A Message from the Florida Regional Rep

Hello everyone in the Florida Region! If you would have told me a year ago that 2020 would be filled with more surprises than an RMC Hybrid coaster, I would have laughed it off. But here we are, in the middle of a pandemic, double hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and unprecedented theme park regulations.

I know this year hasn’t been the best for Theme Park events, especially in Florida, but I hope everyone knows that I have been weighing pros and cons of hosting events throughout this entire year. Unfortunately, the cons had outweighed the pros on almost everything I had planned. Our White Lightning 10k event along with a planned Halloween event have been postponed to at least 2021, and I feel that our IAAPA Meet & Greet will not happen as well (it is too soon to tell at this point).

However, we may have some great news coming soon, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for email notifications from the Florida region to receive our future event invites and news.

Also, for those of you looking at my picture, that is my newborn son, Owen (and one of my cats, Nox). Owen was born June 20th this year and has been a blessing to both my wife and I. He has also kept me pretty busy throughout the past few months!

One of my duties as a Region Rep is to make sure our members are happy. I really appreciate feedback because this tells me what is important both for a region standpoint and in our events. If you’d like to talk with me for any reason, or send in feedback or ideas, please drop me an email. I really do love to hear from our members!

Thank you all and stay safe out there!

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.

Continue reading

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