Fright vs. Joy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:20 PM

I just read an article about how surviving fearful situations releases dopamine in the brain, explaining why people enjoy amusement rides that scare them.

But I don't usually ride rides because I enjoy being scared -- I just like the forces. In fact, I find fear to be distracting. It makes the ride feel like work.

This is why I don't look down from the top of Power Tower; I just look straight out (or close my eyes) and enjoy the push and pull of the drop. On Millennium Force, I don't think about how high up we are or how the train might fly off into Lake Erie; I just sit back and let the ride do its thing.

An exception would be the drop tower at Waldameer, where I do get freaked out by the last-second brake... and genuinely enjoy the thrill.

I'm curious how you all feel about this -- is it the fear-induced thrill that draws you to these rides, or just plain old fun?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:35 PM

P.O.F. for me.

I can't remember the last time I was "scared" on an amusement park ride.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:52 PM

The last time I was scared on a ride was Drop Tower Kings Island. It scared me, but it was a good thing. Something that is quite regrettable is my lack of fear on rides now. The fun has been diminished to a small degree.

The first ride I have on a coaster is always the best, too, because you aren't used to the forces yet. You have a small sense of fear. After that, you are desensitized more and more every time you ride it.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:57 PM

^^Not for me. Many of the rides I get on Toro and Nitro..to cite just two...these days are waaay better than I remember my first ones being. There's so many factors that can influence a particular go-round, I couldn't make a blanket statement like the above.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:07 PM

I still get the fear sometimes. I get nervous for every Kingda Ka trip (when I bother with it), my first ride of the season (usually Talon), and really my first ride on anything really thrilling (Toro, Nitro, etc). Millennium Force had my heart beating a mile a SECOND the first two times I waited in line for it, and I'd already ridden Ka AND TTD earlier in the season. I like the rush I get when I've conquered a ride I'm scared of (if I enjoyed it...the first time I rode a 200 ft drop tower, I got off the ride and burst into tears, and then I punched my boyfriend for telling me it "wasn't that bad"--I made him ride it first).

It DOES take a lot more for me to get scared for a new ride now though. I was a tad nervous for Skyrush, but only because it was a new configuration for me with the winged seats. It turned out to be the last thing I needed to be worried about on Skyrush (pain and bodily injury being the big issue with that ride), but it was just a little unnerving waiting in line and staring at that fast lift and steep drop. For the most part, however, now I just get EXCITED!! I can't wait to hit up some rides!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:49 PM

I'm afraid I've lost the fear for good when it comes to amusement rides; the last time I felt it was prior to the launch on TTD back in 2003. I will say that having taken up skiing as an adult, and having only risen to the level of "strong intermediate" thus far, the fear is back in spades, just the same as it was when I was a kid at Kings Island.

The long slow ride up the hill...the dawning realization that it looks a whole lot higher from the top than it did from the bottom...It's friggin' fantastic.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 5:53 PM

Fear to me is the high dive at the pool. It's bungee jumping. It's skydiving, that one so much I haven't even tried it.
Rides? Not so much. There's a few flats I don't care for, but it's not because they're scary.
Abhorrent, irrational fear is me in a haunted house, I don't care how cheesy it might be.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:41 PM

I don't know that I'd call it fear, but I definitely have freak-out moments. The backward part of Expedition Everest gets me every time. It just never ends.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:44 PM

^^ I once went to a haunted house where a guy scared me so badly that I actually mounted the friend in front of me. Like ended up on her shoulders wrapped around her head like Abu from Aladdin in the Cave of Wonders.

Ferris wheels and some sky rides give me that irrational fear. I need to be extremely drunk to fly in an airplane.

Rides? Not too much, but I jut get the nervousness. Mostly for me, the joy is the rush.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 9:39 PM

Do you think it's possible to get high on riding coasters? They do cause your brain to release dopamine, as the birdhombre said, so could they be considered like drugs to a certain extent? If you are an adrenaline junkie, you're pretty much getting drunk on the rush that riding coasters gives you.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 9:44 PM

bunky666 said:

I still get the fear sometimes. I get nervous for every Kingda Ka trip (when I bother with it), my first ride of the season (usually Talon), and really my first ride on anything really thrilling (Toro, Nitro, etc). Millennium Force had my heart beating a mile a SECOND the first two times I waited in line for it, and I'd already ridden Ka AND TTD earlier in the season. I like the rush I get when I've conquered a ride I'm scared of (if I enjoyed it...the first time I rode a 200 ft drop tower, I got off the ride and burst into tears, and then I punched my boyfriend for telling me it "wasn't that bad"--I made him ride it first).

It DOES take a lot more for me to get scared for a new ride now though. I was a tad nervous for Skyrush, but only because it was a new configuration for me with the winged seats. It turned out to be the last thing I needed to be worried about on Skyrush (pain and bodily injury being the big issue with that ride), but it was just a little unnerving waiting in line and staring at that fast lift and steep drop. For the most part, however, now I just get EXCITED!! I can't wait to hit up some rides!

First lap on each ride in the new season is always exciting.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:07 PM

You don't need to quote an entire post to make a one-line reply.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:16 PM

I don't mean to get topic, but who is Moosh? I've seen quite a few references to him, but I have no idea about him. Was he a really awesome Coasterbuzz member that isn't here anymore?

Last edited by blasterboy6500, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:24 PM
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:33 PM

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/mamoosh

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:45 PM

Windseekers and the Sky Screamer swing at SF St. Louis scare me every time. I like the feeling, to a point. I'm a horror movie buff too, but there are a few I won't watch at night alone.

The Beast and American Eagle scared the crap outta me when they were running crazy nuts sometime in the 80s. The only other coaster that has ever made me think the train was literally going to rip off the track is Voyage. But Voyage is more workout than fear.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 3:27 AM

I like what Jeff called them; freak out moments. I definitely get those sometimes, but the contrast within my mind between freeking out and knowing that I am completely safe usually cause me to laugh hysterically.

Someone mentioned haunted houses. Those sometimes get me the same way. I know that I am going to be startled, but be completely safe, so the anticipation makes me giggle loudly.

My laughing on a ride is best described as joy, so I suppose I am expressing the joy of being frightened, but knowing that I am really safe.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 7:30 AM

See, I'd never do any ride that would put my life in danger.

Last edited by Tyler Boes, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 7:31 AM
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:28 AM

Freak out moment is a better way to describe it than fear. I measure it by whether or not I feel nervous and if my heart really starts beating faster. I expect to get that feeling during my first lap on Gatekeeper, especially sitting in the front seat on the right, as the car slowly rolls over after coming off the lift. That looks "freaky." And I still get the feeling when riding Vertigo at KI. It's the realization during the slow climb up the lift while facing/leaning forward that without my harness, I would be a dead man, that gets me.

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