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ACE Coaster Con XXXIX 2016: Part 2 – Holiday World & Splashing Safari

ACE Coaster Con XXXIX 2016: Part 2 – Holiday World & Splashing Safari On Wednesday June 22 we drove to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, IN for the second part of ACE Coaster Con XXXIX.  Originally opened as Santa Claus Land in 1946, the park has grown to include 4 holiday sections.  The addition of a wood coaster in 1995 helped put this park on the map and subsequent additions have made this a destination for coaster enthusiasts worldwide.  I have been to this park on four previous occasions, but this was my first time to attend […]

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ACE Coaster Con XXXIX 2016: Part 1 – Six Flags St. Louis, f/k/a Six Flags Over Mid America

On Sunday, June 19, Coaster Con XXXIX began at Six Flags St. Louis, formerly known as Six Flags Over Mid America, in Eureka, MO.  This is my fourth trip to SFSL and I consider it one of my favorite SF parks.  It was the third and final park built by SF and one of only 3 to carry the true SF theme.  To me this is Six Flags Over Mid America, themed for the six flags that flew over this part of the country: France, Spain, England, U.S.A., Missouri and Illinois.  Today, DC Comics Plaza has replaced Spain; France is […]

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ACE Coaster Con XXXIX 2016: Prologue – Magic Springs, Silver Dollar City, Schlitterbahn KC & Worlds of Fun

Magic Springs & Crystal Springs This year ACE Coaster Con XXXIX was held at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, MO and Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. After looking at the plan it made the most sense to drive, so on Wednesday, June 15 Richard Bostic drove from South Carolina to my house and we left for our journey. There were 3 regional events we would attend prior to Con and one after Con. In 2009 when Coaster Con was held in MO, Richard and I along with David Lipnicky had visited several parks in this area including Magic […]

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ACE Spring Conference 2016 – Family Kingdom & Carowinds and Lightning Rod Run – Dollywood

ACE Spring Conference 2016 – Family Kingdom & Carowinds The ACE Spring Conference 2016 was held Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1 at Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, SC and Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, along the SC/NC border. I drove to Myrtle Beach after work Thursday, April 28, arriving at 11:30. I met up with Richard Bostic, David Lipnicky and Rick Oltman, with whom I would spend the next few days. Family Kingdom Amusement Park It had been 8 years since I was last at Family Kingdom Amusement Park and I was looking forward to a return […]

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ACE Preservation Conference 2015 – Washington State Fair, Oaks & Enchanted Forest

Last year I had the opportunity to go on a comprehensive tour of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alberta and British Columbia that included 10 amusement parks, 2 fairs, 6 national parks and sightseeing in 2 cities that I covered in an extensive photo trip report here. But the one thing that we could not include was the Washington State Fair, which only operates during the fair in April and September. As it is the home of a 1935 John Miller wood coaster, this was a must visit for me to eventually get to in order to meet my goal of […]

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ACE UK! 2015: Overview

One of the most anticipated countries to get to in my coaster travels has been the United Kingdom, so it was with great excitement that I embarked on ACE UK! 2015, an 11 day journey to 14 parks and 72 coasters (not all of which we got to ride), along with 5 days of planned sightseeing and visits to 2 additional parks with 7 coasters with a few friends. I have posted all of my photo trip reports and they can be accessed from the following links: Prologue: London Part 1: Paultons Park & Stonehenge Part 2: Oakwood Theme Park […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Epilogue iii: Brighton & Brighton Pier

We originally had an ambitious day planned for our final day in the U.K., but a number of circumstances conspired to chip away at our plans until we only accomplished two of our original five stops. First, we cut a morning tour of the City of Winchester for a later start. We then decided to go Brighton first. Unfortunately for our schedule, our earlier arrival at Brighton coincided with the city’s Gay Pride Parade, so many streets were closed and parking sparse. After a frustrating hour of dead ends, reroutes and seeking an ever elusive parking place, we finally found […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Epilogue ii: Tour of The Scottish Borders

Tour of The Scottish Borders On Friday, July 31 we crossed the border from England, with its rolling hills, into Scotland, with its more mountainous terrain. We drove through Jedburgh, viewing Jedburgh Abbey from the road. We would be doing about half of a Tour of the Scottish Borders recommended by my Eyewitness Travel Guidebook on Great Britain. Our first stop was Dryburgh Abbey located along the Tweed River. Considered Scotland’s most evocative monastic ruin, Sir Walter Scott is buried here. We spent a while walking among the ruins, imagining monastic life centuries ago and pondering the fate of this […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Epilogue i: Lightwater Valley and Hadrian’s Wall

Lightwater Valley When trying to decide what to do on the additional 3 days at the end of the trip, a number of options came to mind. While we were mainly looking at sightseeing options, there was one park that was not a part of the ACE trip that I particularly wanted to get to, more so than several that we visited. Time limitations prevented a visit to Lightwater Valley on the official trip, but we decided it was worth the near 4 hour drive to get there. So Wednesday night we rented a car and Thursday morning, July 30, […]

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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 10: Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park On Wednesday, July 29 we left the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow for the final stop of our trip, Thorpe Park in Chertsey, Surrey, England. Operating since 1979, this unique park is surrounded by lakes, making it a series of islands. Merlin has made this its thrill park, adding lots of big coasters over the last few years. While divided into themed sections, the theming is not always clearly defined. Even so, theming of individual rides is quite elaborate. I will review the park by themed section. We were given 5 Queue Busters, although the park was not that […]

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