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  1. #1

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    Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    A recent event at SCBB provided us the good fortune and the rare opportunity to take a sneak peek behind the scenes at some of the parks most beloved attractions.



    We start off the tour with the highlight of the park, the old-as-hell Giant Dipper



    Our guide, the communications manager for the park, makes sure everyone is decent backstage



    A pair of knowledgeable mechanics answer many a nerdy maintenance question



    The flywheel that gears up the lift motor.



    Some extra lift chain



    Here's where the chain enters the motor house



    Another beloved SCBB attraction, the almost-Disney-esque Cave Train



    Here, we actually got to precariously walk the track



    Thanks, happy to be here



    Step right up, gentleman...



    Little did I know the trains were battery-powered. Here's the proof!



    The only way those little batteries can power these big trains is with a completely level track.



    Another gem, the 1911 Looff Carousel



    One of the two authentic and stunning pipe organs, plus Carousel reflection



    Underneath the carousel, those metal spikes are the bottom of the horse poles and will rise and fall as the ride moves



    The ancient ring machine, collecting rings and bringing up to the ring arm, ready for people to grab...and steal. (30000-40000 a year, apparently!)



    Back above ground, it's finally time for some riding.



    We got our chance on Day Two, with over a dozen rides in an hour. Fun stuff!
    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

  2. #2

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Great report!

    We try to enjoy the Boardwalk once a year. It's fun!

    I don't think Disneyland would allow the high 5's like in your last picture though!

    Thanks!

  3. #3

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Thanks! Being in San Jose it's a quick trip over the hill, minus the beach traffic of course. Heading down on a Monday or Tuesday evening during the summer for the discount nights is a highlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMickey View Post
    I don't think Disneyland would allow the high 5's like in your last picture though!
    Heh, that's why it's nice to go to parks that AREN'T Disney sometimes.
    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

  4. #4

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Those high 5's are a tradition on that ride. Everybody does it, and it's going just slowly enough that no one's going to get hurt.
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

  5. #5

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMickey View Post
    Great report!

    We try to enjoy the Boardwalk once a year. It's fun!

    I don't think Disneyland would allow the high 5's like in your last picture though!

    Thanks!
    Isn't that sad/funny? That's the first thing I thought too!

    I love the Boardwalk! Lot's of fun memories!
    I want my cake back!

  6. #6

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing,

    But yeah, it seems only the older parks like SCBB, Knoebels, etc, allow ... nay, ENCOURAGE things like high fives and have the ring-grabbing carousels.

    Kind of sad really.


  7. #7

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Thanks for the pics! Very interesting behind the scenes look!

    I was just up there in early February on my way up to San Francisco. It was very cold, drizzly, and DEAD. It was wonderful!

  8. #8

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Excellent TR! My kids just love this place. Almost as much as Disneyland.
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

  9. #9

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Thanks everyone, my pleasure. Seeing the ring machine was a rare treat, supposedly only 10 of these left in the US. Unfortunately during my one ride, the thing jammed up, ugh!

    In addition to the tour, we also got a presentation and Q&A session on the 100+ years of history. I've only been coming here regularly for a few years, but now I've got a real appreciation for the place. To think it's almost twice as old as Disneyland is amazing.
    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

  10. #10

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    THANK YOU!

    I have been going to the Boardwalk since I was a little kid, and I have a ton of fond memories from the Carousel, (Yeah, I have a ring!), the Giant Dipper (my first non-Disney Coaster), the Cave Train (Cheesy, but my favorite dark ride outside of DL), and the spectacularly awesome (and long since changed) Haunted Castle.

  11. #11

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    I went to the boardwalk this last summer for the first time. I had a blast! It was really, REALLY fun and the coaster is in my top 10 favorites. For being so old, I was surprised how smooth it was. So much airtime. I loved it!

    Thanks for the behind the scenes look! It was really fascinating.

  12. #12

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyPro View Post
    I went to the boardwalk this last summer for the first time. I had a blast! It was really, REALLY fun and the coaster is in my top 10 favorites. For being so old, I was surprised how smooth it was. So much airtime. I loved it!

    Thanks for the behind the scenes look! It was really fascinating.
    I felt the same exact way! Wooden roller coasters, in my experience, generally deteriorate (rather quickly, ie Ghost Rider!) into being unrideable. The Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz was very smooth though!

  13. #13

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    You guys are quite welcome!

    One impression I got from the maintenance folks is that they put so much work into this coaster. They are constantly tracking and replacing pieces. With the exception of some of the underlying structural supports, little on this coaster is more than 10 or 20 years old.

    At most parks, an aging wooding coaster is an afterthought. Look at what else Knott's has to keep them busy. At a small park like SCBB, this ride is a marquee attraction and they clearly take so much pride in it, and it really shows through during the ride experience.
    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

  14. #14

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    Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    We love Santa Cruz ! ! !

    Thanks for the memories. BTW, the entrance building to the Giant Dipper looks to me a lot like the facade on DCA's Midway Mania.

  15. #15

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    Thumbs up Re: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Behind-the-scenes Tour - Photo TP

    The park is so gritty; I love early in the day before the park opens. The beach is combed and the people aren't crowded in. I wish it was open later though. It would be cool to ride some of the rides in the dark.
    I'm dreaming of a trip to Walt Disney World one day

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