A Coaster Enthusiast’s Resolutions

As represented by the sudden increase in attendance at my gym, January is the month to start New Year’s resolutions. It’s the chosen time to turn over a new leaf, start better habits, and end bad habits. I thought of a few ways that I could be a better roller coaster enthusiast in 2010.

Learn About Coasters & Theme Parks of the World
Of course many of us know and love our local park. But what about parks on the other side of the country or even the other side of the World? Take a tour through RCDB’s Japanese coasters. Learn about the best roller coasters Australia has to offer. Sure, the United States has the most roller coasters, but there are some really interesting parks with some cool roller coasters out there. I try to feature videos in the sidebar of some obscure coasters (often filmed by Robb Alvey on one of his crazy international expeditions) to remind everyone that’s there’s a whole World out there beyond Cedar Point and Great Adventure.

Learn About the History of Roller Coasters
Coaster enthusiasts should know their history and how we’ve gotten to the current thrill machines found in our top ten lists. I’ve read and reviewed a few books on historic amusement parks like¬†Lake Compounce and Rye Playland Park to get a feel for what the amusement industry used to be like. They’re interesting reads even though they only focus on those parks. ¬†Read more about America’s oldest amusement park and the exhibition meant to blow up the lake (!): Lake Compounce Book Review. Also, check out ThrillNetwork’s Roller Coaster Timeline.

Don’t Cut in Line (And don’t let others cut)
There’s nothing worse than waiting in an hour long queue in the miserable heat of July. You chat with a friend and watch the trains come into the station and dispatch. Maybe you send a few texts (or Tweets), but all you really want to do is get to the station and get on the roller coaster or ride that you’re waiting for. The last thing that you want in this scenario is for some rude people to push by with a sheepish “Excuse me, my friends are up there.” Personally, I’ve never cut in line at a theme park, but just this past year I’ve taken it a step further. If someone tries to get by me (and they look old enough to know better), then I won’t let them pass. Theme parks say that line cutting is punishable by dismissal from the park, but I can’t remember ever seeing it enforced. I know some aren’t confrontational and won’t feel comfortable doing this. For me, line cutting is one of my biggest pet peeves and I’ve fed up. Let’s curb line cutting in 2010!

Friendly & Polite Theme Park Discussions
As with any group of fanatics, coaster enthusiasts can get pretty passionate and opinionated. Of course, a problem can emerge when there’s a disagreement. In 2010, let’s try to keep our discussions and disagreements friendly and polite. While I want everyone who comes to the Blog to feel free to express their opinions, I won’t allow personal attacks. I won’t let my blog devolve into what we’ve seen nationally. As coaster enthusiasts, I believe that we can do better. So, join me in promoting opinionated, but friendly and mature discussions on my site and throughout the Web. Let’s leave the bickering to the professionals.

Get Some New Web Sites in Your Rotation
Broaden your horizons a bit in 2010. There are a lot of great theme park web sites out there. Many of the news sites have much of the same news, but each has a bit of a different take or delivery method. Some sites give you the news straight while others provide a little opinion along with the news. And, as you know from my blog, blogs can be a mixed bag of reviews, news, and whatever the blogger feels like sharing.

Now it’s time for a shameless, but relevant plug. Coincidentally, I know of two sites that can help you find other theme park web sites. CoasterPortal is a next generation directory for theme park related sites and Theme Park Syndicate provides the latest stories, blog posts, podcasts, & videos from a variety of great theme park web sites.

What’s Your Take?
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions theme park related or otherwise? What do you think of my list? Leave a comment below.