Featured Photo #19 – I Challenge You to a Duel!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inherited an awesome roller coaster in the re-themed, Dragon Challenge. Formerly, Dueling Dragons, the ride has to be one of the most awe-inspiring inverted coasters to watch. With three near-misses, on-lookers are frozen in their tracks as the trains pass within feet of each other. Unfortunately, from a rider’s perspective the near misses are pretty tough...[Read More]

Featured Photo #18 – A Cobra & 30 Horses

I thought this was an interesting snapshot of the clashing of two eras of amusement rides. I took this photo on my recent trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It was a beautiful park and probably my favorite Six Flags park in terms of aesthetics. There was a surprising amount of greenery and some of the best theming I’d seen at a Six Flags. Over in the Rockville area that’s themed to look l...[Read More]

Featured Photo #17 – A Picture Worth a Thousand Headaches

  When I took Busch’s Roller Coaster Tour, I got an up-close view of the cause of so many painful looping coaster rides over the years. In Nessie’s belly, I and the other members of the tour were able to check out blueprints on the wall, hold some wheels, and learn how this great coaster operates. There was also the frame of the defunct Python from Busch Gardens Tampa sitting on a...[Read More]

Featured Photo #16 – A Stand-Up Stand Out

This is a photo of one of the corkscrews towards the end of Chang at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. I took it on my visit to the park back in 2006.  A diamond in the rough, Chang was easily the highlight of my visit. It had everything you’d want in a steel looper: height, speed, smoothness, and cool looping elements like the inclined (bent over) loop. I’ve written a lot about Chang becaus...[Read More]

Featured Photo #15 – Down, Down, & Away

Everyone knows Bizarro (formerly Superman Ride of Steel) as the tall hyper coaster at Six Flags New England. It’s steep climb next to the Connecticut River and subsequent large hills are the highlight of its first half. Part of the reason I love this coaster so much (it’s my top coaster), is the variation in its layout. The second half of the ride is lower to the ground and even below ...[Read More]

Featured Photo #14 – The Unsung Hero of Your Park’s Coaster Lineup

Step Outside of Your Enthusiast Box For a Moment Are Vekoma’s Boomerang  roller coasters unappreciated? Sure, they’re short shuttle coasters that can get pretty rough, but think of their upside. Think about all of the people who got their first looping experience on one of these theme park staples. There are plenty of smaller parks that can’t afford to build a large looping coast...[Read More]

Featured Photo #13 – Pint-Sized Pandemonium

  Six Flags New England’s Pandemonium was a pleasant surprise on my visit to the park back in 2005. Obviously, Bizarro (then Superman – Ride of Steel) was THE main attraction. But Pandemonium (then Mr. Six’s Pandemonium, what’s with all the name changes?) was one of the best family roller coasters I’ve ever been on. It had the rare benefit of facing your fellow r...[Read More]

Featured Photo #12 – Arrow’s Looping Masterpiece Is Still a Thing of Beauty

Over thirty years since it was built, the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens has to be one of the most beloved Arrow creations on the planet. Its signature interlocking loops next to the Rhine River have been a landmark of Busch Gardens Williamsburg for many years. As a kid I remember seeing commercials that featured the two trains lit up with lights, running at night, and looping simultaneously. ...[Read More]

Featured Photo #11 – SeaWorld’s Showstopper

After being a fan of and covering roller coasters for so many years it became rare to see rides do new and unique things. Manta, a B&M flying roller coaster, was a great attraction for SeaWorld for a number of reasons. SeaWorld went above and beyond by incorporating a ray and manta exhibit and by adding this cool one-of-a-kind element. Manta’s coup de grâce is a short dive to a pond that puts ...[Read More]

Featured Photo #10 – A Critic & A Legend

I was really excited to make it up to the hallowed ground that is Coney Island to ride the legendary Cyclone. The trek across New York City, my exciting rides on the Cyclone, and my visit to the historic Playland Park in Rye made for quite an adventure. With the addition of Luna Park and ScreamZone this summer, Coney Island should be a destination for coaster enthusiasts. You won’t grow your...[Read More]

Featured Photo #9 – An ‘Iconic’ Amusement Park Photo

This is a photo of Darien Lake’s Lasso. It’s a swing carousel or wave swinger built by Zierer. I took this photo on my first trip to the Buffalo area park back in 2003. It was my wife’s home park growing up. Years later, this photo was chosen by Schmap as the icon for Darien Lake in their Buffalo guide. I think that alone earns it a spot in my book. What’s Your Take? Do you...[Read More]

Featured Photo #8 – Time to Get Geeky

Deep within the bowels of the Loch Ness Monter’s lair I was able to snap this photo of one of the blueprints that lined the wall.  The few times I’ve been lucky enough to get behind-the-scenes roller coaster tours I’ve geeked out when I encountered blueprints. Of course I couldn’t tell you anything about what’s actually in this blueprint, it’s just cool to see. ...[Read More]

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