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The Racer becomes an ACE Landmark


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Racer is the best woodie in the park right now. It's a bit shaky, but still has airtime....the Beast is just a ride through the woods [thank God it has new wood] but it's still fun. ACE is just meh to me; a club where 50$ will get you free food when they stop at your park...and maybe a few photo ops. But the awards, it's nothing negative, just something the public looks at as a HUGE and incredible honor. To us, most people don't care.

Racer should be a bit higher in the polls since it has new wood in areas of the ride.

 

Just because it is the best in the park does not in any way mean that it deserves an award. I mean, does Colossus at SFMM deserve an award? Because it is a better ride than Racer (even if it is mildly rough). And what about El Toro? Honestly, these awards are crap, and none of the GP really care. Trust me, they do NOT see it as a huge honor. The GP think "Well, it's a roller coaster" and they go ride.

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ACE is just meh to me; a club where 50$ will get you free food when they stop at your park

Thing is, it's NOT "Free Food." You pay for it as part of your event registration. Either that or it's a "draw" to get people in for an event which will either give ACE or the park publicity in return. Nothing in this world is "free."

 

--Robb

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I haven't rode the forward side in a few years but backwards left me and my friend saying ouch at the end. I love the ride but it really does need a overhaul in the smoothing department instead of the patchwork that they have been placing the past year or two.

 

And the Racer is still number 2 till they put trims back on after the second lift on the Beast... that helix is the perfect mix of speed and roughness, just insane. It still is sad the messed up the first half though with those strong trims.

 

I think I will ride the forward side tommorow (today, haha.)

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I'll just kindly say I disagree with your views on the awards.

No, no, no....Wes is right. The ACE landmarks are completely pointless.....and totally stupid....just like ACE!

 

Racer ranked #100 out of 179 woodies in the Mitch Hawker poll. Now tell me again, WHY does this coaster deserve recognition over those other 99 woodies?

 

I agree that Racer IS a fun ride, and it's probably my favorite woodie in the park (never was much of a Beast fan), but still.....

 

--Robb

 

I think your missing the point of this ACE Coaster Landmark. Its not about whether the ride is good or not or what park its at, its the ride's importance to the amusement park industry, which is something I feel the Racer deserves. Its not a popularity award, its a historic award.

 

Many credit the Racer with restarting a "Golden Age" of coasters and amusement parks. During the 50s and 60s, your traditional amusement parks were dying out, coasters were being lost everywhere. Television and shopping malls were threatening the very existence of amusement parks. Parks like Riverview Park, Idora Park, and coutless others died out. Yet when Kings Island started in 1972 with its Racer, it marked a reimargence of the roller coaster. After that moment in history, the amusement park industry grew in leaps and bounds, with plenty of new coasters, and new parks (Six Flags, Paramounts,ect.). Thats why the Racer gets a landmark, it helped changed the amusement park industry, and thats what this award is for.

 

Its the same reason why Magnum at Cedar Point became a ACE landmark. Magnum also changed the industry by being the first "hypercoaster." If not for Magnum, would we have all the hypercoasters we have today? If not for Racer, would we be seeing 10-20 new coasters in the US every year? I don't know, but it seems ACE feels Racer is just that historically significant.

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^No, it really IS a shallow award. Look at parks with classic rides that HAVEN'T hade Ace events. These coasters seem to lack awards. What about the new Intamins? Or GCIs? They have ushered in a newfound wooden coaster craze, yet they recieve no recognition...

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Many credit the Racer with restarting a "Golden Age" of coasters and amusement parks.

 

I seriously beg to differ. Remember, 1972 was way before the internet.

 

If it wasn't for the children's program "The Banana Splits" and later "The Brady Bunch" no one outside of Ohio (maybe PA.) would have even known that King's Island even existed. Had KI not been showcased on those 2 shows, do you honestly think that KI would have survived? Especially with the traditional "destination" park, CP, in the same state?

 

(For the record, I am in no way a big fan of CP. To me it's the greatest collection of over-rated rides, next to SFMM. Also, for the record, I'm a member of ACE.)

 

I mean, c'mon, ACE gave the EXACT SAME AWARD to Twister II at SF Elitch Gardens. Might as well give one to Hercules, posthumously.

 

It's an honorary awarded plaque where the GP can stick their gum before they ride, and nothing more.

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Are there guidelines set in stone that ACE looks at? I did a quick search and didn't find an outline of any type. I can see the commitie working hard over at the local Golden Corral or Ponderosa yelling at each other what truly makes a coaster worthy of the plaque... haha.

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Yeah I knew about the "Classics", it is the "Landmarks" that confuse me. I still love how they can remove a "Classic" status... I can see the ACEr in my head pulling with all his might to remove the plaque.

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^No, it really IS a shallow award. Look at parks with classic rides that HAVEN'T hade Ace events. These coasters seem to lack awards. What about the new Intamins? Or GCIs? They have ushered in a newfound wooden coaster craze, yet they recieve no recognition...

 

Well, considering that the Racer is 25 years old, maybe you should give the GCIs and Intamins a little more time.

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I seriously beg to differ. Remember, 1972 was way before the internet.

 

If it wasn't for the children's program "The Banana Splits" and later "The Brady Bunch" no one outside of Ohio (maybe PA.) would have even known that King's Island even existed. Had KI not been showcased on those 2 shows, do you honestly think that KI would have survived? Especially with the traditional "destination" park, CP, in the same state

 

You still don't get it. Its not what coaster enuthiasts think of the ride or how many people have heard of it, its the ride's effect on the industry. Sure maybe coaster fans outside of Ohio might not heard of the Racer, but look at all the "Racer clones" that followed. (Rebel Yell, Thunder Road, American Eagle, Rolling Thunder, ect.). All of these rides were built in the 70s after Racer. Racer made the out and back woodie an amusement park staple, and many parks followed Kings Island in offering that. Thats why Racer gets an award, because so many more coasters and parks sprang from it. Same thing with landmarks like Magnum and the first Batman:The Ride.

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You still don't get it. Its not what coaster enuthiasts think of the ride or how many people have heard of it, its the ride's effect on the industry. Sure maybe coaster fans outside of Ohio might not heard of the Racer, but look at all the "Racer clones" that followed. (Rebel Yell, Thunder Road, American Eagle, Rolling Thunder, ect.). All of these rides were built in the 70s after Racer. Racer made the out and back woodie an amusement park staple

It did? Where did you hear that? Seems to me there were plenty of other "out and backs" built in the years just prior to Racer:

 

Tornado - Petticoat Junction - 1969

Shooting Star - Lakeside Park - 1968

Zingo - Bell's Amusement Park - 1968

Cannon Ball - Lake Winnepesaukah - 1967

Wildcat - Frontier City - 1967

Blue Streak - Cedar Point - 1964

Starliner - Miracle Strip Amusement Park - 1963

Tornado - Wedgewood Village Amusement Park - 1961

Skyliner - Lakemont Park - 1960

 

In fact, there were MORE wood coasters built in the decade before Racer than were built in the decade after. So I'm not sure why the Racer would be considered to have started a "golden age."

 

Thats why Racer gets an award, because so many more coasters and parks sprang from it. Same thing with landmarks like Magnum and the first Batman:The Ride.

I really just believe they get an award because ACE gives them out at coaster cons and it makes them look good and both the club and the park get publicity.

 

They can make up ANY reason to give a ride a landmark. There isn't any guidelines or anything official, so as long as they can come up with a fairly solid reason (it doesn't even need to be an accurate one) and get people to buy off on it, that's all it takes.

 

And really, kudos for them for doing it! They get the press, the park gets the press, and the public thinks that whatever the coaster they are giving the award to has some sort of significance. They obviously convinced you!

 

--Robb

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I'd like to point out that Rebel Yell at KD has been an "ACE Landmark" for quite some time--a heckuva lot longer than Racer (from which it was supposedly "cloned"). BGE's Loch Ness Monster also has an ACE plaque (first coaster with interlocking loops, first ERT session ever held).

 

Does that mean long lines for these coasters at either park? My experience would indicate "no." (And I like these coasters, so I'm not bashing them.)

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Had KI not been showcased on those 2 shows, do you honestly think that KI would have survived? Especially with the traditional "destination" park, CP, in the same state?

 

Absolutely. Kings Island is not, has never been, and never will be a destination park. They survive, even thrive, on the fact that locals swarm to the place no matter how crappy of rides they install.

 

Also, remember that Kings Island was not really a new park per se. They essentially moved Coney Island up to Mason because of space issues, flooding, etc.

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^ Rebel Yell is probably one of the few coasters that actually deserve that distinction. I mean ... it pretty much is the start of ACE. So I guess an ACE makes sense there.

 

In fact, there were MORE wood coasters built in the decade before Racer than were built in the decade after. So I'm not sure why the Racer would be considered to have started a "golden age."

 

Interesting thought, but I think it is a little misleading. There may have been more wooden coasters built in the decade prior, but when you look at all coasters there definitely was an upswing after Racer.

 

I don't really doubt the importance of the Racer at PKI (I have seen pictures of people lining down Coney Mall to where the Vortex currently stands to ride it), but I think that awards like this would be best served to award the parks that actually go the extra distance in maintaining their rides. Not the parks who donate money to ACE (most donate admission during Cons) or those who host an event.

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but I think that awards like this would be best served to award the parks that actually go the extra distance in maintaining their rides. Not the parks who donate money to ACE (most donate admission during Cons) or those who host an event.

 

Ted you raise probably the strongest point here about why these ACE awards are self-serving and meaningless. ACE claims to be all about preservation. But, Kings Island has done everything BUT preserve its woodies. I think the "Fairly Odd Coaster" is the only older woodie that they have that is any kind of decent shape. The other two are seriously neglected.

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You still don't get it. Its not what coaster enuthiasts think of the ride or how many people have heard of it, its the ride's effect on the industry.

 

I understand your point completely, but you are missing the larger picture.

 

What was (as cfc pointed out) Rebel Yell's effect on the industry? Especially since it came AFTER the Racer.

 

Nothing.

 

It was awarded "Landmark" status due to the fact that during the filming of the movie "Rollercoaster", three of the extras used to fill the trains went on to form ACE. That's NOT an "effect on the industry", but rather a date in ACE's history.

 

At the "Preservation Con" several years ago in Denver, two "Landmark" awards were given out. One for the Lakeside Cyclone at Lakeside Amusement Park, and one for Twister II at Six Flags Elitch Gardens.

 

What "effect on the industry" does the Lakeside Cyclone have?

 

None.

 

What? That it lasted longer than the original Mr. Twister at Elitch Gardens, only 8 blocks away? That it was the first to have a freeway offramp built next to it?

 

And, more importantly, what possible "effect on the industry" could Twister II at SFEG have?

 

Again. None.

 

Even I'm having a hard time with this one. Was it because, for the first few years of operation it used the trains from the original Mr. Twister, the ride it was loosely based on? Was it because it was the inspiration for the infamous "Tooth Chipper" from the Simpson's episode? Because it is a very photogenic coaster.

 

ACE "Landmark's" are nothing more than glorified graffiti that can be found in almost ANY roller coaster queue line in the world.

 

 

It simply states:

 

"ACE was here."

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Or are these awards only for wooden coasters?

 

NO. But I can only think of a few steel coasters. Revolution at SFMM, Batman: The Ride at SFGAm, Loch Ness Monster at BGE. There's probably more. I just don't know offhand.

 

Afterall, "ACE was here!"

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^^Vekoma Boomerangs deserve an award all their own, that's for sure--"Worst Effect on the Industry," perhaps? I hereby nominate the X-Coaster's inverted lifthill for "Worst Concept."

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Right, lots of coasters are significant on the industry in some fashion or another, like Batman at SFGAm for being the first B&M invert, or Revolution for having the first modern day vertical loop, and Loch Ness Monster and Rebel Yell for essentially starting the club of ACE. However, not every park ACE visits each year needs to have a plaque. I believe Cyclone at Coney Island is getting one, why? It's already a National Historical Landmark, and everyone already knows about it. What purpose did it have on ACE or the industry, other than they're holding the Preservation Con at the park this year. Next year some coaster at SFOG will end up getting one for hosting their Con, what coaster there has had an influence on the industry or the club? Sure, Mind Bender and Georgia Cyclone and GASM are fairly good rides, but I don't think any of them has had such an influence on the coaster world that you saw dozens more of similar models pop up over the country and world. The following year's Con will be at SDC, and while that is a fantastic park, what coaster there is really worthy of being claimed an ACE Landmark? Not Wildfire or Powder Keg, they're too new, that leaves Thunderation, is that really worthy of a plaque??

 

Racer is hardly a revolutionizing ride, the only reason it got any recognition in its time at all was because the park was owned and operated by a television company who used their television shows to showcase the park. There have been plenty of racing coasters older than Racer that are still around (go look at Grand National or Racer at Kennywood), and the majority of the ones like Racer that were built were built for other parks in the chain. The Six Flags racers are a different style and used those coasters as no influence. And, as far as I know, Beast already has some ACE plaque that praises it for yadda yadda yadda.

 

Point is, people don't care about the plaques, look how SFMMs was moved from Revolution after Tatsu construction. (and didn't Astroworld have one too from Texas Cyclone, what happened to that one? I think some ACEr ended up with it to add to the museum, which if ACE continues to shell out money for useless plaques, will never become a reality).

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Reon - Any coaster should be able to go "backwards", even MF if CP decided to try it.

 

http://history.amusement-parks.com/allenmega.htm

 

The Racer is credited with starting the new age of coaster construction,

 

King's Island opened with something no other theme park had, something that brought people from all over the world, a signature roller coaster. As Robert Cartmell said, "April 29, 1972, is usually given as the day when the gloom ended and the new golden age began. On that day King's Island premiered its Racer."

 

The Racer was designed by John Allen, traveled at 61 mph, was 3,415 feet long and stood 88-feet high. However, there was something different about this new coaster. It had more impact than any of Allen's roller coasters in the sixties and drew more attention than the Thunderbolt coaster at Kennywood.

 

Allen had taken his coaster designing to the next level and created a roller coaster that was a theme park's dream. It was large and thrilling but families could still ride it with their children.

 

The coaster was also the most camera-friendly coaster to be found anywhere. The layout was a beautifully symmetrical out and back design that split in the middle, had a sparkling coat of white paint and was located in the middle of the Coney Mall section.

 

One cannot look at the Racer without being reminded of a work of art and thrill ride combined into one

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King's Island opened with something no other theme park had, something that brought people from all over the world, a signature roller coaster.

 

Er, Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, 1959? Sure seems like a "signature roller coaster" to me.

 

I'm not demeaning Racer here (never been on it), but I'm just not sure that your premise holds.

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