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Been there. Done that. Now what?


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EDIT: Since people are having trouble with understanding what I'm asking, here's the TL:DR version:

 

I've spent the last several years mixing credit whoring with meaningful theme park experiences and have now basically finished the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the UAE, and South Korea. I am trying to decide if it's worth it to me to keep exploring international destinations for my big vacations or if I'm too jaded to enjoy the coasters I might find over there.

 

I had some bad experiences with poorly-set expectations resulting in disappointment at some of the international parks I've visited. I would like to make sure I understand what rides actually are the top-tier rides that have a good chance to still wow someone who has ridden a crap-ton of coasters, and figure out what parks/coasters might be better skipped.

 

Destinations under consideration include the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, & Australia. None of these places has particularly jumped out at me as of yet, and I am looking for suggestions from people who have visited these places. I would prefer to not visit a park in 2019 that is already known to be adding a possible top-tier ride in 2020/2021 as there are plenty of other places to go for now.

 

I still intend to make the occasional weekend jaunt to a domestic park here or there but do not intend to make a multi-day/multi-park trip out of it as I have in the past. And when I am in whichever foreign locale, I will certainly find other non-coastering things to do to experience that country and their culture (as I have done in the past).

 

I've also considered trying to find a new hobby.

 

/EDIT

Edited by coasterBro
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Have you done Germany? It probably has the best coaster collection of any single European country, with GeForce, Karnan, Taron, as well as Europa Park which from what I hear is one of the best overall amusement parks in the world (even if the coasters themselves aren't top ten or anything).

 

Also have you considered China? The most coasters in any country in the world, including Mega-Lites, a gigantic Intamin hyper, a lot of really good looking B&M's nobody talks about, a lot of really cool parks nobody talks about, and a surprisingly diverse lineup of other assorted Intamins, Gravity Groups, GCI's S&S launchers, and some really cool looking new Vekoma's in the coming years (also more Intamins).

One thing to keep in mind about China though is that area-wise it's larger than the size of the continental US, so unfortunately you'd probably need multiple trips or crazy amounts of time if you wanted to hit all the highlights.

 

Finally, I've heard really good things about DC Rivals, which may put Australia on your radar.

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I find myself wanting to go back to the good parks again and again. I don't need a new "credit" to justify going back to a park I love. Holiday World had zero new "credits" when I revisited last year and we had a blast.

 

Novelty is overrated. There are a lot of places that will show you a good time if you go in with the right attitude.

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I find myself wanting to go back to the good parks again and again. I don't need a new "credit" to justify going back to a park I love. Holiday World had zero new "credits" when I revisited last year and we had a blast.

 

Novelty is overrated. There are a lot of places that will show you a good time if you go in with the right attitude.

 

Probably the best quote to ever exist on TPR.

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Thanks for the responses. I have a mild form of OCD, so there was a certain pressure to "finish" the US that drove me a little the last couple of years. The rest of the world doesn't seem to have that same appeal (probably because of a combination of it just being so vast and also not seeming to have a ton of new coastering experiences).

 

 

Why go for new experiences you may or may not enjoy, when you can go re-experience some places you've already been??? Think back to some of your favorite trips, and go again...

 

I find myself wanting to go back to the good parks again and again. I don't need a new "credit" to justify going back to a park I love. Holiday World had zero new "credits" when I revisited last year and we had a blast.

 

Novelty is overrated. There are a lot of places that will show you a good time if you go in with the right attitude.

 

2018 was an insane year for me, but I also spent time at BGW, SDC, Knott's, DLR, BGT, SWO, & SFOG just re-riding favorites. Since I was just at a lot of these parks, I don't know that I want to spend a bunch of vacation time going right back.

 

But I do have a Sea World Platinum Pass, and I will make it down to BGT/SWO for a quick weekend jaunt here and there. I'm also sitting on a crap-ton of Southwest miles, so it's nothing to go pop up somewhere for a weekend if the mood strikes me, but I just don't have a burning desire to right back to most of the places I just went to this year.

 

Just take a trip to Disney and relax.

 

Oddly enough, my original thought for 2019 was to pick up a WDW AP and make several runs at the Parkeology Challenge (riding all the rides at the resort in a single day), but I don't know that I want to spend $950 for that (really the Gold pass is all I need, which would save me $300, but I'm not a Florida resident and don't particularly have any interest in trying to fake it to game the system).

 

 

Have you done Germany? It probably has the best coaster collection of any single European country, with GeForce, Karnan, Taron, as well as Europa Park which from what I hear is one of the best overall amusement parks in the world (even if the coasters themselves aren't top ten or anything).

 

Also have you considered China? The most coasters in any country in the world, including Mega-Lites, a gigantic Intamin hyper, a lot of really good looking B&M's nobody talks about, a lot of really cool parks nobody talks about, and a surprisingly diverse lineup of other assorted Intamins, Gravity Groups, GCI's S&S launchers, and some really cool looking new Vekoma's in the coming years (also more Intamins).

One thing to keep in mind about China though is that area-wise it's larger than the size of the continental US, so unfortunately you'd probably need multiple trips or crazy amounts of time if you wanted to hit all the highlights.

 

Finally, I've heard really good things about DC Rivals, which may put Australia on your radar.

 

Germany is compelling. Not sure if it could be done in one go or would need two trips though. Anything major already announced (or rumored) for 2020/2021?

 

I get the appeal of China, but I'm in kind of a wait-and-see holding pattern for now. I think there's still a lot of stuff to be built, and I want to wait for things to settle down a bit before heading over there. When I do eventually go, I'm going to focus exclusively on the major parks w/ rides from reputable manufacturers. But even still, it could be several weeks over multiple trips because there's just so much.

 

Australia & South Africa are two oddball destinations I've had rolling around in the back of my head for if I saw a super cheap airfare deal, but South Africa is a hot mess so that's been shelved. For Australia, I'd need to come up with more stuff to do to round out that trip beyond just the couple of major parks.

Edited by coasterBro
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It pains me to read stuff like this....

 

So what's next? I have absolutely no idea.

 

I can't say I have any compelling drive to go to any parks in particular or a strong desire to go ride specific rides in particular.

 

There were a few other coasters in Japan that I did quite enjoy, but I could live without them.

 

Nothing in the UAE was very good

 

I'm unlikely to be wowed by much in Britain

 

I'm not really interested in going to China

 

I could also do a Scandinavia trip but I don't know what there would be compelling to me.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Find a new hobby.

 

If you're this jaded that you can travel all over the world and still be underwhelmed...

 

Find a new hobby.

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not sure I'll be any "help" here, as this is a weird post to me.

 

We bought Six Flags passes, and other than touring multiple parks with TPR on the 2018 USA tour, and a one day trip to Marineland in Canada, the only parks we go to are in Texas. (and even that's misleading, as we went to SFoT *once* this year, but have been to Fiesta Texas many times).

 

heck, was just back at Fiesta Texas on Wednesday for likely my 12th visit this year. and we only rode a handful of things.

there wasn't really anything "new" to get us to *want* to go back -- we just decide to drive down for the day, and go.

 

I just like to go to wander around, people watch, and enjoy the atmosphere.

 

so I guess my advice would just be to view any park as a "vacation" and relax and have fun.

treat it as a break from the real world, after all. . you're in an amusement park. . .and just revisit whatever you feel like.

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Yeah, anytime a hobby becomes this stressful then just walk away from it. You're over thinking and over doing it bro. Try finding people to enjoy going the parks with but the attitude you have shown (in one post) towards . . . good luck.

 

But to answer your initial question if you've reached the end of your enthusiasm I would say yes because you don't sound enthusiastic about going to the parks and just enjoying them for face value at all.

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Go and find something else to do with your time and money. I think you have been too obsessed with coasters and should take a break.

 

Go to Australia and SCUBA dive the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise ship to Alaska. River boat down one of the rivers in Europe to visit Christmas markets. Raft the Grand Canyon. Visit Japan in the spring and go to local festivals while the Cherry Blossom trees bloom. Take a safari in Africa. Spend a few days walking around Venice.

 

There is a huge world out there which does not involve roller coasters. If you are finding it that hard to find a park you want to visit find something else for 2019. The parks will still be there in 2020 or maybe you will find something else you enjoy even more.

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Reminds me of a girl I work with... She literally heads on an international trip monthly, usually alone, just so her and her boyfriend can "tick" countries and see who visits the most (he travels a lot for work, so they don't really go on these trips together).

 

Yet when she comes back home, almost every trip she goes on sounds horrible in some fashion... Complaining of poor accommodations, her flights, that she was sick, her tours weren't any good, it wasn't as good as "insert other country here", the food wasn't good, too tourist/busy, the list goes on...

 

It's like, why travel then? If you can't find enjoyment in doing such things, change it up. Nothing worse than someone humble bragging about their endless travels to amazing locations around the world and hearing nothing but complaining about it.

 

So I have to agree with what others have said... It sounds like you "been there, done that", so just chill and wait until something tickles your fancy again and motivates you to go somewhere. Compound hobbies or something. I personally don't go crazy to visit parks anymore, so our trips more focus on other side hobbies as well... Breweries, Zoo's, natural landmarks/hiking, halloween 'stuff' (witch stuff in Salem, Mass for example, or New Orleans), etc... Makes the trips a bit more fulfilling.

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You seem to have made coasters your primary goal over the last several years, and now that isn't working for you any more (which isn't surprising). Perhaps make coasters secondary? The world is a fascinating place. I backpacked Europe after graduating college, before I became a full-blown coaster enthusiast. I didn't visit a single park, and it remains the best trip I have ever taken in my life. Instead of looking at the world solely through the lens of parks and coasters, see what else there is to do in a certain area, plan the trip around that, then see what intriguing coasters and parks are nearby. You mentioned Scandinavia and Great Britain. Those are both interesting places, with tons to see and do that have nothing to do with roller coasters. If you plan a trip to Scandinavia solely for Wildfire and Balder, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. However, if you plan the trip to see Scandinavia itself, and have a 2 or 3 amusement parks tucked in there, your trip would be so much more fulfilling.

To use the Scandinavia example again, the entire region is fascinating. The big cities (Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen) are all delightful. You can spend days wandering each one and not be bored. There are culinary delights abound, and Norway has some of the most dramatic natural landscapes I have ever seen. If you go to see these things, but also make room for Wildfire and Lisberg, I think you'll have a much more well rounded and fulfilling trip.

So, that's my two cents. Like Robb said earlier, it pained me to read your first post. There is so much to see in this world, and limiting yourself to coasters and amusement parks is doing yourself a disservice. Pick a country or region that interests you, and visit, adding convenient coasters as a complement to your explorations. Or, let the coasters zero you in on a region, then see what else (non-coaster) the area has to offer. Just don't limit yourself to coasters.

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Lots of great feedback here. I do want to clarify a few things, because I didn't phrase some things well in my initial post:

 

First, a lot of my problem stems from having to slog through a bunch of parks/coasters where I knew I wasn't going to have fun simply because of my compulsion to finish the US. Now that I'm pretty much done with that, I would like to cut the credit whoring to a minimum. That means focusing on the coasters that are going to wow me and not spending a bunch of time at parks riding wacky worms or boomerangs or SLC's, etc. If a park's best coaster is a Eurofighter, I could probably find something better to do with my time (unless it's a really incredible Eurofighter). I want to prioritize cool, unique, historically-significant, and/or really fun coasters.

 

 

Fundamentally, coasters are my excuse to go travel somewhere. Coasters are not all I do when I get there. They make a good anchor to base a trip around, but they are not the be-all/end-all.

 

I have done a lot of cool non-coastering things in the places I've traveled to, and I intend to do the same on any future trips.

 

 

I'm not going to go to Scandinavia and only ride roller coasters. But I would like to know what roller coasters besides Wildfire & Balder are going to be noteworthy. Or if there are parks that I'd be better off skipping to do something else that day because none of the rides are all that special or interesting.

 

Britain could easily be two trips. But I'm just not very familiar with the coasters that are there. I've heard that Nemesis is awesome, and Smiler is obviously noteworthy for its inversion count, but what are the other major highlights? I feel like I've heard that a lot of the rides are shorter/more basic versions of things we have in the US because several were prototypes, but I don't know how those truly compare to what I've known and ridden.

 

 

A lot of my angst with the international coasters I've ridden has come from improper expectations. I was expecting to be blown away by the launches on Formula Rossa & Do-Dodonpa, and they were good but not incredible. Maybe they were just having bad days, but I probably had built them up to be unattainably amazing, hence a bit of a let-down. I had also heard about how amazing and insane Mega-Lites are, and maybe it was just having a bad day, but I didn't think Kawasemi lived up to that hype. Was it fun? Yes. Did it make me want to jump on a plane and go ride all the other Mega-Lites? No. Flying Dinosaur was every bit as crazy and intense as expected, but it's not a coaster I want to (or could) marathon. Steel Dragon 2000 was just as great as I had hoped. Cyclone at Toshimaen was a really pleasant surprise that came out of nowhere. Takabisha was way better than I expected, and I'm very excited they're building a clone in NJ. T-Express was an awesome surprise that blew me out of the water. I felt like I had always heard Blue Fire hyped up, but I was underwhelmed by its clone in Dubai. And so on and so forth. Proper expectations are important. And I know next to nothing about most international coasters. So I really want to know what the truly destination-worthy parks/coasters are.

 

I'd like to emphasize, though, that being underwhelmed by certain coasters (or not being interested enough in them to want to go back and ride them again) in no way reflects on my overall enjoyment of said trips. I would, however, like to plan my trips with more time spent at parks with coasters that are likely to be good and less time spent at parks where I'm just credit whoring and know going in that nothing is going to wow me. If anything, that is my biggest takeaway. I will find the other fun things to do that are non-coaster-related. But for now I still need the core of the trip to be coaster-related to plan around.

 

 

I intend to go back to Japan in ~2021 or so. I do not intend to go back to the UAE. I would like to go back to Korea at some point, but it isn't urgent. I would like to wait for the theme park industry in China to stabilize a bit before planning a trip there.

 

I do want to do a Scandinavia trip. And a Britain trip. And a Germany trip. And a France trip. And a Spain trip. And a Poland trip. And an Australia trip. And so on. But nothing is really jumping out to me at the moment for what to prioritize for next year. But I don't want to plan a 2019 trip through a region that has a major new coaster already known to be coming in 2020 or 2021 (yes, I know that could happen anywhere, but it's one thing to go somewhere and then have them build a new coaster, but it's another thing to plan a trip knowing that their new hotness will open right after your visit).

 

 

Hopefully that helps clarify a bit. Thanks for all your responses!

Edited by coasterBro
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...a lot of my problem stems from having to slog through a bunch of parks/coasters where I knew I wasn't going to have fun simply because of my compulsion to finish the US...

 

I think this is the definition of a "credit whore." You weren't riding the coasters to enjoy them... You were riding them to get your coaster count as high as possible... And where has that gotten you in life?? (Not trying to sound rude) But it seems like you "forced" yourself to do something that doesn't really matter to 99.99% of people. Take a break from riding coasters and do other stuff. I don't really know what you are expecting from us? It's like you are "asking for advice," but it really just comes across as you bragging about everything you've done in life, and how many coasters you've been on... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

You've clearly burned yourself out on parks/coasters and need something new to do. Try knitting. I hear it can be a great hobby.

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...a lot of my problem stems from having to slog through a bunch of parks/coasters where I knew I wasn't going to have fun simply because of my compulsion to finish the US...

 

I think this is the definition of a "credit whore." You weren't riding the coasters to enjoy them... You were riding them to get your coaster count as high as possible... And where has that gotten you in life?? (Not trying to sound rude) But it seems like you "forced" yourself to do something that doesn't really matter to 99.99% of people. Take a break from riding coasters and do other stuff. I don't really know what you are expecting from us? It's like you are "asking for advice," but it really just comes across as you bragging about everything you've done in life, and how many coasters you've been on... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

You've clearly burned yourself out on parks/coasters and need something new to do. Try knitting. I hear it can be a great hobby.

 

You've obviously missed the part about the compulsion to "complete" the US and the part about specifically *not* wanting to credit whore any more when traveling overseas. There were lots of things I did enjoy, but I did not enjoy parks where I was only there to have visited the park and ride a bunch of mediocre coasters. I want to find places internationally where I'm not just there to have ridden the rides to check them off but will actually enjoy the cool/unique/awesome rides for what they are. My actual credit count at this point is largely meaningless except to establish context. The other stuff only came up because everyone kept telling me to do other things besides coasters, which I already do.

 

And picking up a new non-coaster related hobby is still an option on the table.

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My biggest piece of advice is to not put off a trip because you're worried that they're going to get something new for 2020 or 2021. Parks are always gonna be adding something new. Sure, if it's a place you've been before, you can wait for a big announcement, but I highly recommend going to a really cool place you've never been before, even if they're gonna get something new next year.

 

For instance, Nagashima Spaland is getting Hakugei next year, but I don't regret not putting off Japan for a second to wait for it. Sure, it'll probably be really good. But it's just yet another thing to look forward to when coming back to Japan.

 

You've already listed 7 trip ideas that are all really good contenders. I highly suggest just picking one of them and doing that next year without worrying about if they're gonna get something for 2020 or 2021. Even if a park gets something new after you visit, just another reason to go back.

Edited by XII
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Treating theme parks and rollercoasters like a checklist seems like a bizarre way to enjoy a hobby.

They are places and attractions literally designed and built for peoples enjoyment.

 

If you're not enjoying something, why do it? Coaster counting and "creds" are one of the worst parts of being part of theme park commnities to me. I just like to enjoy myself and ride cool stuff myself.

 

For example, in the last year i've been to Japan and California, I went to the major parks and theres lots of coasters and rides I missed - because they were kids rides or just boring clone coasters. No regrets!

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Sounds like you’re burned out from how much coaster stuff you did this year. Take a break and do other stuff, if you feel the need to come back to parks then go ahead and if you don’t then you don’t.

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Treating theme parks and rollercoasters like a checklist seems like a bizarre way to enjoy a hobby.

Exactly the reason why we stopped counting coasters. The moment we stopped doing that, I feel like I started to enjoy parks more. We would spend more time at places we liked: Europa Park, Disney, um.... Europa Park...

 

...and spend less time worrying about trying to get another Wacky Worm coaster in.

 

I can't speak to his level of being underwhelmed though. I cannot imagine someone walking away from DoDonpa, Formula Rossa, or Kawasemi going "meh." Even if they didn't live up to expectations, they are still some FANTASTIC rides that I could ride over and over again and not be bored or underwhelmed in the slightest.

 

If you're that level of jaded, just being honest here, not much is going to impress you, and if you're just looking to be BLOWN AWAY by every single ride, instead of just going and having a good time, then this hobby is probably outworn it's welcome for you.

 

I mean, I don't particularly find rides like B&M hypers to that exciting or do much of anything for me... but I'll still go and ride Apollo's Chariot for example, many times and have "FUN" on it. I'm not always looking to ride the world's #1 coaster every single ride I take. That's just not realistic.

 

"First world problems."

Really? The guy asks legit question and brings up some valid points wanting some advice and this is the best you can do? Try again.

Edited by robbalvey
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Treating theme parks and rollercoasters like a checklist seems like a bizarre way to enjoy a hobby.

Exactly the reason why we stopped counting coasters. The moment we stopped doing that, I feel like I started to enjoy parks more. We would spend more time at places we liked: Europa Park, Disney, um.... Europa Park...

 

...and spend less time worrying about trying to get another Wacky Worm coaster in.

 

This is exactly the transition I'm trying to make. I got locked into this 'must do all the coasters' mindset that sucked the life out of me, and I don't want to keep doing that.

 

 

I can't speak to his level of being underwhelmed though. I cannot imagine someone walking away from DoDonpa, Formula Rossa, or Kawasemi going "meh." Even if they didn't live up to expectations, they are still some FANTASTIC rides that I could ride over and over again and not be bored or underwhelmed in the slightest.

 

I think my biggest issue was walking in with unrealistic expectations. I was going into Do-Dodonpa & Formula Rossa expecting launches that were noticeably stronger than ones I'd experienced before. Do-Dodonpa was still a great ride; the launch just didn't live up to my 'greatest launch ever' hype. Formula Rossa was a bigger letdown: given that it launches straight into brakes, I'd be shocked if it's actually still being launched at 149mph, and then the rest of the ride just didn't do anything for me (like a faster version of Superman: Ride of Steel but with no actual airtime). Kawasemi was really fun, and I'd happily marathon it, but I was expecting the airtime to be OMFG intense based on the hype. I'll ride and enjoy a Mega-Lite anywhere I run into one, but I wouldn't necessarily plan a trip with one as the 'destination coaster'.

 

If you're that level of jaded, just being honest here, not much is going to impress you, and if you're just looking to be BLOWN AWAY by every single ride, instead of just going and having a good time, then this hobby is probably outworn it's welcome for you.

 

I mean, I don't particularly find rides like B&M hypers to that exciting or do much of anything for me... but I'll still go and ride Apollo's Chariot for example, many times and have "FUN" on it. I'm not always looking to ride the world's #1 coaster every single ride I take. That's just not realistic.

 

I think what I really want is to make sure that any trip I plan has at least a coaster or two that *will* blow me away somewhere during the trip. Hopefully the bulk of the coasters will fall into the 'FUN' category, even if they aren't necessarily mind-blowing. And then not waste time credit whoring at parks whose best coaster is a wacky worm or a boomerang.

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I find myself wanting to go back to the good parks again and again. I don't need a new "credit" to justify going back to a park I love. Holiday World had zero new "credits" when I revisited last year and we had a blast.

 

Novelty is overrated. There are a lot of places that will show you a good time if you go in with the right attitude.

 

Fantastic advice, and I agree 100%.

 

No offense, but 700 credits sounds exhausting. I don't even know what I would get out of reaching a tangible number like that or having to find the newest fix. You might just want to relax and enjoy yourself. I don't understand the point of this hobby if you can't re visit a park and appreciate it for what it has. For us, first visits aren't nearly as fun as revisits, because there are no goals the second time around.

 

Honestly man, it sounds like you've burned yourself out. Give it some time off before you hit another park, maybe?

 

Also... I still laugh at the term, "credits."

 

It pains me to read stuff like this....

 

Find a new hobby.

 

If you're this jaded that you can travel all over the world and still be underwhelmed...

 

Find a new hobby.

 

I also read a little further and agree with Robb's post.

 

Why is the OP asking advice from people when he's ridden over 700 coasters, anyway? Most of us have only ridden a couple hundred, if that. I also can't help but detect a slight undertone of bragging here.

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As everyone else has said, I think you should change your completionist outlook to this hobby and perhaps take a step back to reflect on the things you have enjoyed so far. Go about it wanting to have fun, instead of needing to "check all of the boxes." There's nothing wrong with returning to a place you've already visited to re-experience things you really enjoy or may have previously missed.

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So either I really sucked at explaining my issue in my posts or people are just not reading what I actually wrote/asked.

 

I am trying to move *away* from credit whoring and *towards* meaningful experiences at new places overseas. This is *not* in place of whatever domestic park I might want to go spend a day or two at for grins and giggles. This is trying to figure out a plan for my big vacation and soliciting advice/suggestions about international parks, primarily in Europe.

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