Let’s start with a gift! We have created a desktop wallpaper to celebrate COASTER-net’s 20th Anniversary. Our Patreons get regular digital gifts like desktop and mobile wallpapers, but this month we wanted the whole community to share in the fun. The ride that we picked to use is Volcano: The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion, the staff considers this ride as our launching point or blast off. Why? Well, keep reading.
On August 1st, 1998, what you know as COASTER-net began as a text only website. This humble attempt by site founder Devin Olsen was inspired by a ride on his home park’s newest and most intense record breaking roller coaster. The site launched with a basic ride gallery, that would expand to cover major attractions worldwide. The site had a trivia section as the sole means of interaction; we now have forums & a social media presence on Facebook, Patreon, Twitter, YouTube, and Discord. But the most forward looking section of the site was construction photos for 1999 attractions. This combo of history, news, interaction, and enthusiasm was the winning formula that has made this community grow. It has been a meeting place for enthusiasts, where I have been able to learn about new parks and be an ambassador for my own. Over time as the site grew and expanded both in content and membership, it naturally created a great place for like-minded people to share their common interest in new ways. We have reached out to everyone from every group who loves roller coasters to let their voices be heard in our Ride Warrior Choice Awards. They have a part in discovering the results during The Thrilling 32, you can’t help but actually root and cheer for your favorite roller coasters. And every year El Toro doesn’t win, I’m sad.
The site’s founder originally drew me in with his From Dreams to Screams documentary series. It was different than just stock footage of the ride - it helped create a story and gave both the ride and riders a voice, and the great production value didn’t hurt either. I checked out the site and joined the forum just as COASTER-net TV started on YouTube. I did not listen to coasterradio, and was not aware of COASTER-net alumni Clint Novak’s In The Loop yet, so Uncut became my introduction to a coaster podcast/VLOG. Listening to Danny and Andy spar over different ideas, and gush over their favorite coasters and parks was a new fun experience. I was suddenly like, there are tons of nerds out there (I mean that in the best possible way) that go crazy over roller coasters just like me. Eventually, I joined the staff and contributed where I could and dove into the hobby deeper and deeper. A big heartfelt thank you to all current and past staff for keeping this place running and improving it with your unique skills. Also to all members who post on the forums, comment sections, and on social media without you we would not have a growing community that makes COASTER-net feel special. So grab a seat, pull down that restraint, and hold on… 3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF!