Dear Coaster Friends,
I am going to start this one out with some excuses, because this is late, and I skipped last year. Guess why? I ment for this to be an annual series with my first entry when my daughter was two on Fathers Day. So this season has started but I missed my self imposed Father’s Day deadline. But, if you are still with me let’s go.
This is my fifth season as a coaster dad and I have been racking up the kiddy credits! Just kidding, but my daughter has moved from the very tame kid rides into family style flat rides and coasters. This has been a really rewarding experience for me as well as her as I have been having an amazing time sharing these adventures with the whole family. My daughter has been to Adventureland (New York), Lake Compounce, Knoebels, Nickelodeon Universe, and most recently Six Flags New England. Her first intro to more thrilling rides have been familiar flat rides like the paratrooper, scrambler, the whip, wave swings, and others. These spinning rides gave her the sensation of speed and some quick changes in direction. When she has gone on something that is really only geared towards young kids she actually looks confused as to why it isn’t fun. The family style coasters that she wasn’t sure about at first are now an easy yes because she knows what fun feels like.
The current ride of choice? A wild mouse, she can ride it all day and giggle the whole time, then immediately say, “Let’s go again!” as soon as we get off. I know what you are thinking, but I like them too. True that at Six Flags New England they have two amazing coasters in Superman and Wicked Cyclone, but I had a great time on their wild mouse too. I’m not using the proper name on purpose, since I didn’t even try to tell her. I also had a chance to really appreciate how the wild mouse style coaster is a family coaster masterpiece, yes a masterpiece. These quirky rides have slight variations but are all generally similar enough to consider them all together. From a child’s perspective they are big rides that both simultaneously have no big drop, and the entire layout is visible. These qualities make it very accessible to kids and also parents who aren’t fans of roller coasters. The snappy turns are fun and provide solid laterals, while tossing you around in the car. The car’s front wheels are set back so it always looks like you are going off the tracks, something that added to the fun. The small drops and hills actually do provide airtime without being big enough to scare anyone. These incredibly ordinary coasters don’t get their proper respect and serve a valuable purpose, they are a stepping stone to the next ride. According to my daughter right now the best coaster in the world is not The Phoenix, a ride she has been on, it is a wild mouse. So she probably isn’t a future Golden Ticket Award voter, and I see her point.
The next time you roll up at a new park and look at their line up, don’t you dare say, ugh another wild mouse. You better say, well at least they have a wild mouse. You know it, it is fun, nostalgic, and let’s face it better than the boomerang or the SLC you are about to tourture yourself with anyway. If you stuck with me this long I’ll leave you with my proudest moment of the day. My five year old daughter told the ride op that opened the gate at Catwoman’s Whip that she was going to need to sit in the back seat. I honestly didn’t prompt her and I have no idea where she got it from, but she already knows.