When I was in High School, I was a roller coaster enthusiast (and still am, only with less time to visit parks). Cedar Point is my favorite park, and I would make the 4 hour trip (each way) monthly. On one particular trip, my father and friend joined, and the timing was right to see the results of a recent delivery…roller coaster track!
The track was located on a dirt stretch behind Mean Steak, no barriers or signs indicating that we shouldn’t stop and look. After a few hours in the park we walked over to take pictures, it was amazing to see the track up close. When you look at a completed coaster, you don’t realize how large the track actually is. I snapped 28 pictures before seeing that a box had some paper on it, right away a packing slip shot into my mind! Quickly I snapped 2 more pictures, not knowing if they would even be in focus enough to read.
It was then I noticed the a park security guard (actually I believe they are state troopers?) walk over and ask us to leave. We were friendly and joked with him about leaking some more information to us, he said it would be over 400ft tall. Overall he was very pleasant to us. Only when I returned home and opened the photos on my then awesome CRT monitor did I see what I truly had…Dragster!
What I found needed to be shared, I uncovered a (then) Cedar Point secret! My favorite park, and I had the name of the newest unannounced roller coaster. The I.S.P my parents had at the time included space on their web servers. A few commands in bash, and the images were online. Off to GuideToThePoint (now PointBuzz) to share them, the reception was mixed…
Various coaster websites picked up the images, and linked to my hosted images. They were labeled as an anonymous source, because there wasn’t a site behind the posting of the images. My intention was to move them to a domain I had, but I didn’t have any hosting at the time.
Once Dragster was leaked, it was the new name used when referring to the unannounced coaster. I was the source behind it, that was pretty cool. However some GuideToThePoint members were pretty cranky, claiming I crossed the line, and was trespassing. I don’t agree with them at all, the area was not marked or surrounded to indicated you couldn’t walk over there. As with most things, there are always a few sour grapes 🙂
It’s nice to get this off my chest, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to visit Cedar Point again, it’s been far too long!