IBJ movie night: 'Adventureland'

March 17, 2009
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Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but having spent my formative years working at a roller coaster/bumping cards/knock-down-the-milk-bottles summer resort, I'm looking forward to seeing "Adventureland," the upcoming comedy about amusement park workers in 1987.

It opens April 3rd nationwide. For more info on the film, click here.

Want to join me for an advance screening on Tuesday, March 31, at Regal Galaxy 14? All you have to do is post a note here describing a meaningful, silly, romantic or absurd amusement park, summer resort or state fair experience you've had.

I'll randomly pull winners until the passes run out and contact them via e-mail over the next few days. Notified winners will be able to pick up their passes at IBJ's downtown offices.

Just keep in mind that the film is rated R, so leave the little ones at home.

Your stories?
  • lost glasses on coaster ride at Holiday World
  • I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and going to Kings Island the day after prom was always the expected thing to do. In 1986, the day after prom, my boyfriend and I were at Kings Island with a group of our friends. He and I had been in an argument so we went our separate ways for a while to cool off. When we were separated, I ran into some boys who were obviously very drunk and in desparate need of some help. They said they only lived a few miles from the park and that their friends had left them there. I found my boyfriend and insisted that we help them. Much to his chagrin, we loaded them into his car and took off down the highway. When we were passing a large field to the side of the highway, they kept saying that their house was on the other side of the field and they would walk from there. We let them out and watched them stumble across the field. Hopefully it was their house and they made it home safely. Needless to say, my boyfriend was still mad at me afterwards!
  • I have a fun story at Kings Island. My friend Bryan and I decided to head to KI for the day. Another person, whom we knew, but not well, asked if they could go with us. We were fine with it, so we headed over.

    We had a full morning of riding rides and eating junk food. Around 1:00 that day, we decided to ride the Haunted Mansion ride. To those of us who remember, this use to be the Smurf ride at one point.

    Well, we waited in line, got locked into our casket and took off into the ride. I was on the right, our friend was in the middle, and Bryan was on the left. About a minute into the ride, our friend said that he had to use the bathroom. We were like, ok, hold on, it will be over soon. He was like, no, I have to go right now. We kept saying to him, just hold tight. Well, holding anything was not his strong point. Let's say that #2 couldn't wait, and he let it all out.

    Bryan and I spent the entire ride holding ourselves up off of the seat so that we would not get messy ourselves. When the ride ended, we all quickly got up and ran to the nearest bathroom. I was completely useless as far as help, as I was laughing so hard at the situation.

    Fortunately, Bryan brought extra cloths that day. Unfortunately, our friend was 6'4 and Bryan is about 5'5. Needless to say, our friend looked ridiculous in his cloths.

  • When I was a teen-ager (1956 or thereabouts), there was a neighborhood carnival that was brought in by the local businessmen. It occupied a field on the Northeast corner of Howard Street and Richland Street on the Southwest side of town. I used to sell coke bottles (Pepsi and all others too) to save up enough to buy rides on the octopus.
  • Ahhh....Adventureland! My dad's family is from central Iowa and every summer when we'd go to visit, we'd go to Adventureland just outside of Des Moines. They have one ride there called the Silly Silo. It's a large round barrel that spins fast to the music and then the bottom drops down and you stick to the wall by centrifugal force. One year we made the mistake of eating before we got on it...chili dogs and chili cheese fries. Needless to say, my little sister made a HORRIBLE mess! Now I take my kids to Adventureland when we go visit and make sure they DON'T EAT before getting on the Silly Silo!
  • I used to be able to win the guess the speed of your pitch game every time. Most people would go up there and wing one in as fast as they could, trying to 'impress the ladies'. First pitch: 72mph. Not bad. Then do it again: 68mph. Then try to guess the speed of the third pitch. 70? Wrong! My technique was different...Seemed a lot easier to lob it in exactly the same way every time. 26mph. 26mph. I'm gonna guess 26 mph! Winner every time!
  • My story is about Disney World...

    My niece was in a cheerleading competition there and it was the first chance that my sister and her family had ever had to visit. I had been there before and knew how to see the parks without waiting in lines, etc. I plannned out the whole vacation, trying to pack four parks into three days. I knew where to take short cuts, which rides to ride first, and I hustled the eight of us in and out and onto I ran them a little ragged, but we had to pack everything in so few days. The last day was our visit to The Magic Kingdom. It was March, and raining, and chilly. I put everyone in a Mickey Mouse poncho (some under protest) and we headed to the park. It was time to ride the log ride (the one with Briar Rabbit that has a long, wet flume at the end)....my sister was refusing to ride because she would get wet. Mind you it was raining and we were already wet. I told her - we are in the Happiest Place on Earth so shut up, get on your poncho, and get on the ride.

    5+ years later, they still call me the Disney World Nazi!
  • Face-Off at Kings island is the best ride to be sick on...
  • After being away from the Indiana State Fair for over 5 years, I was anxious to try a Deep Fried candy bar this summer. The $4 and the 1,000+ calories (I'm assuming) were merely a blip in the back of my mind as I bit into the warm and gooey nugat beneath the fried shell. It was worth every penny and calorie, and this my friend was a meaningful experience and a welcome home to Indiana after living in Detroit the past two years.
  • I am one of those roller coaster enthusiasts. My summer is spent running around the country visiting all those little Adventurelands [BTW, the movie was shot at Pittsburgh's Kennywood.]

    But my silly romantic story involved meeting my first girlfriend during a neighborhood trip to Chicago's Great America in the late 1980s. The relationship was a roller coaster ride in itself, and ultimately derailed..but I always will have my memories of our many summer nights at the park.
  • Several years ago we took our children to the amusement park at Santa Claus IN. They were riding the roller coaster when it malfunctioned. They were on the top. I had to climb up the side to get them down.
  • 1) Waited in line for more than 90 minutes to ride The Beast at Kings Island. Completely chickened out when I walked into the car and stepped right back out again. My husband got to experience the ride alone. I have no doubt he had a lot more fun without me screeching beside him the entire way.
    2) Went to Disney World during one of its lowest attendance periods of the year - the second week of December. The temps dropped - we felt like we had the place to ourselves. We kept getting on the Tower of Terror - often riding as the only passengers in the car. We rode the ride 11 times that day.
  • Best time ever at an Amusement park? Honeymoon at Disney - October 2006! MiniMouse veil, buttons that said just married, ride in the front car of the monorail! We got the front seat on all the fast rides and the back seat on all the slow rides!
  • Man, I can hardly think of King's Island without the phantom rib pain from consecutive rides on The Beast, or having my mouth water at the thought of blue soft-serve ice cream from Hanna Barbera Land.

    I also remember looking at the people who operated rides like The Scrambler or The Octopus, and thinking, Man, they have arrived.
  • After college a group of friends went to Florida for a week, and we spent an afternoon at Disney. Our friend Patty, who was a control freak, had to be in charge at all times, or would pout and grumble.

    My friend Dave and I laughed at how she could be this way at the Happiest Place on Earth as we had to take turns sitting with her on the rides.

    It was like there was a storm cloud over her head.
  • I was an intern at the Indiana State Fair the summer I turned 21. That was a great and memorable summer. Part of my job was to manage the Operation Pull Over Stage. One night we had a preformer who's set list included several songs about alcohol or referencing drinking and driving. There was a pretty heated argument and then a chase around the stage. It was very amuzing to me and even the audience seemed entertained.
  • A couple of years ago, my teenagers, their friends and I drove to Kings Island for the day. We decided to ride The Beast but with the long lines, two of the kids (one of my own) got on before the rest of us. We stood by waiting as their ride was about to start. I watched the workers go along each side, putting down the safety bar. They missed my daughter. I assumed they'd see it and go back to her...but, they didn't. As the crowd chattered happily, the ride started (safety bar still up) and I just started screaming for them to stop the ride...you could've heard a pin drop as everyone looked my way, realized what was going on and waited to see what would happen. The ride stopped and both workers looked at each other trying to figure out who was to blame for this near accident...they put her safety bar down, the ride went on...and I tried to stop my knees from shaking before it was my turn to ride.

    We laugh when we talk about it now!!
  • Back in the early 90's I was dating a tall ( 6' 7 ), dark & handsome gent who was TERRIBLY SCARED of heights. During one date to the state fair, he wanted to ride what I sarcastically called a Spin & Hurl. I had just eaten a bunch of junk food and was in no mood to spew it on to any fellow riders, thankyouverymuch! So, I suggested that he take a ride by himself and I would take a ride on the Ferris Wheel and we would meet up later. I bought my ticket and got a seat and was admiring the city view way up top when I noticed a commotion below. There was my guy, scared witless, trying to muster up enough nerve to get on the Ferris Wheel. He would try to take a step on, sweat some bullets, and step back, try again, and step back. Pretty soon, the ticket taker and other riders, noticing his stress, were trying to cheer him on and encourage him YOU CAN DO IT!!! . After a few moments, he finally took the plunge and got on amid thunderous applause and they lowered the wheel so he could sit next to me. My heart just melted! And, yes, of course I went on the Spin & Hurl with him; only without the fanfare.

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