Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Visit to IAAPA a "Trip of a Lifetime"

Coaster enthusiast William Sanderson, 46, has always dreamed of attending the convention for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). This year, that dream became a reality.

"I've been saving up for ages so I could attend this amazing event," said Sanderson. "Wandering the floors; showing off my very best cargo pants, flip-flops, and yellow-stained Banshee t-shirt; giving B&M sorely-needed enthusiast input; riding the rides; and spilling armloads of free food everywhere...oh god, how many times to did I wet myself in my sleep thinking about it?"

Sanderson was certain that any old coaster enthusiast could just wander in the gates of the Georgia World Congress Center and receive accolades and respect from the show exhibitors as they recognized his years of intelligent and thought-provoking roller coaster riding and patch collecting. Unfortunately for him, his enthusiast organization, the Super Coaster Mofos, does not have an official arrangement to maintain a booth or tour the facilities of IAAPA during the convention, and he let his membership in ACE lapse a decade ago.

"A lot of people would see this vacation as a total failure," said Sanderson from his holding cell at a nearby jail. "I mean, some enthusiasts would be upset when they planned their entire lives around this trade show and then were told they can't come in. But I make the best of things. I sprinted in anyway. I tried six different brands of deep-fried chocolate bars; I offered my services to Gravity Group as a well-compensated ride tester; I bounced up and down on the back of that Vekoma mini-bike coaster car and went "vroom!" and I managed to grab Stan Checketts' ass, or someone's ass anyway, just before the police tackled me."

"This was still the trip of a lifetime," he added, before using his one phone call to contact Holiday World's IAAPA booth to offer his input that a "couple more" bunny hops could probably be squeezed in to the Voyage's layout.