What's new

What do you consider a “good” ride count at a theme park?

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. Often, many enthusiasts use ride count as an indicator of how successful their day at a theme park has been. However, I’ve noticed from past comments on some of my trip reports that some have a vastly different definition of a good ride count to what I do, so my question to you is; what do you consider a “good” ride count? At what point are you satisfied with the number of rides you’ve ridden?

For me, I think it depends on the park to a degree. I expect to have a lower ride count at places that aren’t as ride-driven compared to places that are more ride-driven. To be honest, though, I’d say I’m grateful for getting on any rides at all or even getting into the park, as technically speaking, the parks’ T&C’s often state that they reserve the right to refuse you entry or not open any rides.

In actuality, however, I’d say that 5 rides is a good ride count, in my eyes. I’ve kind of accepted as a given that I won’t be able to ride every attraction of note in one visit, and re-rides on things are mostly out the window, so I’d say 5 rides in a day is a brilliant tally, personally, as it usually gets you onto at least half of the major attractions in most parks.

But what do you personally consider a good ride count?
 

Bentleya

Mega Poster
I’d be going home very disappointed if I was only able to get on 5 rides in a visit to a park and I’d probably say that’s not really good value for money.

I would say getting on 10 rides / attractions is starting to getting towards being good value from the cost of getting in a park.

I don’t like queuing for more then say 30 minutes for and attraction and I’d prefer to walk around the park at my own leisure taking it all in and then pay for fast track.
 

Heth

Mega Poster
I think I'd be disappointed with anything below 1 major ride per hour, but in general it's more to do with not doing the main rides I want to.

EDIT: in general I'm more than happy to be an opportunist and ride smaller rides as and when I see them at parks I'm familiar with. I'd happily ride Walking Dead and Stealth 3 times each if queues allow than queue 2 hours for Saw. This would change if I was at a park I'd never been to, where I'd rather do everything once.
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
I remember (I don't know if it was during orientation at Disney or in an article) that Disney park execs have found out that the optimal number of rides per guests on a day is 8. Anything below that magical number and guests will feel like they have not got their money's worth.

I think enthusiasts are masters at stretching time and finding the best ways to squeeze as many rides as we possibly can. I mean, who has not gone to a park to power ride coasters or has gone on a credit run to sweep creds from several parks in a single day?

Days visiting parks with a heavy coaster line-up like GAdv or Cedar Point can be both exhausting but memorable.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
All the coasters plus any other major rides, but I'm not bothered about most flat rides unless it's a model I haven't tried before (or a drop tower).

I'd be going full Karen if I only got 5 rides in. The idea of being "grateful" for a crap experience that you've actually paid for? No.

The only exception is if I've got an annual pass and/or have been to the park loads of times already. In that case, I'm fine with just riding a few things.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
There's no fixed number for me as it depends on the park, and also expectations given how busy it is. Also depends if it's a new park.

For a new park: Pretty much all creds and noteworthy rides though is the minimum (with the caveat I won't do any overly spinny flats). But I usually like to do some of the smaller, fun stuff too. Looking at the new parks I visited last year, I was averaging about 15 rides (and that's including half days at some parks too).

For a repeat visit park that I don't go to too often: I'm there because I enjoy the park in one way or another and know what rides I like. So don't mind if it's a little less, but again, will aim as high as possible.

For a park I go to a lot: I really don't care. I've done a trip to Thorpe this year where I've literally just done Stealth, realised the park was rammed, and so left, for example.


On a related note, this is something some parks do track. 'Rides Per Head' can be calculated by calculating the total riders on all rides (which many parks will track), and divide by attendance of the day. It's crude, but gives some basic insight.

I can't find the article, but a couple of years back, Legoland Windsor said their average Rides Per Head was around 5. It sounds low, and is in some sense, but remember that the average guest faffs about a lot more than the average goon. And Lego has extras such as Miniland and playgrounds which wouldn't be counted in that.
I'd expect that the Merlin UK parks at least, the rides per head is closer to 10. Other parks will depend on their attendance numbers and such, but I think that smaller parks probably manage higher rides per head given they don't usually have rides with long queues.
 

TPC

Roller Poster
20 rides is the amount that I will think has been a good day at a park, but will be fine as long as I get on all the major rides and coasters. Just feels like once you do that many, you've been able to properly explore the park.
 

chainedbanana

Mega Poster
I tend to work (subconsciously) and VERY ROUGHLY to a rule of a 1.5 rides an hour...... so over an average 8 hour park day - 12 rides would leave me satisfied/expectations met - but closer to, or over 20 would leave me delighted, these include re-rides which I assume is meant to be included in overall count. I also include a good 1hr taken out of that 8hrs for lunch/chilling so the available riding time is usually condensed!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I've never really thought about this before, but yeah, the 1.5 rides-per-hour that some others have been referencing sounds pretty good for an 'standard' day.

I've had days with far higher ride counts, and that's great but sometimes exhausting. Either it's a lot of miles covered walking (rushing) round the park, or it's the toll tons of rides on an RMC would do to your body, or both! Of course, it can great, but it's hard work.

Equally, I've had days with much lower ride counts and walked away happy - thinking recently about days in Europa, or those chilled days at Cedar Point a few years back. Generally though, those are when I've got multiple days at a park back-to-back - makes much more inclined to take a step back the intensity.

Sometimes you get a split of both - I remember particularly a few years ago when we went to Carowinds as part of the USA Live (@Snoo, @tomahawk, @Youngster Joey, @pkiknex25, @Antinos and Eric - I think that was it...). We got round all the creds in a few hours (which I suppose already cranks up the rides-per-hour), and then figured we'd just call it quits on the park for a few hours - Carowinds isn't really the nicest park to chill out in. We headed out of the park, got lunch then went across the screen for ice cream. We sat around a big table and just chatted **** for probably two or three hours until we headed back into the park to pick up the final few creds and then a bit of Fury marathoning. The rides-per-hour on an hourly basis would have varied between >10 to 0, but the overall count for the day must have come out to somewhere around 2. Hmm... what exactly was the point of that ramble...? Not sure... nevermind - it was nice to relive that memory. :D
 

Kw6sTheater

Hyper Poster
I'm generally happy with my ride count at a park if I've been able to accomplish my ride count goals. In the case of first-time visits like at Six Flags Great Adventure, this meant getting all the credits besides Joker with 1-2 rerides on Jersey Devil, El Toro and Nitro; while at Hersheypark (having visited multiple times before), I was contempt with skipping 3 of the woodies, Trailblazer, Sidewinder, and Wild Mouse in favor of plenty more laps on Skyrush, Candymonium and Storm Runner.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
I feel like I always try to get ten rides in at minimum when visiting a park, and that’s if I have to leave a park early because of time or health reasons. On a busy day I gun for at least fifteen, 20+ on a quiet day. I have done 30+ numerous times in the past, but I’m not sure if I have the stamina for that anymore, at least not if the park’s only open for 8-9 hours.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Any decision of riding X over Y would introduce an element of ‘unwelcome choice’ on my rare and sacred day of relaxation. I will always opt to eliminate this. If I knew I could only get 5 rides in, with queuing, I probably wouldn’t go.

Of course, with a group friends (as opposed to my usual enthusiast company with the same mindset), the ride count isn’t important so I wouldn’t be bothered by the ride count or the specific rides… not that I ever really count.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
I've never really thought about this before, but yeah, the 1.5 rides-per-hour that some others have been referencing sounds pretty good for an 'standard' day.

I've had days with far higher ride counts, and that's great but sometimes exhausting. Either it's a lot of miles covered walking (rushing) round the park, or it's the toll tons of rides on an RMC would do to your body, or both! Of course, it can great, but it's hard work.

Equally, I've had days with much lower ride counts and walked away happy - thinking recently about days in Europa, or those chilled days at Cedar Point a few years back. Generally though, those are when I've got multiple days at a park back-to-back - makes much more inclined to take a step back the intensity.

Sometimes you get a split of both - I remember particularly a few years ago when we went to Carowinds as part of the USA Live (@Snoo, @tomahawk, @Youngster Joey, @pkiknex25, @Antinos and Eric - I think that was it...). We got round all the creds in a few hours (which I suppose already cranks up the rides-per-hour), and then figured we'd just call it quits on the park for a few hours - Carowinds isn't really the nicest park to chill out in. We headed out of the park, got lunch then went across the screen for ice cream. We sat around a big table and just chatted **** for probably two or three hours until we headed back into the park to pick up the final few creds and then a bit of Fury marathoning. The rides-per-hour on an hourly basis would have varied between >10 to 0, but the overall count for the day must have come out to somewhere around 2. Hmm... what exactly was the point of that ramble...? Not sure... nevermind - it was nice to relive that memory. :D
Yeah that still sticks with me as one of my fondest memories, just shooting the ****. The people always are the best part of any trip. <3
 

witchfinder

Hyper Poster
A quick count up of my significant park visits over the last 5 years says that a decent ride count at a new-to-me park ranges from 10 to 26, averaging at 13 :)

For a new park I'd be expecting to ride every cred plus the majority of dark rides, water rides and a drop tower but very few other flat rides. I'd also hope to re-ride every top tier coaster at least a couple of times.

For parks I've visited a lot (Alton, Thorpe, BPB) I'd be less concerned about riding everything but would still be disappointed with a total ride count below 8. I've definitely managed to ride everything of note at Alton during a 6 hour weekday opening and re-ride stuff like Nemesis and Wicker Man.

The only exception I would make would be the Orlando parks, where factors such as the ambience, shows and crowds probably mean that 6 or 7 rides would be reasonable, even with longer opening hours.
 

ChristianPalsson

Mega Poster
Great topic idea Matt!

I rarely spend more than a day at a park and if it is my first visit I try to at least do every coaster (I'm a coaster enthusiast duh). I might skip the smallest Wacky Worms and SPF Visas but I do all the other coasters. If it is a big park on a busy day it is usually a struggle but I buy a fast pass and skip eating just to get all the coasters. For me a good ride count is all the coasters.

When I have ridden all the coasters I have to face a though decision. I have to choose between re-riding some coasters that I really liked, ride some of the flat rides, walk around to enjoy the park, get something to eat or just leave early. Sometimes it might be a combination of these options. This is the hardest decision of the day. Usually it's just about how I feel about the park and the coasters.
 

european1992

Roller Poster
Just visited PortAventura last week. Did not expect it to be so good. Had 10 rides in total and missed out on 2 attractions I wanted to ride but still satisfied.

When I went to Disneyland Paris in 2019. I managed to get 20 rides in 1 day. That was a blast.
 
Top