[warning]Airgates does not recommend nor condone doing anything illegal or dangerous.[/warning]
By Michael Mander
It’s that time of year every theme park fan hates: the end of the season. The next four months without roller-coasters are a tough time for us all, but here’s ten ways you can cope:
1) Build your own coaster.
See yourself as the next John Wardley? Who needs a multi-million pound budget and a 500 acre site, your back garden and scrap metal works just as well.
Just ask John Ivers, a grandfather from Indiana, used scrap metal and parts from his job to build The Blue Flash in 2001: a roller-coaster, with an inversion, in his back garden. He even built the coaster-sequel: Blue Too in 2006.
Of course, there are risks associated with building your own roller-coaster: even The Smiler with it’s £18m budget can’t seem to keep itself together. If you’re going to build a coaster of your own, you’re doing it at your own risk.
2) Sneak in.
It’s easier than you may think, at least according to Silent UK, a group of Urban Explorers who sneak into theme parks, among other places, during off-season. On their website they said: “There is little in the way of security at Thorpe Park. Access is as easy as jumping a small fence adjacent to a woodland path.”
“The IR cameras, although littering the site are easily seen and avoided, the only real danger is to bump into the security guards on their hourly patrols.”
The Silent UK explorers have also infiltrated Pleasureland in Southport and Chessington World of Adventures.
Obviously, you do this at your own risk.
3) Play a theme-park game.
Be a ride operator at ridesims.com, manage a theme park with EA’s Theme Park game, build your own coaster with Theme Park Studio, play Coaster Crazy on the go on your iDevice or play Zynga’s Facebook game Coasterville.
There is certainly no shortage of games themed around managing, building or running a theme park. So load up your laptop, spend your theme park budget for the next 4 months on games and upgrades, and let the fun begin!
Now you can taste your favourite roller-coasters, thanks to Peakstone Rock Brewery. Many of their Ales are Alton-Towers themed, be it Oblivion, with its roasted nut smell and warming taste; or Nemesis, tasting citrus-y.
You’ll find these ales at many outlets in Staffordshire and some in Derbyshire.
Mr P, who posted about these ales on Towers Times, added: “And, as a cheeky bonus, the beer is quite nice!”
5) Watch Final Destination 3.
Fed up of enjoying roller-coasters? Want something that will put you off once and for all? The opening scene of 2006 horror Final Destination should do the trick.
While boarding a rollercoaster, Wendy has a premonition of impending doom. She foresees a camera being dropped onto the track, causing the harnesses to come undone and give the ride a whole new sense of terror.
And, in true Final Destination style, the riders all meet a gory, graphic end.
If you’re not into horror films, read some of the stories about The Smiler. They should have a similar effect.
Without a doubt, this is the most difficult suggestion on the list.
It’s hard enough keeping your mind off roller-coasters without Airgates constantly reminding you of what’s going to happen in four months time. Just because coaster season is out doesn’t mean our coverage ends: so make sure you avoid at all costs the breaking, impartial, comprehensive coaster news available on Airgates.
You can use parental blocking software to cut access to Airgates, but in reality that can be turned off. Realistically, the only way to avoid using Airgates would be to remove the ‘A’ key from your computer. That way you can’t type in our name into the address bar.
The theme parks can do it, why can’t you? Say your not safe for human interaction in such cold weather.
9) Write to us about your inter-season plans
We’re interested to hear what you’re up to without roller-coasters. We might even publish some of it.
Just because you’re not reading Airgates (by step 7) doesn’t mean you can’t write to us! Drop us a Tweet or a Facebook message and let us know how you’re spending the off-season.
Try not to be too depressing, it’s not the end of the world (it’s just the temporary end of the most important thing in the world: theme parks).
10) Do something productive.
The loft needs sorting. You could buy Christmas presents early this year. Why not start on that novel you’ve always wanted to write?
Just because the roller-coasters are closed, doesn’t mean you have to give up.
The next four months might be tough, but we hope you can get through it. Good luck!