Going to parks alone?

Monday, April 15, 2013 11:26 PM

"Coaster Friend Finder?"

Monday, April 15, 2013 11:48 PM

I met up with Gonch once... and he stabbed me. Though in fairness, he tells you he's gonna do it beforehand, so...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:07 AM

What was it he stabbed you with?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:20 AM

Mike Gallagher said:

Not saying I'm perfect..no one is..except "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, and he's dead.

If he's so perfect he wouldn't be dead now, would he?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:27 AM

Oh, Jeph, there was no real offense taken. It's all good. Like I said, everyone is free to form their own friendships for whatever reason and nobody here will argue with that. And I hope you don't think I'm accusing anyone of looking for a hookup here, but at the same time the mention of age at all around here just put me in mind of some of the language I hear in ads. Maybe I'm just old. Fashioned.

It never occurred to me that mention of age was partially to avoid meeting up with groups of children, and that's certainly a valid point. I was strictly viewing it from the other end of the timeline. And this has me thinking now, would I have fun and value the day if I inadvertantly joined a group of 30 somethings at a park? Or would they be waaaaay too fast for me? I guess, as you say, it's important for us all to know what we might be getting ourselves into before we agree to meet. I mean, I'd hate for those kids to laugh and then ditch me because they perceive me as old, and I'd hate to spend a day rolling my eyes because everything they say sounds so immature and out of line. That would be hurtful.

I'm glad to know that you see the good in having friends and associates from all age groups, and that you recognize the fact that everyone ages differently. I'm the same age as your dad, but I can still hit the park from open to close, ride everything all day without eating much, then go to bed (after a couple stiff drinks) and be ready for the next day. If you can't imagine what another 30 years might feel like for you then you should look me up one day. Your concern might be put to rest!

The age gap never widens, it only narrows. As we grow older together we get closer, and time only goes faster.

Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:29 AM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:57 AM

I was feeling very old and tired a few years ago when I was heavier and in poor physical shape. Now that I've lost a little weight and have just started working out five days a week, I'm excited to see if I can go as long as all the young kids.

And my maturity level still allows me to hang out with at least college age kids. Which is kinda sad. :P

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:47 PM

LostKause said:

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


Not many people can keep up with me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:52 PM


That's a nice way of explaining why nobody is around you to yourself.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:58 PM

Tyler Boes said:

Not many people can keep up with me.

Boast much?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:59 PM

Bunky, it sounds like you might have Peter Pan syndrome. I have had it for a very long time. You got to let it finish it's course. There is no known cure for it. At 39 years old, I am finally beginning to get rid of it, although some of it will stay with me forever, I suppose. I still like cartoons and loud music. I really don't think I will ever grow up in some regards.

This theme park enthusiasm is just another way of trying to hold on to my childhood.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:59 PM

Travis, I prefer to think of it as "young at heart". ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:23 PM

Now I'm picturing Travis and Bunky in green tights and shorts with a green feather coming out of a green hat.

I am probably a candidate as well, from time to time. Is Peter Pan a hugger?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:11 PM

This is a very good topic, and one that hits close to home for me.

I took up roller coasters as a hobby at the age of 59 (am now 61) and couldn't find anyone who shared my enthusiasm. My friends are in the same age range and would almost rather die than ride a roller coaster. Therefore, I go to amusement parks alone. I did meet other ACE members at two photo shoots for Travel Channel - and some of them are older than me! - but wasn't able to establish friendships with them.

On the whole, going to amusement parks by myself works out better for me than going with someone and meeting someone there. I can come and go as I please and don't have to concern myself with anyone else's ride preferences. If I want to ride El Toro 10 times in a row, I can do that without interfering with anyone else's agenda. I can also eat at whichever place in the park appeals to me at the time. The last time I went to a park, I started out with 4 consecutive rides on Nitro, and not everyone would want to do that.

Only occasionally do I think that it would be nice to have company, but we're back to the same issue raised by others - how do you find the company? My profile is on a couple of websites and the fact that hardly anyone has ever approached me about meeting at a park suggests that I am a victim of ageism. Let's face it, most of the people on this site are young enough to be my kids or grandchildren. One person on this site did contact me and we planned to meet at SFGA on Easter Sunday but at the last minute he told me that a friend might also be coming with his kids, and that totally ****ed things up for me, as I didn't want to be tagging along with someone's kids, so didn't go. I'm not good at having someone switch gears on me at the last minute.

A good question was raised as to the safety of hooking up with someone you encounter on a website such as this. It's a crap shoot, so you take your chances and proceed in an abundance of caution.

The only time I didn't go to a park alone was last Memorial Day weekend. My companion was someone I'd met through an internet site unrelated to roller coasters. Well, I'd already met him for dinner and a basketball game so felt comfortable enough to get in a car with him and drive him to Great Adventure, and what a strange day at the park that turned out to be. I had already begun to suspect that this guy didn't have all of his marbles and the visit to the park served to confirm my suspicions. After repeated rides on El Toro and Nitro, he could not distinguish between the two coasters, and I found this very odd. Not only would I be able to identify the coasters I'd ridden; I can identify the ones I haven't ridden. (Haven't ridden Raptor or Mantis at Cedar Point but I sure as hell could point them out.) He hadn't ridden a coaster in about 30 years, so I would have expected him to be just a little nervous about getting on a steel hypercoaster or hydraulic- launched stratacoaster, but he showed no reaction to anything we rode (except to yell ANOTHER THREE G'S at every opportunity), not even Kingda Ka, with one exception. He had had a double knee replacement and couldn't get his left leg in a comfortable position on Skull Mountain so asked whether he could put his leg on my side and that was fine with me, but not with the ride ops. Anyway, after the visit to Six Flags he began harassing/stalking me and I ended up going to the police and the DA's office; fortunately, that put an end to it.

I wanted to share this story because it reinforces my conviction that for the most part I am better off going to parks alone. However, an occasional riding buddy would be welcome. Again, it's a question of how do you find one. My age alone is against me because I wouldn't expect someone much younger to want to hang out at a park with someone so much older. And I probably couldn't keep up with the young people, anyway - as I don't have the stamina or the inclination to remain at the park until closing time. 6 or 7 hours is plenty of time for me to enjoy what the park has to offer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:53 PM

GayCoasterGuy said:
Now I'm picturing Travis and Bunky in green tights and shorts with a green feather coming out of a green hat.

Just that thought is enough to make my brain bleed, at least in my case. *LAUGH*

Bobbie, I say again better late than never to find something you love. It is unfortunate that you don't end up finding nice, normal parkgoers to ride with. I'm younger than you, but this also comes with a certain set of issues. Most of my friends have kids, and most of those kids are younger. They either are not big enough to ride the big coasters, they're afraid of the big coasters, or they're SO young that they don't go to the parks yet, which means massive scheduling issues so my friends can find babysitters. My friends also always don't wanna be gone for more than a few hours because they have to cook dinner or do this or that with their spouses (I say let the spouse fend for themselves for one darn night, but apparently that's not an option). Great Asventure is two hours away, the crowds get so bad most days friends are available that I have to buy Flashpass, and then we're only there for about three hours. Makes the trip not even worth it usually.

I've actually never liked going to parks with a big group. I'm not especially assertive, so when the group decides what they want to do, I never even get a vote. Or if I do, we've already spent so much time farting around making said decisions that I could have ridden three rides by myself. One or two other people, sure. More than three other people? No way.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:57 PM

bunky666 said:

Great Asventure

I might go there. Do they offer FlashPass?

And yes, I know I shouldn't quote the previous post. But it was two words!!!

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:59 PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:10 PM

They offer a STL option called FlashpASS.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:52 PM

I remember, vaguely, when 61 was "old." That was a LONG time ago...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 5:36 PM

That's quite a story, Bobbie! I'm sorry that potential friendship turned out bad. If you're ever planning to go to SFGAmerica (my home park), let me know. I'm always up for meeting up with new coaster friends, even if it's for an hour or two to catch a couple coasters or a quick meal.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 8:46 PM

I am a member of Pointbuzz, this site, and KIcentral, yet I still go by myself to places. All the people I know as far as my local friends aren't as big into roller coasters as much as I am. Plus I haven't met too many people on the forums that would want to meet up with me yet. I usually enjoy myself though! The only time I don't is when I see couples holding hands, then I sometimes get depressed. Don't get me wrong they have the right to do so, but being single sometimes is hard. Most of the time, I have a blast though!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:12 PM

Bobbie you are never too old! I have a couple years on you and also go to the park alone many times. Most friends my age tell me coasters are for kids. If that is true somebody forgot to tell me I'm not a kid anymore. Bobbie, if you are going to Cedar Point give me a buzz, I'd enjoy meeting you in the park.


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