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What do you do for a living?


bgwfreak
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Hey Robb and TPR!!!

 

It's Wes from the Thrillnetwork world. 8)

 

Anyway, I was just curious how you afford your trips each year.

 

Are you just "well off" or do you just save up the funds each year. I'm sure a producer on software doesn't do too shabby though.

 

I've seen the trips you've been on and I'm like, man!

 

If this is too personal I understand, just thought I'd ask. I've always wondered.

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We're happy to answer that! We want people to be able to travel as much as we do and we think that many of you can!

 

First off - We both have full time jobs to make the money!

 

Secondly - Roller Coasters are our hobby, meaning we don't spend much money on other stuff. We don't buy DVD's, we don't go out to eat more than once or twice a week (including lunches at work and weekend dinner dates!), we don't see movies in the theaters, we don't have expensive tv channels, I turn off lights in our apartment and set the thermostat accordingly...in other words, we're careful with our money!

 

Lastly the trips themselves - We usually go with other people to share costs, we research airfares and book only when they are VERY low, we priceline rental cars, stay at cheap motels, don't buy many souvenirs, etc.

 

As for time off, Robb is very established at his job and has about 4-5 weeks of vacation a year, I work hourly and take "unpaid time off" once my vacation days and comp days are gone.

 

Hope this helps! Don't be afraid to ask us for help planning your next trip, we do it for our friends and family all the time!

 

Elissa "See, Ask Alvey, get an answer!" Alvey

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Well that's a relief. I was going to be jealous otherwise lol

 

It's like I've told a friend ever since I got back from Israel in 1998, if you want something bad enough you'll do whatever it takes to get it.

 

She complained about wanting to go after I had gone. And I was like, all you have to do is save the money and it will happen sooner or later.

 

Anyway, see ya around the boards.

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Elissa...

 

Do you guys buy annual passes each year, or do you plan your trips annually and decide to buy from there? Since you've got, what, Six Flags, Cedar Fair and Paramount out there in CA, do you always buy their passes and just take advantage of using them at other parks when you can?

 

Also, it sometimes seems from reading your trip reports and looking at your pictures that you may only visit a park for a few hours and then move on. Is that the case or am I just imagining that???

 

Shari "Be there when the gates open and make them kick you out at closing" Shoufler

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At the beginning of each year we try and figure out which parks we'll be hitting (kind of a general plan and idea of wish list parks and definites) then based on that we'll decide if we need passes or not. For example last year we didn't get Paramount Passes because we knew we would only hit 1 or 2 Paramount parks if that so it didn't pay. We pretty much always get the Six Flags passes just cause you can't spit without hitting a six flags park! We went a year without Busch Passes...now we're going at least a year without Disneyland passes (but we have Disneyworld!). I used to have a Wild Adventures Pass and we considered buying those this year because of Cypress Gardens being included but decided against it after seeing Cypress Gardens!

 

Here's a list of the passes we'll have this year:

 

Six Flags - Hit at least 3 different SF parks and we have one down the street! :crying:

 

Cedar Fair - Hit Knotts with the kids a few times and a quick run into Dorney

 

Disney World - Renewed our Wedding passes and have already gotten our money's worth out of them!

 

Busch/Sea World - They had a great deal for 2 parks/2 Years so we went for it! Plus stupid Shakira is opening so we'll go!

 

Universal Florida - Robb needs his fill of Balsamic Chicken

 

Universal Hollywood - heck it was only $48 for 18 months!

 

As for visiting parks...

 

We ALWAYS try and be at a park before opening, that's the least busy time of the day. We then do our driving at night, so if we're done with a park we move on, if not we'll stay till close.

 

Elissa "there are very few parks I can spend 12 consecutive hours in!" Alvey

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Elissa "there are very few parks I can spend 12 consecutive hours in!" Alvey

 

Well, when you have a six year old who insists on going into EVERY shop and "arcave", time can tick away pretty quick. Although, if I have to be honest, she gets that from me.

 

Shari "What's in this store?" Shoufler

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^ Yeah, getting to a park at opening for us is VERY key. It means we can get the most done at a park in a shorter amount of time, and it's not very often that we have to wait in ANY lines, even for a parks 'newest' big ride.

 

We plan our trips so that we are at every park at LEAST 30 minutes prior to the park's posted opening times.

 

There are a LOT of parks that open their gates 15-30 minutes prior to the park opening the rides, and hold you in one central area, then do a 'rope drop' and let everyone in.

 

That's why we like to be there early enough so that we don't get screwed and end up at the back of the crowd.

 

For example, PKD does this, and in 2001 if you wanted to get a ride on Hypersonic, you NEEDED to be at the park an hour before opening, because they open the gates 30 minutes prior to opening the rides.

 

If you weren't at the front of the crowd, you could expect to wait 2 hours for Hypersonic.

 

The same thing goes for X at SFMM, and many other lower-capacity, popular rides.

 

As for staying late, we normally don't. It might look from our videos and photos that we 'rush' through parks, but we normally do not. We always take our time and try to have a 'smart' park day. Meaning we'll hit the rides that we think will have longer lines once it gets more crowded earlier in the day. For example, if a park has a Wild Mouse, A good Sally dark ride, or any other ride that is low capacity. If a ride has a brand NEW coaster that's sure to get a 2 hour wait later on, we'll hit it first and sometimes manage to get two rides before it gets too crowded.

 

We're also not big on re-riding something over and over again. Which is one reason why we don't go to many enthusaist events. As much as we like parks and like to ride, we found that even our favorite coasters we don't ride more than 5 times. Usually once or twice on most rides gives us our fill.

 

We prefer to ride MORE rides at a park, including non-coaster rides, than one ride over and over again. Unless of course it's Expedition GeForce, Pheonix, or some of our top 5 coasters!

 

I'd say our average park day is anywhere from 4 hours at a small park to 6 or 7 hours at a larger park. It's very rare that we visit a park and DON'T get everything in that we want to see. And it takes some tricky navigation, using a parks premimum line pass (like fastpass, express, or fastlane) to make it happen, but we always seem to come out ahead!

 

Anyway, that's enough on this for now. Please ask any questions you have!

 

--Robb

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I can vouch, Robb and Elissa know how to plan a coaster trip.

 

During our TX trip last year I think the longest we stayed at a park was 7 hours and that was SFOT.

 

First day we got to SFAW (barely) for opening. We were gone there by I think 2 or 3. We did all of the coasters, Diablo Falls, Dungeon Drop and the Sky ride.

 

We then drove to San Antonio and actually made it to SFFT for the last hour of operation.

 

Day two we got to SFFT about 45 minutes prior to opening and they had the front area open including the boomerang. Bonus!!!

 

I think we were done there by 1pm, ate at Carrabas and were at Schlitterbahn by 5pm (after checking into our next hotel to change).

 

Closed out Schlitterbahn that night and were back the next morning.

 

Next day we were done with Schlitterbahn by I think 1 or 2pm and drove to SFOT. Again, we closed out the park that night.

 

Next day at SFOT at 9:30 and they had the front area open so we were able to get our Q-bots before the park opened so we could go and do some Non Q-bot rides. (Dark ride, Mine Train, etc).

 

Getting to your next park the day before and being able to get a couple of rides in, as well as getting the layout of the park down (if it's your first trip) is really important IMO.

 

When we go to GA in April we are gonna be on a short schedule.

 

We are doing Dollywood on a Saturday but we want to try and get to SFOG for at least the last 2 hours of that saturday (they close at 10) so we can get in some rides and get a layout of the park down.

 

We only have about 5 hours on Sunday at the park, so Gold Q-bot is definately our plan. Plus if we can get some night rides in on Saturday, all the better.

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We're happy to answer that! We want people to be able to travel as much as we do and we think that many of you can!

 

First off - We both have full time jobs to make the money!

 

Secondly - Roller Coasters are our hobby, meaning we don't spend much money on other stuff.

 

Wow. Just like Dione and I with the bus trips. (Fly somewhere, ride the city's transit system, maybe stay overnight, fly home.)

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^ We were probably there at least 2 hours. I mean we did like EVERYTHING in the rides section, wandered around the gardens, saw the awesome fountains, played in the gas line obstacle course, went to the gift shop, went BACK to the rides area, saw the model trains, went into another gift shop, visited medieval santa, all in like 2-3 hours!

 

--Robb "It was a full day!" Alvey

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^Are you serious!?!?!? That is awesome. That has always been my dream school. I tried to get in last year, but didn't get accepted. I'm currently applying for transfer though. However, I'm now starting to debate about whether or not I should go if I get in. Anyway, I'm startin' to get a little of topic so I'll end my bit. That's awesome though. If you're not a Gator then your Gatorbait!

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^Honestly, it's a really good school...I LOVED it...a lot of people apply as a transfer after getting their A.A. so maybe think about that!

 

My brother will be applying next year!

 

Elissa "should we start a 'schooling' thread???" Alvey

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Awesome, you're into geography? I know every country's capitol even Krygyzstan and Vanuatu(Bishkek, and Port-Villa). Anyway how do you plan your trips when you cross time zones.?

 

VERY offtopic: Uhhh... Are you by any chance the Milleniumguy that I knew at RCT Lodge? :S

 

And what in all the world is Krygyzstan?

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^ Yes that was one exception, but not really. When you think about it, balanced out with the $60 per night Comfort Inn, the entire hotel stay of that trip was very cheap.

 

Any other hotel option in the area would have been almost as expensive and you would have needed to add transportation to Tokyo Disney and additional time in the mornings on top of that. And we also shared that room with someone else to help cut the costs down.

 

So for what we got, it actually was the cheapest option.

 

--Robb "We spent 3 nights out of 18 at a nicer hotel, I think that's acceptable!" Alvey

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Ok I hope this isn't a bad thing to ask but about how much money do you make from the TPR videos? I always wondered if you used the money from the videos to take the trips. And while I'm asking, how many do you usually sell? I hope these aren't those questions you aren't supposed to ask people...

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We don't sell as many as I think people think we do...I mean think about it...look at all these people on our own boards and most of them are saying that they haven't even bought it! It's a very small market. Now our videos that we have for download...that's another story!!!

 

Elissa "they've been downloaded tens of thousands of times!" Alvey

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