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Your 2023 in Review

Matt N

CF Legend
Hi guys. I know it feels like we’ve hardly blinked since the 2022 theme park season ended, but we’ve now hit that point in 2023 where many theme parks have closed for the year. I know that some parks are still open, but for the most part, we’re most certainly out of the main 2023 season. With this in mind, I thought it might be nice to make a thread reviewing our respective 2023s. So, how was your 2023 in theme parks?

I’ll get the ball rolling with my summary…

I’ll start with a few stats:
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 94
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 111
  • Coaster count increase: 17 (+5 on 2022) - New personal best!
  • Park count at start of 2023: 22
  • Park count at end of 2023: 24
  • Park count increase: 2 (+1 on 2022)
  • Number of coaster rides: 77 (-14 on 2022)
  • Number of park visits: 16 (+7 on 2022) - New personal best!
  • Unique coasters ridden: 41 (+12 on 2022) - New personal best!
  • Unique parks visited: 9 (+5 on 2022)
In terms of stats, I have to say that it was a pretty phenomenal year for me; I set a new personal best in numerous categories, and I got higher numbers than 2022’s in all categories bar one!

Now let’s move onto something more subjective; a few personal highlights and lowlights of the year:
  • Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure (#2/111) - VelociCoaster packed some truly obscene elements, such as the second launch, top hat and Mosasaurus roll, and overall, it just had a wonderful blend of everything executed impeccably well!
  • Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Serengeti Flyer at Busch Gardens Tampa - With obscene sustained airtime and truly awesome speed and scale, this must be one of my favourite flat rides ever! I’d also lend an honourable mention to Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure; I absolutely loved that ride, and thought that it had a brilliant blend of screens and physical set pieces, as well as some awesome action sequences!
  • Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Flamingo Land - This is kind of a default victory for Flamingo Land, as its only competition in this category was Brean Theme Park. However, I do have to say that I did not find the park as bad as is often made out. Yes, the operations are pretty slow, but they have a respectable coaster selection for a smaller UK park!
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando - I had pretty low expectations for Ice Breaker after hearing generally middling to negative reviews, but I thought it was an absolutely phenomenal little ride, with a fantastically fun swing launch sequence and loads of excellent ejector airtime! Also, I’d once again lend an honourable mention to Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure; I went into it having heard a spate of generally middling to negative reviews, but I thought it was absolutely epic!
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: It would have to be Pipeline: The Surf Coaster at SeaWorld Orlando for me. I so sorely wanted to love it after hearing many really positive reviews, but it just didn’t do it for me; while I appreciate the novelty, I found it rather uncomfortable and didn’t think that it solved any of the standup coaster’s inherent flaws.
  • Favourite coaster ride of 2023: It’s a toss-up between my front row ride on Mako on 16th June and my front row ride on VelociCoaster on 21st June. You all know how I love Mako, and my front row ride was definitely my favourite ride I had on it while at SeaWorld! With that being said, my front row go on VelociCoaster was also obscenely sublime; front row is definitely the place to be on that coaster, and the front row go certainly saw it give Mako a run for its money!
  • Favourite park trip of 2023: It’s hard to pick one. My Florida trip as a whole was absolutely awesome, but I had some brilliant days in the UK in 2023 too; a particular UK highlight that comes to mind for me is my brilliant 30-ride day at Thorpe Park in September! I’d also lend an honourable mention to my Alton Towers visit with my grandad back in March; while the Saturday in particular was not the greatest day in terms of ride count or weather, I loved seeing the park through his eyes as a first time visitor!
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: I was pretty proud to finally ride my 100th coaster. It feels so good to have joined the triple-figure count club, and I was really glad that the milestone ride was Iron Gwazi, a ride that was one of my favourite new coasters of the year and entered my top 5 coasters overall!
So in conclusion, 2023 was a pretty incredible year for me, with all things considered!

But I’d love to know; how was your 2023 in theme parks?
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Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
I still have a couple more creds to end out the year with, but nothing that'll put much of a dent in this post.

Coaster count at start of 2023: 162
Coaster count at end of 2023: 243
Coaster count increase: +81 (+34 increase on 2022, new personal best)
Park count at start of 2023: 43
Park count at end of 2023: 58
Park count increase: 15 (+2 increase on 2022, new personal best)
Additions to the top 25: 16

Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Untamed at Walibi Holland (#1/243) - it's just 10/10 all the way through and got faster as the day went on, meaning that every ride I got was my new best ever ride on it
Favourite new-to-me dark ride of 2023: Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Paris (#1/46) - intensively rerideable and a generally fantastic drop tower that combines theming & ride experience perfectly
Favourite new-to-me flat ride of 2023: Tigeren at Djurs Sommerland (#3) - an utterly monstrous ride with only a lap bar, and it being by far the largest thing in its immediate area gives it an incredible sense of scale that Loke doesn't quite have
Favourite new-to-me water ride of 2023: Flumeride at Liseberg (#1) - I'm not quite sure what it is about Flumeride but something about it just struck me in the right way. Our last ever ride on it, with the full knowledge that it was closing, with a boat full of energy, and it being the last ride of our Liseberg trip, really sealed the deal. I don't think I'll find a water ride that will hit that way for me again
Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Liseberg (#1/58) - I've never seen a more consistently good ride lineup. Liseberg is simply lineup perfection and excels in all forms of rides. Admittedly I did skip their dark ride, but that's more out of forgetting it existed
Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Storm - The Dragon Legend at Tusenfryd (#3/243) - I expected this to be about top 20 at the most so about as good as Icon. But it ended up satisfying everything I could ever want in a coaster - an out of control experience without doing my head in. It was incredibly rerideable and I kept crawling back to it no matter how much my lack of sleep wanted to ruin my day
Biggest disappointment of 2023: Thundercoaster at Tusenfryd (#151/243) - At the start of the day I really enjoyed this coaster. It had a fun layout and was in good competition to place in my top 10 at the time. Unfortunately, it sped up, and Thundercoaster became by far the roughest roller coaster I have ever ridden as it clattered and smashed unceremoniously through the layout jackhammering me to death and making me wish it would end. But the thing is: "why, if you hate it so much, is it not even bottom 25%?" because the layout is still really cool. It has very good pops of airtime, and the legendary second drop into the tunnel, but the roughness drops it down about 140 spots
Favourite park trip of 2023: My first ever trip to a park with my mates, Thorpe Park in August 2023. Me with 3 people who I've known for years, at our first ever park trip together. While the ride count wasn't terribly impressive the vibes were on point and reignited my love for Thorpe Park, plus our absolute disbelief when half the park emptied out after lightning shut down the park for an hour which led queues to be almost walk-on for the rest of the day
Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: going abroad solo for the first ever time (Tusenfryd), and staying at a hotel solo for the first ever time (Legoland Billund & Farup Sommerland)

Ready to do it all again?

Furyous Baco 325

Roller Poster
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 118
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 225
  • Coaster count increase: +107 (new personal best)
  • Park count at start of 2023: 13
  • Park count at end of 2023: 29
  • Park count increase: 16
  • Unique parks visited: 20

  • Favorite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Iron Gwazi (#3/225)
  • Favorite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (#1 non-coaster)
  • Favorite new-to-me park of 2023: Islands of Adventure (#2/29)
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (#13/225)
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: El Toro - SFGAdv (#35/225)
  • Favorite park trip of 2023: Florida: Fun Spot Orlando, Fun Spot Kissimmee, Busch Gardens Tampa, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: 200 total credits


Mega Poster
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 104
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 124
  • Coaster count increase: 20
  • Park count at start of 2023: 18
  • Park count at end of 2023: 20
  • Park count increase: 2
  • Number of park visits (per day): 28
Personal highlights and lowlights of the year:
  • Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Taron. Currently ranking at #2, this was definitely the best new coaster I've ridden in 2023 due to it's punchy launches, whippy transitions, terrain-hugging elements, world-class theming and surprising moments of airtime!
  • Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Chiapas. I always find water rides fun but never usually bother to ride them more than once a day. Well that wasn't the case for Chiapas! What an amazing log flume this is. Once again, the amazing theming really adds to the fun and adventure of this ride but what I really liked about it was the fact that you get wet, but not drenched (looking at you, Valhalla/Popeyes 👀 ). 100% my favourite water ride now and can't wait to get back on it again.
  • Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Phantasialand. I was going in to this place with high expectations to start with, but boy were they exceeded! I could on and on about how much I loved this place, but I'll just keep it short and just say what this place has done with the amount of space they have is nothing short of incredible. Favourite park!!
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Walibi Holland. I had seem some reviews of this place and people stating the ride ops were poor and park presentation was 'tacky'. I didn't notice either on those things on my visit however! I thought this park was presented really well (even with some of the quirky styling in some areas) and the ride ops were really good (only goliath was running one train operations). The line-up at this place is absolutely awesome too, with coasters such as Lost gravity and Untamed, and a really good flat-ride offering too.
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: Pipeline - There weren't really any big disappointments this year to be honest, but if I had to choose one it would have to be Pipeline. I really enjoyed this coaster! Launch was great, there were some good floaty airtime moments and the layout was just super fun. But what held it back was those awful B&M vest restraints, constantly digging into my shoulders the entire time which unfortunately made the experience slightly less enjoyable to what I had hoped.
  • Favourite coaster ride of 2023: First ride on F.L.Y. I've had many great coaster rides this year but nothing comes close to my first ride on F.L.Y. It was 9am and the park had just opened. Luckily for me, I was staying in the Charles Lindbergh Hotel so had the advantage of entering Rookburgh first! I was the first one in line, and being taken throughout the whole queue with no one in front was really adding to the hype! I was absolutely in awe of how cool the station was (of course, it's all kept a secret past the lockers). Straight on front row with no one else next to me....and it was one heck of a first ride. The whole ride experience from start to finish was breath-taking and the moments which stood out the most personally were the surprising amounts of airtime, the forceful turns and the fact I was flying right over and under all the other guests entering the wonderful area of Rookburgh.
  • Favourite park trip of 2023: Phantasialand. I think the stuff I've wrote above has kind of given that away 😂 It was a close tie between this and Islands Of Adventure, but the food, operations and overall immersion is what put Phantasialand above.
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: First Solo-trip abroad. I was so nervous about this one, but Phantasialand had been on my bucket list for quite some time, and with none of my family or friends interested in venturing out, I decided to bite the bullet and go myself! It was strange at first, but I quite got used to my own company and the German folk were very friendly! I'd definitely do more trips like this in the future too (planning on doing Energylandia in 2024 and it could be a solo-trip then!)


Roller Poster
Ending last year I told myself 2023 would be a sort of off season of sorts, while I build up funds for bigger future trips. Unfortunately for my bank account, that didn't happen. Luckily for me, I rode some pretty kick ass coasters in what's been my favourite year by far ever since I got a job and could fund my hobby. Time to run down the stats!

  • Coaster count at end of 2022: 247
  • Coaster count at CURRENT DATE (I could always add more!): 383 (+136)
  • Park count at start of 2023: 54
  • Park count at end of 2023: 78 (+24)

  • Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Steel Vengeance (#1). Yes, I know, cliche, but this ride gets so much positivitity for a reason. It's perfect and does absolutely everything and does it well. The first half is full of these huge ejector airtime moments, insane inversions, that massive zero g roll is pure bliss and that cutback thing is nuts. And then the second half is a assault of some of the greatest moments on any coaster ever. Pure non stop ejector airtime, absolutely my cup of tea and I struggle to see this getting dethroned by anything at all. Absolutely bonkers ride.
  • Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Eatrenalin. I don't know if this counts as a ride or not, but the fusion of dark ride technology and fine dining works absolutely flawlessly in what is probably the coolest dining experience on the planet. My first taste of pure fine dining, I don't know if I'll ever be doing much like this ever again but what an incredible experience Eatrenalin is and I hope when I go back to Europa Park I'm able to put a little bit aside just for this.
  • Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Cedar Point. I mean, it has to be, surely. It's my new favourite park period! Incredible setting, incredible rides, Frontier Town is an absolutely incredible themed area, there's just so much to explore and see at this place I don't know how you could visit and not love it. Sure, it's very coaster heavy, but within that lineup there's something for every type of enthusiast. You like speed? Millennium Force. Pure ejector airtime? Magnum. Whippy transitions? Maverick. Everything? Steel Vengeance. Intense looping coasters? Raptor. Even the family sections are lovely, park is well taken care of, it's evident the amount of love the place gets, I absolutely cannot think of any other place on earth that does it quite like Cedar Point does.
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Freestyle - Cavallino Matto (#20) is a TOGO Standup Coaster and while I had a bit of concern going in, after my first ride all those concerns were immediately swept away in what might be the biggest sleeper hit in Europe. Freestyle is chock full of the purest and best ejector out there with those forces only accentuated by the incredible riding position that puts other standup coasters to shame. I don't know what they did to it upon moving it from Canada's Wonderland, but this thing runs so incredibly fast it feels borderline illegal how hard you get thrusted up off the floor. Such a fun ride and I cannot wait to get back on it hopefully!
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure (#39) isn't a bad ride by any means, but it definitely doesn't come anywhere close to what people say about it. Whether that's down to the conditions I was riding in, I was often the only person on the train in cold miserable wet weather. The first few airtime moments are absolutely incredible and the rolling thunder hill is also pretty great but what should be an incredible coaster is dampened by one of the roughest coasters I've ever ridden (And that's saying something considering how much I love ThunderCoaster and Mine Blower!), an absolutely lacklustre middle section and the train crawling into the brake run over those last few hills. I hate to say it, but out of the two El Toro's I've ridden this year, I think I actually prefer the little GCI at Freizeitpark Plohn.
  • Favourite coaster ride of 2023: My last ride on Steel Vengeance, but for the sake of variety, my first ride on Magnum XL 200. I was absolutely not ready for the sheer quality of ejector airtime on that inbound run, they just don't make em like they used to and that makes me truly sad.
  • Favourite park trip of 2023: September US 2023 (Cedar Point, Kennywood, Six Flags Great Adventure, American Dream Mall) was a truly incredible trip annd while it was short, I did so much. Sure, I got spited by Luna Park and the coasters that mattered at Nickelodeon Universe, but I got on most of what mattered, added 6 coasters to the top 20, met up with old online friends and had an absolute blast.
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: Doing the above trip relying mostly on public transportation! Sure, I had to get a Lyft from Sandusky to Cedar Point and one of my friends drove me to the Amtrak station, but other than that I was on buses, trains, planes and it actually worked out rather cheap to the point where I think it would've been more expensive hiring a car with all the parking fees at the various parks. My proof of concept trip worked and I'm truly excited to plan other similar stuff to the US in the future!
🇩🇪 Europa Park +12 (250)

🇸🇪 Kolmarden +2
Liseberg +7
🇩🇰 Djurs Sommerland +8
Fårup Sommerland +8

Legoland Billund +4
🇫🇷 Parc Asterix +2
Foire du Trone +7
Jardin d'Acclimatation +2
🇬🇧 Chessington World of Adventures +1 (300)
🇦🇹 Wiener Prater +6
Familypark +2
Fantasiana +2

🇩🇪 Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Elstal +2
Belantis +3
Freizeitpark Plohn +6
🇮🇹 Cavallino Matto +6

🇬🇧 Brean Theme Park +3
Barry Island +3
🇫🇮 Sarkanniemi +1
PowerPark +6

🇬🇧 Woody’s Play Barn +1

🇺🇲 Cedar Point +12 (350)
Kennywood +7
Six Flags Great Adventure +12
American Dream Mall Nickelodeon Universe +3

🇮🇹 Magicland +5

Cinecitta World +3


Strata Poster
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 570
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 656
  • Coaster count increase: 86 (tied with my 3rd most creddy year)
  • Park count at start of 2023: 128
  • Park count at end of 2023: 149
  • Park count increase: 21
  • Number of park visits (per day): 22
Personal highlights and lowlights of the year:
  • Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Batman Gotham City Escape. Tough decision because Taiga is also wonderful, as is Toutatis, they are all hovering around my mid teens in ranking. Basically, the new Intamins are awesome.
  • Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Mustekala - Linnanmaki. Jesus I love these ride types, Mushy got a vid of me laughing all the way round. Shame they aren't building any new ones.
  • Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Parc Asterix. Had a fantastic day with @Hixee @Bentleya and @chainedbanana back in May. Great company, lovely weather (apart from the last hour) and the fast pass made the day a breeze. Obviously there's a few brilliant rides too. Also, the food at the circus restaurant is up there for best food at a park, exceptional.
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Hals-Uber-Kopf being much much more than a standard Vekoma suspended coaster. Did not expect it to be so excellent. Very excited for Emerald Park's version this year.
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: Parque Warner Madrid. **** this park. Honestly, operations here are the worst I've ever experienced, thank god I was with a great group of people because otherwise I might have erupted.
  • Favourite coaster ride of 2023: Back row night ride on Batman Gotham City Escape. Again, hard to nail down as I preferred the front of the train, but the night ride gave some excellent yeet action in the back. Honourable mention to the last ride of the day on Toutatis, also back row.
  • Favourite park trip of 2023: Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Weird take I know. But considering the **** show at Warner the day before, this was a total breath of fresh air, some fun rides, lots of laughs, and sausages.
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: 600 creds on Toutatis. Standard response, milestones always get it. But I also got both the operating Intamin inverts this year.
  • Funniest moment of 2023 - Adding this in as had some proper laughs this year with goons.
    On the walk back from Linnanmaki we encountered a large group of Geese crossing the path in front of us, saw a gap and went for it, Mushy went first, so I grabbed an ankle with a quacking sound, never seen him jump so high 😂
    The on-ride video on TNT where Emma didn't brace for the broms and nearly took out the camera 😂 Also Richard managing to get into Paw Patrol but flopping around everywhere on the 3 laps, definitely not just me laughing my ass off 🤣
    Sausages and sweets mysteriously appearing in bags at Parque de Attracciones 😂
    @Mysterious Sue being an Owl on the zoom call 🦉
    Le Grand Splashe at Asterix had everyone howling when a water cannon went off on the left side, I laughed and said, "that was close" just as another cannon went off feet away, drenching me 😂


Mega Poster
I got over 500 rides on Outlaw Run.
Got to ride My first Intiman Accelerators
First B&M Hyper
First B&M Giga
Hit 250 total rides on Time Traveller
Rode Mystic River Falls when the water was 51 degrees.
First Intiman Prefab
Got more active on CF.
LOG insane point gains
Met my girlfriend, and got her to ride roller coasters with me.

Thanks for making this my best coaster season yet, I'm grateful for you all accepting me and giving me a place where I feel like I belong.


Strata Poster
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 368
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 470
  • Coaster count increase: +102
  • Park count at start of 2023: 99
  • Park count at end of 2023: 125
  • Park count increase: 26
  • Unique parks visited: 30

  • Favorite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Steel Taipan in spinning seats only, DC Rivals in normal seats
  • Favorite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Does Rulantica count? If not, Mr. Gravity at Oktoberfest.
  • Favorite new-to-me park of 2023: Europa Park
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Storm Chaser at Paultons
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: Wilde Hilde at Schwaben Park
  • Favorite park trip of 2023: Australia and New Zealand
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: First completed country: New Zealand (technically missing one travelling coaster that won't allow adults)


Mega Poster
Did only one trip this year, Phantasialand. Amazing trip though.

5 coasters ridden this year
New number 1 and 2 coasters I've ridden (Taron, F.L.Y.)
My first new generation Vekoma coasters (F.L.Y., Reik)
My first flying coaster
My first invert by B&M (Black Mamba)
New favourite park I've visited, Phantasialand (above Efteling and Disneyland Paris)

So, no quantity this year. But a definitely a quality visit.


Staff member
Social Media Team
Bigger year than I thought on reflection. Highly unlikely I'll do anything else before the end of the year now.

Coaster count at start of 2023: 766
Coaster count at end of 2023: 841
Coaster count increase: +75

Park count at start of 2023: 169
Park count at end of 2023: 185
Park count increase: +16

Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Fønix, Fårup Sommerland - absolutely wonderful.
Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Djurs Sommerland - had a brilliant day at this park.
Favourite park trip of 2023: Notwithstanding the finale, the Denmark trip was excellent, but the France trip after Easter was also top notch.
Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: 800th cred?


Strata Poster
My season for new stuff has been cut short thanks to a broken ankle. No first visits to the Madrid or Barcelona parks, nor a return to Walibi Belgium. Annoying.

I will however get in visits to Plopsaland and Legoland Windsor before the year is out (hopefully)
  • Coaster count at start of 2023: 293
  • Coaster count at end of 2023: 331
  • Coaster count increase: +38

  • Park count at start of 2023: 55
  • Park count at end of 2023: 61
  • Park count increase: +6

  • Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Toutatis, Parc Asterix
  • Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Sky Tower, Tivoli Friheden
  • Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Djurs Sommerland
  • Biggest positive surprise of 2023: Generally how wonderful Djurs is. Also, how much I enjoyed Tusenfryd.
  • Biggest disappointment of 2023: Ignoring the cancelled trips...probably Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens. I'd heard great things. I loved Vuoristorata at Linnanmäki. But this just didn't do it for me.
  • Favourite coaster ride of 2023: Toutatis front row. Damn. Also back row on Storm - The Dragon Legend.
  • Favourite park trip of 2023: Tough one. Probably Djurs. Fårup was also fab. Both are lovely parks, I went when it was quiet, and just generally had great rides.
  • Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: 300 creds is nice.


Roller Poster
It is a shame but for some reason, my flight to florida got cancelled, but I booked to get the anaheim disneyland done instead, and rise of the resistance is the best ride experience in the world


Mega Poster
Possibly my biggest year so far, thanks to a European trip doing 5 parks & 31 new creds over 8 days

Coaster count at start of 2023: 52
Coaster count at end of 2023: 83
Coaster count increase: 31
Park count at start of 2023: 11
Park count at end of 2023: 16
Park count increase: 5
Number of coaster rides: 136
Number of park visits: 15

Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Untamed
Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: The Curse At Alton Manor
Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Europa Park
Biggest disappointment of 2023: Troy at Toverland. Had heard good things, but just felt like it rattled/shuffled it's way round the layout. Having ridden Wodan a couple of days before this was a particular let-down.
Favourite coaster ride of 2023: My first ride on Untamed. My first RMC, and although my first ride was the first train of the day & it hadn't warmed up, it was already incredible, and I could just tell it was going to get even better later in the day.
Favourite park trip of 2023: First day at Europa on my Europe trip, first visit there and absolutely loved it
Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: First solo multi-park trip in Europe, 5 parks & 31 creds over 8 days (Europa Park, Phantasialand, Movie Park Germany, Toverland, Walibi Holland), roughly 1800 miles on my motorbike over the week, including doing Barnsley to Europa Park in 1 day at the beginning.
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Mega Poster
This year was sadly cut short coasterwise due to a close personal loss. Only had Canada's Wonderland plus the "new since 2016" credits at Prater this year.


Mega Poster
I’ll start with a few stats:
Coaster Count at Start of 2023: 851
Coaster Count at End of 2023: 927
Coaster Count Increase: 76, Not my Best year but FAR from my Worst
Park Count at Start of 2023: 211
Park Count at End of 2023: 226
Park Count Increase: 15

Favorite New to Me Coaster of 2023: Lech Coaster at Legendia
Favorite New to Me Non Coaster of 2023: Tigeren at Djurs Sommerland
Favorite New to Me Park of 2023: Energylandia
Biggest Positive Surprise of 2023: Basilisk at Legendia
Biggest Disappointment of 2023: Farup Sommerland as because of wind/rain The three big coasters were closed
Favorite Coaster Ride of 2023: Wild Chicken Hunt at Djurs Sommerland
Favorite Park Trip of 2023: Coaster Crew's Norden Adventure
Biggest Enthusiast Achievement of 2023: Riding Teeny Weeny at Tusenfryd/ Riding Wildfire at Kolmarden with Ranger. Also getting to Sign Balder
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James F

Hyper Poster
It's been quite a big year for me, bigger than I was expecting anyway.

Coaster count at start of 2023: 182
Coaster count at end of 2023: 225
Coaster count increase: 43 (+7 on 2022) - biggest increase so far
Park count at the start of 2023: I don't know
Park count increase: +6
Number of park visits: 11

Favourite new-to-me coaster of 2023: Toutatis - Parc Astérix (#5/225) - It was easily my most hyped ride of 2023 and it delivered in every aspect! Awesome coaster.

Favourite new-to-me non-coaster of 2023: Ikaros - Grona Lund. I am a sucker for drop towers and this Intamin Skyjump has some amazing views of Stockholm as well as providing an experience which I can still find slightly intimidating.

Favourite new-to-me park of 2023: Parc Astérix. Before Toutatis I never felt an urge to go here, but after visiting this April I feel bad for sleeping on this place, as far as I'm concerned it's one the best parks in Europe and deserves to be part of the conversation with Phantasialand and Europa Park.

Biggest positive surprise of 2023: I don't know if any new to me coaster really went above and beyond expectations (granted they were high) Balder at Liseberg was running a lot better than it did for me in 2017 making it climb up a few spots in my ranking, good job to the park on the refurb.

Biggest disappointment of 2023: There were a few minor shortcomings such as my recent Winter Wonderland trip or the rattle on Ride to Happiness, but I would say the biggest disappointment for me this year was Troy at Toverland. I heard from plenty of my friends that it was one of the best coasters in europe and while I did ride it in March, the experience I had was far from that. Not a "bad" coaster, but certainly nothing worth raving about.

Favourite coaster ride of 2023: It would have to go to my zen rides on Wildfire at Kolmården, even though the ride wasn't warmed up yet, the experince of riding the worlds tallest wooden coaster on my own multiple times was a unique one to say the least.

Favourite park trip of 2023: Park Astérix, but I would also give a shout out to Europa Park this October as I was with great company.

Biggest enthusiast achievement of 2023: Finally hitting #200.


Donkey in a hat
Just in case you hadn't noticed, I've not long gotten back from Florida so although it was a fairly quiet year for me in terms of actual number of park trips, kinda made up for it at the end with one biggie.
That's not to say there wasn't any cheeky little getaways, back at the beginning of January me and seven of my favourite goons took on Plopsaland, Phantasialand and Efteling. That was cooool, what a great trip. Got to experience Rookburgh (brilliant) and FLY (meh), got to reride the amazing Ride To Happiness again (best coaster in Europe), got a cheeky lil +3 from Efteling, even got to play 'hide the sausage' with the gang.
Incidentally, after almost 11 months, the sausage has been found, huzzah! Turns out it had been living in @Mushroom 's glovebox all this time.
Can't think who would have put it there... 🤔

Trip report here:
Thread 'FLY Into The New Year.' https://coasterforce.com/forums/threads/fly-into-the-new-year.46025/

Then in April there was that mad day trip to Walibi Belgium. That was cool too, great group of goons, really short queues across the whole park, lots of rerides on the mighty Kondaa, and all for less than a 100 quid each all in. Bargain.

Mini trip report here:
Post in thread 'Cred run mini-reports (general topic)' https://coasterforce.com/forums/threads/cred-run-mini-reports-general-topic.44979/post-1153379

There was also the CoasterForce Live at Thorpe Park, which was faaab, was great to catch up with some of the old skoolers again as well as finally being able to put faces to names like @Nitefly and @Bentleya .
Still quietly hoping that the proper CF Lives make a comeback at some point, they are super fun! 😁

And finally a quick day out at Blackpool with Dr Dave completed my annual allowance of days out, cos then it was full steam ahead with work throughout summer in order to pay for the bloody Florida trip.

It's been 16 years since me and Mrs Howie last went to Florida, at the time we thought we were kinda done with the place. We did it all, we did it well, no need to come back anytime soon, much preferring to focus on more interesting and diverse destinations, road trips etc..
However, we always knew that we'd have to come back at some point. As the Orlando parks grew and changed, there was always gonna be something that drew us back, that one killer thing that would be an absolute must-do.

That thing was Galaxy's Edge.
Forget all the new creds that have been built since 2007, forget Potter, forget Pandora and the blue dudes, as me and the missus are both old skool Star Wars fans, Galaxy's Edge and, more specifically, Rise of the Resistance was our reason to be here. This was why we came back to Florida.
And good lord, it did not disappoint. Highlight of the whole year, right there. Not even close. If we'd only stayed in Galaxy's Edge the entire holiday and done nothing else, it would still have been worth going. Our expectations weren't just exceeded, they were wiped out, all of them. They were blarsted into oblivion, shot down like a bullseyed womp rat over Beggar's Canyon back home and then slowly digested over a thousand years.
I can't sress this enough, it's more than just a themed area in an amusement park, there were times when you'd actually feel as though you were on Batuu, where no detail is left untouched, when no other areas of park are visible and you're just completely immersed in this world of Star Wars.
I just didn't want to leave. On numerous occasions, there were actual tears. Even just walking into the adjacent area, Toy Story land, felt like a massive comedown and we'd both just say 'Nope' and turn round and go back to Batuu.
And where do I even begin with Rise of the Resistance? I know not everybody loves it, I know there's a few out there (non Star Wars fans, probably) who are a bit 'meh'ed by it but, spoiler alert, I'm firmly in the 'OMG Best Thing Ever!' camp. I didn't know much about it going in, I knew that it featured a trackless dark ride and I remember watching a brief POV clip when it first opened but man, I was simply not prepared for the scale and the ambition of this thing, for the technology and effects on display. I was expecting a well themed ride, not a 15-20 min immersive adventure. Things started to sizzle early on in the 'debriefing' section with a working BB8 droid and a very convincing Rey hologram. Cooool! Then you're led outside to board your transporter. Ooh ok, wasn't expecting that. Neat! And then it 'takes off' and you're like 'Ok, simulator type ride. Nice!' And then comes the grand reveal, when they open the doors and you realise thst your transporter has actually gone somewhere and you are, as far as every single one of your senses can tell you, on board a First Order Star Destroyer! That's the moment right there, folks, that's when jaws hit the floor and tears start to flow. Absolutely astounding stuff. In the interest of spoilers I won't go into any more detail here but let's just say things continue to get better and better from there. Storytelling, immersion, mind blowing technology, gigantic set after gigantic set, special effect after special effect and every moment of it perfectly scored by John Williams at his absolute finest. When Kylo Ren's lightsabre starting cutting through the ceiling I lost my sh*t. By the time the ride was over I was literally sobbing.
It's a game changer. It's next level. I think it's the best theme park experience on the planet and it's not even close. Like, you know how back in the 80's when Star Wars was the coolest thing ever? And not just the coolest thing ever, it was a million times cooler than whatever the last coolest thing ever was? When it wasn't even a debate, when it was just a known fact and nobody who grew up at the time even questioned it? It's like that all over again. For me at least, Rise of the Resistance is the new coolest thing ever.

So that's basically my year. Did Rise of the Resistance, nuff said.
We did, of course, do a whole bunch of other stuff in Florida but I won't go into detail here. Given that I can't be arsed to do a full trip report, I think I'll just spam a load of those Florida based poll threads instead.

Here are some stats, then:
Coaster count at start of 2023 - 429
Coaster count at end of 2023 - 450 (+21)
Number of park days - 14
New parks visited - Nil, zip, nada.

Best new to me creds:
1. Iron Gwazi
2. Mako
3. Hagrid's
4. Velocicoaster
5. Guardians.

Best new to me non-coasters.
1. Rise of the Resistance.

2. Forbidden Journey.
3. Flight of Passage
4. Smuggler's Run

Best themed areas:
1. Galaxy's Edge

2. Diagon Alley
3. Rookburgh
4. Pandora
5. Hogwarts

Funniest moment:

Proudest moment as an enthusiast:
Riding Iron Gwazi with Joe Draves, designer of ArieForce One and Wildcat's Revenge. Oh, and three other goons called Ian, Scott and Jerry. 😉
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