Joel

Coming in 2020: Kodiak Canyon the Multi-Path Roller Coaster

Kodiak Canyon: Roller Coasters Meet “Choose Your Own Adventure” Theme Park Tourist asked me what theme park rides might look like in the future. I remembered that I wrote about some ride futuristic ride concepts that I’d imagined a while back. I shared my concept for Kodiak Canyon; a mine train roller coaster where riders choose the layout that they’ll experience. At two br...

What Was Your Single Best Ride Experience of 2013?

With the year coming to a close, I thought I’d write about my single best ride experience of 2013. I’d also like to hear about your most memorable or best ride. Last year, for me it was quite a surprise. Even though I’d ridden the exciting new wing coasters, Wild Eagle and X-Flight, my pick was Mystery Mine’s Beyond 90-Degree Goodness. 2013 Contenders for Best Ride Experien...

Valleyfair Adding Route 76 – A New Area & Family Ride

Valleyfair will be opening a new family area in 2014 called Route 76. It will be located near Steel Venom and it will incorporate a relocated rides like an Antique Autos car ride, Tilt-a-Whirl, and Scrambler. The signature ride of the area will be a new family ride called Northern Lights. Similar to Cedar Point’s Pipe Scream that was announced a few weeks ago, Northern Lights is a Zamperla f...

Check Out These Christmas-Themed Amusement Parks & Rides

Here’s a quick tour of some Christmas-themed amusement parks. This is by no means an exhaustive list and was mostly just compiled by searching the Roller Coaster Database for “Christmas” and “Santa”. It’s probably a good thing that “Jesus”, didn’t bring back any results, but with more than 6,500 roller coasters from the past and present from al...

2013 Theme Park Year in Review

Here’s a wrap up of 2013 including the state of roller coasters and some of the biggest news stories of the year. The Year of the Wooden Coaster Comeback If 2012 was the year of the wing roller coasters, then 2013 was definitely the year that wooden roller coasters made a comeback. We saw genre-bending roller coasters with wooden coaster characteristics, but elements like loops and other inv...

The Coaster Critic Comes to An End

Life’s just too short to do things half-hearted and not give them your all. The best creative works, movies, music, and yes, blogs, are created by those who are fully committed. Last month, news had come out about a new roller coaster so I went to YouTube to find some animated ride footage. I came across a video that had a detailed analysis of the ride and all of the park’s upcoming pl...

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas Event

When I interviewed Brad Thomas, he shared that nobody does Christmas like Silver Dollar City. Apparently, with over 5 million lights (350 miles worth!) he wasn’t kidding. Here’s an excerpt from a press release about Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas: One of the nation’s most acclaimed Christmas festivals, Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas presents tw...

Coasters 101 by Nick Weisenberger | Book Review

While I’ve been a fan of roller coasters for close to twenty years, I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on how they work and how they’re designed. I’ve studied construction photos and viewed roller coaster documentaries like the next coaster fan, but that doesn’t begin to really get into how these modern thrill machines are born. Thankfully, Nick Weisenberger’s new...

Kentucky Kingdom's Lightning Run Roller Coaster

CoasterGuy14 did a nice overview of Kentucky Kingdon’s new Lightning Run ride and the park’s other additions in this YouTube video: Analysis of Lightning Run.I figured that I couldn’t have done a better job than he did, so just check this out and let us know what you think. I’ve been hoping for one of those fan favorite Intamin Megalites in the U.S. for quite some time. It ...

World's Tallest Roller Coaster Coming to Florida

Some huge news came out of IAAPA last week as CoasterCrew got an earth-shattering update related to the PolerCoaster concept that was proposed earlier this year. Two PolerCoasters will be built, one in Georgia and one in Florida. And, the one being built in Florida, will be the world’s tallest roller coaster at 525 feet tall. It will also be one of the longest coasters and it will use S&...

Top Ten Things We'd Like to See at the 2013 IAAPA

The team over at Coaster101 wrote a great post about what they’re hoping to see at IAAPA this year.  Here’s an IAAPA 2013 Wishlist: The big IAAPA convention is kicking off soon. This yearly conference for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Aquarium is a colossal expo where industry professionals are on hand to buy or sell the latest theme park rides and technology, an...

American Coasters by Thomas Crymes | Book Review

My last roller coaster photography book is more than a decade old now, so I was excited to check out Thomas Crymes new book: American Coasters: A Thrilling Photographic Ride. I was provided a copy of the book for this review. American Coasters covers roller coasters at 12 major American theme parks. They are: Cedar Point, Knoebels, Six Flags New England, Carowinds, Six Flags America, Kennywood, Bu...

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