After moving to Georgia when I was 13, I returned to California and spent a day at Great America with my childhood friend. Eventually it came time to ride a roller coaster, and we jumped on Greased Lightnin', a coaster that shot forward through a loop, up a spike, and back down through the loop. I was really nervous but I didn't want to seem like a wimp so I braved the ride. That's a lie - I had an absolute blast.
I returned to California frequently as a teenager, and always made a pilgrimage to Great America and later Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to ride those rides. I was a Six Flags season pass holder in high school, and drove out to the park in Georgia several times a year once I got my license. I worked at the park for two summers after graduating high school.
Since arriving in Japan six months ago, I've done what I can to get to theme parks. I've made only a small dent in the country's offerings, and I haven't even been on all of Tokyo's offerings yet! I've been on 38 of Japan's coasters, but the "important" ones are out of the way - I conquered Fuji-Q in April.
But 400 was still a little ways away. With summer in Tokyo comes crowds, and I had put riding in the region on hold for other important things anyway. My trip to Taiwan was coming up, though! I left Tokyo two weeks ago at 387 unique coasters. By the end of the trip, I had been on 15 more. 402!
I discovered long after my riding mission began that the coaster community loved to count coasters. In the past, I just remembered that I had been to such-and-such park and liked such-and-such coaster. But a few years ago I came across a website called Coaster Fanatics (it still exists, though it hasn't been updated in nearly two years) which I started using to track my ride counts. Since Coaster Fanatics isn't updated anymore (and doesn't include any Taiwanese parks), I found a replacement just today - Coaster-Count. It's maintained by people connected to RCDB, probably the most-respected coaster database in existence. And you can visit it by clicking on the banner below, which will also let you see an up-to-date count and list of my coasters.
Looking at the rankings, I'm 222nd in my coaster count. I'm not trying to be the best of course. But with the reaching of one goal I have to set another. I would like to reach 500 coasters before leaving Asia. A tough task, for sure, but there are 217 operating coasters in Japan alone, of which I've been on only 38. China has nearly 600 working coasters! By the way, I'm at 402 if I count all coaster types, while removing those which some might not considered coasters puts me at 387. For simplicity, I use the big number.
I'm not just interested in roller coasters. I love all kinds of thrill rides, but there is no way to really keep track of the other kinds of rides (normally called flat rides). In fact, my favorite rides are mostly non-coaster rides.
I'm not sure where my next coaster trip will be, though I am hoping to take a short trip to Osaka next month!