Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thrill Seeker


I remember riding the Blazing Fury at Silver Dollar City (now Dollywood) when I was 5 or 6 years old. It scared the daylights out of me. I hated it and all other roller coasters. That was until I was 14 and on a family vacation at King's Island. My sister talked me into riding the Vortex. The Vortex, at the time, was King's Island's newest roller coaster. It was huge to me, and I remember thinking as we were climbing the lift hill What the hell am I doing? Before I knew it, we were over the top and plummeting to what I was sure was my death. A love for coasters sparked in me that day. I fell in love with the sensation of free fall, the stomach churn and the feeling of defying death. It was an adrenaline rush.

As the years passed, I rode some mediocre coasters at Dollywood and other such parks. But it wasn't until we began an annual trip to King's Island that I truly fell in love with coasters again. Specifically, a coaster called the Diamond Back. The Diamond Back has you setting in a solo seat with little more than a pole hooked to what I can only describe as a small triangle in your lap to hold you in. It takes you 230 feet in the air and drops you straight down, across some smaller hills for airtime and then a brush through some water at the end. WHAT A RUSH!

Since then I have ridden every coaster at Disney World, 6-Flags in Arlington, Texas and jumped off the space needle in Vegas (103 stories tall).  This April I plan on riding the Kingda Ka, which is the tallest (450 ft), fastest (128mph) roller coaster in the US. We are also planning a trip to the holy grail of coasters, Cedar Point, sometime next year.

I have begun a small list of coasters which I plan on riding, and on the top of that list, just under the Kingda Ka, is the Intimidator 305 at King's Dominion. I can not describe this coaster well enough, so you will have to check it out on YouTube. Also on that list is the Texas Giant. In my opinion, it is the baddest wooden roller coaster outside of the Beast. They have redesigned the coaster to include a first drop hill at a 85 degree angle. Yes, 5 degrees from straight up! Hopefully, I will get to ride all these coasters and more soon. I will not get into it now but there are some coasters in China that blow this stuff out of the water...

Check back after the trip to find out if the Kingda Ka lives up to the hype.