Going to parks alone?

I don't know if this is the right place for this or not but I thought I would give it a shot. I am a 24 year old male, I live in eastern West Virginia, right on the Virginia border. I like most others on here am a major coaster enthusiast. Now let me get to the point of this post.

Most of my friends enjoy roller coasters to a certain point but none of them enjoy them to the point that I do as an enthusiast. Within the past couple of years I have noticed I end up going to parks a lot more by myself. Of course I still love the coasters so much and hopefully always will but I am beginning to get a little lonely. I am not a loner by any means and am a very social person but really find it irritating when my friends are tired and ready to go home after 3 hours at a park. I am the kind of person who likes to show up at opening and stay until close and really make the most of every park I get to go to.

So what I am trying to do is find some enthusiast friends. Preferably around my age, a little younger or older is totally fine. Even a group would be great. Problem is I live in such a rural area and have no idea where to even begin. Is there any clubs or groups fairly close to my location? I am even willing to drive a good little ways if I have to. My most attended parks generally include Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Hershey, Kennywood and so on. But I am pretty much up for anywhere. I just really want people that I can relate to and share my passion. I want to meet friends I can relate to and go to parks with.

blasterboy6500's avatar

I'm pretty sure lots of the members can help you out with that. You can discuss to meet with someone and then do it. There's also a calendar option on the website that you could use. I myself don't live in that area, and besides, I'm a quite a bit younger than 24 and sure do act a lot younger.

You don't need a parachute to jump out of an airplane. You need one to do it again.

Josh, I feel your pain. I usually go by myself as well, or the people I go with always say, "Oh, I can't stay too late and I can't leave before this time", etc, and when you're driving more hours than you get in the park, it is extremely frustrating. I'm a little farther north than you, but I know for sure there are some Buzzers in and around your area, so definitely keep an eye out here. Best of luck to you!

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

jkpark's avatar

Josh, I would check out the Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club

Before I started posting on this and another coaster forum, I went to parks by myself probably 95% of the time. Since late 2005, when I joined the other site, that percentage has dropped to probably around 60-65. I've made several friends, had some great times, and built some great memories with people I've met through coaster sites. There are several people on CoasterBuzz I would like to meet, and maybe that'll happen sometime. I've already met a small handful. And I'm much older than you, Josh, so maybe it'll be easier for you...

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


Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm not a fan of going to the mall by myself, let alone an amusement park. That being said, on our last day at Disneyland, my friends' flight out was a solid 8 hours earlier than mine, so I stayed behind and soaked in the sights/sounds/smells and the like, bouncing between the 2 parks, taking pictures and the occasional ride or 2.

I really enjoyed it, but it was because it was only a temporary situation that was ending a week long vacation. There's no way I'd spend multiple days by myself, or head to Great Adventure/Great America/whatever without having someone with me or to meet up with.

edit: curse you, internet, for making me always type "sites".

Last edited by Raven-Phile,
Vater's avatar

My only visits to Kings Island and Six Flags over Georgia were by myself. I enjoyed both. I have to be in the right frame of mind, though. Both trips were when I was in my late 20s; I'm not sure if I'd enjoy them as much now.

Tekwardo's avatar

As a West Virginia Native, with the closest park (Camden) being 3 hours away for most of my life, the best thing I can suggest is talk to people online, like here, don't be a jerk or creepy, try to meet up with people you talk to on here, go to some events where there are a lot of enthusiasts (Coastermaina, HWN, Solace, PPP), and meet people.

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

I go to parks alone most of the time. I have tried to get friends to go with me and none of them are ever interested so I gave up. I even offered one friend a free trip to Great Adventure since I was going to use one of my bring a friend free coupons from the season pass book and they still didn't want to go. During the 2004 - 2005 offseason when Kingda Ka was announced right before that, it was exciting knowing one of my local parks was getting the world's tallest and fastest coaster and I mentioned how great it was to be getting a coaster like that. Their response? "Who cares"

Last edited by YoshiFan,

Replying to you all individually doesn't seem to be working lol. But anyways thank you all for your help. It is just nice to know I am not alone and other enthusiasts feel my pain lol. I really hope to make friends on here and will definitely need to get a list of enthusiast events. Also will be checking out the Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club, it is fairly close to where I live. All seem like great ways to end the wandering through parks all alone and single rider blues lol. I really hope to make this the best theme park season yet.

If anyone else has any suggestion or can help please keep it coming, thanks :)

Tekwardo's avatar

For me, and granted, this was during Coasterbuzz's golden era, I ended up getting in on some AIM chats with a bunch of people, most of which I'm still very good friends with. Sadly, the one person that seemed to introduce the coolest people to each other is no longer with us (Still misses Moosh).

But if you can find someone you have other things in common with, and then eventually meet up at a park, especially at an even when they know other people, that's how it tends to happen. Then you can meet up with them at their local parks, go on trips with them, etc. That also tends to help on expenses when you end up with enthusiast friends. The cool ones. Like Gonch. Oh, wait, no. He's still avoiding me.

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

LostKause's avatar

I've had the same problem my whole life. My solution? Teenagers. Find one or more teenaged relatives or friends and take them with you. Most teenagers LOVE theme parks, and they love to get there way before the park opens and stay until the last ride closes. Their enthusiasm usually matches my own. They will be thrilled that someone is willing to actually take them to a park.

Now that I am a little older though, I have been finding it kind of difficult to keep up with them. lol

I did successfully get a small group of old friends from high school and my rock band days to meet us at Kennywood last Labor Day for what I called a "family reunion." The park was pretty crowded, but we had a lot of fun just hanging out. Then the next day I visited an old buddy of mine who is now a teenager, and we went to Hersheypark.

I sometimes go alone though, if I can't get anyone to go with me. I don't mind. I go all kinds of places alone, like the movies or McDonald's. It might sound sad, but it is what I do.

I do miss the old days, when I had too many friends.

Last edited by LostKause,

Josh, I can totally relate. In my teens, it was easy to find friends to go to parks with; it was practically a yearly tradition with most of them to go to an amusement park at least once per summer. However, after the legal drinking age, those opportunities started dropping exponentially for me. Everyone started getting busier with jobs, and then when the weekend hit, it was all about bars and parties.

By the time I was your age, I posted an eerily similar thread to this one over on PointBuzz. The most common response I got was to just go solo -- that it'd get much less lonely and awkward with time. While that might be great advice for some, we're all wired differently, and it's still awkward and lonely for me now in my late 20's.

If I go solo now, I only go on flash trips. Flash trips are when I know particular parks will be very dead. I'll arrive, quickly ride everything I want in a 2-4 hour marathon, and then go home. Even during these short trips, I'll see laughing groups of friends, and remember how much more fun those times were. I know some people have a great time going solo, but for me, the social aspect -- building memories with friends -- is so important.

The mistake I made is at your age, I didn't put in enough effort in finding new coaster / park friends. I didn't join any clubs or go to any enthusiast events. I hung onto my 2 remaining close friends that would go with me, and I put up with the whining and reduced visits. I even got so desperate at times that I bought them Platinum Passes or paid for every single expense on multi-park trips. While I had some great moments, even paying for everything didn't get me what I wanted -- they just didn't love coasters and parks like I did.

Now even they have moved away. So my advice is to act now...join clubs, go to special events at parks, and try to meet up with people on message boards like this one. In my opinion, it only gets more difficult finding close, lasting friendships as you get older...especially ones around your age. You probably won't connect with everyone you meet, but you should keep trying. I live in NW Ohio, about 4 hours from Kennywood. Feel free to PM me if you or a group of friends would like to meet up sometime. Anyone is welcome to PM me actually.

Last edited by Jeph,

I go alone all the time. But my imaginary friends are always close behind. They don't bicker much about which ride I pick, or about leaving the park to eat, it's just perfect.

But seriously, I can have a good time alone. If it's a coaster 'event' I am heading to, I usually meet up with long-not-seen coaster friends, or new faces from the coaster forums. Hanging out on coaster forums for so long, I've met some really cool real people as well.

Jeff's avatar

Tekwardo said:
For me, and granted, this was during Coasterbuzz's golden era...

You make it sound like something in the past. From where I'm sitting, that time is now.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

rollergator's avatar

^Just thinking - before FB there were fewer options in the marketplace.

Anyhow, on the "going solo" concept....SFNE's FB today linked to a page with tips. Nothing extraordinary, but topical nonetheless.


LostKause's avatar

It's odd that an amusement park is encouraging people to come to the park alone. I sometimes get some funny looks when I am alone at a park. That's usually when I am riding the kiddy rides or taking photos of the waterslides though. lol

I mentioned teenager relatives before, but also there is the meeting calendar here. Hang around here long enough and you will probably make enough new friends that you can easily find someone to meet you at a park. GayCoasterGuy (Billy) was visiting my local small park, Camden Park, and I met him there. We had a great time, and he showed me what a gem of a park Camden was and how I was taking it for granted.

I am willing to meet people I am familiar with here on CoasterBuzz at Camden Park to hang out. Just let me know asap so I can plan accordingly. No crazy stalkers though. I don't like crazy stalkers. lol

Last edited by LostKause,

Crazy and stalker seem kind of redundant.

That's something I always worry about actually. I do not believe for a second that any of the Buzzers are dangerous or wanting to hurt me. I would guess that at least half don't want to even meet me, but there is still that fear of the unknown and the reputation of the Internet for getting people in touch with stalkers that much sooner. Actually, my husband is against me arranging meetings to meet fellow Buzzers or anyone I talk to online, and I honor those wishes...I still wish I could have some Buzzer friends to ride with though. Hope you find us!

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

LostKause said:

I don't like crazy stalkers. lol

But you like me, Travis :)

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