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2012-- What was your highlight?

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I took a trip to Dollywood with an amazing group of people


I've honestly had so many fantastic moments this year, it's lame to list them all, but I had a lot of fun on my trip to England, and to Vegas, as well as my many trips to Six Flags Great America. I just hope I will have as much of an awesome time next year! Wooo!

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I've got a lot if you include everything, so I'll just list my top five theme park related highlights (in no particular order):


-The Knott's day of WCB 2012. Even though I was very tired from only 10 hours of sleep over two nights and a full day at SFMM, this is still one of the best days I've had at the park.


-Visiting my first European park (Disneyland Paris) and getting to do almost everything in one day due to unusually rainy weather in July. We even got walk-ons on several rides (Big Thunder Mountain, it's a small world, Phantom Manor, and Star Tours)


-The whole LeviaTHON trip, even though not everything went according to plan. Highlights of this particular trip included Conneaut Lake Park (especially Blue Streak in the pouring rain and getting evacuated on the lift), Waldameer (the best non-major park I've visited), and Leviathan Bash at Canada's Wonderland (2nd or 3rd best bash day I've been to at my new favorite Cedar Fair park).


-Having a Disneyland pass for the first time since 2005, as well as a three day school schedule for a quarter so I can enjoy it. Disneyland is rarely empty anymore, so getting the chance to visit on weekdays January through March and experience 30 minute or less lines for everything was a lot of fun, as well as getting to enjoy California's two best parks more than once a year for a change. Even though I didn't renew my pass at this time, I will get a new pass if I have a school schedule that is less than five days per week again in the future.


-Solo rides during normal park hours on a number of attractions, including Indiana Jones Adventure, it's a small world, and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland as well as Bigfoot Rapids (only person on whole attraction), Montezooma's Revenge, Perilous Plunge, Riptide, and Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm (I almost got one on Supreme Scream too, but they wouldn't send it without at least six riders).

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Finally making it to Conneaut Lake and Waldameer. And getting back for my second visit to Kennywood after first visiting 22 years ago. I had so much fun, I'm planning on hitting all the same parks again next year on my way to western NY and Toronto (all new credits for me too!).

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Definitely not an eventful year coaster-wise for me. Of the entire summer, I spent 4 short days (about 15 hours total) at parks- twice at SFGAm, and one visit apiece to SFOG and SFStL. This is the first year in forever that I didn't drop in at my home-away-from-home park Busch Tampa.


My highlights are weird:


- I'm glad B&M's Wing Coaster doesn't suck as much as the last new concept of theirs (last new concept being their laughably awful flyer). I wasn't expecting much after reading reviews of the Gardaland and Thorpe Wing Coasters. X-Flight wasn't excellent, but it was fun.


- All 3 parks I visited housed a Batman The Ride. That's like going 3 for 3 with 3 HRs in a baseball game.


- Overjoyed that Iron Wolf was relocated rather than scrapped. I didn't go to SFA, but Iron Apocalypse seems to have been received well at it's new home. Sky Rush will probably bring me out to that part of the country next year, and I'll happily take the scenic route in order to ride one of the most forceful B&M designs.


- Lastly, I got the chance to try out Rocky Mountain's Topper Track on a ride I'm very fond of- Georgia Cyclone- and it's great. Top the rest of it off.

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-Wild Eagle opening weekend, but more for the fact that I spent the weekend with awesome friends in an awesome cabin.

-Riding Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride with the same awesome friends!

-Memorial Day weekend and quest for #300 (including Skyrush and Verbolten) which had many bumps along the way but was a success thanks to Steve.

-Orlando visits by many friends in October....such a great time!

-Bean's first Beaner Boat Ride!

Yeah that was my most................creative credit whoring trip to date.


Wild Eagle and SkyRush opening weekends (and the whole weekend at Dollywood) were amazing. My first Food and Wine experiences with some fantastic people. Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. Favorite single ride of the year was my front seat ride on Space Mountain during One More Disney Day, after I hadn't ridden the ride in almost a decade. I don't know if I've ever laughed, ducked, and screamed out of terror on a single ride in my lifetime as much as I did on that single ride.


It was a relatively slow year for me travel wise though, as living in Orlando has me a bit spoiled now with being so close to so many great parks and rides. However, this year was all about quality over quantity!

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Best new coasters this year:


1. Ukko, Linnanmaki - MaurerSöhne SkyWheel

2. Expedition GeForce, Holiday-Park - Intamin Mega

3. Blue Fire, Europa-Park - MACK Mega

4. Jetline, Gröna-Lund - Schwarzkopf, Zierer, BHS Speedracer

5. Lisebergbanan, Liseberg - Schwarzkopf, Zierer, BHS Speedracer


Best new parks this year:


1. Europa-Park

2. Liseberg


Best re-ride coaster this year:


- Olympia-Looping - several carnivals all over Germany


Best re-visited park this year:


- Hansa-Park

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A little quiet on the theme park front this year but:

- front seat on Tower of Terror II (who would have thought that turning the car around could make a ride 10x better?)

- first time riding a hydrocoaster (whee!)

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Another Disney Day, surviving it, Space Mountain with the lights on, and making fun of Adam for giving up just a few hours before finishing. The Klassy Kruze! It was the most terrible and fun experience. And of course, the Food and Wine festival!

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1. Riding Insane 34 times in a day, best day at Grönan ever!


2. Riding Expedition Geforce for an entire day again and again.


3. Front row on Krake in the sunset, last ride of the day. I loved that coaster!


4. Mystery Castle, Phantasialand (and pretty much the rest of the park as well)


5. Skyline Park outside of München, they had a pretty big Funtime Sling Shot, that was included in the ticket, so we could ride it as many times as we wanted, since the park was almost empty.




Now for my worst experience this year:

Huracan and Belantis!

Nothing else even came close to this one.

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^^Klassy Kruze was one of the best photo sets on this site....ever


This year was again a whole lot of fun!


Leviathan charity auction and opening day.


Random road trips and weekend trips with awesome TPR friends, which meant finally getting to Kings Island and seeing Son of Beast for the first and last time and also getting to check out Port Aventura, Alton Towers and Thorpe.


The near death experience in the back row of the Conneaut Lake Park Blue Streak.


A Cedar Point storm so serious that we had to go to storm shelters--I even twisted my knee while evacuating Millennium Force.


Learning what my tolerance is for riding a roller coaster repeatedly for a day during Coasting for Kids and taking my "GP" friends on the resulting VIP tour who had the best day ever.


Leviathon! As always incredible ERT and a chance to see old friends and meet a lot of other great people.


The last road trip of the year to Lake Compounce, SFNE and SFGA, while these areas were in a State of Emergency, staying ahead of Sandy each step of the way.


Ready for 2013!

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I had many good times I can't single out one but the TPR Italy and Leviathon trips were awesome and the coasting for kids event at Kings Dominion was a great day.


Oh and even though it technically wasn't my last park visit of the season but it was my last non-home park visit of the season, ending the night with 10 rides in a row on El Toro was a great way to close out the year, and being with an awesome person too

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1. End of the night ride back right on Skyrush, a coaster I really wasn't that excited about during construction which just completely blew me away and has reignited my faith in still being able to be surprised by a coaster after years of riding them.


2. Phoenix and hysterical laughter.


3. Finally getting to Europa Park and being most thrilled by the rides that are traditionally knocked.

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In no particular order:


Dollywood opening weekend with friends in an awesome cabin (seriously - when are we going again?)

Road trippin with Shawn before the Leviathan trip (when are we doing this again?)

The Leviathan Trip - even though things may not have gone as planned, it was still fun!

Holiwood Nights (enough said on that one!!)

Haunt at King's Island with a couple of amazing friends!!

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2012 was a big year for me. I really hadn't been to any parks besides WDW and Disneyland since 2002 because I've been really overweight and knew that I wouldn't be able to ride anything. I decided to sign up for the New Hotness tour as motivation to lose weight. While I wasn't able to ride everything on the trip (still need a B&M Big Boy seat), I'm happy to report that I rode a ton of things that I never imagined I'd be able to do. Still working towards losing weight so that next season I'll won't need to worry about fitting on any rides.


Some of the bigger highlights:


-- New Hotness Tour. Amazing from start to finish!


-- Robb and Australian Steve helping me get on El Toro during our nighttime ERT session. So happy I got to ride this beast!


-- Knoebel's. Enough said.


-- Our nighttime ERT session on Phoenix. Absolutely amazing! Thanks to Larry for teaching me about the magical 3rd row seat.


-- Riding my first B&M hypers. I've always been too big to ride.


-- Even though it destroyed my thighs, Skyrush is an amazing ride!


-- Nearly blacking out in I-305.


-- Getting to go to BGW for the first time. Always been #1 on my bucket list.


-- Thunderhead. The surprise ride of my trip. Loved that ride and probably got 15 rides during ERT with no wait!


-- SFOG was the most surprising park for me. I wish all Six Flags parks were like this one.


-- Went to Dorney while I was in Philly for work in June, but couldn't fit on the B&M rides. Went back a couple of days before New Hotness (end of July) and fitting on everything without any issues!


-- Prowler and Renegade. GCI knows how to make a great ride.


-- Meeting a ton of great people on the TPR trip. Can't wait to go on more in the future. Midwest and UK this year!


That's a lot of highlights, but I was making up for a decade of lost time.


-- Thad

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First visit to Kennywood. Fell in love with both Sky Rocket and Phantom.


And a few from Cedar Point:


Fast Lane: Rode everything on a Saturday, and didn't have to rush like madmen to do it.


Shocktoberfest/Travel Channel film shoot: Rode Maverick, front seat, in 40 degree weather with wind blowing off the lake, no jacket, just a t-shirt and shorts. Also got Millennium ERT that morning. I also met some cool peeps from ACE and GOCC. Hopefully I'll be able to meet some of you on a trip someday.


One trip to CP included a "friend" from Connecticut who had never been on a roller coaster in his life. He lost his coaster virginity on the blue streak. And someone on a different train puked, so we sat there at the return station for 10 minutes waiting for them to clean it up before they left us off.


Hopefully next year will include more first visits, I'm thinking maybe holiday world, Knoebels, hershey park? Also need to get back to Kings Island, haven't been in years.

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- Going to Kennywood and riding Sky Rocket in the front row


- Going to Hersheypark for the first time and riding Storm Runner in the front row


- Six Flags Great Adventure - Nitro, El Toro, and Kingda Ka!


- Front row/back row rides on Phoenix

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My highlight this year has to be Silverwood theme park.


2 excessively fun woodies, Shockwave (Deju VU) that was actually working and fun. And an Arrow looper (they cant all be winners). A Nice quaint family park with some really good food and really good rides.


It was way more than i ever expected it to be.

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-Marathoning El Toro back row 11 times.

-No lines at SFNE, even for Bizarro and Goliath.

-No lines at Elitch Gardens....Which is really rare.

-Finally getting on my first Schwarzkopf. (I rode two: Colossus and Jet Star 2 at Lagoon)


-Tripling my SLC count.

-My first 2 normal boomerangs, and first GIB

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- New Years at Disney: Sure, technically NYE, but it's our tradition (although this may be the last year) and last years was fun as always.

- West Coast Bash Knott's Day: One of the most memorable days of any Bash ever. Great friends, great tours.

- East Coast Trip: 8 days on the East Coast, SFGADv, Hershey, Knoebels, Dorney, SFA, KD, BGW and National Air and Space Museum. Truly epic and just a fun week with some great friends and my Son who may be "too cool" to do something like that again. We'll see next year.

- ECB: Part of our East Coast Trip, but yet another TPR Bash that always seem to exceed expectations. Can't wait for 2013 bashes.

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