John

John is a proud Clevelander, and lifelong fan of roller coasters and amusement parks.

Review: Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point

It has been exciting watching the construction of Steel Vengeance as it transformed. From a lame-duck, once record-breaking wooden roller coaster, the former Mean Streak has come out of it’s wooden and steel cocoon to be reborn as a stunning and acrobatic-looking predator. Certainly no butterfly, Steel Vengeance appears to have been fed off of the intense energy and longing of the enthusiast...

Euclid Beach Park: From Glory to Condemnation – Part 2

The Roaring 20s was a prosperous time for America and Euclid Beach Park. Following the acceptance of the automobile as a modern conveyance, travel independent of railroads, street cars, or trolleys caught on quickly. The growing economy meant many people could afford to spend their monies on a day at the park and to take vacations. During the so-called Golden Age of Roller Coasters, there were so ...

12 Roller Coasters That Could Soon be Defunct

What do the roller coasters Gwazi, Dragon Challenge, and Ozark Wildcat have in common? They are now mere memories and were removed, perhaps much sooner than expected. In Gwazi’s case (I under stand it is actually still standing but being slowly picked apart), it had long failed to live up to the expectations Busch Gardens Tampa Bay had for it, and had been only running one side of the ride f...

Why Not Go Rogue?

Actually, maybe rogue is the wrong word. Why offend, if you would really just want to go your own way? Perhaps, you are more of a maverick. This 2007 Intamin terrain-hugging LSM launch coaster has been the wildest part of Frontier Town at Cedar Point, and it seems plenty happy to have gone a separate way from Mean Streak. Instead of becoming rougher and less confidence-inspiring over the years, Ma...

Why Not Take a Dive?

Opened in 2016, Valravn at Cedar Point is the world’s tallest Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine roller coaster.  Only 1 of 3 Dive Machines in the U.S., Valravn was a welcome and thrilling new edition nearer to the front of the park.  With a 217 foot drop and a top speed of 75 mph, Valravn captured the crown from Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Griffon with its greater height and speed...

Why Not Revolt?

Ok, ok, I don’t mean revolt as in acting out because you don’t want to actually ride this brute.  Rather, I merely want to point out that the Corkscrew at Cedar Point was themed in honor of our nation’s Bicentennial when it opened in 1976. The first roller coaster with three inversions, Corkscrew also claimed, by just a few days, the first modern vertical loop on a roller coaster...

Why Not Get Suspended?

No, not from work or school, but from some classic Arrow steel track!  The Bat at Kings Island, opened in 1994 (not too be confused with the similarly named but ultimately failed early 80s suspended coaster) and was called Top Gun.   Appropriately, it was themed to the 1986 movie.  I think Kings Island nailed it with its current paint job and the revival of the legendary failure’s name.  It ...

Why Not Go Big?

Banshee at Mason, Ohio’s Kings Island was introduced as the world’s longest inverted coaster.  Aside from any record-breaking facts toted at its introduction, in person, this new-for-2014 B&M beaut is huge and moves an impressive amount of people through its queues every day the park is open. So Why Not Get Inverted? Have you ridden Banshee? Which inverted B&M coaster is your f...

Why Sit When You Can Stand Up?

That was a question a few roller coaster designers in the 1980s and 1990s asked.  However, the stand up roller coaster seems to be slowly fading away with several parks dismantling & selling theirs or, in the case of Mantis at Cedar Point, converting it to a Floorless Coaster. So What’s Your Take? Have you ridden a standup roller coaster?  Have you ridden one that’s been converted ...

Why Not Take a Flight?

Firehawk at Kings Kings Island is one of three of Vekoma’s Flying Dutchman roller coasters in the U.S.  Originally painted green and black and named X-Flight, this flying coaster once lived in northeast Ohio at the now defunct Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (or that park’s more familiar name, Geauga Lake).  Now in southwest Ohio, Firehawk still provides plenty of white-knuckle rides. Wh...

Book Review: Images of Modern America: Libertyland By John R. Stevenson V with forward by Jimmy Ogle

John Stevenson writes with a thoughtful and passionate touch in his account of the former Libertyland, a patriotically themed small, but genuinely immersive theme park in Memphis, Tennessee. Coordinating a detailed work including the arc of a historic theme park and a focus on sharing the experiences of those who loved Libertyland, Stevenson successfully brings the reader to Memphis and helps them...

Why Not Ride a Kiddy Coaster?

Well, because this one hurts!  I remember riding this particular Allan Herschell designed roller coaster as a very young child, and it hurt even then!  This little steel monster/kiddy coaster resides at Midway State Park (formerly Midway Park) in Maple Springs, NY along the shore of Chautauqua Lake.  I wish they had the Mad Mouse model instead… So What’s Your Take? Do you ride little c...

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