Roller coasters are Terrifying and I Don’t Like Them

By Nicole Cobar

Roller coasters are the backbone of the amusement park. With fun food, awesome rides, and many photo opportunities, amusement parks are a form of entertainment for many people, of many different ages. Attending any park, you will see the many faces of happy park-goers who are enjoying their experience at the park. I am not one of those people. I despise amusement parks. Just the mention of a single amusement park name is enough to have my skin crawling. Yes, even the mention of Disneyland, for me it is less the happiest place on Earth, and more like a nightmare come to life. No escape from the ruthless sun, little kids throwing tantrums at every corner, and long lines that test my patience all contribute to my hatred for amusement parks. But, it is my fear of roller coasters that makes me hate the parks so much.

I first discovered I had this phobia in 2015 on a family vacation to New York. We were visiting Coney Island, where we encountered a boardwalk filled with rides. My sister, being a thrill-seeker, wanted to go on the rides, my parents, being parents, said the only way she could ride the rides was if I went with her, and wanting to please my sister whom I love so much, I decided to ride the rides with her. Now, before this day, I already had a prejudice against roller coasters for safety reasons, but it was small enough for me to ignore to please my sister.

She wanted to ride this one ride that was circular and rotated really fast, lifted you off the ground, and had seats that individually moved up and down. It was intense. My knuckles were turning white from how hard I was gripping the safety bar and my eyes hurt from how tight I was closing them. At one point, I opened my eyes and saw nothing but the blue sky, the horizon, and the ocean. For some perspective, we were a good 150 yards from the beach. So not being able to see the shore or the sand really scared me. The ride stopped, and instantly I felt hot fluid stream down on my cheeks from my eyes. A little embarrassed because I do not like to cry in front of others, I reach into my little backpack and pull out my sunglasses. I quickly put them on, hoping my family doesn’t see me cry, grab my sister’s hand, and walk away from that horrifying death machine Coney Island wants to call a ride. Even after walking away from the ride, I was still sweating, shaking, and when my mom asked how the ride was, I broke down crying. The ride had really scared me. I promised myself I would never go on another roller coaster.

I have broken that promise several times since. Only for my sister. So, I guess I my love for my sister and my desire to make her happy trumps my hatred of roller coasters. I might not enjoy it, but I will go on a ride with my sister if she asks, no matter how much I believe that roller coasters are dangerous contraptions that cause brain damage and should be illegalized. Still, whenever I read a news headline about someone getting hurt while riding a ride at an amusement park (which seems to be popping up more frequently), I can’t help to think that maybe neither my sister nor I should be anywhere near those menacing mechanical threats to public safety (roller coasters).