2022 Season In Review

After a couple of let down years starting really optimistically and striving to arrange and rearrange trips, I told myself that going into 2022 I was just going to make the most out of whatever happened and take every trip as it came.  Luckily I only ended up with one cancelled trip this season and ended up with one of the most action-packed theme park years I've had in ages! From visiting UK favourites to heading to the US twice to enjoying some European theme park Resorts, it's been a non-stop mixed bag for me this year with some real stand out moments along the way of course! Here's what my 2022 looked like in theme parks...

A massive improvement on 2021's +13, I managed to add 30 new coasters to my count this year, including some actual world-class stuff rather than just scraping the barrel with Wacky Worms in bleak UK seaside locations. Not bad going however I do think at this point unless I head to Australia or do a major China trip or something I'm never going to have a massive cred injection now, and that's fine by me!

No 'true' new parks for me this year, but rather smaller attractions like thos dotted around Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg:

  • Rowdy Bear's Smoky Mountain Snow Park
  • The Island at Pigeon Forge
  • Babylon Park

...three doesn't feel right but I can't find anything else to discredit that so three it is!

I rode some really great new coasters this year, which I'll get into in more depth in next week's blog, but overall for me it's my new Number 2 coaster in Velocicoaster at Universal Island's of Adventure. That thing absolutely blew my mind and every day I don't ride it is a day of my life wasted I tell you!

In terms of all 30 of my new credits, probably the Ski Lift Shootout Coaster at Rowdy Bear. It just didn't know what it wanted to be, was a little clunky and the coaster parts went too fast to be able to shoot anything properly. 

BUT, if we're talking about substantial coasters? Lightning Rod all the way. I had such high hopes for that thing, it was on my most anticipated list for 2022 and it rides like ass. The launched lift-hill makes no sense, it uses up all its momentum, the bit out the back is rough and uncomfortable and by the time you get to the quadruple down (eg the only fun bit of the ride) you're already willing for it to be over. It's so, so sad.

There's been a few this year, here's a selection:

  • Loving Twisted Cyclone, to the point where I rerode it a few times on my own whilst the others were off riding other stuff
  • Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburg being one of, if not the best, haunt I've ever done
  • Red Force being SO BAD. What the hell happened?!
  • Having an excellent time at Port Aventura after years of not really enjoying the place

Sooo many fantastic park days this year, but equally quite a lot of bad ones too. I don't actually have a category for Worst Day At A Park because I always try to make the best of a bad situation but some honorable mentions:

  • Our first full Islands of Adventure day being cut short by three hours due to a buy out + losing three hours at the start of the day due to the hideous Hagrid's queue. Worst day I've ever had at that park and even Velocicoaster couldn't redeem it.
  • Bobbejaanland. We arrived, we rode Fury, it started raining, it did not stop. We still had fun but when the rain is relentless like that there's really nothing much for it. 
  • Kentucky Kingdom. We arrived, we rode Storm Chaser, there was lightning in the area and everything was down for the rest of the day. We had some drinks and headed to Nashville instead but man, it was so crap to sit there waiting hopefully for things to open only for that not to happen. 

But best? That is really hard but thinking about it I think I have to hand it to King's Island. That park is incredible, excellent coasters, the weather was gorgeous, the operations were incredible, the company was fantastic and the day ended with a giant pumpkin in the sky made of drones. Brilliant. 

I have erotic dreams about devouring that entire loaf of Dollywood cinnamon bread but the INSANE pepperoni pizza bread from the new bakery at Efteling pips it for me. Sam and I's entire trip to Efteling last month essentially revolved around making as many stops to the bakery as we could stomach. And I still want more. 

Lots of fantastic trips for different reasons but the US road trip for sure. So many great parks, belly laughing, fantastic food and mind-blowing coasters. The perfect theme park road trip!

  • Losing my phone in Salou
  • The hotel in Pigeon Forge being rancid (rooms so damp my camera didn't work because of moisture in the air, no room keys available so we had to go to reception every time, the receptionist not knowing what a cab was, the list goes on...)
  • Getting caught in a hail blizzard from hell walking over to the airport in Eindhoven with Ryan in February and the umbrella shredding my hand open

Riding Velocicoaster for the first time. Back row. At night. Just, wow. Incredible, that feeling of pure euphoria, especially at the obscene tophat airtime. 


Looking back at 2022 I can't believe how much I managed to squeeze in. It's been an absolutely bonkers year from start to finish, and I know I won't do half as much in 2023 (mostly because my bank account is screaming) but I'm so grateful for every trip I went on this year, for all the new memories made and days spent in parks: good, bad and ugly. 

What did you get up to in 2022? What were your standout moments? Any major travel disasters? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,