Saturday, July 30, 2005

Valleyfair! Brochure

Just visit here and mark out anything referring to ACE and change it to ARN&R. And change the date to Sunday, July 31st. And maybe send us a note. Also, no buffet, ERT, or gravy.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Enthusiasts Remember “The Good Old Days”

Is that a hint of nostalgia in the air? That’s not surprising if you’re around a roller coaster enthusiast, though you may also be smelling the ranch dressing. They long for days past. Many want to bring back the rides of their favorite designers or simply remember what it was like to live in a college dorm room instead of their parents' basement.

“Things have certainly changed,” said Tim Scott, one of the contributing members to Thrillnerds. “Back in 2000 it was great to be alive. Legend was opening, Millennium Force was standing proud and Lighting Racer was a joy to behold. These days you just can’t find joy like that anymore,” he sobbed. “It just isn’t special.”

Flip Wilson, managing director for Xtremecoasters agreed. “In those days, you could ride so many coasters, enjoy intelligent conversation on RRC and breathe in the fresh air of amusement park freedom. Today we get garbage like Avalanche and Thunderhead. That’s bullshit!”

These many years have certainly put a damper on the collective spirit of the amusement park community. After all, they no longer can stay at home and enjoy the Discovery Channel taping shows -- enthusiasts actually have to get out and visit an amusement park. Once there, many sob quietly as they realize they have to walk from one side of the park to another. On a recent park visit, enthusiast Scott Reynolds could be found talking to himself in a corner. He simply whispered the words “Drachen Fire” over and over.

Friends, a new day will come and the venerable patch jacket will once again be considered "the shit." We promise.

Dream Vacation With ARN&R

We'll be at Valleyfair on Sunday and the Dells on Monday. Send an e-mail sometime before then if you want to meet up. Or keep an eye out for geeks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

ACE Member Terminated

Lester Pryzbylewski, 33, had his membership in the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) terminated today due to violations of the ACE Code of Conduct and "gross incompetence as a roller coaster enthusiast." A member of ACE for seven years, Pryzbylewski was cited for three major violations of the Code within a span of a mere five days, leaving the organization with little choice but to discipline what one ACE official called "our little rebellious malcontent."

-The first violation occurred on Thursday, when Pryzbylewski and his girlfriend Martina drove into Pennsylvania to visit friends Friday. Running slightly late for dinner at the friends' house, the couple drove right by Dorney Park, despite the fact that it was fully visible from and easily accessible via Interstate 78.

"We didn't have the time to go to Dorney!" Pryzbylewski protests. "Rick was making dinner and we were going to be late. I know it's a clear violation of Article 7 of the ACE Code of Conduct to actually physically see a coaster and not go ride it, but I figured I could slip under the radar this time and come back later in the summer to get some Hydra. Plus I did actually leave a nose print on the car window from ogling the thing. But officially you don't get credit for ogling a coaster, only riding it, so I actually would have accepted a reprimand or suspension for my behavior that evening."

-Article 7 reared its brutal head a day later, as Pryzbylewski visited Hersheypark's Chocolate World without setting foot in the actual park once.

"Now this one I don't get," said the exasperated enthusiast. "For not going to Dorney I was clearly in error, but I can explain this one. See, we had a bunch of people staying at Rick's, and there were babies involved that would have gotten fussy, and two of the people in the group won't ride coasters, and we hadn't all seen each other in about five years and we thought actually socializing might be nice, plus it was an utterly packed Saturday where we would've been in line all day in 120 degree heat. It seemed like it would be fun to go see that silly free ride and get a candy bar, though. What the hell is wrong with that?"

"Rules are rules," said an anonymous ACE official when asked for comment. "You play with fire, you get burned. A real enthusiast would leave the babies and non-riders in the car while he entered Hersheypark for a full day of fun by himself. His failure to do so sets a bad example, and will be severely punished."

-The last violation, which allegedly occurred on Tuesday, came as "a complete and utter surprise" to the enthusiast. When he returned home from what he calls "an innocent trip" to take a friend to Bradley International Airport, he found an email from the ACE Executive Committee informing him that he was not only being cited from gross misconduct or suspended, but immediately terminated from the club. "What the hell did I even do?" he positively wailed.

"Mr. Pryzbylewski should hardly be surprised that he was penalized for violating rules on Tuesday," said the ACE official. "Article 8 of the Code lays out dire penalties for failing to respond appropriately to roller coaster stimulus while out of the house. This man left his home and drove a friend to an airport near Hartford. Yet he did not see fit to make time for his duty of going to an amusement park while he was out? Checking our records, it can be seen that he passed within 34.51 miles of Lake Compounce, 13.76 miles of Six Flags New England, and 3238.06 miles of Vancouver Playland, and he did not ride a coaster at any of them. He's lucky we didn't execute him."

According to eyewitness accounts, Pryzbylewski is currently sobbing himself to sleep thinking about how much it will harm him in the coming months not to receive ACE News or have loud, smelly people ooze halfway into his seat during exclusive ride times.


Monday, July 25, 2005


We were recently informed that Kennywood no longer offers multiple pricing options, which means last week's story about the armbands from the park being indestructible might technically be construed as being full of shit, since they aren't in use now. They had armbands the last time we went, we swear. If it proves impossible to suspend your disbelief at the continuity error, just substitute the name of some other park that does actually still offer multiple pricing options.

And if you were planning on writing us a testy letter informing us of the error, we're obviously aware of it already. Therefore, you can feel free to put up your crayon and scrap of paper, and instead redirect your valuable energy toward vigorously jacking off to illegal onboard ride videos, as per your usual schedule.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kennywood Armband Still Won't Come Off

Russell Hightower, 16, had a great time visiting Kennywood last Friday with some friends from his summer camp. However, the young man says that he has picked up an unexpected and somewhat undesired souvenir from the park. It's his pay-one-price armband, and, as he eloquently puts it, "the f*cking thing won't come off."

Kennywood, a traditional amusement park located outside of Pittsburgh, is one of the few American parks that still offer multiple pricing options. Patrons may buy tickets for individual rides, or, if they wish to experience a large portion of the entire park, they may purchase an armband that allows them access to all attractions. However, some of these patrons, like Hightower, have great difficulty removing these armbands.

Hightower was not initially concerned that he could not take his armband off. "I was in the bus with the other guys on the camp trip," he says. "After I got on, I tried to pull it off, and it wouldn't budge. I thought maybe it was just a little tight, so I pulled harder. But it stayed right where it was. That's when I grew concerned."

Hightower then asserts that he tried numerous methods for removing the armband, including chomping on it with his teeth, bracing it against a window latch, trying to insert his foot into it to rip it loose, getting a burly friend to tug on it, and whimpering like a little girl. None of these methods proved useful, particularly not the last one, which seems likely to have led directly to the unpleasant incident later that night where dorm-mates covered the toilet bowl with saran wrap and broke the bathroom lights immediately before Hightower went to defecate.

Unable to remove the armband by any obvious means during the bus ride back to camp, Hightower eventually decided to wait until the next day and attack it with new vigor. "It still wouldn't come off," he tells ARN&R. "I tried a pocket knife. I tried scissors. I tried broken glass in the parking lot. Nothing. What are these damn things made of? Some sort of secret, indestructible space-age polymer?"

"Help me," he added in a strangled whisper.

According to one friend of Hightower's, the armband is "really sexy," and "all the chicks want him now," before either coughing loudly or possibly laughing into his fist.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Crime at Holiday World

We here at ARN&R hate to break the news of a crime wave at beloved Holiday World, but feel it is our journalistic mandate to tell it like it is. And so we are forced to inform you that there is a new criminal element roaming Splashin' Safari, an element of either extreme hipness or extreme anti-ARN&Rness, or possibly an extremely hip anti-ARN&R-er.

Last week, ARN&R visited the fair town of Santa Claus, Indiana. After shedding thousands of screaming fans, we headed to the water park section and put two towels and a t-shirt for hipster duo Mates of State on a beach chair. After much splashing fun (sorry, splashin' fun), we returned to find the towels and t-shirt gone. Visits to the lost and found were to no avail, and we were forced to purchase our very own Splashin' Safari t-shirt just to be able to return to the main park.

We are forced to conclude that we were the victims of either (a) a fan of indie music so vile that he or she would steal a t-shirt almost directly off the back of a fan of the band or (b) a stalker-iffic opponent of the truth and good that comes from ARN&R, perhaps one of those AAARNR people.

We thought for a moment that it might be someone who fit both descriptions, but then we remembered that the AAARNR people like only .38 Special and early David Hasselhoff.

Or it might have been that Mrs. Koch, trying to pump up park t-shirt sales. We wouldn't put it past her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Boone's Gardens to be Newest American Theme Park

The Boone's Farm company announced today that it is building the first major North American amusement park themed to inexpensive fortified wine. Representatives of the company state that Boone's Gardens is on track for a May, 2007 opening at a newly developed site in central California.

A diverse array of flat rides, family rides, shows, and at least two roller coasters are slated to open with the park, which will have fanciful and exotic themed lands with names such as Wild Island, Snowberry Creek, Mango Grove, and Strawberry Hill. One major slated attraction will be a massive centrally-located winery where patrons can see how Boone's Farm is made, bottled, consumed, and used as an insecticide. And at the Country Qwencher Cafe, park guests will be able to experience free tastings of a myriad of succulent offerings from Boone's Farm's award-winning vintners.

Many industry experts believe the new park will spawn a host of similarly-themed ones from competitors seeking to capitalize on its almost-certain success. Although the makers of other high-quality American wines such as Mad Dog, Thunderbird, and Night Train are said to be interested in creating their own spectacular theme parks in the near future, no official plans have been announced to the media at this time.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Terrible Father Is Great At No Limits

Alexis and Cassie Johansen wonder why their father doesn’t spend any time with them. After all, they’re six year-old twins, fun and all the neighbors say they’re the best behaved kids on the block. However, dad Steve isn’t concerned with their day at Kindergarten -- he has coasters to design. No, he isn’t the next Ron Toomer, or even the static calculation engineer on the Zamperla Volare project. After getting home from his job as a telemarketer, Steve spends between 4 and 6 hours at the computer, designing what will be the next big ride on a computer program called NoLimits.

"I am so good at this game," said a distracted Johansen. "I mean, seriously, who would have thought to put a diving loop right there." When I noted that Stengel had used the diving loop/heartline combo many times Johansen said simply, "F*ck off." After regaining his composure he told ARN&R that some of his coasters are custom, some are unique, but all are worth his time.

Wife Mary told me that when the family is doing home activities Steve is at the computer and when they go out it has to be an amusement park. She said, "Paramount’s Great America. We live a God-damned hour from God-damned Great America. Sure, we can take the kids once, or maybe even a few times. But do we have to go almost every week and ride almost everything? He would rather marathon on the Vekoma Invertigo than have sex. Oh Jesus, I just used its model name, didn’t I? Please make this stop." Mary then broke down and cried on this reporter's shoulder.

However, the patriarch sees no end in sight. Steve told me that this week he is doing a "killer" recreation of the coasters at Idora Park. "Next week I am putting the finishing touches on what I call 'The Ultimate Coaster.' I have already trademarked the name because I know that parks will want to use it for their next big ride. Kinzel’s already calling me -- I swear!"

On my way out this reporter spoke briefly with Alexis and Cassie about their day at school. Cass did finger painting while her sister read her first "big girl" book. I sat each young lady down and told each that their father had stopped loving them and that they should consider him dead to them. When Cassie said, "Daddy sucks," I knew I had gotten through to them.