Roller Coasters and Return from Vacation


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The Diamondback roller coaster at Kings Island introduced in 2009.

Our family reunited after my studies that took me to Louisville for three weeks. My wife drove up from Florida to Louisville with three children under the age of thirteen and two cats [special blessings to her!]. We reunited in Louisville KY and then spent the next week seeing family and vacationing in the Midwest US. While up there, we decided to return to one of our favorite childhood summer destinations. My with and I, both from the Midwest, made frequent journeys to the theme park Kings Island. We always enjoyed the thrill of the roller coasters so we thought we would take our children so they could experience it too. Two things happened on our visit. First, I was surprised that my children (the two oldest ones) were not really excited to experience the coasters. They eventually were coaxed into riding them, which brought immense enjoyment for them. They rode all the same coasters I had ridden in my elementary and teen years as well as the new ones. The second thing that happened was more surprising than the first. I discovered that my “maturity” had in some ways ruined the coaster experience for me. As a teens, we think we are invincible and do not mentally explore possibilities. As an adult with children, exploration of possibilities is a daily exercise (maybe even moment to moment!). For example, few requests made by my children are granted without exploring the possibilities that exist in affirming that they can do something. This thinking was present with me on the coasters! The “what if…” Adding to this unexpected self-discussion, the new coasters are much more exhilarating (read: terrifying) than the coasters of my teen years. I suppose advances in engineering has allowed for coaster feats not possible in my teens (once again, read: terrifying). This advancement in coaster technology only added to my “what if…” conversation. In the end, I rode all the coasters, “conquered my fear” and went home. So I guess my experience differed little from my children’s experience who rode all the coasters, “conquered their fear,” and went home.

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4 responses to “Roller Coasters and Return from Vacation

  1. Mark Snyder

    Yes, Kings Island and Cedar Point are memories of my teens in Ohio as well. I remember arguing with my brother about the largest roller coaster at Cedar Point. I knew they had the 200 ft Magnum XL-200 because my Mom afraid to go got stuck at the top. I proceeded to tell my brother about the highest 300 ft coaster the Millennium Force and he said, no there’s one higher. No, no I knew it was 300 feet because how could they make one higher. Yes, I was wrong the Top Thrill Dragstar 420 ft. Tall and 120 MPH in just over 4 seconds. It is amazing to seen the pure enjoyment on the faces of those who adrenaline has reached it peak optimization.

  2. I never went to Cedar Point because it was just a bit too far for a day trip. While at Kings Island, I saw the company that managed KI was Cedar ___ (can’t remember) and at the time I wondered if KI is now connected somehow to Cedar Point. There are some crazy coasters out there now, I have ridden a couple at Bush Gardens that are about as crazy as KI.

  3. Mark Snyder

    Cedar Point set Wold Records on three Coasters listed above. They always surpassed the highest foot and speed barrier. Usually, parks like Bush Gardens then would come back and beat them by a couple of feet or so. As you probably knew The Beast was the highest wooden Roller Coaster back in the day.

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