Announcing The Future! RollerCoasterTour.com

Let's do this! Click the image to go to RollerCoasterTour.com

I’ve been dropping hints on twitter and facebook, but it’s time for the big reveal: RollerCoasterTour.com is aaaallllliiiiiivvvvvveeeee!

Beginning May 21 I’m going on a massive tour of the United States where I’ll ride every roller coaster in the land … and then end in Abu Dhabi at the fastest coaster in the world! It goes almost 150 miles per hour so it’s fitting that it’s located at Ferrari World.

If you’ve read How To Live Anywhere you already know I had this planned for a long time, but the logistics never worked out. A roller coaster tour must happen between late spring and early fall. Before or after that and too many parks are closed. May 21 seems to be like “opening day” in the roller coaster world.

Usually I’d have other plans that would make it difficult to fit a 3 month commitment. And normally I wouldn’t want to spend my Summer driving 13,000 miles. But I cleared my Summer and this road trip will be special.

I’m buying a 1986 Cadillac Hearse (which I will then sell or otherwise get rid of, maybe auction for charity?) so I can relive my childhood fantasies of being on The Munsters. I’ve always felt a connection with Herman Munster. He was tall, awkward, weird, misunderstood, and drove a hearse. He was awesome. :)

Logistics and Planning

If you know me you probably know I’m not a fan of planning. Well, figuring out the logistics of this tour took weeks (spread out over the past few months). I’ve probably spent close to 80 hours dissecting park websites and roller coaster databases. This is something I could have outsourced, but part of the fun in doing an adventure like this is getting down to the nitty gritty. Copying/pasting hundreds of coasters into a spreadsheet is not really a good use of time … but you learn a lot about what’s happening and where you’re going when you’re involved in the details.

More than that, I feel like I appreciate what I’m doing more because I know what a massive undertaking this is.

I’d like to especially thank UltimateRollerCoaster.com for being around. I don’t have any contact with them, but I used their database exclusively to figure out which coasters I’d be riding.

There were a lot of snafus along the way. For example, Google Maps (and every other major map site) has a limit of only 25 map points. I needed about 70. (Although I pared it down to 59 because some of the parks I let slip through the cracks had really weak kiddie coasters that were not worth visiting.)

I paid $29.95 for 250 map point credits at MyRouteOnline.com to get the job done. The map looks pretty good (you can see it here) and all I had to do was upload my spreadsheet to calculate the route and the total mileage. According to the site my route is actually 12,951.27 miles, but I’m sure you won’t kill me for rounding up to 13,000. In actuality, I’ll get lost at least 17 times and my mileage will end up being 26,000. ;) (Don’t worry, I will use a GPS.)

Another problem was figuring out the beginning of the tour. I wanted to start as soon as possible and get to Portland, OR in time for World Domination Summit (June 3-5). But certain parks aren’t open every day in late May, so I had to contact a few parks to figure out open days and work around that. More snafus will probably present themselves along the way, but I’ll deal with those as they arise.

I Can’t Do This Without Your Help!

As you can imagine, my estimated costs for this tour are not small. While I can pay this out of pocket, I’d much rather find an amazing sponsor who will subsidize the cost of the tour in exchange for a crazy amount of promotion via RollerCoasterTour.com, videos (of every coaster I go on), t-shirts (I’ll be wearing a Tour shirt on every coaster), and a car (err, hearse!) wrap.

If you work for an awesome company that would like to sponsor the tour please get in touch. If you know somebody that might work at an awesome company that would like to sponsor the tour, also get in touch! More info about sponsorship can be found here: http://www.rollercoastertour.com/sponsors/

South By Southwest!

I’ll do my best to connect with companies without being an annoying asshole over the next week at SXSW (I’m leaving for Austin tomorrow!). For the first time in a long time I actually have business cards. RollerCoasterTour.com business cards, but business cards none-the-less!

If you’ll be there we should meet up. I’ll be at a ton of events. Just look for the tall dude who looks like me. That will be me!

More More More

I could talk your ear off here (wait, wouldn’t it be “write your eyes off”?), but all the information about the tour is at RollerCoasterTour.com so go check it out.

Thanks for reading this decidedly abnormal article. Back to regularly scheduled programming on Monday.

{ 33 comments }

Andrea

Time to change the name of this site: extremely ridiculous! :)
A hearse? You never cease to amaze me! Will you be sleeping in the back?

Jia Jun

Haha, Agree! It’s involving now. Form to be extremely ridiculous. XD
Great Karol for making such a huge planning into actions.
Hope you enjoy the journey. :D

Karol

Thanks Jia Jun!

Karol

hehe :) I’m considering sleeping in the back sometimes just for the sheer novelty, but most likely I will find a sponsor who will pay for hotels. :)

Miss P.

I had a pretty high respect for you, ever since I started reading this site. Now I have pretty high respect coupled with that *squee*-type adoration that women usually reserve for babies and puppies. Really, a man driving around the US in hearse to ride all roller-coasters, because those just happen to be his childhood dreams, is swoon worthy. ;)

My dreams are a little less extravagant and less thoroughly planned; I’ll be hiking (part of) St. James way in April. It is such a joy to finally do that and I can only imagine what you feel for this project. I hope you find your sponsor(s).

Karol

Thanks Miss P. No reasons your dreams have to be extravagant or thoroughly planned. They’re yours! (Most of mine aren’t this thoroughly planned or extravagant either.)

Rosa

Sounds like so much fun! can’t wait to hear all about it :)

Karol

Thanks Rosa! It will be a good time. :)

Sarah St John

Wow Karol! So awesome! Congrats on living a dream! I love this kind of inspiration. It’s real and visceral and you can almost feel the joy radiating off of you. I’m smiling now just thinking about it. :) How will you ever top this? Maybe the World Tour next? You could start plans for putting a roller coaster on the Moon when you can finally make your flight there….imagine a zero G coaster. :)

Karol

Thanks Sarah. The goal is never to top anything, but just do fun stuff that I want to do.

Although I think a flight to the Moon would definitely top it. :)

Domnicu Nicoleta

You’re crazy, Karol! :)
Or a marketing genius)
I wish I could have your courage to fully embrace my dreams)

Karol

Hi Domnicu, it doesn’t take courage so much as it takes action. Thanks for your support!

Joel

This will be fun :). Can’t wait to follow along.

Karol

Thanks Joel!

Mike Tiojanco

If you need a buddy at Six Flags Great America I’ve got a season pass!

Sounds like an awesome time!

Karol

Nice! Thanks Mike.

Anilia

its like you pulled this one outta my head… one of my dreams is to tour the country in either a VW bus painted like a hippie or a big Thelma & Louise car, and eat at all the restaurants on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives…

I’m deathly afraid of roller coasters but I’ll be following your adventure. This is ridiculously awesome :-)

Karol

hehe, a VW bus tour sounds great :)

Brigitte

Interesting…I can simultaneously hate roller coasters and love this idea! :)

This is the dream trip of every kid (who isn’t terrified of roller coasters, that is!). Way to be awesome.

Karol

Thanks Brigitte. It’ll be a good time. :)

paurullan

This is just awesome :D

Karol

:) Thanks Pau!

John Bardos

Awesome Karol! This is a fantastic idea. You will have a great story to tell. Everyone will know you as the Roller Coaster Guy.

Andrea

He he, or “Mr. Smooth Move”… ;)

Karol

Stories are important, but I’m not sure how useful it would be to be the Roller Coaster Guy. :)

amber

I love this idea! It’s nice to see someone with a popular blog do something epic just for fun. How adorable is this idea?!? Awwwww!

Karol

hehe, thanks Amber :)

Lindsay

This is awesome! I’m in Dubai, give a shout when you’re closer to the Middle East … the Ferrari coaster is wicked!

Tom Huntington

Very inspiring!!! I haven’t been on a roller coaster in years, but I’m inspired to meetup with you when you’re in So. Cal. Maybe I’ll bring my grandson along to meet you and be inspired by you too!!!

Thanks for being an inspiration to the world. You rock!

Tom

Benny

Now that’s a great idea! Hope there’s not puking on this journey. :-). Will definitely follow along.

Karol

hehe, thanks Benny, but I don’t suspect there will be any puking

Abhishek

If you need a stop over in Jacksonville FL on your way to Central Florida, you are welcome to stay at my apartment. I can offer the most comfortable futon couch-bed on this side of the Mississippi, tea from the tea gardens of India and home cooked vegetarian indian food.

Karol

I appreciate that Abhishek, but I’ll probably be going straight through Jax as there are no parks in the vicinity. Tight schedule. :)

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