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Thrill-seekers gather at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Roller coaster enthusiasts gather at Six Flags for West Coast Bash

Posted: March 23, 2009 1:46 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

More than 700 roller coaster enthusiasts traveled from five countries and 38 states to congregate at Six Flags Magic Mountain for Sunday's West Coast Bash.

 

Intermittent rain showers Sunday only added to the thrill for a group of more than 700 roller coaster enthusiasts who traveled from all over to ride the most topsy-turvy coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

The coaster connoisseurs came from five countries and 38 states to "scream their brains out," said Robb Alvey, who organized Sunday's event.

Alvey, a Valencia resident, runs the Web site www.themeparkreview.com, which offers reviews, travel tips and information on about 400 theme parks worldwide. The site brings together roller coaster fanatics from around the world, Alvey said. The group visits about 200 parks each year, ranging from large corporate theme parks to smaller traditional parks.

For Sunday's West Coast Bash, Six Flags Magic Mountain opened their gates to the group two hours before it opened to the public Sunday and allowed the group to ride two hours past closing time.

Craig Keough traveled from East Granby, Conn., to ride the coasters on the west coast.

"It's the G-force, the intensity of the ride, the drop," said the 23-year-old. The bigger the drop, the better, he said.

He said he plans to blog about his west coast tour on the Web site.

Thomas Mueller traveled from Orange County to get his adrenaline rush, he said.

The 33-year-old belongs to three roller coaster groups and has traveled to the east coast, Midwest and even Canada for the twists and drops of a good roller coaster ride.

When he travels to a theme park, he usually already knows his way around.

"Sometimes I ride 20 different roller coasters," he said. "Sometimes you ride one 20 or 30 times."

When Alvey created the Web site in 1996, he "didn't know people would actually be into reading about the crazy travels of some guy that's going around the country riding coasters," he said. "That just evolved into a Web site where we have over 30,000 members and over 2 million visitors every year."

The members are mostly males between the ages of 28 and 32, but there are also quite a few women and families, he said.

"Some people in the group are into theme parks in general. They like the atmosphere," he said. "Some guys are die-hard roller coaster enthusiasts. Some love the nostalgia factor."

Alvey said he's been on more than 1,000 roller coasters and rides 300 to 400 coasters every year.

"I found I know people all over the world simply from the Web site," Alvey said. "All we have to do is post that we have a group coming to Norway or Europe or New Jersey, and you can get a group anywhere from 50 to more than 700 to meet up and hang out."

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