Hometown Apathy? (Thanks, Andy!)

Over on the Trip Report section, Apollo Andy used the phrase "hometow apathy" as a possible explanation for his feelings toward Texas Giant. The phrase got me thinking. I wondered if the reason I rank MF, I-305, and Supes America higher than Nitro is because I can't ride them anytime I like. I can't do them spur-of-the-moment. Nitro, I can. I just wonder if it would rank higher if it WASN'T in my home state.

The reverse sort of applies, too. El Toro is my favorite ride, and I've been on it at least 600 times. But would it rank as highly if it was sitting out in Erie, PA or Indiana, where my #'s 2 and 3 reside? Where I COULDN'T ride it any old time?

Just food for thought. Anyone else?

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


delan's avatar

I dunno. Dragon's Challenge (Chinese Fireball) is minutes from me and it's still my favorite invert EVER! I guess it depends on the person.

Tekwardo's avatar

I definitely believe in Hometown Apathy. For years, Carowinds was the only theme park I went to every year (Before I moved to the Metrolina area), and I was so sick of it. Having said that, the only great coaster there was the invert. Now that I live within an hour from the park, though, I don't feel that way, but at the same time, living close hasn't worn off yet, neither has Intimidator's newness.

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Lord Gonchar's avatar

I've lived enough places that I've had more than a few 'home parks' in my backyard. Some we enjoyed and frequented often, some we didn't care for and went to less than parks further away.

No real trend as far as proximity in that sense.

But I do notice that I tend to regard coasters/parks I know I'll only visit once or twice in my life higher than ones I have easier access to.

So the closer or more accessible the park, the truer the perception for me, I think.

birdhombre's avatar

I'm not apathetic toward individual rides -- Millennium Force is still my favorite steel coaster -- but I'm apathetic about Cedar Point in general unless I'm with other people. The camaraderie and building of friendships is kinda what got me "into" this hobby anyway, but my brain wants to jump out of my skull at the thought of waiting a half hour for a ride by myself. With friends, I'll gladly wait longer.

Because CP is only an hour away, I've gone by myself a number of times, and always end up wondering why. Usually it's after plans with friends fall through but the siren song of MilF and Maverick lure me in anyway. I should know better by now.

Compare that to when I went to Kings Island by myself two years ago and had a great time, though admittedly the lines were fairly short that day and the weather was beautiful. Still, because it was only my third time visiting that park, sauntering around and making a random day of it had more "purpose." At CP, I feel like I've already done everything, so the only thing left to make any given visit special is the people I'm with. The brief few minutes on my favorite coasters apparently isn't enough. :)

rollergator's avatar

Hometown coasters tend to get rides in all conditions, so you get a truer picture of "best, worst, and average". A coaster that requires a flight to get to - you've likely got one or two trips over the course of YEARS....so, if you get an A+ ride on an otherwise lackluster coaster, you're likely to rate it higher than someone who really does see the ride "warts and all" (no relation to Hogwarts, Inc)...

BoulderDash, for example, left me unimpressed on my first visit....subsequent New England trips have resulted in a MUCH higher opinion - so much so that it made my GT ballot this year. Two wooden coasters that I truly need to re-visit since friends have indicated they're way better than I had experienced - Timbers and SFGE's Comet.

In short, I don't think it's necessarily "apathy" as much as it's harder to get enthused about a ride you really can ride ANY time. Rides that really require EFFORT....tend to get you more pumped - which CAN result in much higher ratings if you really do get good rides. For further evidence of this effect, look at what happens to Mitch's poll when TPR or ACE takes an overseas trip...

edited to add: "Homerism" is dead. It used to be cool to think your hometown rides were better than everyone else's. Then, more people began to travel and experience led them to realize it's a big world out there...thankfully.

Last edited by rollergator,
Vater's avatar

I think the fact that of two coasters that you can ride any time you want, one is ranked highly and the other so highly, which sort of implies there's no home park bias (or apathy) in your case. I see Nitro as a decent ride and El Toro a stellar one (no different from you, really), and Great Adventure is not my home park.

I305 is right down the road from me, and I think I prefer it to Millennium Force, which is at a park I hardly ever get to. I find myself wanting to like MF more, for some reason...maybe because I like the location better, I think it's better looking, I have a soft spot for it since I closely followed its construction and it was at a time that my enthusiasm was at its pinnacle. But then again, I haven't ridden it in over a decade so I might not remember just how good it was. There's a chance I'd like it better than I305 if I were to ride it tomorrow. Dunno. Or maybe the experience has since declined a bit. Point is, I don't think I have any hometown apathy or bias...

Last edited by Vater,
ApolloAndy's avatar

I do have a tendency to *want* to like coasters more if I had to put more effort into getting there. The sad truth, though, is that sometimes they don't stand a chance of living up to my expectations. Just for example, when we were on vacation in Vancouver a few months ago I took the city bus 25 minutes each way while my wife and son were napping so I could get 45 minutes at PNE Playland. 3 laps on any roller coaster, even my ultra favorite probably could not have made up for that kind of effort.

I will say that there's definitely a bias towards the "first" whatever I ride. First hyper (AC - haven't gotten back to BGW since that day) is hugely better in my mind than anything that I've ridden since. My friend who I rode Raging Bull and then S:RoS SFNE with thought RB was significantly better. etc. etc.

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Jeff's avatar

Fanboyism for Cedar Point used to reach cosmic levels, but over time I think it really did start to depend on the ride. I mean, no one defends Mean Streak, but the love for Millennium Force seems undying. I would also concur that with your home park, the people tend to make the difference between love and apathy, even for the rides.

The time that passes can certainly skew your feeling toward rides as well. I last rode Apollo's Chariot in 2003 or something like that, but I used to swear it was one of my favorite rides. Hard to say if I'd still feel that way.

More to the original point, I do believe that the more time you spend with a particular ride, the more critical you might be of it, kinda like the hobby in general. Having two summers off from Cedar Point, I can tell you that I enjoyed my ride on Millennium Force in July more than I had in years. Sometimes you just need to get away from a place to remember how to enjoy it.

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Vater's avatar

^That last sentence has more or less been my mantra for the last few years with regards to this hobby in general. The less I go to parks, the more fun I have when I'm there.

I was warned about how working at Waldameer could change my perspective of the park, and even make me hate it. I told myself that I would quit the day that my love for my hometown park was diminished because of working there. However, I ended up loving it more and more as the season progressed. In fact, I'm already looking forward to 2012 as a team member.

In the several times I rode Ravine Flyer II on break or when I got out early, the experience always felt fast and furious. Steel Dragon which I rode countless times before opening on days I operated it always put a smile on my face. RF2 is still my #2 woodie, and Steel Dragon is still my favorite spinner.

Of course I frequently saw areas in which improvement was necessary, but I kept in perspective the amount of time and effort it takes to keep the park operating in its current state.

Revolutionary-24's avatar

Well, Magic Mountain is my home park. With that being said, my number 1 & 2 wood coasters are in St. Louis. My favorite invert is in Carolina (North I think). #1 floorless resides in Vallejo. The best 200+ footer is very hard for me to say. I'm sure if I had the chance to ride some of the others a few more times I would give them more credit. I pretty much liked them all other than Raging Bull. Right now I would say I like Goliath the best as it is the only one I get to ride on a somewhat regular basis. Finally, Magic Mountain easily has the best stand up coaster, none of the others even come close.

So I would say my favorites are pretty well spread out.

On my last trip to the Mountain, X was horrible, Viper was running like a champ, Riddler was good, Batman was trying to be the best invert ever, Goliath had the brakes on too much, Colossus did ok, Terminator was awesome, and Revolution just needed to remove those OTSR's to become one of the greats again.

I have also found that having to wait too long for a ride tends to make me like it less, regardless of where it is and how good it is.

I think I have both a great deal of love AND apathy for Dorney, which is my home park. I have lived within five to ten minutes from Dorney for most of my life, and I have so many great memories there. I am quite aware of our great rides, including Steel Force, which absolutely kills Maggie in re-rideability, and Talon, which is just about even in rank to Raptor for me. All in all, I know that Dorney has a nice selection of good coasters, a little bit of charm, and a small crowd most of the year. However, I DO find myself often bored by Dorney, and I often wish that Dorney could be more innovative like Hershey or ballsy like Great Adventure, which are both less than two hours away. Lately though, I have found that I enjoy Dorney a great deal when I see it through the eyes of my younger nephew. It is almost a perfect "starter park", and when I was heavier into coasters, it was the last place I wanted to go. I was definitely apathetic. I still wish there were parks with new attractions on a fairly constant basis closer to me, but my apathy has changed to acceptance and appreciation. And I am still well aware that im probably in one of the most geographically desireable locations in the country for great parks (within five hours: Dorney, Hershey, Knoebels, Great Adventure, sf america, kings dominion, Moreys, and probably more). I can't complain, but I can definitely relate to hometown park apathy.

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LostKause's avatar

Every time I return to this thread, I am reminded of KMFDM's "Apathy".

I had "Hometown Apathy" for Camden Park. It's small, old, and can be finished in a few hours. But this summer when Billy "CoasterDemon" met me there, he made me realize how unique the park is and how lucky I am to have it nearby. Small turned into charming, old became historical, and the reason that it can be finished in a few hours eis because the lines are normally pretty short.

Kings Island is my other home park, at about three-and-a-half hours away. I normally get to go there a few times a year, and love it every time. No hometown apathy there. I do have issues with the park being messed up over the last ten years, but that was already discussed in another recent thread.

Now please excuse me while I go listen to some old KMFDM tunes...

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