News: A pleasantly horrifying dining experience: Night of the Living Fed at HalloWeekends

Can anyone sign up for this? I thought that you had to take the class to be part of this.

Kevinj's avatar

About that Millennium Force thing;

First, each student has their own goal, which is represented somewhere in the itinerary. Phobias can be weird things; meaning there have been some students who would ride Millennium or even Top Thrill Dragster but wouldn't go near Power Tower or Corkscrew, all for their own personal reasons. In fact over the years I have learned that of all the rides at Cedar Point, Power Tower is the one attraction that garners the most phobic responses. The drop side, not the other side. Nearly all of the 10 had that on their list of goals, and even some students on the "supporter" side rode it for the first time Sunday.

In the first 3 years or so, I operated from a "start small and work our way up model". Sort of a gradual desensitization process. We would start with Mine Ride and work our way up, usually ending with Top Thrill Dragster. It was kind of an all-day affair broken up into 3 separate ride sessions with breaks in-between. It worked, but I also learned from listening to the students that waiting all day to get to the big ones made it agonizing; almost to the point of losing the momentum needed to break through the anxiety and get on the ride.

And the thing is, once they ride it once, that's all it takes. It's a flooding response, and suddenly this fear that you had built up in your mind is extinguished. Most need just that one "big" experience and they suddenly become roller coaster junkies. Which means it's time for a musical interlude:

Back to the Millennium Force question:

Keep in mind these students have gone through 6 weeks of voluntary therapeutic intervention/work to get to this point. It's the exact techniques used in the therapeutic world to treat any anxiety disorder. They have been prepped for the exposure, and worked really hard to get to this point.

Being "really tall and fast", Millennium provides us with a great opportunity. It's often a goal of many, and/or much taller/faster then some other peoples' goals. But what it also provides is an incredibly smooth and easy to ride experience, which is the key here. There is a reason people still clap and cheer after all these years after riding Millennium.

This is getting like a long email, so I'll just give you the bottom line; it gives the anxious brain an incredibly powerful positive psychological (and neurological but that's a different story) experience and association, and most walk off of it saying "well, if I can do that I can do anything, because everything else is shorter and/or slower."

In other words, it opens the door for them to have the courage to step on everything else with much greater ease, and in a lot of cases it either extinguishes their phobia all together or, at the very least, makes moving on to a different goal that much easier. What used to take us all day I now get done between 10:00 AM and the 2:30 lunch break.

Running a 10k is less of a mentally daunting challenge if you've already run a half-marathon.

Want to come along? You can apply to become a Mount Union Raider here:

In all seriousness, Shades, if you happen to be at the park that day I will be more than happy to have you tag along for the ride. I can even feed you. Nothing in this year's meal was hand-breaded.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

That makes total sense. Thanks for the detailed explanation.. very interesting.

I’m paying for our kid to go to Syracuse. That has put a real hurt on the college fund. I won’t be signing up to be a Purple Raider any time soon.

First time I heard the phrase "college experience" (which is something you hear talked about a lot), I said I have no idea what that is, but it sounds expensive. Having put two kids through college with one half way through grad school, I still don't know what it means but I have confirmed its expensive.

Last edited by GoBucks89,

Power Tower (the drop side), Giant Wheel, and WindSeeker are rides that still terrify me at Cedar Point, and I rode each of them last year at least once.

The WindSeeker at Kings Island doesn't bother me, so I think it's the proximity to the water that freaks me out at Cedar Point.

I wish that riding them once would have immunized me to my fear, but that has certainly not been my experience!

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