About a month ago, a coworker (Hi, Andrew!) tried to get me to share what we’re building in 2015 (yes, it’s top secret; most members of our full-time staff don’t know all of what we’re doing).
Of course, one of his many guesses (like so many of you out there) was a steel coaster.
After he guessed, he stopped a moment and added, “Probably not, right? Is it true that your dad said he’d never build a steel coaster because it wasn’t family-friendly?”
Honestly, I don’t think he ever meant it. That response really meant I needed to shut my mouth (it only took me until now to realize that — sorry, Dad!).
Through the years, my requests became less frequent and my argument pro-steel became structured and more complex. His arguments against did not.
One day, he came home with drawings.
I believe the time was circa 2006, after The Voyage had opened. I can’t forget him laying those drawings down on our kitchen table.
I jumped in place and squealed. He told me he was planning on building in ’09 or ’10.
Since I was graduating high school in 2009, I decided it was a graduation present for me.
It would have been a truly unique ride—Dad liked to build really great things, often the first of their kind.
By now, you’ve figured out that design never came to fruition. My graduation present was nice, but certainly not a steel coaster.
In 2010, we did get an amazing first-of-its-kind coaster, the Wildebeest water coaster. It definitely was not what I was expecting, but aren’t the best things always unexpected?
As much fun as it would be to resurrect the designs he showed me that day, he had already moved past that technology and was dreaming of something different by the time of his passing.
With the promise still lingering out there, I have only this to say: if he were here, I’m certain what we’re building would be his dream.
And I’ll add to his promise: what we’re building is going to be truly unique.
The first of its kind.