What To Expect From A Theme Park Meet Up

Having largely fuelled my theme park enthusiasm by joining a coaster club and starting to head to more meet-ups, it always saddens me a little when I see would-be enthusiasts talking about how they're desperate to get out to more parks but are unsure of joining a group because they're intimidated or scared of what it might be like. Obviously everybody's experiences are different and given that there are so many different coaster clubs available to join it might take trying a few varying meet ups to decide what group really works for you. That said, I wanted to take some time today to highlight some of the things you might expect as a newbie at a theme park club meet up to help ease some of those anxieties and hopefully encourage more of you to sign up to a meet in the future once these things are allowed to happen again!

As with meeting up with any new group of people anywhere, whether it be starting a new job or the first day at a new school, there are going to be in jokes. And for a while, you'll feel like a bit of a tit stood there not understanding what everybody is laughing at. When I went to my first meet up I pretty much had no idea what was going on for the majority of the day but I stood back a little and could enjoy the fact that this group of people were having such a laugh with each other that the cackling was pretty much constant the entire day. After a few meet ups the subject matter does change and it will eventually get around to something you were there to witness for yourself and you'll be able to join in with the laughter and piss-taking and feel part of the group. It's just one of those awkward but completely expected and normal parts of joining a new group of people. 

Oh god, the faff. Look, take any large group of people to a theme park and there's going to be faff. We can't all be expected to sync bladders or consistently agree on what ride is next all damn day so you kind of just have to get on with it. For your first meet up, I wouldn't recommend going to a park you've never done before as chances are you're not going to be able to explore and see as much of it as you might like. For me joining a coaster club and going to meet ups was more about connecting with some like minded theme park fiends who might be up for venturing further afield in future. Sure, there will be opportunities to visit new-for-you parks with some coaster clubs and in those instances I'm sure the teams would do their utmost to ensure as much as those parks are covered as possible. I'm talking more about local parks that as enthusiasts we've visited a hundred times. When there's less cred anxiety there's more possibility of faff, so my recommendation would be to just ride the wave and take the faff time as a chance to get to know some of the people in the group better!

OK, that sounds bad and terrifying but coaster enthusiasts tend to gauge what kind of a person you are based on your coaster opinions. So you'll probably be asked what your top ten is, if you count coasters and if so how many have you ridden, what's your favourite theme park in the UK, and so on. I understand how this can be terrifying but most people are just curious and want your thoughts and experiences on things as opposed to scoffing at you, so embrace it and get stuck in to the conversation! I guarantee somebody somewhere in the group you're chatting with will challenge something you say, which will cause somebody else to counter challenge it and before you know it that hour long queue you'd just joined has whizzed by as you listen intently about the various sides of the debate as to whether Grand National counts as one or two credits. The good thing about coming to a coaster meet up is before you arrive you already know you have at least one thing in common with these people that you can chat about, and given the fact that seven years later I'm still finding topics to write about on it for my blog I think it's fair to say that rollercoasters and theme parks are a bottomless pit of conversation. 

One of the best things I've found out of theme park and coaster club meet ups is that often you'll get chatting to people who you find you have more in common with than just theme parks, which obviously is a great springboard for amazing friendships. Even though it's obviously wonderful to be able to bond over parks, in my experience I've found that just that mutual love of the thrill isn't enough to create sustainable and meaningful friendships. The great thing is that coaster and theme park enthusiasts come from all corners of the country from all different backgrounds, so you're pretty much guaranteed to find somebody you click with, even if you don't meet or connect with them on your very first meet. It's definitely worth chatting to as many different people as you can muster on your first meet as opposed to sticking with one group, otherwise you'll end up with a very periscoped perspective of what that particular group are all about as opposed to getting a more widespread flavour. 

I understand these things can be intimidating, especially if you've never met anybody who's as much of a theme park nerd as you are before! In the interest of safety, practicality and your own general comfort, I'd recommend not heading to your first meet up alone. Bring a friend or family member with you first time around as you might quickly decide it isn't for you and you don't want to end up stuck with a bunch of strangers for the entire day!

And hopefully this goes without saying but if any member of the group does or says anything that upsets you or makes you uncomfortable, know that this is not OK and is definitely not something that should happen at any theme park or coaster club meet up. 


Were you thinking of heading to a coaster club meet up for the first time soon? If you've been visiting theme parks with clubs for years, what was your first meet up like? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Hot Takes from my experiences:
    Didn’t notice much in jokes apart from Robb Bashing. When I did it, it was too specific people that would know the references. Edit, I did call someone a celebrity on a group trip.
    Apart from inaccurate or overrated bashing of me, didn’t notice much faff. But I know someone’s wife who apparently did.
    I have interrogated four People but it was to try to start conversations
    I was really happy I got to meet internet celebrities in my trips