The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Memoirs from a member of the team who saved a roller coaster
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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby rctneil » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:28 am

Fantastic read so far. Thanks for posting. Really great to hear all the stories behind it. Can't wait to read more!
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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby Beanzear » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:33 am

Wow! I grew up in San Diego and I used to LOVE Belmont Park. This was in the lat 90's and 2000's. We used to skip school all the time and go ride the coaster. I remember making up stories to my parents and then navigating the public transit system ALL THE WAY from Chula Vista to go ride the coaster. wow the memories! Even as a teenager we used to go at night on the weekends and party. Gosh that made me really miss California. I still think that the Giant Dipper is one hell of a ride. It's like being in a car accident, but in a good way. You know what I'm talking about if you've been on this thing, but that first drop was a doozy! lol

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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby yay101 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:01 am

I love this thread! I never rode it, but this is a fascinating story! I had no idea that this much happened to it before it was closed and how it affectef you. Thank you for sharing! =)
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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby Mr Stratosphere » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:15 am

Thank you for posting this amazing read! We go down to San Diego all the time and it's a fascinating read! Cannot wait to read more!
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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby hillflyer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:22 pm

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful responses. I'm overwhelmed, really.

So much so, I was saving this gem until towards the end - but it's not like we all don't know how it turned out.

By the summer of 1990, I was employed by the (then) San Diego Seaside company. The Save the Coaster Committee was successful in its mission to keep the coaster from the wrecking ball. On 9/1/89, Seaside took over the serious restoration of the Dipper. You can imagine my feeling of anticipation as I was filling 5 two-hour tapes in the midst of fresh cut wood, drills, paint...and lots of sweat. LOTS. I managed to overlook all those construction guys - it was the coaster I was hot for. Enjoy~

1) Music Video
Giant Dipper Restoration
Filmed summer of 1990
Music: Working On It
Artist: Chris Rea
Writer(s): Christopher Anton Rea, Kevin Stephen Welch
Copyright: Magnet Music Ltd., Kevin Welch Music, Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Edited Spring of 1992 using the post primitive methods you can't imagine.
4:21 length
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA3FNgZpuMc


2) The day the trains first left the station.
I'll save the story of what happened between 6:07 and 7:35 for the end. That's the fun part.
Crowds were beginning to collect when word got out that we were going to try and run the thing. Former president of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk turned General Manager of the Seaside Company, Ed Hutton, thought he should make something clear to spectators of what they might see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCJ3luvbo64


3) The new Giant Dipper loses her virginity for the "'first" time. In the 90 minutes after the train was sent out, about 1000 more spectaotors all showed up from the immediate area. You can hear them cheering it on. Note the people in the station house running from side to side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncsxabIW_Kw
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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby simon8899 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:26 am

Cool Story! As I had only one full day in San Diego in 2011 I choose Belmont Park over Sea world that day and was splendid.

Thanks for the history and to you and your team to have a good woodie to ride that day!

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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby edgeboy » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:06 am

Fantastic story. It's amazing to hear all the work that went into those efforts, as well as the personal first hand account.

I'm also just as fascinated by the Turbo. Didn't know San Diego had one! That ride continues to be elusive. Hope to ride the one getting restored one day.

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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby hillflyer » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:28 pm

Yours truly,

Poking my head out from the spool. Sometime in 1982 or 3.

At this point, I think all we've accomplished is a newer fence and cleanup of the area, including removal of enough sand to fill a standard swimming pool. It was early days.

I think I was up there with Sam and Acer Gary Benner, who took this shot before moving to San Diego
Belmont lift head.jpg
Last edited by hillflyer on Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:41 pm.

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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby robbalvey » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:34 pm

How much restoration was done at this point?

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Re: The Giant Dipper and the Save the Coaster Committee

Postby hillflyer » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:54 pm

On page 4, seventh panel down I had asked a True or False question.

TRUE OR FALSE:

In the 1986 movie "Top Gun" you can actually see printed Save the Coaster Committee material tacked on a bulletin board that Tom Cruise stands and stares at in a scene that takes place in the shower room.

The answer is: TRUE!!
It was July of 1985. Being that telecommunications was my first Major, I was interning behind the scenes for a really sucky movie called “Sour Grapes” or “Happy Hour” – the latter being the release title. Richard Little (Comedian), Jamie Farr (Mash), Tawny Kitaen (Bachelor Party & Whitesnake videos), Eddie Deezen (Grease), and Richard Gilliland (pre-Designing Women) starred in it. It was produced by Four Square productions, the same people who put San Diego on the Rotten Tomatoes list years previous with “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”
Happy Hour.jpg

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