Take a look at the pictures of the ride, and you should find one of a young man wearing a Titan (Six Flags) shirt with a smile from ear to ear.
The year was 2003, and Top Thrill Dragster had just opened months before his visit from more than eight hours away.
I will never forget that experience for the rest of my life because of the sheer thrill that this coaster gives you when you watch it. The climb and 90 degree twist make you wonder what exactly you are getting yourself in for.
At the time, ride attendants were very careful to make sure that there was enough weight spaced throughout the coaster train to insure that the train could climb the top of the tower. This meant that they would fill in any additional spots with another single rider.
With that knowledge in mind, and while of course waiting for the front for my first ever ride on a strata coaster, I quickly counted through everyone that was in front of me. There was an odd number! This meant that someone either was not riding, or there was someone that was ready to tackle the coaster by themselves as well. As the excitment continued to flow at the thought of finally riding, I started to pair everyone in line up and find out who might be by themselves. About three-four sets back was another kid about my age that I had pegged to be the single-rider.
As he approached the front of the line, I saw the ride attendant start asking him how many he had in his party, and as soon as the attendant asked if anyone was riding by themselves, my hand shot up, she waved me in, and I climbed all around and through the tiniest spots to get to the next spot in line.
Once you are on the ride, looking down the track and up the tower, the feeling is something I will never forget. It is a feeling of excitement matched with a bit of fear and nervousness that is perfect for the ultimate thrill ride. Topping the experience off with a, staying true to theme, christmas-tree lights for the start of "the race" creates the ultimate thrill coaster experience.
It is a quick and powerful punch, but it is a punch that I will never forget.