Great memory for details. I was working nights in Cash Control at the time and moved to Marketing Research the Monday following the contest. I have never ridden the Starship, but did quite a bit of exit interviews among riders.
“Toned down” is such an accurate headline to describe the changes the park made in 1988. In addition to all the safety changes almost all the flat rides were slowed down including bumper cars that hardly moved and circular rides that probably were slowed to only two-thirds of the number of rpm’s the prior season. The Carousel and Musik Express were especially sluggish.