Celebrating 8 Great Years of Coaster101
On June 15, 2005, Coaster101 was born as an amateurish, free-hosted website. Little did I know that eight years later, my unassuming website would (a) still exist and (b) be much larger and more established.
Photo © Tyler Hopkins
Coaster101’s appearance has changed over the years, but its mission remains the same. Read more about our history here.
Below I’ve listed just a few of the highlights from our last eight years:
2005: Gravity Group Interview
The website’s first interview was with Chad Miller of The Gravity Group. Read the interview here.
2006: Expedition Evacuation
I was lucky to ride Expedition Everest in early March 2006 as it was undergoing technical rehearsals. On my first ride, the train abruptly stopped as it was climbing the first lift hill. Cast members evacuated us from the train, and I got a unique look at Disney’s Mount Everest. See more pictures here.
2007: Sheikra Review
Photo © Tyler Hopkins
I was blown away by Sheikra at Busch Gardens Tampa. Read my initial thoughts about the coaster here.
2008: Waldameer Interview
We interviewed Steve Gorman, the general manager of Waldameer as the park’s newest coaster, Ravine Flyer II was preparing to open. Read the interview here.
2009: A New Coaster101
In 2009, we launched Coaster101 “Tres,” a visually-revamped website built with the WordPress blogging platform. This marked a new direction for Coaster101, but our purpose remained the same: bringing readers unique, interesting and relevant content.
2010: One Last Visit to the Zippin Pippin
As a Memphis, Tennessee citizen, I unfortunately had the displeasure of watching the Zippin Pippin meet its prolonged demise. I last saw the coaster in February of 2010. See the last pictures I took of the historic coaster here. A replica of the coaster now operates at Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
2011: Nick’s Cantilevered Coaster
Nick Weisenberger joined the team in 2008. A mechanical engineer, Nick has contributed a wealth of insightful writings covering topics from computer-aided design (CAD) to roller coaster physics. His cantilevered roller coaster concept model was unique to Coaster101 and renewed interest in the cantilevered roller coaster design.
2012: X-Flight Media Day
I attended my first media day event in 2012 at the Six Flags Great America’s X-Flight opening. It was a day full of nonstop X-Flight rides and conversations with legends in the amusement industry. See the pictures and video from the event here.
Coaster101’s continued development and success would not be possible without the support of our wonderful readers. We are incredibly grateful for each page view, comment, re-tweet and everything else that supports this website. We look forward to another year as we inch towards ending our first decade.
– John Stevenson and the Coaster101 Team