RCMAC - Alton and esp. Blackpool were on "the list." Still would like to get back to Blackpool.
Well you do still have that Big Dipper credit to snag ;) Name the day!
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Alton Towers
SFNE (for Bizarro) and Lake Compounce (for Boulder Dash) were on that list, but will be done this summer.
Definitely Carowinds, not only for the new giga but for Intimidator, as I'm baffled as to why Intimidator is ranked higher than I-305, one of my all-time favorites. Alton Towers - in my dreams. I can certainly appreciate what Bunky said about limited funds. I had planned to go to Alton Towers last year and had enough avios on British Airways to get there - plus an ex-fiance who would put me up - except that in addition to 40,000 avios I would have had to pay close to $700 in taxes and surcharges - so the trip was off. Instead I went to Canada's Wonderland b/c I had enough miles on another airline to do it and no extras were added on other than a $30 booking charge. On a smaller scale, I've never been to Kennywood or Waldameer and Ravine Flyer II is on my most wanted list.
Hanging out with invy is on my bucket list.
I hope you're not just saying that to get to my impressive woodie #nudgenudgewinkwink :)
Alton, Blackpool, and lots of Japanese parks.
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I'm probably closer to Jeff's outlook in spite of the continuous stream of credits that I pile onto my track record. I've been to every Six Flags, all but one CF, all but one Busch/SW's, all but one Herschends, etc. and by the time I hit my umpteenth Six Flags, I really didn't notice anything that different. Even parks that are wildly different like the Busch Parks aren't *that* different an experience to justify an entire trip. These days, if I'm already headed somewhere for work or to see someone, I'll stop at the local park, but the days of planning my trips around parks are long gone (Orlando, Anaheim excepted). The story may change when my kids get older (so we can ride together instead of me needing to ditch my family to ride), but right now it's just not worth the cost/effort for something slightly different from what I can ride 20 minutes from my house.
Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."
My experience is also of the Jeff/Andy persuation.
Been there, done that. After many years of 20 or 30-park summers, we've kind of gotten over it. Been to four parks in the past four years and none of them were new to us.
But where I think my experience differs from those guys is that I find it harder to travel with older kids. When they're little they have no obligations, are amused by anything and generally do what you do. Now that mine are older, they have stuff to do and places to be, they also feel the same 'been there, done that" thing, and would rather spend time with new experiences in life. Dragging your little one all over the country to parks is fun and cute. Dragging your teenagers just feels...well, silly.
My park/ride bucket list is empty. I've done enough that if I never get to another park again in my life, I'll have satisfied that itch beyond all my expectations. Anything from this point forward is just...gravy.
I guess I'm a little different from Jeff/Andy/Gonch in that I'm still in my early 20's and get giddy to get to new parks and ride new coasters. I understand your mindset and I'm sure one day when i settle down/have kids i will share that, but for now i have a list of parks that i can't wait to get to!
I'll be interested to see if my kids pick it back up on their own later down the road.
I can't imagine they will though. Seems to me it's the initial excitement of discovery that drives the passion. I didn't start doing this until I was 28 and, like you Ben, went everywhere I could anytime I could.
My daughter's track record was nearly 300 coasters (284 to be exact) before she turned 13. Will that sense of discovery and excitement be there when she's in her 20's?
Are there any second generation enthusiast among us?
That's a good question. I was always fascinated by coasters from a young age, but my summers consisted of one, maybe two parks. And they were usually the same ones: Kings Dominion and the rarer visit to Hershey. I wonder if I'd have had half the interest if my folks were enthusiasts and I had two or three hundred coasters under my belt before I was an adult. Probably not.
In my 20s (beginning at 24 and really kicking into high gear at 27) I started making the rounds to several parks a season, peaking in 2000 with 9 parks and 50+ coasters that year. Which is still small by many enthusiast standards. The only time I ever get to new-to-me parks is if I happen to have time during business trips, and while I enjoy it, it's not the same as taking my family. Most of us here have talked about the burnout that many of us inevitably face; I haven't even hit 200 and I experienced burnout to an extent years ago.
I used to really want to ride some of the popular coasters in countries like UK and Japan, but it's just not that important to me anymore. I no longer really have a bucket list, except to take my family to Disney, which is happening this November.
I guess that has helped me keep a consistent passion going over the years, I haven't been able to take much time out to travel and get to many parks. I've been an "enthusiast" for basically 2 decades now and in that time have garnered 218 credits give or take (depending on how you count) which sounds like a lot to regular folks but is a relatively small amount compared to most enthusiasts I find.
When I was a kid living at home my family would indulge the hobby a bit - I would insist on going to any parks nearby during family vacations and would occasionally get my dad to go on weekend trips specifically for a park (for example Cedar Point a couple times). Since leaving the nest, due in part to a lack of free time and a larger part lack of finances and a non-enthusiast wife, I try to plan one theme park-centric trip to get to a couple new parks and rides but nothing too crazy or extravagant. I've mostly just stuck to whatever parks are a short drive from home so I guess I still find the differences refreshing whenever I can get someplace new.
I still haven't broken 200 coasters. I mean, I live in Orlando, worked for SeaWorld Parks, and I still haven't even been on Manta. (Sidebar: Working on the inside dramatically changed my view of the business, which was already pretty skewed away from magic and unicorns.) It's not that I don't enjoy new rides. I mean, I went up to Kings Island last year specifically for the media event. But had it not been in a place where I was likely to see friends, I might not have gone.
And kids haven't had a huge impact. I have one, not quite 5, and he actually has at least a dozen credits. He logged 30 airplanes before he was 18 months, so travel hasn't been an issue. The truth is, rides like Thunder Mountain and Freedom Flyer are my new reality, very frequent reality, and I love it.
For me, the park trips have gradually become more about the travel than the parks. For years my wife wanted nothing to do with roller coasters, so we rarely went to any parks. I was OK with that. I liked them myself but never felt the need to go without her except for a couple of times when work travel made it practical. After we took a 2008 trip to WDW that completely changed her feelings about coasters, we started going to parks all over. By 2009, we were planning crazy week long park trips.
We've spent an absurd amount of time traveling to parks the last few years, and we still do these trips. But the they we approach them has changed a lot. When we started, we would spend the majority of each trip day in a park. Now we'll still plan trips around parks we haven't been to (which in the US and Canada are getting rare) or new rides that have been added to ones we've visited in the past. But we find other things of interest to see and do in those areas and/or along the way, and we now spend a much higher percentage of our time doing that (historical sites, museums, national parks, etc.) than we spend in the amusement parks.
Last year as part of a week in TX and NM, we made a visit to Western Playland just outside El Paso. The park was nice but small and certainly offered nothing particularly unique. The thrill for me was visiting a city that I had never been to which felt kind of off the beaten path.
I still enjoy visiting parks. But if I didn't enjoy the travel itself, I know I would have already nearly stopped traveling very far to them.
I'm happy with my 170-ish coaster count. At 41 years old, I should have more by now, but traveling to distant parks is expensive, and probably more importantly, time consuming. It's also kind of scary for me to be more than 6 or so hours from home.
Any new experiences I have don't really give me a "been there done that" feeling though. Maybe because I only get to three or four parks a year, I appreciate them more. I don't find track record padding important, so new rides really do still excite me without thinking about how many I've rode.
Last year, I did manage to ride many new coasters, which was nice. It's interesting to see new-to-me rides in person, rather than online.
Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to visit Magic Mountain. One of these days, sooner than later...
Still enjoy parks and coasters at 33, but not as enthusiastic as I was in my early 20s. Sure there's my multiple trips to Cedar Point each year, but gone are going to great lengths in driving (let alone flying) out of state to try different parks. Little ambition remains for visiting new parks and riding new coasters. The hobby remains, but more so reading up on the latest news on amusement parks and visiting sites such as here.
I'm so lazy about traveling to parks that I finally moved in next door to Magic Kingdom.
My view has changed drastically over the years, too. Going to an amusement park has to be as much about relaxing as it is about fun. I don't plan park-centric trips unless they're centered around a little mouse with yellow shoes, but I'm definitely not opposed to going somewhere and camping or whatever when there's a park nearby.
For instance, I know some don't get Knoebel's, but I like to camp and relax, and it's a beautiful setting with a nice little park next door.
These are all interesting perspectives and I can see how over time those with extensive coaster and park credits would feel diminishing enthusiasm. However, b/c I didn't start riding coasters until the age of 59 (4 years ago) and my coaster count is only in the 90's, I feel the need to catch up.
Having pets and children really makes it difficult. Also, a mortgage in California will really put a dent in your disposable income. But hey, Knott's is an hour and a half away.
Bucket list in order:
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