class trip to the park. Though I never did get to ride Revolution. (I was too short) And, the Tidal Wave was closed. But, we went on almost every ride in the park. The Whizzer was actually my first big coaster, so that memory is still alive and kicking. I also added Great America to my must do park lists as soon as I was able to drive, and went back every year, sometimes 3 times in a summer. The most anticipated trip was to ride the Batman Coaster, which was better than I had hoped, and well themed.

I have been to a lot of parks, some once or twice every summer. I think Michigan's Adventure probably holds the record for most visits. It was actually the Wildcat that started my repeated visits, and when Shivering Timbers was built, it became my second home. I think my record for riding a coaster is 28 trips on Shivering Timbers in one day. But, like I have mentioned in other posts, MA is slowly falling off my list of favorite parks.

If I could I would visit a lot more parks. I have several on my wish list. Holiday World, Dollywood, Hershypark, and return trips to Kings Island, Great America, and Canada's Wonderland. But, would probably have to win the lotto before that can happen.

Any thoughts? Questions?

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 2:02 PM

Great idea for a topic! Many of my favorites involve firsts...I usually travel my myself to parks because everyone either has families or they're not enthusiasts like me, so I have to get up courage to ride stuff by myself. My first ride on El Toro stands out because it looked SO huge, I wasn't a fan of wooden coasters, and the noise the coaster makes cresting the hills is really odd (and to the unfamiliar, extremely disconcerting). When I went down the first drop and grabbed the guy sitting next to me and cursed up a storm while laughing my head off...well, it was definitely a great memory. Exploring IOA and Universal Studios was fantastic, BGT was beautiful and had awesome rides...I went to Cedar Point by myself for three days, and braving Millennium Force took me nearly all day the first day. Wildwood charmed me with its old feel and the beach...Knoebels makes me smile and feel both calm and excited every time I'm there. I am also sure that my 100th coaster, Bizarro in SFNE will be quite memorable and that I will be talking about it to everyone who will listen.

Again, thanks for the great topic! It makes for a lot of smiles!


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 2:23 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

My favorite memory was the time Jeff was on S:RoS SFA and the chain broke.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 2:33 PM

I was not a Buzzer at that point, so I didn't know about that. Bet that was a frigging bummer! Definitely memorable, but a bummer. Lol


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 3:15 PM
Vater's avatar

When was that? Jeff never mentioned it before.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:44 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Like your post bunky666. I think I would be greatly impressed with El Toro as well. There is quite a collection of coasters there. And, if I could get there, I would be pumped to ride it! Another park that I have my eye on is Busch Gardens In Virginia. But, since they have removed the Big Bad Wolf, that took away one of the big reasons I wanted to go.

I would also like to go back to Busch Gardens in Tampa. I have been there a few times, but it has been many years. A majority of the newer coasters were not there the last time I went. All they had was Python and Scorpion. But, it was still a very nice park. And, I would bet it's even better today.

Also thought of another coaster memory. My first ride on X-flight at Geauga Lake. (Or was it Six Flags WOA?) It was my first flying coaster, and I liked it a lot better than Superman. The verticle loop was very cool, and flying through the double barrel roll at the end, kicked Superman's ass! The Pretzel loop on Superman is cool, but it's over too quick to enjoy it.

That reminds me. The Superman Impulse coaster at Geauga Lake was the first one I went on, and I rode it multiple times with no wait. But, Wicked Twister is better. I was also able to ride the Geauga Lake Big Dipper over and over, with no wait. It's too bad people will not be able to ride that great old coaster again. It was in my top 5, when it comes to woodies.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:58 PM
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Sunday, June 10, 2012 7:12 PM
LostKause's avatar

One of my favorite memories was when I worked at Cedar Point. At the beginning of the season, I met a strange, yet lovable coworker that we nicknamed Pugsley. He resembled the character from The Adams Family, and was kind of a strange character, but he really liked the nickname. He grew on me and my friends. He was soooo funny once he came out his shell.

Pugsley was terrified of roller coasters. He could hardly look at them without screaming. He asked us to help him to get over his "veloxrotaphobia", once and for all. A group of about ten of us took the day to show him around the park, and get him on some rides. He loved the attention, as it was probably the first time that he had ever had a group friends to hang out with. He was the reason that we were all there, and he was loving it.

We began with the smaller rides. Mine Ride was first, and really caused him some problems at first. Once he realized that these rides were not going to hurt him, and were actually fun, he gradually got a little more brave, and was ready to ride the next biggest coaster. Wildcat, Disaster Transport, Corkscrew, and so on... He began to really enjoy the rides that day.

It was early in the afternoon, and every coaster in the park was tackled, except for one. Pugsley was ready for the biggest, baddest coaster not only in the park, but in the world... Millennium Force. He was visibly nervous about it, much more nervous than any of the other coasters that he had conquered that day. Standing in the hour-long line, he didn't speak much. When he did speak, it was only to try to talk himself out of riding it.

We were let into the station. Pugsly's hands were shaking nervously. The train advanced into the loading area, and we were next. The gates did not open. The ride host then said over the loudspeaker,

"Attention guests. Millennium Force is closed due to a mechanical issue. We do not know how long this will take, but you are welcome to wait in line until the ride reopens."

Without saying a word, Pugsly ran out of that station like a bat out of Hell. We all told him to wait and told him that it was going to be all right, but he didn't seem to hear us or care at all. He wanted out, pronto.

After a short discussion, we all decided to follow Pugsley out of the ride. We chased him all the way to the Iron Dragon Midway. He caught his breath and told us that there was no way he was going to ride that coaster right after it broke down.

We calmed him down, and begged him to get back in line, and he finally agreed.

The line was a lot shorter the second time we stood in it because the short breakdown cleared out the queue. This time, Pugsley was not as nervous, and he had the best roller coaster ride of his life. He was very thankful to his new friends for helping him to overcome such a great challenge, and over the rest of the season, Pugsley gained some much needed confidence in himself, and became one of the most liked people at the park.

Sadly, this story does not end well though. A few years later, I received a message from Pugsley's MySapce page from his father. He wrote to inform his friends that his son had passed away in a car accident, at only 23 years old. He shared that he was grateful that so many people cared for Pugsley, and that he had noticed a positive change in him over the past few years that was remarkable. He asked that we write to him and share our stories about his son, and this was the story that I wrote to him.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012 8:35 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey LostKause:

That was a very nice post about your Cedar Point pal. Sorry to hear that he passed away. I know how it feels to lose a friend. One of my best friends got sick and died at the age of 20. Another froze to death in his wheelchair, and on April 13, 2012, my oldest brother died of cancer.

As for Cedar Point. I would love to work there, just for one summer to see what it's like. Nothing outside though. I burn like a lobster.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012 9:05 PM

Travis, that was a very touching memory to share. I'm sorry for the loss of a bright light like that young man. Timber, I'm sorry for your losses as well. It is always sad to lose friends and loved ones, but to lose young ones and people who have struggled already with adversity...well...it defies words. Thank you for remembering them so well. Don't know what else to say.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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