OK, I know he doesn't own a park, LOL, but the original WoC was where I cut my teeth, figuratively speaking, on coaster web sites. Without WoC, I may never have realized that I wasn't alone in my "hobby". I saw the rollback mention, and thought I should give sdome recognition to Jim for creating a website that fostered what you see before you....well, thankfully that's also metaphorical, LOL....:)
That's weird... that site was the first site I ever visited waaaaay back long ago when 33.3k modems were the latest in high-speed Internet. I totally forgot about WoC until right now! Happy Bday to Jim!
The WoC was updated regularly for many years after it premiered. It was only the last few years when it wasn't being updated, mainly just because Jim couldn't keep up. Believe what you want, but he and Eric Griswold deserve respect for what they did for the hobby. A lot of sites wouldn't exist if it weren't for the WoC, and a lot of people wouldn't be enthusiasts.
The thing that made World of Coasters, more than anything else, was that it was approximately the second roller coaster site on the World Wide Web. When World of Coasters went live, I think the only other coaster site was Darlene Fladager's experimental site at UNC...an early academic personal page (much like mine).
World of Coasters went live when Mosaic 1.0 was still a neat idea, and web browsing was a new idea. In a world of FTP sites (anybody else remember ftp://gboro.rowan.edu/pub/Coasters ) and rec.roller-coaster, Serio was really the first to put together a complete web site dedicated specifically to roller coasters.
Then, sadly, the rest of the world caught up and then quickly passed by.
There were enthusiasts before the WoC, sure, but a lot of people were really tuned in to the hobby because of Jim's site. Since it was one of the first coaster sites on the Internet (and was so reachable) I think it opened a lot of people's eyes to the fact that there was a group of people out there who were just as crazy as you were. :)
Just want to throw in my kudos for WoC as well. The first time I got on the net myself, which was the Mosaic days, the site I found first was WoC. I was already an avid enthusiast for my age. Before the internet I found out which parks got new coasters each year by picking up free brochures from AAA every spring. WoC totally changed that.
Shamefully, I drank Zima w/ Jolly Ranchers for about 2 weeks, a high school thing. It's actually better than the clear beer which was marketed around the same time. I tried, and got WASTED on, clear beer for the first time at the old Elich's (93ish). That was the first and only time I vomit on a coaster; pathetically the Arrow shuttle. Kudos AGAIN to WoC, without the site I would have passed up Lakeside that trip.
WoC was where I submitted my very first trip reports. I remember sitting at my desk reading the hundreds of reviews by Eric Griswold and "RideMan".... speaking of which, I saw you at Lowe's on Sunday, Dave. ;)
You guys have it all wrong! It is Zima with Pixi Sticks! That stuff is great! :) Just don't pour too much powder into it at one time or else it will fizz so much you will end up loosing over half the drink. (Believe me, that stuff can get some GOOD carbination going and blow!) Or Zima and skittels. Ahh the good old High school days!
Never tried Corona with lime and grenadine, which is odd because I think I'm one of Corona's best customers ;)
WoC was a cool site for the time, as it served as one of the only places for coaster enthusiasts to go on the web, but I highly doubt that it created many new enthusiasts... ACE, ECC and others can be thanked for that. My main beef with WoC was the fact that a lot of the information, mainly the trip reports, was simply taken from other places (RRC comes to mind), meaning the site featured very little original content. At least sites like URC and CBuzz feature stuff that can't be found anywhere else on the web.
But I digress... Happy Birthday, Jim! *** Edited 12/4/2003 9:47:55 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***