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Walking The Great White

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of spending the morning with Kevin Wheaton on his inspection of The Great White––a daily, 4 hour-long task. Kevin has been at Morey’s Piers for 23 years and still hasn’t gotten tired of the morning ritual. He gets to see sweeping views of the ocean and wake up with the sun. But as with all mechanical jobs, there’s always a few wrenches thrown in here and there.

My job was to walk the tracks with him and make a short film about the process. It turned out to be quite an adventure. Having a shoulder-mounted camera, a 6 o’clock start (without coffee), steel toe boots that I wasn’t accustomed to walking in (I’ll stick to flip-flops), a heavy harness, all while climbing the steep banks of the coaster proved to be a difficult task for me. But what I had to go through is hardly anything when you realize that these guys have to do this every day during the summer.

Wooden roller coasters are interesting, sculpture-like frameworks that are actually built to allow movement within the track. This movement sometimes results in minor issues within the structure such as a missing bolt head or a slight crack in the wood. None of these issues are threatening to the ride itself, but it is necessary to keep up with them to maintain the speed and accuracy of the train. I hope you enjoy the video.

 

Look for the next video in this “Day in the Life” series with the famed Lee Brasch at guest services.

Comments

Dee Rementer says:

July 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

Interesting video. Not sure which is harder, the trek up the steep hills or the trek down them, both look tough.  Personally never been on the Great White, but would like to try it. Just recently rode the Great Nor easter and the Sea Serpent for the first time at age 59. Always had fear of them till recently, but wanted to experience what others seemed to enjoy.

Nicole says:

July 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I love this!

Eileen B. says:

July 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Awesome video. God bless Kevin as he takes his daily walk up & down the tracks each morning.
I enjoyed visiting Morey’s a few weeks ago with my 3 teenage grandchilren and the Great White was their favorite. I too always enjoyed riding wooden roller coasters in my younger years. Now I enjoy watching the grandchilden enjoying the same rides I did as a kid.
Thank you Morey’s.

Michael Daly says:

July 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I live in Ireland but spent the whole summer of 1996 working on The Great White and it brought back great memories to watch the walk round it. I even got to walk it myself a few times and the view from the top of climb is still as beautiful as it was then.

Anne says:

August 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

I live in Quebec, and go in Wildwood each summer. I ride the Great White everytime with my husband and daughters. We just love it…. It is interesting to see that they are doing that inspection every morning, wow! Thank you to Kevin and his team. I would like to follow them one morning wink and see the Great White in a different way.

Patrick says:

August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for the unique look at this great coaster!  Wish I was there right now!

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