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Not Another East Coast Bash Photo TR...


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I've been on three TPR trips in the past three years, but had never attended a one-day TPR bash outside those trips until this year's East Coast Bash at Kings Dominion. I mean, when TPR comes within three hours of my home and offers a full day of fun at a theme park for less than the cost of a one-day ticket to that park, you don't say "no," right?

 

Well... a little background: Kings Dominion was the first theme park my parents ever took me to, when I was about 5, and it was amazing! Then we went back when I was 11, and it was... OK. Back again in high school, and it wasn't that great. Two visits in college--one pretty good, one really bad. Then I went back one more time with a group in 2008, the first full year of Cedar Fair, and everything from the food to the operations to the employees were so horrible, I vowed never to go back.

 

So, yeah, I hesitated a bit. But I figured if anything could change my mind about Kings Dominion, it was TPR. And I'm totally glad I went! For the most part, the park was a complete 180 from my 2008 visit. The rain held off for the most part, and I had an amazing time.

 

And one more thing before we get to the photos: An extra, extra special thanks to Robb, Elissa and everyone at Kings Dominion for putting on this event. I heard a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the group throughout the day, and every one of them was well deserved.

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Now we know how Robb is *really* able to afford all these trips--he moolights for Cedar Fair!

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One means I can ride; the other means I can eat. Both are very good to have.

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Just in case you get to the entry plaza and still haven't decided whether you want to pay to enter, they have a display set up to entice you with the new coaster.

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No bumper car takeovers today :(

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It's just how I envision Paris.

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You can't have one without the other!

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First ERT of the day: Dominator!

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I don't care for Dominator, so I spent most of the ERT catching up with TPR friends I hadn't seen in awhile. It's funny how fast you can rack up friends--or at least like-minded acquaintances--on TPR trips.

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TPR members and Dominator... it's like chocolate and peanut butter!

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A photo of the photographer... artsy!

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OK, story time. When I was 15, my parents, grandparents, sister and I went to Kings Dominion as part of our summer vacation. My grandparents (in their 70s), as always, paid for everyone's way in, then made a beeline to the nearest bench and told us they'd meet us there at the end of the day.

 

Around 1 p.m., they got restless and noticed that the park map (at the time) showed a train. It sounded relaxing enough, so they made their way to the train station and found it closed for lunch. My grandfather saw someone inside, knocked on the window and asked where the line for the train was. The park employee pointed him generally in the right direction, and my grandparents went to line up.

 

About halfway through the line, my grandmother asked my grandfather if he was *sure* they were in the right line. He asked if that wasn't the line the park employee had pointed toward, and she agreed it was. A few minutes later, my grandmother asked the same question, and my grandfather assured her they were in the right line, even pointing to the tracks in front of them as they approached the station. As they sat down in the car, my grandmother made one last inquiry, and as the wheels began turning, my grandfather assured her that yes, they were on the train, and the uphill motion they were experiencing just meant they were going over a trestle.

 

Except when they reached the top of the hill, they looked down, and that's the moment they realized they weren't on the train... they were on the Grizzly!

 

When my dad found out about it later that evening, he went to the Grizzly photo booth and made the poor girl working there go through all the photos from the day to find theirs. My grandmother kept it in her purse for years after that to show people as proof when she told the story! She thought it was funny later on, but she wasn't in such high spirits that day. She was always mad at my grandfather for something, so accidentally making her ride the roller coaster just gave her another reason. However, she was even madder at the guy who checked their restraints that day. Although she didn't know it was a roller coaster, and my grandfather didn't know it was a roller coaster, the ride op knew darned well it was a roller coaster... and he didn't once offer to hold her purse!

 

Oh, how times have changed!

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Grizzly ride op over the speaker as we flooded into the station for ERT: "Oh my! We haven't seen this many people in this station at once in a looooong time!"

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I'm going to be honest: I really liked the Grizzly and rode it six times during ERT. I guess there's not accounting for taste.

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Saucy!

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Oh, now we know why the bumper cars are closed!

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Where's Snoopy?

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Still a few Hanna-Barbera-era flourishes to be found.

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Same.

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When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite things in the park.

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Yogi Bear used to stand here, talking and fishing.

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Well... this looks kind of familiar, I guess.

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And I have *vivid* memories of this!

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However, I don't remember any skeletons in Yogi's Cave....

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Boo Boo is no longer conducting the woodland band, Cindy's not home, and the random bear is sleeping elsewhere.

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Apparently Ranger Smith struck it rich and left Jellystone in a cloud of dust. Random fact: I won a Weird Al Yankovic CD on the radio once because I knew Ranger Smith's first name: John.

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No sign of Snoopy yet.

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Another perk of TPR trips: kids readily available for credit whoring (and they didn't even charge us)!

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Ah, *there's* Snoopy!

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Something will go here soon.

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This was my very first roller coaster, when I was 5 (it was called "Scooby Doo" then). It scared me so badly that I didn't ride another one for 10 years.

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To tell the truth... it scared me this time, too! I didn't expect a woodie to run that smootly.

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Speaking of Scooby Doo....

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Looks like they finally got the Mystery Machine unstuck.

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Scooby Doo, where are you?

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No Mystery Machine here, either.

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The Congo: Home to such African-themed rides as Backlot Stunt Coaster and I305!

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We tried to ride Avalanche a couple times. The first time they announced there would be a delay to add a new train (which wouldn't allow us enough time to ride before lunch); the second time they closed as a storm approached.

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Good to know!

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Remember when the effects used to work on this ride? Yeah, neither do I.

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Domoverload!

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Lunchy lunch lunch lunch lunch... lunch!

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Pants much be worn at all times in the picnic pavillion.

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BUF-FAY!

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The spread was pretty good: barbecue, chicken sandwiches, chili dogs, salad, beans, ice cream... and three kegs of beer!

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This is what Robb looks like through the eyes of someone who has just drunk three kegs of beer.

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The Q&A with park management was really fun... except for the boo's that came with the I305 trim question. Uncalled for, people.

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And then came the TPR Quest game! Apparently this was modeled after something done on cruise ships, though I don't remember it on either of the two cruises I've been on. This is the perfect next step up from Elissa Bingo!

 

For those who missed it, it worked like this: Ten contestants lined up in front of the pavillion, and Robb called out something (or someone) for them to find in the audience ("Find a TPR pen!" "Find a bra... not attached to a human body!") to run out and bring back up to the front as fast as they could. The person who was fastest won the most points for that round, and the overall points winner received first pick from the prize table--including Paramount's Kings Dominion park-used maps, I305 media kits and more!

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Run, fatties, run!

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Next up: photo walkback. Witness Anaconda... through the trees!

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I spy retracking!

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Coaster cleavage!

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Smurfs aren't here, man! (Neither is the Land of Dooze, Haunted River or Time Shaft.)

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Did I mention that in addition to East Coast Bash, this was the penultimate day for the IntimidaTour? It was great to spend the day with my UK roomie, Mike Moody, who was on that trip.

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Ah, but wait... there's more backstage photo time? What could this footer belong to...?

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"Gentlemen, start your engines!"

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Fact: Intimidator 305 is the only coaster at Kings Dominion named after a dead man.

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So many hills! So many coaster geeks!

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The second rain shower of the day came just in time for the water park takeover.

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I want some Snoopy gas!

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Is it just me, or does Snoopy seem a little... deflated?

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Ah, that's better!

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What happened to Stan Mikita?

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Happy Days Diner hold-over!

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After the rain, Mike and I did a credit run to finish up the park before night ERT, starting with Rebel Yell.

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This is the coaster responsible for ACE. And it was another surprisingly smooth woodie.

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Next up: Ricochet.

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And finally... Hurler! My mom always said if you don't have anything good to say about something, you shouldn't say anything at all.

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This is where Cedar Fair trash cans are bred!

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Leftover Paramount "theming"!

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A few random ride shots: El Dorado Drive-In...

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...Drop Tower...

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...Flying Ace...

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...and we finally got our ride in on Avalanche!

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I wanted to stay for night ERT on Flight of Fear, but I had a three-hour drive ahead of me (which turned into a four-and-a-half-hour drive thanks to a who-knows-why backup on I-95), and I had work the next day, so I needed to get out of there around closing time. I did stop long enough to catch a song from this troupe near the front gate on my way out.

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"The world is a carousel of color...."

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Oooh! Joan Rivers is coming to Haunt this year!

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Yes. Yes, it is.

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Last time I was here, Dominator was in this spot.

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Some facts.

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I305 is taller than Godzilla! And a *real* space shuttle!

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Good bye, Kings Dominion! Hope you have a good Haunt!

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Haha, Awesome! Great Trip report, I loved hearing that story about grizzly, it was hilarious!

 

It was great seeing you again that day! It had been a little more than a year since West Coast 2009, i couldn't believe it had been that long. I had a great day!

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Woo, namecheck! And I avoided being in the way of your camera lens all day somehow, so double win.

 

Seriously, it was great spending the day with you - Japan, and indeed 2011 itself, won't be the same without the epic geek pairing of Mike & Jason. Even though I was quite physically uncomfortable that day (a week of walking, hot weather and general humidity does that to a Brit), it was all awesome anyway.

 

And I even enjoyed Shockwave!

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