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Coaster Phobia???


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Yes, I've heard of it. I suffered from it for 23 years of my life - I was so scared of coasters at once point I couldn't even stand to watch tv commercials showcasing local parks' new coasters. I didn't even want to go to amusement parks for fear that some one might try to drag me onto a coaster, and if I did go to one, I was very careful to not get anywhere near any of the coasters, for fear I might accidentally get in line for one and be somehow forced to ride it. So yes, totally irrational fears are the crux of simple phobias.

Then one day a family friend had a company picnic at what is now SFA, and invited me and my mom. I was reluctant and said I wasn't into rides, but this lady assured me that we could spend the day in the water park, and so I agreed. Well, we ended up not in the water park but in the main part of the park, and I was very thankful that the old Arrow looper they used to have there was closed that day, since inverted coasters were my worst nightmare at the time. I was dragged onto the Wild One, but I was able to "handle" that, since back then woodies didn't have any inversions. I just white-knuckled it and moved on (during my phobia years I could handle woodies and wild mice, and that was about it).

But then we made our way to the other side of the park, and I found myself face-to-face with my worst nightmare. Well, needless to say, I got dragged onto the Mind Eraser, and I thought I was going to die (not of head-banging, which might be the case these days!) of terror. That's a tough way to tackle such a phobia, going headlong into it like that, and I wouldn't recommend that as a way to get over a coaster phobia if you know someone who suffers from that. But I got over it, and I now ride coasters and other rides every chance I can get (otherwise I wouldn't be posting here!).

And I never forget that I used to have a severe case of coaster-phobia, and I'm really glad that they didn't have coasters like TTD, KK and MF and I-305 (or other things that would look terrifying to a phobic, like B&M Dive machines, wing coasters, Eurofighters, Intamin hypers and pretty much anything with vertical drops or nearly so) around back then, as if someone had dragged me onto one of those, I'm sure I would have passed out cold! So if someone suffers from coaster phobia today, the world has indeed become a much more terrifying place than it was in 1996.

But hey, the rewards are great for those that can over come it.

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I'm sure it's not uncommon, but unlike some phobias, it's relatively easy to overcome - usually it takes a ride or two to turn someone who feared thrill rides to loving them.

 

It reminds me of a program that Universal had back in 1999 when IOA was opening. They took in a few people who had "coaster phobia", paired them up with enthusiasts (I believe it was with Coaster Zombies), and had them ride Hulk before the ride opened to the general public.

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I'm sure it's not uncommon, but unlike some phobias, it's relatively easy to overcome - usually it takes a ride or two to turn someone who feared thrill rides to loving them.

 

It reminds me of a program that Universal had back in 1999 when IOA was opening. They took in a few people who had "coaster phobia", paired them up with enthusiasts (I believe it was with Coaster Zombies), and had them ride Hulk before the ride opened to the general public.

I remember seeing that too. I also remember an old Discovery Channel show on coasters where they were filming at BGE (don't remember the title of it, or if it was only about BGE or had other parks/coasters, but Alpengeist was their newest coaster at the time, so it would have had to have come out in the very late 90's) where some park employees dragged one of their co-workers who had coasterphobia onto Alpengeist. That poor woman screamed all the way thru and it sounded like she was being murdered - you could clearly see that she was terrified. Unfortunately there was no word as to whether she became a "convert" or was simply made worse in her phobia. I don't think she was very happy with her co-workers when she got off, but hopefully for her, maybe she did eventually come to love coasters.

 

Actually, now that I think about it - both of these episodes could have come from the same show, given that they were in the same time frame.

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I remember that show - I've might have it on VHS somewhere. I'm thinking that it was Extreme Rides, though Discovery has recycled that title several times. Not sure if she became a convert - she said "That was not fun" and let out a slight laugh at the end of the ride

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I had an extreme fear of coasters for about 6 years. It all began when I was 6. I decided to ride Titan at SFOT with my dad, and it was a major step for me because I had never done anything that extreme before. My mother was incredibly nervous, but she decided to let me ride. Anyways, once I got on the ride and realized how tall it was I immediately wanted to get off - but there was no turning back. The ride itself wasn't too scary to me, but during the incredibly forceful upward helix I banged my head really hard on the side of the train (looking back on it I'm almost positive I wasn't tall enough to ride). After that experience, I didn't want to ride anything larger than your average family coaster, and, for about 6 years, I didn't (with the exception of Rockin' Roller Coaster at age 7 - I didn't know what I was getting myself into). However, when I was 12 one of my friends talked me into riding Batman at SFOT and I've been hooked ever since!! It's funny how something that was once my biggest fear has turned into my biggest addiction!

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I had an extreme fear of coasters for about 6 years. It all began when I was 6. I decided to ride Titan at SFOT with my dad, and it was a major step for me because I had never done anything that extreme before. My mother was incredibly nervous, but she decided to let me ride. Anyways, once I got on the ride and realized how tall it was I immediately wanted to get off - but there was no turning back. The ride itself wasn't too scary to me, but during the incredibly forceful upward helix I banged my head really hard on the side of the train (looking back on it I'm almost positive I wasn't tall enough to ride). After that experience, I didn't want to ride anything larger than your average family coaster, and, for about 6 years, I didn't (with the exception of Rockin' Roller Coaster at age 7 - I didn't know what I was getting myself into). However, when I was 12 one of my friends talked me into riding Batman at SFOT and I've been hooked ever since!! It's funny how something that was once my biggest fear has turned into my biggest addiction!

 

Space Mountain at WDW was the coaster that put the phobia in me when I was 6, so I know what you are talking about here. I think the simple fact that it was indoors and pitch black in there was what did it for me. I know if someone had taken me on an outdoor version (like a wild mouse, or something like the Wildcat at CP) I would probably have liked it and wouldn't have been terrorized. But luckily you got over yours pretty early on; sadly I spent 23 whole years of my life avoiding coasters, so now I'm working hard to make up for lost time. Yes, it is odd that something that was once so terrifying can become so addicting; as with most simple phobias people learn to simply tolerate that which they once feared.

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I remember seeing that too. I also remember an old Discovery Channel show on coasters where they were filming at BGE (don't remember the title of it, or if it was only about BGE or had other parks/coasters, but Alpengeist was their newest coaster at the time, so it would have had to have come out in the very late 90's) where some park employees dragged one of their co-workers who had coasterphobia onto Alpengeist. That poor woman screamed all the way thru and it sounded like she was being murdered - you could clearly see that she was terrified. Unfortunately there was no word as to whether she became a "convert" or was simply made worse in her phobia. I don't think she was very happy with her co-workers when she got off, but hopefully for her, maybe she did eventually come to love coasters.

 

Actually, now that I think about it - both of these episodes could have come from the same show, given that they were in the same time frame.

 

21:18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klIuz0eLtxw

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Thanks for posting that - looks like they were different episodes but were made around the same time. IMO that would be cool if they made an updated version of that show - since there's a lot more stuff out there now than there was back when that was filmed.

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I think I had that until I was like 8 or 9 when I rode Comet at Hersheypark. I remember I couldn't stand within 30 feet of Storm Runner. Haha, but I eventually did overcome it and now I can barely get 30 feet away from Storm Runner, I love it that much. Thankfully, I overcame it and I'm where I am now. At home, on a coaster enthusiast site.

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I was going thru a big box of coaster and park memorabilia I forgot I had tonight and I actually found an article about the Universal coaster phobia program from an old news paper clipping, which I scanned here:

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