UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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AltonOllie
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:54 pm

Well done tyrex. :) Glad I was helpful to you aswell.

Get yourself on Oblivion and Nemesis. Nemesis is so thrilling and intense, and Oblivion is one of the best drop feelings I've ever experienced. I'm sure you'll love them once you crack onto them :)
Oh and Rita of course, the launch is breathtaking, literally! :p

Th13teen is also probably my 3rd favourite, simply because it's so much fun.
 
tyrex
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:13 pm

Thanks all, I can't tell you how happy I am with this result. Sitting here at work today I can't stop thinking about the ride and the feeling it gave. Can't imagine how I can possibly get another shot of adrenaline that has that effect or lasts that long, no wonder you guys are always searching for bigger and better rides - I totally get it now - that sort of high must surely not be legal!

Planning my next trip already - can't come back soon enough - but shame AT is so busy now it is summer holiday time. Thinking of doing the Vampire ride at Chessington in the next few weeks as it is a bit more local to me, and maybe taking a look at something at Thorpe Park too, then coming back to AT, possibly for a weekend, in September when the schools go back. Th13teen is probably the first contender (and of course as many rides on Air as I can Fasttrack onto), then I'll take a look at the others once I'm psyched up! My partner really wants me to do Oblivion but that drop looks completely insane to me, and I keep watching the videos of Nemesis but the one of John Wardley riding it and getting lost for words scares the life out of me! Would love to do it though, as I guess I could do pretty much anything after that.

Really hope other potential first time riders read this thread and take some heart from my experience. My personality doesn't allow me to 'just do it', I have to understand what I'm about to go through before taking the plunge. Case in point - Mine Train scared the living bejesus out of me the first time because I had no idea what was coming or how it might feel, second time around it was a walk in the (theme) park. I suspect a lot of coaster-phobiacs are of a similar disposition. My advice - do your research, read other peoples' experiences, and most importantly watch those YouTube POV videos over and over again until you can imagine doing the entire ride in your own head (I was screaming a running commentary on Air on my very first ride). Then go and do it for real and make sure you SCREAM! :D

I'll update you all soon!

Ty
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mrbrightside
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:50 pm

That's great news to hear you've been so successful! I used to be terrified of coasters a few years ago - until I realised that I wasn't actually scared of them, I was jus scared of the un-known. I threw myself in at the deep end on Stealth at Thorpe Park and never looked back since...

You've done fantastically and next time you visit Alton, 13 is definitely the way forward for you. No inversions or twists to deal with, just a freefall drop - and if you can cope with the speed of Air's drop then it will be fine - plus there's plenty of videos on YouTube.

What I would suggest at Thorpe Park if you go (as it is very thrill orientated) is to warm up with the family coaster The Flying Fish as it is tame, before maybe trying out Nemesis Inferno - it's Nemmy's little sister, and though it is quite intense, if you can do it I think you'd believe anything else was possible :)
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AltonOllie
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:37 pm

In my honest opinion here, I would recommend if you want to do all 5 you should do them in this order, and I'll explain as to why after.

Air.
TH13TEEN.
Nemesis.
Rita.
Oblivion.

Air is the most 'relaxed' aside from TH13TEEN and should be done first because you've done it already and enjoyed it. It will also kick off the adrenaline levels leaving you wanting more. Once done, head over to TH13TEEN and do that. The first drop will get you used to conventional coasters, even though it's trimmed it is still hugely fun, and the (no longer) secret element will sort of prepare you for the next coasters.
After TH13TEEN I say Nemesis, and you may find this intimidating but I promise you it isn't scary. The scariest part is the queueline, simply for the fact that you won't know what to expect. The ride itself is not scary at all, you'll be terrified going up the lift hill, and then literally seconds after you'll be wondering what you were ever scared of. This is because it's intense but not terrifying. The first corkscrew feels so good, and feels so high, and you'll enjoy it so much.

After that, Rita. After Nemesis you won't have the fear of G-force and so Rita is a good spot to hit after for a nice rush at the start, followed by some fun airtime and positive G. Once you've done Nemesis and Rita (especially if it's on the same day) you'll feel like you're ready for Oblivion. Get yourself over to X-Sector, check out the drop as you head for the queue and prepare for the freefall experience. Now I won't pretend you won't be scared at the point that you get to the station. Remember Oblivion is designed to scare you and intimidate you as much as possible. You'll get to the holding brake and be thinking "I can't believe I'm doing this" and then you'll drop. The sudden change from positive G to negative G and back to 4.5 g is immense, and as you hit the brakes you'll want to just get straight off, run around to the queue and try it again and again.

Now I appreciate that if it's a busy day, doing the rides in this order may not be possible due to the length of queues, walking distance etc. But if you can manage to do it, this is the order I think would suit you. I don't pretend to be an expert, but yes. I hope you've found it helpful. :)

Oh, and vote Oblivion.
 
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Nightfall
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:45 pm

"tyrex" wrote:
Thinking of doing the Vampire ride at Chessington in the next few weeks as it is a bit more local to me
Very good choice. Vampires probably the next closest thing to Air.

Thorpe Park will be throwing you're self in the deep end. All the big coaster are BIG but if you feel up to it then go for it.
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spin_doctor
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Re: Oblivion

Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:44 am

Ok, I last visited Alton Towers when I was 14, I had rode every ride in the park apart from Oblivion. I am now 21, since I last went, both Thirteen and Rita have been built and I am going to the park on Wednesday and I need serious, honest feedback. Im not afraid to say it...

I am too scared to go on Oblivion.

Or so, I was last time I went, I'm not sure until I stand underneath it next week whether or not I will find it within myself to go on it, I'v thought about it so much in my head and got myself worked up I really want to go on it. Can someone tell me whether or not I will enjoy it, I dont want people to just tell me its a great awesome amazing experience like I keep being told, because to you it might be but to me, let me explain.

I love rollercoasters, but I HATE the feeling you get when you drop on some rides, its strange because some rides seem to give me this horrible feeling and others dont, I.e. the feeling at the top of the Ice Blast at Blackpool, the feeling being launched downwards on Irn Bru Revolution, the feeling Im trying so hard to explain, doesnt happen on Air or Nemesis, but I imagine it will on Oblivion, I hope people understand what Im talking about, some rides do it some dont, someone once tried to explain the difference between positive and negative G-Force and I think this is what it is. I dont mind my tummy turning upside down slighly, but some rides I'v been on, Its like so intense I cant breath, if Oblivion honestly does this, tell me. Some people may love that, I dont want to ride it if thats the case. I've been on all the rides at blackpool, and everything apart from Rita and Thirteen and Oblivion, also, does Rita give this feeling on the Launch, honest, unbiased feedback would be helpful.

Thanks.
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Stelios7
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Re: Oblivion

Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:41 am

"spin_doctor" wrote:

Or so, I was last time I went, I'm not sure until I stand underneath it next week whether or not I will find it within myself to go on it, I'v thought about it so much in my head and got myself worked up I really want to go on it. Can someone tell me whether or not I will enjoy it, I dont want people to just tell me its a great awesome amazing experience like I keep being told, because to you it might be but to me, let me explain.

Thanks.


If you've been on Nemesis, you should on Oblivion, it's over before you know it, as they say. "Sit back and enjoy the experience".
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tyrex
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Re: Oblivion

Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:45 pm

"Stelios7""][quote=""spin_doctor" wrote:

Or so, I was last time I went, I'm not sure until I stand underneath it next week whether or not I will find it within myself to go on it, I'v thought about it so much in my head and got myself worked up I really want to go on it. Can someone tell me whether or not I will enjoy it, I dont want people to just tell me its a great awesome amazing experience like I keep being told, because to you it might be but to me, let me explain.

Thanks.


If you've been on Nemesis, you should on Oblivion, it's over before you know it, as they say. "Sit back and enjoy the experience".[/quote]

I get the sweats just thinking about Oblivion :nervious: but surely your experience of other rides stands you in much better stead to give it a go? I'd never done any ride before Air on Saturday, but after the anxiety I caused myself before getting on it, I can't imagine things getting any worse than that!

On another note, my partner wants me to do Oblivion and rationalises that it's all over before you even have time to comprehend what's going on. Sounds reasonable as long as she's telling the truth! Can you make that work for you?
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Blaze

Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:59 pm

Oblivion is the one ride that still gets me. I would recomend going on everything else first, and do Oblivion at the end of the day when you're coasting on addrenaline. you will be scared, I can't pretend otherwise, but there are ways of reducing your fear and I promise you that by the time you're back in the station you will want to go round again.
 
.Will

Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Obivion gets me too and so does Rita because of the launch but no where near as much. The climb to the top is awful and the bend rolling on to the holding brake is murder but when you move onto the barke and see the hole below you you can't help but stick your hands up in the air and scream your lungs out!

:P
 
Blaze

Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:11 pm

Rita isn't really fear, it's just anticipation sending fight or flight into overdrive because you know what's coming. The first time on Rita did nothing for me at all. Probably the first big coaster that didn't get to me one bit. Now though... :P

I don't think I've ever been on Oblivion without screaming. (More to do with intensity than anything, though.) Don't think I've ever done it without holding on either. Don't care who you are, there is no one who can sit on the holding brake and not feel anything.

But there's no rush quite like it.
 
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:17 pm

"Blaze" wrote:
Rita isn't really fear, it's just anticipation sending fight or flight into overdrive because you know what's coming. The first time on Rita did nothing for me at all. Probably the first big coaster that didn't get to me one bit. Now though... :P


Don't. Tell. Me. What. To. Feel!

:P


Oblivion scares the holy shizzle out of me, try it with your arms up it is amazing! Rita is too.

Grow a pair Blaze and try it.

:P
 
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:35 pm

If I could know for sure that I would definitely like it, I would go on, it's just because the whole ride is based around the one drop, it has me thinking "that must be
some crazy ass drop" ..it's embarrassing not going on it at my age, I'm genuinely terrified, I know I will make the decision to go on but it will be the worse two minutes of my life leading up to that edge.
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Blaze

Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:51 pm

It's not that I'm scared, I just physically can't. :P Funny how I can jump off cranes but a simply coaster has me hanging on for dear life. :lol:

Don't worry about being scared of it, there's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm many hundreds of times bigger than spiders, and yet they creep me out. Being scared of huge metal structures is much more rational to be honest.
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:24 pm

I hate the feeling of drop towers as well. But I don't get that on a coaster. I think it's because on a coaster you are facing the direction you are falling in, so the forces are in to your chest. But if you are sitting upright on a tower ride, the Gs are moving all your innards upwards out of your mouth.

Oblivion and other vertical coasters do not give that horrible "stomach in your mouth" feeling you get on towers.
 
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:29 pm

I have to admit I got over my oblivion fear only the first time a few weeks back. My number one tip. Don't look at the pit, don't go anywhere near it. Every time previous I told myself I'll have a look at it, then decide, but then I just wouldn't. Just go to the entrance, and believe me, you'll love it. From the second it releases you will know that you love it.

Plus the fear of a coaster makes for a better adrenaline kick.

Remember Oblivion was designed to scare the poo out of you, so you will be scared, but when you hit the brakes you will be on a massive high. You have conquered your fear.
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CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:11 pm

"Blaze" wrote:
Oblivion is the one ride that still gets me. I would recomend going on everything else first, and do Oblivion at the end of the day when you're coasting on addrenaline. you will be scared, I can't pretend otherwise, but there are ways of reducing your fear and I promise you that by the time you're back in the station you will want to go round again.


Ah, that's funny, because Oblivion is perhaps the only ride at Alton Towers which doesn't do anything for me anymore, I wish it still did though, I really do.

My first two rides on it were mindblowing, but after that it was just...meh.

Rita's launch, Nemesis front row and Sonic's first drop still give me a great buzz however.

:)
 
tyrex
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:55 am

An update for completeness on this topic and wanted to share my recent experiences for rollercoasterphobiacs :-)

I had a little jaunt to Chessington a few weeks ago in which I massively enjoyed Vampire, Dragon's Fury and even had a new photo taken on Dragon Falls (the very ride mentioned in my first post on this topic which caused me so much terror the first time I did it), which showed me looking directly into the camera, not scared, poking my tongue out! Decided that coasters seemed a lot easier than before so I set myself a challenge for a weekend at Alton Towers in which I would do ALL SIX of the major coasters, no small feat for someone who'd not ridden anything until two months ago.

Some of you will notice my ridecount below more than doubled this weekend. Basically, I completely cured my phobia and owned all of Alton Towers' rides at the same time :-)

Both days were amazing for different reasons. On the Saturday I did Air, Th13teen & Spinball, then did my first 'big coaster', Oblivion, as the last ride of the day in the pouring rain. Trembling like an eleven year old on their first day at high school, I got onto the ride, terrorized myself right up to the holding brake, screamed all the way down and back up, and had an adrenaline rush after that kept me awake all night.

The next day I got an ERT session which meant I'd done Nemesis and Rita by 10am and completed my six rides challenge, then showed off by adding another five Nemesis (including 1 front row), another Rita, four more Oblivion, more Air and Th13teen.

Regarding Alton's rides, I know a lot of you guys debated on this topic over the suitability of various rides for beginners, so I wanted to share my beginner's perspective on each of them, in the order I think phobiacs should do them.

1) Apart from Runaway Mine Train, which is a must for newbies, there is no doubt that Air IS a fantastic first time rollercoaster. It has all the elements of the major rides without being too intense or scary. If you can do Air, you can work your way up to the others no problem.

2) I agree that Th13teen is a great family coaster, but I would say that the first drop and maybe first 10 seconds or so of the ride may put off a lot of very new riders due to intensity and lack of bulky restraints leading to an unsafe feeling. On my first ride I had a moment of 'what the f**k!' before I got my composure back, but the feeling subsides quickly and the drop in the dark is nowhere near as scary as you might imagine, it just feels great. So for that reason I would say it is a perfect follow-on once you've conquered Air. It isn't a big jump at all, but definitely do Air first.

2a) If you need a progression from Air to Th13teen and are prepared to travel, go and do Vampire at Chessington - it's more like a 'normal' ride without being intense at all.

3) Sonic Spinball is probably best after Th13teen, it's fairly intense, especially the biggest drop and banked loop, and the spinning makes it quite disorientating, but if you can do this you'll feel ready for the bigger rides.

4) Oblivion is definitely next - this is the first major coaster you'll do and I promise that the thought IS much worse than the reality. If you can beat this coaster, you have mastered the technique of controlling your pre-ride fear and making yourself do a coaster your mind tells you not to. The build up to the holding brake might be terrifying, but the ride itself is sooo short you have absolutely no time to understand the forces you are experiencing, and a few seconds later you're back at the station. If you're laughing or giggling at this point, you've successfully defeated your phobia, all the rest will be comparatively easy.

5) Nemesis is next. After Oblivion it won't feel like such a huge ride because it doesn't have any major 'fear points' - no big drops, no launches, but I don't feel it can be done before the rides mentioned above because it has a constant stream of intensity that you need to learn to manage. I found the POV videos very useful for this ride allowing me to spot the most intense points and the easier bits where I could recover. But if you've learned to cope with the other rides, you'll love Nemesis - because it's brilliant, pure and simple.

6) Rita is last, it might not have pre-ride build-up like Oblivion, or the multiple inversions like Nemesis, but the first 5-10 seconds are massively intense and liable to make unprepared riders bottle out of riding again after. It's pretty fast all the way through the ride and you'll only get your composure back some time after the launch and first air-time hill, but just like Oblivion, if you're laughing at the end, you'll know you are now able to do absolutely anything.

So, my thoughts on curing a rollercoaster phobia are simple.

1) If you are a 'stubborn refuser' - you know, the kind that refuses to ride when everyone tries to coerce you into doing one - why not try becoming a 'stubborn coach to yourself'. I AM going to do this ride, I WILL NOT talk myself out of doing it.

2) Watch the videos of the rides you want to do beforehand, make sure you know exactly how they ride in your head before going on them for real, it takes away a lot of the anticipation and allows you to positively reinforce that everything you're feeling is expected whilst the ride is running.

3) Try to separate your fear into distinct elements. If you don't like drops (like me), don't want to go upside down, don't like fast starts, research big coasters that don't have them. Alton has something for everyone.

4) Research, research, research! Ask questions on forums, ask your mates, read guides, reviews, look into new coasters being built. The more you know, the more confident you'll become. I already surprise myself at how much I know about rollercoasters compared with many of my coaster-manic friends.

5) Scream (loudly)! It takes away a lot of the bad thoughts whilst the ride is in operation. Pretend you want to terrify the people on the ground into not doing the ride, in your head you're trying to transfer the fear to other people and away from yourself.

6) Be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone! I got a little stuck after my first ride on Air because it felt like the jump to the other coasters was too great. The reality is that your first ever coaster IS the hardest - if you do one, you CAN do the others. The reality IS NOT as bad as the thought beforehand, so make sure you keep trying to progress rather than just staying on one, despite how scared you feel.

Finally, if you need a reason to cure your phobia - make it Nemesis. Six rides in one day for me speaks volumes - without doubt the finest ride experience I can possibly imagine, one ride is worth the day's ticket price, and I totally see why coaster experts rate it so highly. I fear I may have to go a long way abroad to top it!

Thanks for your advice everyone, you made a coaster-enthusiast out of me! See you back at Alton for ScareFest! :D/
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:33 pm

To the guy worried about going on Oblivion. I was the same as you for a long while. I would not touch the ride and even with friends egging me on I would always find an excuse like queue times and the ride being temporarily broken down for me to not go on. This was until my visit last week! Where I went on Oblivion twice.

Contrary to what others say, I really think it's best if you get the ride you're scared of out of the way first. This ensures there's no nerves carried through with you through out the whole day and you really get a buzz after knowing you've conquered your fear. Make sure your with a friend who will drag you to the ride!
 
tyrex
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Re: Fixing my rollercoaster phobia!

Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:11 pm

+1 to the post above, exactly my thoughts and experience. Happy to help drag someone onto Oblivion if they need persuading - if I can do it three times back-to-back, anybody can!
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