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Posts tagged “theme park expert

Should roller coaster influencers be criticized for not wearing masks?

The “mask wars” of the COVID-19 pandemic have finally made it to the amusement park fan community.

Recently, several prominent ride / park fans have been hit with online criticism recently for posting updates of them without masks from parks and facilities across the country.

Putting aside the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (or CDC) as of 8/26/20 says, “Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” is the criticism over posting mask-less photos at parks warranted?

First, we should consider context. Someone could wear a mask all day inside a safely operating theme park, take it off for one moment and someone snaps a photo. From there, the internet (which is known for thoughtful, critical thinking) immediately piles on the update, saying, “How dare you not wear a mask!”

Context is key in terms of photos you see online, but is it sending the right message to fans?

That being said, let us also remember that large reach and “influence” on people’s behavior, comes with a heightened sense of awareness. We are no longer anonymous, general park guests.  

We certainly wouldn’t post a photo of us on a coaster with the restraints in an unsafe position – that would be irresponsible. Right now, the most responsible thing to do (if you’re outside your home) is to wear a mask and socially distance. As such, we should model that behavior to fans and to the general public.

Yes, this means we need to plan what we share even more carefully than before. And yes, it’s going to be more difficult to do. But these are inherently different times and much like the modified operations at the parks we enjoy, we too must adapt how we do things.

This may become the “new normal” when it comes to photos inside parks. No one likes it, but the alternative is far worse…

If someone’s not in a mask in a photo in a park – let’s opt to not use it or post it. Think of it like I do with empty seats in a photo…it just doesn’t look right.

The more we hammer home that none of this is normal, perhaps more people will take the pandemic and it’s effects more seriously. Only then will we be able to defeat this virus and return to a sense of normal. We owe it to the 190,000 of our fellow Americans who are no longer with us.

Look, 2020 has been one disaster after another, I get it. We are all still flying by the seat of our pants, trying to figure out what the path forward will be. Since there’s no way to stop snap judgments on the internet, let’s not give them the opportunity to make one.

TLDR: We’re probably gonna have to mask up…in every update. In every photo and video…until we beat this thing.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or on my social media channels!


Throwback Thursday – Triple Wheel at Great America

If this photo doesn’t capture my love of amusement and theme parks, then I’m not sure what photo could…

Two defunct rides in this picture – can you spot the other one?

Yours truly on the venerable (and sorely missed) Triple Wheel at Great America in Santa Clara, CA. Here’s hoping it brings as much joy to you as it did to me finding it in an old photo album.

For those wondering what the ride looked like that I’m pictured on, this great video from GreatAmericaParks.com should help you out – the sound ALONE should spark your memory:


Are Roller Coasters Safe?

In light of recent events with “the Smiler” at Alton Towers – and the inevitable 24/7 news coverage about it, it’s good to have some perspective on events like it.

So, before you start clicking on those “roller coaster accident” click-bait links, or go off on social media, spouting that, “…all rides are unsafe and you’ll never go on one again” (liar), here’s some “odds of” over your lifetime that should bring you some perspective:

The odds of dying on a roller coaster as a result or either neglect or act of God are approximately 1 in 300,000,000. That’s 300 MILLION for those who stopped counting zeroes. This is according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Also…

The odds of being killed in a car crash in the United States: 1 in 470

The odds of being killed by lightning: 1 in 164,968

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 259,000,000

The odds of bowling a perfect game in bowling: 1 in 11,500

The odds of marrying a supermodel: 1 in 880,000

The odds of being killed by a shark: 1 in 300,000,000

The odds of drowning in a pool: 1 in 567

The odds of being killed by a terrorist: 1 in 20,000,000

The bottom line: you should be fearing those numbnuts in ISIS, planning how to spend all that lottery jackpot money or discussing how you’ll spend your honeymoon with Kate Upton or Gabriela Fernandes before you EVER think twice about jumping on your favorite roller coaster.

SIDE BAR: Kate or Gabriela, you’re welcome to join me on ANY coaster, ANYtime!

(Warning: NSFW) http://www.gq.com/women/photos/201207/kate-upton-gq-video-talents-wet-t-shirt-july-2012


The Most Celebrated Amusement Park Insider Experiences

It’s good to know people. But it’s even better to know there’s all sorts of things inside our favorite amusement and theme parks that can make your day that much more special, IF you know them! Here now is my top six most celebrated amusement and theme park “insider” experiences as parks open up for full time operation this week:

6.) Dole Whip:

Once reserved for trips to Disney Parks, this sweet treat has been popping up at more and more regional parks every year.

The Dole Whip is heaven in a plastic cup. Don’t believe me? Try it and tell me otherwise…

Once only reserved for visitors to Disney’s Tiki Rooms, this Polynesian frozen treat is slowly making its way out from the mouse and into regional parks, to the delight of pineapple fans everywhere. If you haven’t experienced one yet – hunt it down or request it be brought to your park.

5.) The Rollback:

We ain’t talking about WalMart here…an exclusive experience to Intamin cable-launched coasters, this delightful event occurs when the launch isn’t quite strong enough to get you over the first hill, resulting in screams of euphoria from enthusiasts – and shrieks of horror from the general public.

In reality, it’s all perfectly safe and for the lucky riders, it’s like getting 1.5 rides for the wait of just one!

4.) The Round-Trip Skyway Ride:

These clowns took too many round trips...

These guests took too many round trips…

Because nothing’s better than watching all those people in line scratch their head over why you’re not getting out of your sky bucket. But, with so many of these rides being removed in recent years, plus the increase in overall park attendance (which means longer lines for rides) this experience has become far more difficult to cross off your list.

3.) The Track Walk / Evacuation:

While a rare event, a lift walk is one of the coolest things you can experience.

While a rare event, a lift walk is one of the coolest things you can experience.

A very rare event that you don’t necessarily want to root for experiencing for yourself. Why? Because it most certainly means the ride will be down for at LEAST the rest of the operating day.

But the experiencing of walking a coaster lift is most certainly a memorable one.

2.) The Last Ride of the Night:

Something about no one standing behind you in line that's really special...

Something about no one standing behind you in line that’s really special…

There is something oddly cathartic about knowing you’re the last person to experience all that fun. Well, at least until the mechanics come in tomorrow morning to start checking on things. this fun. But, until then…

And the number one most celebrated amusement park insider experience?

1.) Exclusive Ride Time (ERT):

ERT is the best benefit to being a member of ACE!

ERT is the best benefit to being a member of ACE!

The only thing better than the last ride of the night, is having the ride all to yourself or the group you’re at the park with!

Just think about it – no line and fast operations. It doesn’t get any better than that. Heck, it’s one of the biggest reasons I joined ACE!

Did I miss an experience? Do you have one to add to the list? Tell me about it on my social media channels or leave a comment below!


Busy Week for Lost Parks of Northern California

Despite the fact that we weren’t nominated for Creative Awards from CreaTV late last week, we haven’t let it get us down. In fact, we’ve had more media than ever contact us about the “Lost Parks” series!

Just this week, we’ve been in contact / interviewed with :

The Santa Cruz Sentinel

The San Jose Mercury News

KION Central Coast News

Oh, did we mention we’re still trying to finish the Santa’s Village episode, too? : )

Stay tuned everyone, we’re not the fastest growing amusement / theme park website on the web for nothing!


Featured in the Register Pajaronian!

The hits just keep on coming – check out the latest coverage on the “Lost Parks” project, this time from the Register-Pajaronian, out of Watsonville, CA:

Register Pajaronian

The hits just keep on coming – thanks to the Register Pajaronian for covering our “Lost Parks” journey!

Read the whole article by clicking here or, copying the link below:

http://www.register-pajaronian.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=15497


Gold Striker Re-Opens!

After a slight delay to install an additional 70 foot long tunnel, Gold Striker is back up and running (and presumably under the decibel limit agreed to by both Prudential Real Estate Investors and Cedar Fair (owners of the park).

The park sent out this message on Facebook today:

“Great news regarding Gold Striker. An additional 70 ft. tunnel, similar to the initial descent tunnel, has been added and the ride is better than ever. Feel the rush today.”

So – no long closure (as was initially implied and worried about on some websites – this one included) and a second massive headchopper sure to add to the thrills of the ride – what’s not to love?

It’s been a long road to get here, but all fans of the park and ride can breathe a sign of relief – after seven long years – Gold Striker is finally here to stay and now open PERMANENTLY!

If you haven’t already, get yourself out to California’s Great America and ride the Best Wooden Coaster on the West Coast, GOLD STRIKER!

KMR_1315

After a brief hiatus, Gold Striker is back up and thrilling guests after an additional tunnel was added to mitigate sounds coming from the coaster.