2018 Season In Review

Wow, talk about a blink and you miss it season! I know it's mega clichéd to say it, but this year has absolutely whizzed by and I feel like I really haven't stopped to catch my breath until now (and even then I'm not really stopping as as I write this I have about another 12 tabs opens all to do with trip planning for 2019, I have issues). We had our final park visit a couple of weekends ago with a little pop over to Disneyland Paris but I thought I'd spend some time whilst I'm digested my body weight in pigs in blankets, cheese and Christmas chocolate to reminisce about the literal rollercoaster that has been the 2018 season.

After a respectively quiet season cred-wise and park-visit-wise in 2017, 2018 was the complete opposite. Two big trips including our honeymoon to Hong Kong, China and the UAE and a two week Halloween extravaganza in Orlando, a couple of pops over to Disneyland Paris, a nice quick weekend to Liseberg, yet more Halloween madness in the Netherlands plus a spattering of visits to UK parks to get my fill of our New for 2018 goodness, suffice to say I'm pretty exhausted. And I wouldn't change a minute - it's been bloody brilliant and so much fun to get stuck back in to the coaster counting game with visiting a ton of new parks this year! I spent over 60 days at parks this year roughly (next year I think I'll keep a proper tally).

I've asked you guys to submit some questions so I've amalgamated those in with some questions I answered last year to give this a bit of structure, so let's get stuck in!

99 new creds for me this year, which is ever so slightly irritating but there we are! Absolutely smashed my pitiful final count for 2017 and there's a really interesting mix of new coasters in there, especially with my trip to Asia (I'll do a separate post on my fav new things from 2018). Ending the year with a coaster count of 937, here's to finally smashing the 1000 barrier in 2019.

Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park
Chimelong Ocean Kingdom
Chimelong Paradise
China Dinosaurs Park
Chuanlord Holiday Manor
Fantawild Adventure
Fantawild Dreamland
Happy Valley Shenzhen
Happy Valley Shanghai
Happy Valley Beijing
Hong Kong Disneyland
Jin Jiang Action Park
Ocean Park
Oriental Heritage
Shanghai Disneyland
Sun Park
Ferrari World
IMG Worlds of Adventure
LegoLand Dubai
Bollywood Park
Sparky's Family Fun Centre
Yas Waterworld
Billybird Park
DippieDoe Attractiepark
Funland at the Tropicana

27 new parks for me this year, which I'm pretty please with! Last year I only managed 9 so a massive improvement since then. 

Like I mentioned, I'll do a separate post breaking down all of my favourite newness from this season as there's actually been a lot of really world class new attractions I managed to experience this season. I think looking at my coaster count it's going to have to be Formula Rossa at Ferrari World. I don't think I'll ever truly get over my first ride on that thing - the sheer force of it is simply overwhelming and my hair has never been the same since. Incredible coaster. 

Usually I'd say ignore the obvious crap like Wacky Worms and SLCs and whatever but I have a new entry into the worst coaster I've ever ridden from this year's trip to China, in the form of Flare Meteor. It's a Golden Horse knock off of a Vekoma SLC and well...imagine the worst SLC you've ever ridden and then imagine ridden it as somebody drills into the side of your restraint with a jackhammer and you're half way there. Honestly my ears were bright red and throbbing when I got off of this piece of shit. Burn it to the ground. 

For me that has to be Motiongate - but not in a good way. On paper the park has everything I love - movie theme, tons of dark rides, an interesting selection of attractions. But something just felt off about the place. It was obscenely hot first of all, which I don't do well with anyway, but add to that the fact that the place was a ghost town and there was just simply no atmosphere. It meant we felt kind of awkward the entire time we were there, which ruined a park I'd been looking forward to visiting since it opened. The whole Dubai Parks & Resorts area was the same to be honest, it all felt kind of dystopian and abandoned. Such a shame considering how fabulous it looks on paper. 

I think I'll go for Liseberg for this one. You know when you have a day where you just laugh non-stop? It was one of those ones. Incredible coasters, a fantastic Halloween event with some of the most terrifying mazes I've ever done and brilliant company - an obvious recipe for a wonderful day out. What a way to end the Halloween season!

Got to be Hong Kong Disneyland. We'd landed in Hong Kong earlier that day, gone to our hotel to drop the bags off, had a quick wash and change and had jumped straight on a train to the park. With all the rushing around and excitement we'd actually forgotten to eat, meaning we were bloody starving by the time we arrived and the first thing we did was grab some food. And my god we made a good choice. For locals it was probably no better than a standard burger and chips like you'd get over here, but essentially it was a massive bowl of rice with a huge juicy slab of roast BBQ duck laid atop it. It was fabulous. 

Also I still dream nightly about the pork floss corndog I had at Shanghai Disneyland. Yummmm. 

Hmm, this is hard because technically of course it was our honeymoon, but actually a lot of that was extremely stressful and quite a lot of spiteful things happened which tarnished my memory of it slightly. I actually think it was Florida thinking about it. All the fabness of Halloween rolled into what is always an excellent time in Orlando. I know the parks and Resorts like the back of my hand so it was completely stress free and we basically just had a laugh. Such a fun time. 

Urgh, spiteful spiteful China. I have two, and both were equally vile so I'll explain. The first one was when we were staying for two nights in fabulous Macau in an amazing hotel called Studio City. On our second day there the plan was to pop over the border to China to visit Ocean Kingdom, do the park then head back into Macau for our second night in the hotel before heading back into China to press on with the rest of our trip. So you understand from this you'd need a multiple entry Visa to China, which we found out Conor didn't have as we walked through border patrol into China and his one entry Visa was voided - meaning if we'd returned to Macau for our second night in the hotel Conor wouldn't have been able to get back into China to continue the rest of our trip. BURDEN! 

What we decided to do was leave Conor in Zhuhai (the Chinese side of the border) whilst I popped back to Macau, back to our fabulous hotel, pack up everything (two massive suitcases and two backpacks), check out of our hotel early and go across the Chinese border by myself to meet Conor on the other side whilst he sorted us a hotel for the night. So yes, we're the couple that, for a few hours, spent our honeymoon in two separate countries. 

The other travel woe moment was when we were in Nanjing, planning on jumping on a train to Beijing later that evening. All trip long we'd been booking trains as we went along as there were always tons and we never had an issue. Except for this one time where when we went to book the only tickets remaining were £200 each. Crap. After spending all day trying to figure it out we ended up opting to head to Nanjing airport instead and flying to Beijing. Annoying, but also kind of fun being in the airport and being able to ask for tickets on the next available flight to Beijing like we were in a movie or something. Except then we were told they wouldn't accept our credit card so we had to then run around trying to find a cash machine to withdraw £200 from to buy the bloody flights with. I'm sweating thinking about it, it was vile. 

Oh god, so many fantastic moments from 2018! Riding Formula Rossa for the first time and being absolutely blown away, finally getting to do Halloween Horror Nights and almost crying walking in, entering the main show building for Tron and involuntarily exclaiming WOW, collectively dying on The Shocker at Liseberg, walking under the giant manta ray entrance of Ocean Kingdom. It really has been a phenomenal year, no idea how I'm going to top it with 2019 but I'm definitely going to give it a try. Brace yourself 2019, I'm coming for ya!

What were your stand out moments of 2018? I'd love to hear all about what you got up to so please do leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook or Twitter for a chat!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. I finnaly made my first own trip together with my Brother to Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix. Other highlights were the opening of Avalon and Port Laguna, Brighton Pier and Holiday Park. And our annual passes on Europa Park, Phantasialand and Disneyland Paris made this amazing year even better! Still got some visits left for Europa Park this year but I can't wait for 2019!