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Abnormal Psych students confront fear of roller coasters at Cedar Point

Photo: Cedar Point

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Students in Dr. Kevin Meyer‘s Abnormal Psychology course at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, will be able to take their study of phobias to a whole new level. In this case, up to 42 stories above the ground.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, more than a dozen of Meyer’s students will visit Cedar Point to participate in the Face Your Fear Project. During the day, students, who have a professed fear of roller coasters, will have the opportunity to challenge the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort’s roller coasters, including the 420-foot-tall Top Thrill Dragster.

This is the second year in a row the Abnormal Psychology class has visited the park. Last year, 12 students participated and all of them rode at least one coaster. Eight even rode Dragster.

“I was extremely pleased with last year’s results,” Dr. Meyer said. “In terms of individual goals, each student succeeded. It will be interesting to see if we can replicate last year’s success.”
This year’s project will have 15 students. For some, the challenge is to brave Top Thrill Dragster while for others Millennium Force is the goal. A few others’ phobia is being upside down in a roller coaster. One of the students participating has never visited the park and has never been on a roller coaster.

“The class is a real-life example of a treatment called exposure therapy that allows individuals to have gradual exposure to the target of their fear, in this case, roller coasters,” Dr. Meyer said. “The park’s vast collection of coasters is ideal for this type of approach since it offers mild, moderate and thrilling coasters of nearly every kind.”

For guests who enjoy the park’s rides and roller coasters, there are two more haunted weekends remaining in the season for Cedar Point.

During HalloWeekends, guests can challenge the park’s rides and coasters and a variety of Halloween attractions that range from encounters with ghastly creatures to friendly monsters who dance on the midway and a parade on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

With two new fright zones, HalloWeekends now features 10 haunted attractions. This fall, Screamworks on the Frontier Trail and Blood on the Bayou, located in a wooded area along the lagoon, add to the fright level.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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