Credit-Whoring: Riding a rollercoaster that appears to offer very little in the way of thrills (such as a kiddie coaster) for the sole purpose of "getting the credit" (adding the coaster to the list of coasters one has ridden).

Credit Whore (also: Cre-ho, CreHo, Creho): someone who engages in credit whoring

There are no kids on this kiddie coaster...

The above are generally accepted definitions in the coaster enthusiast community. One's list of credits can be a source of pride for some, a personal achievement marker for others, an OCD obsession for a few. The Crehos delight in the addition of each new entry, often keeping track of their conquests on spreadsheets, notebooks, photo albums, or other means.

However, some enthusiasts look down on the Crehos, saying that while it might be fun to seek out a rare or unique small coaster somewhere, such as the excellent Ice Mountain Bobsleds at Enchanted Forest park in Turner, Oregon, to waste one's time on a coaster that's a standard production model and identical to others one has already ridden is folly.

Some enthusiasts go so far as to look down on those who count their credits at all, repeating the old adage of "quality over quantity." This is a legitimate stance - after all, if one has limited time in a park, bypassing a ride on the kiddie coaster in favor of a second ride on the park's record-breaking thrill machine seems like a no-brainer.

Crehos don't see it that way, however. For them, it's about the complete experience, taking in every coaster that a park has to offer, completing the checklist, adding the credits. For them, that second ride on the big coaster is a tainted experience if it meant missing a ride on that little coaster just down the path. They'd leave the park with a sense of incompletion.

Is this neurotic?

Perhaps, but I'd venture that it's no more neurotic than riding the same coaster over and over for hours, even if it's a really good one. This practice is quite common among enthusiasts as evidenced by the inclusion of Exclusive Ride Time (ERT) at many enthusiast events, where the host park opens a ride for the attendees outside of normal park hours and those attendees ride until the ERT session is over - sometimes for two or more hours. Additionally, those ERT sessions often happen before the park opens for the day and/or after the park closes for the evening - meaning that these folks are up at the crack of dawn, riding the rails before most folks have had their morning coffee and then staying up till the wee hours to do it all again.

And yet that kind of craziness is lauded almost universally among coaster nuts, while the Crehos get ridiculed by some and misunderstood by many.


What the non-Crehos don't understand, however, is that while the vast majority of experiences to be had while credit whoring are mundane and amount to little more than adding another name to the list, then moving on to other things, there are those rare moments when the addition of that coaster to one's list becomes so much more than the ride itself. Those experiences become stories that are far more interesting and life-enhancing than simply chalking up another ride on a big coaster.

For example, have a good look at the picture above. That little coaster is usually off-limits to adults and for good reason: taller folks will not clear that apple tunnel! The process of you and a group of friends getting a ride on it anyway ends up being one of those stories that one can tell for years to come.

The Magnificent Seven!

Take, for example, the group of Crehos in the above picture who spent more than five hours trying to navigate the public transportation system in Mexico City (even though none of them speaks Spanish) in order to ride a Wacky Worm at a shopping mall. Their story is likely more enduring than the ones told by the rest of the tour group who chose to stay at the over-crowded Chapultepec Magico park to re-ride the coasters there (complete with hour-long queues for each one).

Furthermore, who's to say that the experience of the ride itself is ho-hum? It is what you make of it. There's a special joy that comes with sharing a tiny little coaster with a bunch of tiny little kids, seeing the mixture of joy and terror in their faces that you knew all too well at that age. Throwing your hands up and squealing with delight as if this little two-foot drop is The Coolest. Thing. Ever. For those little kids, it is - and you're sharing the moment with them.

Even if there aren't any kids on the train with you, the absurdity of cramming your adult-sized body into the tiny little car can be ridiculously entertaining, more-so if there are bemused onlookers who get to relate the story to their own families later.

So here's to the Crehos of the world... who ignore the taunts of those who just don't "get it," who seek out the rails less-traveled and who understand that sometimes the best coaster memories aren't always obtained on the biggest, tallest, fastest, anything-est rides out there. May your credits be plentiful and your experiences memorable!