How The GP Perceives Coasters

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 1:02 PM

I always hate people using the term GP. Sometimes we make seem as if everyone who isn't an enthusiast is a complete coaster idiot. Somehow I always resented this as I can easily remember the days before I was an "enthusiast" but was still a fan of coasters.

While reading threads here that mention the GP, I always wonder what it'd be like to go back to a "like them but don't live them" mentality towards coasters. Then today while looking at some non-coaster related message boards I frequent, I found a conversation that wandered towards the topic of coasters and found a great "GP" quote to share:

The new coaster this year there is X -- the first 4-D coaster. What's a 4D coaster? Well, the coaster rides within the track, allowing for the coaster to spin completely around -- front and back -- throughout the ride. In short, it's going to be wild. Don't eat first.

I immediately thought - What a great look into the mind of someone who rides coasters and visits parks as a family activity, but doesn't follow the latest trends nor go out of his or her way to get to parks. Clearly the person who posted this is excited to be talking about the ride but has no clue whatsoever as to what it's really about. I find that fascinating. Perhaps I can begin some twisted career as a GP socialologist. ;)

I'm not really sure why I posted this other than I found it a very interesting look into the mind of a non-enthusiast coaster fan and perhaps it will spark some interesting discussion among the enthusiasts.


Tuesday, March 12, 2002 1:10 PM

I consider myself somewhere in between GP and enthusiast. I know a whole lot about coasters, but I usually "hide" it when I'm at parks with GP.

I also don't go to enthusiast events, and only know a few enthusiasts (three people on this board I've met personally as far as I know). I often travel to far-away parks, but usually only as part of other vacations.

And many of the enthusiasts I've met make me not want to wear that label. (I'm not talking about the three people I know, who all are exceedingly great guys).

I guess, on-topic, I wouldn't want to "go back" to before I was an enthusiast, because I haven't gone "over the cliff" as it were...

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 1:12 PM

It IS interesting. It's also interesting as a frequent flyer (USAir Silver Preferred ;) ) to see how grandma-who-flies-once-a-year-to-Florida reacts to things like the ridiculous security procedures now in place, how the average Joe on the street reacts to my comic books, or watching the majority of my friends turn their noses up at sushi. :)

Anytime you have people who fit in a category (whether it's professional, or a hobby, or whatever), the "outsiders" always provide an interesting, and often humorous, viewpoint. Your "X" example is a perfect demonstration of this.

"The collective women in your life have more baggage than a Samsonite factory..."
My page

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 1:59 PM

Well, I gotta admit that I do live coasters, I do think of my self as a GP park lover.

I don't see the logic of some people mentality of, "I won't wait in a line!" Or, "If they don't have ERT then its not worth my time."

That stance has always baffeled me.

Chuck, who dose admit though, that a train full of enthusiast is a wild time :)

Charles Nungester
167 coasters and hopes to be over 200 by the end of 2002 :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:24 PM

We're all GP, we just happen to know more about the park experience and coasters in general than the average park guest. I really don't understand the stigma associated with the coaster enthusiast label...can someone please explain it to me? Why is an entire group being judged on the actions of the few?

Den - I joined ACE back in 1992 and didn't go to my first event until fall of 1999. I had such a great time I was kicking myself for not having gone to one sooner. Give it a try, just once. Doesn't have to be an ACE event. Try SRM, Coastermania, or Phunphest. Go with the three friends you have. I'd be willing to bet you'll have a much better time than you think.

2002 - the year of LoCoSuMo!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:26 PM
Its been said before, you're still a member of the GP until you have a parking spot with your name on it at CF headquarters. :)
Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:31 PM
I don't find the GP completely out-of-it. I do find it funny when I am at a park waiting in the line and I here a person say that the coaster we are in line for is at least 500 ft tall. I don't neccesarily make fun of them, just shake my head and laugh. I get entertainment of the GP, but I don't consider myself a enthusiast, I am somewhere inbetween.
Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:35 PM

Mamoosh said:
I really don't understand the stigma associated with the coaster enthusiast label...can someone please explain it to me? Why is an entire group being judged on the actions of the few?

Because that's how stereotypes work. The stereotype usually is an exageration of a trait that is common to the group. Very few, if any, members of a group actually exhibit traits associated with the stereotype to a "T."

"you're better off talkin bout your wack puma sneakers." -KRS ONE

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:52 PM
Well dont you think that the GP are afraid of "Loops". Whenever they see a coaster they go does this have "loops"? Personally when I didnt know much about coasters I thought height was more scary then inversion or maybe its just me?

Touch The Sky

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 2:58 PM
I was the same way B&R Chiller and so is my little brother. Loops don't matter as much to him as how tall the coaster is. I managed to get him to ride Space Mountain and Rock n' Roller Coaster with me, but I have a feeling if these rides were outdoors he wouldn't have done it.

Excalibur Crew for 2002!

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 3:15 PM

I was always found height more intimidating than loops and actually for the most part, I still find that true and more thrilling. I would much rather ride a hyper or giga than any looping coaster just because I like the long fast drops. For some people, like my dad who rode MF, won't ride a looper at all. He wouldn't even ride the little loopers, Scorpian and Python, at BGT. So, I think its different for everyone like that.

And evidently, "Tomb Raider is going to be sooo stupid. Why didn't they make a coaster?" ;)

Danny, who's an all-out park enthusiast!!


Tuesday, March 12, 2002 3:20 PM

Most people I talk to that don't know I'm obsessed have either one of two images that come to there mind:

1. A steel loop (ala Arrow corkscrew)

2. A "rickety old" woodie that they took their first ride on.



Tuesday, March 12, 2002 3:56 PM

Chris - I knew question was really more rhetorical, although I didn't make that clear.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 4:09 PM
Ahh...I was confused by your asking, as you seem like one of the more "with it" people around here.

Sorry 'bout that. Don't get your panties in a twist... ;)

"you're better off talkin bout your wack puma sneakers." -KRS ONE

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 7:48 PM

When I go to a baseball game, I am a casual observer. I don't follow baseball (or the Indians, who are my favorite team, for that matter) that closely, but I keep general tabs on how they're doing, and somewhat follow the players they are gaining/losing, but not closely at all. I think this is a good analogy that we can transfer to the world of coaterfreaks. If the super-fan sitting next to me at a baseball game (who I don't know) continually keeps spitting facts and trivia and his opinions at me, then yes, I will get REALLY annoyed. At the same time however, if he just acts excited and is into the game, I am not going to think anything bad about him. Same if he's dressed in an Indians jersey with red and blue face paint on - I'll just think that he's an impassioned fan.

I have no clue when it is appropriate for the pitcher to throw a curve ball compared to when a fast ball is right, although I know some people have a sense for these things. On the same token, many people don't know the difference between a B&M or an Intamin, and many can only tell what X is sort of like to ride. Many baseball fans know when a curve ball or slider is appropriate, but they don't choose to blurt that info out to those who are seated around them.

As a coaster fan, I love coasters and know quite a bit more than the average Joe does, but yet, I don't wear coaster shirts to parks and I usually talk about other stuff with my friends when I'm in line (mostly because they are not coaster freaks like I am). I am not saying this is offensive behavior at all, just like the non-offensive die hard baseball fan. So I guess that means according to my analogy, I am not even a die-hard coaster fan. The coaster community has non-offensive and offensive die hard fans, as well as the rest of us who blur the line between GP and enthusiast. I know I am not GP because I do have some neurotic coaster behavior, such as downloading just about all coaster videos that come out and always remaining conscious of what the coaster is doing and where the trains are while I am waiting in line (the stuff my friends and most people are generally oblivious to).

I really don't know what purpose this post serves, seeing it really doesn't go with the topic. I just hope maybe it offers another perspective on the enthusiast/GP debate and maybe explain why some of the GP hates enthusiasts.

"I'm just trying to find a decent melody...A song that I can sing in my own company."
- U2 - "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 8:07 PM

Its interesting when I talk with my friends who enjoy coasters, but very casually. Thats a normal average person.

Sometimes, I can't believe the stuff they say. For example, the list of rides that I have been told people have died on: Supreme Scream (falling out), ghostrider, (getting hit with a beam)

The only thing that I can imagine is just that the media overblows everything, and the public only half listens, giving them a skewed vision of the news.

My personal favorite GP quote "they run Ghostrider trains backwards during halloween haunt." (mixed up with colossus)

0-82 in 2.3 seconds! =Wow!

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 8:31 PM

....CFM you tease, now I want GR backwards, that would be Xtreme!

We all know about the 1000' tall coasters with 30 loops and whatnot, but the stuff I find amusing are the "rickety wooden coasters that are so rough" phenomena, and the "coasters with 'loops' are more fun than the ones that don't go upside down" concept. They keep people from getting into lines for rides I like...;)

It must be March, the Madness is setting in! I'm lost in Bracketville and there's no way out...

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 10:44 PM

Alot of time I get the..."I rode this one coaster...and the train was coming off the tracks!"

They just don't seem to get the idea that they are coming out of their seat...they seem to always believe the train is flying off the tracks.

Also I have a friend who won't ride anything without a shoulder harness...alot of people are like that too...I use to be one of them until I became an rollercoaster freak.

"Villain-Once You Drop, The Fun Don't Stop!"~SFWoA Rules In 2002~With SFWoA ANYTHING Is Possible!

Wednesday, March 13, 2002 2:44 AM

It might be nice to go back to being GP. There definitely is a difference. For the most part, the GP is never disappointed with a new coaster, they don't know that "insert park" has a longer, taller and faster version of the new ride.

BTW, I laughed while in line for Nitro as a person in front of me said, "I'm not afraid of Nitro, it's only 230' tall. Steel Force is over 400'."

Wednesday, March 13, 2002 4:00 AM

As someone once said on one of these posts ... "to the parks, we are all GP."

That is certain. UNLESS you work for the park that you are speaking about, or unless you work for a coaster manufacturer or design company, you are GP as far as those who count are concerned. There is no "Enthusiast test". It is a self declared title. Unfortunately, there are some who have turned "GP" into a insult type of term. There are some who consider themselves "Enthusiasts" and anyone who they think knows less than themselves they consider "GP"... no matter how wrong they may be about what they think they are an expert on.

In a way, it is refreshing to be around someone (i.e. what some call GP)who can appreciate a coaster for what it is ... and who does not feel the need to compare it to a coaster that is 200 miles away, so much taller, so much faster, etc (as some "enthusiasts" do). It is refreshing to be around someone who will like or dislike a coaster on its own merits, and not instantly label it a "great" coaster or a "terrible" coaster simply based on the designer.

About the only "enthusiast" thing I do is that I sometimes wear T-shirts from other parks and coasters when I visit a park. It's not to show "Hey, I know more than you know because I have been here and ridden this." Sometimes it is something that will cause someone to strike up a conversation while waiting in line.

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 3/13/2002. ***


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