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Been there. Done that. Now what?


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For us, first visits aren't nearly as fun as revisits, because there are no goals the second time around

 

Really good point. Whether you count your credits or not, I think most people feel a certain pressure on first visits. But second+ visits are so much more relaxing.

 

And to OP's point, I can relate to the extent that I still count and keep a log, and I have a desire to go to every park in the US with a ride worth riding. Sometimes I even want to go somewhere just to say I've been, if only to myself. But where I depart, is I always try to have fun and maintain a positive attitude. I try to enjoy every ride for what it is, and never expect too much from any ride.

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It's good that after reading more it's being clarified that you're trying to change the way you look at the parks. That said, I still think you would benefit most from taking a break for a few months until you really get that urge. My wife and I embrace the off season, because not only does it give us a chance to save more money..., but it also renews our appreciation that recharges from January - May.

 

If you have legitimate OCD, then it seems like your coaster count is a symptom of that. In all seriousness, maybe you should bring that up with your doctor. Try to find something to do that relaxes you more, without getting to wrapped up in it. For the love of God, though... not golf or fishing... You'll drive yourself insane. Maybe something where there are no tangible results. Fuck it. Just find someone to go to the beach with for a week and, if you must, count your drinks and how many times you get laid...

 

Sometimes I feel the need to get better and better at ice hockey. I get the compulsive need to do better, because I think I need to put up more points to have fun. I always think of ways I can change it up to do better in order to feel better about myself. When I get to that level, I hang up my skates for a while until I have such an urge to lace them up that I just enjoy being on the ice again. Sometimes, this takes months.

 

You may not think you need a break from it all and that very well may be the case. However, there's no way it won't help restore some appreciation. Give it a rest for a bit.

 

Good luck.

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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.

No, we all read it, but as I explained before, I just don't understand how you walked away from some of the rides that you did going "meh."

 

I mean, sure, Formula Rossa may not be the most OMFG amazing ride "overall" but HOLY CRAP that launch is seriously one of the most intense coaster moments I've experienced. Second only to DoDonpa.

 

But you said both of them were not that much better than other things you experienced.

 

I don't know what to tell you. I have NEVER experienced a launch like DoDonpa anywhere else. So if those two rides don't impress you... seriously...

 

Give up.

 

Throw in the towel.

 

Take up knitting a television.

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Edited by robbalvey
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Yeah, if you can't enjoy rides such as Robb mentioned, then I don't think you're going to get much enjoyment anywhere you go. I reiterate, hang em up for a while. You asked for advice. Listen to it.

Edited by prozach626
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It's good that after reading more it's being clarified that you're trying to change the way you look at the parks. That said, I still think you would benefit most from taking a break for a few months until you really get that urge. My wife and I embrace the off season, because not only does it give us a chance to save more money..., but it also renews our appreciation that recharges from January - May.

 

If you have legitimate OCD, then it seems like your coaster count is a symptom of that. In all seriousness, maybe you should bring that up with your doctor. Try to find something to do that relaxes you more, without getting to wrapped up in it. For the love of God, though... not golf or fishing... You'll drive yourself insane. Maybe something where there are no tangible results. fudge it. Just find someone to go to the beach with for a week and, if you must, count your drinks and how many times you get laid...

 

Sometimes I feel the need to get better and better at ice hockey. I always think of ways I can change it up to do better in order to have more fun. When I get to that level, I hang up my skates for a while until I have such an urge to lace them up that I just enjoy being on the ice again.

 

You may not think you need a break from it all and that very well may be the case. However, there's no way it won't help restore some appreciation. Give it a rest for a bit.

 

Good luck.

 

Just to clarify: it was only *some* of the parks that I was going into with a creditwhoring mindset, and those were mostly the parks whose best ride was a wild mouse or a boomerang or some other fairly meaningless coaster. A significant number of the parks I visited this year were with the express intention of just having a good time (most of which I had been to before).

 

I tend to need a coastering fix every 5-6 weeks or so before I start getting antsy. Last weekend I was out in LA for work and spent some fun time at Knott's and DLR, and I'll be ringing in the new year at BGT. Beyond that, who knows.

 

I admittedly went a bit overboard in 2018, and I am *not* looking to repeat that in 2019. What I *am* looking to do is have some semblance of a plan (or at least a couple options) put together for where I might want to take my big vacation next year so I can keep my eyes peeled for good travel deals between now and then. This is for a trip that I likely won't take till the middle to end of the summer (if it's a place that has a big new-for-2019 ride), though it's possible it might make more sense for certain locales and deals to go at a different time.

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I just don't understand how you walked away from some of the rides that you did going "meh."

 

I mean, sure, Formula Rossa may not be the most OMFG amazing ride "overall" but HOLY CRAP that launch is seriously one of the most intense coaster moments I've experienced. Second only to DoDonpa.

 

But you said both of them were not that much better than other things you experienced.

 

I don't know what to tell you. I have NEVER experienced a launch like DoDonpa anywhere else.

 

And in a year where I rode Do-Dodonpa, Formula Rossa, Xcelerator, Top Thrill Dragster, and Kindga Ka, I enjoyed the launches of Formula Rossa & Do-Dodonpa less than the other three. I was surprised. But it is what it is. Do-Dodonpa is still a great ride. Formula Rossa isn't. And that's okay.

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You made it to 700 coasters, which involved research or planning, most of which I'm assuming you did on your own. That's pretty much expert level. You really don't need our advice about where to go. If you do, you're like the guy who has worked his same job for 40 years, knows the in and outs, but still sucks at it.

 

You want to experience a park where you can have fun, relax, and enjoy attractions for what they are? Spend a shit of time and money researching yourself where to go overseas. Or you can just go to Knoebels...

 

Thread lock seems imminent. I'm hurting my eyes by reading this.

Edited by prozach626
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As a suggestion for a Europe park to visit: Efteling Park in The Netherlands.

 

Has a good selection of coasters and unique rides all through it. But for myself, it

has space to walk through, and not be overwhelmed with rides, etc. And it's

landscaping is some of the best in any theme park I've been to, overseas.

 

Maybe you should get into appreciating how a park can be, without it's rides/coaster.

You're just 30. Lots of time to alter your perception of parks, and how they can be

more appreciated when you get older, and without riding too much.

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I'd have to agree with most of what's being said here. It's nice to see you actively trying to change the way you look at parks and roller coasters, but unless you seriously reevaluate your expectations, it seems as if you're just bound for more disappointment. None of the 2019 North American coasters (including Copperhead Strike, West Coast Racers, Maxx Force, Steel Curtain, etc) interest you? You hate El Toro? You just have to forget pre-conceived notions / reviews and go in expecting to have a fun time. You do that, it'll be great.

 

Side note: I never knew I needed a crocheted TV set with Pitfall on the screen until this moment.

 

I also agree with Nrthwnd - Efteling was one of the highlights of our honeymoon this summer. It'd serve as the perfect litmus test for you. None of the coasters are "OMFG WHAT WAS THAT" (although Joris en de Draak was running bats**t insane thanks to Europe's hottest summer in 50 years), but there's so much else to appreciate at that park that I can't see how anyone can walk away less than impressed.

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I don't know about you but when I go to a park I've been to multiple times, it's always fun going with people who have never been before. Maybe revisit some of the best parks you've been to and share them with someone who has never been to them.

 

I never got to the point you got to, I mean I've never even been on an RMC so how could I, but I did lose interest along the way in counting coasters. I much rather turn parks into multi day vacations than checklist items. Some of the best park/accommodation combos for me are Hershey/Hershey Lodge, Cedar Point/Breakers, Knoebels/Campground.

 

Finally I've never been on an international trip for coasters, but I feel like I'd approach it the way you mentioned. Parks would just be excursions along the way. The trip at the top of my list would be Copenhagen->Stockholm->Gothenburg. Visit three great cities, see beautiful rural countryside, and Tivoli/Kolmarden/Liseberg are definitely not "credit whore" stops.

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I just don't understand how you walked away from some of the rides that you did going "meh."

 

I mean, sure, Formula Rossa may not be the most OMFG amazing ride "overall" but HOLY CRAP that launch is seriously one of the most intense coaster moments I've experienced. Second only to DoDonpa.

 

But you said both of them were not that much better than other things you experienced.

 

I don't know what to tell you. I have NEVER experienced a launch like DoDonpa anywhere else.

 

And in a year where I rode Do-Dodonpa, Formula Rossa, Xcelerator, Top Thrill Dragster, and Kindga Ka, I enjoyed the launches of Formula Rossa & Do-Dodonpa less than the other three. I was surprised. But it is what it is. Do-Dodonpa is still a great ride. Formula Rossa isn't. And that's okay.

 

You're getting defensive.

 

No one is arguing with you.

 

You asked for advice.

 

We are giving it.

 

I think you need to find another hobby.

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As a suggestion for a Europe park to visit: Efteling Park in The Netherlands.

 

Thanks for the suggestion! I forgot to include a Netherlands + Belgium trip in my list of options, but it looks like that needs some serious consideration too.

 

 

None of the 2019 North American coasters (including Copperhead Strike, West Coast Racers, Maxx Force, Steel Curtain, etc) interest you? You hate El Toro?

 

I made special trips for a lot of the 'new-for-2018' coasters and thought it wasn't the best decision in hindsight. For the 'new-for-2019' coasters, I'll wait till I have reason to be in those areas again and go from there. As to El Toro, the lapbar causes a significant amount of pain that I do not enjoy. T-Express does not have that issue and is my #1 woodie.

 

I don't know about you but when I go to a park I've been to multiple times, it's always fun going with people who have never been before. Maybe revisit some of the best parks you've been to and share them with someone who has never been to them.

 

This is a great suggestion. I do love riding a new ride with someone for the first time and experiencing that with them, especially if it has a crazy surprise they aren't expecting.

 

You're getting defensive.

No one is arguing with you.

You asked for advice.

We are giving it.

I think you need to find another hobby.

 

Apologies. I wound myself up a bit there. Thanks for giving your advice.

 

I am legitimately considering finding a new hobby, but I still would love to hear from people who have visited European parks what they have enjoyed and recommend. I think I can be fine with most reasonably good coasters as long as I don't let myself hype them up as being the best thing ever. If I can enjoy them for what they are, I should be good. Tempered expectations allow for a pleasant surprise vs a ride being a letdown.

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Another park suggestion: A lot of in-city parks in Scandinavia are worth visiting.

For myself, some of the best in-city parks I have ever been to, in the world!

 

Tivoli in Copenhagen; Linnanmaki in Helsinki; Grona Lund in Stockholm.

 

These are three of the best ones, IMhO.

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For what it's worth, what has helped me find a good balance was to travel primarily around opportunity (work, cheap flights, visiting friends, etc), appreciating first and foremost the people, places, culture, food, etc. I don't really travel for coasters at all anymore. If I'm in a place and it happens to have a coaster worth riding, I am there with bells on. Most of the last few countries I've been in didn't have coasters worth riding, or they were in parts of the country that were inconvenient for me to get to based around what I was doing or what I wanted to see - so I didn't ride anything. It's an adjustment from maybe 5-8 years ago, but it fits my lifestyle and interests now and I actually get much more out of the world than when I was more into chasing coasters.

 

Of the places you mentioned, Scandinavia was my favorite. I studied abroad in Copenhagen and loved the whole region. Summers there are magical. Italy, France, and Spain were all places I super enjoyed in spite of their insane levels of hype (I can get jaded too). Katun (and iSpeed) in Italy are enough to put that at the top of my recommendation list. Just go enjoy Italy and throw in Mirabilandia and Gardaland. I super enjoyed Port Aventura in Spain, (and who doesn't love Spain??) Neighboring Portugal is all the rage right now on travel lists (but I've never been), or throw in Morocco too (which is great!). I love old CCI's, so Parc Asterix is high on my hit list, and I wasn't able to hit it when I was in France, so next time I'm there (if I'm ever there again) that's where I have my sights set. I really really enjoyed the Netherlands as well, and there are some very noteworthy coasters there (Goliath at Walibi is one of my all time favorites). Poland pleasantly surprised me though I was there very briefly and well before the coaster boom, and Germany was very pleasant and convenient (it would make a great place to live, but was less interesting for me as a visitor) and has some big ticket draws. I am not the biggest fan of either the UK or Australia, but obviously to each their own, I can name 10 friends right now that disagree with me.

 

For me, if I can find any woodie, any B&M, an RMC, or a major Intamin within striking distance, I'll make the effort and have a great time. But my list of favorite countries is very separate from the countries that contain my favorite coasters. I know you're still looking to travel based around high-quality coasters, but the shift from coasters to people/places really helped me not burn out.

Edited by coasterer
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I am legitimately considering finding a new hobby...

Instead of going to amusement parks to ride the coasters, perhaps you would consider looking at them from a different angle? Maybe you look for super-cool theme park architecture. Or maybe look for the best theme park that's connected to a major city (Liseberg > Gothenburg for example) and experience both the park and the city at a relaxed pace.

 

EDIT: Bill, you took the words right out of my mouth.

 

...and with in-city parks, like Tivoli, you also have the advantage of the city itself to enjoy!

I don't really set my own expectations for coasters anymore unless they have some significance in my life (like seeing Kumba in a roller coasters book at a really young age and always wanting to ride it). I just...go!

 

I realize I'm still a youth but my outlook has dramatically changed since I entered the theme park industry as my full-time job. I used to be a "count the coasters" kid until I, ahem, "matured" and began to look at theme parks from a different perspective - understanding what makes them work. Because of this, my motivation for going to parks is different now. I want to go to the parks in the Nordic countries not just for their coasters, but also because they as parks and as places have been and continue to be an inspiration to my own work as a designer.

 

To me, it sounds like you really want to keep going to theme parks, but you just need that one reason to get yourself to not have such high expectations of the coasters.

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I am legitimately considering finding a new hobby, but I still would love to hear from people who have visited European parks what they have enjoyed and recommend.

It's hard for me to make recommendations knowing that rides like the ones you've listed have not done it for you. I mean, I can spend 3-4 days at Europa just "hanging out" there and completely enjoy myself. But I don't think this sounds like your thing. You have to remember that 2-3 times a week I go to Magic Kingdom and will sit in the grass for an hour after the park closes and just "be in that environment" because it's better than sitting at home at my computer which is what I'm doing now.

 

My brain can't process flying out to the UAE and being let down by Formula Rossa or flying to Japan and not finding Kawasemi a top ten ride.

 

I could suggest Europa, Phantasialand, Liseberg, Grona Lund, even Alton Towers or Blackpool, but I'm just not convince you'd walk away being impressed.

 

I mean, I freaking LOVE parks like Grona Lund but if Rossa and DoDonpa doesn't impress you, I'm not sure Jetline or Twister will do anything for you either. And I love both of those rides!

 

Not sure what to recommend at this point...

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For me, what drew me to travel with TPR to Japan was:

 

1. Culture/food and Disney

2. Quirky parks and weird dark rides

3. Coasters

 

That’s what drew me in and that’s how I’d rate the trip after going. I enjoyed a lot of the coasters but I’m more of an amusement park guy than a coaster guy. I’d travel to a coaster if it was historical in some way but largely I’m going to parks to see the whole package. I love how they all strike a different balance on flats, dark rides, water rides, and coasters. That, combined with varying levels of theming, different layouts and food/entertainment makes every park a new adventure. Coasters are just the icing on the cake.

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Parks Discussion Threads:

Alton Towers Discussion Thread

Blackpool Pleasure Beach (BPB) Discussion Thread

Disneyland Paris Resort Discussion Thread

Djurs Sommerland Discussion Thread

Eftleing Discussion Thread

Europa Park Discussion Thread

Farup Sommerland Discussion Thread

Gardaland Discussion Thread

Gröna Lund Discussion Thread

Hansa Park Discussion Thread

Heide Park Discussion Thread

Holiday Park Discussion Thread

Kolmarden Discussion Thread

Linnanmäki Discussion Thread

Liseberg Discussion Thread

Mirabilandia Discussion Thread

Movie Park Germany Discussion Thread

Parc Asterix Discussion Thread

Phantasialand Discussion Thread

PortAventura Discussion Thread

Thorpe Park Discussion Thread

Tivoli Gardens Discussion Thread

Toverland Discussion Thread

Walibi Belgium Discussion Thread

Walibi Holland Discussion Thread

 

Here is a good starting point regarding the top parks in Europe along with the latest big player Energylandia. However, everyone had their own preferences and if you are not willing to sample everything and get out of your comfort zone the best recommendations will not allow you to enjoy your day. I always liked intense flat rides but it wasn't until I traveled to Europe that I also fell in love with old school dark rides and Mad Houses.

 

On the above list there is only one Spanish park with a Discussion thread but one of my favorite trips was to Spain. The parks were all quirky and had the best water rides. I never rode a reversing log flume before and every park in Spain had one. I enjoyed exploring Madrid and Barcelona and sampling the food.

 

As far as new coasters for 2020-2021, most parks don't release info that far out, although Park Asterix and one of the Walibi Parks did recently at IAAPA.

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This almost sounds like someone with addiction problems. I don't know how else to explain not being blown away by DoDonpa or Rossa's launch, or the other stuff you mentioned. It's as if you're too used to the high to where it's only disappointment, but you still need the high to ward off withdrawals. So you're wondering what to do on a few different levels since cold turkey seems impossible or at best unwanted.

 

I would say the first step is simply to accept where you're at. In the past few years, I've done a good deal of traveling myself. I've gone to the best parks, ridden the best coasters, and been to my favorite places in the world as well as a lot of places I hadn't seen before. Now those trips are behind me, and sometimes I wonder about what's next. There comes a moment when you have to accept that most if not all future trips won't be about what's new or what puts the past to shame, but will still be to great places with awesome rides and fun times. If that's not motivation enough to keep traveling, then it is time to just move on with your life completely until when/if the motivation comes back.

 

Also, as has been suggested previously, if you do intend to continue traveling, make some goals for yourself that don't involve your credit count. Have you done all the Disney owned theme parks? Have you been on ALL the tallest, fastest, whatever else-est rides? Have you set foot on all the world's continents? Have you ever run out of pages in your passport before it expired? Do you have cool Instagram photos of yourself taking selfies in front of all the world's landmarks? Maybe these things weren't goals for you before, but now that your credit count is sky high, maybe they could be now?

 

Things to think about for someone who really does sound like a burnt out coaster addict.

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I have planned a few trips to Europe. However, I also plan my trips around other things besides theme parks. I have gone pretty far out of my way to visit places like Berlin, Prague, and Munich, and none of these places have any large permanent parks nearby. I would also do the same for Warsaw and Budapest.

 

If you want to do a Europe trip from a coaster perspective, you could start in the Netherlands and work your way down through the west side of Germany. This would take you to Walibi Holland, Efteling, Phantasialand, Holiday Park, and Europa Park. I think this is a great trip due to the relative proximity of the parks, and the fact that you can see many great cities on the way if you do not want to do a park day. With this route, you would either pass through or end up near Amsterdam, Cologne, Heidelberg, Baden Baden, Strasbourg, and Freiburg. The last two are some of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, enough that they could serve as theme parks in and of themselves.

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It's very simple to me: Do you like the things that go with theme parks that aren't coasters? Like, do you actively care about flat rides, shows, carousels, ferris wheels, dark rides? If the answer is "yes", then I can see that European parks are gonna bring something to the plate. If the answer is "no", then they are not. You aren't going to find superior thrilling machines at the Europas and Eftelings and Phantasialands. Not to say the rides aren't thrilling at all, but compared to the RMCs that are all over the US, or Voyage, or El Toro, or Dragster, or Fury 325, or Ravine Flyer 2, or Boardwalk Bullet, or...

 

..you get the point. What makes those places good is that they feel "lived in", for lack of a better phrase. The top Euro parks feel like important parts of their communities and culture. If what drew you in was going on thrilling rides alone and not the overall feel of the parks and the variation in rides and attractions, and that thrill is gone, then you need to progress to something else. Rock climbing, skiiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, skydiving, things like that.

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I've seen with other hobbies that there is a transition from the initial fervor if one stays in the hobby long term. Some of the people that go at it hard at first are the ones that don't stick around. This is true of coastering and will be true of any other hobby you go to as well.

 

I'd say you have done enough of everything that if the purpose is to do something truly new or more extreme you're not going to find much. If you can take a break and grow some hunger for it and then go in with the right expectations there's still fun to be had. Also rides are very subjective and if you can go back and experience some of them again under better less hurried circumstances you might find them more enjoyable.

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I've seen with other hobbies that there is a transition from the initial fervor if one stays in the hobby long term. Some of the people that go at it hard at first are the ones that don't stick around. This is true of coastering and will be true of any other hobby you go to as well.

 

So true. "Enthusiasts" are in every hobby, not just coasters/theme parks. And it's basically a personality fault! To be so enthusiastic about these hobbies is weird and people burn out if they're crazy, or go even more crazy. I've seen many of our coaster people leave, very few come back, they just move on to other hobbies that they go crazy for and then sometimes come back after they burn out on that or move on to something else.

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