My favorite ride at any amusement park is the roller coasters. I don’t care how fast they go, whether they loop or go backward, if I’m sitting in the first or last car or if I’m somewhere in the middle. I love the rush of climbing up that first hill, hearing that clack of the chain and feeling the excitement and anticipation of what is to come.

The first roller coaster I ever went on was Space Mountain at Disney World. I was in the third grade. My dad wanted to go on it but nobody else in the family would go with him. I don’t think I really understood what it was at the time; all I heard was that he wanted to go on a ride with someone. To hear my dad tell it, I screamed for the whole ride. All I remember is being terrified, so that sounds about right. I think if I had been on a coaster before and had more of an idea what to expect, being in the dark like that wouldn’t have seemed so scary. However, terrifying as it was, the first thing I did after the ride was over was ask my dad if we could go again. The way I remember it, he was a little green-looking by then and said no.

Since then, I’ve ridden the coasters at every park I’ve been to. Some people have maps where they mark every ballpark they’ve been to – I have one with pins for every coaster I’ve been on. I’ve had some that I’ve been surprised that I enjoyed (the Wild Mouse at Hershey Park comes to mind), some that have just been awesome even from watching them on the line like American Thunder in St. Louis, and some that were just disappointing (like the old Mean Streak at Cedar Point). If I had to pick a favorite, which is hard because there have been so many great ones, I would say the Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California; you essentially get to ride it twice!

I’ve been to a bunch of parks and ridden a lot of coasters. Here is my wish list for what I want to ride next, in both the US and around the world: the UK’s loopy Smiler, the new (and completely impossible looking) Fury 325 in North Carolina, the Takabisha in Japan, the Colossos wooden coaster in Germany, Formula Rossa in the UAE, and the T Express in South Korea. Every time I buy a lottery ticket, or put money into my vacation fund, it is to get these coasters off my “want to ride” list and onto my “have ridden” list!

What about you? What’s on your “want to ride” list? What is your favorite coaster? Let me know and maybe I will have another ride to add to my ever-growing list!

So Fun but Can't Wait to Go Home California Theme Parks