There’s a great dichotomy in the coaster enthusiast world…
We love rides, that much is certain. But sometimes, that love can go a little too far. We say that we respect the companies that create these incredible attractions, yet we can’t wait to spill the beans on new attractions. In years past, this has meant going as far as perusing company servers to find out the latest rumor or detail.
The latest case to develop on this comes from the Great Smokey Mountains, and Dollywood. Certainly one of the most anticipated new coasters to open this year is Lightning Rod – the world’s first launched wooden coaster.
But when I see posts like this – from Instagram – it makes me wonder if these people truly LOVE this industry – or are so obsessed with it, they can no longer think straight:
Now, I’ve blurred the image out of respect for Rocky Mountain Construction. But it’s the principal that matters, here.
Just because an image is online, does NOT mean it’s okay to re-share it. Would you share leaked photos of a naked selfie of a person you knew? Of course not – because you’re not a douchebag. So how can you say you love this industry, when you do everything against what the industry JUST asked you do to?
In this case, it was an easy task – JUST WAIT.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re reminded that the park or company EXPRESSLY ASKED that nothing be shared – and then you share it anyway – you’re not a true enthusiast – you’re a selfish jerk.
You’d rather share a photo than simply listen to the request of a park and / or manufacturing company you supposedly love and respect.
Doing things like this is counter-intuitive to the enthusiast mentality. Why are you hurting the very thing you purport to love? When cool perks like backstage tours or construction walk-backs start to dry up…it will be you who will ultimately be blamed.
Food for thought, everyone.
March 9, 2016 | Categories: Amusement Parks, Theme Parks | Tags: amusement industry, amusement park, corporate spying, Dollywood, enthusiast, enthusiasts, great american thrills, kris rowberry, kristopher rowberry, Lightning Rod, rocky mountain construction, theme park | 1 Comment
Why I keep hearing stories like these is beyond me. But we do – and it’s important to know that they DO happen – but also that they are entirely preventable.
Earlier this month, a self-described “industry-leading enthusiast and blogger” live-tweeted horrible, insulting comments about guests at a park-sponsored event. Those posts have since gone viral in amusement and theme park circles, with all the comments criticizing the posts. The author has since claimed, “…they were a joke.”
People online didn’t buy it.
What’s truly scary – is that this is not the first time an incident like this has happened this year. During the spring, another “industry fan group” posted harassing comments towards a theme park’s public relations rep, after they refused to extend additional, special perks to them.
Why do we (as an industry) accept this is as “the new normal?” How does anyone or any organization like this continue to be rewarded for such egregious behavior?
Easy – because we allow them to.
We do it by clicking on their videos, their updates or subscribing to their social feeds. We invite them to media events, despite our misgivings. And we always seem to cave to their requests, even though we know better.
At what point are we – as an amusement and theme park community, both fan and employee – going to step up and say, “No more?”
No more body shaming of our fellow community members.
No more bad mouthing a park just because they didn’t extend perks to you.
No more clandestine filming or photography on rides, only to take said photos and videos and commercialize them without the park knowing.
And no more stealing of each other’s work.
It’s just a shame that those who are the problem in our community will never recognize it. Let’s help them see the light.
If members of our community (both groups and individuals) can’t handle the responsibility of being decent human beings, then it’s time for us as a community to rise up and deny them the privilege of being a part of our group. Stop clicking on their links, unsubscribe from their content.
Simply put, let’s stop supporting and rewarding poor behavior in our community, period. The general public might not affect change – but we can.
Who’s with me?
December 2, 2015 | Categories: Amusement Parks, Social Media, Theme Parks | Tags: ACE, american coaster enthusiasts, amusement park, bloggers, enthusiasts, great american thrills, kris rowberry, kristopher rowberry, park fans, robb alvey, theme park, theme park review, TPR | 2 Comments
Call me “Grandpa” if you must, but there’s a ton of things that just drive me nuts with the whole amusement park and roller coaster “fan” community. So here’s my picks for the the top five things we’ve got to stop doing in 2015:
5.) “Coaster Battles” on Instagram:
I get it, you’re trying to drive engagement to your profile. But damn it’s annoying as all hell to see a “battle” of two or more rides that are usually “apples to oranges” in terms of comparisons-sake taking up my entire screen while I’m just trying to see some beautiful photos. Speaking of photos on social media…
4.) Stealing Each Others’ Photos / Videos:
There’s a reason when you search for photos in Google there’s a small disclaimer at the bottom. It reads: “This image may be subject to copyright.” So what does that mean? In short, it means you need to get permission to use the photo or follow the rules for using it as defined by the author (Creative Commons 3.0 is a good example of this).
So while it’s so easy to right click a cool photo and drop it into your social media feed (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr) you better do some research to ensure no one owns the rights to it first – or you could be sued, and sued for each time it was reproduced (i.e. “shared”.) You wouldn’t want someone stealing your term paper and calling it their own – so why would you steal someone’s art and not attribute it.*
*Fun fact: While attribution is good, it does not completely absolve you from copyright infringement lawsuits. The easiest solution? Just go out and capture your own photos / videos.
Oh, and if you DO get caught – just fess up to it and fix the situation. No one likes a sore copyright infringer.
3.) Flying Your Drone Over Parks / Construction Areas:
With UAV’s (commonly known as “drones” becoming more and more prevalent (as they become cheaper), the temptation is there to do some really nefarious things with them, such as flying over closed parks without permission to spy on construction progress, or worse, fly over the general public without asking first).
While these amazing devices have given us incredible perspectives on parks and rides recently – the world isn’t quite ready to see them flying overhead while families are trying to enjoy their day. Plus, most pilots are not up to par with the pilots they see on YouTube – at least, not yet.
They’re also a major insurance liability to the park and yourself (seen all those drone FAIL videos? Now imagine them over a crowded midway) not to mention the serious, Federal / FAA violations you could be racking up – so just leave the DJI Phantom II in the hangar for now – okay?
2.) “Selfie Sticks” on Rides:
These things are bad enough off-rides, do we really need to capture every waking moment of our lives on RIDES and then upload them? Plus, once that stick / camera / phone gets knocked loose and whacks some unsuspecting guest below – good luck explaining yourself to the judge & jury in the civil & criminal lawsuits that are sure to follow.
1.) Arrogance in Parks and Online:
Unless you’re the GM or other high-ranking manager of a park, you’re not allowed to walk around your local park or on the internet like you’re a God on the subject (myself included). Begging for perks, exclusive experiences etc., just because you belong to a certain “coaster club” is not only beyond arrogant – it’s counterproductive to the entire community.
All it takes is ONE PERSON to act like an enthusi-ass at a park or TOWARDS a park – and it will ruin the fun for the rest of us. Think of that next time you’re bad mouthing a park via social media or claiming to know everything to the “GP” the next time you’re out on the midway. Remember our passion is all about having fun – not making other people miserable in the process…
What are your thoughts? Got anything to add to this list? Leave me a comment below or on our social media pages:
January 15, 2015 | Categories: Amusement Parks, Social Media, Theme Parks | Tags: aerial photography, amusement park, amusement parks, coaster battle, copyright, copyright infringement, drone, drones, enthusiasts, great american thrills, instagram, kris rowberry, kristopher rowberry, roller coaster, roller coasters, selfie, selfie stick, selfie sticks, selfies, social media, theme park, theme parks, UAV | 1 Comment
I often take the time to review stats and info on this site, just to see what people are most interested in. But one of the search queries awhile back caught my attention. Check out the second search from the bottom:
Now, as a proud member of ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts), I find this search term incredibly troubling. When I see a search term like that, it honestly makes me angry. It also makes me think that some of us in the human race haven’t learned the lessons from our past.
ACE prides itself on being one of the most organized, respectful enthusiast groups in the country (not to mention not-for-profit). But the fact that there are apparently people out there who are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others just to get an extra thrill – or worse – people searching for it online…that’s not cool, it’s just downright dumb.
Do yourself a favor the next time you want to get that extra thrill on a ride…think twice about what you’re about to do – is it really worth losing your life over? Is it worth hurting others around you? If you answer “yes” to either of those questions – then you are not a true enthusiast. A true coaster and park enthusiast wants only the best for the parks they visit – because without the parks, an enthusiast has nothing to be enthused about.
December 16, 2013 | Categories: Amusement Parks, Social Media, Theme Parks | Tags: ACE, american coaster enthusiasts, do not stand up, enthusiasts, great american thrills, Huell Howser, kris rowberry, kristopher rowberry, roller coaster, rule breaking, search inquiry, seo, the next huell howser, thrill rides | Comments Off on The things people Google about Amusement Parks