I have a confession to make: I used to not like roller coasters. They were scary. And bumpy. And scary. They were also kind of scary, too.
My memories of roller coasters were not happy ones. Most of them were of being afraid to go on the rides and then being made fun of for it. Every time the subject of roller coasters came up, I would feel a little nervous, though I took comfort in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to go to any parks any time soon.
Then last summer, my aunt spent over seventy dollars for a Six Flags season pass for me without asking if I actually wanted to go or not. But she already spent the money, so I couldn’t say no.* (Well I could have, but that would’ve just been rude.) The rest of my family and friends were so excited to sit inside of a bunch of elaborately designed death machines, which meant that unless the park was destroyed by a conveniently timed tsunami, I would have to go to Six Flags.
I had only been on a few roller coasters before in my life. One was at Hershey Park: a wooden coaster where there were two separate tracks that raced each other. It’s name was something like “Lightning vs Thunder!” and eight year old me hated it. The vibrations were unbearable and actually pretty painful, I wanted to throw up (blame all Hershey candy), and mostly it had me wondering why anyone liked these rides to begin with. Their only redeeming qualities, to me at least, were the fact that they made me appreciate solid, unmoving ground so much more.
I also went on another wooden coaster, “The Runaway Train” (or something like that) when I was about five/six, and I hated it just as much. Though I did take enjoyment out of pictures like these:
So I went to Six Flags Great Adventure, having only been on two other roller coasters in my entire life (and hated them both), expecting to have a terrible time.
Instead I went on Nitro, Kingda Ka and Bizarro in one day, and loved each of them. As it turns out, I don’t hate roller coasters, I just hate the wooden ones. Which is why, in the times I’ve gone since, I still haven’t gone on El Toro.
What? Wooden coasters suck.
Now for the complaints:
The lines were terrible. Not just for the rides, (that I could expect), but the amount of time we spent waiting for food was just ridiculous. When I got in line for this place called “Johnny Rockets,” there were only five people in front of me. It took over half an hour (I kept track) just to place my order, and I had to wait an extra eight minutes for the food to actually come. This is why I now feel the inexplicable urge to punch anyone I meet named Johnny in the face.
The lines for the rides weren’t exactly short either. We had to wait an hour to get onto Kingda Ka, but that wasn’t the worst part. No, the worst part was when the ride broke down just as we got in the cart. But the employees didn’t bother telling us the ride had broken down; instead they just left us sitting on the track, expecting to suddenly shoot up four hundred feet at any second, for what felt like an hour. This was my first roller coaster of the day, too, which just intensified the cruel mental torture the park was putting me through.
And then the employees trolled us by saying, after the ride was fixed and everything: “You know, we’ve made you wait so long, I think you deserve to go again.” We all cheered. “Well, we’re not allowed to do that. Sorry.”
Also, I feel like the people who built the park strategically placed all the bathrooms as far apart and as hard to find as possible, just to make things more inconvenient. And whoever designed the Green Lantern ride had to have either been a woman or a eunuch, for reasons that become obvious when you go on it.* At least, now I know I don’t like standing-up coasters.
Worst of all was the fact that the park was located in New Jersey. *gags* I went home smelling like pollution and the Jonas Brothers. It was terrible.**
Some advice for anyone going there this summer.
- Nitro was perfection. You can’t go to Six Flags Great Adventure and not go on this ride. Well, you can, but then I’d be forced to give you a judgmental look.
- Kingda Ka was a great thrill ride but it wasn’t worth the hour long wait. If there’s a small line, go for it. And if you’re being forced by your friends to go on it, just remind yourself that it’s only about fifteen seconds long. Even less if you die on the way up.
- Bizarro was my personal favorite. While Kingda Ka was terrifying and Nitro was also terrifying, Bizarro was just straight up fun (and, also, pretty terrifying). I guess I just like the rides with the loops.
Despite all the whining in this post, I still can’t wait to go again. I’m proud of myself for conquering one of my many, many fears. It takes a lot of courage to go on a roller coaster, especially the big ones, but mostly, it takes lots and lots of peer pressure.
*for guys, that is.
**Okay, I exaggerated a bit there. I like New Jersey. I go there at least three times a year.