What separates enthusiasts from the GP?

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by grrrr, 5th Oct 2019.

  1. grrrr

    grrrr TowersStreet Member

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    So I've been wondering - what would you say, in your opinion, is the main thing that separates an average theme park visitor from an 'enthusiast'?

    Do you think there's a specific number of visits per year that you need to make to really be an enthusiast? Or is it about what you do whilst you're there, rather than how often you go? Or is it about knowing stuff that the general public don't know? In which case, what separates a knowledgeable member of the public from an enthusiast? Or maybe it's something to do with making spreadsheets about queue times....? ;)

    Is it just a matter of self-identification? To horribly misquote Descartes - "I think (about rollercoasters a lot) therefore I am (an enthusiast)"
     
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    Posted 5th Oct 2019
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  2. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Self entitlement.
     
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  3. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    Lanyards.
     
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  4. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Enthusiast - Nemesis

    GP - The Nemesis

    Sent from my Huawei P30 Pro using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    In my opinion, the two perhaps aren't as different as many often make out. I'd personally say that the main thing differentiating the two is that enthusiasts tend to have more interest in the inner workings of theme parks and just more of an in-depth interest in theme parks than non-enthusiasts in general, but I wouldn't personally say that there's any quantitative thing that makes you an enthusiast. To tell you the truth, I've never really agreed with the segregation of the two into "enthusiasts" and "the GP"; we're all general public unless we work in the industry!
     
    Posted 5th Oct 2019
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  6. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Enthusiasts- "let's do Rita"
    GP- "Let's do the fast one".
     
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  7. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    If theyre all paying guests going there for entertainment then theyre all visitors, and they can all enjoy it just as much.

    Perhaps some people who love it a lot go through a point where they become over familiar with it and have to find another way to enjoy it, turning it into a hobby, sometimes this is a phase and sometimes it isnt. Some enthusiasts eventually find they want to make it their job and others find theyd rather stay on the guest side.
     
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  8. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    I don't really like the word "enthusiast" I just say I like to travel and ride coasters. What separates them from the general public? I would say nothing really. Though anyone who travels to weird places to ride tiny coasters is an enthusiast for sure
     
    Posted 5th Oct 2019
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  9. Danny

    Danny TPWW's no.1 Fan

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    The GP - Books a flight to the US to go to all the parks in Orlando.

    Enthusiast - Books a flight to Korea to ride a new go gator.
     
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  10. Cheese

    Cheese TowersStreet Member

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    Matt N has pretty much got it, I'd say. The clue is in the word 'enthusiast'. Being one requires enthusiasm for something.

    The average theme park guest visits just to have a good time. They probably don't have much interest, for instance, in how the park works, what the thematic tricks used to give the areas and attractions that intangible atmosphere are, who built the rides, or where they can visit other parks to broaden their knowledge.

    If they then become interested in parks on a deeper level, which may involve some of the above topics (maybe not all or even any of them; this hobby is a broad church) and become enthusiastic about them as a result, they can probably be considered an enthusiast.

    What an enthusiast needn't necessarily be is knowledgeable. I've thought of myself as one for 9 years now, and looking back I knew sod all when I started, my experience of coasters being limited only to Towers. It was enough to get me going. It's easy to look down our noses at people we think know less than us or enjoy different aspects of our hobby, but it doesn't make us enthusiasts and them not or vice versa.
     
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  11. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think it's in part the point where you start enjoying parks in a different way. Instead of just visiting a park you enjoy things in a more macro detail and notice the things "the GP" - hate that phrase, do not. Comparing x ride to y ride and today's operation versus the last time you rode etc. "I think that chain tensioner has been adjusted" etc.

    That's the same with everything, though.

    When I watch the football on TV or in person, I enjoy it (with a beer), but do so in a completely different way to my brother who knows every player, every team they've ever played for and will point out consistently how both sides are performing compared to their last outing. When you've reached peak nerdiness he'll say "Last time we beat them 2-1 was the '93 league cup, 87th minute penalty".
     
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  12. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Said no enthusiast ever.
     
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  13. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    At the risk of sounding self righteous [the meta irony is not lost on me], do we need a futher catagory for those who have moved beyond "enthusiast" to "I still enjoy this hobby, but I've got better things to do with my life than count the bolts on [coaster name] these days"?
     
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  14. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    GP will see rotting wood and think nothing of it instead of wondering when that extended queue was last used and start google imaging ‘Nemesis extended queue line’
     
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  15. Trooper

    Trooper TowersStreet Member

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    Is there anyone who became an 'enthusiast' relatively late in life? For me, rollercoasters were the first thing I remember inspiring a sense of awe in me as a youngun. But then, I also remember remembering the inscriptions on the gravestones in the Haunted House queue and keeping the map and studying it so I don't think it is a matter of any awe inspiring experience turning into this persistent an interest.
     
    Posted 6th Oct 2019
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  16. grrrr

    grrrr TowersStreet Member

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    I'd count myself as getting interested in rollercoasters and theme parks only in recent years. I was pretty scared of most rides when I was a kid - and I still have a real fear of heights. But my wife and I planned a trip to WDW for my 30th, and since then I've been bitten by the theme park bug. I'm not sure I'm knowledgable enough to count myself as an enthusiast properly yet though!
     
    Posted 6th Oct 2019
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  17. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    I remember my 1st theme park visit was Drayton Manor and walking in seeing the Shockwave track going can’t wait to go on that and then chickening out while my family went on it. Still remember how terrifying Sky rider was being a skinny 9 year old thinking i’m going to slip out and hit your head on the cage. Would love to ride an upside down pirate ship again now! Sorry went down memory lane there
     
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  18. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    I find the general public seem to walk around like zombies
     
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  19. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    And that's not even in theme parks.
     
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  20. Ali1350

    Ali1350 TowersStreet Member

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    The GP queue for rides while enthusiasts run about the park all excited looking at markings on the ground.

    Nah seriously I echo what some others have said I wouldn’t say there really is a clear line between the two. I think someone who enjoys theme parks as a more casual hobby but gets the same excitement about going could still be considered an enthusiast just the same as a more hardcore fan, one is just more likely to label them self an enthusiast. You don’t necessarily need to be knowledgeable on different manufacturers/park operators etc to be an enthusiast, you just need to be enthusiastic about going to theme parks imo. And unless we work at the parks we’re all members of the public :D
     
    Posted 7th Oct 2019
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