Jon

Hi, I'm Jon! I have many interests, but chief among them is a love of roller coasters and theme parks. I love rides and parks that deliver cool, unique, and meaningful experiences. I try to capture as much of that experiential goodness as I can in my writings!

Review: The Raven at Holiday World

The Raven is a classic wooden roller coaster at Holiday World in little Santa Claus, Indiana. This is a park well known for its wooden coasters, and it was The Raven that kicked off this reputation! It was the very first woodie they added, built by Custom Coasters International back in 1995 (which actually makes the ride surprisingly young). And as Holiday World will be the first to tell you, The ...

Review: Laff Trakk at Hersheypark

Laff Trakk at Hersheypark is an indoor roller coaster that debuted back in 2015 at Hersheypark. The 13th coaster at the park was a spinning coaster manufactured by Maurer Söhne, which has identical twins at Lagoon in Salt Lake City, Utah and Waldameer in Erie, PA. What sets Laff Trakk apart is its setting–an indoor, glow-in-the-dark environment to further add to the disorientation and fun of...

Review: Big Dipper at Camden Park

Located in West Virginia’s only amusement park, Camden Park, the Big Dipper is a lesser-known but classic wooden roller coaster which can deliver a fun ride if you’re willing to trust it. Built back in 1958 by the National Amusement Devices Company, it is still standing as an ACE roller coaster landmark (while sporting some stylish trains as well). Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover...

Review: FireChaser Express at Dollywood

FireChaser Express is a family roller coaster that debuted back in 2014 at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Designed by Gerstlauer, it is geared toward families and young coaster riders, but not without packing a few surprises as well. The attraction replaced the former Adventure Mountain, a ropes course situated on the same hillside FireChaser currently occupies–and an attraction that ...

Review: Mako at SeaWorld Orlando

Happy Holidays! For the second year in a row, we are running our 12 Days of Coasters special! Every day from Christmas until January 5th, we will be giving away a roller coaster review for you to enjoy. We thank you for reading, and wish you a merry holidays and happy New Year! A few weeks back, I traveled to Orlando to experience its collection of world-class theme parks. In addition to Disney an...

“West Coast Racers” Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2019

Six Flags Magic Mountain has announced the latest record-breaking coaster to add to their collection! West Coast Racers–which will give Magic Mountain the distinction of being the first park with 20 roller coasters–is a quadruple launch racing and dueling coaster from Premier Rides. That’s right–4 launches! This is achieved through a Mobius layout where the two seemingly se...

Project 412 Revealed: 9 Inversion S&S Coaster Coming to Kennywood in 2019

Kennywood’s ‘Project 412’ teasing game has come to a conclusion with the unveiling of their new for 2019 attraction — a massive and record-breaking coaster from S&S Worldwide. The coaster, dubbed ‘The Steel Curtain’ in homage to the nearby Pittsburgh Steelers football team, will break the United States record for inversions with 9. The Campaign The park̵...

Review: Lightning Racer at Hersheypark

When the new millennium rolled around, it seemed everyone was trying to capitalize on the big event. Hersheypark joined the fray by opening Lightning Racer. It’s no Millennium Force, but this wooden dueling and racing coaster is still pretty fun. The second Great Coasters International woodie at the park, it is much better than the first, Wildcat. That one is more on the rough side, as Joel ...

Review: sooperdooperLooper at Hersheypark

Back in 1977, the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast was about to open at Hersheypark. However, it lacked one key ingredient: a name. Bruce McKinney, the park’s General Manager at the time, had narrowed it down to two final candidates — his personal favorite, Merry Derry Dips, and the second option, sooperdooperLooper. He went to his family for advice, and they fatefully told him...

Review: American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis

American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis is a Great Coasters International woodie that I feel flies under the radar for many enthusiasts. Originally, it opened back in 2008 as “Evel Knievel” after the American daredevil of old. In 2011, however, a then recently-bankrupt Six Flags dumped the branding in a cost-cutting move, giving the ride its more generic and patriotic moniker of today....

Review: Wooden Warrior at Quassy

In 2011, Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut added Wooden Warrior: a small, family-friendly coaster made by The Gravity Group. This addition was perfect for Quassy. The park already had a real “local park” kinda charm to it, and now it has a fantastic little wooden coaster to capture the attention of enthusiasts. Wooden Warrior is not only worth attention — it exceeds expectations and...

Review: Lightning Rod at Dollywood

Lightning Rod is a wooden roller coaster which was slated to open for the 2016 season at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Due to complications with its prototype launch system, it failed to open as scheduled and struggled to remain open consistently that whole year. In 2017, and hopefully beyond, it seems to have turned the corner. An Unfulfilled Trip It was a crisp morning in late June when ...

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