End of Season Reflections

WildStangAlex's avatar

Now that the Coaster Season has ended in many parts of the country, I was wondering what everybody's reflections were on the season. What are some of your highs and lows at parks this year? Thoughts? Comments?

My favorite part of the year was having to opportunity to visit Silver Dollar City for the first time with some great friends and ride an outstanding Wooden coaster, Outlaw Run. I also enjoyed spending time with all the new friends I've made throughout this year. My least favorite part of the year, coaster wise, was visiting Six Flags St. Louis. I went to the park last year for my first time and loved it, and this year I was majorly disappointed with operations, and the conditions of all the coasters. I don't think I need to go back to that park unless they receive a major addition in the future.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

eightdotthree's avatar

After this season I am realizing that I am a Universal Orlando fanboy. With all that they have added and are currently adding it's like a new park to my wife and I. As soon as we came home from our 4 nights at Halloween Horror Nights we wanted to go back immediately.

rollergator's avatar

High - Iron Rattler

Low - Both NTG and Shockwave being closed during our visit.

Low - Missing the "secret opening" while standing literally a couple hundred yards from Flying Turns...

High - Knoebels now has toilet seats!

Jeff's avatar

White Lightning and GateKeeper made my year. No longer having an off-season is awesome, but I really missed fall and friends at CP this year.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

WildStangAlex's avatar

While I am definitely bummed we've hit the off season up here, I am very fortunate to have visited 3 different haunts this fall, and enjoyed the cool weather instead of sweating all day long.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

eightdotthree's avatar

Rode White Lightning when I was in Orlando in September and thought it was a great little coaster.

SFNE doesn't close for the season until this sunday. The park is ending the season with a bang!

Rollergator - - - > Toilet Seats???? I almost fell in back in August. Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference.

Highs - Getting back to Knoebels and seeing that Keensburg hang in there after Sandy. Going on Thunder Canyon at Dorney with my boss, seeing deer on the Knoebel's train ride,

Lows - Glass in the COney Island Surf, still not fitting on el toro, paying $22 for parking at Great adventure.

Honorable mention - reading your trip reports and the posts on this site!!!!

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

The highlight of my season was getting to Kennywood. I ended up enjoying the park a lot more than I was expecting too, especially Sky Rocket, Thunderbolt and Racer.

I really can't think of anything as a low point of the season, except maybe Rolling Thunder closing (although I won't miss it that much).

rollergator's avatar

Richie Reflux said:

Rollergator - - - > Toilet Seats???? I almost fell in back in August. Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference.

Since I'd been busting their chops (Jersey expression) about their toilets for over a decade, I thought it deserved a mention somewhere...

As for White Lightning - gonna get some more of that this weekend!

James Whitmore's avatar

Highs - BeastBuzz. Especially Beast ERT. GateKeeper. Falling more in love with woodies (Beast, Racer, Thunderbolt, Racer. Lightning Racer). My first trip to Hersheypark. ... Meeting Gonch.

Lows - ?? I guess the glass was always half full this year.


When the end of the season comes it's common for me to say "oh no, where did the time go?" The summers seem to get shorter and shorter, don't they? In spite of plans and dreams of getting here or there, this was a year that included no new parks for me and only a couple of new rides.

But looking back I see what a great year I had. In February I took a friend with me to Universal Studios for a couple of days. It was his first time, and while Despicable Me was the only new thing at the time for me to try, it was great to see a newbie's reaction and we had a blast. That trip also included a visit to the Florida State Fair in Tampa that has one of the best carnival midways in the country. Always fun.

I made two trips to Silver Dollar City this year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Outlaw Run gets my vote as one of the most thrilling rides I've ever taken. I was lucky to be able to plan trips during slow times there- although the Friday during my spring trip included freakishly low temperatures of 30 degrees and 3 inches of snow on the ground. The park was open all right, and it was so strange to be there in that kind of weather and not see Christmas lights. Even though the train, Fire in the Hole, and the Flooded Mine were the only rides of the day, I still count it as a highlight.

After what seemed like an interminable wait, Media Day for GateKeeper finally arrived and what a great day that was. I met Jeph for the first time there and reunited with Mike Roberts and we had a fantastic time.

I also count my involvement with Coasterbuzz as a particular highlight this year. Through this club I was able to make it to a couple of outstanding events, but most importantly I met new friends and formed what I know will be lasting friendships. I had quite a few park days at KI and CP and an Ohio State Fair day with Jeph, met Ravenphile Josh for the first time at BeastBuzz, (I think I remember a lost weekend at CP with Jeph and Josh thrown in there somewhere, too... I think...) and last but not least my dear, sweet buddy Mike Gallagher came for a long weekend to Cedar Point where we, along with Jeph and Mike Roberts, had a blast. Yay, FastLane!

So thanks, guys, for a wonderful season and it's been great getting to know you. Here's to next year.

Last edited by RCMAC,
birdhombre's avatar

My trip reports always end up being wordy, so I'll try bullets instead:

  • Kicked off the season with CP's media day in the dark and cold, taking a picture of GateKeeper flying over the new entrance plaza.
  • Won 4 tickets to Kennywood in a basket raffle and finally got to spend a full day there in sunlight; gorgeous weather; VIP Coaster Tour was a bargain at $15.
  • A little different vibe at HoliWood Nights this year, but I rode Mammoth for the first time... then many times... despite the 60-degree temps and spitting rain. Tried and survived some Voyage rides toward the back of the train.
  • Again broke a personal record raising money with Coasting For Kids; glad to see how many participants were still riding Gemini at the end of the day (axle seats excluded); still amazed at how much the 11 parks raised.
  • roadkill turning 40 and getting married = excuse to hit some new parks; I'd been to SF Great America before, but Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, and SF St. Louis were new to me. Loved SDC for all the same reasons I loved Dollywood, and Outlaw Run was fantastic. (Caveat: I'll be interested to see how RMC's track holds up and how these coasters are running in a few years.) American Thunder and Prowler were also favorites.
  • Perfect fall weather for the first night of HalloWeekends; Cedar Point was generous with free swag, food, and drinks at the VIP event; a great way to get into the autumn spirit (is that a thing?).
  • Flying Turns ended up being my 200th coaster; StratosFear is a perfect addition to Knoebels. Disappointed the Centralia mine fire has MOVED, so we didn't see any smoke rising from the cracks in the abandoned road like I did three years ago. SF Great Adventure has a nice coaster collection but yeesh are their operations slow.
  • Ended the season with CP's closing day in the dark and cold, taking a picture of GateKeeper flying over the new entrance plaza. :)

As others have mentioned, for me it's not just about parks and rides, but the people I get to share these experiences with. I'm so glad I got into this hobby for that reason, and it's why I make PPP a pppriority every year. Especially as a single dude who can't use "it's a family vacation!" as justification for travel, I'm grateful for the awesome friends I get to roll with.

Tekwardo's avatar

I didn't get to do as much as I'd hoped this year, but I had a decent year. Spent quite a bit of time at Carowinds over the course of the season, as per usual.

Had a quick, kind of odd trip to SFoG with an acquaintance. Long story short, I thought someone else had texted me asking what I was doing that weekend, and I said "Going to Atlanta". Then they were all "Thanks for the invite..." to which I replied "Of course you can come". Then I realized I didn't know who I was texting, but the trip was actually fun and that's all that matters. I think we were at SFoG for, like, maybe 5 hours, but it was hot and crowded.

Next I made my triumphant return to Cedar Point. People complain, but I love that park. Too bad this was a cold, rainy day with 2000 other enthusiasts there. Finally hit up Mania, and while it was fun, it was just too big. The important thing, though, was that I got to spend time with friends all day, got 2 new credits, and got to reconnect with some old 'friends', Maverick, Magnum, Blue Streak, and more. Oh, and CHoSt!

The next day was a first time visit to Waldameer. It was cold and rainy, and the rest of the trip was a disaster, but gee-golly, I wish I'd stayed at Waldameer a little longer. LOVE that park. Great little place. Love RF2. Loved the classic woody. Loved the drop ride. Loved the dark ride. Wish it was so much closer.

I spent most of the summer doing non-coaster things, like the Electric Run in Charlotte which was a blast, plus I saw Beyonce in Charlotte, among a ton of other stuff. I went to a few local fairs to ride rides too. But the highlight of my summer was Texas. Ah, Texas.

I could move to San Antonio. Sea World was fine, Love me some Steel Eel. Fiesta Texas was great, and Iron Rattler was exactly what I figured, and that's a good thing. But San Antonio was just amazing.

I also spent a weekend to close out the summer at Myrtle Beach, got a new credit at Family Kingdom, and rode Swamp Fox a bunch while also spending time eating, drinking, and lounging on the beach. I think that's how I'm going to start my year off for 2014, either right before, or right after a visit to Dollywood.

I may get to go to Florida this December to see family and ride rides, it all depends, I have a second interview for a new job next week. If I get the job, I may go for a weekend, if I don't get the job, I'm going for a week. Either way, the year is pretty much done for me.

New to me Parks: 3

New to me Credits: 15

Total credits at this point in the year: 285

Website | Flickr | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

RCMAC said:

and last but not least my dear, sweet buddy Mike Gallagher came for a long weekend to Cedar Point where we, along with Jeph and Mike Roberts, had a blast. Yay, FastLane!


*Sniffle*...now you made tear up, ya (not quite as) big lug!

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist


Can't believe another season has come and gone. It was a great one though!

I’ll start with the “lows.” The season ending of course is always sad. Aside from that I will say it was the Summer weather being not so Summer like. Made the best of it though!


- Getting to attend Gatekeeper’s Media Day, a first class event! Also, reconnecting with some friends there who I hadn’t seen in years.

- The Cedar Point coaster club event opening night of HalloWeekends. This event succeeded my expectations and then some. Thank you Cedar Point!

- Really enjoyed Luminosity and SideShow: A Carnival of Magic at Cedar Point

- Wildwater Kingdom and their Dive In movies

- A spur of the moment visit to Waldameer one evening – A fun time with great company! As mentioned above, Ravine Flyer II, drop ride and dark ride/walk thru are all awesome!

- Two Amazing trips to Orlando/HHN. Visit the area as often as possible and my trips this year have been my favorites thus far! Went in May and got to show a friend around who has not been there in many years and discovered my true love of a roller coaster: White Lightning! Sure, it may not be the tallest, fastest or craziest, but I absolutely LOVE IT! Fun Spot in general has won me over. It's a great little place with some of the best employees I have ever encountered.

After skipping HHN for a few years we decided to go and WOW! This was the perfect year to return! I’m still day dreaming about it. Going to HHN also meant White Lightning (and Sweet Tomatoes!)

At Universal The Simpsons Fast Food Boulevard was also completely open during this trip and it’s an awesome addition to the park - Spent a lot of time there. Kang & Kodos, Buzz Cola, Chicken & Waffles and LARD LAD DONUTS, MMmmm! Those donuts are incredible!

I have many special memories from this season. Visited some new parks, met some great people and had new experiences, all of which I cherish. Closed out the season at Cedar Point and it was a great weekend!

Enjoying this topic and reading about everyone's season.

In reply to birdhombre, Autumn Spirit is definitely a thing! :)

kpjb's avatar

Lows: I went to Idlewild twice, and that is my entire list of parks visited for 2013.

Highs: At least the Wild Mouse was open.



This was the first season I had and used a Season Pass.. SFGAm

HIGHS - not having to race around because I knew I was coming back, Handicap Pass, was nice to not have to hurry or wait in long lines, and relax and enjoy the park, MEAL PASS - using it every time I visited divided by the cost equals $3 a meal. Plan $70 divided by X (times I visited) equals $3 a meal.

LOWS - Kids' friends who didnt like to ride rollercoasters or water slides, walking up stairs for water slides (ugg) where is the elevator!!, Handicap Pass - having to walk up exits and hear people yell "Your Going The Wrong Way!!", losing my hat on Batman, slow food service


Love IT Live IT Die for IT!!

Highs (past calendar year): Getting to visit Cars Land in Anaheim, fully exploring Disneyland Paris in the context of a much larger family vacation to the city, and Gatekeeper. Cars Land is amazing---it gives the Potterverse a run for its money in terms of an immersive environment.

Lows: realizing that my family is at a point in time where we have to *go on vacation* to be able to hit up a park. Otherwise, we have just too many things going on between our jobs and the kids' various interests for all four of us to ever really get away, even for just a day. We had CF Platinum passes this year, and we used them three times total---and once was at Knotts during the Anaheim trip.

Upcoming year is just about planned: kids and my better half are cruising DCL for their February break; we'll visit Sedona/Grand Canyon in late June/early July; the Dells for the first week in August. Still trying to nail down something for April break. But, for the first time in a decade or so, we won't be renewing our CF passes.

I had a great season, and visited more parks then I ever have before, thanks to a 6 week break from work, and a salary increase. I also got to visit a lot of my favorite parks (Disneyland, BGW, Dollywood, CP, KI.) It truly was a great year, I also thoroughly enjoyed Beastbuzz. That was a near last minute decision for me (which is really rare, I plan months in advance usually) that was truly great.

Also, I have to add, now that I have done it 2 years, everyone should do themselves a favor and try Disney's Halloween event. Those things are a blast, between the amazing fireworks, Disney Villains, and getting to trick or treat in costume again they really are fun and a very different experience from other Halloween events.

But I technically should not be commenting on this thread yet, because I have one more park trip planned this year, depending on the weather, I will be hitting up Silver Dollar City or Dollywood in December.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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