This is part two of our two part series about our favorite moments from 2013 and what we’re looking forward to in 2014. Read part one here.
John’s Year in Review
2013 was another interesting year of roller coaster riding. By far, the most memorable moment was riding Outlaw Run in the dark at Silver Dollar City.
Never before has a roller coaster ride literally left me speechless. But after my first ride on the looping Rocky Mountain Construction wooden coaster, I couldn’t come up with words to describe the ride. Possibly because I had just been flung through a double heartline roll.
There were elements on that roller coaster that I have never experienced on a roller coaster before, let alone a wooden coaster.
But the next night especially was possibly one of my most memorable roller coaster moments of all time. Below, I’ve summarized the experience:
A thunderstorm at the end of the day closed all of the park’s outdoor rides. Wanting one last ride on Outlaw Run, we decided to get in line and hope for the best. The park was only open for two more hours, so I was unsure that the coaster would reopen at all.
Lighting continued to flicker in the night sky. An employee told us that his supervisors were not optimistic that the rides would reopen. I was distraught. I wanted to have one last ride on my new favorite wooden coaster before we left.
There were various rules discussed about lightning and the rides’ operation status. It was after 9 p.m. I was losing hope. People left the queue in droves. So many left that we made it into the station. We were so close.
Then, the waiting crowd erupted into a thunderous cheer. Around 9:30 p.m., with only 30 minutes to spare, a team member announced that Outlaw Run would reopen shortly.
We rode Outlaw Run three more times, and let me tell you, they were some of the best roller coaster rides that I’ve ever experienced. I was so ecstatic just to be on the coaster after an hour of thinking that I would leave the park without one last ride on Outlaw Run.
I give an honorable mention to my day at Six Flags America. Admittedly, my expectations for the park were not high. It doesn’t have the best reputation among the Six Flags parks. However, friendly employees, fast operations and my first Intamin mega coaster all combined to make for a spectacular day. Being able to ride Iron Wolf (Apocalypse) in its new home was fun as well. I hope to visit again soon, and I am very glad that Six Flags is investing in the park.
I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.
Larry’s Year in Review
This past year has been one of my favorites so far with amusement park visits. I didn’t get a chance to visit too many parks this year, but I did get to add a new park to my list: Indiana Beach. Being a photographer, I did manage to get the most pictures I’ve ever taken in a year as well.
Near the end of the 2012 season, I bought myself a new Canon Rebel T4i camera, but due to the weather and working at Cedar Point that fall, never really got out to a park to take pictures. This summer though, I’ve taken some of the best pictures I’ve ever taken with amusement parks being my subject!
First trip of the summer was going to Cedar Point on opening day for the first time. Seeing Gatekeeper going up and over the new entrance, was simply breathtaking. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to ride it that day due to the weather being uncooperative, but that opportunity would come later in the summer on my second trip. I did get a chance to walk around the park and look at all of the changes that happened during that off season. I was very impressed on the way the park is focusing on updating a lot of the dated sections of the park.
This year was also the first time I participated in Coasting For Kids at Michigan’s Adventure. Having raised $325, it was an awesome opportunity to take part in this great event. I ended up riding Thunderhawk 43 times in 2013 thanks to that, but what made it even better was riding Shivering Timbers even more! It’s a great charity event that Cedar Fair and Give Kids the World have put together and I can’t wait to do it again in 2014!
My trip to Indiana Beach was quite the interesting one. It’s pretty much located in the middle of nowhere in Monticello, IN, but it’s a very cozy park, to put simply, and one of the hidden treasures in the area. Cornball Express, Hoosier Hurricane, and Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain were running very well with the track work done by Rocky Mountain last off season. Steel Hawg is for sure the true gem of this park with its very compact and crazy layout. Lots of classic midway games as well, such as Fascination and a fairly large arcade full of classic arcade games. I’m really hoping the park pulls out of its rut, so here’s to hoping Indiana Beach will open for 2014 with the uncertainty from its current owners.
I had an awesome summer working at Michigan’s Adventure again for my 5th year at the park. I had the opportunity to be the Team Leader of the 10th best wooden roller coaster in the world, Shivering Timbers. That made my summer even better! I had a great team this year and I can’t wait to see the opportunities that will come next season!
2013 was a great year for me with a lot of great opportunities. Not to mention, I joined Coaster101 this year too! I’m really excited for 2014 and hopefully some more trips planned with chances to ride Banshee, Goliath, and Lighting Run!
Read what other enthusiasts say was their best ride experience in 2013:
- Joel from The Coaster Critic
- Brian from Domain of Death
- Arthur from About Theme Parks Guide
- Bobbie from Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs
Now we want to hear from you! What was your favorite memory from 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014?