Why I Hate Being A Theme Park Enthusiast

Ahh, another theme park season is about to be thrust upon us and as I enter my sixteenth year of recognising myself as a theme park enthusiast I thought it was high time to address a few things. For you see, as much as I adore this ridiculous hobby of ours I'd be lying if I said it didn't come with some downsides. As with all things, there's certainly as aspect of having too much of a good thing, to the point where the hobby can become as much a burden as it is a way to let your hair down. So I fancied a little vent about what it's sometimes like being a coaster enthusiast and the downsides that come with the hobby. Here are five reasons why I hate being a coaster enthusiast!

Listen, I can't tell you the amount of times I've ended up living like a pauper for a month because I'm paying for a bunch of coaster trips up front. Making the most of the airline sales periods and booking all my flights at once is definitely good planning, but when it leaves me having to eat pasta meals for weeks on end to balance out the offset I sometimes sit and wonder if it's all worth it. And that's before the season has even begun - even with annual passes and discounted tickets, a day out to a park can quickly become very expensive and whilst the memories and experiences are obviously priceless, I do sometimes find myself wincing at my bank account once they're over. Yikes.

I hate the term GP as I think it sound weird and elitist, but it's the best way to describe what I mean in this point. As much as I THINK visiting a park with non-enthusiast friends or family will be a good, fun time, I find myself on edge the entire time. And it either goes one of two ways for me: either I'm (rightly) seen as the expert and everyone looks to me to plan the day and lead the group around as I'm trusted to know what's best, leaving me feeling exhausted and not properly able to enjoy myself because I'm so worried about whether everyone else is having a good time at my favourite of places OR I am stressing out trying desperately hard not to let the obsessive geeky side of me take over. I find it hard enough on a day to day basis not to let theme park talk take over every angle of a conversation, but when I'm actually IN a theme park? Nigh on IMPOSSIBLE not to point out that OMG DID YOU ACTUALLY KNOW THAT ROCK OVER THERE HAS A HIDDEN SPEARKER INSIDE and WELL ACTUALLY THIS PART OF THE COASTER WAS RETRACKED YEARS AGO TO MAKE IT SMOOTHER AND THAT'S WHY IT RIDES SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY. Literally nobody asked, urgh.

The nature of our hobby is fairly nihilistic in itself (especially if you're a counter) because you will literally NEVER complete the set. It's like the Greek myth of Sisyphus, cursed to push a boulder up a hill for all eternity only to have it roll down the other side whenever he made it to the top. No matter how many coasters you ride or parks you visit, there will ALWAYS be more being built. And yes whilst that is mostly exciting, when it's a crusty ol' Big Apple in the darkest depths of Cornwall that's crawled out of nowhere it can really make you question your life choices.

On top of this it's almost impossible to plan trips anywhere because there is literally so much to do that any decision you make feels like you're neglecting somewhere else. And what if that place closes before you get there?! It's impossible...

This one irks me so much and it's something I really try hard not to get too deep into. I enjoy the mystery of a theme park. I enjoy not knowing every attraction inside and out. It's the wonder of the storytelling and the worlds and experiences that parks create for us that make me fall so in love with them in the first place, and personally I find the more I know about a park the less mesmerised I become by it. But it's a vicious cycle - I want to remain enchanted but I also want to know the DETAILS about the STUFF, you know? And also because we know so much about the parks we find ourselves questioning decisions the parks make and getting genuinely angry about why, especially if we're not entirely sure of the reasons behind certain choices. It's hard to not tweet about what the FUCK Disney were thinking launching Galaxy's Edge without their E-ticket attraction and get angry over what a dumbass decision it seemed to us, but sometimes we do just need to breathe and remember it's a bloody theme park, it's not that deep. Even if it was dumb as hell...

Ah, the bickering. Now don't get me wrong, there was a time in my life when to me a good Friday night was ordering myself up a take-away, opening my laptop and going to town on some moron on a forum who DARED suggest that SkyRush wasn't the best coaster in the world. I'd get worked up and angry and honestly because of the slower pace of forum-based correspondence these exchanges could go on for days, even weeks! Social media has sped up that interaction exponentially and the result is an absolute barrage of constant nonsensical arguments. And it is VERY hard not to get sucked into them, especially if I see somebody saying that they don't think Phantasialand is all that great *cut to me taking my gold hoop earrings out and cracking my knuckles metaphorically*. Because it is constant and there's no relief, it's a lot more important these days to remember that IT DOESN'T MATTER that somebody has a different opinion to you about a park because honestly you'll drive yourself nuts trying to get your point across and ultimately the person on the other end isn't going to change their mind and may even be a troll just putting their controversial point out there to garner a response.

Obviously it's not ALL bad otherwise I wouldn't keep at it year after year but hell, it's a frustrating ol' hobby sometimes!

Talk later xoxo,