Roller Coaster Lineage

Monday, July 25, 2005 2:03 AM
I was talking with my dad, and we were discussing what people in the family rode roller coasters, and thrilling rides. So this got me to thinking what is my lineage. I have a few criteria:

1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family?

2. Who got you on your first and what was it?

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? (Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Cousins, anything that else applies)

So here are mine.

1. My grandfather on my dad's side was the one i would put there. My dad said he was fearless and loved taking them to Cedar Point in the 60s and also the now lost but still beloved by my dad, Euclid Beach Park.

2. My dad was the person who got me on my first. I remember it being the Corkscrew at Geauga Lake. I was afraid and stayed on the station platform until with some nice coaxing from the op on it i got on the next ride.

3. I ride with most of the family, even though my dad has back problems now, so he sits out on some of them now. My mom right now is the one i prefer to ride with nowadays because she genuinely enjoys going to the parks. Although i must say she compares everything to Cedar Point. I must say though there is just something about going out to parks and seeing how much different they really are that make it something of a thrill for me, still looking for my trip to Kennywood sometime this year.

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Monday, July 25, 2005 9:57 AM
When was your first corkscrew ride MB?

My mother actually got me on my first coaster ride but as an adult I have ridden with both my parents. My grandfather was a huge coaster buff (taking many turns at Idora Park) but he wasn't able to ride as he aged.

I can't wait until my boy is old enough for his first trip on a coaster. I just hope I can still handle the loopers when he is tall enough to ride!

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Monday, July 25, 2005 5:04 PM
I was forbidden to ride all thrill rides until I was a teenager. Then I went to Cedar Point with my brother when I was 13 and we rode the Raptor. I was hooked from then on! I now ride with friends or my boyfriend because no one else in my family rides coasters :( They think they are dangerous, but they don't have a problem watching me ride them now.
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Monday, July 25, 2005 5:31 PM
My parents only took me to two amusement parks in my life when I was growing up - Kennywood when I was 4 and Conneaut when I was 8.

My Grandmother took me to CP on company trips when I was 5, 6 and 8.

(I guess that year I was 8 was my peak)

Aside from a couple of school related things at KW, I never did the parks until I was on my own - and even then it was trips to CLP, KW and CP. (go figure)

It was once we moved to Florida (the second time) and I started hearing about this new park called "Islands Of Adventure" that was supposedly really good, that's when we finally started exploring the Orlando parks.

Couple those experiences with the release of RCT and the boom of enthusiast sites on the internet and you have the birth of my interest in parks/coasters.

In contrast, I've been to 70 different amusement parks in the past 5 seasons. (count the repeat visits and it's a sick amount of time spent at parks the last 5 years)

To answer more directly:

1. Not sure. No one in my family had any real interest in parks/coasters. I'll have to credit Universal, Chris Sawyer, and the guy who invented the internet. :)

2. My Grandmother at CP. At age 5, Jr. Gemini Scared the hell out of me. They couldn't talk me onto another coaster until the last trip she took me on. At age 8, Cedar Creek Mine Ride stopped just short of making me cry. I didn't ride another coaster until I was 13. (school trip to Kennywood) Even then I found then terrifying, but couldn't exactly wuss out with my friends.

3. No one, really. I guess I'm the one starting things. My kids go apesh*t over rides. My daughter is 7 and already boasts a count of 155 coasters. Maybe she keep it up as she gets older and as an adult.

I did return the favor to my Grandmother though and in 2003 we took her to CP. She was 79 at the time and didn't ride much, obviously - but one of the things she did do was Thunder Canyon, which I thought was pretty badass. :)

My sister now has a child and we're finally back in PA near everyone, so my family gets together occassionally to indulge me on local park trips. We did KW in May with a big group of friends and family and just last Friday some of us stopped by Conneaut.

I guess to sum it up, there is little lineage for me. I'm the one starting things up in my family. :)

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Monday, July 25, 2005 7:05 PM
Wahoo i think i was about six or so. It was definately scary but that was the first coaster i did, sadly its not there, partly because it is my first, and second that piece of Vekoma lawn furniture took its space. If you dont know what i mean its Head Spin. I dont like that one at all. So i cry when i ride that one as well.

I totally forgot the year it was it was either 88 or 89 cause i had a season pass. God bless the season pass and to tell you how long that has been since i had one this year was the first time since i have bought one.

On a sadnote although not a coasterbuzzer, a coworker of mine has passed his lineage on to his daughter and numberous family memebers as of yesterday. He went to the point and hit TTD and said that was enough for him he did it and may only do Millenium from now on. *** Edited 7/26/2005 2:30:52 AM UTC by MagnunBarrel***

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Monday, July 25, 2005 10:47 PM
As far as patriarch/matriarch goes, I only ever knew one grandparent-- my maternal grandmother. I remember her going to Lakewood Park with us a few times when i was a child, but I wouldn't say I got the coaster bug from her.

The first two coasters I remember riding were both at Lakewood Park. Every year, the last Sunday in July was Ukrainian Day-- similar to Kennywood now, just about every Sunday at Lakewood was a nationality day. It always was the highlight of the summer for me, because most years my mom and all her siblings plus the cousins would all picnic together at the park.

So anyway, the Kiddie Coaster was a simple out and back (lift hill, second hill, 180 turnaround, 3 or 4 bunny hops, back to the station). I would ride that with my brother and two cousins who were close in age to us, and sometimes a few aunts and uncles.

The Wild Mouse on the other hand was with the other "big" rides at the upper end of the park. All afternoon long we would beg and plead with our aunts and uncles to take us on the big rides-- we weren't allowed to go by ourselves. Finally, late in the afternoon when my aunts had decided that all the adults ate their alloted 15 lbs of food per person, and my uncles, um had a few beers, they would take us up to the "big rides."

This Wild Mouse really was wild. It was so rusty and rickety, not maintained well at all. You really did fear just going right over the edge on one of the turns at the top, and taking the track with you. Luckily, no one ever did.

Who still rides in my family? My aunt, who's 65 and her husband who's 71 just rode the Phoenix last month-- twice. Her twin brother occasionally goes to CP with his kids and grandchildren, but I don't know what he rides. (They're the babies of the family.) A few years ago I did get them both to ride Great Bear. But generally, they stick to the classic woodies-- that to them is a roller coaster, now all this new crazy upside down stuff. They both loved Lightning Racer. I doubt they'll ever try Storm Runner.

My mom last rode the Phoenix when she was about 78. The only thing then she worried about-- and she'd kill me if she ever saw this-- is that she would open her mouth to yell and lose her plate. But now, 2 artificial hips later, she's officially retired-- from coasters that is. She rode the Wave Swinger at Hershey last November at the age of 82. Did the ride op ever get a kick out of that! Hopefully that bodes well for my coaster riding future.

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Monday, July 25, 2005 11:28 PM
Very interesting topic. I always like to hear these stories, expecialy when they involve family.

Back in the days when my parents were dating my mother took my father on the Shooting Star at Coney Island in Cincinnati, OH. This was probably the last large coaster that my dad ever rode as it terrified him to no end (hates heights).

Since my Dad wasn't a big coaster guy, I had to rely on my mother for most of my early coaster thrills.

1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family?
Mom. My brother probably comes in second.

2. Who got you on your first and what was it?
Mother, she got me on the Dipper at Kennywood at a pretty young age and managed to talk me into the Beast at Kings Island. She is now 62 and still rides the Thunderbolt any chance she can get.

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? (Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Cousins, anything that else applies)
My mom and brother will still ride them with me when given the opportunity. I look forward to enjoying some ride with my neice and nephew in the coming years.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 2:52 AM
What a cool topic! My obsession for coasters really began at age 5 during my first trip to an amusement park in '78. Kings Dominion became my favorite place in the world as a kid, and has been my home park since. For nearly the next 20 years, the only other parks I visted were Hersheypark, Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens (The Old Country), and Trimper's/OC Pier in Ocean City, MD. Growing up obviously eons before the internet, and my family not being extensive travelers, I'd only heard of other parks like Disneyland, Six Flags over Texas (and possibly a couple other states like Georgia and...well, Mid-America), some park in Ohio called Kings lsland that was supposedly nearly identical to my familiar home park, and a really cool park way out west where National Lampoon's Vacation was filmed.

Then, a friend gave me a birthday gift in February of '97 that I'm sure he never expected would launch the transformation of a passive appreciation into a full-fledged, serious hobby. It was the book White Knuckle Ride by Mark Wyatt. Suddenly, I had in my hands a wealth of information on coasters and parks across the country (including addresses and contact info in the back pages). And when I first laid eyes on the six-page spread with photos of Magnum XL-200, Raptor, and Mean Streak, I said to myself, 'I have to go there.'

And I did, four months later. From then on it became my 'thing' to travel--when time and funds permitted--to as many parks as I could, to ride as many coasters as I could. In the summer 2000, I racked up more parks and coasters than I ever had before (or since, actually).

Now that I've summarized, let's get to some specifics...

1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family?I suppose it would have to be my grandmother on my mother's side. The older I got, the more I realized how much we had in common, including our love for cheap thrills. She told me plenty of stories of her many trips to Marshall Hall and Glen Echo (two long-lost parks in the DC area) and how she 'just loved to ride the roller coasters' there. And just a few short years ago, she recalled a wild coaster she rode when she made a trip up to Ontario as a young adult, at a place called Crystal Beach. My jaw dropped, and I quickly located a photo of Harry Traver's infamous Cyclone and showed it to her. At 92 years old and still sharp as a tack, she smiled reminiscently and said calmly, 'That's it.'

2. Who got you on your first and what was it?
I guess I'll give my dad the credit, although my oldest brother played an equal part in getting me on my first coaster. No--actually, let me rephrase that. I was the one who persuaded (read: begged) my dad to let me ride after watching my bro have all the fun. Scooby Doo, Kings Dominion, 1978. After my initial ride, that was all she wrote, folks; my kiddie ride-riding days were over. That day still marks the most I've ever marathoned any amusement ride. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or 20, if I recall.

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? (Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Cousins, anything that else applies)
Well, I was very thrilled to be able to bring my parents (now both pushing 70) to Busch Gardens Williamsburg three years ago with my wife (then fiancée). I actually coaxed my dad into riding Apollo's Chariot (front car, no less), and I managed to get both my folks on the very back car of Big Bad Wolf. Unfortunately, I think that day cured them of ever wanting to ride another coaster for the rest of their lives. My two older brothers still ride, however, though not as often as I (few do, I suppose, except for my friends here on the Buzz ;) ). My oldest bro was my best man for my wedding last year, and as planner for the bachelor party I had a feeling I knew what he had up his sleeve. Nope, no strippers for me; we spent a great day at Kings Dominion, just like old times. I made a point to make my last coaster as a single guy the same as my first coaster as a single guy...Scooby Doo!

*** Edited 7/26/2005 3:01:12 PM UTC by Vater***

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:33 AM
1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family?My grandfather was the patriarch. He also rode the Beast in it's early years and loved it. At the time, I was afraid to ride.

2. Who got you on your first and what was it? My first coaster was the Big Dipper at Camden Park and I rode it with my brother. My first big coaster was the Racers at KI. My mother had to bribe me with a dollar to ride.

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? (Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Cousins, anything that else applies)My brother is the one in my family that I still ride with, along with two of my uncles. Other than those, my best friend Jimmy is who I mainly ride with.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:26 PM
my earliest memories are going to revere beach in mass. my mother used to spend almost the whole summer from 9am to 3pm sunbathing. i was usually with my father, sister and brother. my brother was too scared to ride anything, my father would spend most of his time at a bar. my sister didn't like the sun so she would take me down to the rides to get some shade. she was 10 years older than me and we would go to the giant five row carousel and go on it and some of the kiddy rides that were in the building. she would also take me on the tilt-a-whirl and bubble bounce, which were also enclosed. as far as roller coasters, she took me on the cyclone, virginia reel and the wild mouse when i was about seven. my other family members didn't go on the rides very often. so i guess my mother (who spent all her time there) is the matriarch, but it was my sister who turned me into the fanatic i am now.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:48 PM
1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family? I never knew my Dad's parents because they both died when I was very young. My grandparents on my Mom's side lived in Cleveland and they used to take my Mom to Euclid Beach, Geauga Lake, Chippewa Lake, Cedar Point, and all the other parks in the area. Growing up my Grandparents would ride the coasters at Disneyland but that was it.

2. Who got you on your first and what was it? Honestly I don't remember. It was the Matterhorn and I was three. It was a family outting so probably one of my parents took me on the ride.

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? All of my grandparents are dead. Dad is still an enthusiast. Mom sometimes rides [she loves flat rides!]. All of my siblings and most of their kids ride. My nephew Connor [who gave me the name "mamoosh"] is a coaster nut who just hit the magic 54" height marker, allowing him to ride everything.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:34 PM
1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family? First, I am an only child, so park visits were usually just the three of us... ocasionally I would take a friend along. Visits were mainly daytrips to Williamsgrove in the early years, and then Hersheypark in later years. Only "distant" parks we visited were Great Adventure (pre Six Flags Days) and Busch Gardens: The Olde Country (in the pre BGW days). My mother would get on the occasional flat ride with me, but my dat usually did not ride... he got motion sickness. HOWEVER, I would still list him as the "Matriarch" as he did all of the driving and made all of the plans and, in my late elementary school and my highschool years he would be the one to take me and a friend or two to Hersheypark with my mom staying home.

2. Who got you on your first and what was it? First coaster was a kiddie coaster at Williamsgrove... not the one that is there now though. Not sure if I went on it myself or with my mom (remember, dad would get motion sick). My first "big" coaster was Glissade at Busch Gardens the Olde Country. I was 11. No one got on it with me. My mom was scared to death that I would be flung from the ride and killed. She was mortified when I got off and said "I want to do that again." So... basically I am a "coater orphan"

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? No one. My parents were older, and my mom is now 78 yrs old and hasn't been to a park since... oh... probably around 1977. My dad passed away in 1994... but he had not been to a park since about 1982. Actually, from 1982 to 1999 I only made about 4 park visits to Hersheypark. However, starting in 2000 I came back with a vengance... from a handfull of coasters to 200. Michele likes going to parks (though she is also a motionsickness sufferer and can't take the rides) and she doesn't mind if our vacations just happen to be planned with parks along the route. She did however put her foot down in the event that I had hopes of a "coaster" or "park" related themed wedding back when we got married in Oct 2000. Of course... I can't say I blame her for that either.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:45 PM
1. Who was the matriarch or patriarch of the family? Definitely my mother, my dad would just drop us off at Adventureland. He hates heights and his stomach wouldn't fathom riding anything.

2. Who got you on your first and what was it? First coaster was a kiddie coaster at Adventureland, we called it the Mountain Ride but have learned recently it was Der Flitzer. Not sure if I went on it myself or with my mom (remember, dad would get motion sick). My first "big" coaster was Tornado at Adventureland I was 10-11. My cousin about beat me up as I was scared to death of the first hill. I remember the first time going down the hill that I thought my stomach was coming out my mouth, it was a weird feeling for being so young but now I am almost at 100 different ones so thanks Jeremy for being the one to get me over the first hill.

3. Who in that line still goes on them with you? My mom and youngest brother as well as my wife and her parents will still go. Amy's (my spouse) grandma used to work for Adventureland so we take her out every year and ride the rides (well grandma can't as she is in a wheelchair) but she will watch as we go ride.

My brother went to CBCon with me last year to Chicago and I think I have him hooked now. We went up to the Dells 3 weeks ago and he loved it.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:57 PM
My parents were not big on amusement parks. At times we would meet up with some of our older cousins at Adventurer's Inn in Queens New York. I had a great time there, even though I was scared to go most of thier attractions. I remember being facinated at how the rides movesd, lit up and promoted a feeling of happiness. We also would periodically go to Fairyland Amusement Park (know to generations of Brooklyn folks as "Buddies").

Dad would take us in the helicoper ride and he kept moving the bar back and forth getting the copter to bounce. It was a blast bcak then.

Day camp trips to Palisaides Park, showed bigger rides, that scared me, yet drew me ever so closer.

One day we saw Jerry Lewis hawking Great ADventure and my parents and thier friends took us. I was too scared for the Runaway Train, but I again I enjoyed the atmosphere.

The one ride that we all took was on the log flume. It was an hour and a half wait, but we hung in there and did it. Naturally, we got stuck on the way up the first lift. A ride op climbed the steps and asked if we wanted to walk down. My mother said, "There is NO way I am going to walk down." Eventually it started up again and when we returned to the circle it marked a sad occurance. It was the last ride my mother would ever go on. She was done. She also complained about the prices, food, parking, crowds etc. She was aslo angry that we weren't going on too many things for the money she spent. The final blow happened on the way to the ferris wheel, where she tripped, fell and scraped her knees on the pavement. Her childhood memories included Freedomland and Coney Island.

My dad goes with us to small parks and fairs. He is approaching 80 and earlier this summer, he did something really cool. He went on a traveling fair Ferris Wheel with me and my 7 year old son. I was almost crying from this experience.

My son will benefit from my love of rides. He has been to Great Adventure, Rye Playland, Cedar Point, Sesame Place, Disney World, Nellie Bly, Adventureland, Hershey Park, Splish Splash, and several smaller indoor venues. THis summer at the end of August I am taking him and his 42" height to Kennywood to ride the Jack Rabbit ( He loves bunnies), Hershey (Maybe his first looper) and Knobles. We will do a lot of things on this trek together and hopefully build some great memories. Last Saturday he was fianally tall enough for the Stunt Man Water Effect at Great Adventure. I was nervous, but he loved it. Then he was more than willing to hang out on the bridge and take a second drenching from the next boat.

If the torch that I'm passing is sputtering, it's due to the wet wood.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:04 PM
This topic also makes me think of where things go in the family now.

I have gone with my cousins this year. One is only like 11 and he had so much fun we hit up Geauga Lake and Cedar Point, on a day draster was down, but it didnt put a damper on the parade we had there.

Also E Coster Girl who is my cousin went with me to Cp. She enjoyed and is now becoming an enthusiast which makes it better if i have no one else to ride with i know she is down. I am hoping to get out to PKI on Friday we will see how that goes, hopefully with her in tow.

I also thought it was great to learn the origin of Mamoosh. One day maybe ill get a nice nickname from someone.

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