The Voyage is right on course.
Here’s a look at the coming-and-going structure that’s located down between The Wave and our employee parking lot.
Nice to see all the trees so close to the structure, isn’t it? We’ve found with The Raven and The Legend that the ride experience is enhanced by the forest. Makes you feel you’re traveling even faster, plus it prevents the rider from seeing what’s up ahead.
Quothe Will: Surprises are good.
A question…Do you find your heart racing when you look at these photos?
Then you might be a coaster enthusiast.
Do your arms automatically fly in the air when you watch the virtual Voyage ride?
…then you might be a coaster enthusiast.
I remember back when The Raven was under construction during the fall and winter of 1994-95. We took a magazine writer on a construction tour and some coaster enthusiasts came along (for color commentary, so I learned).
I must admit to initially thinking those people were nuts.
By just looking at the positioning of the footers and the beginnings of the structure, they already knew what kind of ride we were all in for the next spring.
“Look at that!” one cried out, pointing down into the woods. “The G-forces there will be incredible!”
Another gasped: “Laterals!” (I caught him wiping away a bit of drool and quickly looked the other way.)
What were we getting ourselves into?
Happily, those folks gradually grew on us.
Many of them really do know a lot about coasters–the history, the engineering, the physics.
And their gushing (minus the escaping saliva) really is contagious.
Over the years, I been asked repeatedly if I’m a coaster enthusiast.
My response has always been the same: I’m really more of an “enthusiast enthusiast.”
Does that make sense?
I really get a kick out of these folks. (Well, most of them, anyway.)
They have endless questions, boundless enthusiasm, and countless recommendations.
Most of their conversations with us start with the following: “Do you know what would be really cool?”
The first “special event” we hosted for enthusiasts was held on May 19, 1995. (I remember the date simply because it was my birthday. How old was I? A decade younger than now; let’s leave it at that, shall we?)
The event was coordinated by the folks with the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) and included a little gift for me: Richard Schlessinger and a crew from 48 Hours.
The CBS show was focusing on thrill seekers, and they found more than a few riding The Raven that day.
My favorite moment was taking Mr. Schlessinger for a walk out in the woods so he could see The Raven’s wild layout close up. (We never did get him to ride it.)
Mrs. Koch was back in the station, helping the ride ops dispatch trainload after trainload of deliriously happy ACEers. She was on the microphone, joking around with them.
We could hear her jovial banter through the trees.
And I could tell he was listening.
So I hushed up.
Our esteemed network reporter, who had finally loosened his tie and was now even carrying his tailored suitjacket, at long last cracked a smile and murmured, almost to himself:
“This is fun.”
YES, Richard, yes!
You get it!
(Don’t worry; I was still in “hush” mode at this point. Didn’t yell at the nice reporter.)
(That’s The Voyage again, of course. Didn’t want to go too long in this post without another picture.)
The 48 Hours segment didn’t air until that August. In fact, it almost didn’t air at all. As I recall there was a dreadful hurricane that threatened the Eastern Seaboard that week.
We were nearly pre-empted.
But it did air. And then made its way over to cable. I caught it on The Learning Channel a few times.
Ever since that first event for enthusiasts, we’ve looked forward to their happy gatherings.
There’s one coming up on October 1.
If you think you might be an enthusiast, you’ll want to consider signing up for the upcoming CoasterBuzz Club Fall Affair.
Because, if you’ve made it to the end of this tome … you just might be an enthusiast.
And if you wish you could go along with Rachel when she takes photos such as this:
…you might want to give one of these events a try.
The CoasterBuzz Club Fall Affair includes a construction tour; all-day admission; our traditional event-meal-menu of pizza, chips and fudge; plus several hours of in-the-dark Exclusive Ride Time (ERT) on The Raven and The Legend after the park closes for the day.
If you’ve ever considered trying out one of these events and rubbing shoulders with the coaster crazies, you won’t go wrong with the CoasterBuzz bunch.
And during The Voyage construction tour, we can all be goofy and holler “Ahoy!” at these guys:
The deadline to sign up is listed on the registration form.
By the way, after all these years I still think they’re all a little nuts.