Zero G Roll of Hydra: The Revenge roller coaster at Dorney Park on a sunny day with blue skies


My love for theme parks can be traced back to the very first time I saw Kennywood as a child. The park was closed, but I felt a sense of curiosity rise within me as I saw the darkened roller coasters and rides that night.

The first time I visited the park soon after, I was hooked. I immediately began researching roller coasters and theme parks as an overly-excited seven year old. I needed to see every theme park special on TV and even recorded some on VHS. With the rise of the internet, my knowledge and fascination began to grow.

When my parents bought me RollerCoaster Tycoon, I began putting that knowledge to the test in a fun way. I spent many hours in front of that computer, much to the dismay of parents who wanted their kid to play outside more. But I couldn’t tear myself away from playing in a fantasy theme park.

I “designed” my own roller coasters and theme parks. Some better (and more realistic) than others, both on RollerCoaster Tycoon and on paper. Many of these designs I still have to this day – as I look through them, I can see how my designs became better as I gained more knowledge.

Eventually, I spent a few years working in the industry itself in both rides and marketing/PR. Though I learned a lot and had some fun, I decided to pursue a career outside the industry. As luck would have it, I still continued to work with some theme parks doing digital marketing for a time.

My knowledge of the industry coupled with my hands on experience put me in a unique position. I grew up studying through my own research and ended up working in the industry first hand. This lets me visit theme parks through both the lens of a regular guest and an expert.

It’s been over 25 years since that first trip to Kennywood, and I’m very excited for my next theme park chapter – Vertigo Views. This blog will let me discuss my reviews on theme parks and rides, including the over 200 roller coasters I’ve ridden, thoughts on the industry as a whole, and news I find interesting. I’ll also be discussing travel and any other adventures that feel exciting to me.

Vertigo Views was born out of love for theme parks and roller coasters. It’s only right that that love is shared and explored by everyone equally. This blog is a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ / Queer community. Here, we trust science and believe that every person should be treated equally regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, or anything else. Regardless of what’s going on in the world, this blog is a safe space.

I want to create content that is engaging, trustworthy, and fun. I’d love to hear from people about what they want to see. I want to help anyone who has any questions or fears about theme parks and roller coasters fall in love with them like I have.

This is a high-speed thrill ride through theme parks, traveling, and adventure. Sit down, pull down your restraints, and enjoy the ride!

Christian McIlwain

Why The Name Vertigo Views?

Choosing a name for my personal brand proved difficult at first. Then I went back to one of my earliest loves – RollerCoaster Tycoon. While the Vertigo Views scenario wasn’t one I played much, the name has always stuck with me. It’s fun and nostalgic without being too specific or limiting.