The Decade In Review

I wish I could say it feels weird to be leaving the 2010s, but actually it doesn't feel that weird to me at all. Does that mean I'm cynical? A grown up? Don't pay enough attention to anything? Who the hell knows, but what I CAN say is damn, the 2010s have been a HELL of a ride (pun absolutely intended!) I feel like 2009 was my first 'proper' step into full blown theme park enthusiast territory and the beginning of what would become a lifelong obsession and I pretty much haven't lost steam for ten whole years, with every year of the decade passing bringing bigger and better coaster and theme park experiences. I'd love to figure out just how much time and money I've spent on this hobby in that amount of time, but I'm a little bit scared to face that reality. The fact remains, I've had an amazing time travelling all over the world in pursuit of awesome coasters and theme parks and I don't intend on letting up of that adventurous side of my life any time soon!

I would argue that the 2010s was one of the most impactful decades for the theme park industry thus far, in terms of innovation and pushing thrilling, themed experiences to their limits and I'll explore that further in future blog posts. What I wanted to do today was take a retrospective look back at the decade under the same structure I do my yearly reviews to see what the standout stats and moments were! It's going to be a little more 'finger in air' than my usual reviews as I didn't really start properly recording this stuff until a few years ago but hopefully my memory doesn't let me down too much. Here's my DECADE in review as a theme park enthusiast!

I entered the decade with a coaster count of just over 200 having ridden the wonderful Troy at Toverland as my 200th coaster and I'm leaving the decade with a coaster count of 1053. According to my sources I rode 852 new coasters in the 2010s, with my most successful cred year being 2014 with 181 new creds and my poorest year being 2010 with a measly +14 (I was quite distracted with university to be fair!)

Look, I'll save you the giant list but I've read back through my coaster count and from what I can gather I visited 210 new for me parks in the 2010s! For contrast, I entered the decade having visited 49 parks so quite the difference there (and a LOT of cred whoring haha!)

Seven years after riding it I can still say my allegiance very much sits with the wonderful SkyRush at Hersheypark. I'm VERY excited to get back on it next year to see how it ranks now having so many other coasters under my belt at this point but I can still so vividly remember riding that coaster on that balmy June evening back in 2012. We'd had a mad day at the park and saw off the night whoring it to death and I'd never experienced ejector airtime quite like it. After 16 rides I still wasn't ready to get off and honestly I don't think I've had a coaster experience like it since. What a ride!

This is always such an interesting question for me. With over a thousand creds now and being the self-proclaimed cred whore that I am I think it's fair to say that I've ridden a LOT of crap these past ten years. But I will always argue that the Big Apples and Wacky Worms of this world are exempt from the 'WORST COASTER EVER' title as they never PROFESSED to be anything other than a silly little kiddie coaster. That accolade must be reserved for a coaster that tries to be good and fails, but it can't just be a meh experience - it has to be a memorably dreadful and terrible time all round. And for that reason I think my choice for this one is Flare Meteor at Fantawild Adventure. Irredeemably terrible but thinks its a headline attraction, my ears were practically bleeding by the time I got off and it was less than five seconds after we released from the lift-hill that I was begging to get off. Awful, awful coaster.

I'm going to stick with a 2019 moment for this one and go with The Beast. I know I've done my fair share of slagging the thing off this year but I really can't tell you how surprised and utterly gutted I was when we pulled into the brake run after riding this coaster. I'd purposely engineered my day to ensure it was my 1000th coaster, a momentous occasion which called for a legendary coaster to fill the slot so in theory it should have been perfect but urgh. I braced myself for The Ultimate style WTFness and instead was served a mediocre ramble through the woods. I wish I could see my face going round on it because I distinctly remember YELLING out for it to DO SOMETHING!!! Surprisingly dreadful.

Urgh this is sooooo hard - so many iconic moments to fill this slot. Opening day at Thorpe Park Resort this season is up there. Or my day with Alex at Six Flags Magic Mountain that lead to so many of our stupid in-jokes that we still quote today. Or my first time at Halloween Horror Nights. Liseberg Halloween. The old-school CF trips to places like Cornwall and Scotland. Silver Dollar City! Thinking about my answer to this one has made me realise how lucky I actually am to have so many wonderful memories associated with days out at theme parks!

But of course, the answer has to be our visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort which ended with Conor and I getting engaged. We ditched our group that day for a day of park hopping across both Disneyland and Disneysea, re-riding our favourites of the trip so far, eating fabulous Japanese theme park food and generally soaking up the awesomeness. And then the day ended perfectly with a proposal on Pirates of the Caribbean after Conor realised we had a boat to ourselves. Cheesy but magical nonetheless!

For some reason the theme park food that always stands out to me was a meal I had at Busch Gardens Williamsburg which consisted of some kind of BBQ pulled meat (maybe brisket?) in a bun with a side of corn on the cob and a massive blue sugary drink (because 'Murca). The attendant asked 'do you want the corn dipped in butter?' Yes. Yes I do. Delicious.

Much like the best day at a park, this is SO HARD to answer! Our epic honeymoon adventure, multiple American road trips, cred-whoring weekenders across the UK, the trek from Russia to Finland. All iconic in their own right. But when it comes down to it, there's a trip that stands out in my mind that no other can hold a candle to in terms of park quality and memories of pure side-stitching laughter for its entirety and that was our 2011 trip to Europe to visit what we called at the time the Holy Trinity, otherwise known as Phantasialand, Efteling and Toverland. Each park excellent in its own right and my first taste of the excellence Europe had to offer outside of the theme park juggernauts like Disneyland Paris and Port Aventura and largely responsible for me delving even deeper into the hobby. Add to that beyond excellent company and general CoasterForce ridiculousness and the rest is history.

The China nightmare hands down. Next.

There's a memory of mine that always stands out when posed with questions like this and it took place at bloody Port Aventura of all places! We were visiting the park in December 2012 to ride Shambhala which was new for that season. We'd had a pretty good day at the park at that point having been able to enjoy some pretty great coasters and rides with close to zero crowd levels and this was before their operations were quite as shocking as they are now so there was plenty of opportunity to whore the mighty B&M hyper coaster. I remember it being dark at this point, the lift-hill illuminated by the moonlight and the Mediterranean sparkling in the distance as we ascended. There was a quiet moment in the madness as I looked around to find myself surrounded by the beaming faces of elated coaster enthusiasts, some of them very close friends of mine, all sharing this moment of pure, unadulterated bliss. It's a moment I'll never forget because for me it was just absolute joy, and the reason why I got into this stupid hobby in the first place!

There we go then - what a lovely little trip down memory lane! What were your stand out moments of the decade? I'd love to hear all about what the past ten years have brought for you so please do leave me a comment below or chat with me on social media!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

1 comments:

  1. New Creds- From 226 in 2010 to 801 in 2019
    New Parks- At least 60 new parks
    Best New Cred- New Texas Giant at SFOT (#367)-- I know you disagree with that one
    Worst New Cred- Ednor at La Ronde (#468) / Blue Streak at Conneaut (#257)
    Surprise- My 800th Coaster. I didn't know I rode it until after my Trip
    Best Day- Alabama Splash in 2014
    Best Food- Apple Fries at Legoland
    Best Trip- 2019 With CoasterCrew
    Worst Travel Moment- Dixie Landing/ Fuji Q
    Best Moment- Getting to meet B+ Celebrity Hyde in Mexico in 2017


    Honorable Mentions for Best Moments:
    5 Honorable Mention for Best Moment:
    - Getting a large guy to be able to ride a coaster
    - Making Ranger laugh
    - Meeting Drew The Intern and his wife with a big heart
    - Being able to ride the Kiddie Wooden Coaster at Playland... Really good by the way
    - Finding a post about how Nemesis is a Woman

    ReplyDelete

Back
to top