I’m home for the next couple weeks, so I decided to organize my back office closet, which I’ve neglected for years. I store some of my winter clothes there, boxes of old paperwork I need to sort out and probably shred or throw out, but more importantly there are hundreds if not thousands of old paper photos I need to sort thru and now ‘digitize’ or at least organize.
I knew the boxes and boxes of photos were stored away in the closet, but really didn’t appreciate the volume of photos that I had accumulated over the years. Today with digital photos it’s so much easier to keep track of your trips, family pics, etc, but in the not so long ago ‘old days’ of photography you had to actually use film! And then pay to process that film! (Oh, the ‘younger generation’ (me too at 52!) has it so easy with photos these days – iPhones, Ipads – who needs a camera! And you can take all the selfies you like without paying $$ for wasted shots!)
My wise elderly Grandmother told me many years ago when I first started traveling for work around 1985 and started taking lots of pictures: “Make sure you date your pictures and put the location. You think you will remember them, but years later you won’t”. Wow, truer words where never spoken! At the time I wondered how could I ever forget all of these cool trips I went on? Time does have a way of making you forget a few things, but fortunately some of the photos were date-stamped on the back, and others I can tell roughly when they were taken by the clothes I was wearing (especially logo-Tshirts), people in the pics, destination, web look up for date opening etc. On my next post or two I’ll go thru a hodge-podge of pics I pulled out of a box, and we can take a quick trip around the world!
For now though, and since this is nearly the official opening of summer, I am posting these old ‘professional ride or attraction pics’ from various amusement park or attractions I have gone on over the years. These photos you buy from the vendor at the end of the ride or attraction, and were mixed in with my other personal photos I had taken, but were easily picked out due to their size and photo cover jacket describing the ride or adventure. I love the photo jackets that come with the photo often times as much as the ride or attraction, as it gives background info, as well as some cool graphics and trivia. These photo jackets have gotten more grand as time goes by (as have the prices), but I still think they are a great souvenir. As these pics were manually scanned in for the blog, the quality is obviously not as good as the original. I’m a sucker for the ride or attraction pics, and have bought quite a few over the years. Some of these are quite old, so I’ll start with a couple from the late 1980s and move forward. I haven’t bought any ‘ride’ pics in a long time as I no longer do the mega roller coasters, but still do get the cruise ship photos, which I’ll do a blog on in the near future. Sure, the ‘professional’ pics keep going up in price, and the new rides keep getting bigger and bigger, but in the scheme of things when you look back years later, “yeah that was really fun -and it really was the biggest and/or best coaster/attraction at the time!” Wow – instant memories!
Now, if only I had remembered to date the photos . . . Enjoy!
First up is the Magnum XL200. (All links on this page are to Wikipedia if you want more info on the ride or attraction). I was working for Bellsouth in the late 1980s and was up in Sandusky, OH on business with a co-worker and friend, Becky. We had some free time over the weekend, so we went to Cedar Point for the day – home of the mega roller coasters. We must have been the year the Magnum XL 200 opened, in 1989 as it was then billed as the world’s ‘tallest, steepest, and fastest roller coaster’, which the title was no doubt short-lived with the newer rides being built each season. Still, for Becky, it was an absolute terror, judging by her scream!
The next photo is not a ride, but an attraction stop to Alcatraz, from sometime in the early 1990s. I was in San Francisco on business, and toured this famous site one weekend. This photo jacket provides a few pics of the city, as well as trivia on Alcatraz, and even which bus or cable car to take to get there! While you obviously have to take a boat to get to Alcatraz island, the photographers ‘just happen’ to be on hand to snap your photo as you board, and can conveniently pick it up on the return.
In the mid 1990s I went to Kings Dominion, near Richmond, VA, with my good friend and co-worker Sherry. Growing up in Virginia, I used to go to both Kings Dominion (in Richmond) and Busch Gardens (in Williamsburg shown here with the Loch Ness Monster) every year, so I always liked going back there. On this visit, we got a couple pics that day of different coasters. The first one did not have a coaster name on the photo jacket, while the second one did – The Hurler: (what a great name for an after lunch ride!)
On my third trip to Australia in 1998, I visited Sea World on the Gold Coast. While I don’t remember the Bermuda Triangle ride as much as the photo jacket, this one was one of the best as far as quality, theming, and photo size, complete with trivia about the real Bermuda Triangle. I read on the above Wikipedia link that the ride was replaced with another in 2013.
Fast forward a couple years, and I now live in the Orlando, FL area. I’m always greeting friends and family visiting throughout the year, and here are a couple of pics from when I would actually do these rides; i.e. early 2,000-ish. When I first moved to Florida I used to ride the Incredible Hulk all the time at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Here my sister Jenni was down visiting from Maryland, and we had a screaming good ride!
Of course we can’t leave out Disneyworld, and at the time the Hollywood Tower Hotel was part of MGM Studios. While today the ride has the same name, the WDW Florida park is now called Hollywood Studios, and has also been adjusted for a random-drop sequence. I never liked to just ‘drop’, but I don’t look anywhere near as scared as my friends, Kevin and especially Rick, visiting from Australia looks! (Middle row on the right: Kevin, Rick, and me.)
And finally, while not a ride, but definitely a tourist attraction, I had to kiss the Blarney Stone when we were in Ireland, as part of a Celebrity Trans-Atlantic cruise back in 2009. It’s really quite disgusting if you think about it – kissing the stone that everyone else has! Yuk! I washed my mouth off with Purell when I was done – but hey we did it, and bought a cool souvenir photo folder!