5 Things All Enthusiasts Have Done (But Are Too Embarrassed To Admit)

I am often the first to righteously take to social media and scream from the digital rooftops about how I'm proud of my weird-ass hobby and I'll see death before I feel bad or awkward about being 'obsessed' or 'strange' for loving theme parks as much as I do. In fact, being an enthusiast is something I'd actively encourage more and more people to do - it's a joyful thing to hold passion for something and a harmless hobby like this that makes fabulous memories and gets the endorphins going can only be a good thing in my eyes. BUT, there are some things that even I and I'm sure many other enthusiasts have done that have me cringing at myself and making a mental note that, proud as I am to be a self-confessed theme park nerd, some things are too shameful to let others no about. However, in the spirit of the off-season and having nothing else interesting to right about, I thought I'd spend this evening spilling the beans on some weird-ass enthusiast things I've done but have been too embarrassed to admit. Until now.

A wise man once turned to me on a trip to a theme park full of too many creds and not enough time (or so we thought) and told me 'creds before breads Jordan!' He was half joking, but I'm pretty sure that day we let cred anxiety get the better of us and went pretty much the whole day without stopping to eat a damn thing. In case you weren't already aware, this is a dumb thing to do and not something I'd recommend, but in that overwhelming moment of sheer panic in realising that not getting on everything was absolutely a reality, we had to prioritise and drowning out our growling stomachs with the clanking of lift-hill chains seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Looking back now I hang my head in shame, not only because it's obviously ridiculous but it's not often I get to go to the US and tuck in to their fabulous cuisine so it's a shame I missed out on that occasion!

Own up, we've ALL been on a dark ride or a kiddie ride with a little coaster style dip or a sudden increase in speed that's had that cred demon that lives in all of our brains to wake up and whisper "hellooooo what's this?' No-one will ever SEE my spreadsheet, you tell yourself as you shamelessly start adding that Disk-O with the hump to your list. They're CALLED coasters by the manufacturer so it DEFINITELY counts. And beside, coaster-count recently added them all so there are others out there who think like me! It's FINE. If it were fine Brenda why are you spending so much time convincing me, your brain, that everything is fine and this is absolutely not shameless coaster-whore credit-mongering. For shame.

For clarification I am absolutely guilty of this haha!

We all know a hill somewhere in our local area that if taken at just the right speed will feel like we're literally lifting off of the pavement delivering that sweet, sweet airtime thrill without having to even bother to enter the gates of a theme park. You see it coming in the distance. YES, no other cars around, excellent. You slowly press harder on the accelerator, feeling the adrenaline increase along with your speed until finally WHOOSH - your stomach fills with butterflies the fluttering of which is only drowned out by the crashing sound of your suspension all but collapsing as you come down the other side. That...probably wasn't good for the car. But does it mean you won't do it again? Hell no.

I am SO bad for this one - although I know several enthusiasts who can identify a coaster or theme park filming location a mile off but for some reason my brain can never really place them. And so I've often found myself in a situation where I'll be watching a movie or a TV show and BAM OMG THEY'RE IN A THEME PARK YAAAY! My brain is happy. But then wait - what park is that? Cue me squinting at the screen and trying to take in any clue I can possibly get as to where this location could be. Is that B&M track in the background? The sign is blurred but if it comes up again I'm sure I can make it out. Urgh. I will literally not pay attention to anything going on in the scene and worse still if I don't figure it out I'll spend the remainder of the show or film totally distracted wondering where the hell it was.

This one is soooo embarrassing because of the visceral reaction it provokes. I can't tell you how many times I've been a passenger in a car driving somewhere when we'll pass by something with a metal structure that vaguely looks like a coaster and my whole body will twitch to attention, like a meerkat on watch duty. The worst part is we'll often be somewhere where I KNOW there are no parks or coasters, unless a Six Flags has just popped up half-way along the M6 and for some unknown reason I had no idea about it. You try your best to hide this embarrassing spontaneous enthusiast reflex but it's too late, everybody saw it and everybody now thinks you're weirder than they already did. Well done, nervous system.

As if just existing wasn't embarrassing enough of an issue, being an enthusiast goes and adds all of this awfulness into the mix. Urgh. How long until the parks reopen again?

Talk later xoxo,