I used to consider myself a coaster enthusiast. However, I now consider myself a park enthusiast. Coasters are only one small part of a park. There's the lanscaping, the flat rides, there's the theming(even at CP), there's the food, the smell, the sounds, the lights, the colors, the people, the accomodations, the waterparks. I love everything about amusement parks. That's why I find it hard to spend less than a day at any one park. I can't just ride the coasters and leave. I gotta try the food, the wave pool, the guess your weight game. I gotta see the lights at night. People who just go and ride the coasters and leave miss so much of the parks. I just don't see how they can do it.
I'm not going to say that coasters aren't the single biggest thing that draw me to the parks, 'cause they are. However, once I'm at a park, I don't judge it by its collection of coasters. Follow that?
Whoever was on that one coaster show and said "If you put a huge coaster in the middle of a parking lot somewhere, it wouldn't be that popular" was right. It's the coasters that get me there, but it's the overall experience that gets me back.
Why do you think I'm here? There is no Theme Park Enthusiast site nearly as good as this one. Even though it's called CoasterBuzz, we manage to get everything in the park world in as well. Thank goodness that parts not against us in the FAQ. ;)
If we paid all that money to just go ride the coasters at Disney, Universal, and Busch parks, well I would say we're sadly missing out.
I find myself wondering why I don't see more of the live entertainment. Today, for example, I saw one of the shows at Cedar Point. It was really quite good (see trip report), and it's one of the best kept secrets of the park. It doesn't hurt they have beer either.
The other thing I find myself doing is playing more coin-op games. I can't get enough Skee-Ball, and I often find great classics. Played Track & Field at Kennywood last weekend for the first time in years (and sucked really bad).
More often than not, I try to see some of this stuff (unless it's a Six Flags park, as I've seen enough Batman junk) because it's usually quite good. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is way above average.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "From the global village... in the age of communication!"
I agree with JORDON DUNHAM, being a coaster enthusiast kind of means that you are a park enthusiast too. When I'm at a park I go on other rides and attractions besides coasters, even though I don't really care for Spin 'n' Pukes, except for the ones like Triple Play at SFGAm (I don't know what they're called).
Live shows are nice to see at a park. If you go to Knott's I recommend the Mystery Lodge, it uses holograms with some really cool effects to tell a Native American story. Also, the shows that SFGAm does during Fright Fest are usually good, especially the hypnotist. ------------- As a human being I reserve the right to do something something stupid. -Ed
I do actually like SFgadv for more then just the coasters.The kiddie sections are excellent especially the bugs bunny show because,they always get me and my son singing and dancing and the characters just light up my sons face when they talk to him.I watch the dive show at least three times a season because,nothing beats men in them tiny speedo's ;) . I also love going at night,the park is so beautifully lit up and,i got to experience the park at night again for the first time this season last week.The turbo force and slingshot are really cool to watch at night from a distance.Two other shows i fail to mention that are really good are,The Lethal Weapon water stunt show and the dance show.I am truly thankful for Zamperla,my son and i enjoy most of the Zamperla flat rides.Kids definately change your experience at any park and,although i love the coasters,i am happy about everything else to.
This is why coaster enthusiasts enjoy the Disney parks even though they are short on coasters. They have a park atmosphere that is hard to beat. Coasters represent parks and that is why we are called coaster enthusiasts. Like Lynch said the coasters draw us there but the park keeps us coming back. Everything in a park adds up to become one big expeirience that we coaster entusiasts enjoy. Though the coasters are the largest part of that expierience.
I consider myself a combination of both. I've always loved amusement parks growing up in California with Disneyland, PGA and Knott's Berry Farm. However, I am more of a coaster enthusiast, and that's what draws me to a park now, more than anything else. I love a good flat ride or dark ride, and I love good shows. I just prefer to ride coasters at parks over anything else. I think of everything when I go to a park though, theming, landscaping, collection of non-coaster rides, but if a park has a great coaster, it'll make me want to go. Can't say that about just a flat ride. Although Indiana Jones made me go to Disneyland over and over again. ;) That's an exception. :)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I am a *coaster* enthusiast. I like it when parks are clean, and I like when they have friendly staff, and I like it when there's nice landscaping and theming, but the one thing that will always get me to a park is coasters. If someone put Nitro in parking lot in the middle of New Jersey somewhere, I'd still probably pay $45 to ride it all day.
Flat rides, arcades, midway games, overpriced food, etc. don't do anything for me except remind me that I'm not on a coaster. Live shows and water parks/rides won't get me to come back to a park either.
You want to see a really AWESOME live show at an amusement park? Go to Indiana Beach and watch one of the four scheduled "Water Thrill" shows a day. The fire ramps, submarine effects with the ski-doos, and the many styles of skiing is really astounding. Apparently, it's been going for 42 years!
Pulled from IB: With Your Guide Mike Middleton fan site: "1959 - new Aqua Theater introduced with Water Ski Show and boat jumping through fire. Ski Show is now in its 42nd season."
That's cool Glitch. I'll make sure to watch it when I go up. You wouldn't think a little family park would have a big show like that, but I'm glad they do. That gives me even more reason to go. Not that Cornball and the Hurricane weren't enough. ;)
I agree that coasters will get me to a park, but I find it much more enjoyable to take in the whole ride experience. On my 3-day trip last week, we rode every log flume ride, and many of the flat rides at all the parks. At one of the parks we checked out the waterpark and had an amazing time. We even checked out an end of the night laser/pyrotechnics show which was really cool. $45 to ride a single coaster in a parking lot? No way.
While I may decide to visit a certain park because of the coasters it has, I definately try to take in everything. You just have to walk around and get a feel for the place, and mid-afternoon is always a great time to take in at least one show. Then there's games, shopping, and just watching people to see how everyone interacts. Yes, I love the lights at night too, just can't get enough of glowing, sparkling things (don't ask). It is good to see many others who feel the whole park is important, though it you're just into coasters and that's your thing, have fun! That's what it's all about.
The right kind of atmosphere is important for me to fully enjoy a coaster. I just can't as excited over a coaster in a mall, at a casino, or in a parking lot as I do over a coaster in a nice park with all the other elements. The ride is enhanced by the sound of carousel music and the smell of french fries. I love the atmosphere of the smaller traditional parks and the blend of old and new.
Roller coasters are not the only thing that draws me to a park. Unique history, interesting location or the possession of flat rides that you just can't find anywhere. The chance to ride a Whip, Crazy Daisy, Flying Scooter, or Old Mill are just as exciting to me as are the first rides of the newest and biggest coasters.
Coasters get the attention but, to me, the supporting cast is vital to their success.
I agree with millrace-- coasters get my attention, the whole park makes or breaks the experience. Last year we went to Six Flags St Louis because of The Boss and the Eagle. We enjoyed the trip, the rides were fine (the Eagle was great!), but the park in general just seemed so-so. Nice enough, nicely decorated buildings, nothing exciting. The first time I went to Busch GArdens Williamsburg, Drachen Fire was what drew me there... but the park blew me away. An astounding experience.
I'll probably never return to SFStLo... but I could happily go back to Busch Gardens and have a great time without riding a coaster...
Yes, All-Star Pets is awesome! I watched it when Sea World owned it and just a few weeks ago now that Six Flags owns it...it was just hilarious! I wanted to see it a second time it was so funny :) ------------- Thank you for not feeding the trolls and enjoy the rest of your day, here at CoasterBuzz.com. CLEAR!