Written by RD Sussman - Pictures courtesy of Randal Strong-Wallace/RCMM
My fascination with roller coasters & theme parks came with a curiosity towards their construction, operation - and how could I build them myself. While I always wanted to be the next Ron Toomer (yes, this was before I found Anton, and changed my sinful ways) I knew practically that building coasters wasn't going to be easy to do. That is, until CoasterCon XV, Kings Dominion & Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This was my first real group coaster outing, very memorable for a teenager who lived, breathed & sweat coasters.
It was there where I met Randal Strong-Wallace, a model builder who made miracles out of ordinary things - model coasters came to life easily, quickly, and more importantly - they worked with great ease. That summer I worked with what I learned in Randal's session at CoasterCon, building my own weird - and warped - paper track coasters.
Let's fast forward a bit. Through the modern miracle of Facebook & the Internet, I reconnected with Randal, and he showed me a few of his more modern achievements - and they were spectacular. Working models of existing & lost coasters including Worlds of Fun and their Orient Express & their Zambezi Zinger were astounding to behold. Any closer, and I'd be looking for a shrink ray to ride them! It was then that he told me about a project he'd been working on for a while... something that is about to finally come to fruition.
Introducing the Roller Coaster Model Museum.
Randal's vision started off with Project 31, which displayed the first five coasters of Worlds of Fun - in a history and memorabelia display in Kansas City. The project was a great success, and led to the same exhibition being displayed not only at Worlds of Fun, but also at Kansas City's Union Station. It is in these first displays that the idea for a model museum was born.
Since 2011, many other models have been collected together, including many toy & kit coasters, but also Randal's own works, including what I consider his masterpiece, a fully working model of Six Flags Magic Mountain's centerpiece - Revolution.
I have to admit, the level of detail on this stunning model is far beyond what one would normally associate with a model coaster, down to such details as the plaement of the tunnel down to the terrain built into the model. As you can see in the video above, it is fully functioning - and looks as it appeared in the late 1970s.
Other models in the museum are toy & model coasters that appeared over the past few decades. Over time, I'm quite sure the collection will grow, change & evolve. As Randal said, "I was worried at first I wouldn't have enough for a museum, but I'm finding now, I almost have too much!" Additional shelving houses a lot of the display models.
The Roller Coaster Model Museum wants to tell the story & the history of roller coaster models. Memorabelia that helps to tell the story of the rides themselves in addition to the models on display will also be featured. Some of Randal's own custom work will be displayed as well. (Having seen a few of his custom models - you will NOT be disappointed.)
The Roller Coaster Model Museum: Thrills in Miniature!
About the RCMM:
Website - www.rollercoastermodelmuseum.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/rollercoastermodelmuseum
11415 E. 23rd Street South,
Independence, Missouri 64152
From Kansas City, take I-435 North to Exit 61 - 23rd st. Go East on 23rd street approx. 2.8 miles, the museum is on the right.
Regular Museum Hours, Through June 28th:
CLOSED: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Thursday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm daily
(Last Admission is at 4 pm daily)
Summer Hours, Starting July 15th:
Tuesday - Saturday
10 am - 5 pm (Last Admission Daily at 4 pm)
12 Noon - 5 pm (Last Admission Daily at 4 pm)
Age 13-59 - $8.00 plus tax
Age 4-12 & 60+ $7.00 plus tax
Be sure to check their website for special ticket deals and other information.
Roller Coaster Model Museum to Open May 2, 2015 in Independence, Missouri
NDEPENDENCE, Mo., March 23, 2014 – A new, one-of-a-kind museum is set to open in Independence. The Roller Coaster Model Museum will feature working and static scale model roller coasters in various scales, historic related memorabilia, and an opportunity to learn about the physics and mechanics of the roller coaster. The museum will be divided into several gallery areas. Highlights include:
The Greatest Thrill Ride in History:
In addition, school groups and individuals can learn to make their own models in special "Build A Model" workshops offered throughout the year in the Coaster Lab. School groups of all ages can also participate in our Coaster Lab that will demonstrate hands-on, the physics and mechanics of the roller coaster.
Through April 21, 2015 visitors can get $5.00 admissions as a perk in the Museums Indiegogo Campaign. Various other Perks are available in the campaign as well, including Memberships and a Sneak Peak on April 30th. The Museum decided to go with a crowd funding campaign to raise additional funds to complete some additional cosmetic upgrades to the Museum. Additonal information about the Indiegogo Campaign is available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/roller-coaster-model-museum/x/9946795
Days of operation, hours and information on admission can be found at https://www.rollercoastermodelmuseum.com
About the Roller Coaster Model Museum
Roller Coaster Model Museum, opening on May 2, 2015, will be located in Independence, Missouri, and features a unique one-of-a-kind experience with working and static model roller coasters, historical memorabilia, and a collection of over 55 vintage and contemporary roller coaster toys and models. Through the model roller coasters, visitors learn about the history, physics and mechanics of the rides.