Enthusiast spends more than £33,000 riding over a thousand roller coasters

Posted Monday, August 5, 2013 8:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Theme park fanatic Marcus Gaines has blown £33,000 on riding 1,099 rollercoasters. The television cameraman, 36, spent the cash on flights, hotels and entry to 251 parks on his 46 trips to 19 countries.

Read more from The Daily Mail.

Monday, August 5, 2013 8:42 AM

Chicken feed!

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Monday, August 5, 2013 12:10 PM

I do this all the time but I'm not in the news - nor would I want to be.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 12:21 PM

Bannister is approaching 2K.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 12:41 PM

I've always been curious Richard, do you travel for a living and take in parks on business trips? Or do you only travel to ride? Or both?

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Monday, August 5, 2013 1:59 PM

Actually I haven't spent that much because my girlfriend works in travel and we get cheap flights, accommodation and half price tickets at some places. Love the Vegas comps - 3 Nights free at the Four Seasons in October, can't wait. Just a shame my Texas trip will probably be ruined.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 2:08 PM

Makes me glad I live in the US, its much less expensive when you can road trip it :).

I still maintain however, that even as big as a coaster enthusiast as I am, I will not go to overseas parks until I have thoroughly seen the cultural and natural attractions that those places have to offer first (which will likely be never.)

As amazing as Alton Towers, Blackpool, Europark, and Disneyland Japan look; London, the Alps, Paris, Toyko, Berlin, Rome, etc look more amazing. We have plenty of good coasters here in the states that I can go to for far less money, but we do not have the history those places have.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 4:28 PM

janfrederick said:

I've always been curious Richard, do you travel for a living and take in parks on business trips? Or do you only travel to ride? Or both?

Most of my travels have been private trips geared around coasters. I'm don't even want to think about what I've spent on the hobby over the last decade, but I'm quite sure it's in to six figures.

Having said that, I do also fit coasters into my weekends when I travel on business, which of late has been every few months.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 6:28 PM

My theory is that Richard inherited a fortune from his dad, who decades ago got rich traveling the world under assumed names and performing odd jobs while trying to cure his rare musculoskeletal condition.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 8:29 PM

I figured his great-great-great-great grandfather invented the banister and they've been living off the fortune since.

I really did think this was going to be about Richard, though.

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Monday, August 5, 2013 8:34 PM

I'm very glad I haven't keep track of how much it's cost to travel and such over the past 15 years...even happier that Jill hasn't kept track of it!

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Monday, August 5, 2013 9:58 PM

To Touchdown's point, I can't imagine traveling many places outside of the US for the purpose of riding coasters. I mean, if I was seeing the UK and happened to have time to visit Alton Towers or something, OK, sure, I'll do it, but it wouldn't be the primary purpose for that travel. Most places outside of the US have things that are way more interesting than variations of rides we have here. Most of the world has history that goes back further than 200 years.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 8:44 AM

Well, we all have different ideas of what's interesting. Parks are often the deciding factor in determining where I go. I'm not a major history buff, so while I think it would be cool to see some famous landmarks, I'm more apt to do something else with my time.

A prime example would be my trip around the world in February. People were clamoring to find out where I went during my overnight in Sydney. I almost got lynched when I told them that I pretty much just sat on the beach. Honestly, I'd been going at it for over twenty-four hours just to even get there, so I wanted to kick back and relax. That was my idea of a good time.

Personally, I think that going to theme parks can be a great cultural experience. You're going where the locals go and doing what they do. I know that they often visit museums and stuff, but do you think the highlight of a German's summer is seeing the Brandenburg gate? For some, maybe, but for others, it's probably the trip to Europa Park.

It's different strokes for different folks, of course, but I think that discounting non-local and international theme parks as minor variations on what we have at our own home parks is giving them insufficient credit. Personally, I think if you want to see what theme parks should be, you absolutely need to go to parks in other parts of the world, because while we may have higher concentrations of the best rides, our parks are generally leaps and bounds inferior (outside of Disney, Universal, and SWPAE) to what one might find at Europa Park or Canada's Wonderland.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:19 PM

^Canada (at least Ontario) doesnt count, I could totally see myself going to CW someday. Im a huge history buff, and do love going to national parks (however, Im weak and tour them mainly by cars, I did enough camping in Boy Scouts thank you very much.) When the merge, its great. I spent 3 days in the Smokies this past trip, equally split between Dollywood and Great Smoky Mountain Natl Park.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:15 PM

A couple of years ago, before I got interested in coasters, I would have said the same thing as Jeff. Now, however, I would probably plan my travel around foreign theme parks rather than historical attractions. Not that I ever expect to visit a theme park in Europe or Asia; I can't afford it anymore! But coasters have definitely edged out sightseeing, even in this country. It would have been nice to tour colonial Williamsburg but I was much more interested in Busch Gardens. And yes, we do have plenty of great coasters in this country but as far as I am aware, nothing as extreme as those outside the USA. Even Kingda Ka can't compete with Formula Rossa for speed and as to Takabisha's 121-degree drop, what can I say?

Anyway, my timing's all wrong. I hope I'm not boring people by sharing a personal story which veers slightly off topic. When I used to travel outside the country because I was engaged to a chap who lives just outside London, we used to pass Chessington World of Adventures on the way from Heathrow to his flat. At the time I had little interest in roller coasters and wondered whether I would even have the nerve to get on one at this stage of the game - a shame, as we could have gone to Thorpe Park and Alton Towers or wherever. It wasn't until later that I seriously thought about getting on a coaster and he said "We're too old to ride roller coasters; we'd end up with internal injuries." Well, I very much doubted that and saw it as a challenge. It's what motivated me to go to SFGA and ride El Toro. Fewer things motivate me more than being told I can't do something!

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