Gift Guide for Coaster Enthusiasts 2015
The holiday shopping season is upon us once again and if you’re on the hunt for that special gift for a friend or family member who happens to be a roller coaster enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place! The obvious gift is to buy a season pass to your local amusement park, zoo, or aquarium but if you want to give something a little bit different this time then check out our list below. Like last year, we’ve organized our gift ideas into several sub-categories.
Coaster101 Calendar. Want a great monthly roller coaster wall calendar with photos taken by the Coaster101.com team, all well supporting a good cause? Look no further than the Coaster101.com 2016 Wall Calendar. In addition to photos of 13 different roller coasters from parks across the country (the calendar is 11″ x 8.5″ and opens to 11″ x 17″), 50% of the net proceeds for all calendars sold will go directly to Give Kids The World Village in Central Florida. Each calendar is $15 including shipping to anywhere in the United States. (There will be a small fee to ship outside of the United States.) Supplies are limited, so be sure to order early.
*Note: If you would rather not use Etsy, or would like to order a calendar outside of the United States, please email [email protected] *
Coasters 101: An Engineer’s Guide to Roller Coaster Design. Learn how roller coaster designers spend hundreds of hours creating, tweaking, and re-imagining ride paths to push the exhilaration envelope while carefully maintaining the highest safety standards. Features design example problems real roller coaster engineers face in the field today as well as career advice for any aspiring roller coaster engineers. For 25% off, enter discount code: UY8WJQMM when purchasing directly from: https://www.createspace.com/3737443
Chippewa Lake Park: Gone, But Not Forgotten is by Coaster101 writer and photographer Kyle Lindner. This 64 page photo-book is a small effort to help preserve what is left of this once roaring park. Included are black and white film photographs, digital photographs and chromoskedasic prints.
Theme Park Books
Theme Park Design by Steve Alcorn. Take a peek behind the scenes, with a theme park engineer – a must read for all aspiring theme park designers! For more information read our review and interview features with Steve.
Creating My Own Nemesis by John Wardley. The story follows John’s professional career beginning with how he got out of the boring family business and into the crazy world of theme parks. If by any degree you’re into magic, illusions, theater production, theme park design, or roller coasters I highly recommend you read this thoroughly entertaining book. Read our full review here.
The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando 2016 by Seth Kubersky. Planning a trip to Universal Orlando in 2016? Look no further than the first book dedicated to Universal Orlando from the Unofficial Guides. Check out our interview with author Seth Kubersky from September here, and if Universal Orlando isn’t your thing, Unofficial Guides also publishes annual guides to Walt Disney World and Disneyland as well.
The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic by Jason Surrell. Former Disney Imagineer Jason Surrell takes an in depth look at the creation and stories behind the various Haunted Mansion attractions at Disney Parks around the world. A must have for any fan of the classic Disney dark ride!
Pre-Order RollerCoaster Tycoon World. While the next installment in the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise won’t be released until early 2016, you can still pre-order the game for the coaster tycoon in your life. Also, the RollerCoaster Tycoon: Ultimate Collection includes the RollerCoaster Tycoon World pre-order in addition to the previous three RCT games.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Triple Thrill Pack Instant Download. This compilation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and expansion packs Time Twister and Wacky Worlds brings together all the rides, building tools, as well as five real-world Six Flags amusement parks and 25 of their signature coasters.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Mass Effect Video Games. Earlier this fall, Cedar Fair announced two new attractions based on the popular Mass Effect (California’s Great America) and Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Carowinds) video game franchises. If you want to learn the back story for these attractions, or maybe get some practice in before the spring, then these are the gifts for you. (If you really want to get ahead, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 will be released in February 2016.)
Toys and Models
The carnival is coming to town with this super cool new Fairground Mixer LEGO set. A portable spinning ride and several carnival games can be built with the more than 1,700 pieces.
LEGO Creator Expert 10247 Ferris Wheel Building Kit – Build the iconic Ferris Wheel, featuring 12 colorful suspended gondolas with opening doors, ice cream stall, kiosk, 10 minifigures and more.
Want to bring a little piece of Walt Disney World into your home? Looking for an alternative to putting a train around your Christmas tree? Then check out the Walt Disney World Monorail Playset. This working monorail is inspired by the real thing and has sound and light effects.
CoasterDynamix Nancoasters – Stainless steel coaster models that are pretty affordable, though non-working. Great gift to display on your desk or in your home.
Tech and Gadgets
Google Cardboard – Want to see those virtual reality coaster videos parks are now creating to market and preview their new rides? Get a Google Cardboard. Take a spin on Lightning Rod or Valravn. Google Cardboard is described as Virtual Reality (VR) on a budget. Gives you a taste of the capabilities of the Oculus Rift at a fraction of the cost. Though be warned it may cause motion sickness if the app you’re looking at doesn’t perfectly track your head movement. It’s fun to assemble and play with.
Clothing and Apparel
Cincy Amusement Park Shirts. From the early days of Chester Park to Americana and Kings Island, these vintage shirts will be a nice stroll down memory lane. This shop not only sells The Bat shirts, but also a few other defunct Kings Island coasters, including Son of Beast, Phantom Theater, and King Cobra!
Made To Thrill is a lifestyle brand for theme park fans created by Josh Reichlin. They have a great B&M Inspired Shirt, as well as an EPCOT-Inspired shirt in their online shop. (Also don’t miss out on their Theme Park Inspired Prints!) GOOD MONDAY 11/30 and TUESDAY 12/1 ONLY: ENTER CODE “COASTER101” FOR 15% OFF YOUR TOTAL ORDER. Be sure to check out our Interview about Josh’s Inspirations here!
Looking for an inexpensive stocking stuffer for the Coaster Fanatic on your shopping list? Hate making decisions? Holiday World’s Holishop has the solution to both of those problems with their $5 “Grab Bag” T-Shirts. That’s right, for just five dollars, they will send you a random shirt from Holiday World or Splashin’ Safari. This is a great deal, as many theme park shirts will cost $25-$30 in park. Available in both Adult and Youth Sizes.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. If you’re a Star Wars fan like I am you’re probably anxiously awaiting The Force Awakens movie on December 18th as well as the additions of Star Wars Land to Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. This book will wet your appetite before the new movie comes out. The story takes place during the original trilogy but offers a new perspective in which the main characters don’t really know anything about The Force, the Jedi, the Dark Side, etc. which I think is a theme that will carry over into The Force Awakens. The story also ends about a year or two after The Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi and does contain the Battle of Jakku and how at least one of those Star Destroyers ends up smashed on the desert planet. If you’re only going to read one Star Wars related book, this is the one.
What gifts are you getting your coaster enthusiast friends? Which coaster gifts are you hoping to find under the tree this year? Discuss in the comments section below.