Look out Walibi… here we come!

I’m a permanent fixture of an amusement park ride in the Netherlands.

All the visitors to Walibi Holland will get to spend some time with me as they prepare to board the newest attraction, Xpress: Platform 13.

The same is true of my friend Sam.

So we went out there on Friday with some friends, for the premiere of the ride, and to enjoy the theme park. We were VIPs, so it was closed to the public, which meant few lines, and perks like snacks and drinks. And it didn’t rain!

A recipe for great times.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever, in my adult life, ridden an amusement park ride. Until last Friday, of course. And then I rode some. And I realized why I hadn’t spent time riding rollercoasters: I don’t like them.

There, I said it. It feels weird to put it out there like that, for all the world to see. But I’m not a rollercoaster guy. Take it or leave it.

I didn’t enjoy the experience of getting flung up and down and corkscrewing my way through midair either suspended upside down or otherwise. It makes me nauseous. And the rickety wooden rollercoaster, which looks spectacular from the ground – while slightly less nausea inducing – is a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.

Now I don’t mean to complain, or seem ungrateful. Because we were treated extremely well, the park is fabulous, and everyone else seemed to be having a fantastic time. Heck, I even managed to have a good time. Or at the very least, I appreciated the experience.

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I was also very impressed by what they’d done with Platform 13; the video and theme they created for the rollercoaster are brilliant (and extremely well cast, I must add).

Here’s another confession: even though I’ve come out as a non-rollercoaster person, I had a pro-rollercoaster epiphany at Walibi. Late in the day, when I thought I’d overdone my thrillride experience, I rode Goliath, the tallest rollercoaster in Benelux. And I got it. Finally!

It was incredible, the anticipation of winding up towards the first drop, and then racing down towards the next incline, and all the twisting and spinning and racing around. Adrenaline was popping, and I yelled my lungs out (in a good way). It was fun!

It was the Eureka moment that made me understand the attraction of amusement park rides.

And when I got off, I dusted my hands together, looked back up at that skeletal track and thought to myself, “never again”.