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ACE News

ACE News


In This Issue

July-August 2019

ARTICLES POSTED AUGUST 17

A Great New England Welcome Greeted the 2019 ACE Summer Conference

The 2019 ACE Summer Conference closed out the year’s national events in fantastic fashion. With 121 attendees from 25 different states, the event was an opportunity for locals, returning fans and a crop of first-time visitors to experience some great parks a little farther off the beaten path. Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco, Maine) had been a co-host of Coaster Con XXXVI in 2013, but Story Land (Glen, New Hampshire) and Santa’s Village (Jefferson, New Hampshire) were enjoying the first national event ever held at those parks. The conference served as an ideal occasion to showcase these New England gems. (Posted 8/17/19) [MORE]

Taiga Flies at Finland’s Linnanmäki

Ask an ACEer to name the steel coasters on his or her Top Ten list, and it is very likely that some projects from Intamin Amusement Rides will surface. Highly rated Intamin favorites include Millennium Force, Superman: The Ride, Expedition GeForce, Maverick … well, the list could go on for quite some time. Apparently, Intamin isn’t resting on its laurels. Already in 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Dueling Dragons have wowed audiences with innovation and fresh ideas. (Posted 8/17/19) [MORE]

ACE Western Pennsylvania: KennyKon XXX, July 20, 2019

Will it or won’t it be open? The KennyKon event web page promised the usual fun of ride anniversaries, the two I’s: Ice Cream for Breakfast and Informal Takeover Times (ITOTS), morning and evening ERTs and great food and fun with friends, but it couldn’t promise that The Steel Curtain, the spectacular new Steelers-themed coaster, would be ready to open, not to mention whether there would be ERT. It did and there was – and unlike recent past years, there was no rain in the forecast! (Posted 8/17/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED AUGUST 10

Pantheon Challenges Visitors in 2020 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

In Rome, Italy, the Pantheon is a temple with the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world, but in Virginia, it is the power of five Italian gods coming together for one power-packed roller coaster full of theming. Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that it will launch into 2020 with Pantheon, adding to its already amazing coaster collection with North America’s fastest multilaunch coaster. The new coaster will feature four launches. (Posted 8/10/19) [MORE]

ACE Northwest: ACE Day at Silverwood

The ACE Northwest region held its annual ACE Day at Silverwood Theme Park (Athol, Idaho) on Saturday, July 20. Twenty members and their guests attended the event. To kick things off, everyone enjoyed an hour and a half of morning ERT on Aftershock, Timber Terror and Tremors, along with all of the flat rides in the Roller Coaster Alley section of the park. (Posted 8/10/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED AUGUST 3

Hersheypark Announces Tasty 2020 Project

Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania) had teased fans with renderings of its new themed entrance and Chocolate Town expansion months ago. What looked like a Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) megacoaster in the artwork turned out to be just that. (Posted 8/3/19) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - July-August 2019

  • You Can Stop Dreaming — Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park at American Dream Mall Will Open This Fall at Last
  • Ireland’s Tayto Park “Coaster 2021” Plans Suffer Setback
  • SeaWorld San Antonio Constructing Wooden Coaster for 2020

(Updated 8/3/19) [MORE]

City Mayor Announces Intent to Demolish Long-Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans

What spot on earth has more standing-but-not-operating roller coasters than any other? Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, badly damaging Six Flags New Orleans theme park. After management decided not to reopen (alleging it was beyond repair), the derelict park and most of its attractions were left to stand, forsaken, steadily deteriorating in the 14 years since. The still-abandoned rides include four of the park’s coasters: Mega Zeph (a Custom Coasters International, Inc. woodie), the steel Jester (a Vekoma loop and corkscrew), Muskrat Scrambler (an L&T Systems wild mouse) and Zydeco Scream (a Vekoma Boomerang). Interestingly, two of the park’s six coasters were moved – Batman: The Ride became Goliath at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2008, and Road Runner’s Express was transferred to Six Flags Magic Mountain (where it kept the same name) in 2011. (Posted 8/3/19) [MORE]

ACE Northern Ohio: North Coast Con 2019

With the park season well under way, it was time for ACE Northern Ohio’s annual visit to Cedar Point for North Coast Con 2019. This year’s event took place on July 14, 2019, a beautiful summer Sunday on Lake Erie. (Posted 8/3/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 27

The Steel Curtain Rushes Into Kennywood for an Epic Touchdown

Nothing beats the moment when the skyline of Kennywood appears as visitors approach the West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, park from any direction. Phantom's Revenge used to be the king of the park's skyline, but that title has switched hands with the opening of The Steel Curtain. The newest roller coaster to the storied lineup of thrill rides at Kennywood, it towers over the entire park with its yellow supports and black track just begging guests to put on their cleats and march down the field on fourth and 10. (Posted 7/27/19) [MORE]

Untamed — Rocky Mountain Construction’s Newest Showpiece

It’s easy for any coaster manufacturer to slip into an avoidable trap. There aren’t really any exceptions. When a company bursts onto the scene with hit after hit, it almost seems a matter of time before well-travelled enthusiasts begin to say the creations — while outstanding — start to feel the same. (Posted 7/27/19) [MORE]

Conservation Corner - July-August 2019

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, is perhaps one of the more unusual theme parks to come into being. Located on what was an actual berry farm owned by Walter and Cordelia Knott, the park had its humble beginning as a berry stand on the property where the Knott’s family sold their berries, jams, jellies and pies. Walter Knott specialized in successfully cultivating and growing the boysenberry, a cross between blackberries, loganberries and raspberries which became a new sensation for his farm. (Posted 7/27/19) [MORE]

ACE South Central: West Texas Roundup

Every other year, a familiar event in the unpopulated areas of Texas dusts itself off around the 4th of July holiday. With three stops, the co-hosts of West Texas Roundup made for a fantastic two days on July 5 – 6, 2019. (Posted 7/27/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 20

A Dozen Things Members Missed If They Weren’t at Coaster Con 42

Fantastic host parks, world-class coasters, photo and video contests, Midway Olympics, ERT galore and great camaraderie are what make up the established framework for a memorable convention. All that was certainly in place for Coaster Con 42. However, it is the unique details that create one-of-a-kind events, and this year’s convention provided many cool factors that made it a joyous week.

The full story of Coaster Con 42 will appear in the fall issue of RollerCoaster! (No. 151), but here are a dozen items members missed if they weren’t in Southern California the third week of June. (Posted 7/20/19) [MORE]

Wilkolak (Werewolf) Woodie Howls at Majaland

Only two wooden roller coasters are newly built this year. And the second has now opened at Majaland Kownaty amusement park in Torzym, Poland (the first and only other new woodie for 2019 is Kentucky Flyer at Kentucky Kingdom). Made by Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCII), the new attraction has been named and themed as Wilkolak (Polish for Werewolf). (Posted 7/20/19) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - July-August 2019

  • Phoenix Flies at Iowa’s Adventureland
  • Desperately Seeking Desperado
  • Frontier City Gets Frank
  • New Coaster Rises at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
  • Chilly Announcement from SeaWorld Orlando Gets a Warm Reception from Enthusiasts

(Updated 7/20/19) [MORE]

ACE Southern California: Add-on Day at Castle Park

On the day after an action-packed week at Coaster Con 42, 88 ACE members from 23 states and Canadian provinces ventured east to Castle Park in Riverside, California. June 21 introduced the park to many attendees that day and gave return visitors a new appreciation for a park that has a very rich history. Passing a life-size elephant statue, everyone attending the post-Con event was ushered into the whimsical Big Top circus style restaurant for a video presentation on Castle Park's founder, Bud Hurlbut. (Posted 7/20/19) [MORE]

ACE Southern California: Coaster Con Add-on Day at SeaWorld San Diego

Saturday, June 22, 2019, was the Coaster Con 42 add-on day at SeaWorld San Diego, and 133 ACEers gathered at the park for a beautiful day by the bay. Event registration provided free parking and admission into the park at opening, and it being Saturday, the lines to get in were long. ACEers were allowed to ride Tidal Twister, the Skyline Attractions Skywarp Horizon, an hour before the general public. (Posted 7/20/19) [MORE]

A Special Coaster Milestone

What makes ACE such a great and unique organization? For starters, it’s the love of coasters. But then, and probably of equal importance, there is the lasting and wonderful friendships made and nourished through the organization. Members love to read about coasters and events that somehow become part of the ACE coaster milestones. (Posted 7/20/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 12

Maxx Force Blasts Through Records at Six Flags Great America

"I feel the need … the need for speed!" So the saying goes … S&S Worldwide has taken pneumatic launches of its Thrust Air Coaster model to a new level here in North America with Maxx Force. The spiritual successor to Do-Dodonpa in Japan at Fuji-Q Highlands, Maxx Force captures three new world records for Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois): fastest launch in North America (0 to 78 mph in under two seconds), fastest inversion in the world (60 mph zero-G roll) and tallest double-inversion in the world (175 feet above ground). (Posted 7/12/19) [MORE]

A New Dueling Dragons Takes Flight

For coaster fans who still lament the tragic loss of the Bolliger & Mabillard masterpiece Dueling Dragons (later Dragon Challenge) at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, slight comfort comes in the form of the defunct coaster inspiring a new, innovative coaster. A new Dueling Dragons has taken flight at Guangzhou Sunac Land. (Posted 7/12/19) [MORE]

June Executive Committee Meeting Highlights

The Executive Committee (EC) met on June 16, 2019 in Valencia, California. Listed below are some of the meeting highlights: (Posted 7/12/19) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 6

Universal Orlando Opens Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

On May 28, 1999, Universal opened what it is considered to be by many among best theme parks in the world, Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. One of the opening day attractions was a roller coaster named Dueling Dragons. This Bolliger & Mabillard creation was the only dueling inverted coaster in the world. The ride — and its queue — were revered by many. (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]

Lakemont Park Reopens With a New Direction

In 2019 there has been no shortage of great new and exciting rides to enjoy. But in the midst of all the fastest and tallest, it’s nice to remember the classics and how they fit into the history of this roller coaster hobby. Leap The Dips is a classic wooden roller coaster that has been enjoyed by more than a century of riders, and with the grand reopening of Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania, this summer, there is the hope that it will be enjoyed by a century more. (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]

From The President - July-August 2019

Travel expands your imagination. Robert Louis Stephenson said, “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” I know when I get behind the wheel of the Prius and start heading down the road for the next destination I have great images already built up from my research into where I’ll be stopping. Sometimes I am too optimistic, which leads to disappointment, but over the years I’ve realized that what I actively do can help create a positive outcome. (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]

ACE Canada: ACE Western Canada Roundup

In an effort to entice more Americans to come to the ACE Western Canada Roundup, the event was held this year on the U.S. Memorial Day weekend, which meant an extra day to travel for those south of the border (Canada’s long weekend happened the week before, for Victoria Day). (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]

ACE Florida: White Lightning 10K Marathon – Fun Spot America

On June 1, 2019, 30 ACE members and guests from three states met at Fun Spot America (Orlando) for the first-ever White Lightning 10K. Before the riding marathon, attendees enjoyed a full day at the Orlando park to experience Fun Spot’s amazing attractions, such as Freedom Flyer, Hot Seat and Sea Serpent. To ensure the racers had the stamina to finish their laps, participants were treated to a buffet dinner consisting of barbeque pulled pork, hot dogs and fresh salad. (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]

Photo: Cheri Armstrong.


Download Past Issues

Travel expands your imagination. Robert Louis Stephenson said, “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” I know when I get behind the wheel of the Prius and start heading down the road for the next destination I have great images already built up from my research into where I’ll be stopping. Sometimes I am too optimistic, which leads to disappointment, but over the years I’ve realized that what I actively do can help create a positive outcome. (Posted 7/6/19) [MORE]


Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, is perhaps one of the more unusual theme parks to come into being. Located on what was an actual berry farm owned by Walter and Cordelia Knott, the park had its humble beginning as a berry stand on the property where the Knott’s family sold their berries, jams, jellies and pies. Walter Knott specialized in successfully cultivating and growing the boysenberry, a cross between blackberries, loganberries and raspberries which became a new sensation for his farm. (Posted 7/27/19) [MORE]


American Dream (East Rutherford, New Jersey) is nearing its debut, with the date promised and locked in as October 25, 2019. The mega retail and entertainment complex will kick off with some high-profile attractions ready to go at last, such as its waterpark, an indoor snow sports center and a fully enclosed amusement park. (Updated 8/3/19) [MORE]




Do you have questions? Would you like to contribute an article or photo?
Click here to contact the ACE News team.



Photo: Elizabeth Ringas.


Photo: Lisa Zigweid Collection.


Photo: Courtesy Hersheypark.


Photo: Alex Rigsby.


Photo: Tim Baldwin.


Photo: Jimmy Titko.


Photo: Courtesy Kennywood.


Photo: Chris Talone.


Photo: S. Madonna Horcher.


Photo: Joel Brewton.


Photo: Courtesy Adventureland.


Photo: S. Madonna Horcher.


Photo: Harris Lanum.


Photo: Courtesy Six Flags.


Photo: Courtesy Intamin.


Photo: Cheri Armstrong Collection.


Photo: Courtesy Universal.


Photo: Rich Koppelman.


Photo: Jim Winslett.


Photo: Madeline Kraftchick.


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