I Love to Coast

I loved theme parks as a child (what kid doesn’t?), but I especially loved the ones with roller coasters in them.  I’ve been somewhat of a thrill seeker most of my life, and roller coasters are a (reasonably) safe way to get said thrill.

Dad would sometimes take my brother and me to Boblo Island, which sat between Ontario, Canada, and Detroit (it closed down in 1993), or to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Boblo Island was kind of like a small fair/carnival on steroids.  There were lots of rides like what you’d find at a carnival, but there weren’t any real thrill-seeking rides.  That’s why Cedar Point is probably my favorite amusement park simply because of the amount of roller coasters it has; 17, including two kiddie coasters.  I used to think that was the most in any theme park, but doing some research I found out that it’s actually tied for 2nd place with another park.  Apparently Six Flags in Valencia, California has 19 . . . guess I need to take a trip there soon, huh?

Still, Cedar Point will always hold a special place in my heart, because that’s also where I won my first stuffed animal from one of the midway games.  I was 10 years old, and it was the Dime Toss game.  My dime landed squarely on the plate on my second try, and I was so excited.  I chose a giant orange lion that I kept well into my 30s.  Also, one of their coasters is called Gemini, which has dual cars “racing” against each other on dual tracks.  Not only is that a very cool, wooden roller coaster, but it also happens to be my zodiac symbol (what can I say, small things like that excite me).

In my teenage years, Mom and I traveled with some friends down to southern Ohio to visit Kings Island.  This theme park has 14 roller coasters, including The Beast, which currently holds the record as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world.  It’s spread out over 35 acres and is AWESOME!  If you want a POV video, check this out.

There are also lots of shows and stuff at Cedar Point and Kings Island, but I’ve never been someone who enjoys those as much as I do the rides.  For me, there’s no other reason to pay as much as you do for a theme park.  Maybe I feel that way because you can always see a show–whether it be a play or the symphony, or what have you–but you can only ride roller coasters if you go to a carnival or amusement park.  Plus, there are always such long lines for the rides that you wouldn’t be able to get on all of them if you spent an hour or so of your day sitting down, watching a stage show.

The longest line I ever stood in was two hours when the Magnum XL-200 came on the scene.  Normally I don’t like to wait for more than an hour to ride a coaster, but it was the year the ride had opened, so EVERYONE wanted to be on it.  And it didn’t disappoint.  It was the first ride to go 200 feet in the air and reached a top speed of 72 mph.  Plus it goes out over the water.  VERY cool!

It’s been several years since I’ve been to either theme park, so it’ll be cool to visit them again.  It’s been even longer since Craig visited them, too, so we’re both looking very forward to this trip.  Plus, we get the added pleasure of introducing Athena to our favorites.  She’s also a thrill seeker (at least as far as coasters are concerned), so we’re ready to stand in lines and spend all day screaming our lungs out.  By the time this gets posted, we’ll have already spent a day at Kings Island, so those screams of joy will have already happened.

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  1. Trackback: Memories of the Bonfire | Droppings From the Mind of Alyx

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