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Why do you love roller coasters?

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
I know this might be a dumb question but let me explain. Right now I am writing a English paper on why people love to be scared. One of the things I am finding a lot of in articles is how people enjoy roller coasters. A lot of them say because they know they are doing something that defies death and is very dangerous. As enthusiasts we know accidents happen but for the most part roller coasters are very safe. As I was writing this paper it made me curious as to why other enthusiasts like roller coasters. Everyone got started some place and obviously we haven't looked back since. I know we had a topic mentioning about what coaster got us interested but what was it about that coaster that made you want to ride more.

My story which I have said one hundred times is this. I was terrified of roller coasters and pretty much everything my entire life. I rode some small stuff and eventually went upside down and on a wooden coaster but I still didn't care. It wasn't until I went on Bizarro at SFNE in 2010 where my views changed. I was so nervous to go on it and after the ride ended it has put me to where I am today. That feeling of dropping down 200 feet at speeds close to 80 miles per hour blew me away.

Today I like to ride everything but there are some coasters that give me that feeling as to this is why I love roller coasters just that feeling of wow this is truly amazing how could anyone not want to go on these things. El Toro & Beast at Night are just two of many instances I say that about but those two are the big two that stick out in my mind. Just absolutely amazing and leave me super excited. I love them for the nervous feeling in my stomach I still get waiting in line for Ka or something. I love that no where else you can go down 300 feet at 90 miles per hour without dying or getting arrested. Also I love that because of certain people you can track down every roller coaster there virtually is. All my life I loved to make lists so if this is an amazing hobby that allows me to make a list I am in heaven. :) I also enjoy that you get to meet other people who share a same love as you do.

All joking aside I want to know why others love roller coasters. What is the appeal? Some people may be like well there creds duh whats not to like? But seriously why do you love roller coasters?
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
They are a way I can get out of my daily routine, join up with people I don't see very often, and enjoy a thrill filled ride on something I would otherwise never experience.
 

SaiyanHajime

Strata Poster
I don't actually know.

Theme parks differ form my other interests. Because, where everything else I like is some peculiar niche, all with huge fan-bases but still very much a niche, theme parks are almost universally enjoyed by all people the same way that music, film, etc is.

But they don't quite fit into the same mass category as music and film, either, do they?

If you lump theme parks together with similar activities - days out in general, attractions in general, museums, zoos, etc - whilst I still enjoy many of these things, probably more than the average person does, they're not as powerful as theme parks so uniquely are. And theme parks in themselves aren't as fascinating as that one attraction they often contain... Roller coasters. Why?

I have never personally been that interested in material things. As soon as I realised it was an option to go somewhere as a birthday gift rather than have a bunch of physical presents, that's what I'd ask for. My dad introduced me to days out - we often went to castles, museums and such on weekends, but theme parks became a staple "take the kids out of school one day a year" collective my mother and aunts organised for myself and cousins later on. And those visits to Chessington with my cousins are some of my fondest memories. And back then, I wouldn't go on anything. Like, Runnaway Train was a problem. So this attachment to experiential memories of days out does not explain the coaster love.

What does seem common amongst enthusiasts is an initial fear of coasters and it may be that which sparks obsession in many of us? I know Furie in the past has talked about them being something to be conquered when explaining their pop culture appeal, and it's true they are so often used as emotional metaphors and the like. Their scale and unique physical experience as well as the way they look is powerful and understood like other theme park attractions (except arguably the carousel) are not.

I rode my first proper coaster following bribes from my sister when visiting her in Australia in 99. It was the Vekoma SLC at Movie World.

I don't remember anything about it particularly, but from then on, I would ride all coasters. And an obsession started to snow ball. And the internet finished the job because it opened an entire world of roller coasters the world over.

This site primarily has developed that interest into a hobby. Most of my friends I now know through being a coaster enthusiast and trips are now more about something to do with mates than anything else.
 

PeskyTrimBrake

Hyper Poster
I wanted to know how they worked out of curiosity at first. I wanted to find out what made them different from each other. Started riding them. Then this happened.
 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
Administrator
I grew up riding traveling coasters on the German fair circuit and at Myrtle Beach during summer holidays at my grandparent's house in South Carolina. Never really thought much about them as they were just part of going to the Oktoberfest or Volksfest and something you did at the beach. When I moved to New York City I started to go to Great Adventure once a year with the motorcycle gang I joined, but that was more about hanging out with the guys doing something different than just riding our bikes than about the coasters. Once my son took an interest in coasters, all that changed and I started really enjoying traveling to various parks with him and riding all kinds of different coasters. That's when the love of them was born and after joining CF the passion really took off because of all the great people I met here.
 

Jordanovichy

Credit Whore 2016
This is a difficult one.

I don't consider myself to just 'love roller coasters'. They are only part of the experience at a theme/amusement park. I love theme/amusement parks in general, the whole experience.

I think if you ask anybody, especially teenagers/young adults, they'll tell you that they 'love roller coasters' and that is fair enough, but I think that we enthusiasts have a different sort of love and passion for them. One of the people I live with said she loved coasters. I, harmlessly, asked her what she thought of B&M hypers and she had no idea what on earth I was talking about, as you'd expect.

So why do I love coasters? They're just great fun. And there is such a wide variety. Wing riders, flying, accelerators, tall, short, wavy, windy, big, small, inside, outside. It's amazing. The thrill of trying a new one, the enjoyment of getting that +1 when you least expect to. That's another aspect I love, the small competition of cred counting. We don't all do it, and I know I'm far behind most but counting the creds is so much fun.

Like I said I also love theme/amusement parks in general. Tibidabo, for example, the Krueger Hotel was unlike any horror maze I've ever been in, it was outstanding, Spiderman, **** fantastic, then there's the water rides, other dark rides, flat rides, shows and performances. There's just so much to do at a theme park, all to make you laugh, smile, cry with joy, it's an amazing hobby <3
 

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
Jordanovichy said:
So why do I love coasters? They're just great fun. And there is such a wide variety. Wing riders, flying, accelerators, tall, short, wavy, windy, big, small, inside, outside. It's amazing. The thrill of trying a new one, the enjoyment of getting that +1 when you least expect to. That's another aspect I love, the small competition of cred counting. We don't all do it, and I know I'm far behind most but counting the creds is so much fun.

I really have to agree with the enjoyment of the +1 and the small competition of cred counting. Those are two things I really love but I can't explain why.
 

GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Because they're fun, intimidating, thrilling, it passes the time, and the feeling on some elements are incredible.

Sent from my VS840 4G using Tapatalk
 

ATTACKHAMMER

Strata Poster
I love roller coasters for many reasons:
Because my family always took me to theme parks growing up.
Because there is so much variety, in terms of experience on different coasters.
A day riding coasters is different from a normal day!
The journey to the coasters and the days before, gives you something to look forward it.
Coasters give you a topic for debate, discussion and comparison.
I love the speed, the force, the look and the inversions!
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
I honestly don't know.

My parents have taken me to theme parks pretty much since I was born, we went to Alton at least once a year since I was six months old, so it's always been a part of my life.

I was however, always scared of coasters, until I was thirteen and organised a trip to Alton for my birthday. I spent six months before planning the trip, just automatically obsessed without even really knowing.

It was in this planning I found here, I got the creds that trip, and that was it, it snowballed from there. I had a friend and school who I used to just chat coasters with, look at coasters, we developed the love together. Then he grew up and I just, didn't.

I'm not a particularly obsessive person about anything else, I don't have any other unusual interests, it's just this, and I have no idea why.

Now it's something that a huge portion of my friends do, so it's a way to keep in touch with them, an activity we do together. Plus, they're still just fab.
 

ThomVD

Giga Poster
Like most people here, I used to be scared of anything even close to a coaster, even the kiddie coasters. Tea cups were the max for me :p . However, I have always been very fascinated by them. The only park I used to visit every year since I was born is the Efteling. I didn't ride any of the coasters and we just did the dark rides and the fairytale forest and that stuff. I did always want to go to the Python to have a look. Vliegende Hollander and Joris didn't exist back then, and the Python is a massive classic in the Netherlands, a bit like how Corkscrew at Alton Towers was, I think. But just looking at Python was always amazing to me. I was really fascinated (and scared) by it. I've also been playing RCT ever since I was a kid and there I would build the craziest coasters. RCT2 had Walibi Holland (Six Flags Holland back then), so stuff like Goliath, Robin Hood and El Condor were really intimidating to me, and I think I would've loved to visit that park just to see those coasters in person.

The first coaster I actually rode was Bobbaan in Efteling many years ago. Pandadroom didn't exist yet so I think it was around 2001 (I was 6 then). All I remember was seeing white blurs, that's how scared I was. I hated the feeling, I couldn't breath, I got sick; I didn't like it at all. I didn't give up on coasters though. I continued to admire them, and many years later (I'd guess around 2007) I gave it another go. It was less unbearable but I still wasn't a fan. Third time's a charm. When I rode it with my dad in 2012, I loved it. I still wasn't really used to the feeling, but I enjoyed it overall. A month later I went in with a friend trying to get some more rides. I rode Vogel Rok, which was quite a step up from the Bob, maybe even the biggest step I've made when it comes to coasters. It scared me but I wanted more. I rode Vliegende Hollander (which was a piece of cake) and Joris (which was very thrilling but in an awesome way), but Python still intimidated me. It could be because of that reputation that it has. Other factors are that it has inversions and because it was just such a big deal to me ever since I was little. I rode Python a while later on a winter night, and I absolutely loved it. I think that was a big step to becoming a true enthusiast. Another step was visiting Walibi Holland and riding Goliath. That first ride was unlike anything I've experienced before.

As for the question why I love them. The thrill of going on them and conquering an intimidating ride is what used to be the biggest reason why I love them, but nowadays I don't get scared anymore. I think it's just the physical feeling you get, the forces, the airtime, the sense of speed. As well as the visual side of things. Visuals are very important to me. It's one of the reasons why I prefer the front seat on many rides. I find it hard to explain why though. There's just something about seeing as well as feeling on coasters that appeals to me. If I would close my eyes on coasters, it would probably be much less enjoyable for me (maybe this is an interesting topic to discuss sometime?). One of the reasons why I love Gröna Lund so much is the gorgeous views all of the rides have. To me, it adds to the experience. On other rides it's the adrenaline rush I get. I get that in Black Mamba, and from most launch coasters. It is just a unique feeling that I don't really get anywhere else without actually being in danger. I also love looking at coasters on internet (POVs, photos, etc.), and then seeing them in person. It's a really surreal and wonderful feeling. Going to a new park and seeing all the rides for the first time in person is one of the things I love the most from this hobby.

It's really hard to explain, and has many more reasons, but this is what I feel are some of the main reasons.
 

Hobbes

Mega Poster
Interesting topic, and it's certainly one with no definite answer.

My parents took me to amusement parks growing up (Quassy and Lake Compounce near home, and BGT when visiting our family in Florida), so I, like many others here, have been going to parks for quite a large portion of my life. I was, of course, scared of the bigger ones as a kid, but I took to liking them fairly quickly.

Why coasters are so compelling is obviously a bit more complex. Early on, I could certainly attribute each coaster as some sort of accomplishment. It's conquering fear, staring death in the face, braving heights and speeds I couldn't imagine as a kid. That may have been what made me like them so much when I was younger, just being able to look back at these massive structures and think to myself "hey...I rode that!"

But those feelings don't really apply now. Coasters don't intimidate me anymore (although drop towers can still make me nervous), so there must be something else that makes them so enjoyable. And I think, when it comes down to it, it can simply be attributed to the fantastic forces riders are exposed to. There's something incredible about just sitting back, letting go of the restraints, letting my body go limp and just letting the coaster take me where it wants to. Just feeling the forces acting on me, feeling the speed and power of the ride; it's completely out of my hands. And whether it's a B&M hyper with its long, graceful hills, or El Toro flinging me around like a ragdoll, there's something spectacular about just letting a ride take me where it wants to. And that's what I think makes coasters so thrilling; there's nothing to do, nothing to think about; I can just sit back and enjoy the rush.
 

Chris Coasters

Strata Poster
Really have enjoyed reading everyone's posts I hope some more people decide to post. I find it really interesting reading about how everyone got into coasters.
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
GuyWithAStick said:
Because they're fun
This. It's the most simple answer I can think of (when it comes to just roller coasters). Yes there's a lot more when it comes to theme parks, as others have said, like getting the whole "experience" and hanging out with friends and such. But if we're talking about just roller coasters, I ride them because they're pure joy and bliss. There's not much else like them.
 

Rachel

Hyper Poster
Growing up I was obsessed with playing Rollercoaster Tycoon. I think thats how it first started. Even though when I was younger I was too scared to go on anything big, I still remember being excited whenever we would go somewhere like Chessington or Thorpe Park.

As I got older I started to go on bigger, more thrilling rides and each one was an achievement - The first time I went upside down, my first time wearing OTSR's and so on. And it just grew from there really. With the invention of Youtube i'd always be spending time watching POV's and wishing I could go on all these coasters.

When I found this site it intensified - It was nice to know there were others who had the same obsession as me and instead of those coasters from Youtube seeming like a dream, it made me realise I can go wherever I want and experience the coasters for real.

In simple terms though I love the adrenaline rush. The fear I still feel when I step onto a coaster for the first time, the excitement when it starts and the accomplishment when it comes to an end. Nothing beats it.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
I love roller coasters because they are art. Real 3D art that you can climb aboard and experience, not just look at.

They represent the strange dynamic humans have with machines and control. They are a juxtaposition, in that they are designed to safely make you feel unsafe. To make you feel fear and joy at the same time. They take you on a journey without actually going anywhere. They're a feat of both precise engineering and wild imagination.

I don't think they will ever stop fascinating me.
 

Mike

Giga Poster
I love roller coasters in general as I love the adrenaline rush they give me, with the sensation of speed and wind passing by my face/body whilst watching the track go by underneath me. I love the way how they throw you out of the seat (airtime) or around yet remaining, for the most part, perfectly safe. I love how they're a great way of spending time with and meeting new friends. I love the way how they're all different, with every coaster giving a unique feeling, atmosphere and setting.

But, above all else, I love them because they are fun!
 

sparky2u

Mega Poster
The structure, layout design, near misses, tunnels & the noises the trains makes esp Wild Mouse coasters with their clicking.
 
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