Have you ever known someone who went to an amusement park by him or herself? Probably not. It’s not unusual for people to think that going to an amusement park by yourself can be sad or dull. And as a consequence, it ends up discouraging many people who would love to go, but don’t have a company to go with.
Well, if you are one of those people, hold my hand, follow me in this text and let’s break this wrong idea in your mind. Because this story of going to amusement parks by yourself being sad or dull is total nonsense. A nonsense, by the way, that I had in my mind as well.
Amusement parks are places full of groups, indeed. Classmates in a school trip, coworkers, friends, family… But who said that it isn’t also a place for people on their own? In fact, it’s a wonderful place for that!
This text is based on my experience going to Beto Carrero all alone, in Santa Catarina (Brazil), September 2018. I intend to write more posts about my experience, so don’t forget to follow the blog!
Permission to jump the queue
Let’s imagine the following situation based at the FireWhip, the most extreme roller coaster in Beto Carrero.
FireWhip has 20 seats, distributed in pairs. Alright. So what happens if a group of five people get in the ride? Well, someone will go without a pair.
Another group get in, another one… In the end, you’ll most likely end up with 1 or 2 empty seats.
And then, my friend, it’s your time to shine. It’s the time when the employees’ll start to desperately scream, searching for you. Searching for the audacious independent visitor. I jumped the queue of nearly all rides in the park. At the FireWhip, for example, I passed about 25 people. Not bad, right?
Why take the 1 hour line, if you can take the 1 minute line?
No, I’m not talking about the FastPass (that bracelet you can buy separately to jump the queue in amusement parks) or anything like that. No money involved. I’m talking about the single rider lines.
For those who don’t know, most of the big amusement parks nowadays offer two options of lines to some of their rides: the common line and the single rider line. As the name gives it away, it is an exclusive line for those who are visiting the park on their own. It’s your line!
To give you an idea of how amazing this is for those who are by themselves, I’m going to use the ride Crazy River as an example.
When I went at this ride, the waiting time for the common line was longer than 1 hour. I got in the exclusive line (fancy, huh?), passed dozens and dozens of people, until I reached the end of my single rider line, which had the fascinating quantity of 1 person in front of me. Yep. That’s right. It took me less than 1 minute to get in the ride that would take me longer than 1 hour waiting.
That was my view when I reached the end of the line (a.k.a. the ride entrance).
I barely arrived and it was my time. Single rider lines are awesome! And a privilege for unaccompanied visitors.
Ok, you are visiting the park alone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make new friends during the tour. And believe me: you won’t lack opportunities.
We can start at the lines. Nobody enjoys the waiting time, everyone is bored. Everyone needs some distraction. That’s a great situation to begin a conversation. Mainly if you are in a single rider line. People in this line are just like you: having fun by themselves. If you start a conversation, it’s almost guaranteed the other person’ll love talking to you.
When you get in a ride, you’ll also share that experience with some unknown people. They’ll be having fun, and they’ll be much more opened to you.
You can have some nice conversation at attractions like the House of Mirrors, in which we have random people doing basically the same thing: taking funny pictures, laughing at others and at themselves.
I also had a great time taking pictures of others or asking some people to take some pictures for me.
I talked to kids, adults and seniors. Visitors and employees. There are many options. I believe that, as a general rule, if you want to have nice conversations and make some friends, the secret is: enjoy your time at the park with an open mind and no fear of striking up a conversation. Share your enthusiasm, ask and do some favors like taking pictures. Things’ll naturally happen, just trust me 😉
If you’ve been to an amusement park with a group, you also probably noticed that the experience is not perfect. When some needs to go the bathroom, you need to go along, wait or even split the group. Sometimes you want to go in a ride that nobody wants. Sometimes everyone wants to go in a ride you don’t want to. You have to eat when everyone agrees it’s the best time for it. You need to let some lucky visitors who came on their own to go in front of you, or even a group of people, otherwise your group might not be able to go in the ride together.
Well, you got it, right? Your freedom is not the same.
So here comes the advantage that, for me, it’s the best part of being alone:
You make the rules.
You are on your own. You are your own king. That means you can go in the rides you want, how many times you want. You can go to the bathroom when you feel like it. You can eat when you are truly hungry. If you wish, you can spend 1 hour taking the perfect picture somewhere. If you wish, you can spend 1 hour just looking at a tree. These are your choices. Your rules. And nobody can interfere. You have full autonomy. And the feeling is wonderful. That world is yours, to explore at your own pace.
This is not exclusivity of amusement parks. Anywhere you go explore alone will be different. When we go out with groups, we focus on the group. When we go out by ourselves, we focus on the world and ourselves. And that changes everything. Groups distract us. If we don’t have groups, our minds think other things, notice other things, learn other things.
By writing in my little notebook while waiting in the lines of Beto Carrero, I noticed I had a mysterious love for writing.
By going in extreme rides one after another (since I was jumping the queues and taking some single rider lines), I noticed that lines of amusement parks are actually something very useful and important. Although we don’t want to wait, by waiting in the line we allow our bodies and minds to rest. To recover for the next ride. Besides, the anxiety we create in the line before going in the ride is also part of what makes the experience worthy it. In short, lines are awesome!
By going to the zoo in my own pace (Beto Carrero has a zoo), I noticed I really love giraffes and alpacas. I ended up spending 1 hour just watching these two animals.
By watching people getting in and out the rides, I started having fun creating secret games in my mind. For example, in the Big Tower (the tower that falls from 100 meters in a speed of 120 km per hour), I started trying to guess how people would come back after the fall. One person I judged was very tough in the beginning, came back passed out. Others I thought would come back crying, actually came back laughing. It was pretty fun, and most of the time I was mistaken, which was quite interesting.
Do you think I would have noticed and thought about these things if I had someone with me? No way! And that’s the part I love about going out by myself. Not only in amusement parks, but pretty much anywhere. I always learn so much about the world and myself… Even if my learnings are small. It doesn’t matter. That brings me a very good feeling. It makes me more complete and… Happy, i guess 🙂
Tell me, did you like the advatanges? Do your have some doubt? Would you like to share some experience or give a suggestion? Feel free to leave your very special comment. And have a nice trip!