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Your most and least pleasurable theme park days


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Hi guys. I don’t know about any of you, but as a theme park enthusiast, I find that every theme park day is pleasurable in its own way. However, the pleasurability of these days does vary, so with that in mind; I’d be intrigued to know; what have been some of your most and least pleasurable theme park days?

 

These don’t necessarily have to equate with your most and least favourite parks; you might have had a terrible day at a park you love, and equally, you might have had a great day at a park you don’t rate that highly!

 

I’ll get the ball rolling with some of mine…

Most Pleasurable

  • Europa Park (29th April 2022) - I loved all 3 days at Europa, and all are easily in contention for the title of “most pleasurable theme park day” (but for the sake of not repeating Europa loads of times, I won’t mention all of them), but for some reason, the last day sticks out in my mind as being particularly pleasurable. It just felt like such a wonderful day! It could be the fact that I broke my own personal ride count record by some distance (21 rides ridden; the previous record holder was 16!) without even trying overly hard (we maintained a fairly relaxed tempo throughout the day), it could be the fact that I had an amazing 6 rides on my #2 coaster Silver Star (again, that broke the record for the most times I’ve ridden one attraction in a day, and I broke it on a coaster I absolutely loved), it could be the fact that we experienced a very varied range of attractions, with plenty of supporting attractions thrown in alongside the big hitters; I don’t know. But for whatever reason, this day left me with some phenomenally fond memories I’ll treasure forever. I was genuinely sad to be leaving the park at the end of it, which is a sure sign of a truly brilliant day, in my opinion!
  • Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios Florida (28th August 2016) - Even though this day was 6 years ago now, and it was across 2 parks rather than one, my most recent day at the Universal Orlando Resort does stick out to me! We did both parks by using the Hogwarts Express, I got 2 rides in on Hulk, we did loads of dark rides, did some water rides; it just sticks out to me as a brilliant day, for some reason! A revisit to UOR is definitely needed… it’s such a cool place!
  • Paultons Park (30th July 2021) - Paultons might not be as grand or as spectacular as the parks above, but my first and only day there was wonderful! We got on loads of rides (14, to be exact), and that was with an incredibly relaxed tempo; we didn’t rush around by any stretch, and we spent at least 2 hours of our 6 hour day not riding anything at all! And in general, the place was so relaxing, and so nice to be in, that I just had to mention it!
  • Thorpe Park (7th September 2021) - My nomination from Thorpe Park was a toss up between 7th September 2021 and 2nd August 2019 (when we stayed at the park until 6:30pm) but I have to say, I think 7th September narrowly wins out! It was my first time visiting a theme park alone, and also a relatively quiet midweek day, and it was awesome! I got 16 rides in, the tempo wasn’t too rushed, and I got incredible personal satisfaction from having done a theme park on my own!
  • Alton Towers (12th July 2020) - I could have picked quite a few days here, as I’ve had so many great days at Alton Towers over the years, but I think that this one stands out. In retrospect, it wasn’t one of my higher ride count days (although we still got 6 rides in, which I’d say is decent!), but I had some absolutely mesmerising rides on Wicker Man that well and truly blew me away, and it was just nice to be back at a theme park after the COVID lockdowns!
  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach (24th August 2019) - I’ve got to say, I had a really nice time when I visited BPB for Late Night Riding. I loved getting in some of my first ever night rides, we stayed until 9pm, and on the whole, it was just a great day!

Least Pleasurable

If I’m being honest, there aren’t any theme park days that stick out in my mind as being wholly unpleasant, but there are some that fall lower on the pleasurability scale, for sure.

  • Thorpe Park (16th July 2018) - This was an end of year school trip I took to Thorpe Park, and in retrospect, it wasn’t one of my more pleasurable theme park days. It was still fun to be at Thorpe Park, and I did get on Rush & Samurai for the first time, but it was very busy. We got on 2 rides during our 6 hours on park (it took close to an hour to get in, so we weren’t in until 11:30am), and no coasters were ridden; only Rush & Samurai were ridden. We also waited over 2 hours for Saw only for it to break down at the very end of the queue. That’s not to say it was a bad day by any means (2 rides is better than nothing, and I did get to experience Rush & Samurai for the first time), but it was perhaps my lowest ride count ever at a ride-focused park like Thorpe (relative to the amount of hours spent in the park, at least), and not one of my fonder theme park memories in the grand scheme of things.
  • Legoland Windsor (31st August 2017) - Granted, this day may have been more due to circumstance than the park itself, but my first ever visit to Legoland was not one of my more pleasurable park experiences, I must admit. Our mum was in a wheelchair due to having fractured her ankle, which added an element of stress, and the park was extremely busy. The pathways were very crowded, and I found it hard to move about, which made me pretty anxious. I did get on Dragon, though, so at least I got the park’s singular non-kiddie credit in! And I did later get a revisit in July 2021, which was much more enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to properly take in the park!
  • Alton Towers (25th March 2018) - Wicker Man’s opening weekend was exciting, don’t get me wrong, but in retrospect, the day where I first rode it was not one of my fonder experiences at Alton Towers. We started our day by attempting to ride Wicker Man during ERT, which we initially thought would be a brilliant idea… but it turned out that everyone else had the same idea, and a fair queue had already amassed by the time we reached the ride. That wasn’t the main problem, however; the main issue was that due to reliability issues, the ride didn’t open until 11:30am despite ERT starting at 9:30am, meaning that we waited outside the ride for 2 hours, and then it took us at least another hour to get on once it did open, due to a combination of a long queue and the ride’s reliability issues meaning that it went up and down like a yo-yo. We did get on, thankfully, but we broke down at the end of the ride, and were then stuck on the brake run for the best part of 30 minutes before being evacuated, which took the total length of our Wicker Man experience to around 4 hours. Even away from Wicker Man, the park was having a tough day; it was busy, and things were breaking down left, right and centre. After getting off Wicker Man, we had lunch, rode Thirteen with the priority passes we’d been given from the Wicker Man evac, and then left at 2:30pm because my family had had enough by that point. I am very thankful to have been a part of Wicker Man’s opening weekend and to have ridden it that day, and it was cool to be evacuated (the only time I’ve ever been evacuated from a coaster, from memory), but it wasn’t one of my more pleasurable days at Alton Towers, all things considered.

But what have been some of your most and least pleasurable theme park days?

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