Event Update: White Lightning 10k

Greetings Florida Region,

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe during these trying times.  As you all are aware, the Florida Parks are remaining closed throughout May and possibly further.  Most of them do not have a planned reopening time set, Fun Spot included.

For the safety of all our members and the employees of Fun Spot, we have decided to postpone our White Lightning 10k event until later this year.  Once we have secured a new date for the event, we will send out another announcement.  Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for further event updates.

If anyone has any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me directly through email.

Thank you for understanding,

Michael Christopher
Florida Regional Rep
American Coaster Enthusiasts

Regional Rep Statement about COVID-19

Greetings Florida Region,

As most of you are aware, all major Theme Parks in Florida have closed their operations either today or earlier.  The closures are directly related to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.  I would like to take this moment to provide an event update to everyone who follows the Florida region of ACE.

At this time, we had no plans to host any official or informal ACE Florida Regional Events between now and the end of April.  Our next scheduled event is for our White Lightning 10k at Fun Spot, scheduled for May 16th.  This event is still scheduled as planned and, at this time, will not be rescheduled or cancelled.  I am finishing up the final details about this event and please keep an eye out for registration information in the next few weeks.

Iron Gwazi’s track has been completed and it has officially started testing.  I was considering an informal ACE meet-up at the park the first or second week of the opening of Iron Gwazi, but that has now been postponed indefinitely.  We will resume event planning with Busch Gardens as appropriate, upon park operations resuming.

I hope that everyone stays safe and please feel free to reach out to me via email if you have any questions or concerns about future ACE events.

Thank you,

Michael Christopher
Regional Rep – Florida
American Coaster Enthusiasts

Busch Gardens Announces Iron Gwazi for 2020

For three solid years, coaster fans would dream and wonder what would become of Gwazi at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.  After it’s closure in 2015, it stood dormant for an extended period before any type of plan was released to the public.  In early 2019, a limited amount of information was released putting the final nail in the coffin for the iconic dueling wooden coaster that fans had either loved or hated: Gwazi would be reborn as a new Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box coaster.

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Ride Review – Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon

Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon is expected to open to the public April 6th in Universal Studios Orlando.  Passholders were invited via e-mail to attend a scheduled preview as long as they were early enough to respond to their e-mail.  I was not one of those lucky enough to schedule my preview online.  Instead, during normal operating hours, my group (along any other guests who “asked”) was invited to test out the new “Virtual Queue” for the attraction. Continue reading

Mako Ride Review

Sea World Orlando is home to a couple of very good roller coasters. They started out with Kraken, the first B&M Floorless coaster in Florida, then opened Manta, the only B&M Flying coaster in Florida.  Now, recently opened to the public, Mako is the only B&M Hyper coaster in Florida.

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Mako Entrance Queue Area during Media Day Event – Photo by Michael Christopher

I personally was not there for opening day, but I was able to attend the Media Event on the day before and I had multiple opportunities to ride.  I will admit, when the POV was released, I was not entirely impressed as I was comparing it to other B&M Hypers like Goliath (Six Flags Over Georgia), Dimondback (Kings Island), and Apollo’s Chariot (Busch Gardens Williamsburg).  The ride seems short and condensed, it seemed like there were only a few good hills and it seemed too short in the videos.  I think I can safely say that I was proven completely incorrect!

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