"Other photography captures just a moment. Luminism is the only way to capture what - just right - could be."

San Diego Culture from 1925
The Giant Dipper, also known as the Mission Beach Roller Coaster (and historically by other names) is a historical wooden roller coasterThe coaster was built in 1925 as part of a major real estate development led by John D. and Adolph Spreckles to attract visitors and residents to the Mission Beach area. The coaster has the same name as the roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which was built one year earlier. These two coasters are the only remaining wooden roller coasters on the West Coast.  Both were designed by noted roller coaster designers Frank Prior and Fredrick Church. 

In 1954 The Spreckelses bequeathed the attraction to the city, which was leased to Jack Ray. He renamed the park Belmont Park. The roller coaster was severely damaged by fire in 1955, and Ray subsequently declared bankruptcy.

The coaster was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978 after it was threatened with demolition by the city in 1978. Fortunately local citizens banded together to rescue it and a few surviving attractions.  It underwent a full restoration in 1989–90.

Of all the times I have ridden The Giant Dipper the most memorable thing to me is right after the cart is pulled to the top the cars are facing south looking toward Mexico and you do a full u-turn looking over the Pacific Ocean and finally end the turn going north toward Los Angeles. Then comes that first fall every roller coaster is famous for. No matter how exhilarating the fall is, that view will stay with me forever.

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