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ACE News - Previous Issue

ACE News

In This Issue

May-June 2019


Crazy Flips and Cutting-Edge Technology: Batman: The Ride Opens at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

The Joker, Harley Quinn and Penguin have terrorized Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for far too long. It’s about time the Caped Crusader swooped in and put these villains in their place. Batman: The Ride opened Memorial Day weekend at the Vallejo, California, park. (Posted 6/14/19) [MORE]

Obituary: David Cornell, 1963 - 2019

Born December 12, 1963, David Cornell, 55, of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away at his home unexpectedly of natural causes on May 27. David grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, with his sister and parents and obtained his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Missouri – Rolla in 1986. He moved to Cincinnati and worked for Proctor and Gamble for many years before moving on to American Modern Issuance Group. (Posted 6/14/19) [MORE]

In the Midst of Playland’s Management Troubles, Could a New Aeroplane Have Been in Rye’s Future?

In May 2016, the Westchester County’s Board of Legislators voted to give control of the operation of Playland Park, (Rye, New York) to the Standard Amusements LLC management company. Standard agreed to invest $32.7 million in the park and operate it (first to co-manage and then to run the park independently) under contract for 30 years. Westchester County would continue to maintain ownership. The move ended a six-year process to find a private-sector manager to take over day-to-day operations of the financially strapped park that has attendance issues. The county was also expected to chip in $32 million itself to restore much of the park's deteriorating infrastructure, which reportedly could cost up to $140 million total for a full needed “gut renovation.” (Posted 6/14/19) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - May-June 2019

  • First B&M Coaster Rises Again as Firebird at Six Flags America
  • A Couple of Dummies Survive Coaster Mishap
  • 2020 Coaster Looking Likely for Kings Island

(Updated 6/14/19) [MORE]

ACE Mid-Atlantic: ACE Dives

Storms, rain and overcast skies greeted 92 ACE members and their guests celebrating the 20th anniversary of Apollo’s Chariot at the 11th annual ACE Dives. After a makeshift registration process under a tram shelter because of the rain, the skies cleared just in time for the beginning of the Apollo’s Chariot ERT session. One young member took 20 rides to acknowledge the special occasion! After ERT, all gathered for a traditional game tournament on Whack-A-Hun, with Stephanie Brady whacking the most huns the fastest. With increased family attendance, it was exciting to have two rounds in the kids’ tournament, where Melina Ringas took home the prize. (Posted 6/14/19) [MORE]

ACE Southeast: Spring Fling

On Saturday, June 1, 53 ACE members and their guests gathered at Six Flags Over Georgia for the first Spring Fling event in two years. The 2018 event was unfortunately cancelled, so everyone was excited to get some ERT on the newest coaster in the park, 2018’s Twisted Cyclone. An hour of morning ERT on the twisted teal blue track was a great wake-up call for attendees, and with the park running two trains, everyone was able to ride as much as they wanted without moving seats if the row was empty. (Posted 6/14/19) [MORE]


Conneaut Blue Streak Develops Tunnel Vision

Work has been completed on restoring the famed long and winding tunnel on Conneaut Lake Park’s (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania) Blue Streak wooden coaster. Ride Maintenance Supervisor Leonard Adams III remarked recently that work on getting the tunnel back into shape started about two years ago. He noted that it has indeed “taken a lot of work, a small crew, and some time and money” to complete. The project was finished this year, all in time for the park’s opening on Memorial Day weekend. The tunnel had been suffering deteriorating over the years with holes and gaps in the walls and much of the roof missing. Mr. Adams assured us there’s “very little light coming through” now, with only a very minor bit from under the track sneaking in. The tunnel is enclosed “nice and tight.” (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]

Conservation Corner - May-June 2019

Sometimes the right people connect at the right time. In making preparations for ACE South Central’s off-season event, Winterfest, the regional rep team tasked member Tim Baldwin with accumulating door prizes. Helped by his connections in the industry with ACE publications and his work with Amusement Today, Baldwin made some contacts. (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]

Tidal Twister Opens at SeaWorld San Diego

Tidal Twister, the first Skyline Attractions Skywarp Horizon model, has debuted at SeaWorld San Diego. The ride features an inline twist and a speed hill. It reaches a maximum speed of 30 mph with a top height of only 22 feet. (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]

ACE South Central: Rocks at Schlittercon 16

The annual tradition of Schlittercon at Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas, reached its 16th year. For 2019 Schlitterbahn decided the nearly 300 attendees should “party like a rockstar.” The VIP treatment started as guests were granted admission all day Saturday, prior to the event’s official start. As late afternoon approached, it was time to check in. Each guest received a gift tote, complete with an event T-shirt, event sunglasses and a refillable souvenir cup. (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]

ACE South Central: Memorial Day Madness

On Memorial Day, in the central Texas town of Seguin, nearly 50 ACE members gathered at ZDT’s for the ACE South Central region’s annual Memorial Day Madness event. Attendees enjoyed a morning of complimentary classic arcade games, along with ERT on the park’s unique Switchback wooden shuttle coaster and Thundervolt Speedway Go Karts. (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]


New Wooden Coaster Announced for 2020

Announcements of roller coasters planned for 2020 continue to trickle out. Martin & Vleminckx (M&V) has recently revealed Leviathan. Not to be confused with a gigantic steel beast of the same name in Canada, this Leviathan is a wooden creation. To be built by M&V, the woodie is being designed by The Gravity Group and will feature two Timberliner trains from its partner company GravityKraft. The sea monster’s home? Sea World in Queensland, Australia. (Posted 5/31/19) [MORE]

El Loco Incident at Circus Circus’s Adventuredome in Las Vegas Keeps Coaster Closed

On March 25, 2019, a woman fell from her seat while riding the El Loco steel coaster at the indoor Adventuredome park within the Circus Circus hotel-casino complex in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was taken to a hospital that afternoon, but neither Clark County nor MGM Resorts International, the owner of Circus Circus, has released details regarding the woman’s condition according to reporting by the Las Vegas Review Journal, including in the weeks since. No further information has been provided about how long she was hospitalized or the seriousness of her injuries. The ride, which was built by S&S Worldwide (and opened in 2013), was closed to the public immediately and was inspected in the days following by a third-party company. (Posted 5/31/19) [MORE]


The 2019 ACE Preservation Conference

On the evening of May 10, Ed Hart stood before the 192 ACE members in attendance and reminisced about his years in the amusement industry — how his park’s latest addition became his favorite and how he couldn’t wait for everyone to take a ride. It could easily have been dismissed as Kentucky Kingdom’s president and CEO having been caught up in the excitement of the moment, or even the hyperbole of a skilled showman, but he projected genuine sincerity. ACE members responded in kind with sincere applause, no doubt fueled by the delicious meal they had recently devoured as well as the prospect of experiencing a new wood roller coaster — the only one to debut in North America in 2019. (Posted 5/24/19) [MORE]

When Fireflies and Butterflies Take Flight at Dollywood

On Friday, May 10, 2019, a magical day dawned at Dollywood when the lady herself, Dolly Parton, invited guests to enjoy the grand opening of the eagerly anticipated expansion at the park, Wildwood Grove. The largest addition in the park’s history, the $37 million investment is the first new area added since Wilderness Pass brought Thunderhead to the valley in 2008. Benjamin Bear and the fireflies Flit and Flutter greeted everyone within sight of the iconic Wildwood Tree. When introducing the butterfly characters, Parton joked about their names, even saying “Floozie” at one point. This author looks forward to the day when a butterfly version of Jolene appears at the park. (Posted 5/24/19) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - May-June 2019

  • For 2020, Fårup Sommerland Can See the Saw
  • A Schwarzkopf Favorite Gets a Bit of a Makeover at Sweden’s Liseberg
  • No Longer California’s Leased America
  • Tokyo Dome Enclosing Explosive New Quadruple Launch Coaster

(Updated 5/24/19) [MORE]

ACE Eastern Pennsylvania: ACE Flies with the Phoenix

On April 27, 2019, more than 200 ACE members and their guests converged on Knoebels Amusement Resort for the opening of their 93rd season and the ACE Flies with the Phoenix event. The day started with a strong, chilly breeze during registration, at which attendees received their name badges, meal tickets and handstamps and had an opportunity to catch up with a number of their ACE friends. (Posted 5/24/19) [MORE]


Heide Park Wooden Colossos Reopens

The Colossos wooden roller coaster, which originally opened in 2001 at Heide Park Resort (Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany), has been standing but not operating since July 2016. Three years ago, the coaster suffered a major setback when it was unable to pass TUV (safety) inspection — the condition of the track was unacceptable for the coaster to operate further, causing concern about the future of the ride. (Posted 5/17/19) [MORE]

Ceremony Designates Camden Park’s Big Dipper as ACE Roller Coaster Landmark

On Sunday, May 12, the 2019 ACE Preservation Conference concluded on a high note. The successful event found first-time visitors to Camden Park (Huntington, West Virginia) discovering the old-school thrills of Big Dipper — or returning members rediscovering all the classic nuances of this venerable machine. An afternoon ceremony captured the support and enthusiasm for Big Dipper as it was officially designated an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark. (Posted 5/17/19) [MORE]

Obituary: Mike Helt, 1951 - 2019

Long time ACE member Mike Helt recently passed after a long and severe bout with cancer. A graduate of Warwick High School, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, he proudly served in Vietnam with the United States Army. For 20 years he worked as a store manager for Weis Markets and then worked for 29 years at Dutch Valley Food Distributors as a marketing specialist, retiring in 2018. Mike was a pro-bowler, enjoyed playing ice hockey and was an avid hockey fan. (Posted 5/17/19) [MORE]

ACE Northern California: Beach Boardwalk Bonanza

On April 13, 2019, nearly 70 ACE members and their guests gathered at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for the 2019 Beach Boardwalk Bonanza. It is a milestone year for the park’s Giant Dipper roller coaster. On May 17, 2019, the classic seaside woodie, an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, turned a whopping 95 years old! Keeping this in mind, it only made sense for the planners to make the Dipper the star of the day — which isn’t quite unlike other years. (Posted 5/17/19) [MORE]


There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills! Yukon Striker Sets the Bar

On May 3, Canada’s Wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario) opened the world’s newest Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) dive coaster — Yukon Striker. Canada’s Wonderland has a signature ride like no other. Yukon Striker comes with records for a B&M dive machine: the world’s tallest drop (245 feet), fastest speed (80 mph) and greatest length (3,625 feet). Yukon Striker casts an imposing silhouette on the skyline of Wonderland with an impressive lift hill of 223 feet. It looks like it’s always been there. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]

Hakugei Storms Nagashima Spa Land

From White Cyclone to “White Whale” in little more than a year’s time! How did Hakugei, the “White Whale” that replaced the beloved White Cyclone at Nagashima Spa Land in Kuwana, Japan, become the first Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) conversion in Asia? Hakugei’s story is more than the destruction of an aging wood coaster in favor of a hybrid wood-steel design; it is also a story about what can be accomplished with international corporate cooperation. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]

From The President - May-June 2019

I am always thankful for any opportunities my ACE membership provides during the year. This becomes very interesting during the spring as I have to decide which activities I want to do out of a list that includes events, openings, media previews and more. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]

Frederick Ingersoll Historical Marker Dedicated at Kennywood

On March 8, 2018, just two days before an Executive Committee (EC) meeting, an appeal was made to consider a donation (around $1,400) to the Heinz History Center, a museum focused on western Pennsylvania history and a Smithsonian affiliate, to fund a Pennsylvania historic marker to recognize Frederick Ingersoll, who, as many members know, is one of the most significant names in the country's early history of amusement parks and roller coasters. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]

ACE Canada: NEB’s Fun World

The ACE Canada region does not have the good fortune of large numbers of ACE members, but that does not stop it from seeking out opportunities for events. On March 23, 2019, several ACEers found time to host a small, easygoing event that was still admittedly fun. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]


Kentucky Flyer Clear for Take-off

Everything was lining up for take-off. All the finishing touches were being finalized in the area. Social media ran posts throughout the winter. Kentucky Flyer, America’s newest wooden coaster, was being constructed at an impressively rapid pace. (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

Tigris Running Wild at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (Florida) unleashed Tigris April 17 to annual passholders and officially to the general public on April 19. The Premier Rides production model Skyrocket 2 is a short but thrilling backward-and-forward launched loop coaster. Perhaps to many well-traveled coaster enthusiasts a familiar feline, but for those from this part of the southeast, she’s a tiger with fresh stripes! (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

Welcome to Your New ACE News

As approved by the membership last summer, ACE News has been transformed into an online publication with weekly posts. All articles are individually posted to be easily viewed on most any computer or mobile device. Wherever you are connected to the internet, ACE News will be there.

Change typically comes with many questions, so ACE hopes to clarify some things that may not be clear. (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

Nuts & Bolts - May-June 2019

  • Green Lantern’s Light Goes Out
  • New Jersey’s Jenkinson’s Boardwalk hit by Tidal Wave
  • Details for Ireland’s Upcoming Two-Coasters-in-One Revealed
  • A Whale Rides in a Soap Box at SeaWorlds
  • Vancouver’s Playland May Not Be This Coaster’s Final Destination

(Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

Six Flags renews a big perk for 2019

Six Flags Entertainment is once again making its very generous offer to ACE members. Each member will receive one free admission to any Six Flags Theme Park now through July 21, 2019. This ticket is for members only, one ticket per guest per season. (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

March Executive Committee Meeting Highlights

The Executive Committee met March 9-10, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. Listed below are some of the meeting highlights: (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

ACE Mid-Atlantic: Coasting for Kids Kicks Off 2019 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Coasting for Kids is back for 2019 and what success it is already having! Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia) was the first host. American Coaster Enthusiasts has been a vital partner in supporting Give Kids The World. (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc. Manufacturer’s Award

PTCI accepting nominations for “Spirit of ACE”
It’s that time of year. Coaster Con is right around the corner and PTCI is looking for nominations of a deserving ACE member for The Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc. Manufacturer’s Award, lovingly known as The Spirit of ACE Award, given out every year during the ACE national convention at the annual banquet. (Posted 5/3/19) [MORE]

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I am always thankful for any opportunities my ACE membership provides during the year. This becomes very interesting during the spring as I have to decide which activities I want to do out of a list that includes events, openings, media previews and more. (Posted 5/10/19) [MORE]

Sometimes the right people connect at the right time. In making preparations for ACE South Central’s off-season event, Winterfest, the regional rep team tasked member Tim Baldwin with accumulating door prizes. Helped by his connections in the industry with ACE publications and his work with Amusement Today, Baldwin made some contacts. (Posted 6/7/19) [MORE]

Fårup Sommerland (Blokhus, Nordjylland) in Denmark has announced a new coaster for 2020. To be named Saven (Danish for “Saw”), the steelie will be a custom Vekoma family boomerang shuttle, coming in at 78.7 feet high and 780 feet long, with some twists and turns along that length, even splashing over a pool of water before diving into a tunnel. (Updated 5/24/19) [MORE]

Photo: B. Derek Shaw.

Photo: Josh Herrington.

Photo: Bill Likenheimer III.

Photo: Derek Perry.

Photo: Jay Jacobs.

Photo: Jay Jacobs.

Photo: Courtesy Sea World.

Photo: Bob Nagy.

Photo: Jay Jacobs.

Photo: Jay Jacobs.

Photo: Tim Baldwin.

Photo: Vejas Belzinskas.

Photo: Courtesy Heide Park.

Photo: S. Madonna Horcher.

Photo: Courtesy B. Derek Shaw.

Photo: Nicholas Laschkewitsch.

Photo: Peggy Ulrich.

Photo: Yoshiaki Nishikawa.

Photo: Brett Weissbart.

Photo: Mark Brunner.

Photo: Courtesy SeaWorld Parks

Photo: S. Madonna Horcher

Photo: Courtesy Six Flags

Photo: Elizabeth Ringas

Photo: Courtesy Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc.