Old Folks Who Are Not Too Old For Roller Coasters!
Even if I often have to stop and count years to remember I am just over 55, I would never call myself an “old folk”. But from the looks we got this summer at the Canada’s Wonderland amusement park, there are those out there who would beg to differ. We don’t think we are too old for roller coasters.
David and I love amusement parks and we still line up every year for the newest, greatest, fastest roller coaster that the park has to offer. Canada’s Wonderland just north of Toronto boasts: one of the world’s biggest and tallest coasters (Leviathan), Canada’s Longest Wooden Coaster (The Mighty Canadian Minebuster) and Canada’s First Inverted Coaster (Flight Deck). There are over 10 roller coasters spread across the 330 acres of amusement park. So far we have seen no signs that say we are too old for roller coasters.
We buy season tickets for Canada’s Wonderland and we go back over and over again, never deterred by new attempts to screw with gravity. In fact, we almost always wait for the front seats so we can have that extra special treat of looking out over the first drop. When we get to the park early, we sometimes get right back in line and do the roller coaster a second or third time. Does that sound like we are too old for roller coasters?
I must admit that I don’t do the spinny rides any more – I am more prone to barfing from spinning now than I was when younger. I have learned to not put my arms up for pictures on the roller coasters, mostly to avoid permanent records of my bat wing arms. We are more likely to buy Starbucks latte than candy floss and David did admit when we left the park that he was fighting a hot dog longing. But we take on the park with the same enthusiasm, if not the same speed!
We went on a Friday this time and were surprised that the crowds were pretty good, even factoring in that we entered the park as the gates opened. But after about the third ride, it also finally dawned on us that we had yet to see any person in a ride line that was closer than 20 years to our age. Because we were riding the wilder roller coasters, there were not a lot of pre-teens but the rest of the crowd was predominantly teen and young adult.
And then there was us! Many times I caught “the look” as they wondered what we were possibly doing in their lineups. Surely we were too old to ride roller coasters? David laughed when the young boy in front of me asked sincerely if I thought his multi-coloured socks were “cool”. I did have to burst his bubble by telling him about our daughter’s penchant for psychedelic socks but his were ok.
We were sure that most of the younger people in line or manning the rides were pretty scared we may not make it off the ride alive! I was not naive enough to think they really cared about anything more than slowing down the ride. But I secretly hoped that at least a few thought we were pretty cool “old folks”!
Maybe they looked at us like that because they didn’t know about what else we do in our spare time? David retired from the military as a navy diver and with both explosives and high-g flight experience, roller coasters are really kids play. I jumped out of perfectly good planes from as high as 13,500′ – 150 times until I “got better”. Pilot and IFR training with spins and near zero visibility reinforced the value of “calm”. David and I now scuba for fun and have the shark pics to prove it. We would not yet be passing on amusement parks and so far, we are not tool old for roller coasters!
Do you still roller coast ride with the “kids”? Or do you feel you are too old for roller coasters?