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What are some of the worst major cities to be a coaster enthusiast in?


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I mean in that (permanent) roller coasters are few to non-existant in the area and if they do exist, the are usually just kiddie coaster at small family entertainment centres.  Those cities are not necessarily terrible to live in but have poor access to quality roller coasters.  I have a few nominations:

  • Honolulu, HI, USA: There are no (permanent) coaster in Hawaii and the closest decent sized coaster is in Northern California.  At least there is a water park in the area
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada:  The coaster selection in the are just a SBF Visa Group MX608 at Funhaven and an alpine coaster at Camp Fortune.  If you want major roller coasters then you have to drive 200 km (125 mi) east to La Ronde in Montreal.  I don't know what's worse, the fact that there are no major amusement parks in the Ottawa area or the fact that the nearest one is La Ronde.  Like Honolulu, at least there is a water park no too far from Ottawa

 

 

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Ottawa is only a 4 hr drive from Canada's Wonderland 🤷‍♂️

Phoenix is rough when all you have is Hurricane Harbor. Even the Cali parks are 5-6 hours away. 

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4 hours ago, joelwee said:

I would say Denver

 

2 hours ago, CP_RULES said:

Denver came to mind first

 

2 hours ago, Zand said:

I feel like the automatic answer is Denver.

At least the Denver airport is a major hub so getting anywhere that has coasters is easy and generally decently-priced.

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I wasn't sure whether to post, or not. But ... We do have the Wooden Coaster, although it's been closed for Major Maintenance, etc. etc. And two other smaller coasters that parents can ride with their kids. But.... Edmonton Mall is a half day's drive to get there. And everything with coasters south of Vancouver, really starts in the San Francisco area. As noted before, Seattle's got nothing now, since the Fun Forest closed down. And there's Oaks Park near Portland, OR.

Still... Vancouver isn't The Place To Be, for Major Coasters access, etc.

EDIT: Oops. Totally forgot Wild Waves Theme Park, south of Seattle. So I stand corrected ... a bit. 😉

Edited by Nrthwnd
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The two cities that immediately come to mind are Houston and Phoenix. Both cities are in the top 5 for largest populations in the US. At least Houston had a theme park for several decades. People always point to the extreme heat in Phoenix but it's not like it doesn't also get hot in SoCal, Texas, or Florida. Despite the heat, people still recreate and go outside in the summer. Parks in both of these cities could be year-round too. Perhaps an indoor park in Phoenix would work best - like Adventuredome. Las Vegas' climate is pretty similar to Phoenix.

Seattle, Miami, and Memphis are also contenders. At least Miami has a bunch of world class parks a few hours away. Seattle is very isolated with nothing substantial until Silverwood, I think I would place that 3rd behind Houston and Phoenix. Memphis would be a bonus.

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To echo the above Memphis is a good example. Worse off is they used to have a park called Libertyland Theme Park. IIRC

Another top contender is Tulsa with the loss of Bells Amusement Park back in '06. That was some dirty doing on the part of the city council against the owner from what I heard. The site is now a backup parking lot for the fairgrounds and expo center.

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Ever heard of the coaster desert? Now that's a terrible place to be a coaster enthusiast...😜

Plus escaping from it ain't the easiest thing either...

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Nashville comes to mind.  They lost Opryland in the 1990s and nothing has come in to replace it.  From there it is a haul to Dollywood, Kentucky Kingdom, or even the small Lake Winnepesaukah near Chattanooga.

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Nashville is only a 3.5 hour drive from Dollywood, an hour to Beech Bend, 2.5 hours to Holiday World, 2.75 to Kentucky Kingdom, etc.  I'd say they're pretty well off when it comes to nearby parks.

Worst major city in the continental US for access to parks would have to be in the northern middle of the state.  Looking at ND, SD, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and most of Kansas not on the border.  Most of Idaho and Oregon are pretty poor off too.  See my map of all amusement parks in the country that have at least one adult-rideable coaster:

1682145070_CoasterMap.thumb.jpg.2b88f2e4539a970ed9850af3c0202342.jpg

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10 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

Nashville is only a 3.5 hour drive from Dollywood, an hour to Beech Bend, 2.5 hours to Holiday World, 2.75 to Kentucky Kingdom, etc.  I'd say they're pretty well off when it comes to nearby parks.

 

And about 4.5 to Kings Island. 

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15 hours ago, Haymaker said:

Ottawa is only a 4 hr drive from Canada's Wonderland 🤷‍♂️

I wouldn't say it's practical to do a day trip from Ottawa though (at least compared to La Ronde)

 

13 hours ago, swfan1988 said:

Ever heard of the coaster desert? Now that's a terrible place to be a coaster enthusiast...😜

Plus escaping from it ain't the easiest thing either...

I haven't heard of it.  Is it in Arizona?

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5 hours ago, michaellynn4 said:

Cool map, but I think it's missing a couple key parks, like Worlds of Fun.

Whoops....how did I miss that?  Yeah if I'm missing anything, send me a PM.

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I know this is US based but for me personally, living in Switzerland is sooo weird. Home of the big manufacturers but all we have is a PAX creation. A good one, but still weird. 

At least we have Europa Park really near us :) 

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Definitely Seattle. It's actually very nice here 6-7 months of the year so does not make a lot of sense to me.

Wild Waves barely counts as an amusement park. Silverwood in Idaho is a decent drive away; we've been there once but it's not worth going back.

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