It is very rare for people to come up to me and ask me about my hobby, being a theme park enthusiast. Sometimes I do wonder if its because I am a woman and therefore people might find it weird that I enjoy theme parks. More so because I love the engineering behind the coasters, the operations of a theme park and how throughputs can really help make or break a park. Whatever the reason, let me tell you the reasons why I love being a theme park enthusiast.
Meeting New People
Like any hobby, you will meet a variety of likeminded people, and being a theme park enthusiast is no exception. The amount of people I have met on the many theme park forums and from travelling to parks around the world is great. I’ve made some friends for life and lucky enough to have a partner who is just as geeky about theme parks as I am! There is no distinct age group, most people are super friendly and enthusiastic about different aspects of theme parks. You don’t even need to be a full on geek, if you simply love riding coasters and visiting theme parks, you will pretty much fit in with the group.
Having discussions & debates about Theme Parks
There are plenty of forums that discuss theme parks. Some that I follow or ‘lurk’ are CoasterForce, TowersStreet and Thorpe Park Mania. But it isn’t just limited to forums, Facebook has got a lot of groups that you can join if you want to get involved and discuss theme parks with likeminded people. The amount of knowledge some people have astounds me but I love learning new things every day. And of course, everyone has got their own opinion with regards to rides and parks, but that is what makes it a good discussion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to be honest, you will learn a thing or two about a particular subject matter you are discussing. Just being able to talk about theme parks without people looking at me or saying ‘I have no clue what you are talking about!‘ is great.
You cannot deny that when you are a theme park enthusiast, you have the ability to go and travel around the world. Coasters can be found everywhere, even little +1’s in really secluded and unlikely places. I have got the traveller bug, and eventually would love to go and travel around the world one day, especially to explore the American and Asian parks (within reason of course!) You can literally grab a few mates and go on a road trip. Isn’t trip planning the greatest? Going on to Coast2Coaster, picking which creds you want to grab and then booking flights, car hire, park tickets etc. Any excuse to have a holiday abroad, and if it involves theme parks is a win win for me!
The merchandise you can collect
Having theme parks as a hobby can be VERY expensive. When you think about the total cost of transportation, park tickets, food prices etc, the total does go up dramatically. When you start adding merchandise to that ever expensive total, don’t you just think, ‘It’s worth it!’ The amount of stuff you can collect from theme parks is amazing, from pin badges to T-shirts, to Wood/Wheel parts, to mugs. You can find something for everyone. Merchandise is a collectors item and you can’t deny that a theme park enthusiast will collect some form of merch, whether that is a huge mug collection, a massive pin badge collection or if you have the money, maybe they’ve got a few ride parts they have collected from various parks, they’ll have something to show for their trips. I personally collect pin badges and if I find a T-shirt that has a ride logo or a fab design, I will be purchasing. Think of it as a worthy investment.
Last but not least, being a theme park enthusiast is fun! We all get a chance to visit theme parks regularly and be enthusiastic about it. You get enthusiasts for all sorts of things, and theme parks is definitely one of them. I have a great time going out to theme parks with my friends and being a geek about it. So what if we’re all discussing the different elements of a coaster, why one manufacturer gets the design so right whilst the other gets it’s so wrong, why park operations should be improved and discussing ways on improving it, this is what we do. It’s fun and we sure as hell aren’t going to stop being enthusiastic about theme parks just because some people might think it’s weird or too expensive.
If you are a goon/geek about theme parks, but nervous to join because of what other people think, you’ll meet some amazing people and have a great time. Join us… *says in that The Smiler voice*
That’s all for now.