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Roller Coasters

July 15, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Known as "America's Roller Coast," Cedar Point has been home to many record-breaking rides over the years and boasts a towering skyline of steel unmatched by any other amusement park. Photos : View the Top 10 Cedar Point roller coasters With 17 coasters, Cedar Point remains just behind Six Flags Magic Mountain's 18 coasters in a fierce back-and-forth battle for the coveted title of "Roller Coaster Capital of the World. " The Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park is about mind-blending speeds, gut-wrenching drops and scream-inducing thrills of the wooden- and steel-coaster kind.
April 10, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
The world of Christian pop music gets the "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind" treatment in the clever, consistently amusing mockumentary "Jesus People. " The film, an offshoot of a Web series made popular on, brings together a deft comedic cast (including six of the series' original actors) who enjoyably sell this tale of the speedy rise and fall of a hapless Christian band named Cross My Heart. Formed under the aegis of the earnest, supposedly dying - and conspicuously bewigged - Pastor Jerry (Joel McCrary)
July 24, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Reporting from Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey-- Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., has a long and winding roller coaster history that's filled with as many twists and turns as the amusement park's many record-breaking rides. Photos : Top 10 Six Flags Great Adventure roller coasters Great Adventure was a must-see on my road trip across America's coaster belt, in large part because of the park's three world-class rides: El Toro, Kingda Ka and Nitro.
April 10, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
A small amusement park in the shadows of Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm will introduce a first-of-its-kind ride in the United States that has already caught the attention of roller coaster enthusiasts. The $2-million Rewind Racers set to debut this summer at Anaheim's Adventure City will be the first family shuttle coaster built in North America by Germany-based Gerstlauer Amusement Rides. Photos: Rewind Racers roller coaster at Anaheim's Adventure City Adventure City is already expected to be a stop on the 2015 West Coast Tour for Theme Park Review, a coaster enthusiast website that coordinates cross-country road trips to theme parks around the world.
July 18, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Reporting from Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pa.-- My current  travels across the great American roller-coaster belt will put me aboard five of the oldest operating coasters in the world, including the very oldest at little Lakemont Park here in Altoona. Photos : View the 21 oldest roller coasters in the world I found the rough, rickety and rundown Leap-the-Dips at Lakemont Park to be the perfect throwback to the golden age of coasters, when thrills were raw and wild rather than neutered by lawyers and lawmakers.
October 25, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The first volleys of the next roller coaster revolution have been fired in the forested Idaho panhandle, the emerging epicenter of thrill ride innovation. Located in the small town of Hayden, Idaho, Rocky Mountain Construction has burst onto the ride manufacturing scene seemingly out of nowhere, shaking the theme park industry like a rumbling coaster train rocketing along a rickety old track with plans to build two looping wooden coasters in 2013. > Photos: Rocky Mountain and the history of looping wooden coasters Not since the coaster wars of the 1980s and '90s have the possibilities for thrill rides, new and revamped,   seemed so promising.
May 27, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
SANDUSKY, Ohio - As an amusement parks blogger, I have visited most of the big theme parks in Southern California and central Florida, but my roller-coaster résumé was a little thin when it came to the parks in between. So last summer my wife, Nancy, our 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, and I climbed aboard more than 70 coasters in 10 days at theme parks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We each had established a few rules for our journey across America's Coaster Belt. Hannah was willing to ride coasters reaching 65 mph, topping out at 200 feet and going upside down three times.
March 2, 1997
In the never-ending competition to add faster, scarier, bigger rides to lure tourists to theme parks, two new "inverted" roller coasters, which suspend the cars from the tracks like ski lifts, debut this spring. Next Saturday, "The Great White" ride opens at Sea World of Texas in San Antonio--the first roller coaster at any of the nation's four Sea World parks. And on April 11, Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Va.
HOLD THE ENLIGHTENMENT More Travel, Less Bliss By Tim Cahill Villard 300 pages, $24.95 Reading "Hold the Enlightenment: More Travel, Less Bliss," a collection of essays by adventure travel writer Tim Cahill ("Pass the Butterworms"), is like visiting a theme park that offers thrills for all types, from easygoing Dumbo-caliber rides to the most hair-raising roller coasters.
May 2, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
A fire raged through a roller coaster at one of Europe's largest amusement parks, forcing 150 passengers to scramble down 60-foot ladders to escape. At least 54 people were injured, most of them suffering smoke inhalation. Phantasialand in Bruehl in western Germany was filled with 20,000 guests for the May Day holiday, officials said. "We just barely avoided a catastrophe," said Cologne police director Winrich Granitzka. The park's founder said the fire probably began in a cable.
February 24, 2014 | Brady MacDonald
A $10-million first-of-its-kind attraction coming to Canada's Wonderland will combine a 4-D interactive dark ride with a roller-coaster track inside the Toronto-area amusement park's decades-old Wonder Mountain centerpiece. Photos: Wonder Mountain's Guardian at Canada's Wonderland Debuting on May 4, Wonder Mountain's Guardian will carry riders up a 60-foot-tall coaster lift hill on the exterior of the man-made mountain before dipping inside a cavern and slowing down for a dark ride experience complete with wind, motion and other special effects.
January 11, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown stepped out from behind the podium holding a green marker, ready to assume the role of professor. As he laid out his new budget plan, he circled the spot on a chart showing California's budding surplus. Some people think "we should go on a spending binge," he said. He wouldn't do that, Brown said: "We see the lessons of history. " If anyone in the Capitol knows California history, it's the 75-year-old governor serving his second stint in office.
November 26, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
What a difference (not having) R. Kelly makes. Last week the R&B star gave a shot of energy to Justin Bieber's so-called Music Mondays series with his long-rumored appearance on " PYD ," an appealingly raunchy slow jam that got listeners talking about Bieber's music (as opposed to his antics) for the first time in what felt like forever. A mere seven days later, though, no one seems to be talking at all about Bieber's latest Music Mondays single, "Roller Coaster," which appeared online late Sunday -- just as Kelly was driving attention elsewhere with his presidential performance with Lady Gaga on the American Music Awards.
October 1, 2013 | By Bob Pool
What goes around comes around, some in Long Beach are saying about a proposal to rebuild the city's famous seaside roller coaster. City Council members will be asked Tuesday night to authorize a feasibility study into the construction of a two-lane “racing” roller coaster on a 2½-acre site near either the Long Beach Aquarium or the Queen Mary. Backers of the project say they have lined up investors for what designer Larry Osterhoudt calls the Cyclone Racer coaster. City Council member Gerrie Schipske wants the city manager to determine the feasibility of the coaster project, which she said “would create considerable tourism dollars” for Long Beach.
September 11, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - In the last two weeks, President Obama has brought the United States to the brink of another military operation, then backed off unexpectedly. He went abroad and tried to rally international partners to join his cause, but returned empty-handed. He launched one of the biggest public relations and lobbying campaigns of his presidency, then aborted the mission. He called the nation to its televisions to make the case for using force, but made the case for more diplomacy. The White House's stop-and-start response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria three weeks ago could at best be described as deftly improvisational and at worst as impulsive and risky.
August 15, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- A 5-year-old boy was recovering from a broken leg Thursday after he became frightened while riding a kiddie roller coaster at Coney Island, wriggled his way out of the car he was in, and fell. Witnesses said the little boy, whose name was not released, became wedged between the track and the cars of the Sea Serpent ride. Deno's Wonder Wheel, which operates some of the rides on the boardwalk at Coney Island, said the bright green Sea Serpent -- a ride designed for young children -- had never had an accident in its 15 years in operation.
March 29, 1996 | Marla Dickerson
Looks like 1996 is shaping up to be a twisted year indeed. That's because more than 50 new roller coasters are set to open in amusement parks worldwide, leading white-knuckle enthusiasts to declare 1996 the International Year of the Roller Coaster. One of the most terrifying new offerings--Superman The Escape--is scheduled for a late May launch at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.
August 12, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
I wonder whether the 9,985 who showed up at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday to hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct a wild and properly woolly concert performance of "Aida" included any of the Hollywood producers responsible for this summer's crop of unsuccessful blockbusters. It would be nice to think so, because Verdi's opera is an object lesson in the art of blockbusterism without the bluster. Bring on the camels and camp it up if you like. But this is also a showstopper opera open to ethereal eloquence.
August 10, 2013
Re "Hey, Mr. Mayor: Start here," Column, Aug. 7 Steve Lopez doesn't go far enough in calling on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to make repairing sidewalks a priority. The roller coasters, hills, dales and X Games-like ramps that are L.A.'s sidewalks seem often an unvoiced municipal admonition that we don't walk here. It's as if the city has invented its own test of citizenship: If you have to walk, go elsewhere. What has always puzzled me is how a modern metropolis can't figure how to put trees, curbs and sidewalks together without one causing the deformation of the others.
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