For me life has changed a lot. Full time IT Job, 2 little Kids (3 yrs & 11 months), House to take care of, had surgery last year (last year was a wash in terms of coasters). I ride when I can but to honest I don't have the drive that I used too. I like to marathon but truth be told it's far in between. The days of me going up to Cedar Point and power riding one ride for several hours are behind me. I live about 40mins from CP and for me it's mostly morning sessions and leaving before 3. I still love it but I don't feel the need to ride something 5, 10 times. One or two rides is satisfying.
We used to do large road trips that would extend 4 or 5 days and it would be nothing but park after park even to the point of hitting 2 or 3 parks in a day. Today I can't justify the cost and I would rather spend the day attending one park and visiting other places in the area. Lastly I don't really enjoy park food, I am by no means a health nut but I can't justify price vs quality. In the food department, for me Amusement parks no longer get the pass they used to.
There is no such thing as a terrible Coaster just ones that haven't been taken care of
I think family, age, interest, and a lot of things impact park marathoning. I also think the type of rides has changed a bit. Case in point. Last summer I spent a full day with my 8 year old daughter at Cedar Point. She's not 54 inches yet, so a bunch of rides were out. Our "marathon riding" was Mine Ride and "Iron Dragon" versus the Millennium Force or Magnum (though we did get several laps on Blue Streak which is, I think in many regards, still one of the best coasters Cedar Point has.)
One thing I have noticed with age. Temperature and heat don't agree with me as much as they used to. Our day at Cedar Point was in the low 70's and very non crowded perfect weather. Contrast that with this years similar trip to Six Flags Great AMerica where it was crowded and 90 some odd degrees. Much different experience.
I'm retired at 57, my wife still works but we still go just about as much as we always did, just differently. We used to do big trips to many parks, trying to find the Holy Grail of coasters. After about 300 or so we started to realize that there is no such thing and since we've been to most of the parks in the US, the big multi-park trips ended about 6 years ago. Being in Michigan, it's mostly 3 or 4 trips to Cedar Point, Great America, or Kings Island and a week with Mouse every year with an occasional trip to parks when something new is installed that's near some other point of interest for a road trip. Or if the grand kids want to go...
We still "open to close" the parks when we go most of the time. Don''t feel the need to power ride any more though.
Once my wife retires in less than three years, we're planning on heading to Europe and Japan. Plenty of parks and history there to look forward to. Gotta keep moving or you'll seize up!
To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".
For me there is just a level of sameness. And my track record is fairly small. I still love the feeling of heading to a new to me park and riding new to me rides. In the last few years I have had that experience at Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Carowinds, Holiday World and Kings Island - all parks I had read about and looked at pictures of for years. I loved my days in those parks. But they were all a part of trips I was taking anyway, regardless of those parks.
At my current state in life, I have too much other cool stuff going on in life to use PTO and free time just for parks and coasters. My 15 year old self would kick my ass for thinking that way, but my current 30 year old self has seen lots of cool stuff, met some great people, and been to many fun places that have nothing to do with parks and coasters.
30? Get off my lawn.
^RCMAC Ha! Ha! I like that you could relate to the Looper at Knoebels. That's such a good classic ride.
Jeff hit on a point for sure. I was probably about the same age when it was no longer an obsession. Was talking with my wife about this earlier when we visited Dollywood today. I don't need to marathon but sometimes I like to if it's a ride in enjoy. Most of them I can reride until my heart is content. Certain rides I can repeat over and over just because I love the ride that much. Verboten at BGW immediately comes to mind. My wife loves that just the same. When we had the quick queue this summer we rode that over and over. I bet at least 15-20 times.
I agree with the peeps on here that said temperature plays into it. We don't go in the summer for an amusement park unless it's a place we can avoid the lines and the heat. I agree with Walt low 70s and low crowds are the perfect time of the year for us. At the same time we miss out on stuff that only happens at a park during peak season. It's worth it to me but does that bother other coaster riders?
I know I have been on Coasterbuzz for a long time but it doesn't add up until I start doing the math. BeastBuzz I was at was 13 years ago and I just made it back to PKI for a follow up visit. I signed up on Coasterbuzz a good 5 -7 years before that.
Lots to reflect on in life, but at the same time great sharing with a bunch of like minded people.
Good job Jeff for giving us a place to share in our passion. Thanks for the many years.
Good topic! For me, in recent years, the middle-of-summer trips scaled back after getting married. Main reason is we would have her son (who has severe Autism) during those months. Traveling with him is real challenge. We would still do many trips in spring and fall to make up for it.
My passion for riding hasn't changed at all. I do take interest in other things while traveling. But i still consider myself a Clark Griswald as I try to cram as much as possible in a trip. The biggest change is I can't pull the long distance trips like I used to. When KK first opened in 1990, I would drive the 4 1/2 hrs, be there at opening, stay all day, and drive home. Not something I an do anymore.
Now, my biggest problem is living in BFE, Kansas. Closest park is Frontier City 3 1/2 hrs away. The closest Famous Dave's is 4 hrs away. Plus there are the finances. No coasters this year.
At 45, the only thing that dictates my trips is cash. If I have the money, I will still do as many as possible. For me, traveling to parks and riding coasters are still the most important to me. That may seem wrong to some of you. But we're all different and that's just the way I am. As a kid, my parents were always taking us to places all the time. I got the "bug" at an early age.
Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries
I tracked our steps on the Samsung Health app. We averaged 10 to 13 miles a day ato Dollywood.
Back in the day I never thought about our activity in parks. Priorities change as well that way as we get older. Just another way to look at it.
When I went to Dollywood in the spring it was the first time I could remember it being so hilly! I was huffing and puffing trying to power walk that park. They've developed the place into a really huge circle, particularly felt by us coaster seekers. The show watchers stay concentrated in a smaller area more toward the front of the park, which makes sense not only from a customer's standpoint but from production's as well. Anyway, I can see where 13 miles is possible.
And I mentioned in a trip report that after one day at Phantasialand (the land-o-stairs) my phone told me I had climbed 28 stories. Amusement park exercise can be good for you. Well, as long as you can stay off the food, the ice cream, and the beer.
Being 45, I figure at some point I will have to slow down, but not any time soon. My son hit the 48" mark and he conquered every coaster he could at Kings Island. He is currently 49 1/2" and growing. He's hoping to make 52" by next summer. I will be taking him for his first trip to Cedar Point as he is obsessed with Millennium Force ever since he was about 3. He's been watching my video, The Roller Coasters of Cedar Point. I'm excited to take him as there are many good possibilities for him.
This also reminds me of a trip I took to KI when my dad was in his 60's. We rode the Beast together and I watched how he could not take the roughness as he had for years.
On our vacation I was surprised how smooth the Beast was with the magnetic brakes. Back when I was at Beastbuzz it still had skid brakes. It did see a bit more tame now then what I remembered.
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I'm 44 and I've done one marathon back in 2003 so I was 31 or so then and that was pushing it (30 hours on GASM at SFoG) Now I will still ride anything but it may be 2-3 rides rather than 10.
I really like this thread.
I agree with many of you. I find that as I get older I still love to go - even solo, but my full days of power riding - where I would plan my next ride based on watching the lines of other rides from lift hills - are over.
I've learned to appreciate some of the things I've often overlooked as a younger person. Things like benches in shady spots, a cool water fountain and even a nap in a comfortable spot. (Much easier to do water parks.)
I remember a year or so ago I was at the lakefront of Six Flags Great Adventure and I was just enjoying watching the turtles, sonnies and carp swimming by. This past year I sent over a trip report where I actually stopped riding and enjoyed a steel drum player and a reggae band on two restaurants / bars at Sea Side Heights. My son liked it too.
My kid is more into water parks and beaches, but it's hard to relax and nap when you have to be "on." For that reason, those trips have become shorter - but equally enjoyable. While I like waterparks too...I seem to prefer lazy rivers, gentle tubes and more family style attractions than adrenaline rush "floor is going to drop out any second" attractions. I may ride less, but I seem to enjoy more.
That being said, I have been hitting the gym for the last few months and I hope to be a more comfortable older rider. It's very hard for me - but the rides are part of the motivation. A smaller me will sustain few bumps and bruises and allow me to enjoy much better health in the long run. (Other threads have discussed this, but as an older rider it also fits because sometimes I don't.)
Yes other hobbies have nudged their way in...especially during the summer. For me it's fishing and it's great to combine both activities. Wildwood is perfect for that.
Older, slower, wiser and somewhat happier.
Again, great thread!
Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!
I'm in my forties. My last really big vacation was a few years ago. My mom, my aunt, and I went to Wildwood, NJ for a week. I walked to Morey's Piers several times from my hotel while there. We stayed at The Adventurer, which is all the way at the south entrance of the boardwalk. It was fun, but it was not a relaxing vacation.
During the trip, I also went, by myself, to Great Adventure for a day. By the end of that trip, I was exhausted.
I've been on a few amusement park day trips since then. I get really tired, and I always need a nap halfway through the day. :)
Somewhere between 35 and 45, I apparently grew up...or grew old.
Either way, I don't recommend it.
"I'm going to make my own amusement park with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the park." - Bender Bending Rodriguez, Futurama
Is there an alternative you would recommend over it?
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."
So somewhere between 35 and 45, you recommend death? Or is it given the choice between growing up, growing old and death, you think death is preferable?
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