With the impending opening of The Smiler at Alton Towers, I've been going on one of my frequent theme park nostalgia-trips via YouTube.
Alongside Shoot for the Moon, CoasterMania, an amazing documentary from 1995 about roller coaster enthusiasts, must rank pretty highly on my most-watched-things-ever list. My mum taped it for me knowing I was a bit of a nerd for this kinda stuff and I'd pour over the VHS in the way that only kids can.
It's brills - tons of weird characters, great footage of top-of-the-line (well, for 1995) roller coasters and plenty of behind-the-scenes information and anacdotes. The 12-year-old me cherished the parts about Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I knew those rides!
It must be 15 years at least since I last watched this thing but, dang, I still know the dialogue like it was yesterday. Charles Jaques' slightly unhinged and breathless description of riding his first coaster at 01:25, Rev Nick Bralesford's very polite little anecdote about proposing to his wife at 03:40 and the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain pretending to ride their bus at 18:40 all curl my toes just as badly as they ever did.
The best part by far, though, is old Bernard & Phyllis Buxton at the 43:30 mark sitting in their car, big flask to hand, watching The Big One being built 'piece by piece' for thousands of hours. His theory that all the wheels must leave the track (around 45:30) on the first hill is lovely.