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Need Help With Fear.


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To eliminate the phobia, you need to start picking away at the irrational belief.

Too true! I can remember (as I assume many others did) being very, very hesitant and downright scared of going upside down. I would ride mid-sized coasters like Iron Dragon, but could not fathom the idea of being on the similar sized Corkscrew just because it went upside down and that was so unnerving. It's almost funny to look back now, because going upside down isn't any different than being rightside-up... There are forces in play, of course, but that's not what I was scared about back then - it was just the idea of going upside down...

I believe I even rode Magnum (kicking and screaming, but I rode it) and absolutely refused to go on Corkscrew.

Now a fear of going upside down seems irrational. Back then, it didn't.

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I have a fear of roller coasters and I was wondering if anybody here had any idea on how to get over it.

1. Watch how the coasters drop before getting on them. The front seat always has the shortest drop time and always has the least amount of force.

2. Ride coasters based on your least amount of fear.

Coasters In Order By Height

-----------------------------------------------------

8 Feet High - The Great Pumpkin Coaster

38 Feet High - Woodstock Express

45 Feet High - Backlot Stunt Coaster

52 Feet High - Flying Ace

63 Feet High - Adventure Express

74 Feet High - Flight of Fear

88 Feet High - The Racer

98 Feet High - Flight Deck

110 Feet High - The Beast

115 Feet High - Firehawk

148 Feet High - Vortex

161 Feet High - Invertigo

230 Feet High - Diamondback

___________________________________

Coasters In Order By Speed

-----------------------------------------------------

5 mph - The Great Pumpkin Coaster

25 mph - Flying Ace

35 mph - Woodstock Express

35 mph - Adventure Express

40 mph - Backlot Stunt Coaster

51 mph - Flight Deck

51 mph - Firehawk

53 mph - The Racer

54 mph - Flight of Fear

55 mph - Vortex

55 mph - Invertigo

64 mph - The Beast

80 mph - Diamondback

___________________________________

Coasters In Order By Fear

-----------------------------------------------------

For Toddlers - The Great Pumpkin Coaster

As High As A House - Woodstock Express

Suspended Seats - Flying Ace

Tunnels - Adventure Express

Fast - Backlot Stunt Coaster

Suspended Carts - Flight Deck

As High As Two Houses - The Racer

As High As Three Houses - The Beast

Goes Upside Down - Vortex

Very High And Very Fast - Diamondback

In Complete Dark - Flight of Fear

Suspended By Harness - Firehawk

Will Make You Pass Out - Invertigo

when on a coaster........

3. Relax all muscles in your body, take deep slow breathes in and out, and with eyes open, think of free falling from an airplane. Let your body fall, go with the feeling.

4. If you are afraid to look, look at your feet because closing your eyes will make it much worse.

5. Make sure the restraints are as tight as you can get them, the less you move in your seat, the better the experience.

6. Panic anxiety will get to you, but don't fight it or resist it, go with it! Instead of thinking "I don't want to go where the track is taking me", change your frame of mind so your imagination runs wild and you think "weeeeeeee, I'm flying in a space ship"! Of course this works best if in the front seat.

7. Though the park riding restrictions are based on height, if your shoulders do not reach the should restraints or can fit between them, you are in for the ultimate horror nightmare experience of your life, and for the lap bars, if your legs are small, you will feel partially pulled out of the seats, and weighing less than an adult, you will feel twice as much force as an adult would feel while riding. So if you are small, waiting a few years to grow more is not a bad idea.

8. Understand G-Forces. G stands for gravity. A positive G-Force will push you into the seat. A negative G-Force will pull you out of the seat. A positive G-Force would be a fast loop and a negative G-Force would be going up and over then down a steep hill. Positive G's = Good Experience! While heights and being upside down may seem really scary, the scariest feeling of all are the negative G's because you definitely don't want to feel like you are being pulled out of your seat.

9. Take it one ride at a time. If there's a coaster you rode that made you feel a little jumpy, keep riding it all year long till you feel comfortable with it. Then when you can ride it with little or no anxiety, you'll know you are ready to tackle something a little more daring.

10. Riding them at night will take away the fear of height, because there will be less to see and the ground won't be visible. However, I don't suggest this because you should only handle heights when you are ready to face them.

I hope this helps a little......................... :)

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I too have an irrational fear of coasters that started when I was young. I've ridden in a stunt plane that did loops, rolls, and dives, producing more Gs than most coasters and I loved the heck out of it, but I'm still afraid of coasters oddly enough.

After growing up with The Racer as the biggest coaster I was ever brave enough to ride I finally tried The Vortex when it first opened. What I learned was that it wasn't the speed I hated -- it was the rough rides. The Vortex was incredibly smooth compared to The Racer (at least it was at launch -- I haven't ridden it in years) so I had no problems with it at all and ended up riding it several times. I enjoyed the loops and corkscrews, mainly because the ride wasn't beating the crap out of me along the way.

That's why I've never been brave enough to ride The Beast. I'm sure I could handle the drops, but I've always heard that it's so rough. I'd love to do it someday just to be able to say I did, but I doubt I'll enjoy it.

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Ironically, I don't ride Vortex much because it beats me up. However, I still enjoy The Beast. I think it's a shame to label The Beast just a roller coaster-it's an experience. It is just so unique, IMO.

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The only roller coaster at KI that scares me is The Beast. The whole ride it feels like the train's going to fall of the tracks...the helix especially....oh wait, I'm supposed to help him overcome his fear.....:unsure:

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  • 2 months later...

I'll throw my $.02 into the fire here...

I am not one to advise someone to start slow. I don't think "building up" is necessarily a wise thing. If you tackle the largest, most intimidating coaster first, you're likely to be less concerned with others you ride therafter and more likely to enjoy.

Of course I'd also advise you to rip a band-aid off quickly. IMO, you should always face a fear head on... that way you gain control.

Lord knows I do... I am a control freak ;-)

Shaggy

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For those of you interested, my program at Mount Union was a success! Here's an article the Plain Dealer had about it yesterday...

http://blog.clevelan...use_exposu.html

We'll be back again next year!

Nice article I found it very interesting.:)

I'll throw my $.02 into the fire here...

I am not one to advise someone to start slow. I don't think "building up" is necessarily a wise thing. If you tackle the largest, most intimidating coaster first, you're likely to be less concerned with others you ride therafter and more likely to enjoy.

Of course I'd also advise you to rip a band-aid off quickly. IMO, you should always face a fear head on... that way you gain control.

Lord knows I do... I am a control freak ;-)

Shaggy

I would agree if you do it first everything else seems like a cake walk. However, I would assume it is extremly hard to do something large like that first.

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I'll throw my $.02 into the fire here...

I am not one to advise someone to start slow. I don't think "building up" is necessarily a wise thing. If you tackle the largest, most intimidating coaster first, you're likely to be less concerned with others you ride therafter and more likely to enjoy.

Of course I'd also advise you to rip a band-aid off quickly. IMO, you should always face a fear head on... that way you gain control.

Lord knows I do... I am a control freak ;-)

Shaggy

I couldn't agree more! Up until two years ago I was scared to death of coasters. My gf took me to Kings Island and I told her I would ride rides with her knowing I had no intentions of actually doing it. We get there and the first thing she wanted to go on was Invertigo. I was absolutely scared to death in line but as the say the rest is history. After riding that I wasn't scared to ride anything else in the park and now I can't wait to go back every summer.

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Well, allow me to elaborate.

There were 12 phobics in the group, and they were divided into 3 groups:

1) Students who have either never ridden, or not since early childhood, any coaster at all. For this group, even something like the Mine Ride (or The Beastie) is a "big deal"...and was in fact the only goal.

2) Students whose phobia revolved around something specific, like going upside down or wooden coasters (or coasters with a wooden structure like Adv. Express).

3) Students whose goal was to ride Millennium Force and/or Top Thrill Dragster...the extreme heights is the source of the phobia.

I agree that for someone who is just "scared", ripping off the proverbial band-aid may be the answer...but their is a difference between a fear and a phobia, and decades of research and therapy has shown that going "all in" is simply not a possibility, and rarely effective. That said, this was also not a long process at all. A few weeks of therapy, some cognitive and relaxation exercises, and then it was off to CP to face their fear.

In addition to the gradual exposure to greater heights, the group modality (knowing they were not alone in their irrational fears) and the fact that there was no pressure on them (this was all purely voluntary) were the keys to this being successful.

All I can tell you is that all 12 reached and/and or surpassed their goals. :)

It was an incredible experience, and CP really helped out a lot...we're already planning Face your Fear 2011 together...and Kings Island is not out of the question as a laboratory in the future.

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Maybe this will help, as my daughter is about the same age as the thread starter.

She rode small roller coasters from a very young age and always liked them. At a local festival at age 3, she wanted to ride the dragon roller coaster (about 10' high) so many times I thought I would end up bankrupt buying the tickets.

At age five, she rode (what is now) the Great Pumpkin Coaster a dozen times, so I thought I'd let her ride Beastie for the first time. She said she liked it, but had a "meh" look on her face. This was in the area where you stop for a minute before rolling back into the station. When we started the slow roll into the station, she said "I don't want to go again!" Of course, we weren't going again, but the poor kid didn't know that. OK, she wasn't quite ready for The Beastie.

The next spring, we went back, and all she talked about for days before was riding The Beastie. I had my doubts, but let her ride. She demanded to go again. And again. We ended up riding six times that day.

Fast forward to this year, four years later, age 10. I think we've only been to the park once in the interim. We have season passes and plan to go many times.

First trip, she is hesitant but wants to ride bigger and better rides. She starts with Beastie and Flying Ace (which she's done before) as warmups. She does Adventure Express and likes it (it never gets very high off the ground). She does Racer for the first time, loves it, rides it ten times.

Next trip, we do Racer a bunch of times. I don't want to push her, but she learns the thrill of sitting in both the front and the back seats.

Next trip, add The Beast. Her idea. She realizes that The Beast is a lot like The Racer, just a little bigger, a little rougher, a littler faster (55 vs 61 mph I think), and a little longer, and has some tunnels. I told her that I did my first Beast ride at her age (when it opened). She does it once, loves it. Does it the second time and we both feel like we've been pummeled (we were sitting in the third row of the car without realizing it). We give that a pass for the rest of the day, but she's been back a dozen times since. We just always make sure to avoid the third row.

Next trip, Diamondback. It's taller, faster, smoother. Her cousin promises her if she likes Beast, she'll love DB. I'm excited too because I haven't had a chance to ride this one yet. In line, she notices the open seating and thinks it looks like fun. The lift hill was somewhat intimidating, as it's the steepest and highest we've experienced. We do the first downhill (which is pretty scary the first time you see it), and I look over at her on the uphill. She screams "This is awesome" and has a big grin on her face. Good, I can relax and enjoy the ride. We end up riding ten times that day and over forty for the year so far.

She's also done Drop Tower and Delirium (after seeing how much Dad enjoys them), but isn't quite as enthusiastic about those yet. I think she needs a little more time for those. Next year, she says she wants do the upside down rides, but we'll see.

So I'm in the camp that it's better to work up from the smaller rides than it is to ride the biggest first. Ride one, be afraid, but enjoy it. Then get right back on the horse. If you were afraid the first time, you'll be less so the second time. When you gain some comfort with one ride, ride it repeatedly until you master it. Then work up. I promise you that when you love The Beastie, you'll do fine on The Racer. When you love The Racer, you'll do fine on The Beast. And the Diamondback is the smoothest, least scary, most fun ride in the park once you overcome the fact that you're 230 feet up on the first hill. In my mind, that's a feature, not a drawback, but I do understand the fear of heights.

Rides are supposed to be a little bit scary. That's part of what makes them fun.

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i used to have a horrible fear of roller coasters...reason being i'm a big guy 6'1" 320lbs..i was always afraid my restraints would snap lol..but after riding for awhile i began to realize..the restraints fit just fine and if i was too big they wouldn't let me ride..and the fear went away.

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I have a few suggestions that might help you get over your fear of coasters. Take deep breaths, remain calm, count to 10, ride the smaller rides first then work yourself up to Diamond Back. Try not to yell and scream it raises your blood pressure and take some Dramamine if you get motion sickness also eat and drink liquids while at the park to keep yourself healthy.

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This is probably not applicable to most but getting over my fear involved having a more powerful desire than fear. I was scared of coasters, but my girlfriend was addicted to them. That's what made me ride my first "big" one. The urge to impress the lady. And I've been a junky ever since.

If you want my advice, start with Flight of Fear. You can't see, so you won't realize you're scared until it's over. And then you'll see it isn't so bad. Also, try to find ways to lighten the mood. Joke around in line. Do something to lift your spirits so you don't know you're scared. Personally, I love video games, so as Flight of Fear launched, I just had to yell "Use the Boost to get through!" (A StarFox 64 quote). This got me laughing as the ride started. And if you can get past the initial shock that you're on a big ride, you'll start enjoying it, or at least you'll stop being terrified. And believe me, I had so much fun that I went straight to Firehawk after that, likely the most intimidating ride in the park.

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I have a few suggestions that might help you get over your fear of coasters. Take deep breaths, remain calm, count to 10, ride the smaller rides first then work yourself up to Diamond Back. Try not to yell and scream it raises your blood pressure and take some Dramamine if you get motion sickness also eat and drink liquids while at the park to keep yourself healthy.

Well the thing is that when I do ride coasters (i.e. Adventure Express.) yelling and screaming actually help me relax and makes it more fun.

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It was just this year (at twelve years old) that I started riding roller coasters. Don't put pressure on yourself to ride them, but you seriously do need to ride something a little higher in thrill, such as Flight Deck or Backlot Stunt Coaster.

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This is probably not applicable to most but getting over my fear involved having a more powerful desire than fear. I was scared of coasters, but my girlfriend was addicted to them. That's what made me ride my first "big" one. The urge to impress the lady. And I've been a junky ever since.

If you want my advice, start with Flight of Fear. You can't see, so you won't realize you're scared until it's over. And then you'll see it isn't so bad. Also, try to find ways to lighten the mood. Joke around in line. Do something to lift your spirits so you don't know you're scared. Personally, I love video games, so as Flight of Fear launched, I just had to yell "Use the Boost to get through!" (A StarFox 64 quote). This got me laughing as the ride started. And if you can get past the initial shock that you're on a big ride, you'll start enjoying it, or at least you'll stop being terrified. And believe me, I had so much fun that I went straight to Firehawk after that, likely the most intimidating ride in the park.

Well there is at least two of us in the wanting to impress our girlfriends club lol.

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