There are some people for whom the usual ride photo is simply not enough and let’s face it unless you look completely terrified these snaps are not the most interesting of souvenirs. There is a limit to how compelling a picture of yourself in a seat can be and so some theme park enthusiasts are always looking for new ways to spice up their memorabilia.
Running roller coasters at a theme park for several seasons gave me a great opportunity to watch the guest’s attempts at achieving an original picture. Everyone thought they were doing something different when in fact mostly they were conducting a prank that I had seen many times before. I found it particularly irritating when people struck that pose of bored indifference that so many riders seem to think is funny. At least 200 people would try that one every day! People also often pretend to be asleep on the rides thereby missing much of the excitement. My friends and I came up with a couple of great pictures at Europa Park last year by all doing the Mobot on one ride and Usain Bolt’s signature pose on the log flume. Well it was Olympic year!
Costumes are a popular choice with many guests for whom denim is simply too boring. Few days would pass at the park without several superheroes taking to the rides. I must have seen hundreds of Batmans and Supermans and pirates were relatively common as well but occasionally I would get a big laugh when someone really pushed the boat out. My favourite was a guy who tried to ride a launch coaster dressed as a giant banana. We could barely squeeze him and the costume into the ride but the resulting picture was hilarious even if you couldn’t actually see his face.
There has recently been a trend for riders to smuggle board games onto rides to grab a picture with themselves seemingly engrossed in a game of chess or monopoly. As loose items are not allowed on most coasters this is a blatant safety hazard if the riders let go on the circuit but I have found myself pondering interesting variants on this one. My friends and I have decided that Jenga would be the best option. We would obviously have to glue the tower together and smuggling it onto to a coaster would be a feat but it would make for a great picture. I would feel terrible, however, if we couldn’t hold on it and it flew back and smacked someone in the face. That would really hurt!
I have managed a few great ride pictures myself but most of them were accidental. I have a great collection of snaps of me looking horrified. None of them were because I was in any way scared as they were all the result of experiencing agony after being attacked by the restraint system of the ride concerned. My favourite picture ever was certainly deliberate. For reasons that I cannot begin to explain I removed my top and bra for a topless shot on Silver Star at Europa Park. I was very surprised when I was not ejected from the park and tried the same stunt on the Big One at Blackpool only to get my shirt stuck on my head in an epic fail!
Article by Sally Stacey