My 7 year old has hit the wall!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:20 PM

As he has passed certain milestones, we have always taken him on bigger and more aggressive rides. We started with the Matterhorn, worked our way past California Screamin'. In the past few months we've seen multiple rides on Montezuma's Revenge and Ghostrider. I figured he would be up for anything.

So I didn't think twice about hopping on Xcelerator this past Sunday when I discovered that he just made the height requirement. Sure, he looked a little pale in line, but I'm pretty sure he would have let me known if he didn't feel up to it.

Just an aside. The operators checked the entire train before realizing they needed to measure him. So they unlocked us, he passed, and we got back on and the checked again. Then they noticed another kid who needed to be measured and went through the whole process again. It took almost 15 minutes to dispatch! A good operator eyeballs the line for kids that are close and measure them before letting them take a seat.

OK rant is over.

We eventually launched and made it back to the station. He was even laughing. Then I figured he would go for Supreme Scream. He initially was apprehensive, but I explained that the ride he had just been on was much more intense (at least for me). And the result was much the same.

So we trekked off to do some camp snoopy rides (strange age huh? Ghostrider AND semi trucks?). But later in the day when we were deciding what to do last, I suggested Xcelerator and he immediately flat out said "No!" I asked him if he was sure, and again, "No!" So I think we've hit a bit of a wall. But to be honest, you wouldn't have caught me dead at that age on any of the coasters I mentioned above other than the Matterhorn. :)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:54 PM

Glad to hear he finally got on it... but sorry to hear he won't again. Montezooma's is better ride anyway!

As far as the ride op checking height, we had a system for that when I worked at Cedar Point. The guy on spiel was in view of the queue; when someone questionable (too short, too large) was coming through, he would say "queue" over the loudspeakers (in between spiels) as a heads up to the crowd control guy to be on the lookout. Then the crowd control guy had extra time to take care of the situation before the "Q/queue" or "questionable" guest was close to boarding the coaster train. We had the system down well.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:44 AM

Hopefully, it's not a wall, just a speed bump! That's great he is riding big coasters at his age though! I know I didn't :(. The "NO" he said about another ride on Xcelerator, is probably a typical response for a child with new to them "big rides".

My son did the same thing after he rode Gemini and Magnum last year. He just broke the 48" mark at 5yrs old last year, and now he is just over 50" at 6yrs! He pulled me onto Blue Streak for our last ride of the season! My daughter, (they are boy/girl twins) is flirting with the 48" mark this year at age 6, she is more of a daredevil than my son! Hopefully she is at the mark!

Good Luck!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:04 AM

Glad you had a good time with your son, E!

Any news on Coast Rider? (Still wondering why, with Mulholland down the road, KBF didn't go with a spinning mouse)....

Finally....how WAS Ghostrider? Most reports indicate that it might be a good RMC candidate, and while my last rides were a few years ago, I can't really disagree with that idea.

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:05 AM
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:28 AM

I'm fairly certain it was just a speed bump. Also, he was getting tired, hungry, and cranky at that point and may have been just not into the idea just then. I just didn't want to press it. I'm sure we'll be on it again in the not too distant future.

The Coast Rider circuit is complete, but the station is not complete and I didn't see any rolling stock. But you have a good point. Not only is there Mulholland Madness down the road, but a real Miler Mouse (might be down and out from what I hear though) literally down the road, and the exact same model at Legoland. I would have liked to see a little airtime machine like Scandia Screamer, or even a custom Miler that weaved around the entire site. However, it will be nice to have the added capacity. And we really do enjoy the Technic Coaster.

Ghostrider is not as rough as it has been in the past couple of years, but seemed rougher than a couple of months ago. in fact, I only opted out of a second lap even though it was practically a walk on at that point. There are a couple of spots that just make me feel like my chest is caving in. Maybe with a little RMC love, they could stop making the train crawl through the MCB.

Other than the operator inefficiency we encountered, I have nothing but positive things to say about the park and the other staff. I noticed that most of them go out of their way to wish you a great day. One of the cowboys from the shootout gave my son an empty cartridge (they must pack their own blanks). The landscaping and cleanliness were spot on. Everything was vibrant. And we are REALLY looking forward to the updated Timber Mountain. And if the rumors hold true about updates to Calico Mine Ride and a replacement for Kingdom of the Dinosaurs/KBT down the road, we'll be regular passholders for certain.

Last edited by janfrederick, Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:30 AM
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:56 AM

This is a fun age. I remember my first "big boy" coaster was KI's Racer, and then I road The Beast a year after that. I think. My memory says that I still wasn't big enough to ride Beast the same year I rode Racer but I see they still have the same 48" height limit now. Did Racer used to be lower?

At any rate, as soon as I was able to understand what a roller coaster was I was desperate to go on all of them. I think I completely wore my parents out not understanding why I couldn't go on everything when I was 3 or 4.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:01 PM

I think every kid can be different...even within the same environment.

Both of mine grew up going to parks. My daughter did Millennium Force at age 5 and TTD at 8. She's always been just fine. My son has been more reserved. He wasn't big enough to ride bigger rides until just last year and never really seemed to mind or get pushy about wanting to ride, but it finally seemed to click last year and we couldn't get him to stop riding Wild Eagle during ERT at the CoasterBuzz event at Dollywood.

I, on the other hand, rode Cedar Creek Mine Ride when I was 8 and practically cried in fear. Coasters were an acquired taste for me, I tended to enjoy the 'getaway' vibe of being at an amusement park...and even today I say it's more about spending a day at the park than riding coasters.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:55 PM

My 8 year old son is the same way. He loves Millennium Force, Maverick, and Raptor.I had to bribe him with a b.b. gun to get him to ride T.T.D and now he won't ride it again. Kids

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:31 PM

Just a couple of suggestions...

1) Don't make a big deal about it (In front of your son.) When you recall the day that it happened only dwell on the fun stuff (Fun food, riding together, etc.)

2) WHen you go back or to another park...reintroduce the things that were most successful and then work up if you can. Start earlier...stay later...do a few night thing when the "safe" rides are lit up. Don't mention xcelorator. Let him do it when he's ready.

3) In a year or two bring some of his age-appopriate friends or slightly older cousin that he looks up to. They might be the pursuation that you need.

4) NEVER EVER force a kid to go on a ride under ANY circomstances.

It will happen when he's ready.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:33 PM

I rode my first Roller Coaster in the summer of 1966, a steel Kiddie Coaster at Virginia Beach. The following year I rode my first "Big" Roller Coaster, the Blue Streak at Cedar Point. I've loved Roller coasters ever since. :)

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Friday, April 26, 2013 3:24 PM

My first "big boy" ride was Tower of Terror at age 4. My dad found two fast passes for it on the ground. The height restriction on it was small, so we gave it a go. The way he convinced me was that it was like frog hopper at Michigan Adventures (a 10 foot drop ride.) but a bit bigger.

The first coaster that was big was Racer at KI. I was 5 or 6 years of age, andI didn't think it was scary. The one that took some convincing was the Beast. My dad and his friend were riding the big rides, and I didn't want to hang out with my mom and my dad's friend's wife because they had a 3 year old. I wanted to be a "big boy". So they said I could go with them if I rode the Beast. I did, and I was mildly scared but liked it.

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Friday, April 26, 2013 7:50 PM

My first "big" roller coaster was Thunderhawk at Dorney. I didn't ride another adult coaster until I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. Weird thing? I absolutely loved Thunderhawk when I first rode it, and I did it about 5 more times the same day. Sometimes, as much fun as something like a big coaster ends up being, the initial shock of that "coaster feeling" is a little traumatic. I think since he still likes other rides that he'll recover from his speed bump pretty quickly.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013 1:51 AM

My 10 yr old has not yet "hit a wall." In fact, he's more excited than ever now that he's finally 54 inches. Soon enough he'll be a teenager and not want to hang out at parks with his dad, but for now we are going strong.

He does occasionally do something that I find funny. He'll get off a ride that he absolutely loved, but even if it has a short line, he won't want to go again. Even if it's a shorter line in the park.

Only ride he was ever skeptical and unsure aboout was Aftershock at Silverwood. (ex-Deja Vu) Keep in mind, though, that he was only 6 at the time. Aftershock has a ridiculously low 48 inch requirement, so this was far and away the biggest and scariest ride he'd ever encountered. Halfway through the line he said he didn't want to go on it anymore. I told him he didn't have to ride if he didn't want to, but that we weren't leaving the line. He would have to wait with me and walk through. He of course came around, rode it and loved it. We even rode it a second time.

To this day, 48 inches to ride Aftershock amazes me.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013 9:19 AM

I'm kind of at the same spot with my 7 year old daughter. Last year all she did was complain about not being big enough for certain rides. She loves Tilt-A-Whirl, BBLTT,Skull Mountain,Phoneix, and RunAway Mine train. She rode Rolling Thunder last year and not she won't try El Toro at all. So we hang out in the kid section a lot but I'm with you. What's one to do?

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Saturday, April 27, 2013 11:21 PM

I kind of remember the kids area days for me. Lasted from ages 2-4, not very long.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:35 PM

When I was 7 years old, I was scared to death of the rides. It was my first trip to the Ionia free fair, that broke my fear. My very first ride was the tilt-a-whirl, and I was scared to death, but ended up loving it. My brothers and sisters eventually brought me on bigger rides. One of those little rollercoasters that make multiple trips was my favorite. My sister talked me into going on the toboggan, which was really fun. But the rides that really did me in, was the Twister, and the Octopus. We were placed in seats that spun insanely, and the Octopus made me cry, and my sister blacked out. I was getting tossed all over the place on the octopus, and barely hold on. After the ride on the octopus, I was toast, while everyone else went on the hymalaya, which I was too afraid to ride. Though for some reason I really wanted to ride the Cobra, which was right in front of the hymalaya, but we were told we could not ride until more people were in line, so we skipped it. I was very happy after the trip, and loved going to the fairs. Rode another octopus at another fair when I was 9 I think, and it was very intense. It's a similar ride to the carvial spider, though I think it has a steeper angle. Those cars really whip around. Years later, the Hymalaya became my favorite carnival ride, and love the spider. Haven't seen an octopus at a carnival in years.
My very first Park coaster was the Whizzer at Great america in 1976, I was 11. I was too short to ride revolution, and the line was too long anyways, and Tidal Wave was closed. We went on every other ride though. My favorite was the tripple play, my friend Jeff, and I rode it repeatidly, and the Hay Bayler, which was really fun.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:40 PM
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