I had 4 parks planned this year, and i only managed to get two done, but saying that they were defiantly the biggest two.
planned for 2011
Thorpe- Went and had an amazing time, hadn't been for 4 years so it was nice to be back.
Blackpool - Never got a chance tbh, but its defiantly planned for next september for my birthday
Alton Towers- Went and was even better than thorpe, i went once before when i was 4 so this was my first chance to try the big rides. i got everything done apart from thirteen, and it was really busy! Air and nemesis blew me away.
Drayton Manor- Never got a chance, and its not top priority for 2012.
Park List for 2010
1. Thorpe Park, for The Swarm
2. Blackpool, if i don't get to go this year, well lets just say i won't be happy
3. Flamingo Land, really want to go here, its only 45mins up the road from me to!
any others would be a bonus!
2011, so many highlights - where do I begin? Guess I'll just do this chronologically.
Started off in March with a couple of fantastic Vermont ski trips with the kid as usual. Lots of powder & plenty of sun. The kid & I also got a private behind-the-scenes Black Diamond construction tour from no less than Richard Knoebel himself & I also got to cover the USA-Argentina game at Giants Stadium & watch Messi do his thing.
Then came the "undercover" trips to Six Flags Great Adventure to capture the rise of the Green Lantern coaster before the park opened for the season, followed by a epic day of riding it over & over a week before it opened to the public.
In May I was off to Florida for the Media Day & Opening Day of Cheetah Hunt, but the best part was getting to spend a week in Orlando with UC & CP6 & meeting Corey (CMonster). Another highlight was going to Six Flags Over Georgia & riding Dare Devil Dive the day after it opened. I also stopped by Carowinds & Kings Dominion on the way back home.
In June the kid & I headed up to Canobie for Untamed's Media Day & Opening. The highlight was getting to sit down & chat with Siegfried Gerstlauer. Then I spent a day at Coney Island checking out the new coasters at Scream Zone. I also got to cover quite a few football games including the USA-Spain match at Foxboro & the Gold Cup tournament. After Aidan got out of school we went on a 10 trip to Minnesota & back. We hit up Cedar Point, SFGAmerica, Bay Beach (Zippin Pippin), the Wisconsin Dells, Valleyfair, Nick Universe & Kings Island along the way.
We got back home on the 4th of July & I took the kid to his first concert (Soundgarden) that week. No sooner had we recovered from the Midwest trip & it was off to merry old England. Got to spend a great day at Thorpe with Hixee & meet Chris, who hooked us up big time! Thanks again to both of you for making a gorgeous day even better. After a few days of sightseeing in London it was off to the land of furie. We had such a great time with family_furie & really enjoyed Alton & Blackpool in spite of the weather. It was also great to get to hang out with Andy (MouseAT) again & meeting Mark (Lofty) was fab.
Next up was LWV & The Ultimate with a surprise appearance by Mushy! Thanks bud, you made our day. We'd rather forget about the following day at Flamingoland, especially since Pierre cancelled on us.
That was soon forgotten though as we headed off to Italy for the Live. Can't begin to say how great it was to hang out with everyone again. <3 you guys!
We returned home (ran into Ben & Jake at Heathrow) only to have to head back out again, this time to Texas where we were spited by the Boardwalk Bullet, but Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, Schlitterbahn, Six Flags Over Texas & Frontier City more than made up for that - especially getting to hang out all day & ride the New Texas Giant with Chris (RCF).
Juergen Klinsmann took over as the coach of the US National Team & I got to spend a few days with him while covering the USA-Mexico game in Philadelphia. In September I had to fly out to Los Angeles to cover the USA-Costa Rica game, so I went ahead & made it a week long trip, spending 3 days at Magic Mountain & 2 days at Knotts. The kid & I finished off the month with a great night at Great Adventure's 'Coasters After Dark' event with Jer, followed by Aidan's second concert - the Foo Fighters. What a fantastic show!
Neither the wife nor the kid wanted to do any haunts this year, so October was a quiet month other than my trip back to Florida to cover the USA-Honduras game in Miami. Then we got that unexpected snow storm, which left us without power for 5 days. Of course it had to hit right when I was halfway through installing new hardwood floors throughout the entire second floor of my house. :roll: We also decided to skip our usual November trip to Orlando since I had already spent so much time there earlier this year.
So all-in-all a pretty good year. I visited 20 new parks, rode 17 new coasters & added 115 new credz to my count. Hopefully 2012 will be just as good to me.
I've got Allou! Fun Park to add to my list now. It was amazing, it's such a tiny park, the park itself isn't amazing, but when you did work for them and you could ride what you want, when you want and get special treatment. It's incredible!
Did Alton during Feb half term and then Thorpe and Chessington a couple of times before my pass ran out. Went to Florida so did all the parks there. Went to Alton for Halloween for 3 days and Winter Wonderland a couple of days ago.
My 2011 wasn't quite the year i'd originally hoped. I had booked 2 weeks off work in September planning to make my way back to the states but it didn't happen.
First park of the year for me was my first trip to Lightwater Valley in early April. Rode all the coasters there but I didn't have such a great time. I didn't enjoy the Ultimate at all, plus Eagles Claw, Black Pearl, Whirlwind and particularly Powder Keg just made me feel ill. The best coaster there IMO was Raptor attack, despite the cheap looking plastic animatronics.
My faith was restored at Easter due to a mini trip into Europe (the only time I manage to get out of the UK this year) I spent a day Driving me and my partner to Holland, that night we stayed in Helden which happened to have a travelling fair set up right behind the Hotel. After tea we had a stroll around the fair and took our first ride on a Spin Doctor. The next day we had an awesome time at Toverland and managed to get 10 rides on Troy, I also nearly passed out and realised how unfit i've become after struggling to make my way around the Survival course. That night I drove on to Soltau, Germany.
We spent the next two days in Heide park. Again riding all the coasters and having plenty of re-rides on Colossos, Krake, Bobbahn and Scream. Really enjoyed our time here, beautiful park and some great rides. After the second day here I drove south through Cologne and stayed overnight in Bruhl. When my partner was packing our case to leave the following morning she pulled a muscle in her neck and ended up in some real pain. We decided to go ahead with our plans for the day hoping it would subside but we wern't so lucky. We visited Phantasialand and managed to get a ride on Black Mamba, Colorado Mine Train, River Quest, Feng Ju Palace and I rode Mystery Castle on my own before conceding and leaving the park around lunchtime. We had a steady drive to Bruges and spent the last night there before driving home with rapidly melting chocolate in the boot the following day.
The rest of the year was all UK based. We visited:
Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Drayton Manor (where I introduced my 6 year old nephew to roller coasters and he rode Apocalypse with us) Thorpe Park, Fantasy Island, Bottons and Flamingo Land. Not many new credits amongst them for me except those at bottons and Jubilee Oddyssey. As far as i'm aware it was also the first time i've ridden Blue Flyer (Zipper Dipper) and Goldmine at BPB.
Other non coaster related highlights were getting our cat Eddie and a fair few gigs including Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Rise Against, Flogging Molly, Bowling for Soup, Reel Big Fish and Batman Live.
At the start of the year I was wondering just how 2011 could top the fabulous 2010, when I meet the wonderful Coasterforce and it all started for me. Well 2011 has had some highs and some lows, and I've been very busy on building up my count (as well as my coaster knowledge and experience). I seem to have crammed in so much!
In February I went on a trip with Mushy and Matt Cooper-Kay to Efteling and Toverland, both very different parks that I have a huge soft spot for. Toverland is FUN in a box (literally) and has the stupendous Troy <3; Efteling is the most beautiful park I’ve ever been to, I just love its dark fantasy side. I was lucky enough to see the gorgeous Christmas decorations at Efteling, including the warming fire pits dotted all round the place; Vliegende Hollander was closed though. I spent a night on a barge in Amsterdam (with a galleon outside my window!) before flying straight out to Texas for work. I stayed a week in San Antonio and unknowingly turned up over the 125th anniversary of the Alamo, so got to experience actors with guns and cannons and horses, and a tour of the battlefield (now a parking lot!) On the way home I managed to squeeze in Six Flags Fiesta Texas – I’m afraid to say it’s a dump of a place which spited me 5 of its 8 creds.
I was slightly annoyed when the UK Lives were announced and found we were doing Toverland and Efteling in April and not Asterix as I’d guessed! Ohh well, I really wanted to go back to both parks and I was aiming to go to all the Lives that year just to get to know everyone better - so I signed up anyway! It was lovely to see Efteling in the spring – such a contrast with tulips and green everywhere! This time I got to try the amazing Vliegende Hollander which is now tying with Hex for my favourite ride music. Toverland was even more fun with CF as the place is like a giant playground, and Troy was as wonderful as ever! We also did Bobeejaanlaanaaadddd – meh, still at least now I have a bar for the most painful Eurofighter and the least spinny spinner! And then of course, there was Phantasialand of JOY!!! Black Mamba blew me away with its unexpected forces, Mystery Castle (my holiday home) was sublime, Wingas was surreal, the rapidos were of joy…it was all amazing and Phantasialand is my new favourite park!
In April I went to Malta with my family which was beautiful and hot but had no creds. We also had the Vampire birthday celebration, which was a brilliant day and I’m really grateful for the chance to have been involved in that. Three cheers for Vampire, long may it continue!
May saw the opening of Legoland’s Atlantis followed by the Alton/Drayton Live – fun times as always, I really enjoyed those two days. Taking my friends on their first trip to Blackpool started off June fabulously, followed by the CF Camping and Coasters trip to Devon. I LOVE the Milky Way, especially Clone Zone – this was actually one the highlights of my year, what brilliant guys are running that place!
In July I did a quick trip to the Isle of Wight for my birthday (but failed to get the creds) – can’t wait to get back there over the next couple of years. Then of course it was the Itlay Live. Now I love Italy and go every year, but I’d never been to Rome, so for me, the culture bit was just great. The Vatican in particular was above and beyond what I was expecting. Cred-wise I’ve done Garda/Movieland before, but they were so much more of a laugh with CF. Raptor was also FAB! Mirabilandia was new for me - Katun blew me away with its extreme forces and Reset with its fantastic level of theming. Rainbow Magicland did nothing for me – it was empty and soulless, although highlights included Shock and the amazing dark ride Huntik.
In August I traded off a weekend of Welsh rugby against a trip to Oakwood with Owain - this was my first experience of the delights of Megafobia. What a drop!!!! Then we had the Blackpool Live which was amazing fun as always – especially the epic argument me and Richard had over the price of the Dartford Bridge toll. PPB was followed by Greenwood (like Milky Way, this place was so much fun and made us very welcome. Ed and the magician was perhaps the funniest moment of the year) and a credit-whoring tour of scummy Welsh seaside resorts *shudder*. At the end of August I went on a diving trip to Devon and did my first wreck dive where I got to see an eel and loads of crabs and starfish. I also learnt how to drive a speedboat!
By September things had begun to slow down. The LWV/FL live was very chilled out and I had loads of fun messing around with CFers. This was my first trip to both parks and I had a ball on the Ultimate (not as rough as I was expecting) and just LOVE Raptor Attack! FL was a bit pants to be honest, it reminded me very much of Bobbijobbie.
October for me was a bit of a disappointment. Ghosterforce was a bit upsetting as I got to see a darker side of CF (I won’t say any more, but I don’t turn on my friends as quick as some). Also we didn't have time for the Coaster-Force pile-of-ship chant which I'd been looking forward to for months! Experiment x was great though. A few of us did a trip to Alton at some stage as well, which was my first scarefest. I loved Terror of the Towers and whoring nemesis at night, in the rain, after 12 hours of operation was like nothing on Earth! It reminded me that Nemesis is firmly wedged in as my number 1
November meant my annual conference organising in Hong Kong. This year I had the pleasure of Richard’s company for three days and I did Disney and Ocean Park again - being spited by all the new creds. After that I went into mainland China for a few days and did Happy Valley, Window on the World and the stunning Knight Valley. Mountain Flier was good, but not as amazing as I was expecting - it still failed to top Troy or Megafobia for me. I really do recommend this park if you ever get to China though - the sheer scale and natural beauty of it is mind-blowing.
The last hurrah in December was the CF meet and piss-up. The Fight of Leaves was a brilliant way to round off the year! I know I’m very lucky to have got to experienced so much last year, but as always it’s the fabulous people who have made it special, and a big thank you to EVERYONE who made it so brilliant. Roll on 2012…..
New creds: 73
New total: 146
New favourite park: Phantasialand
New favourite ride: Nemesis (in the dark and wet)
New favourite woodie: Troy
New favourite ride music: Vliegende Hollander/Hex