Welcome new members!
Not that it makes much sense for me to be welcoming anyone to a site I've been using for all of 3 days now, but I wanted to post this as a place for new folks like me to introduce themselves...
I caught the coaster bug myself in 1994, as a newly minted teenager getting drawn into the coasters-or-bust marketing of Six Flags. Growing up in upstate NY, my options until then had been the occasional Disney World vacation or a class trip up to The Great Escape. I knew after a couple rides on Comet that there was something to these places.
In just a few years I would have park trips up both coasts and a visit to Cedar Point under my belt. In just four seasons, I jumped from four coasters at two parks to 80 coasters at over a dozen parks. I soon moved to Atlanta for school, and the next seven years were feast or famine - hitting a bit of Europe in 2001 during a semester abroad, as well as 2004 when I was finally out of college and able to finance a number of trips around the US.
I moved to California in 2006 for grad school, and have been in the Bay Area ever since. In the last six years, I've started my career (been at IBM doing usability/UI design for the past five years) gotten married, and generally enjoy the awesomeness that is life in the Bay Area.
It's funny to look back on almost two decades of enjoying this hobby and being a part of the community. I marvel at how much my tastes and opinions have changed and changed back over the years, but if there's one thing that's constant, it's my fascination by all the industry has to offer - whether it's physical thrills, amazing technology, complex engineering, diverse business practices, and a fan base that's nothing if not...enthusiastic. :}
I do have a rather modest website that I update when a can with pictures and trip reports, so feel free to drop by. Beyond that, let me say hello, and I look forward to chatting with you all.
I'm not new here by any means, but I can introduce myself somewhat.
I found the site in 1998, and have been posting ever since. I began using this username in 2002.
I've said it before, this site has the most knowledgeable and respectful forum I've seen online. It's a nice community, and Eric does a great job with the site's other features.
This site fits me perfectly. I wouldn't necessarily call myself a roller coaster enthusiast, but I am a big fan of this industry, and I do love riding roller coasters.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I was a huge fan, as a child, of Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark, since we went every year. We also made two yearly summer trips to Wildwood and Morey's Piers. So, I can trace my fan-dom back to those parks.
The roller coaster bug bit me in 1994 as a young teenager, when we went as a family to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I was awestruck by Drachen Fire. I had never seen any ride that big, and I was fascinated by everything about it. It was all downhill from there.
Through college I made a lot of rounds to parks all over. I added 66 new rides to my count in 2002 alone.
Then I went dormant for a bit. I grew up a little, settled down, got a job, got married, and had kids. Traveling to new parks went on the back burner.
On some in-law family vacations, I was able to make it to parks like SFGAm, the Dells, Michigan's Adventure, Indiana Beach, and Holiday World over the recent years.
I was hit by a second bug in 2009, when Kings Dominion announced I-305. It looked awesome. I said that day, "I'm going to ride it as soon as it opens." And I did that spring.
It certainly re-kindled my interest. I began to participate here more frequently, and since 2010, I've been hitting up all of the regional parks here in the Northeast that I, for some reason, never got to when I was younger. I created a Facebook page recently to network in the industry a bit, and to keep tabs on what the parks send out. You can find me by adding Park Connoisseur as a friend.
Last year I conquered all of Pennsylvania's parks. This year it's New York (Great Escape, Darien Lake, Martin's Fantasy Island, and Seabreeze). I have a goal to ride every wooden roller coaster in North America.
Finally, I liked what sarki7 said so well - so I'll repeat it here. It applies to me too.
It's funny to look back on almost two decades of enjoying this hobby and being a part of the community. I marvel at how much my tastes and opinions have changed and changed back over the years, but if there's one thing that's constant, it's my fascination by all the industry has to offer - whether it's physical thrills, amazing technology, complex engineering, diverse business practices, and a fan base that's nothing if not...enthusiastic.
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.79 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.1%
Friend me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Welcome to URC, Greg. It's good to see you're still having a good time enjoying parks and coasters throughout the changes in your life. Like both you and Drachen, I became an enthusiast around 1992 after having taking my family to BGT in 1991. Though I am one of the older members here (60+) many of us first signed onto URC around 1999, when the coaster wars were at their height. Also like you and others, I am attracted not only by the physical thrill, but also by the engineering, technology and business operations that go into today's parks. BTW your work at IBM sounds quite interesting!
Thanks! Now I just have to move to the midwest to be able to hit all those great parks - but I can't see that happening anytime soon (i.e., ever). I'll have to put together a road trip at some point I guess.
Thanks, I guess it's not a super common career, but it's based in Human Factors, a field that started in the 1950s. It's an interesting mix of psychology, computer science, and design, and I do a lot of usability testing and UI design.
Look forward to seeing where you head next :]
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Welcome aboard Greg!! I checked out your site and wow! It makes me wanna do something similar but idk if I have the initiative or stamina for something like that! I just have a photoblog of what I tend to capture while out and about.
Look forward to seeing where you head next :]
That’s so nice to hear, thanks so much! I’ve had this site in one form or another for almost 15 years now – started on geocities – every now and then I add to it or tweak it. Most updates these days are new trip reports, and sometimes I’ll add a new park page. Forgive the cliché, but it’s a labor of love. Just fun for me to keep track of this stuff, and I hope other people enjoy it.
This year won’t be my most ambitious (especially after going to Japan last fall!) but I’ve got a few park visits in mind. I’m most excited about hitting Canada’s Wonderland next month, and maybe a few hours in Marineland when my wife and I head to Niagara Falls and Toronto. Might squeeze in a visit to Cedar Point if we can, which would be awesome – I’d finally get to ride Maverick – but we’ve got other ideas in mind. (I try not to push my luck with parks. My wife enjoys them but likes to focus on culture and sightseeing when on vacation, so…) Besides that, I’ll be up in Seattle later in the summer, so I’ll try to swing by Enchanted Village/Wild Waves. Then of course I’ll have to get a spin on Superman at SFDK, but that date is TDB. So, like I said, nothing crazy, but a few new parks in there.
(Sorry if there’s already a “where are you visiting in 2012” thread already – I can get carried away)