My Coaster Milestones

Photo of Troy Roller Coaster Toverland
I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but I've recently this year reached a huge coaster milestone of 1000 coasters! Those who knew this milestone was coming up for me would ask me if I had anything big planned for the occasion, and if I had some sort of plan in place to make sure the milestone fell in a certain park or at a certain time. To tell you the truth, as obsessive as I am about counting coasters, aiming for a specific milestone has never been something I've been particularly interested in. The thing with coaster-counting is that, despite all of our planning and scheming, nothing is ever certain. There could be a huge power cut at a park with loads of creds meaning you miss out on a big boost, you could accidentally stumble across a park you didn't realise was on your route and end up with a bonus +4. I guess what I'm saying is nothing is certain, so why bother trying to plan when the likelihood is you won't end up hitting it anyway.

So with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that my coaster milestones over the years have been pretty bloody random. I usually post my milestones as and when they happen on my social channels, but given it's taken me eleven years of coaster counting to rack up the ten coaster milestones to get me to 1000 coasters it's not something I've ever had in one place. Which is why I thought it'd be a bit of fun to share this list with you all tonight, and some thoughts and feelings on the coasters in question. Here are my ten coaster milestones that paved the way to 1000 creds!

Ah, 2008. As much as coasters and theme parks had always been a part of my life, 2008 was the turning point for me in terms of going full-blown enthusiast. It was the first time I'd sat down and properly counted how many coasters I'd been on, it was the year I attended my first CoasterForce Live meet-up and the year I first realised just how many parks lay ahead of me that I would absolutely love to visit. But I started small and make a concerted effort that year to mop up the big parks in the UK I hadn't visited to quickly boost my coaster count. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lightwater Valley, Paultons Park, Flamingoland and yep, you guess it, Camelot. By the time I found myself in this now-defunct park I was at my first 'proper' milestone and in a style that truly reflects my attitude towards the whole coaster counting thing (eg never really taking it too seriously), yep, my first milestone was a bloody Big Apple.

The second GCI to hit Europe was Troy, and one I vividly remember scrolling through endless pages of the CoasterForce forums following the construction of. I had just started university when I popped over to the Netherlands for a quick trip for what would be my first ever visits to not only Toverland but Walibi Holland too! Those parks have changed dramatically since that initial visit ten years ago but that doesn't mean they were any less exciting! Gwazi was actually the first GCI I rode, but my memory of that coaster was that it was fun but pretty damn brutal. Troy has all of the fun and speed of Gwazi but with none of the nastiness, and after just one ride not only did I have another coaster milestone in the bag but also a new wooden coaster in my top ten and an iconic coaster that would become the bar for me to measure wooden coasters against for years to come.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice a bit of a time gap there for me to reach my next milestone. That's mostly because university happened 2009-2012 so I was a little pre-occupied, but that doesn't mean I wasn't still visiting parks where I could, there just didn't happen to be any big cred injections. But that all changed the summer of 2012. After three hard years of studying and a hardcore final couple of months working on my dissertation, the one thought getting me through was the huge coaster road-trip we had planned for that summer. Three weeks in the US, hitting up California for ten days before heading over to the East Coast for another ten - Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, Lake Compounce, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags New England, Six Flags America, Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and probably a couple of others I'm forgetting. But yh, it was a big cred boost for me that trip, with my 300th coaster landing on Sierra Sidewinder, the Mack spinner at Knott's Berry Farm. I can't remember a thing about it other than it was my 300th coaster, so goes to show how much of an impact that one had on me!

Given just how many creds I managed in 2012 (129!) it's not surprising that I managed two milestones that year. Aside from the epic summer trip I also had a birthday trip to finally pop over to Germany to see what all the Europa Park fuss was about! And it just so happened that whilst I was there I picked up my 400th coaster too - Mack water coaster Poseidon. Needless to say I don't LOVE getting wet on rides, but I will deal with a soaking for a cred, so I endured the wetness on this occasion. I think I've only ever been on this again one more time so that Conor could get the cred when we revisited in 2015, but yh, not a hugely significant or impactful coaster in my life but it's on the list nonetheless.

Again, another big gap between milestones here. 2013 was an absolute shocker for me in terms of cred injections (it was more a year of revisiting old favourites like Orlando and my top European parks so not like I didn't do anything, but still) but come 2014 I was back on my bullshit with a whopping 181 creds that year. And the 500th in my count became Formule X, a wicked little Maurer launch coaster in the Netherlands. I really don't like Drievliet as a park, between the entrance at the back of a dodgy looking industrial estate, the park not taking Visa and there being a gross, trash filled stream running alongside the park the place felt altogether grim. So what better place to celebrate 500 coasters? In all seriousness the coaster itself was really bloody good, and if memory serves me correctly the park was pretty dead so we spent most of our time here whoring the thing before buggering off to the endlessly more fabulous Duinrell!

Ah, another coaster I remember next to nothing about! I DO remember sitting in the seat waiting to launch and having it suddenly dawn on me that this was my 600th cred, but other than that I couldn't tell you anything else about this ride. It's things like this that really make me wish I'd started vlogging sooner - my memory when it comes to specific thoughts about rides is super blurry if it wasn't completely horrific or absolutely outstanding so a lot of the inbetween tends to get forgotten for me. I do remember the park being obscenely expensive. We only popped in for the day as we were visiting Liseberg for the weekend and somehow we spent £90 whilst at the park on our lunch for the day and a few small snacks?! That's Norway for you I guess...

Surprisingly my first and only Disney milestone, go figure! Urgh, that trip to Japan was so fucking good and exactly what I needed after the whirlwind of a year that was 2015 for me. Space Mountain in Tokyo Disneyland is...fine? It's not the Orlando version let's put it that way, so I needn't have to explain further. Fun fact, whilst we were on this ride and being the HUGE Westerners we were, as our train rolled forward and went to head right and up the lift-hill like everybody else's train, ours inexplicably turned left and into the maintenance area instead, much to the shock of the many small Japanese women who were suddenly diving out of our way given our unexpected entry. Turns out our train was too heavy (lol) so we had to split up and all go in separate trains.

After getting engaged at Tokyo Disneyland in 2015, it was a few quiet years in terms of trips for Conor and I, and therefore the milestones slow down a bit again here. My 800th was a monumental occasion in that it was my first domestic milestone since starting to count way back in 2008. This time is was another shameful kiddie cred, this time found in a park in Warwickshire. Definitely one of those 'what am I doing with my life' moments but at that point I was feeling so cred-starved that anything was better than nothing. Yh, not really much to write home about here sadly, and it'd be almost two full years before reaching 900...

Easily the best milestone on this entire list - what can I say about Formula Rossa that I haven't already said on this blog a hundred times over? It's fucking obscene, and I absolutely adore it. Funny thing is, we'd just done two fairly stressful weeks in China and I was pretty sure I was going to end up on some knock-off piece of shit as my 900th, so for it to end up being Formula Rossa instead is kind of fabulous and hilarious at the same time? We'd landed in Abu Dhabi that morning, had an argument because Conor selfishly wanted to spend the morning looking around a mosque as opposed to waiting in the car park for Ferrari World to open, but I was soooo pumped to finally get on this coaster my brain couldn't process the thought of delaying the experience any further. But urgh, I'm so glad it was everything I wanted it to be and more. Which is more than I can say for my 1000th...

After so much build up, years of anticipation, years of wondering what my 1000th coaster was going to be...for it to be the abysmal piece of shit that is the Beast at kings Island is a joke in itself and a testament to the true value I put on this list. Again, I won't go on and on and on, it's pretty much universally known at this point how much I think this coaster blows and therefore what an anti-climactic moment reaching 1000 coasters was because of it, but at least it was a memorable moment for me (if only for all the wrong reasons). Bummer.

And there you go, just like that over a decade of coaster milestones summarised in a few short paragraphs. What will my 1100th be? Who the hell knows, but the reality is that I doubt it will be any time soon!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

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