by Andrew Rybarczyk
True ride warriors know the pain of the offseason. Those long months between the months of November to March become tedious, boring and sometimes even mind altering. Thoughts constantly fill my head of rides I was riding not more than a few months ago. I find myself shaking my iPad to constantly update the random coaster on RCDB. Memories continue to fill my mind. Even the simplest of country songs reminds me of strolling along Frontier Trail. Yes, some may be privileged to live near a warm weather park or some may schedule a trip to such places, but for most it's a time of downright depression. Fortunately, there is a cure and around the time of late March through early April, the heavens open and bestow upon us the wonderful gift of Opening Day.
There is no better feeling than attending a theme park after a long and tiresome offseason. Even better, is the feeling of attending opening day itself. On opening day, as shocking as it sounds, I forgo my usual tradition of racing to the first coaster and knocking out the cobwebs formed by the absence of negative g's and 70mph wind racing through hair. They'll be plenty of time for that over the course of the season. Instead, I wait patiently to hear the speeches normally delivered by the top management of the park. In these speeches usually accompanied by some sort of entertainment whether it be a local high school band, a set of costumed characters, or just simple decorations there's always an element of hope and return. These concepts of hope and return stem from all of the hard work and planning that the park has done over not just the offseason but the parks entire history that makes it a place for all to enjoy year after year. As people listen to the men and women who shape our favorite places in the world, underneath a wave of anticipation begins to grow. As the speeches wind down, the crowd begins to stir with excitement. The cutting of the ribbon gives way to the rush of adrenaline and people run to their first ride of the season. The promise of opening day has given way to the joy of the season.
So ride warriors, we embark yet again on another coaster trek to rediscover all our old favorites and hopefully meet a few new ones. Along the way, I wish that you experience nothing but thrilling rides, days filled with happiness, and quality time spent with family and friends. Take it all in and savor every moment because it won't last forever and soon we will have to return to the doldrums of the offseason to repeat the process until the coming of next year's Opening Day.