Lessons Learned: More Retrospective

Thursday, November 6, 2003 9:00 PM
My season is officially over and I'd like to share some highlights in a slightly different format. I'm going to share some things I learned from my travels. Play along if you want to. :)

January: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Also, get in line for the thing you came to the frickin' park for first. Stupidly, at both SFMM and KBF, my friend and I pass by the lines for X and Xcelerator believing they'll be shorter later. They were indeed shorter later in the day...when neither coaster was running. Bound and determined not to leave CA without these credits, we manage to hit KBF for an hour after a deserted day at SFMM, then hit SFMM for an hour before getting to the airport.

April: I finally *get* theming! Also, Dawn meets her first CoasterBuzz friend in person and is not scared off. ;) On a trip to see grandma I manage a day at IOA with our own rollergator and his better half, Jill. They're absolutely delightful and make awesome tour guides...showing me the best and most of the park in the time I had. And WHAT a park it is...even the coconut scented hand soap in the bathrooms fit the theme. In Suess Landing there's not a sharp angle to be found anywhere. And Spiderman is worth the price of admission alone. Nobody does theming better, or even comes close. I think there were a couple of coasters there, too.

SRM: Coaster-riding or elsewhere, we've all taken risks. None of us wants to be hurt or killed. Most of the people I hung out with "that night" understood this, and we were reminded that we're not immortal. Also learned a lot about faith, class, and grace from the staff at Holiday World. If only more businesses were run with by those standards...

June/Conquest: The real wicked Twister is in Jersey. Also, these people are REAL friends, not just coaster pals. After falling ill following a volatile mixture of ibuprofen, diet coke, and a pyschotic Twister ride, our own Moosh and bassissist forfeit their plans for the day to nurse me to health, or at least consciousness. ;) Thanks guys.

Conquest continued: "Oh, these are supposed to SWING?" I rode and loved (behave) the Big Bad Wolf at BGW. Who knew those Arrow suspendeds were supposed to move like that? ;) Also, runner up to IOA in the theming education category.

July: Coasters don't even rank in the top 72 kick as* things about Vegas. Kids, wait 'til you're 21 to go, but don't skip the Strat...the coaster is forgettable but the Big Shot ranks in my Vegas top ten.

August: Make work work for you. I am super super busy with work every August. So I planned my staff retreat at Indiana Beach. I don't see anything wrong with that.

September: Raven in the rain. Woah. Move over Cornball, there's something butter, I mean better.

October: Nevermind the ERT I love events for the opportunity to see friends, and I love event side-trips for that same reason even more than the actual events. Pre-PPP got to enjoy an evening at SFA with CoasterBuzz's inseparable cuties, nasai and Peabody, and I didn't have to share 'em with anybody. :)

October: TTD is ALL THAT For the sake of not completely confusing myself, I won't rank TTD with other steel coasters. It's an experience. It's silly. It makes me understand cocaine addiction. But it's still NOT better than SFNE's S:RoS.

And there's where it ended. Might hit SDC in December on the way to visit a friend in Arkansas. We'll see. What'd you learn this year?

*** This post was edited by dawnmarie313 11/7/2003 11:23:05 AM ***

Thursday, November 6, 2003 9:23 PM
I learned that If I prayed hard enough, I would be able to ride X (And God did bless me 5 times).

I aslo learned that Knotts Berry Farm may be one of the most perfect themeparks I have ever beheld.

Um, thats about it. My coaster trips were limited this year due to relationship issues. I hope to learn more next year ;)

Lyrically, I'm supposed to represent
I'm not only a client, I'm the playa president!

Thursday, November 6, 2003 9:31 PM
Dawn, outside of some different side trips, I concur with your synopsis' of those days, and those parks. I loved TTD, and I believe Jeff and I coined "silly," so don't even claim that for your own. ;)

My 2 big trips this year were brilliant, and I had an absolute blast. I met so many people, and really felt blessed. I survived, and didn't hit any deer (although a million other drivers apparently did) in Indiana.

2003 was pretty darn sweet. I promise to bring Tomoko next year. To something anyway. Maybe not all of the fun. ;)
Help me come up with something new to put into this space. Please?

Thursday, November 6, 2003 9:38 PM
I leanred that on some days, the staff at SFMM actualy will be willing to help me get into Batman the ride (ok, I'm a bit over the average weight, but it's really my height that gets me into trouble... still, gotta lose some or else no more B&M for me. Plus there's that whole typical ACE member look to AVOID)

I learned that KBF has some of the most fantastic staff and ride ops in the world. Again, the weight thing, but Ron and Carol ( I Still remember their names!!) wouldn't let me or my wife leave without six rides each (back to back - it was a slow day) on Xcellerator.

I learned that my wife - who has ridden by my side through every type of coaster we could find - can actually get so scared / disoriented by X that her comment upon disembarking was "What Just Happened?" and then ten minutes of silence as I helped her to the car.

I learned that even in the Coaster Starved State of Washington, it is possible to ride a decent Woodie. Thank you S&S for Timberhawk.

I learned that Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 was an absolute waste of time and money.

I was reminded of why - even though I am an ACE member - the rules still apply to me. Not that I needed or even wanted that particular reminder. But I learned what customer service and true park professionalism were. Thank you Holiday World, I wish you all the best.

ANNNND I learned that there is at least one ride that scares me so much, I will NEVER go on it... That... that THING on top of the Stratosphere... <shudders>


Thursday, November 6, 2003 9:39 PM
I was using "silly" in relation to Xcelerator in January, and would have most certainly also applied it to TTD in October whether I'd heard it from you two goons or not. Take that. I should go to sleep soon.

-dmv, knows all about "intellectual property" ;)
*** This post was edited by dawnmarie313 11/7/2003 2:41:10 AM ***

Thursday, November 6, 2003 10:18 PM
I learned not to take your friends to their first CP trip on a Saturday in August.

I don't think they're ever going back. :(

Thursday, November 6, 2003 11:24 PM

dawnmarie313 said:

June/Conquest: The real wicked Twister is in Jersey. Also, these people are REAL friends, not just coaster pals. After falling ill following a volatile mixture of ibuprofen, diet coke, and a pyschotic Twister ride, our own Moosh and bassissist forfeit their plans for the day to nurse me to health, or at least consciousness. ;) Thanks guys.

We were glad to help, Dawn (and don't forget to include Tony in there, too!). Moosh and I were both overjoyed that you were able to recover and continue the trip. When something like that happens, you learn quickly that credits/schedules really mean nothing, despite the importance we sometimes place upon them.

Conquest continued: "Oh, these are supposed to SWING?" I rode and loved (behave) the Big Bad Wolf at BGT. Who knew those Arrow suspendeds were supposed to move like that?

Was that first night ERT sweet or what?? I severely fell in love with that ride that evening. I can still hear the howls!

Cool reminisince. I'm glad I got to meet you this year, you rock!

Friday, November 7, 2003 12:41 AM
Yeah...good going, Dawn! Forgetting Tony yet again? I bet you haven't emailed him yet, either...have you? ;)

mOOSH [laying it on thick]

The only 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar still available, plus holiday & all-occasion cards. All at S&D Greetings.

Friday, November 7, 2003 2:57 AM
That Ibuproprin can be wicked on the gut.

Thanks for Sharring.

My season had a dark cloud over it from SRM on. Yeah I still had fun but didn't do much other than my June trip around PA.

About three trips to PKI after that and it was over.

I was happy to witness Mooshes first rides on his namesake LoCoSuMo, Like him, I LOVE IT!

Chuck, who is proud to be a enthusiast, Theres no funner people in the world to hang out with!

Charles Nungester.
It's official Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003

Friday, November 7, 2003 4:23 AM
This summer I must have done 36 parks, really. If I didn't do 36, then I was missing a good chance to. Plus, I finally met some people I've been waiting my whole internet life to meet ...

Bill, thanks for everything. Coasters and non coasters. You're a saint, truly. Just remember who the crap I am next time. ;)

Dawn-ey, the reigning queen of CBuzz. ;) Thanks for showing me the disgusting thing with the fish at IB. *Bleck* All that work for Roger and now he's just plain ol' Beaker again. Hahaha.

Rob, you're truly my homebrew. Thanks for not letting me down by being totally as cool as I ever thought you would be. :) Can't wait to see ya again, bro!

Joe, aka Joseph.. my masta ace. You put the aw in raw. Since our rough start at the Flya's at PKI 2 years ago, you've turned out to be a fine young man. Even though you look like a homeless kid in your CP season pass photo! :-D That train really is no party at the park, you're right.

Everyone else, RHTS and stay sweet. See ya this summer at the pool!


Homey G
-Brian (member #1), become a CoastererĀ®!
Down with the enthusiast bureaucracy!

Friday, November 7, 2003 4:29 AM
My biggest lesson this year was that there really are interesting, engaging, and really cool people who just happen to really dig roller coasters, too.

Hats off to Coasterbuzz.

What is the eleven letter word that all smart people spell incorrectly

Friday, November 7, 2003 4:35 AM
- When traveling to Ontario and Niagra Falls (Marineland), check ahead to see if there are any major east coast blackouts scheduled for the time you are in the area

- Don't pass up a coaster ride thinking "Next Year" (almost decided to pass up a second ride of the day on Hercules at Dorney during a late August visit)

- Look ahead at schedules and don't attempt to visit a park when a) every Christian music fan is camped out near by for a massive week long event (called off a HP visit because Creation 2003 invaded Hershey... crowds were incredible)... Don't attempt to visit a park when 1970-1980's rockers are having a concert in an adjoining stadium (called off a HP visit because KISS was playing at the Star Pavillion... didn't feel like parking a mile away... litterally)

- When planning a "vacation"... plan in some down time... 1 park + travel per day gets a bit old after a week. Rather hit fewer parks but stay at each one longer.

"I don't believe it!" - Victor Meldrew

Friday, November 7, 2003 4:51 AM
It was a VERY busy season for me. I hit 19 different parks, rode 40 new coasters, and attended my first two events. Through all of it I came away with some pretty big lessons...

1: It's not all about the coasters... I hit some pretty major coaster parks in those 19 parks this summer but two parks came out as my favorites this year that really werent all about the coasters. The first one was Knott's Berry Farm. Sure the coasters are fantastic, but the atmosphere is even better. The staff was friendly and accomodating, the park was well themed and had unique one of a kind attractions that really made it more than a coaster trip. The second park was Holiday World. Again the coasters are fantastic, but this park is all about the people; no the family; that runs the place. The entire staff there is a family who wants you to enjoy their park and they do it with a sense of class and elegance that no other park can ever match.

2. ERT is fun, but the people are much better... After attending my first two events this year I met so many new people and made many new friends. I can honestly say I didnt meet a single person I disliked. Everyone was fun and friendly and I cannot wait to see these same people in years to come.

3. Safety first. After the events at SRM this year, the entire community has had a stark reminder that safety rules are in place for a reason and that being an enthusiast doesnt give you license to break those rules. I will be the first to admit that I have taken a few questionable rides on Viper (never defeated the safety devices though) at SFGAm in the past. It is sad that it took something like the tragedy at SRM to wake me up. I shouldnt have needed the wake up call in the first place. Let's just hope that everyone learns the lesson from what happened.

These are just a few lessons learned over the long season. Looking forward to the next season and even more adventures and meeting even more new friends.

Bob Hansen
Operation Wicked Twister 2 - Goal: Lose 100 pounds by next season so I will DEFINATELY be able to ride Wicked Twister. Progress: 25 pounds. Doin' the Atkins!

Friday, November 7, 2003 5:07 AM
Well my learnings are a little more cynical than those presented, but I'll still offer them up.

1. Learned that I don't need anyone else to have fun at a park (took trips to California and East PA/Jersey alone) but that it can be a lot better with good friends to share the stupid things that happen with - a day at the park no matter how theraputic can be a real downer with no one else there.

2. I will never attend another enthusiast event. Perhaps it was that I never met an admitted 'Buzzer this year, but between my attendance at CoasterMania, assorted apparent enthusiasts at parks through the summer, and what seemed like an enthusiast event on the last operating day for SFWoA, I have yet to find more than 4 coaster enthusiasts that didn't annoy me after 20 minutes of talking to them, or even listening to them talk in line. I've definitely decided to restrict my enthusiasm to the 'Buzz and just be a "GP" otherwise - life's just more fun that way.

Resident Launch Whore

Friday, November 7, 2003 5:53 AM
Things I've learned this year....

- Intamin hydraulic launches kick-a$$!

- You don't have to clear 100ft. to have an awesome coaster (see Cornball Express).

- Meeting fellow CoasterBuzzers wasn't as *nerd-a-riffic* as I thought it would be.:)

- You can fit two very friendly adults in one seat on the Whizzer (you know who you are!).

- Pretzel loops make nasai cough.;)

- Visiting parks with coaster newbies is fun.

- Nitro at night is a near-religous experience.

- Bring goggles or safety glasses if you're gonna ride in the rain. Ouch!

- GTWTC's (Grumpy Tired Wet Traveling Companions) can be a drag.

...and lastly.....

- In this sometimes overdone, media-pumped, anticipointment-laden, full speed world we live in, some things truly do live up to and go beyond all of the hype they're given. The perfection of Phoenix is just such an example.

"Everybody has desperate days of quiet questioning.
Everybody has times when they feel like they don't fit in."
- Color Theory, So Many Ways, 2001

Friday, November 7, 2003 6:19 AM

dawnmarie313 said:

October: TTD is ALL THAT For the sake of not completely confusing myself, I won't rank TTD with other steel coasters. It's an experience. It's silly. It makes me understand cocaine addiction.


I thought this was cute

This space will forever be dedicated to Hercules at Dorney Park 5/89-9/03

Friday, November 7, 2003 6:42 AM
BaSSiStiSt said:

We were glad to help, Dawn (and don't forget to include Tony in there, too!).

Believe me, I have *not* forgotten Tony (even if I haven't emailed him :( ). I was limiting my specific references to Buzzers (and I didn't even mention all of those people), but Tony's actions do deserve special recognition. Even if it was karma that HE of all people was the first to check on me. Who's going down next summer? ;)

Friday, November 7, 2003 7:17 AM
One of the most important things I learned this season was that I don't care how much such-n-such coaster has been trimmed since it's debut. From the age of 12 I saw photos of and always wanted to ride Beast at PKI (awesome friggin' park!). 24 years later, I finally did.:):):) It was everything I hoped for. Many other examples of this. It boils down to how good is my ride! That was day 2 of an incredible 10 day trip that brought me to various other places I had only ever been to in my dreams, as I rode rides I once thought I never would. And hitting mecca (CP) for the first time for an incredible 3 days was another highlight.

It was during that same day at PKI that I learned that the other Rob was also afraid of drop rides. So we both climbed aboard Drop Zone, legs a'tremblin, and helped each other through the ordeal ( I won't say how out of respect for Rob's masculinity;)).

From there, I learned a lot more than I bargained for at my first enthusiast event, SRM. Along the way, I was adopted by a fantastic group of fun-lovin' nuts at SRM, and struck up some of the best friendships I now have.

I learned that Rob and Jeff (Nasai and Peabody) are the Ben and Matt of the coaster world.

I learned true anticipointment from TH: Prey for Air! Speaking of woodies, this season I learned that M:TR references can alienate some folk, but the sophomoron in me still giggles about it. (btw, can anyone fill me in on it's theming...)

I learned, from Rob, that a little bit of an incentive to ride ops can turn a routine (if you can even say that) ride on a scyscraper into something that breaches the borders of ridiculous fun! Speaking of that trip, a hearty thanks to Rob, Jeff, and Corey for making FF and the PNE possible.:)

And I learned how much it means to me to have a supportive honey. The 12 days we spent apart during my 10 day marathon was the longest we have ever been apart in our 9 years together. That trip would have been all the more perfect if he was there. Even with money being tight, he understood my need to take trips around SRM and CAC this year, and I feel extremely lucky that he puts up with it (and me).

Friday, November 7, 2003 7:29 AM
1. The park doesn't have to be huge or filled with coasters to provide a wonderful experience (Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, more than one. They are the family and employees of Holiday World. Thank you )

2. Hanging with youngsters keeps me young!

3. ANY ride can be a blast when riding with the right people (Thanks Kristin , Rob and Kara) Stroke....stroke....

4. There are people who are even more nervous than me when riding Power Tower drop (Nasai)

5. A coaster doesn't have to be the biggest, fastest, tallest to rate number one. (Legend and Raven)

6. You find the best friends when you least expect it (thanks to TheRealCP for becoming my coaster buddy).

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
*** This post was edited by CPLady 11/7/2003 12:30:49 PM ***

Friday, November 7, 2003 8:13 AM
Dawn asked: Who's going down next summer?

< user raises hand.

mOOSH -- oooh...you meant getting sick on a coaster trip, didn't you?

PS - I am going to actually contribute my thoughts to this thread...as soon as I have them ;)

The only 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar still available, plus holiday & all-occasion cards. All at S&D Greetings.


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