Despite how often we hate on Tallanasty, we have to admit that this place has its perks. We’re perfectly situated between Florida’s Atlantic and Emerald Coasts for beach trips, we’re home to what’s possibly the most phallic capital building in the U.S., and I mean, hello, we have FSU! And if the latter isn’t enough for you, then leave. But what we don’t have here is one of the most important inventions on the planet, especially for those of us high in experience-seeking personality traits—cue the psych majors. I’m talking about rollercoasters.
Sure, we already have a plethora of rollercoaster emotions throughout the semester—basically 24/7 for some of us (namely me)—but we don’t have the real deal here. Lame. All I want is to feel my stomach try to escape through my throat while I scream false regrets of agreeing to get onto a coaster that I’m terrified will have a final-destination moment (just kidding, I totally trust the rollercoaster engineers know what they’re doing…*insert nervous emoji of your choice*). The closest thing we have in Tallahassee to the theme park experience is when the North Florida Fair comes around in November, but that usually just turns into a bad experience from going on the tilt-a-whirl too soon after eating a giant corndog and funnel cake, and having your date throw up on your shoes while there’s still three minutes left on the ride. Not worth it.
Not to worry, though, because there is another answer to our lack of places that don’t require alcohol to have a good time.
Let me introduce you to Wild Adventures, a little lesser-known gem over in Valdosta, GA, where parts of Zombieland were filmed. It’s a mere 90-minute drive from FSU, and this Friday, September 23, Wild Adventures is having a Bring-A-Friend for free day.
Gasp. Free? How?
Well, it’s not actually free (of course). Everything has a catch. But with the purchase of a 2016 or 2017 season pass—unless you already have one—you can take one friend for a free day of riding coasters. Wild Adventures is the nearest place to either face your fear of heights or take part in one of your favorite childhood pastimes, so don’t even consider driving four hours to Busch Gardens. The theme park has other rides of course, such as the Tasmanian River Rapids and an ever-basic Ferris wheel. The rollercoaster Boomerang will always have a special place in my heart as my first coaster ever. And if rides aren’t really your thing because you’re an unmistakable wimp who’s scared of being a little thrilled, Wild Adventures also has a host of over 50 species of animals on site, basically making it a zoo. They even have a safari train!
Go. Go ride rollercoasters, go see giraffes. Take that friend for free—or don’t tell them it’s free and charge them a fee, whatever pleases you.
Oh no, but you have a Friday class? Skip it, friend. You haven’t used up all of your unexcused absences yet (I hope). You still have a dozen weeks to attend class, but only this one chance to take a friend and treat yourselves to screaming hysterically while spinning as you ride The Rattler (no, not FAMU’s mascot).
Who knows, you may find that Wild Adventures becomes your new favorite place for a day trip—making it worth the cost of the season pass. It’s closer than the Atlantic and Emerald Coasts, at least, and much closer (and less crowded) than the theme parks in the Orlando area. And with that season pass you’ve got now, keep an eye out for their special events like Halloween’s Terror in the Wild, and for when the park’s Splash Island reopens next year—not to mention the THREE Bring-A-Friend free days in 2017. But if you ask me, I’d still charge my friends a fee, even if they’d just pay in giant pretzels between rides.