There is nothing like the first hill on the first roller coaster ride of a beautiful day. This picture sums up my love of roller coasters – riding in the last row for maximum air, hands raised, smiling and screaming into the wind. Where else can you plunge hundreds of feet straight toward the ground and fly weightlessly through the air in relative safety?
Whenever I was in a meeting with new people and we would have to go around the room and provide a random fact about ourselves, mine was always – I once went on over 80 roller coaster rides in 4 days. 4 days of nothing but roller coasters – I know this sounds like torture to some of you, but for me it was a dream. Day 1 – Kennywood Park, Day 2 – 6 Flags Ohio (now gone) and finally 2 full days at Cedar Point (right up there on my list of favorite places in the world).
It was the summer of 2001 and the days at Cedar Point were filled with blue skies and temps in the 70’s – perfect weather. We rode the Millenium Force 6 times in those 3 days – the line was so long that they had a DJ to entertain the crowd. (I highly recommend waiting in line for the front seat of the Millenium at least once – worth the wait, but do it during the day when you can appreciate the view of the lake.) As much as I love the MF, my favorite coaster anywhere is the Magnum XL-200 – the airtime is incredible. Ride in the last row with your feet off the floor – so.much.fun.
Both of these pictures are from our visit to Kennywood this past weekend. We had extra adults with us so Scott and I were able to go on “big kid rides”. The Sky Rocket is the new coaster this year and it’s a fun ride, but it feels slow and it is very smooth. Smooth isn’t necessarily bad, but it makes the ride feel more in control and part of the roller coaster experience is the out-of-control feeling that you are taking the next curve just a little bit too fast. If they sped it up just a bit more I think it could be a much better ride, but it does have some great airtime. We rode the Sky Rocket when we first arrived and later that day we rode the Phantom. The speed, the rush of the first hill followed by the seemingly endless drop of the longer second hill, crossing under the thunderbolt and around a steep bend…such a great thrill ride.
And thanks to my Dad for the photos – I love them!