Have you ever had that one experience at a park or on a roller coaster and was in complete awe of what just happened? Over the last 6 to 7 years I haven’t had many of those experiences, but there are a few that come to mind.

Tornado at Stricker’s Grove

Tornado at Strickers GroveBack in 2005, I took my very first trip to Stricker’s Grove in Ohio. I had never been there, had no idea what to expect, and I was not only amazed, but after my first ride on Tornado my expression was: “Oh my God what just happened?” I was riding with a friend of mine at the time and he had been on the ride numerous times. He didn’t tell me what was going to happen. Thank God he didn’t. We were riding the coaster, and it was mediocre; nothing special to report. We were passing the lift hill on our way back to the station and the train began to drop from another hill. My friend and I got completely surprised by the ejector air that we experienced. Those hills that you think will do nothing, blow you away. As soon as I landed back in my seat, I turned around and literally yelled, “What the HECK was that?”

I got off the ride and said, I will only ever ride that coaster in the back seat. You lift up so high in your seat that your lap bar is touching your knees. You can’t believe what just happened on this unknown ride.

The Voyage at Holiday World

Another awe-inspiring experience happened during the opening year of The Voyage. Every single enthusiast was ready for that ride. It was like we needed something so incredibly insane that the winter months had us all going stir crazy. My group of friends wanted to be there opening day so badly. When we found out the park was going to start up their two night event again, we decided to wait a few weeks after opening to go. The ride just towered over the park and on the drive in, it was calling our names.The Voyage at Holiday World

I remember everything that happened on my first ride. We got in, buckled up, lap bars were down and off we went. We were going so fast up the lift hill we had no idea what was going to happen. We took our first ride in the back seat and we were just ejected on each hill on the outbound journey.

We hit the “spaghetti bowl” and all hell broke loose. My friend was screaming bloody murder and I was trying to keep my hands up and trying to breathe. We hit the mid-course brake, I took one huge gulp of air and got ejected three times on the triple down and then I started screaming. A few choice words come to mind that I shouldn’t repeat, but it was amazing. We finally hit the brake run at the end of the ride and I was breathing so hard. It felt like I was holding my breath for the entire 3 minutes of the ride. It was something out of a movie. It was so incredible. Once night fell, the coaster performed so much more aggressive and crazy, it had become my number one overall. It only took one ride. I was hooked. The adrenaline pumping, the airtime, the fast directional changes. It was a holy experience in my book.

Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion

My last “holy crap” ride came from a very tall beast located in Virginia. I was invited to Intimidator 305’s media day. I made sure that I didn’t watch much of the construction or POVs released beforeIntimidator 305 at Kings Dominion the ride opened. We got there after the ceremonies and watched the first train of dignitaries FLY up the first hill. I am terrified of heights. They just make me shake. I hate it. My husband and I got in towards the back of the train. After the over the shoulder restraints and seat belts were locked, we were off.

I remember praying on that ride going, “Please let me get through this!” The train crested the lift hill and we went airborne. Both my husband and I experienced the grey out and floated over the second hill. The ride was so fast that when you changed directions you were not only lifted out of your seat, but flung in the direction you were heading. The ride was beyond incredible. We hit the brake run and I looked at my husband and said, “What just happened?” I took a total of 5 rides that day and the ride delivered everywhere on the train, especially the front seat.

I know there are so many more experiences that I could share, but those really stick in my mind. There are those special experiences that you have with some of your favorite or dark horse coasters that you think, “Meh, it’ll be ok.” But then, they blow your mind. There are so many stellar rides out there that will blow your socks off if you just give them a chance. Think of it this way, your adrenaline gets pumping and everything melts away.

Images courtesy of ThrillNetwork.

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2 Responses

  1. Katie

    These rides were the ones that incredibly stick out in my mind. But there are many others. The Beast at night, Voyage at midnight on every hill you can hear the up-stops hitting the track, the screams, those moments of airtime that you will never ever forget. Roller coasters and moments like this make me LOVE what I do.

  2. Joel

    I’ve experienced Intimidator 305’s forceful twisties and Voyage’s unbelievable triple down. And I definitely agree about The Beast. I had one of the best rides of my life on it at night, but it sounds like I need to try the Voyage after dark too.

    I can relate to the Stricker’s Grove experience too as I’ve been caught off guard by those older woodies with the modest stats before. You definitely can’t always judge a coaster by the way it looks.


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