coasterBro wrote: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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coasterBro wrote: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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
bill_s wrote: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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