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Big Mike needs everyones advice for magazine article!


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My first coaster was Rollo Coaster at Idlewild. I'd say that's a great beginning coaster, maybe not the first though. It's pretty rough and kinda scary for younger kids, because it's actually pretty fun and has some decent airtime. I think it scarred my cousin, who normally is fearless,from riding coasters. I'd have to agree with a lot of others on here. Starting out smaller, then gradually stepping them up to bigger and better things. It also depends on where you live. If you only have access to 1-2 small parks, your choice for a first coaster for you child may be limited than say if you lived by KD.

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The most popular "family coaster" in the world is Big Thunder Mountain. I really think that is the right answer. Sure, it might have a 40" height requirement, but that means most kids at about 4 years old can ride.

Mike, I second this. In general terms, the answer is mine train. Specifically, it's Big Thunder Mountain.

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Like many have said, I would suggest Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Disney parks. It's not too fast, and because most of the track is hidden by rockwork, you can't really tell how high you are, so you don't get too freaked out. Plus it exposes kids to darkness and (somewhat) loud noises at the same time, so that could help alleviate a few fears.

 

As far is bigger rides go, it really depends. Mine was Thunderhawk at Dorney Park, and I was three or four at the time. And the weird thing is, I remember riding it BEFORE going on the kiddie coaster Little Laser there, and enjoying it more.

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My vote would be Whizzer at SFGAm. Classic/fun layout, no sudden or steep drops, and the kid can ride in their parent's lap for added security. It's also a Schwarzkopf

 

Cameron.

 

Gotta go with Cameron. My first was Big Bend at SFOT....though back then they made me sit behind my dad.

 

 

-daron

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Hi Big Mike,

 

Hopefully it's not too late to respond, but I recommend mentioning a place like Dutch Wonderland in your article if it fits. The Kingdom Coaster (what a ridiculously uncreative name; Sky Princess was way better!) was my favorite when I was a kid because it seemed so awesome to ride a wooden coaster, as most kiddies are steel, plus it was the only park where I could feel "just like the grown-ups" and ride everything.

 

Other than that, I agree with others that mine trains are a great way to go. The Trailblazer at Hersheypark was the first coaster I actually liked (my very first being the Hersheypark Comet earlier that day, which scared the daylights out of me). I was also a huge fan of the Flitzer and Jet Star at Morey's Piers. Portable models like those weren't big enough for me to feel too intimidated, but they weren't small enough that I overlooked my bravery (or so it seemed back then!) in trying them.

 

Good luck writing--I hope we can read the finished product!

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I agree with Big Thunder. It's not dark like Space Mountain, so that takes out the intimidation factor on that. You don't hear monsters screaming like the Matterhorn. The parts that kids can see while waiting on the ride/watching the ride from the sides don't make it seem too scary (at least my kids weren't), etc.

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As Robb said, Big Thunder Mountain is a great choice, and was my first "big" coaster as a kid, only recall riding a Flitzer prior, which terrified me. A basic idea I usually have for getting someone interested in coasters is to find a coaster that is fun, not very rough, and somewhat thrilling, but also offers a nice distraction or two along the way in terms or scenery, theming, etc, which rides like Big Thunder and Whizzer do. I know there are plenty of kiddie coasters out there that may meet the height requirement, but they're pretty brutal with bad transitions, and offering up like 5 or 6 laps on it makes it not fun at all. Rollerskaters and kiddie woodies like Little Dipper and Ghoster Coaster are also good choices for first rides.

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Hi Big Mike,

 

I may have overlooked the age of the child riding the starter coaster. However, I can say Cameron's first two coasters were Little Leaper (Steel Pier) in Atlantic City NJ, followed by the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland CA. (He was younger than 2 years old, but enjoyed both of the rides.) Please note the Matterhorn age restriction appears to be 3, I don't think I knew.

 

From a child's prospective, the first coaster he ever asked to get on was Vapor Trail at Sesame Place. When he was a couple years older his preferences were Runaway Mine Train and Skull Mountain at Six Flags Great Adventure.

 

Cam's first harnessed ride was Big Bad Wolf, since that is no longer around: domestically - I would suggest Iron Dragon (possibly) at Cedar Point and internationally - I would suggest Vampire at Chessington World of Adventures.

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