By Kat Ansley
What makes a good Coaster Con? Is it the parks or the rollercoasters; is it the people or the events; is it the special moments or the fun? All of these things make a good Coaster Con, and all of these things are also subjective. I have been to ten Coaster Cons over the years. The amount of planning and effort that goes into each Coaster Con pays off because all that I have attended have been good.
The welcome dinner at Six Flags Magic Mountain started the Con off on the right foot. I enjoyed the music and watching ACErs get their boogie on. My father also won the raffle to go up the lift hill of Goliath. However, he is afraid of heights. I took his place in the 235-foot climb even though I also have a fear of heights. I have never climbed a lift hill before and it’s an experience I will never forget. It was incredible and I hope every ACEr can experience it as well. Six Flags Magic Mountain also had good ERT opportunities. The ERT allowed my family and me not to stress about getting coasters in. By the end of the second morning I had gotten to ride all seventeen operating coasters.
Other events at Six Flags Magic Mountain included the ACE annual business meeting, the photo contest, the video contest, Midway Olympics, the fourth annual Rubber Ducky Regatta, and backstage tours. The annual business meeting inspired me to be more active in the club. It was very informative, and it made me realize that most of ACE is run by very few but hard-working people. The photo contest this year was filled with such talent it made it difficult to vote for only three. I liked how the video contest had two categories this year, and its coordinator, Jordan May, is a very talented presenter. I think it’s safe to say we will all be looking forward to his involvement with ACE in the future. Midway Olympics and the Rubber Ducky Regatta were as competitive as ever. It was nice to see how much the ACErs were getting into it. The backstage tour was informative and fun. Six Flags Magic Mountain was packed with fun and excitement, but the fun didn’t stop there.
Knott’s Berry Farm proved to be a magical experience for me. From its rich and interesting history to the immersive experience of Ghost Town, and the mouth-watering boysenberries, I quickly fell in love with the park. Guest speaker Erick Lynxwiler, Knott’s Berry Farm historian, gave two interesting presentations about Knott’s Berry Farm that gave me a greater appreciation for the park. While we were at Knott’s, ACE presented a landmark plaque to Montezooma’s Revenge. The Calico Railroad ride was interesting because the engine itself is historic, as are many of the rides at Knott’s Berry Farm. Some served as inspiration for Walt Disney himself.
The ACE annual banquet is always well done, but this year was especially good. Every presentation was interesting and thoughtful. The banquet moved along smoothly and the food was good. Jerry Willard, ACE’s immediate past president, received both a member recognition and the “Spirit of ACE” award. It was a touching moment. It was so meaningful to see someone who has given so much to ACE be recognized in such a significant way. Coaster Con 42 ended on a good note. It was good to see both new and old faces. I was pleasantly surprised by how many younger ACE members were in attendance. I have high hopes that Coaster Con 43 will be just as good!