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Our trips are a little different to how the ECC does them. If someone from the local area wants to come and meet up with us, they are more than welcome to come hang out with the group, but they wouldn’t be able to partake in any ERT sessions, meals, etc.

 

Part of the appeal for our group trips is that an ERT session will NEVER be more than 100 people and it makes for a true ERT instead of some sessions I’ve been to where you end up waiting in longer lines than during normal park hours.

 

With nearly 25,000 members to TPR now, if we allowed locals to join into our ERTs I worry that we may end up having double or even triple the amount of people.

 

Having said that, we did allow locals to meet up with us in Europe since our group was only 50 people and that went fine since our entire group was never over 75, so it might be something we will work out closer to the date if the east coast tour doesn’t sell out. Keep an eye on the forum for up to date information.

 

And as always, we welcome anyone to come meet up with us during the normal park hours and say hi!

 

Hope you understand!

 

I hope that this is a point that you will respectfully reconsider.

 

The TPR trips are by design very lengthy and demanding trips. In my profession, I simply cannot take off two weeks the entire year, yet alone in one shot. Furthermore, the marginal benefit of attending 10, 15, or even ten parks in a short period of time is not much higher than an intense and memorable one or two park experience.

 

Another scenario in which an la carte option would be ideal is for couples or families in which all members are not as obessive about rollercoasters. I know for a fact that my wife would not be willing to use all of her vacation days to accompany me on a TPR trip which she would no doubt enjoy, but not to the extent that I enjoy it. It is, however, quite possible that she would be willing to support me for a day or two of the trip. And in return I can support her in a different type of vacation, beach or shopping, etc.

 

A third scenario is for the trips abroad, as someone who has never been to China or has not travelled Europe as desired, I cannot justify skipping the major cultural landmarks and cities and going for the most credits possible. But with an ala carte option, I can use a day trip with TPR to Holiday Work, DLP or DisneySeas as the impetus for planning a trip to Europe or Asia. Designing my own ideal balance between culture and credits.

 

Therefore, I implore you to consider allowing members, local or not, to be able to attend the trip events on ala carte basis. By allowing this it does not mean you have to grow to an ECC size affair or have anywhere near the 25,000 members of this group at any park.

 

Simply allocate an addtional 10, 20, 30 spots of the ERT for day trip members. Make them sign up in advance and pay a fee as well. You can price the fee in a manner to subsidize those on the larger trips, for example, the addtional revenue can be used to finance a second meal at that park.

 

I highly doubt that an additional train of participants will really made an impact in the ERT experience and will allow those on the trip to meet some new people and have a different experience. Furthermore, someone who attends only a day or two of the trip, will likley be more likley to sign up for a much longer trip in the future. A TRP trip sampler if you will.

 

For me and likley countless other members, it would allow us to have the same TPR trip experience without the need to feel excluded if we cannot make the same committment of time, and/or money for either work or personal reasons.

 

Adding an limited Ala Carte opportunity would provide flexability for your members, and hopefully improved profits for your future trip planning ventures.

 

It also create an enviorment which provides fun and the fellings of inclusiveness.

 

I hope you reconsider.

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This may sound silly totally etc!

But it says in the Flyer that it is based on double occupancy, does that mean 2 people?

May be silly but I am under educated, what do you expect I am from manchester !

lol!

So if me and someone else came it would work out at 500 UK pound each?

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^I'm going to agree with this. The option is there for people to meet up at parks on all of these trips. I can't think of a trip that the itinerary wasn't posted to the forum before the trip started, so people could come meet up. So you could certainly come and hang out at the park and meet people or whatever. The only thing you're missing is (maybe) ERT and/or a meal, as these don't occur at every park. I personally like the fact that ERT is actually ERT, and not "wait in a line longer than during park hours" like any other event I've ever been to. As someone that has gone on two trips so far (and will be going to Japan next week), I'd hate to see this change. Having been to some ACE events/conventions and a couple of TPR trips, there is simply no comparison, and one of the big things that makes a TPR trip so much better is the limited number of people.

 

I must also say that while I'm all about seeing/experience new countries, if I'm paying to go on a coaster trip, I'm going on this trip to see parks and ride coasters. I don't want to make a stop at a cathedral (like ACE did) or anything else, as that's not what I signed up for. On both of the out of US trips so far, there have been some free times where people could go off and explore a nearby city or whatever, which is certainly a cool option. I sort of like keeping coaster trips and more "normal" trips separate.

 

I do believe that if you took the survey that was posted awhile back about future trips that there were some trips suggested that would be over a long weekend. I don't know if/when this type of trip will happen, but it should make it easier for people to go on a trip that cannot commit to over a week's time.

 

Bottom line, I think keeping the trips the way they are makes them easier logistically to plan and makes the perks for trip participants true perks. Just my dumb opinion, as always...

 

dt

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This may sound silly totally etc!

But it says in the Flyer that it is based on double occupancy, does that mean 2 people?

May be silly but I am under educated, what do you expect I am from manchester Taiko Happy!

lol!

So if me and someone else came it would work out at 500 UK pound each?

 

All prices are per person. The rates are based on having two people in each room, but both must pay the full amount.

 

There is an additional charge if you wish to room alone.

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^^I'd also like to add that Robb and Elissa already provide an incredible amount of service--and put in an incredible amount of sweat--on these trips. Adding another layer of options would simply be too much--we're not talking a AAA-sized staff here.

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Adding to the Denning thing...

 

We welcome people to meet up with us for a few days, but that's going to be on your own and you won't get the perks that everyone gets.

 

As for the trips being too long, we also do 10 day, and 5 day trips...check out one of those if you want.

 

Culture - We always invite people to come in a few days before or stay a few days after. We built in extra time on the Spain Trip so people could visit Madrid and Barcelona on their own during the tour. On the China Trip there will be official visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. On our upcoming Japan Trip we have many early nights and an arrival and departure day to check out culture. Oh, and when you get off the beaten path and go to some of these out of the way parks you're seeing way more culture than the average tourist anyways!

 

Like Robb posted, we may reconsider based on numbers and let some people meet up officially for a few days here and there, but it's not something we like to do.

 

Thanks for your understanding.

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One other thing to consider is that these trips have really grown to be an extension of R&E normal coaster trips. They have been gracious enough to let us "tag along" and leech off their expertise and good standing with many of the parks in order to get perks. I know I wouldn't want someone else to tell me how to plan my trip and R&E have had tons of experience in trip planning so I'm sure what they plan and how they structure it is in order to create the best trip possible for all participants.

 

I understand that a lot of people can't take two weeks off for a coaster trip (I'm one of them) so you may have to settle for joining one of the shorter trips or squeeze a park or two into your "regular" vacation.

 

My wife is not a big coaster person and yet I've managed to go on two of the TPR trips and I'm planning on joining them for another next year. We will also still have our "regular" vacation which we will plan and will not include any coasters. It's all about balance and keeping the wife happy. And who knows, maybe if you do one of the shorter trips you can convince the wife to sign up for one of the longer ones!

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Elissa addressed some of this but here are my thoughts on the subject....

 

The TPR trips are by design very lengthy and demanding trips. In my profession, I simply cannot take off two weeks the entire year, yet alone in one shot. Furthermore, the marginal benefit of attending 10, 15, or even ten parks in a short period of time is not much higher than an intense and memorable one or two park experience.

 

I must respectfully disagree with your last comment. We have been doing 10 to 15 day (and longer in some cases) trips for YEARS. And if we are going to fly anywhere in the world, be it Europe, Asia, or even the other side of the United States, we prefer to go for as long as possible and visit as many parks as we can. That's just our preference, and our trips are based on that. I think CreativeForce said it best that the idea of the TPR group trips started as an extension of our personal trips. If doing a 10 or 15 day coaster trip is not your thing, then I'm not sure I would reccomend one of our traditional TPR trips to you.

 

That being said, we *will* be offering shorter trips. 5 or 7 days will be the shortest trips we offer, and there is a possibility we will do a single-day park event, but that is not something we have the bandwidth or interest in doing at this time.

 

Another scenario in which an la carte option would be ideal is for couples or families in which all members are not as obessive about rollercoasters. I know for a fact that my wife would not be willing to use all of her vacation days to accompany me on a TPR trip which she would no doubt enjoy, but not to the extent that I enjoy it. It is, however, quite possible that she would be willing to support me for a day or two of the trip. And in return I can support her in a different type of vacation, beach or shopping, etc.

 

I'm not sure what to tell you about this. We have had many married couples on our trips where one person is more into the parks and coasters than the other, yet they both manage to have an excellent time.

 

Again, maybe one of the shorter trips we will eventually offer would be more your style.

 

A third scenario is for the trips abroad, as someone who has never been to China or has not travelled Europe as desired, I cannot justify skipping the major cultural landmarks and cities and going for the most credits possible. But with an ala carte option, I can use a day trip with TPR to Holiday Work, DLP or DisneySeas as the impetus for planning a trip to Europe or Asia. Designing my own ideal balance between culture and credits.

 

We offer "theme park and roller coaster trips." There may be an rare occasion we may stop at a "culture credit" briefly (like our China trip as Elissa described), or on many days there is enough time to explore culture on your own, but the trips we plan are about theme parks and roller coasters, not culture. If you want to add on days before or after one of our trips for sightseeing, we always help people plan this out.

 

Therefore, I implore you to consider allowing members, local or not, to be able to attend the trip events on ala carte basis. By allowing this it does not mean you have to grow to an ECC size affair or have anywhere near the 25,000 members of this group at any park.

 

Simply allocate an addtional 10, 20, 30 spots of the ERT for day trip members. Make them sign up in advance and pay a fee as well. You can price the fee in a manner to subsidize those on the larger trips, for example, the addtional revenue can be used to finance a second meal at that park.

 

Trust me, if it were that "simple" we would be doing this. But it's not. We are only two people already doing quite a large volume of work between planning trips, editing DVDs, updating the site, monitoring the forum, and lots of 'behind the scenes' work to do every day that isn't always apparent on the other side of the screen.

 

I highly doubt that an additional train of participants will really made an impact in the ERT experience and will allow those on the trip to meet some new people and have a different experience. Furthermore, someone who attends only a day or two of the trip, will likley be more likley to sign up for a much longer trip in the future. A TRP trip sampler if you will.

 

But an additional train load of people *WILL* make an impact during an ERT session. Especially if only one train is operated during ERT or, if in the case of a park like Timber Falls, the coaster only has one train that seats 12 people.

 

Adding an additional 20 to 30 people is a *HUGE* amount of people when your group is only 50 or 100 to begin with.

 

For me and likley countless other members, it would allow us to have the same TPR trip experience without the need to feel excluded if we cannot make the same committment of time, and/or money for either work or personal reasons.

 

I also have to respectfully disagree. There is NO WAY someone who meets up with the group for one day can have the same experience as being on the bus and traveling with us for 10 days. That "experience" is what TPR trips are all about, you cannot strip out any one day of that tour and re-create that experience in a single park day.

 

Adding an limited Ala Carte opportunity would provide flexability for your members, and hopefully improved profits for your future trip planning ventures.

But we're not about this endless number of people or generating mass profits. While that might sound crazy, there is a limit of people we want per trip, and that limit will be either 50 or 100 people depending on the trip. Limiting the number of participants guarantees a certain type of atmosphere that cannot be obtained if we were to allow as many people as we have signed up for a trip.

 

If for whatever reason one of our trips does not sell out, we *may* consider doing an "add-on" option for locals, but what we learned from allowing locals to join in during our Mini-Europe trip was that planning the day for the tour and planning the day for the locals was like two completely seperate tasks that required a significant amount of additional work, even for an additional 20 people.

 

Some people had season passes, some people wanted the meal, some people didn't want to wait until the coach arrived to enter the park, etc, etc. It introduced an whole other level of challenges and work above and beyond what we were already doing for the tour itself that it meant our focus had to be split. And since the tour is our main focus, anything that were to take away from that is not something we are interested in doing at this time.

 

It also create an enviorment which provides fun and the fellings of inclusiveness.

You can still get this by meeting up with the group at your local park on the day we will be there. Just because you won't be part of the 30 or 60 minute long ERT or our group meal doesn't mean you can't come hang out with the group and have fun.

 

I'm sorry, but we just are not in the position to offer the 'ala carte' option you are looking for and I'm not even sure we are interested in doing that to begin with. At the moment, our interest lies in planning and offering theme park and roller coaster "tours" not single day, one-off park events. Perhaps someday in the future we may do something like this, but other than the Tatsu media day (which was more of an extension of our regular BBQ's) or teaming up with Rideworld to do West Coast Bash, doing a one-day event or an ala carte option is not something we will most likely be doing in the near future.

 

We want to provide the orgainzed tours with a limited amount of people per trip so that ERT sessions are REAL ERT sessions. That's what TPR does. And I think we're really good at that. Why should we spread ourselves thin do to something we're not that interested in doing at the moment?

 

I hope this makes sense.

 

--Robb

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^ And I, for one, am rather excited about the current approach. (In fact, I'm kind of hoping that the Europe trip stays at 50.)

 

You know, no disrespect intended, but it's almost to the point that I get angry when people start to tell R&E how to do this stuff. I mean, geez, go do your own if you're so smart!

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Robb and Elissa work so hard with no expectation of reward except providing a bunch of people with a kick ass good time, I hate it too when people tell them what to do or make ridiculous demands.

 

Being on the mid west trip, I was amazed at the attention to detail, and how incredibily well thought out everything was - I expected this would be the case before the trip but R & E far exceeded my expectations, and they are nicest people.

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To get an idea of how many people enjoy these trips in their current format, and how much they enjoy them, have a look through the 2008 trip forums and see how many people have done a previous trip and very much want to do another.

 

denning, I can sort of understand where you're coming from but if you want a watered down roller coaster trip I'm not sure these are for you. Personally, I love the fact that for around two weeks I can go from theme park to theme park, in a foreign country, without having to worry about anything at all. The most I need to do is remember to eat and drink, and a lot of this has been organised too.

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To get an idea of how many people enjoy these trips in their current format, and how much they enjoy them, have a look through the 2008 trip forums and see how many people have done a previous trip and very much want to do another.

 

Trip forums are not viewable by non-trip-go-ers

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I just thought I'd share my experience from wanting to go, deciding to go, and attending the Mid-West tour.

 

I was uber-stressed about getting the deposit in and was FREAKED out by the idea of a wait list / lottery. I found that R&E really do everything possible to make sure that people get to go on the trips that they want to go on. The original group that signed up for the Mid-West tour was VASTLTY different than the group that actually went. If you want to go - send a deposit. Don't stress on it. People drop out, change trips, run out of money...you will very likely be with a bunch of insane people at "coaster summer camp from hell" next year.

 

R&E put SO MUCH WORK into these trips which is why they are limited. There were plenty of people that met up with us at the parks and had a blast - but arranging ERT for 50 or 100 people is MUCH MORE work than it looks like.

 

When I signed up for the Mid-West trip last year (as well as signing up for the East Coast Trip this year) I put my faith in Robb and Elissa. If you are here, you have most likely seen Trip Reports of their other trips. They are WONDERFUL at planning these things. My advice is to send in your deposit, plan on going, and let them plan the trip. It is what they do, and they are good at it.

 

Thanks again to R&E. You guys are great.

 

David

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To throw my 2 cents into the fray:

 

The Midwest Trip I was on EXCEEDED my expectations! I had a pure blast and I think my Photo TPRs showed it. Robb and Elissa put a lot of effort into the trip and I was impressed. I also met some pretty cool people too. I'm trying to get into the Europe trip next year because now I know what to expect:

 

1) Even with the numbers of parks we visited in number of days, I never really felt rushed except for Great America and the Q-bots. Try to pick your groups early even if you gotta go up and ask people days beforehand! Otherwise you end up with flakes or major personality clashes (vacationers vs coaster geeks) like we had. 'nuff said.

 

2) Try the shoes out that your going to wear at another park or walk around in them ALL day, like at a park. I had blisters the 2nd day after wearing my new walking shoes. After using the blister pads I brought and changing to my comfortable sneakers, I was fine.

 

3) Too many of y'all are "jockin" Robb & Elissa on the trips! For heaven sakes, give 'em space to breathe! There's enough people on the trips where you can find like personalities and go off on the trips on your own!

 

4) Bring a device that has a spare alarm clock with batteries!

 

5) Either help your roommate get up by pushing them out of bed or hitting them. Sure they might get mad at you, but it's better than their butts missing the bus! Luckily I had a great roommate and we both get up at the crack of dawn! If you have trouble getting motivated to get up in the morning, either change to getting up early a month or two before going on the trip or rethink it. My internal clock gets me up at 5:30am regardless of the day, so I had no problems catching the bus. I know if I get on the trip, I may have to get there a few days early (maybe visit my brother in Finland) so I'll be on a proper timezone.

 

6) Sometimes you gotta be a little outgoing or know how to make your own fun on the trips! To hang out with me, you have to have just about as much sense as I do... which is none!

 

 

Anyway, I want to say a big thank you again to Robb & Elissa for making my first 2 week vacation ever one of the best times! Hopefully I can go to Europe to celebrate the Big 4-0!

 

Terry "Fingers crossed for europe" Weaver

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I just went through the motions of sending my deposit via paypal...

 

I saw the note about it needing to be an e-check, and I followed the instructions, but I'm good at causing the most painless processes to fail! Please let me know if something's wrong...

 

Phil "Oh jeez, I screwed up again" Johnson

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Let me say as a two time tripper that it is so nice to hear all the great experience people had on this years trips. (terrence and jynx) Last year there were so many people aking so many weird and annoying things that I was a little scared to meet them. Hopefully, this year, with so many more experienced trippers every new member will feel more comfortable.

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^^^If Terrance goes to Europe, hide all the statues!

 

Now what fun would that be? I say make a list and check it twice...

 

Oh that's christmas...

 

Terry "Trying to take his craziness international" Weaver

 

PS... you know myspace took my page down after I posted my statue pics? Geez they indundate me with spam and gay.com ads of men in underwear hugging each other and I post a pic of me fully clothed humping a statue of a bear and they get all out of joint! Time to update my own site!

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To throw my 2 cents into the fray:

 

The Midwest Trip I was on EXCEEDED my expectations! I had a pure blast and I think my Photo TPRs showed it. Robb and Elissa put a lot of effort into the trip and I was impressed. I also met some pretty cool people too. I'm trying to get into the Europe trip next year because now I know what to expect:

 

1) Even with the numbers of parks we visited in number of days, I never really felt rushed except for Great America and the Q-bots. Try to pick your groups early even if you gotta go up and ask people days beforehand! Otherwise you end up with flakes or major personality clashes (vacationers vs coaster geeks) like we had. 'nuff said.

 

2) Try the shoes out that your going to wear at another park or walk around in them ALL day, like at a park. I had blisters the 2nd day after wearing my new walking shoes. After using the blister pads I brought and changing to my comfortable sneakers, I was fine.

 

3) Too many of y'all are "jockin" Robb & Elissa on the trips! For heaven sakes, give 'em space to breathe! There's enough people on the trips where you can find like personalities and go off on the trips on your own!

 

4) Bring a device that has a spare alarm clock with batteries!

 

5) Either help your roommate get up by pushing them out of bed or hitting them. Sure they might get mad at you, but it's better than their butts missing the bus! Luckily I had a great roommate and we both get up at the crack of dawn! If you have trouble getting motivated to get up in the morning, either change to getting up early a month or two before going on the trip or rethink it. My internal clock gets me up at 5:30am regardless of the day, so I had no problems catching the bus. I know if I get on the trip, I may have to get there a few days early (maybe visit my brother in Finland) so I'll be on a proper timezone.

 

6) Sometimes you gotta be a little outgoing or know how to make your own fun on the trips! To hang out with me, you have to have just about as much sense as I do... which is none!

 

 

Anyway, I want to say a big thank you again to Robb & Elissa for making my first 2 week vacation ever one of the best times! Hopefully I can go to Europe to celebrate the Big 4-0!

 

Terry "Fingers crossed for europe" Weaver

 

Thanks for the testimonial! It's nice to read this kinda stuff, as it makes me feel better about the 8 grand or so that I'm going to be spending on the Europe trip next year. Of course it's going to be great, but it's easy to talk yourself out of spending that kind of cash. The wife is already giving me grief about it, but I *know* she'll thank me for dragging her along. This always happens with her on trips.

 

I hope you can make it out. I really think this will easily be the best TPR trip to date.

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^Yeah I hope so too! I think it's all a matter of budgeting my money... but I managed the midwest trip with several partying trips (one which cost me about $1600 alone) so it shouldn't be a problem. I tend to focus on things I want to do... and I did a bunch of stuff within the last year and probably will do the same this year. I just want to have my own camera for the trip... and maybe a new laptop!

 

At least I have a few extra months to save up, I think I got on the list last year around november.

 

Oh and I forgot another thing I should tell ya about the trip: don't party so much the night before that your a$$ is dragging in the park the next day! You did come to ride coasters right? You can drink and get drunk at home!

 

Terry

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^Yeah I hope so too! I think it's all a matter of budgeting my money... but I managed the midwest trip with several partying trips (one which cost me about $1600 alone) so it shouldn't be a problem. I tend to focus on things I want to do... and I did a bunch of stuff within the last year and probably will do the same this year. I just want to have my own camera for the trip... and maybe a new laptop!

 

At least I have a few extra months to save up, I think I got on the list last year around november.

 

Oh and I forgot another thing I should tell ya about the trip: don't party so much the night before that your a$$ is dragging in the park the next day! You did come to ride coasters right? You can drink and get drunk at home!

 

Terry

 

My main budgeting trick is to use my direct deposit at work to put a set amount into a high APR savings account (ING Direct, Emigrant Direct, etc). You just divide the total cost of the trip by the number of paychecks you have between now and when the trip payments will come due. This tells you how much to put away with each check. Saving aggressively often leaves me annoyingly short on cash at the beginning of the month when the bills are due, but at least I know I'm not wasting my money on stupid crap.

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^Hey! I love stupid crap!

 

Maybe I'll use the direct deposit tip to help pay for a few trips next year. It has to be in an account I can't get to easily though... because sometimes I'm a impulse shopper !

 

Terry

 

That's what's so great about using ING Direct or Emigrant Direct. They're totally separate from your regular bank. You have to login and manually transfer the money back to your checking. And it takes a few days for the transaction to go through.

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