Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Kris Rowberry?
Kris Rowberry is the creator, host and a producer of “Great American Thrills®” and the “Lost Parks of Northern California.” Once terrified of all things roller coaster, Rowberry has conquered hundreds of coasters since embracing them fully in 1993 and is recognized by his peers in the amusement industry as a roller coaster and park expert.
In addition to appearing on major media outlets, including: the BBC, San Francisco Examiner, NBC Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News, Dallas Morning News and The Season Pass Podcast, Kris also operates the “Great American Thrills®” website and it’s social media presence.
What is “Great American Thrills®?”
Great American Thrills® is a television show concept that bridges the gap between the TV and the second screen. Each week, a randomly selected tweet or post with the #GreatAmericanThrills hashtag guides host and creator, Kris Rowberry to his next thrill. Along the way, the stories, history and people that make these parks distinctly American will be showcased.
But Great American Thrills® is much more than just a standalone show concept – it’s an entire brand. Originally launched in 2002, and revived on February 13th, 2010, Great American Thrills® is found on all major social media outlets as well as the main website. The entire brand is maintained and operated by Kris Rowberry.
The concept is registered with the Writer’s Guild of America West, under registration #1685759.
What is the “Lost Parks of Northern California©” series?
The “Lost Parks of Northern California©” is an award-winning television series produced under the Great American Thrills® brand that showcases Northern California’s 26 bygone amusement parks, reigniting memories of those who visited them as well as guide to show ways to still experience these “lost parks.” The series is filmed, produced and edited by both Kris Rowberry and Nicholas Laschkewitsch. It is also produced in partnership with the American Coaster Enthusiasts, Northern California region.
What are the American Coaster Enthusiasts?
Founded in 1978, American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) is a non-profit organization of more than 5,000 members from 16 countries. ACE is the world’s largest ride enthusiast organization and its members are the most educated, dedicated, and passionate amusement park guests. Ultimately, ACE’s mission is to promote and enjoy roller coasters everywhere, regardless of type or size.
How can I join ACE?
To join ACE or to learn more about them, simply visit: http://www.aceonline.org/JoinACE/
Why are you doing this series?
Our history is important – and despite our nation being relatively young, we have saved very little historic properties and items. Our goal is to showcase all the amazing stories and memories found at our nation’s amusement and theme parks, while highlighting the need for preservation, not just the, “…next best thing.”
How can I help with “Great American Thrills®” and/or the “Lost Parks of Northern California©” series?
There are several ways to help us on our journey, You can:
1.) Share your park experiences with us, such as a souvenir, photo, home video or even just a story.
2.) Share us with the World, by “liking,” commenting on and sharing posts, photos and video on Facebook; re-tweeting items from our Twitter accounts; posting our videos on your own website or other amusement park fan pages via an embedded file.
In addition, you can tell your favorite cable channels (Discovery, Travel, Destination America, History) or local broadcast stations that these guys would make a great series for them, via their social media pages.
3.) Tell your friends – seriously, even in this uber-connected world we live in, word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get the word out on what we’re up to. Tell your friends, show your family – heck, you just might find a few memories come up in the process!
Do you plan on expanding the “Great American Thrills®” brand?
Of course, we’re always looking to expand the brand, but at this time we’re focusing on what we have on the docket right now – pitching the concept to cable networks and production companies, as well as other, yet to be announced documentary projects.
Where can I purchase a “Lost Parks” DVD?
Sadly, at this time, I am not able to offer DVD’s or digital downloads for any of the shows I work on. However, all the shows are FREE to view on YouTube and Vimeo.
Who are your inspirations?
I happily list: Huell Howser (California’s Gold), Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations), Samantha Brown (Passport To…), Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods) as well as Penn & Teller as inspirations for our work.
How many coasters have you ridden?
To date, I’ve ridden 409 different roller coasters in the United States, Germany and Austria.
What is your favorite ride and why?
That’s like asking which family member I love the most – it’s too difficult to choose just one! The best answer to the question of what’s my favorite ride is usually, “The one I’m on right now!”