Why I Love Theme Parks

As an enthusiast, when people find out that I do this as a hobby, they often have loads of questions. Which I never really mind - I get it, it's weird, people are curious about weird stuff. I never mind talking about it or answering questions either, but there's always one that stumps me - just WHY do you love theme parks. Which is a great thinker...why the hell DO I love theme parks? I thought we'd take some time to explore that today!

As long as I can remember I've loved fantasy and escapism. I love animation, I'm a huge movie fan and I think my love for theme parks comes as an extension of that. It's really hard for me to pinpoint exactly why that is - there's something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when I look at the incredible worlds people can create - the masterful world-building of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings, the fantastical characters of the NeverEnding Story to the intricate narratives of Harry Potter and the Grimm Brothers fairytales.

To me, I guess theme parks represent the physical manifestation of those worlds and the incredible storytellers who create them. I'm a sucker for the more whimsical style of theme parks found at the likes of Efteling and Phantasialand, but I'm equally as enthralled by the way parks manage to apply a thrilling storyline and narrative to even the wildest of rollercoasters. For me, my love of theme parks has never been about the hard stats and metal, it's all about the feeling visiting them creates from me and just how much magic can come from what was once just an idea.

Next, the collective side of the hobby. I'm a self-proclaimed cred whore and that doesn't just stop at coasters. I absolutely love the thrill of ticking off a new-for-me park from my endless bucket list of parks I want to visit. I've always been this way, even as a kid. There's something really satisfying about building a collection to me. I was always the kid who had to complete the game 100% or own every issue of the magazine series (shout to to Wally's World and Horrible Histories). I even got involved with completing my little brother's football sticker book at one point! I get such a buzz from just planning trips and seeing all the new parks and creds I'm going to tick off, and the sense of achievement when I finally get there and ride them.

I also love the element of adventure associated with parks. I'm a self-proclaimed townie - the idea of camping in a forest or hiking up a mountain makes me feel sick to my stomach, so I guess theme parking is my way of still experiencing the world and taking in all it has to offer without the gross naturey side. Trying to navigate public transport to the weirdest corners or the country to trying to communicate with confused looking theme park stuff that can't understand why you want to ride the kiddie cred, it just feels like a bit of a quest to me - I suppose that also feeds into my first point about fantasy too!

Finally, I think it's definitely fair to say I was raised this way. It's pretty much been ingrained into me to love theme parks from a very early age. We always visited theme parks as a family, from Chessington to Thorpe Park to Adventure Island to the big parks in Orlando. Theme parks have always been a huge part of my life and for me are associated with feelings of love and happiness because of the memories I created visiting them growing up. Sure, that's evolved now and I don't visit parks with my family quite as much as I used to, but I still get that same rush of joy introducing somebody I love to a new park that I'm sure my family got from taking us when we were young.

At the end of the day though, despite all of that that I've just gone through with you, whenever somebody asks me why I love theme parks I'll still give them the same answer: who the hell DOESN'T love theme parks? Never trust anybody who says they don't love theme parks, chances are they're not a good person. And I'll be getting that printed on a t-shirt, I've decided.

What makes you love theme parks? Is there one particular factor or loads of different reasons and piled together to form one geeky obsession? Have a chat with me in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

Talk later xoxo,

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