Are you a thrill fanatic? Not just any thrill mind you, but the thrill brought by riding a monster roller coaster. Perhaps it’s the feeling of being out of control that you are in love with. Or perhaps it’s you love the feeling of having your heart in your throat. Whether it’s the adrenaline rush or some other reason that keeps pulling you back for more roller coaster mayhem, you are not alone. And you certainly aren’t a weirdo either. You just need to join a group of kindred spirits. Yes, there is a group of people like you.
It’s called the American Coaster Enthusiasts.
Never heard of it? Then you are in luck, my friend. I’ll tell you all about it.
The American Coaster Enthusiasts – The Name Says It All
Yes, the name says it all. But I’ll tell you some things the name doesn’t say. But, just so we are on the same page, I’ll start from the very beginning.
American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) is a non-profit organization that focuses on the knowledge, enjoyment, and preservation of roller coasters. The organization is also involved in the recognition and appreciation of some architectural and engineering landmarks. After all, architecture and engineering are the principal disciplines that led to the invention of roller coasters and they continue advancing and perfecting the field of roller coasters. Fee-paying members are rewarded with a quarterly magazine RollerCoaster! and a bi-monthly newsletter ACE News that keeps them informed on the happenings in the world of roller coasters.
American Coaster Enthusiasts was formed in 1978 (yes, that far back) by Roy Brashears, Paul Greenwald and Richard Munch after meeting at a roller coaster riding marathon in 1977 (that figures it) and discovering that they had the same passion for these thrilling rides. The first ACE meeting was held in June of 1978 and was dubbed “Coaster Con 1”. It is here, on the last day of the convention that the name “American Coaster Enthusiasts” was adopted as the club’s name. Since the June ‘78 meeting, “Coaster Con” meetings have been held annually at different theme parks – mainly in Northern America.
Coaster Con – Where Roller Coaster Enthusiasts Meet
I know. Your ears are itching to hear what happens at Coaster Con. Bet you are wondering if all that happens is ride after ride after ride. Let’s look at a typical Coaster Con itinerary, shall we?
The American Coaster Enthusiasts annual convention is known as “Coaster Con,” is the organization’s flagship event. It is held annually the third week of June. A typical Coaster Con (Coaster Connect) convention can last up to six days. Don’t be fooled though, Coaster Con is not just about riding roller coasters. Far from it. It is actually more of a self-improvement retreat where you get to ride roller coasters. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained too, besides the roller coasters of course. Activities such as workshops, photo and video contests, live performances, and of course, banquets. The gala banquets usually feature luminaries from the amusement industry as keynote speakers and are one of the event’s highlights.
As for the roller coaster riding, Coaster Con has a perk for its attendees called Exclusive Ride Time, or ERT, as ACEers call it. This is where the ACE makes an arrangement with ride operators to open up their park and rides exclusively to the Coaster Con attendees. No crowds. Now that’s a perk worth joining for.
In the words of the ACE organization itself, “As many members quickly discover, ACE is not just about coasters—it is just as much about the people who ride them. Lifelong friendships are born at ACE events, and some ACEers have even found true love, married, and started new generations of coaster enthusiasts.”
Wow! This is bigger than it looks at first glance, isn’t it? If you’re interested in joining the more than 5000 members strong community, you can visit ACE online, click on membership, and fill in the form. Once you become a member, all you have to do is to go to the ACE login page, log in, and you will be able to access all your goodies.
ACE Online – Kindred Spirits Are Waiting for You
Are you still debating whether joining the American Coaster Enthusiasts is for you? Let me help you decide. Yes. You do love roller coasters, right? And you do want to be a part of a thriving, caring, and thrill-seeking community, don’t you? There you have it. Head over to ACE online and register.