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ACE News - Previous Issue

In This Issue

JULY - AUGUST 2020

ARTICLES POSTED AUGUST 21

Conservation Corner: The World’s Oldest Roller Coaster Rides Again

Now 118 years old, Leap The Dips likely wouldn't still be around today were it not for ACE. Until 1985, Lakemont Park and Leap The Dips were operated by Blair County (Pennsylvania). While the county still retains ownership of the land, the operation of the park became a private endeavor. After a failed attempt by the local Boyer Candy Company to create a theme park to compete with Hersheypark, the park fell into the hands of local businessmen in 1988, who continued to maintain it in a modest manner for the community to enjoy. The status of Leap The Dips sadly became "standing but not operating" in 1986. It may have been forgotten about had then-ACE Treasurer Ray Ueberroth not made numerous attempts (and trips to Altoona) to meet with local officials to impress upon them the historical significance of the ride. (Posted 8/21/20) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - July-August 2020

  • Goodbye to Primeval Whirl
  • Land of Make Believe
  • Bolt Installed on Mardi Gras
  • Knoebels Continues Work on Two Coasters
  • Mother Nature Gets Nasty

(Posted 8/21/20) [MORE]

ACE North Central: ACE Conquers Arnolds

On Sunday August 2, a small group of 10 ACEers converged on a little park in Arnold Park, Iowa with one goal in mind: ACE Conquers Arnolds. It was a beautiful day for coasters and friends.  The 10 members on hand were in for a real treat that day. For five of them, it was their first visit ever to Arnolds Park (the park and town share the same name). For another, this was the first visit there in 10 years. (Posted 8/21/20) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED AUGUST 8

Germany’s Erlebnispark Tripsdrill Opens Two New Coasters

Germany boasts many world-class theme parks. Elebnispark Tripsdrill in Cleeborn is filled with its own blend of unique character. Fans of the place love its regional themes and fanciful storytelling. Where else can one ride a flume themed to bathing? Riders experience the journey in floating bathtubs. Or a rapids ride themed to laundry? (Posted 8/8/20) [MORE]

Intamin Releases Details on Four New Concepts

On July 23, Intamin set the internet abuzz with the announcement of four new coaster concepts from the company. Response was quick, ranging from “love it” to observations that the ideas looked very similar to products offered by competitors. (Posted 8/8/20) [MORE]

Imagineering an American Dreamscape, a Look at the Evolution of Theme Parks

A couple of things about the cover of the new book by author Barry R. Hill might be deceiving. Imagineering is a term quite often associated with Disney. There have been many a book written about Walt Disney, Disneyland and the empire that followed. That’s not what this book is about. It is an amazing journey that documents the regional theme parks that proliferated the American landscape once Walt Disney had proven the concept. A simple picture of Hersheypark’s Ferris wheel on the cover may not convey to a potential reader the breadth and scope of more than a half century of history. It’s all there, and it’s an entertaining read, particularly for loyal fans such as those who make up ACE’s membership. (Posted 8/8/20) [MORE]

Oceanfest 2020

In early March, just before the pandemic shut down life as we know it, the Mid-Atlantic was the last ACE region to hold an event: Mountainfest at Wisp Mountain Resort in western Maryland. About four and a half months later, the Mid-Atlantic welcomed ACE members to the eastern shore of Maryland for Oceanfest. In the late morning of Saturday, July 25, 2020, 14 ACE members and guests gathered at Trimper’s Rides and Amusements in Ocean City. They came from far and wide, not just from Maryland and nearby Virginia, but from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut and even California! (Posted 8/8/20) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 24

Efteling debuts Max & Moritz, a Double Attraction From Mack Rides

ACE members who have visited Efteling (Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands) prior to 2020 will recall the superbly themed park featured one of the few Intamin bobsleds in existence. Bob operated from 1985 to 2019. In all, only five bobsled rides from Intamin were manufactured in 1984 and 1985 — two for Six Flags, one for Opryland and the largest model for Cedar Point. Efteling purchased the only one outside of the United States. (Posted 7/24/20) [MORE]

Two-fer Connecticut - July 18, 2020

Plans for this event began last November. In a poll of regional members, there was a preference for a combination event with the two Connecticut parks, Quassy Amusement Park (Middlebury) and Lake Compounce (Bristol). The plan included both parks, two meals, two ERT sessions on three roller coasters, a full day of ACE members, friends and family camaraderie! (Posted 7/24/20) [MORE]

Obituary: Byron Hughes 1966 – 2020

On July 9, Byron Lamar Hughes lost his lifelong battle with diabetes. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on February 12, 1966. Many ACE members know or at least recognize Byron from the many ACE events he attended or from his time working with the Koch family at Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure. Byron was the ride manager at Alabama Adventure and personal assistant to Pat Koch, lovingly called the General. Several of the newer ride additions were proof of his hard work. (Posted 7/24/20) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 17

Orion Changes the Skyline at Kings Island

Sometimes they say “it is in the stars"… which is fitting for Orion, Kings Island’s massive new roller coaster, which had its debut delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until the park's opening on July 2, 2020. Orion was operational and testing toward certification when the coronavirus essentially shut down the Mason, Ohio, park — along with everything — in the early spring. While the enthusiasm, excitement and some debate never waned during this waiting period, undoubtedly the park was disappointed not to be able to introduce Orion with all the fanfare and festivities that were originally planned. (Posted 7/17/20) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - July-August 2020

  • Craig’s Cruisers Michigan Adds First Visa Big Air Coaster
  • Fantasy Island’s Second Chance?
  • Death at Parc Saint Paul
  • ACE Gets Plug on “America’s Got Talent”
  • Funplex Myrtle Beach Also Doing Flips

(Posted 7/17/20) [MORE]

Fun Fore All Fiesta 2020

It’s hard to believe, but ACE Western Pennsylvania’s Fun Fore All Fiesta 2020 on July 3 was the very first official ACE in-person event – regional or national – since the ongoing pandemic shut down parks in 2020. Most ACE regions were reluctant to schedule events early in the season because of the uncertainty of park openings. Fun Fore All, an indoor-outdoor family entertainment center in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, was up to the task of hosting it, having been already reopened for over a month and had taken the precautionary steps necessary to ensure the safety of guests. (Posted 7/17/20) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 13

Candymonium — The Sweetest New Ride at Hersheypark

After the coronavirus pandemic closed amusement parks in Pennsylvania for more than three months, Hershey Entertainment and Resort was allowed to reopen its amusement park to the general public in early July 2020. Hersheypark’s much-anticipated 15th roller coaster (the park counts Breakers Edge Water Coaster as a coaster credit, according to the official park website; ACEers, however may count Lightning Racer as two) debuted on June 29 and 30 to King Size season pass-holders. The park opened to all levels of season pass-holders on July 1 and 2 and to the general public on July 3. (Posted 7/13/20) [MORE]

My Most Difficult Coaster Credit - Part 2

ACE members shared some of their most difficult coaster credits to attain:

  • Steel Dragon 2000
  • Roller Coaster
  • Cannonball Run
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • X

(Posted 7/13/20) [MORE]

From the President - July-August 2020

Coaster Con at Home is now in the history books — hopefully, the first and last. This event was a great example of what an all-volunteer enthusiast group as a team can do to help bring enjoyment to one another. It was an animated, entertaining online celebration of parks and roller coasters that is the definition of an ACE Coaster Con. For the first time you could stay home and avoid standing in a queue. Pants were optional. (Posted 7/13/20) [MORE]

ARTICLES POSTED JULY 3

Coaster Con at Home: A Huge Success in Connecting ACEers While Apart

Coaster Con at Home offered ACE members the opportunity to gather, socialize and celebrate roller coasters from the safety of their homes. Since Coaster Con 43 had to be delayed because of the current pandemic, it was important to ACE to offer something to its members, because this time has been so hard on everyone mentally. (Posted 7/3/20) [MORE]

Adventureland Announces Dragon Slayer

On June 24, Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa, officially announced its new-for-2021 coaster — Dragon Slayer! This new coaster will be an S&S 4D Free Spin coaster and will be positioned next to Tornado right by the lake that runs through the park. The cleverly named Dragon Slayer will replace The Dragon, a Hopkins steel coaster that was built in 1990. The Dragon was the first looping roller coaster in Iowa. (Posted 7/3/20) [MORE]

The Industry Reopens: What Can Guests Expect?

A significant number of amusement parks and theme parks have reopened following the global coronavirus pandemic. Changes were expected and were often communicated by the parks themselves via websites and required reservations. ACE President Robert Ulrich’s visit to Dollywood in Pigeon, Forge, Tennessee, serves as a common look at what can be expected when visiting a park during these times. (Posted 7/3/20) [MORE]

/ Download Past Issues

Coaster Con at Home is now in the history books — hopefully, the first and last. This event was a great example of what an all-volunteer enthusiast group as a team can do to help bring enjoyment to one another. It was an animated, entertaining online celebration of parks and roller coasters that is the definition of an ACE Coaster Con. For the first time you could stay home and avoid standing in a queue. Pants were optional. (Posted 7/13/20) [MORE]


  • Goodbye to Primeval Whirl
  • Land of Make Believe
  • Bolt Installed on Mardi Gras
  • Knoebels Continues Work on Two Coasters
  • Mother Nature Gets Nasty

(Updated 8/21/20) [MORE]



Editor:   Tim Baldwin

Photo Editor:   Tim Baldwin

Layout:   John W. C. Robinson

Online Content Coordinator:   Jerry Willard

Editorial Staff:   Lee Ann Draud, Randy Geisler, Rus Ozana

Online Content Facilitators:   Jay Jacobs and Mac Rush


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Click here to contact the ACE News team.



Photo: Courtesy Vekoma.


Photo: Courtesy Intamin.




Photo: Vanessa Thomas.




Photo: Courtesy Efteling.




Photo: Rus Ozana.




Photo: Jack Lathro.


Photo: Courtesy Craig’s Cruisers.


Photo: Joel Brewton-Riling.


Photo: Ron Jiu.


Photo: Jeffrey Seifert.


Photo: Ric Turner.



Photo: Tom Nickerson.



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