Close to the end of December, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Giant Dipper had carried nearly 1,000,000 riders during 2010. In an attempt to reach this goal, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk launched a “Giant” promotion. Starting on December 26th and ending on December 31st, the Boardwalk allowed patrons to pay only $5, the price for one ride on the Giant Dipper, to ride all day long, from noon to 5:00 PM. The riders aboard the train carrying the one-millionth rider all received a commemorative Giant Dipper coin, bag of Marini’s Salt Water Taffy, and a complimentary ride photo. The Boardwalk achieved their goal of one million riders at around 2:40 PM on December 31st. ACE member Matthew Pearce was lucky enough to be on the train carrying the millionth rider! Here is what he had to say about the experience:
I lined up for the Giant Dipper at half past two on Friday. The line was out the door, through the hand rail section, and into the walkway. I overheard various mutterings on how they were “close”, needing either two or three thousand more riders.
When we boarded the train, there were a few photographers who were getting the riders excited. They took a number of photos of all the riders. They then dispatched the train.
When we arrived back in the station, the staff cheered wildly. The riders responded in kind. . The photographers took additional photos. The staff distributed the special coins, postcards, and saltwater taffy. The Boardwalk also provided a free ride photo for everyone on the train.
Matthew, accompanied by Emi and twin daughters, holds up his commemorative prizes after riding on the train that carried the one-millionth rider on the Giant Dipper for 2010 on the afternoon of December 31st, 2010.
— Nicholas Laschkewitsch and Matthew Pearce
— photo: Steven Wilson