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Do you have any theme park guilty pleasures?

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Hi guys. So often in theme park enthusiasm, there’s a consensus opinion on certain things; certain rides, attractions and parks are loved, while others are hated. But have you got any attractions or parks that you feel as though you really shouldn’t like, but you just do? Any theme park-related guilty pleasures, if you like?

I must admit, I have quite a few! Some of mine include:
  • The Simpsons Ride/Springfield at Universal Studios Florida - How much of this is down to the ride and area themselves and how much of this is down to the fact I’m a big Simpsons fan, I’m not entirely sure of, but I’m rather ashamed to admit that Springfield, including The Simpsons Ride itself, is actually one of my personal favourite bits of Universal Orlando. Even though the ride itself doesn’t really compare to some of Universal’s bigger e-ticket dark rides like the Potter rides, Spider-Man, Transformers and Mummy in terms of technical complexity, I must admit that I have a huge soft spot for it, and it makes me smile every time I ride! I’ve ridden it quite a few times now over various trips to Universal, and there are still certain bits in the ride and queue that really make me chuckle every time! I’m also a huge fan of the Springfield area; I think the attention to detail is absolutely astounding, and it really feels like you’re in a Simpsons episode at times! However, I’m always afraid to admit my love for The Simpsons’ attraction at Universal Orlando, because I feel like it’s almost universally panned by most!
  • Runaway Mine Train at Alton Towers - The fact that I have a powered family roller coaster in my top 30 (for reference, my coaster count is 74) probably looks laughable to most of you, but I must admit that even though I’ve been riding RMT for years now (it was one of my first ever coasters), it consistently delivers a fun ride every single time for me! It’s not the most intense of coasters by any means, but it’s just such an effortlessly fun ride that anyone of any age can just sit back and enjoy. And it packs a surprising punch in places; that ending helix is really quite intense for a coaster of only 22mph! It may be a powered roller coaster aimed at families and young children, but there are far worse places you could be than on the back seat of Runaway Mine Train, in my opinion!
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Alton Towers - Even though it was almost universally slated by most Alton Towers fans, I must admit that I really miss CATCF; it’s one of the defunct rides that I wish I could bring back, for sure! I have many very fond memories of riding it; I always found it a nice, relaxing ride with some really nice theming, and the elevator ending added a really unique layer to the overall experience, in my opinion! On the whole, I just have many fond memories of this ride, and I always really enjoyed it; certainly one I never personally got the hate for!
  • DinoRama at Disney’s Animal Kingdom - While I admit that DinoRama is far from my favourite area in Animal Kingdom, and it is quite a stark contrast to the park’s other areas, I’m ashamed to say that I do still kind of like it! I found the area quite cute and charming in its own sort of way; it’s a very vibrant area, in my opinion, and there’s a surprising amount of theming with all of the dinosaur cutouts and the lights around! Overall, I always kind of liked DinoRama, in an odd kind of way; even though I admit that it’s not Disney’s finest work, I still think it’s a nice little area in its own special way.
  • Oakwood - Even though everyone seems to hate Oakwood, I must admit that I have a real soft spot for it! In spite of the fact that it was tipping down with rain, I still managed to have a great day at Oakwood when I last went in May 2019! And I actually think the park has a lot going for it; Megafobia, even though it doesn’t quite compare to newer rides like Wicker Man for me, is a really solid, fun coaster, in my opinion, and I love Oakwood’s very quaint, wooded setting! I also think that the park has a certain charm to it throughout that really makes me like it; things like Neverland and the train ride to the park, amongst other sections, dare I say almost feel kind of magical!
But what are some of your theme park guilty pleasures?
 
Lapping Fiorano GT Challenge at Ferrari World. This duelling Maurer coaster with 4 launches is a family coaster but it is just so insanely fun. This is easily my most ridden coaster at Ferrari World. While rides like Formula Rossa and Flying Aces are incredible, they wear you down really fast due to their insane forces (especially Formula Rossa, that launch is insane). Fiorano is the perfect relaxation to do in between. It's just a pity that it's on the other side of the park.

Lisbergsbanan at Liseberg is another incredible ride that nowadays usually never has a line due to it's insane capacity. Back in 2010 I used to queue over 2 hours for this ride, nowadays it's usually a walk on. This coaster only does one thing, it goes around in circles on a mountain. It's such a cool feeling which is pretty unlike any other coaster.

I am also a sucker for Zamperla spinning coasters. They are pretty boring rides but nothing is more fun when you have your mates with you. I think I have at least 100 rides on the one in Constanta, Romania. It's open until about 1 AM so it's the perfect after party attraction.
 

emoo

Member
Drinking fancy alcohol when I could be riding, truly savouring the visit. Also adds the extra edge when re-riding.

Watching station floors move:
  • Turn table loading platforms - staring in a way that makes the turntable appear still, but the bridge over the top is going round it
  • Floorless Roller coasters - watching the retractable floor disappear and re-appear
  • To a lesser extent the slight lowering floor on inverted coasters but that's a bit old hat now.
Using my legs to pull down the restraint on B&M hyper coasters, then sitting slightly forwards to get a bit of room. The entire ride experience could be done hands free were it not for a little clam-shell bongo action once in a while. Plus I don't want to look like a tit with my hands up all the way on a long lift hill. If you do this I'm sure you pull it off no problem and is your own pleasure.

Getting a bit of a jog on only a few foot steps away from an employee who asked me nicely not to run after rope drop.

Single rider queue.

On lift hills with a view, seeing how far I can turn around to take it all in.

Watching and listening to the mechanisms on all flyers.

Switch Tracks.

Atmospheric lighting.

Having a quick nap on a train or dark ride I am familiar with such as Pirates. Doesn't happen intentionally but park days and long trips take its toll. Getting out of the heat & into a relaxing comfort zone makes its a better option than going back to the hotel for a bit so I wouldn't fight it for too long. Just go round a couple more times!
 

Fleetwood_Mack

New Member
Infusion at BPB. I really do enjoy it a lot and the intensity always catches me off guard.

Never had a rough ride on it. No idea what you wimps have been moaning about for years. It's not exactly smooth as glass but the way enthusiasts go on I was expecting something absolutely horrific, and it's always been fine. Maybe next time it'll finally try and murder me to death, who knows.

Grand National however I'm happy to avoid. It took a good hour for my spine to sink back into place after my last ride. People kept using me as a coat rack. That death jolt at the bottom of the first drop, oh my.
 
Watching station floors move:
  • Turn table loading platforms - staring in a way that makes the turntable appear still, but the bridge over the top is going round it
  • Floorless Roller coasters - watching the retractable floor disappear and re-appear
  • To a lesser extent the slight lowering floor on inverted coasters but that's a bit old hat now.
Switch Tracks.

Oh you've hit the nail on the head there for me too. Any extra beautiful mechanical wizardry on coasters has always fascinated me, but it's definitely something that i'll only mention within a specific crowd. I have learned that mentioning things like transfer tracks to non-enthusiasts is promptly met with eye-rolling ?

Another one is your old school style ghost trains (probably not the technical term for them) a la BPB/Grona Lund. There is definitely a bit more appreciation for them amongst the enthusiast community but I can understand where judgement comes from in some places, with many of them being quite childish in nature. For me however, they're the perfect blend of morbid cheesiness which I really love to experience when the opportunity comes along.
 

Eyebrows

New Member
Vekoma SLCs - I had literally heard nothing good about these, but after I got off Mind Eraser at Six Flags America, I was thoroughly surprised! The layout was very intense with very good pacing, and it wasn’t very rough at all. Obviously the restraints were the biggest problem but they only went up to my ears. I thought it’d be a “once for the credit and never again” kind of ride, but I’ll definitely get back on it the next time I go!
 
Vekoma SLCs - I had literally heard nothing good about these, but after I got off Mind Eraser at Six Flags America, I was thoroughly surprised! The layout was very intense with very good pacing, and it wasn’t very rough at all. Obviously the restraints were the biggest problem but they only went up to my ears. I thought it’d be a “once for the credit and never again” kind of ride, but I’ll definitely get back on it the next time I go!

Mate, I think Mind Eraser erased your mind.
 

Howie

Active Member
Quantum, Thorpe Park. Actually, not just Quantum, but any of those magic carpet rides. Whenever I see one, I always try to fit it into the schedule. One of the best airtime machines out there.
Back in the 80's Alton Towers had one. It was only there for a couple seasons, it was one of the first Alton rides I ever went on and I loved it, was very sad that it wasn't there for very long. The last time I saw that particular one was at M&D's, it still had an Alton Towers plaque in the operator's booth and everything! ?
Anyways, imagine my delight when Thorpe Park bought one in 2003! And that was on top of a certain B&M inverter... in the same year!
Ah, the noughties, when Thorpe Park could do no wrong. Oh how times have changed. ?
 
The kiddy boat & car rides at Europa like the Elf boat, creepy 'puppet boat' & Di Vinci pedal monorail - rides you might miss at any other park - but it's all part of the Europa 'experience' to do them all each time I go!

LACTOSE - I'm lactose intolerant but allow myself a break at theme parks....ice cream, pan-cakes etc etc ...but often with 'consequences' after a trip lol

Wobbly bridge.... if there's a normal path to walk or a wobbly bridge.......always go wobbly bridge!

Flying theatres aka sourin........ I like them! bite me!
 

caffeine_demon

Well-Known Member
Watching station floors move:
  • Turn table loading platforms - staring in a way that makes the turntable appear still, but the bridge over the top is going round it
  • Floorless Roller coasters - watching the retractable floor disappear and re-appear
  • To a lesser extent the slight lowering floor on inverted coasters but that's a bit old hat now.

Just taking a moment to appreciate the new train adding on lisebergbanan - what a sight to behold!

And I'd happily watch the loading/unload stations on ratatouile at dlp for a good half hour!

Ride wise - I'd say Gerstlauer Junior rides (Troublesome trucks, smurf express) and small/medium zierer tivoli's hit the spot too!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
I like Walibi Holland a bit more than I should, I think. It's not a bad park, especially following the addition of Untamed, but as a whole it's by no means the best. But I just love the whole package of the park these days, largely helped I think by their wacky marketing.

I have a soft spot for Soquets too. Still don't really know why, but they seem to either makes creds which are 'decent little rides for what they are', or 'so bad they're hilarious'.
 

Howie

Active Member
I like Walibi Holland a bit more than I should

I'm with you on that, it's definitely one of my favourite European parks. Like you said, it isn't world-class, but it's not trying to be. It's a park that knows what kind of park it wants to be, if that makes sense? It's not trying to be Disneyland, or Phantasialand, or Cedar Point and it isn't constantly trying to deliver stupid 'world's first' claims, it's just a mid tier, regional park that does things well, buys decent hardware and does fun events.
Goliath is awesome, Untamed is awesome and then of course there's you-know-what. That thing we don't talk about.
<knowing nod>
?

Back on topic, here's another one of mine:
NitroGenie.
Yeah yeah I know, it's 4 and a half quid for a poxy little tub.. but good lord, that is some seriously good ice cream. The caramel flavour, with the bits of broken Crunchie sprinkled on top?
Boss! ?
 

solarfall

New Member
Pepsi Max Big One for me. I know that's a "wrong opinion" as an enthusiast, and that it doesn't have any airtime, and blah blah blah but I always like to think of it as the steel equivalent of The Beast. Iconic rides with bad layouts on paper (for enthusiasts at least) that are still unique, and have awesome settings. Also it was the first hypercoaster I ever went on, so even though I don't rank it very high, it still holds a nostalgic place in my heart.

Granted, I haven't been to BPPB in more than a decade, so I have no idea if the years have been kind to it. I'm sure that retracking will help, if not.

EDIT: some others came to mind too.

Wild Eagle: I always see people call this one of the weaker B&M wings, and while I've only been on this one and GateKeeper, I have to disagree. I like the straight drop on this one way more than the dive drop on the other models, and I never really cared for some of those gimmicky near misses they love to put on all these wing coasters. It's a pretty clear #3 in the park for me, and tons of fun to marathon if there's no line.

Bobsled Coasters: All of them. These are the bee's knees, especially the Intamin Swiss Bobs.

Viper (Darien Lake): Similar reasoning to The Big One, this is mostly a nostalgic one since it was my first credit with inversions. I still think this is one of the better arrow loopers still standing.

Also hard agree with OP on the Simpsons ride. It's probably my second favorite ride in USO (not including IoA) after The Mummy.
 
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VonRolland

Member
Guilty Pleasure's as follows:
*Zierer Tivoli's - Fantastic family coasters that usually have stupidly long trains and have a very distinct rumble, always a fun ride. My personal favourite is Eggspress
*Gerst Family coasters - Absolutely creamy smooth, forceful and generally speedy
*Nemesis (most cred's actually) - Watching trains flying out the station without stacking what so ever consistently
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
I love a neglected rapids ride. One with minimal waves and all the effects turned off. Bonus points for a dark mouldy tunnel that hasn't been cleaned in years. A crapids, if you will. They provide a prime oppotunity for a classic enthusiast behaviour: moaning about rides not being as good as they used to be!
 
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