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Twins’ hobby is an extreme scream

Joyce Rudolph

Twins Dan and David Sheffer have an insatiable need for speed -- as

well as loops and drops.

The Glendale brothers joined fellow members of the American


Coaster Enthusiasts who tested the new roller coaster Scream on

opening day April 10 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

Testing Scream was an honor and a delight, Dan said.

“Now I can’t wait for the next time to try a new roller coaster,”


he said.

Scream passengers are strapped into one of 32 chairs aboard the

floorless train. The ride begins with a 150-foot drop at 65 mph and

goes directly into a 128-foot vertical loop. Riders then plunge into

a 96-foot dive loop followed by a heart-line camelback element

designed to enhance the feeling of flying. Next, riders are swept

into a cobra roll at 78 feet above the ground before diving straight

down into a tight turn only to drop once again into a near 90-degree


helix (spiral).

When it comes to the best roller coasters, Six Flags Magic

Mountain is at the top of their list. What they liked best about

Scream, the park’s 16th Xtreme ride, was the 150-foot drop.

The 30-year-olds agree the ultimate thrill is sharing the ride

with friends.

“That’s what makes me want to test roller coasters,” Dan said,

“doing something we all together as coaster enthusiasts love doing.


To come out with our fellow ACEers and try a new coaster. You will

not be disappointed. You make a lot of friends all over the country.”

Why do they enjoy riding roller coasters?

“While riding it, I’m feeling excitement, total, total

excitement,” David said. “We still scream just for fun.”

“You get that feeling of intense anticipation,” Dan said. “Waiting

in line, that feeling of excitement builds and builds.”

Dan also likes seeing the other riders’ reactions. It makes him


“It fills my heart with joy,” he said.

Along with test riding, the twins collect coaster memorabilia like

souvenir T-shirts, key chains and writing pens and pictures of

themselves on the rides.

They joined the ACEers in 2001, but have loved riding roller

coasters since they were 5. Their first experience was on Space

Mountain at Disneyland.

“As a child of that age, yeah, it was scary because it’s a roller

coaster that goes along in complete darkness,” David said. “Over the

years, we’ve gotten used to it. So now, it’s wonderful.”

And they insist their mom, Pat Olivas of Glendale, doesn’t worry

about them.

“Our mom knows we honest to God love roller coasters,” David said.

They said there are some she will ride, as long as they are not

too fast.

David is employed as a grocery bagger at Albertson’s in Fullerton,

and Dan works at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, stuffing the Sunday

edition with advertisements.

Both graduated from high school in 1991 -- Dan from Hoover High

School and David, across town, from Glendale High School.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone their other hobby is

playing roller-coaster computer games.

“The feeling of happiness and joy you experience on the ride goes

through your head and you wish you were there,” Dan said.