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Elissa's Thoughts on the UK and Europe Trips!


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Elissa - Awesome report/thoughts!

 

Robb - I Totally agree! The German Fair was a very "interesting" day because of some participants but that was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me! People just need to realize that things like ERT do not just magically happen. It takes of TON of work to put things like that together. As for "Bonuses," the value of the trips themselves are by far the greatest bonus! For me, the bonuses are meeting new people, getting to ride a coaster 13 times in a row, not having to wait in most lines, laughing the entire trip, getting hair cuts by a world famous Brit, taking over planes, weird German Rapping, awesome movies, Wagamama, etc.

 

I know, next trip, you should have the entire schedule empty, and just make each day a surprise park day. And instead of saying certain meals are included, make them all "bonus" meals

 

Can't wait until you cover Europe!

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Sorry. One more thing was bothering me.

 

In fact, at our goodbye dinner I actually had some people show disappointment that we hadn't rented out Legoland as a "bonus" that night as our dinner location was only a couple of miles from Legoland.

 

You know, if Legoland wasn't on the itinerary, and people wanted to go there so bad... I am 100% confident that Elissa would've helped anyone plan for them to go there on their own. I'm also 100% confident that that would include helping with maps, transportation, lodging and anything associated with a personal side trip.

 

Why am I so confident? Because that's what Elissa does, and she's damn good at it!!

 

And anyone that thinks I'm just kissing Elissa's , can kiss mine as well. Because I'm not.

 

I've done my fair share of trips that I've planned on my own. I, for one, can certainly appreciate the hard work that goes into it. The logistics of planning a trip can get tiresome, but to me, they are quite fun. Especially when it works out well. The best part is, I'm the only one who has to appreciate it.

 

I'm just saying that if people don't appreciate the 135% being put out for them, don't be surprised if your trip is only 110% satisfactory!! It's still the best deal anywhere in this genre!!

 

Try doing it on your own sometime.

 

 

JJ

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This thread makes me excited that I just might get to do northeast next year. Also, I cant say much about some people being dissapointed as I have never been on an official trip, but I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY with West Coast Bash! It was amazing, and everyone was welcoming and was there to have a kick ass time. My friends went with me and although they love coasters, they ae not enthusiasts and had an AMAZING time. Moral of the story quit your bitching people! TPR is the largest coaster site, the trips are the biggest and the best. They are not asking people to go on trips with them, but merely sending an invitation and trying to offer the best time possible considering it is their vacation as well as yours, yet unlike you they are working VERY hard at making sure a good tome is had by all. I dont know for sure when I will be able to go on a trip, but I will be joining club TPR within the week and will be happily looking forward to my future with the awesome TPR family. This site is(somewhat sadly in a nerdy way) part of my life, and I cant wait to contribute/experience in the fun for years to come.

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Olympia Looper is too intense? Who the f**k cares? I would have rode until I either passed out or even ralphed, even then, after I got sick, I would just laugh at how much fun and abuse I put myself through. I would give away my left nut for a ride on Olympia, let alone ERT.

 

Honestly, if I would have been on that trip, I would have loved and appreciated everything...so it's Skegness, who the frig cares...Go and have fun. This is my major beef with this hobby, people forget it's all about having fun.

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and people seemed a bit more underwhelmed than I had hoped for

 

May be it was the european mentality while we normaly don't show and or speak out our appreciation as exuberant as most of the americans do. For me the bonus park was a real supprise and I loved it... two unexpected Vekoma credits!

 

P.S. If you had done the ultimate in the morning, you would have appreciated the boomerang more

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I will say that we will continue to get as much as we can for our group trips and I will never stop going the extra mile, but if the difference in reaction between doing 110% and 135% is the same...we're going to stick to doing 110%

 

Sorry, but that's just the reality of it all. When we're doing so much work as it is, I'm not going to make more work for myself if no one is going to care.

 

 

--Robb

 

I don't know about the particulars of this trip but I enjoyed everything I got on the trip I went on last year. Keep up the good work and I say if giving out 135% doesn't get the reaction you're expecting, scale it back or you guys will quickly get tired of doing these trips and possibly resenting the people who go on them. I know most of us don't want that to happen!

When I looked at the line up card for East Coast Bash I was really amazed at what was laid out on the itinerary. Same with the Texas trip. I only expected what was in the flyer you sent out. All the other stuff--Kemah boat ride and the Houston dirty whore credit, to name a couple--was gravy!

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The best thread I've read in a while. I find it really interesting to get the 'behind the scenes' take on things from the event organisers.

 

It is a massive shame to hear that some people were disappointed with their 'extra perks'. It's like when people at work complain about what bonus they do or don't get. At the end of the day its a BONUS! You've paid for a TPR trip, if you're not happy when you pull up to a BONUS park after hours, then stay on the bus and keep your mouth shut!

 

I know I'm being nosey, but out of curiosity what was the BONUS PARK?

 

I would also be interested to hear from some of the attendees about why they were 'disappointed' or felt let down? (Of course only if that is allowed Robb/Elissa?)

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Stopped at a motorway services on our way back to the Heathrow Hotel and it was great. Seriously, why are the European 'rest stops' so much better than in the states? The closest thing I can think to compare would be like the 'Maryland Houses' we have on I-95, but the UK stops are still better.

 

Amen to motorway services in the UK. If you don't care for Burger King, Pizza Hut, or Wimpy's, there's usually a great market/deli where you can score a good sandwich. They need to adopt this concept in the states (other than in Maryland and on the Jersey Turnpike).

 

As as for people being "underwhelmed" by the bonus park, I recall something an old friend of mine used to say to any unappreciative person: "So, whaddaya want--egg in your beer?" (No, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but seems to sum up the situation perfectly.)

Edited by cfc
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Honestly, if I would have been on that trip, I would have loved and appreciated everything...so it's Skegness, who the frig cares...Go and have fun. This is my major beef with this hobby, people forget it's all about having fun.

 

Eh, I don't recall most people disliking Skegness. Where else are you going to see a large roller coaster surrounded by racks of fake designer clothing, candy shaped like genitalia, and a sea of trailers? Where else are you going to ride an inverted wacky worm?

 

Yeah, the only thing I disliked about Skegness was that terrible dego spinning mouse. I had the most painful moment I've ever had on any coaster on that POS. My knee bashed into the restraint so hard during the spinning that I thought I was going to puke from the pain.

 

And, personally, I didn't give a crap about the lift hill motor being broken on the SLC. I can understand why Elissa from an organizer's point of view was moderately bummed, but, to me, broken rides are just a fact of this hobby. No sense in getting worked up about it.

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Club TPR Day

This was the 1st TPR event that i have attended and i had a blast,and i'm definitely going on a trip next year.

The waterpark ERT was fantastic,can't wait till next year.

Edited by mousch
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Stopped at a motorway services on our way back to the Heathrow Hotel and it was great. Seriously, why are the European 'rest stops' so much better than in the states? The closest thing I can think to compare would be like the 'Maryland Houses' we have on I-95, but the UK stops are still better.

 

Amen to motorway services in the UK. If you don't care for Burger King, Pizza Hut, or Wimpy's, there's usually a great market/deli where you can score a good sandwich. They need to adopt this concept in the states (other than in Maryland and on the Jersey Turnpike).

 

Maybe this observation isn't quite right, but it seems like that only places where you see decent rest stops like the Maryland Houses and NJTP are off of Turnpikes. While the Maryland Houses are not on a turnpike per say, they are between sets of tolls. The stops off of the Ohio Turnpike are better as well over what you would normally see at other areas.

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When we're doing so much work as it is, I'm not going to make more work for myself if no one is going to care.

 

For whatever it's worth, that spinning ride at Pleasure Island was one of Liz's favorite rides of the trip. She doesn't ride boomerangs or SLCs anymore, but she loves spinning rides. But I won't ride them with her normally, especially not crazy ones like that on maintenance mode.

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AMAZING dinner this night at PIZZA HUT!!!

 

That pizza hut is one of the best Pizza Hut experiences I have ever had! (And I go to Pizza Hut ALOT)

 

Also I love Skegness I am going to Butlins for New Year because im just that god dam cool!

 

-Craig

Edited by StealthFan
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About the bonus park, since this was my 1st trip I cant really compare to any other reactions you guys have got before. But I personally felt a real buzz from the whole thing. Walking through the park as the night was starting to creep in, not to mention riding my 1st (and only, so far) boomerang. Oh, and that hysterical frisbee ride! It was without a shadow of a doubt one of my trip highlights. And I really appreciate it!

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Elissa, thanks for your insights on the trip, it's very nice to get some more insight to the TPR trips.

 

As for all the other stuff ... I just gotta say ... WOW.

 

I've done trips with Robb and Elissa before there were "TPR Trips" and even then, they worked SO hard to make sure we had plenty of time at the parks, that the travel wasn't "too" crazy and helped us keep the costs down, etc. And that was only for 8 people (our two families at the time). And we didn't have ERT or anything, it was just us. I can't imagine how much harder they have to work to secure things like that.

 

Got to experience part of the West Coast Trip in the Bay Area and even though my son and I weren't on the actual "Trip", we totally felt like we were. Robb and Elissa didn't have to do that for us, they could have just let us go to Bay Area Bash and then we would have had to do the rest of the parks on our own. But they didn't ... they figured out our own pricing for just those parks (Gilroy, SCBB and Great America) and TOTALLY went out of their way to do so. It was awesome and MUCH appreciated.

 

I just can't imagine people getting pissed that the "bonus" stuff wasn't good enough. Hello, it's "Bonus" and Robb and Elissa work their asses off to give everybody a good time.

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Elissa - thanks for the "inside edition" perspective. I am always fascinated by how much we get to do on a TPR trip (which is why I've been on one every summer since my first trip 4 years ago.)

 

I'm going to choose to think that that bonus park experience was a fluke. Something in the water perhaps??? I can't remember any train dispatching on any of the trips I've been on where we were not cheering and generally acting like fools . Heck - I remember checking into The Breakers after sitting in a hellish traffic jam, extremely late at night, during a power outage and having a BLAST!!

 

Hope you keep up these posts, because they make me appreciate the trips and all the work that goes into them! Looking forward to seeing y'all in a couple of weeks!!

 

David

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Having said that, on the topic of being surprised about the bonus park time at Pleasure Island, I can speak only for myself when I say I was absolutely blown away. I didn't ride two of the three attractions they opened for us (which I don't mean negatively--I normally shy away from inverted coasters and Diskos/Frisbees since I tend to have a weak stomach for them), but I loved having the opportunity to see the park, and even after seeing the Boomerang in the distance from the road, I didn't suspect a thing. Of course, that's a big part of what hooked me on TPR trips in the first place--I always get more than I expect, even when I expect to get more than I expect. If that makes any sense.

 

I can only really echo Jason, here. Again, I didn't ride the Boomerang or the Frisbee; I tend to avoid shuttles/backwards inversions in general, although, after riding the super-amazing Waltzer at Skeggy the next day, I did sort of regret not experiencing Pendulus/whatever it was called.

 

However, I still got a MASSIVE buzz, as Rosie said, from the whole experience of Pleasure Island - from noticing the Boomerang from the road, wondering whether it was actually a 'coaster, or just some boring steel structure..getting mildly excited when I realised it was actually a 'coaster..the awesomeness of the 'Now, about that toilet break..' revelation from Robb, and Erik's shining quote of the trip..then actually entering the astonishingly picturesque park, and the sunset that gave the whole thing a magical quality. I knew from the outset that I probably wouldn't ride the Boomerang - and, had I ridden it, it would've probably been the most magical Boomerang ride ever - so I was definitely content to take some 'arty' pictures, and then chase Kristen and Kathryn round the monorail footers, while the rest were on Pendulum/whatever. Really, the bonus credit I ended up getting, on the Roller Skater (?), was just that, a great bonus, because I'd already had an awesome time.

 

So I have to thank you, Robb & Elissa, for what was a little highlight of the trip, personally. I really enjoyed the evening, and, apart from anything else, it made me want to go back to PI, and see it in operating hours - although I don't think I'd've seen the fantastic sunset otherwise, so, again, many thanks.

 

'A Boomerang is NOT a urinal!'

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Wow, I didn't mean for this to turn into such a big deal! Just trying to put my honest feelings out there!

 

Thank you everyone, though, seriously the kind words are appreciated and are getting me ready to call a bunch of terrible places today that dont like returning phone calls for the next trips!

 

^^David...see, I too remember that evening and as stressful as it was for a tour organizer, you guys as participants were all FABULOUS about it and we were all just laughing and having a great time. I get the feeling that had that happened on the UK trip, well, it wouldn't have been so fabulous. So not sure if it's just the different mix of people, the fact that we've been doing trips three more years at this point than the midwest trip, etc.

 

Anyways...moving on!!!

 

Day 9

Thorpe Park

 

So Thorpe is one of those parks that I often describe as the 'Magic Mountain of England'. It's got a lot of 'xtreme' rides, gets not the best clientel, and doesn't have stellar operations or staff. Luckily for us this proved to be a pretty awesome day at Thorpe. In part due to England playing in the World Cup that day which kept crowd levels down and also due to some of the leads and supervisors knowing of our visit and doing their absolute best. Oh, also having ERT and Fast Track tickets for every ride helped too!

 

In reality this park day went WAY better than Robb or myself was expecting.

 

Saw - This was a great ride!!! I had heard a lot of the Brits bitching about it, but I thought it was fantastic. The ***SPOILER dead body that squirts at you while you're upside down in that hidden inversion END SPOILER*** was amazing! Also the ride was one of the smoother Eurofighters for sure.

 

The rest of the rides and attractions were pretty much the same, but crews were working hard and I still love their 'left luggage' policies and how efficiently it all works. KT got to ride a decent amount of stuff this day and I want to send a shout out to the nice older man who was working in the kids area. He was managing terrible parents, teenagers trying to get on kiddie rides, and rotating operating like three attractions all with a smile!!!

 

Pizza Hut Buffet!! YUM!!!

 

This was also our first taste of HEAT, and it was only going to get worse. Many drinks were consumed this day, one of them even had ice in it!!?!?!

 

This was a complicated day for me to arrange, between our UK people, Brit Crew meet ups, and Early Europe Trip arrivers we were up to two buses and I had to keep everyone straight! (well, not everyone, but you know what I mean!)

 

Now after the park was my time to shine. I had been working with the manager of the Wagamama's in Windsor. While there was a closer Wagamama's to Thorpe Park it was smaller and couldn't really handle our group. Plus when I googled the Windsor location and saw how beautiful the area was I knew I had to make that work for our farewell dinner. The manager was very cool and told me that we would be able to order whatever we wanted (normally restaurants will make you order off an easier set menu with big groups) so I gave everyone a budget and told them if they went over they needed to pay me. Everyone was very good and there was a ton of awesome food!!!

 

Onto another small rant...drivers...I have pretty much decided that I want Robb to get his commercial bus drivers license so we can just rent the bus and I can be in charge of which way to go!!!! I will leave it at that as I know some of our drivers read the board, although this rant most likely does not apply to them! The drive back to the hotel after dinner somehow took 45 minutes which was quite odd, but again, I digress...grrrrr.

 

Next up, TPR's biggest group flight ever and an even hotter climate!!!

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Saw - This was a great ride!!! I had heard a lot of the Brits bitching about it, but I thought it was fantastic. The ***SPOILER dead body that squirts at you while you're upside down in that hidden inversion END SPOILER*** was amazing! Also the ride was one of the smoother Eurofighters for sure.

I would totally agree. I honestly do not understand all the bitching that I've heard from the brits over the past year about this ride. Saw is by far better than the two Euro Fighters we have in the states, and it's my #2 Eurofighter behind Speed.

 

I'd even go as far to say that Saw is one of the best coasters in all of the UK. Especially as far as a complete package goes. The ride itself was fantastic, the theming was well done, the set up to the ride was impressive, etc, I really enjoyed it. The station was great, as Elissa mentioned the dead body trick, the plasma screens with "GAME OVER", the airtime hill, the Billy animatronic, etc, etc.... All good stuff!

 

And on top of all that it was an incredibly smooth ride.

 

I'm guessing that all the bitching is mostly "jump on the bandwagon Anti-Thorpe Park behaviour", which I seemed to notice a lot of, because I honestly couldn't see any of the complaints that I had heard about in the rides we took on Saw that day.

 

--Robb

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The thing I find with Saw from talking to others about it is that it either beats you senseless, or you're totally fine on it. For me, it pretty much beats me senseless. I've come off it with visible marks where its smacked me in the face whilst the person next to me has loved it... I will be the first to admit Thorpe is bashed by us Brits for EVERYTHING, but, with Saw, I do think it genuinely sucks. It hurts me in ways that no other rides have done, especially compared to the other Eurofighters I've done.

 

But, like I say, it seems to be a ride that either throws you around like a rag doll, or treats you nicely. And I'll agree, some of the little touches in the themeing are fantastic, and all the themeing works as much as it needs to at Thorpe. But, ow... Those transitions...

 

Glad to hear that you liked it and that the park was great for you guys though!

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I'd love to check out Saw, because I like Eurofighters in general (haven't ridden a bad one yet). I've heard some similar complaining about Mystery Mine, but I recall but one "bad spot" in the whole ride.

Edited by cfc
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