I'm 27 years old, and have been a coaster enthusiast most of my whole life, however it hasn't been but in the past 3 years or so that I have spent a good deal of time LEARNING about stuff like types of coasters, types of inversions, coaster companies, coaster conventions, and the like.
My question, especially for you guys that are near or above my age that have come into coaster "knowledge" later in life..
Are we (myself included) better off knowing all that we know about coasters? Does it make our ride experience better? Sometimes it seems when riding a coaster, I (inadvertantly, mind you) get all mired down with things like pacing, airtime, et. al. Then I look over and see some kid or adult that seems to have this carefree attitude that I used to have. It's almost like I can't not analyze things sometimes. Don't get me wrong. I still LOVE coasters and thinking all of these things doesn't deter from the enjoyment of certain elements, but does me KNOWING what all these things are make it better?? Tell me I'm not the only one that feels this way.
----------------- I rode "X" and never went upside down.
Does it make it better, or different? Sometimes I enjoy engaging in technical analyses. Sometimes I enjoy holding my hands in the air and screeching like an idiot. Neither experience is superior to the other, they're both enjoyable in their own way, and I try to enjoy them on their own merits.
Actually, I find that all experiences (music, travel, coasters, plays, movies, driving, etc.) are a lot more interesting and fulfilling with a bit of background information. It adds depth to the experience. However, overanalyzing something in the middle of the experience can seriously detract from it. I've had that problem in the past. However, a good way to break away from it is to regress a bit. While in line, get a little mantra going, "I'm gonna ri-yide! I'm gonna ri-yide! I'm gonna ri-yide!". It helps to hop up and down and fidgit a lot. Then, when you get on, don't forget to yell yell yell! Ahhhhhh! You can never be too old to do that. You'll have a lot more fun...even on kiddie coasters!
*** This post was edited by janfrederick on 10/10/2001. ***
When I'm in a park, I completely let go of all the *enthusiast* garb. There's nothing more annoying to me than walking around a park with someone talking about "Intamin" this or "airtime" that. My family and friends wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about, they're not geeks like me. I leave that for park gatherings, media days and internet discussions. It's all about fun.
Truthfully, I don't know crap about rollercoasters or running a park. I'd like to think I do, but I do not, and I don't care. ----------------- What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary. -The Talmud
*** This post was edited by DWeaver on 10/10/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by DWeaver on 10/10/2001. ***
It's different, that's for sure. I don't think it's any better or worse. I'm pretty lucky in the fact that I'm the only "geek" in the group of people that I go to parks with, and they all keep me grounded when I venture into "comic book guy" mode. Don't take it too seriously, and you'll always have a good time. That's how we got into this in the first place. :)
I generally think it depends on the personality of the person. You've probably seen me go off on people for their inability to ask themselves, "Was that fun?" As long as I can do that, I can keep on learning and still enjoy the rides.
----------------- Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "From the global village... in the age of communication!" Watch the grass grow!
I've ranted on this myself a few times, so I will keep it short here.
Bottom line, I go to have fun. I really could care less about how tall or how fast or who makes a coater etc... as long as it is fun to ride. It is all personal preference, and sometimes a bit of sentimentality.
For instance... for as uinque as the flying Dutchman design may be and as innovative it has been, I would still take Hersheypark's old sooperdooperlooper over SFA's BatWing. Why? Because, personally, I just think that the looper is FUN while BatWing is mediocre at best.
Sure, I basically know how tall a given coaster is that I am riding, but I could care less about it.
Ride them for the fun of it.
------------- "I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."
I think the same thing sometimes, that possibly knowing too much takes away from things. But then I always think that knowing too much only becomes distracting if you let it bother you. And then I go to a park and look around and think to myself how it can't be helped(knowing all the manufacturers of the rides) sometimes because it is something so fun and fascinating that you can't help it. Sometimes I wish I knew nothing about "x" ride that I'm about going on, but then I think about loyalty to certain things such as bands, shoe brands, and automotive loyalties(such as I drive only Honda Civics and when I have one air-cooled VW, anything else is not a car).
The word otaku comes to mind when I think about coasters lots of time. Any of you into anime or world culture know the word well. It's not a bad word in anyway, IMO, but it means obssessive geek, a person so in love with what they love that they can't help but be obsessed with it, gathering a WEALTH of information in the process(that's the real defining moment, the info part). The otaku enjoy what they enjoy the most in their hearts, that's why they expand INTO things. Anyways, anybody can get any news, info, specs, anything they want from the internet, it's not priveledged info! I don't think anybody's got too big of a head because they know so much about coasters.
It doesn't ruin it for me...Roller Coasters are my obsession! I think knowing all we do about how they work is better than saying it works by magic (Which I have heard someone say once) ----------------- Millennium Force: The 8th Wonder of the World!
I think folks have an attention span for just about everything. Once they reach that level, that activity has been "spent". For example, have you ever heard a song that you immediately love and end up playing it over and over and over again until one day, you absolutely never want to hear it again? Having worked at Great America, Santa Clara for 6 seasons, I can say that I've reached that saturation point with that park. But I guess that's due to overexposure instead of overobsession.
Just wanted to say that I started a topic almost exactly like this a while back. I agree with you completely. Sometimes I wish I didn't know everything I knew about coasters...it's more fun sometimes, but sometimes I just find it taints the experience.
I try not to over-analyze any ride, coaster or experience, that I go on. I just try to enjoy my day, and let the ride "come to me," as it were. I found that when I went to Japan, this last summer, that I enjoyed Expoland more than ever. That was because I knew what to expect (which, sadly isn't much), and I had my in-laws with me for the day. It was terribly hot, and there weren't many people in the park, but I could just mosey around, ride what I wanted, get wet on the water rides, and take too many spins on Orochi, the Raptor clone. Knowing that the ride was a clone, or that the Space Salamander is an Arrow corkscrew, or that Diadarasaurus used to be a dueling steel coaster, and has since been combined, didn't matter. The day, the heat, my family and friends......those things are what make the experiences great. You are what you eat, live, and witness.... nothing more. Be glad you have the knowledge, but sit back and enjoy the fun of knowing, and keeping it to yourself. I have ridden many coasters, but to this day, I still have to ask what PPP or SFOA is....you know? :) The truth is.... I don't care. I just want to live, laugh, and be thrilled. That is enough for me. ----------------- There is more...! http://www.geocities.com/ethylsite
I'm one of these real analytical geeks (kind of obvious isn't it) that just has to know what makes things tick. I don't think though that knowledge makes it less enjoyable. Instead it deepens the experience. I also find that I can also ride with different mind sets. One time I can pretty much ride just for the joy of it, while the next time I analyse what makes it so much fun. And yes I can still get on a kiddie coaster loaded with Acers waving out hands in the air and screaming at the pure joy of bing silly grown ups.
I think it is worse for me...I used to enjoy everything and now I'm like "been there, done that" when it comes to many rides. I'm also a lot pickier about the quality of a coaster. When I didn't know about airtime I wasn't missing it.
I agree to some extent with B&M webmaster. I found that when I took my first spin on Nitro, having stared at the layout all winter, I wasn't surprised very much by it, so it didn't take me by storm. However, when I first set foot on Phantom's Revenge, I had no idea what to expect and the abundant airtime on the back section was a complete and pleasant surprise.
On the other hand, "doing you homework" can help you figure out the most efficient way to spend you time. After all, I'd hate to spend 1:00 in line, only to find out that I was waiting for a rough ride, or a ride that I'd already ridden in 4 other parks.
It's kind of funny--I, by in large, have enjoyed most coasters that I have ever ridden. Very rarely do I get off of a ride and say something like, "That was a waste of time."
I think you can have knowledge of coasters and still have fun. I'm not sure, however, that you can try to analyze and rank every portion of every ride and still have fun. While I have my personal faves (Mamba, Raven, Montu), I try to refrain from ranking the rides and making lists, as many prefer to do. I guess I just ride with an open mind of sorts, and thus riding coasters still makes me giddy like a three year old at a toy store. :)
One other thing I've noticed is that I avoid coaster conversation like the plague while at theme parks. I'd much prefer to talk about sports, news, hot women, or anything besides coasters while waiting in line. I think this helps prevent over analyzation, and it also keeps a person from being a much-maligned "coaster snob."
They say knowlege is power, but they also say ignorance is bliss. Who knows?
I think we may enjoy some rides more than we would have before while others we may enjoy less. I think I enjoy them in a "different" way. I cannot say the ride experience is better now than it was before I knew what was going on, but I now enjoy other things about the rides more than before, like theming, airtime, and the overall beauty of the rides. ----------------- Top Gun: The Jet Coaster Flights in 2001: 83 Coaster Tracks Ridden: 57 www.starcoasters.com