Spoiled enthusiasts / under-appreciated rides

Friday, July 12, 2019 4:04 PM

I’ve been noticing more lately, thanks largely to social media, that enthusiasts (of all ages, not just younger ones) are so spoiled these days. A recent, first-ever trip to KI really put it into perspective for me.

I understand that coasters/ the standard have advanced greatly from when I first became an enthusiast in ‘96. Back then, there were simply less amazing rides to compare each other to. There were, however, a lot of them. From what I've noticed, fans truly appreciated these amazing, multi-million-dollar marvels a great deal more. I know that many of these coasters didn’t start out perfectly smooth, and yet people still lined up for hours to excitedly ride what we now consider subpar.

Nowadays, with B&M existing 20+ years, RMC bursting onto the scene, and rides becoming so much more advanced, people are quick to trash yesterday’s greats.

I acknowledge that top-of-the-line experiences now exist, and the standard for smoothness/comfort has advanced. I still think that coaster snobs should take a step back and appreciate what goes into providing us with these amazing rides.

I was at Kings Island for two days this week. Prior to my first ride on The Beast, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew it had a reputation/is awesome for its rugged ride. Many of the comments I'd seen made it sound like a terrible, rough old piece of junk that wasn't worth the hype. I understand that sitting on a non-wheeled seat is a bit better, so I started with row 2. I also rode in several different seats (including wheeled) during my trip.

What an awesome ride. I completely fell in love, and understood where all of the hype came from. I see why people go so crazy over it. I get that very many enthusiasts do still appreciate this coaster, but I couldn’t believe how unappreciative some are of The Beast. It easily moved into my top few favorites, because of the overall experience, legendary status, and unique/intense ride. I loved it so much, it irked me to think of all those snobs complaining that its a crappy old rough coaster. To be fair, I have seen/understood the arguments of it being a bit overhyped, but I don’t understand how anyone could honestly say they think it’s a bad ride.

Each individual has their preferences, and not everyone will love every ride the same way others do. It was during a night ride on The Beast (woo!), however, that a stranger next to me told me that Vortex was "horrible", and "not worth the credit unless you realllly want it". Well, thankfully, I did want it, and of the Arrow loopers I've been on, this wasn't bad at all. I really didn't find it to be very rough, and I was so happy to have ridden it. I just think dissuading me from riding wasn't necessary (to be fair, I asked).

I have learned to just feel it out for myself, and not take other peoples' ride reviews too seriously— I just wanted to vent a a bit on this. Furthermore, while I prefer hypers and intense rides, I still love a good mine train/clasic woodie/really anything thats not a kiddie coaster. Maybe that can be chalked up to growing up with Valleyfair/wanting a B&M (or ANY decent new coaster) my whole life and never getting it (until I moved away when Renegade opened), then learning to appreciate what we did have.

These are obviously just two recent Kings Island-related experiences, but they really put into perspective how snobby we have gotten as enthusiasts. Let’s all [re]learn to appreciate these modern marvels, even the ones that are rough around the edges, and picture how we would’ve felt when there weren’t smoother/flawless rides out there overshadowing them.

Cheers to those who still just love a good ride.

Last edited by Adam J, Friday, July 12, 2019 11:36 PM
Saturday, July 13, 2019 6:54 AM

One way to define "enthusiast" -- People who are not happy unless they are not happy. See also: enthusiass.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:45 AM

"Social media?" This site was "social media" almost 20 years ago. The behaviour was not any different, aside from the fact that people can now complain from anywhere with their phones.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:31 AM

Jeff, good point. I guess I’m noticing more numerous negative comments about rides thanks to Instagram, YouTube comments etc.

I agree, the complaining has been around, it just feels to me that at least some riders are more entitled nowadays (rides have gotten significantly smoother etc).

Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:36 AM

I also think I’m just noticing more as I age— I was around 14 when I started visiting this site, 34 now.

While I believe that there have always been plenty of enthusiasts complaining, it feels like there are more rides dismissed now, since there are many more in operation.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 1:19 PM

The positive and negative comments might just even out, because all I see about The Beast, and most other coasters, is love and positive comments. Maybe it's the company you keep.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:05 PM

Yeah, I haven't noticed any uptick in negativity or "snobbishness" as you say over the past 20 years I've been in the scene. People trash Vortex? Whatever, the newer coasters *are* better. It's like comparing an old '80s Apple MacIntosh with a Macbook Pro. Technology has gotten better over time and Vortex et al. might have been great when they were new but better slicker smoother rides are being built these days.

Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:07 PM

Perhaps my reaction was a bit over-exaggerated. LostKause, I wasn’t keeping any company, I’m specifically referencing comments I’ve seen on strangers’ Instagram posts, and a few strangers’ comments at KI.

Bjames, I concur, and even acknowledged that in my post. Sure, rides will naturally be overshadowed by better versions, I was just a bit annoyed by the overwhelming amount of strangers advising me/others not to ride decent rides.

Sunday, July 14, 2019 5:58 AM

Yeah. I think the whole notion of advising people not to ride something is a bit over the top, unless the ride in question is Blazing Fury at Dollywood, in which case the answer is absolutely yes, you should skip it. ;)

Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:54 AM

Enh. There are definitely some pretty bad boomerangs, SLC's, and woodies that I would actually advise against riding if you've ridden more than 30 coasters.

Monday, July 15, 2019 1:14 AM

The only coaster I'd ever advise someone not to ride is Skyrush, and it's only certain people. Most people I know only ride it once a visit, if that, anyway.

So maybe there are people in this hobby who dislike a certain coaster. If Son of Beast was still around, that would be another one I'd tell people not to bother with. I can't think of any others though.

So maybe I get the point after all.

Monday, July 15, 2019 7:38 AM

I get telling people that if they are pressed for time they may want to skip a ride, or if they have a bad back, or problems with or nausea don't ride a particular coaster or you'll regret it what I find annoying is the number of people who think since they happen to think a particular ride is garbage for one reason or another it should be replaced with something they will like better. I see lots of people complain in facebook comments that Blue Streak at Cedar Point is an old piece of garbage and they "thought they were going to fly out" (airtime, duh...) and it was too old and rough and needs to be torn down. That's my favorite coaster. Simple and old fashioned and it doesn't need to go anywhere so the "I want a smooth track and to be stapled into my seat" crowd need to just walk away and ride something else. That would be like me deciding that since I hate ranch dressing it should be taken off the shelves at the grocery store so there would be more space to stock my favorite flavor.

Monday, July 15, 2019 11:58 AM

I’m mean enough (with myself) that I’m horrified if on a first trip to a park I miss something for my list. And I don’t care how production-model or kiddie it is. I’m riding in in spite of the “skip it” advice that’s out there, then I can make a clear determination for future visits. And occasionally I’m pleasantly surprised by that SLC hanger or that old woody that actually runs and rides great.

Speaking of Blue Streak, I’ve ridden that ride since the mid 60’s and it will always have my heart. Good, traditional fun, and what do these whippersnappers know, anyway?

Monday, July 15, 2019 12:59 PM

I'm much the same way. Outside of kiddie coasters, I'll usually try to give every ride a shot first and then hit up the greatest hits afterward. I can see how that might be shorting myself a bit on repeat laps on the best rides, but when it comes to those, no amount of laps are ever enough anyway, so breaking long enough to ride a Boomerang or SLC usually isn't much of a problem. Besides, some of those can be pretty good.

Also, I wish the people that hate on rides like Blue Streak would realize that not every ride needs to be or should be some top-of-the-line thriller. Milder thrills are essential. How else would the younger thrill-seekers out there keep themselves occupied until they're tall enough for the major rides?

Monday, July 15, 2019 1:30 PM

sirloindude said:

Also, I wish the people that hate on rides like Blue Streak would realize that not every ride needs to be or should be some top-of-the-line thriller. Milder thrills are essential. How else would the younger thrill-seekers out there keep themselves occupied until they're tall enough for the major rides?

Exactly. My daughter was thrilled when she was finally tall enough to graduate from Woodstock Express to Iron Dragon back when it was 46". Yes, my wife and I would snidely refer to it as Draggin' Iron, but she Did. Not. Care. Rode it, loved it, and bought the t-shirt.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Monday, July 15, 2019 1:30 PM
Monday, July 15, 2019 3:27 PM

I still love Iron Dragon and lots of other alleged "junk" coasters. As long as something isn't beating me up REALLY bad or nauseating me, I'm happy just to be on a roller coaster. I also don't insist every coaster be about airtime or have a million elements. I've come to see my less discriminating attitude as a blessing, like being a cheap drunk.

Monday, July 15, 2019 10:01 PM

A less discriminating attitude in some matters leads to less disappointment in life.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:26 AM

Paisley said:

A less discriminating attitude in some matters leads to less disappointment in life.

One of my favorite lines from the 12-step community: "Expectations are resentments waiting to happen."

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:01 AM

I'm a "coaster slut". I'll ride anything anywhere and have a good time.

That said, Cedar Point's Blue Streak is in my top five coasters list: old school, wood, simply classic. There's nothing like riding Blue Streak in the late afternoon, with the sun setting over Sandusky Bay.

I'll be going to Cedar Point in early August and even though I'm an old cranky guy who will have to rent a motorized wheelchair for my day at the park due to back issues, Blue Streak will be the first coaster I ride.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 11:15 AM

Paisley said:

I see lots of people complain in facebook comments

You have already lost.


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