Despair and Distress (and a lot of rain) at the Amusement Park

A few months ago, Carol called and said, “The homeschool school that our kids belong to is having a Hershey Park day.  If you come with us, you can get discounted tickets, free parking, and free food.  Are you interested?”


Yesterday was Hershey Park Day, and the boys and I went.  The only camera I had was the one on my very cheap cell phone.  It was pretty late when I came home, and I expected that I would use one of the pictures from the phone as a picture of the day, write, “Went to Hershey Park today.  It poured rain on us for four hours.  This is why it didn’t rain on Grocery Shopping Day last Wednesday.  The weather was saving it all up for Hershey Park Day today.  The weather hates me,” and go to bed.

But, instead, I came home very late and tired, to three cameras and a husband all waiting for me by the front door anxious to tell me all about their busy day.  Darling Husband had even taken pictures of it all and had written a lovely blog. So, I posted his blog instead, and went to bed.

So, today, I’ll tell you about yesterday:

First of all, we rode on the Comet as the very first ride.  In my memory, the Comet was a small roller coaster and not very scary at all.  It was rated as a 4 out of 5 for scariness.  Pretty much every other roller coaster was rated a 5.  Right next to the Comet it is a roller coaster that’s twice as tall as the Comet.  Surely, this will be a nice easy roller coaster to start the kiddies on.

Oh boy, was I ever wrong!

That ride slammed us all around.  I thought we were going to snap our little necks and then fly out of our seats.  Girl12 burst into tears halfway through the ride and Boy9 firmly stated he was not going to ride any more roller coasters today, and maybe not ever again.  Boy10 and Boy7 were a little less quick to judge, and thought maybe they’d ride a roller coaster another time, but just not now.  Carol didn’t say much, she just looked very unhappy.

And I was nervous.


I was nervous because I didn’t enjoy the roller coaster. At All.  Bascially, about halfway through the ride, I was just enduring.  I wasn’t riding, I was enduring.  It was much like going through labor, only about 9 hours and 58.5 minutes shorter.

This was a disheartening development.  For years I’ve loved roller coasters.  I used to plan trips to amusement parks with other roller coaster fans and we’d spend the whole day only on roller coasters, refusing to ride anything else.  It’s a defining feature of me:  Jackie Loves Roller Coasters.

And now, all of a sudden….I don’t love roller coasters?  How can this be?  Who am I, if I don’t love roller coasters?  I’ll have to completely redefine myself as a person.

But I’d already told Carol and her husband Bill how much I love roller coasters and everyone had already said, “That’s good, because usually Bill has to ride them alone and now you can go with him.”

But I don’t wanna ride a roller coaster anymore!  The Comet was not fun at all!

While I was still reeling from the shock of all this, we took the kids on a nice slow ride on the Ferris Wheel, but inside I despaired.  Will this be my Amusement Park lot?  Riding on the slow Ferris Wheel like my grandma?  Maybe next year, I won’t even like the Ferris Wheel and will spend all my time in the gift shops.  Please, no!  Not that!  Anything but that!

But I didn’t want to admit this horrible new truth about myself, and Bill was fed up with the boring old Ferris Wheel, so I took a deep breath and said, “Ok Bill.  Pick a roller coaster.  Let’s go.”  And while the kids rode the Merry-Go-Round we stood in the hour long line for The Great Bear.  I figured that while I was on the ride, I would use the pain techniques I’d learned for when I was in labor: deliberately relax the muscles, take your mind to a happy place, breathe slowly and deeply…

So, we got on the ride…I steeled myself for what lay ahead…

…..and man, oh, man I looooved it!  Love, love, loved it!

And then I realized what the problem was. The Comet is a wooden roller coaster.  I know there are those of you out there who prefer the wooden roller coasters, but I don’t.  They jerk you around and are painful to the neck and I just don’t like them.  Before yesterday I hadn’t ridden a roller coaster in about 11 years and I’d forgotten that I don’t like wooden roller coasters.  I like the steel ones with headrests and a nice smooth ride.

I already have plans to go back to Hershey Park in July with Jo-Ann and Rob. And when we’re there, I’m making sure to go on this one:

Do you see how it takes you straight up into the air, and the downhill is so steep that it actually inverts?!   Inverts!

I can’t wait!


8 thoughts on “Despair and Distress (and a lot of rain) at the Amusement Park

  1. I remember getting back in line for the Comet as soon as the ride was over (again and again) when I was a kid. I LOVED it. A couple years ago, I rode it for the first time as an adult and realized right then and there that I was officially OLD: I was in so much pain as it jerked me around that I had to grit my teeth and hold back tears. I kept wondering what was WRONG with me when I was a kid! How could I have thought that was actually fun?! Never again. I pay way too much money for chiropractic care these days to make that mistake again.

    • Right…those wooden ones are brutal.

      Bryan didn’t come with us because he has neck issues as well, and even the smooth steel rides will be too much. As much as he loves roller coasters, it’s not worth all the pain.

  2. And here I was hoping the happy ending would be that you hate roller coasters forever and then we’d have something else in common besides the homeschooling thing. 🙂 I’ve been on Goofy’s Barnstormer at Disney World. It’s a quick minute long roller coaster for little children. I cried when I rode it. LOL! You are brave my friend.

  3. The same thing happened to me at Cedar Point with my then 10 year old son.We went on the Blue Streak first and he was so mad at me.It was his first roller coaster ride and I thought that one would be good because it was smaller.Thankfully he got over it in a while and we had a great time after he forgot about that wooden thing.I love love love roller coasters.

    • If I owned an Amusement park, I would write up little pamphlets about these things and pass them out. Things like, “The kettle corn place closes early, so don’t wait till the end of the day to get your kettle corn.” “The wooden roller coasters will snap your little necks around. Don’t even bother.” and “If you ride those swing-things four times in a row, you will puke up your guts.”

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