THE ROLLER COASTERS OF CEDAR POINT.

VHS_RollerCoastersOfCedarPoint[VHS: Cedar Fair L.P. – 2001 – 23 mins]. Sit upright, hold tight and get ready for the ride of your life as we take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the greatest scream machines ever built. Whether you crave the high-tech thrills of Millennium Force, the speed of Mean Streak, or the unpredictability of Raptor, Cedar Point has the coaster for you. This action-packed programme will not only give you a brief history of the park’s legendary coasters, but will actually give you a front-row seat on some of the best. (Also available on DVD and updated to include Wicked Twister and Top Thrill Dragster). ANDY SHINE SAYS: This includes a short segment about the park’s founding and its former coasters. I was hoping for a longer, more detailed programme. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

THE SECRET WORLD OF… AMUSEMENT PARKS.

VHS_TheSecretWorldOfAmusementParks[VHS: MPI Home Video – 1998 – 48 mins]. Theme parks are always competing for the world’s scariest rides. See some of the biggest and most popular rides today, including The Matterhorn at Disneyland, the Raptor in Ohio, Batman at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Desperado in Nevada. Keep your feet on the ground as you experience the 170ft drop from the Space Shot in Las Vegas. Find out how theme parks are designed and explore the future of the industry by visiting XSNY in Manhattan and the New York Skyride at the Empire State Building. ANDY SHINE SAYS: Not many ‘secrets’ were disclosed; nevertheless, I can think of worse ways to spend 48 minutes! ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Fair / Good.

TIMBER WOLF.

VHS_TimberWolf[VHS: American Pro Video – 1989 – 6 mins]. Since La Marcus Adna Thompson built the first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway in 1884, coasters have thrilled millions. In 1887, early “dare-devils” boarded Thompson’s Scenic Railway, and were hurled a lolling 15mph around the superstructure. However, coaster speeds soon increased with new technology and safety innovations. By the ’20s, coasters reached their golden age. At the end of the decade there were over 1,400 twists, drops and curves for coaster riders in parks across the country. From the PTC Racer, built in 1972, to the Orient Express, built in 1980, ride designers have tried to create the ultimate thrill ride. The Coney Island Cyclone, Texas Cyclone and the Beast are some of today’s most famous roller coasters. On 1 April 1989, Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, unleashed the awesome power of the now legendary Timber Wolf, currently rated #2 in the world. ANDY SHINE SAYS: A typically short promotional film! ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Poor / Fair.

TOP 10 WILDEST RIDES.

VHS_A-ETopTenWildestRides[VHS: A&E Home Video – 2000 – 50 mins]. Hosted by Robb Weller and Andrea Joyce. Put on your seat belt and experience America’s top ten wildest thrill rides. [10]= “Big Shot” (Las Vegas) with Jack Morris – Ride Engineering Manager. [9]= “Desperado” (Buffalo Bill’s) with Tony Williams – Director of Rides and Attractions. [8]= “Sky Coaster” (Florida) with Gregory Lauzon – FamilyFun magazine, and Bill Kitchen – Ride Owner. [7]= “Texas Giant” (Six Flags Over Texas) with Gary Slade – Amusement Today. [6]= “Stealth” (Paramount’s Great America) with Gayle Ando – Park General Manager, and Anthony Esparza – Paramount Parks. [5]= “Incredible Hulk” (Islands of Adventure) with Marc Watson – Director: Universal Creative. [4]= “Goliath” (Six Flags Magic Mountain) with Ric Turner – ACE. [3]= The “Beast” & “Son of Beast” (Paramount’s Kings Island) with Tiffany Hines – rider. [2]= “GhostRider” (Knott’s Berry Farm) with Garrison White – rider. [1]= “Millennium Force” (Cedar Point) with David Escalante – ACE, etc. ANDY SHINE SAYS: I enjoyed this programme. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

TWISTER: A WOODEN WONDER COMES ALIVE!

VHS_KnoebelsTwister[VHS: WVIA Public Television – 1999 – 27 mins]. Another world-class “woody,” Twister, joins The Phoenix as a one-two amusement park punch in the fight for wooden roller coaster supremacy. Together, they indelibly stamp Knoebels (Elysburg, Pennsylvania) as one of the best, most popular family-operated parks in America. “Twister: A Wooden Wonder Comes Alive!” takes you from 2nd November 1998 to 24th July 1999 …from groundbreaking to debut. Along the nine-month construction journey, you will meet many of the people who played important roles in this remarkable project. We visit Philadelphia Toboggan in Lansdale, where the coaster cars were built. Then attend a big ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) convention where Twister was a hot topic of conversation. There’s a trial run when the coaster was tested and, finally the excitement of debut day when the first ride was auctioned off for charity, and park patrons experienced Twister’s thrills for the very first time. Packed with action, this documentary mixes the thrills of an exciting new “woody” with the sights and sounds of roller coaster construction. ANDY SHINE SAYS: I enjoyed this programme. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

ULTRASCIENCE II: ULTIMATE THRILL RIDES.

VHS_UltraScienceThrillRides[VHS: The Learning Channel – 1996 – 30 mins]. The Ferris wheel and roller coaster were the first to thrill us with motion, but the amusement park ride of today is going through a period of rapid evolution. Discover the descendants of the thrill rides of today, like the “Space Shot” and the “Ghost Train.” Different limits apply to “real” and “virtual” rides. Rides shown: Steel Phantom (Kennywood); Ultra Twister (Korakuen); Drop Zone (Paramount’s Great America); Ice Tunnel (Universal Studios); Back To The Future (Universal Studios); Haircut (Disney, Florida); Alien Encounter (Disney World); Earthquake (Universal Studios); Test Track (EPCOT). With contributions from: Alan Schilke (Arrow), Yoshio Saegusa (Togo), and Douglas Trumble (IMAX). ANDY SHINE SAYS: This programme spends too long investigating simulators and virtual reality systems. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Fair / Good.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA: EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF MOVIES.

VHS_MagicOfMovies[VHS: Panorama International Productions – 1994 – 57 mins]. Hosted by John Forsythe, this park promotional film captures all the highlights of your exciting trip to Universal Studios Florida: Terminator 2, 3-D; Barney; E.T. Adventure; Back to the Future – The Ride; Earthquake – The Big One; Jaws – The Great White Terror; King Kong; BeetleJuice; Stunt Shows; Behind the Scenes special effects; movie post production, and much more. Come on in and ride the movies! It’s all here! ANDY SHINE SAYS: You need to be a fan of the park and their movies to fully appreciate this. Not particularly ride orientated, there’s too much focus on movie trickery. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Fair / Good.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE – THE ADVENTURE COMES ALIVE.

VHS_IslandsOfAdventure[VHS: Universal Studios / Insight Media Communications, LLC. – 2000 – 28 mins]. Take home the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure souvenir video! Discover treasures from around the world in the Port of Entry. Romp with the characters of Seuss Landing. Do battle in the mythical lands of The Lost Continent. Encounter dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Splash around in Toon Lagoon. Dangle on the thrill rides in Marvel Super Hero Island. Experience the most creative and technologically advanced theme park on Planet Earth! ANDY SHINE SAYS: A comic book look at the many rides, shows, and unique attractions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida). Featuring: Caro-Seuss-el; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Dueling Dragons; Jurassic Park River Adventure; Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls; Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges; The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; Doctor Doom’s Fearfall; The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and many more. Also briefly promotes the attractions of Universal Studios Florida including the Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Hotel. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good / Recommended.

VERTICAL REALITY: THE VIDEO.

VHS_Vertical Reality[VHS: Green Room Productions – 1994 – 15 mins]. This video shows the entire journey on board the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Blackpool, England), which may distress viewers of a nervous disposition. The story of the Pepsi Max Big One, from conception to completion! ANDY SHINE SAYS: I wanted to learn as much as possible about the coaster and how it came about, and of the problems and challenges the engineers and construction crew faced. I was left disappointed as it discloses very little information. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Fair.

VINTAGE AMUSEMENT PARK CARTOONS & COMEDIES (1929-1947).

VHS_VintageCartoonsAndComedies[VHS: Encore Entertainment – 1929~ – 58 mins]. (5 films). [1]= “On The Loose” (1932 / 20 mins) A Hal Roach comedy starring Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts. Pity these poor girls, every boyfriend they get takes them to Coney Island, with guest appearances by Laurel & Hardy. [2]= “Fish Hooky” (1933 / 17 mins) Our Gang / The Little Rascals’ school goes for a day’s outing at Santa Monica Pier. [3]= “Noah’s Lark” (1929 / 8 mins) Early sound Max Fleisher cartoon. Old Noah gives the animals shore leave at Coney Island. [4]= “The Fun House” (1936 / 6 mins) Oswald the Rabbit visits a closed Fun House. [5]= “Abusement Park” (1947 / 7 mins) This classic Popeye cartoon sees the sailor and his nemesis competing for Olive Oyl’s affections at carnival games and aboard various rides. ANDY SHINE SAYS: The Oswald animation bored me, but the other films were rather amusing. “On The Loose” features some lengthy funhouse footage with electrified cattle prods and mechanical devices providing many of the gags! ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

WHITE KNUCKLE.

VHS_WhiteKnuckle[VHS: Green Umbrella Productions – 1994 – 52 mins]. A compilation of probably the most outrageous roller coaster rides in the world that will have thrill-seekers overloading on adrenalin. This film includes stunning on and off board footage of stomach-churning rides. Features: Nemesis; Shockwave; Grand National; Thunder Looper; The Ultimate; Big Dipper; The Vampire; Cyclone (Southport); Avalanche; Pepsi Max Big One. ANDY SHINE SAYS: Hosted by Andrew Hine, Chairman of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain (RCCGB). Featuring front seat footage from your favourite UK roller coasters, with on-screen data. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

WILD RIDES.

VHS_WildRidesMattDillon[VHS: Warner Home Video – 1982 – 27 mins]. Join roller coaster enthusiast Matt Dillon, in a unique journey across the country to explore the twists and turns that roller coastering has to offer. A series of five mini-dramas filmed aboard US coasters: “Colossus” (Six Flags Magic Mountain); “The Great American Scream Machine” and “Triple Loop Mindbender” (Six Flags Over Georgia); “Roaring Tiger” and “Flying Daredevil” (Barnum and Bailey’s Circus World); “Texas Cyclone” (AstroWorld). Music by The Who (“You”); Dave Mason (“Nothing To Fear”); Steve Miller (“Livin’ In The U.S.A.”); Steely Dan (“St. Louis Too-Do-Loo”); The Cars (“Don’t Cha Stop”); and Jimi Hendrix (“Fire”). Also features a brief history of the roller coaster with archive footage. ANDY SHINE SAYS: This programme is more to do with music and drama than roller coasters. Look for the chalk mark on the handrail of Colossus’ lift hill instructing Matt Dillon where to stop and talk to camera as he introduces the final drama. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Fair / Good.

WILD RIDES.

VHS_WildRides[VHS: Discovery Channel – 1996 – 52 mins]. (1 of 2) It’s a thrill-seekers paradise! Jump aboard some of the wildest, craziest, most extreme rides in existence. Witness astonishing speed and incredible scenes. Enjoy front seat rides on some of the most famous and outrageous roller coasters and thrill rides! Ride the Desperado and feel the white-knuckled terror generated by its terrifying 280 foot drop; put yourself through the thrills and chills of the Texas Giant; dare to hop aboard the ferocious Raptor – the world’s tallest, fastest inverted roller coaster. Get an eyeful of futuristic simulated rides and examine more than one hundred years of coaster history. (Also available on DVD). ANDY SHINE SAYS: This film held my attention from start to finish. There’s input from several prominent coaster designers and builders, which elevates the programme significantly. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good / Recommended.

WILD RIDES II.

VHS_WildRides2[VHS: Discovery Channel – 1996 – 52 mins]. (2 of 2) Jump on board for an unforgettable ride on some of the wildest roller coasters on the planet! Travel to London [Staffordshire actually!] Paris, Barcelona and across North America and experience the rush of death defying aerial delights found in thrill parks all over the world. See how technology is helping designers push thrill rides to extraordinary new limits, perpetually creating rides that are bigger, higher, faster. Take the plunge – and feel the speed! Coasters featured include: Montu; Raptor; Alpengeist; Mantis; Riddler’s Revenge; Wildcat (HersheyPark); Zeus (Carts & Coasters); Cyclone (Lakeside); Racer; Tonnerre de Zeus; Phoenix; The Comet (The Great Escape). ANDY SHINE SAYS: I enjoyed this, and you will too. All those lovely coasters. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

WORLD’S GREATEST ROLLER COASTER THRILLS.

VHS_WorldsCoasterThrills[VHS: Goldhil Video – 1995 – 65 mins]. American culture touches every corner of the globe and the fascination for getting scared out of your wits on roller coasters is no exception. Features: Dragon Mountain (Marineland, Canada); Pepsi Max Big One (Blackpool Pleasure Beach); Nemesis (Alton Towers); Shockwave (Drayton Manor Park); Olympia Looping Bahn (German Fairs); La Montaña Rusa (La Feria Chapultepec Magico); Big Dipper (Luna Park, Sydney Australia); Thunderbolt (Dreamworld, Australia); Corkscrew (SeaWorld, Australia); Desperado (Buffalo Bill’s); Dragon Khan (Port Aventura); Dragon (Ocean Park, Hong Kong). (Also available on DVD). ANDY SHINE SAYS: Even with the enclosed glasses, there is no 3-D effect. It is a good programme, with great front seat action. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good.

WORLD’S LARGEST AMUSEMENT PARK.

VHS_WorldsLargestAmusementPark[VHS: Discovery Channel – 2001 – 52 mins]. Learn how Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) grew from an old fashioned traditional amusement park to the colossal attraction known as “America’s Roller Coast.” Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the park with the largest number of amusement rides and attractions in the world (68), and the largest number of roller coasters in the world (14), Cedar Point has been declared the World’s Largest Amusement Park. Now, go behind the scenes and get an exclusive look at what it takes to win this coveted title. ANDY SHINE SAYS: This was educational and interesting. I certainly learned a thing or two about what it takes to manage and operate such a facility. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Good / Excellent.