Roller Coaster Magazine, a review
Roller Coaster magazine? There’s a magazine dedicated to roller coasters?
Yes! Yes, there is.
If you join ACE, the American Coaster Enthusiasts, the membership includes the subscription to the quarterly Roller Coaster magazine. I am a card-carrying member of ACE and I will proudly show you my card, if you ask.
As I mentioned, Roller Coaster magazine is a quarterly publication, meaning it’s issued four times a year. It is a full-color magazine with tons of amazing photos of roller coasters and some pretty good articles.
This review is just based on the Fall 2015 issue of roller coaster magazine that I received as part of my new membership. Based on what I’ve seen on the website and with talking other ACE members, it’s a very high quality publication. Especially because it’s all about roller coasters written by people who love roller coasters!
This issue took us on an in-depth look at Coaster Con XXXVIII. Yes, there have been 38 Coaster Cons. I wish I’d known about ACE so much sooner! Coaster Con is a convention held once a year at different theme parks. Coaster enthusiasts spend the week at a few parks riding coasters, socializing, attending meet-ups and listing to industry leaders. They also get Extended Ride Time, or ERT, for those of us in the biz. But several pages are dedicated to the people and places of the event.
There were three great history articles in the fall issue of Roller Coaster magazine. One was about Seabreeze’s Bobsleds, which are considered to be the original hybrid coaster (and have an interesting connection to Disneyland). Thunder Road, the wooden coaster that was torn down last year at Carowinds, had an article dedicated to it. Thunder Road was one of the three coasters that helped set off the coaster revolution of the mid-1970s. The final history article looks at Arrow Development, which ties into the Arrow documentary that was jut released.
There’s also a long article that looks at three amusement parks in China and what it’s like to visit them. Did you know there are more than 875 coasters in China? It was eye-opening to see how amusement parks and coasters are viewed in another culture. And what it’s like to spend a few weeks visiting different parks.They also do an industry profile—in which they interview someone from one of the many parks in the country or someone that is working in the coaster industry.
There was also a small section devoted to profiles of ACE members. And yes, there are so many other people who have ridden so many more coasters than me.
There are a few different membership levels. As of this article, the basic membership for an individual is $65.00 for one year. Considering the four issues of the magazine and the six printed issues of ACE News, it’s a fairly good deal. You can also attend regional events, like meet-ups and (sometimes) behind-the-scenes tours. Plus, you also get to meet other coaster enthusiasts!
Overall, I tore through this issue. I savored the larger historical articles and I really appreciated Roller Coaster magazine offering long-form pieces. It’s not often you get so many words dedicated to the history of a coaster. Did I mention the amazing photos? Many contributed by coaster fans.