Monthly Archives: October 2009

Italian Coaster Tour 2009

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

ACE NorCal Assistant Regional Representative went on the ACE Spain tour and the European Coaster Club Italy tour this summer. Below are his notes on the Italy tour.

Sequoia Adventure roller coaster
Sequoia Adventure and Magic Mountain roller coasters at Gardaland — photo: Matthew Pearce

The first stop was Movieland Studios, which is to Universal Studios what Japan’s Nara Dreamland was to Disneyland. Movieland featured X-Smile a powered dragon coaster. Movieland also had one of the last-remaining old-style free-fall rides (think of the Edge at Great America) in Europe. The park also had a double-drop flume ride, a number of good simulators, and a back lot monorail tour.

The next day, we visited the Ski Center, Latemar, and Meran 2000. Each offered good alpine coasters far up in the hills, providing long, scenic rides on the cable lifts. The second stop of the day had a much longer cable ride than the first. We changed cars in the middle of the ride. The second alpine coaster was similar to Kennywood’s Thunderbolt in that you dropped right out of the station and the lift hill was at the end.

Next on the itinerary was Gardaland. Even though a traffic jam caused us to be 1.5 hours late, the park went out of their way to honor ERT and make the group feel special. Gardaland’s Magic Mountain is a smooth Vekoma double-loop, corkscrew coaster with a new shoulder harness design. The bars are several inches from your head, providing a more comfortable ride.

Magic Mountain roller coaster
Matthew (on right) on the Magic Mountain roller coaster roller coaster at Gardaland — photo courtesy of Matthew Pearce

Gardaland’s Ortobruco Tour is a long Wacky Worm coaster. This extended version of the roller coaster contains seven lift hills.
The Sequoia Adventure is an S&S screaming squirrel coaster. Four-rider trains go out a log arm with a 180-degree hill at the end of the arm. The train travels inverted to the beginning of the arm, then goes through another 180-degree hill to repeat the trip on two more arms. You will love the airtime.

Mammut is a good Vekoma mine train that combined the themes of Big Thunder Mountain and the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Then it was on to Mirabilandia. Katun is a B&M inverted with some great ground-hugging elements. Katun is located in the Mayan section of the park. The ride passes through two discs, apparently representing the Mayan calendar. iSpeed is a good Intamin rocket coaster. It includes an inline twist, visible from the queue, and a full-length track. Per, iSpeed’s track is longer than Storm Runner’s at Hersheypark.

— Matthew Pearce

Frontier Village at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

Frontier Village

From ACE member Richard Tuck:

The history and legacy of Frontier Village is being celebrated on Saturday and Sunday November 14-15 at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, the Museum of Fun based in El Cerrito (just north of Berkeley). We are eager to involve anyone who loved Frontier Village to get involved with planning this event. We are inviting guests to bring memorabilia and home movies of the great old park as well as share their favorite remembrances.

If you know of some folks who would like to be invited or would like to help plan the festivities, please email Richard: Richard AT .

California’s Great America, October 2009 update

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

California's Great America

California’s Great America is open for regular daytime operation on Saturdays and Sundays in October. Last day of operation for the 2009 season is Sunday, November first. For operating hours, see:

Halloween Haunt!
California’s Great America’s amazing Halloween Haunt runs through October on Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday, October 25th. For all the grizzly details, see:
The Halloween Haunt is free for Gold and Platinum pass holders!

2010 Season Pass
Buy your 2010 Season Pass now and get the rest of the 2009 season, too — including free admission to Halloween Haunt if you go for the Gold or Platinum pass. For all your 2010 season pass options, see:

For more information about California’s Great America, visit
the California’s Great America web site.

Gilroy Gardens, October 2009 update

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens is open weekends in October. The operating calendar is here:

Halloween Camp Night
Camp overnight in the park and enjoy Gilroy Gardens by day on Saturday. For more information, see:

2010 Season Membership
Buy a 2010 Gilroy Gardens Season Membership now and get the rest of the 2009 season. You also get free parking for 2010 and the rest of the 2009 season. In addition, you also get free admission to the 2009 Holiday Lights event at Gilroy Gardens. Further, your membership is fully tax deductible! For more information, see:

For more information on planning your visit, go to
the Gilroy Gardens web site.

Quicksilver Express

— photo: Steven Wilson

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, October 2009 update

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

beach, boardwalk

Hot Rods on the Beach!
Get down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this weekend, October 10-11, to check out the twelfth annual Hot Rods on the Beach classic car show! The event benefits the Santa Cruz City Police Officers’ Association. Event admission is free. For the schedule and more information, see:

Ride. Ride. Ride!
You can enjoy rides at the Boardwalk on weekends this month. For October’s operating schedule and information, see:

2010 Season Pass
Buy a 2010 Endless Summer Season Pass for only $68.95 now and use it for the rest of the 2009 season! For more details, see:

For more information on the park, visit
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s web site.

— photo: Steven Wilson

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, October 2009 update

  • October 7, 2009
  • Uncategorized

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Fright Fest!
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offers thrills by day and chills by night with Fright Fest each weekend now through November 1st, 2009. For full information, see:

2010 Season Pass
Can’t get enough fun? Get your 2010 Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Season Pass now and enjoy the rest of the 2009 season, too! Pass prices are at their lowest, just $49.95 for an individual pass. For all the details, see:

For more information about Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, check out their web site.