Thursday, April 9, 2015

Riding a roller coaster is like falling in love by Amie Denman

Do you remember your first roller coaster? Mine was Space Mountain at Walt Disney World in Florida. I was eleven and emboldened by the Disney magic--the belief that anything is possible and everything is good. My sisters and I rode the wild space-themed ride in almost total darkness and we were hooked! I still love to buckle in and let go.

What is the appeal of roller coasters? Based on years of experience, here's my official answer:

Riding a roller coaster is like falling in love.

Think about it. You often have to wait a long time (those queue lines!), it takes bravery and encouragement from your friends (sometimes this includes very bad advice), and the endorphins and adrenaline are enough to fuel a trip to the moon.

Roller coasters and romance are a lot alike, but one of them is much safer. With an amusement park ride, you get to wear a seat belt, you have plenty of company, you know you'll stay on the track no matter how crazy it gets, and you'll arrive in one piece at the final station. Love doesn't come with a safety record and the assurance you won't go off the rails. You can close your eyes and hang on, but you can't control where you'll end up. That's what I love about romance. The rush, the risk, the sweet reward.

In my Harlequin Heartwarming novel due out later this year, my hero owns a summer resort and amusement park. He runs Starlight Point, but a summer romance takes him on a ride more thrilling than any of the coasters at his park. I can't wait to share Jack and Augusta's roller-coaster-romance Sweet Summer Starlight with you.

How about you? I'd love to hear about your favorite roller coaster rides or fun stories from a trip to a theme park or amusement park.

Please reply with a story, a memory, or a list of your top ten rides. Summer is on the way! I hear the roller coaster climbing the hill...

24 comments:

  1. I can't do 10, but I loved the Aerosmith rollercoaster at Disney World. Let's all take off in the dark and then do a corkscrew double turn!

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  2. The Rockin' Rollercoaster! I love that one. Loud music combined with darkness. Wildly fun.

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  3. There was the somewhat lame ride at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto called The Caterpillar. It was just a circular track with hills built into it, and a tarp came down as it started so you were in the dark. Not the scariest ride, but my dad would always take us kids on it and scream at the top of his lungs, causing us to scream, and basically it was the best ride ever!

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    1. What a fun story! My dad used to hate rides, but he now loves Splash Mountain at Disney World.

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  4. What a great analogy. I grew up about ten miles from Lake Compounce, a theme park in Bristol, Connecticut. Although I never went on the roller coaster, a giant wooden contraption, I can still remember the sound it made whooshing by. Your story sounds quite exciting.

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    1. I love the sound of an old wooden coaster. I live near a small amusement park that is the inspiration for my book, and they have many wooden coasters there. I love them!

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  5. My first was at the Oregon State Fair, so it was a small one. But all of us farm kids thought it was the greatest thing ever.

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    1. The State Fair ones are probably the riskiest...I always wonder about rides that come on trucks and get assembled. It doesn't stop me from riding them, though!

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  6. Oh, Amie, fun post! I'm a bit of a roller coaster enthusiast, so I probably could list ten! I love the Manta at SeaWorld San Diego, the Chinese Fireball at Harry Potter land Universal Studios Florida, California Screamin' at Disneyland, The Hulk and The Mummy at US Florida, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom... And of course Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, too (if that counts as a roller coaster)!

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    1. I made the mistake of riding Expedition Everest twice in a row last year. The "going backwards" part got to me and I had to take a little break after that. I love California Screamin' at Disneyland! I rode that with my sisters a few years ago when we all ran the Disneyland half-marathon. It was a great reward for all that effort! And I think Splash Mountain sort of counts...it's my Dad's favorite and only roller coaster.

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  7. Welcome, Amy. Great post! I'm a big chicken when it comes to roller coasters. Took my 10 year old son (he's now 42) on Disney's Space Mountain and swore, "Never again!"

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    1. I could recommend some tamer rides...Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney is fun, but not so wild. And it's in the daylight!

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  8. One roller coaster. The Pippin in Memphis. It was on wooden trestles so it wasn't very high...but high enough for me. With my inner ear problem I can no longer ride those crazy rides.
    Can't wait to read your book later this year.

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    1. Is The Pippin still there? That's an interesting name for a ride.

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  9. Hi, Amie! At about age 17, I rode the roller coaster with a boyfriend at The Pike in Long Beach, California. I guess I'm just not the let-it-all-go-and-take-your-chances kind of woman (at least physically) because I had a stiff neck for a week from trying to prevent my head from falling backwards. But I love the roller coast-falling in love analogy. An am looking forward to meeting Jack and Augusta.

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    1. You have to roll with it, Muriel! I would love to go to Long Beach and try the rides. I've only been to California twice in my life (I'm a Midwest gal), but I loved it both times.

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  10. When it comes to roller coasters, I'm like Kristine--a chicken. And like Patricia, I tend to get vertigo so I stay on the ground. However. I did once take my grandkids on the toddler version at Kings Island in Ohio, arms in the air and everything as we swooped around the very small track and hills (mounds, really). I'd rather take a chance on love! And read about coasters, so I'm really looking forward to your book, Amie. Sounds great.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Leigh, and for reminding me about Kings Island! I rode "The Beast" there back when I was in college. It was wild and fun.

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  11. Amie, welcome to the Harlequin Heartwarming group. Great post! I live reasonably close to Canada's Wonderland, and they are constantly adding new rides to be able to claim they have the longest, tallest, fastest most thrilling rides. Now an admission: I've never been on any of their rides. I look forward to your release . . . and I might have to visit Canada's Wonderland this summer!

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    1. I would love Canada's Wonderland! I have traveled a little in Canada (mostly Niagara Falls area) and really loved it. Most thrilling rides? Sign me up for a season pass!

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  12. Amie, welcome to Heartwarming. I LOVE your title and the story sounds lovely. I'll be reading it when you release. As for the rollercoaster...I am so chicken, it's epic. I WILL ride a Ferris Wheel with my husband once a year at the County Fair but that's it. And not a big one either!
    My son was so upset with me all his life that I wouldn't take him to Disney World that he went on his HONEYMOON! How's that to spite me. HA. I hated the long lines. I don't like the rides. I don't like Horror movies or spooky anything for that matter. My imagination is too wild to begin with!

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    1. That is a funny story about your son going to Disney on his honeymoon! No spooky movies for me either, but I will read scary serial killer thrillers on air planes because I feel safe--the killer can't get me 30000 feet up!

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  13. Love the post and analogy, Amie! I spent summers near the original Six Flags over Texas during some of my childhood and remember riding their Shockwave roller coaster that had two, back-to-back massive loops. The upside downing was terrifying and I rode it once at night too. But after a few times, I got it out of my system lol. Tried it, proved I could do it, and forever after chickened out. Now my kids want to go on roller coasters but I told them I won't be riding with them. I think I'd get motion sick lol or my adrenal glands would shrivel up...or my heart...whichever came first ;). I'm really a chicken. I'm like Catherine...no horror movies either lol.

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  14. Hi Amie! I happen to live down the street from Six Flags Great America. So we go all the time in the summer. My kids and I enjoy X FLIGHT and Raging Bull. Both are so smooth but terrifying! I like the rides that don't make my head hurt after we're done. The scariest is Superman. You tilt forward like you're flying. All I think about is how dead I'll be if the harness breaks!

    Great post. Welcome to the blog!

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