Many factorrs enter into this besides the rides and other attractions offered. It can be the friendliness, the cleanliness, the general park appearance, the little features, the length of the lines, the food quality, and the pricing once you are inside the park.
I remember reading a trip report on KW where the person responsible observed that the visitors were really having fun and it showed. From everyone's comments about HW, this is clearly another of these parks and probably one of the best examples of such a place. Then there are parks like GL that leave something to be desired when it comes to the "little things" that make the overall experience enjoyable.
Coaster Enthusiast generally go to the parks for the coasters, obviously. But most parks don't centralize their focus on the roller coasters. So when an enthusiast waits in line, generally they would get bored, and not have fun.
But it just depends on how you take a park. Go in with high expectations, you may be dissapointed. I go in, thinking the day will kind of suck, thinking it will rain(CP doesn't offer rain checks) but then it doesn't, and all is well.
1) At a park like King's Island that I frequent so much that it just becomes "another trip to KI", and there's really nothing special about it.
2) In the past when I was at a coaster event like Coastermania, (arriving at 4:30am Friday and leaving the park at 12:30am Saturday morning) and I just physically exausted myself to the point where I was really not having fun. I'm not much of a marathon rider...2-3 rides on a coaster and I'm set.
When I do have fun at a park:
1) When it's a park I've never been to before, or it's a park that I haven't been to in a long time.
2) As a dad, when my kids are having fun...I have fun too.
I've considered making shirts that say "shut up and have fun or I will pull this car over".
I like Men in Black, and Back to the Future. Of course, Back to the Future is gone. Everything else is like I've been there, and done that. EPCOT is sort of like the same thing for me except for Test Track, and the ball.
These places---all of them---are just great fun for nearly everyone who goes.
Yes, even the Big Overpriced Corporate Parks (tm).
For me...I've gained other interests...exponentailly over the past 5 years. I still love Disney with the kids...and enjoy the smaller parks with shorter lines and more atmosphere. As for the regional theme parks...I've almost completley started to ignore them. I no longer HAVE to ride the newest coaster...whereas credits used to be important to me. I no longer stay at a park if the lines get too long for me to enjoy. These parks are just not fun for me in those situations.
I'd rather argue politics and "line cut" policies on here than visit some of the regional parks. I guess I'm still an enthusiast per say...but with limited qualifications...and nothing but history to draw on for some of the regional parks.
It is either my age and changing interests...or plain old boredom. I've done too many parks...too many times...and once the orginality factor is gone...it is difficult to get me excited again. Sadly...the personality component that made me enthusiast (love of NEW thrills and adrenaline) may be the same personality component that labels me GP.
I'll still hit the amusement park when I'm traveling through a city some of the time. But these days... a zoo, a lake, a beach, a biking trail, etc...are just as likley to get my interest. Fun has become relative...
Other hobbies also help a lot.
GREAT THREAD, by the way!
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