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Photo TR: TPR Invades Virginia for East Coast Bash


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Virginia hasn't seen an onslaught like this since Grant beseiged Petersburg--TPR's East Coast Bash at Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Saturday-Sunday, August 4-5)! It's pretty hard to top what Robb and Elissa put together for Theme Park Review's Bash events, and it's always great to see one come to the Old Dominion.


Day 1--Kings Dominion

What's better than having ERT on Volcano and Intimidator 305 first thing in the morning? How about I305 and Dominator ERT after dark, with lights-on rides on Flight of Fear thrown in for good measure? These sessions made great bookends for a great day at KD. Or maybe they were the bread in a "TPR Quest sandwich"? Just pick the metaphor that suits you.


It was, as usual for August, blazing hot and drippingly humid at KD, but Fast Lane is a good way to take the edge off a Virginia summer's day--and our group made good use of it (especially for extra night rides on Volcano and I305, which had outrageous lines on Saturday). I think KD handles Fast Lane very well--definitely a must on a crowded Saturday.


Here's a look at the first day of East Coast Bash 2012.


Hmm--I hope all these people are in the right place.


Yep--I guess they are.


May the power of Pink Snoopy bless and protect you.


Virginia law requires at least one photo like this in every trip report regarding Kings Dominion (fountains optional--they came on just a minute or two later).


Volcano is always a good way to start the day--Canadians and Americans agree!


But we did spend the lion's share of the morning ERT on this beast. That is, the one on the left, not on the right. ;)


Brad, Skipster, and Erik, START YOUR ENGINES!


It's been said many times before, but still bears repeating: This is what an ERT session should be like.


I305 was running great that morning . . .


. . . and even better that night!


Flash forward to lunch! And remember, it isn't TPR Quest . . .


. . . until someone gets hurt!


There is no way that this will end well (there was one good face plant during this little race).


You all want the official KD "hippie" bear--admit it!


And it wouldn't be a Bash without a backstage tour, would it?


KD now takes you even closer to I305 than it has in the past.


Here's a shot that you definitely can't get on the "right" side of the fence.


"Hello! It's me, Rebel Yell! You can take pictures of me, too! Hello?"


The power behind the ride.


"YOU . . . SHALL . . . NOT . . . PASS!"


"Welcome to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom! From the safety of my blind some two miles away . . .


. . . I can observe the herd of coaster enthusiasts in their natural habitat. Be very quiet! They're easily spooked, and will run toward the nearest buffet!"


Oops! Houston, we have a problem. I305 is stuck on its lifthill.


One last look at I305--backstage.


Can you see the nice, pleasant ride through the not-so-pleasant one?


Don't worry--the train became unstuck shortly after I took this picture.


T-Rexes like coaster enthusiasts because the latter tastes like funnel cakes and bacon.


I think Haunt may have something to do with evil clowns this year. Just a hunch.


Darkness starts to fall on Kings Dominion.


Yay for Fast Lane on Backlot Stunt Coaster! (But boo for none of the effects working.)


How about a night ride on I305 before ERT? Yay for Fast Lane again!


A moody, atmospheric shot of the I305 station--sort of looks like you should see some guy in an overcoat and fedora somewhere, doesn't it?




My god! A UFO! Well, it's as much a "UFO" as the one the media made such a big deal out of last year. ;)


The Eiffel Tower looks pretty tonight; during Haunt, it will look evil.


This is the first time I've been at the park late enough during the summer to see "Snoopy's Magic Christmas" . . .


. . . er, excuse me: "Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular."


A look down the path behind the Eiffel Tower. This will be a scare zone during Haunt; however, of you're an epileptic, you'll probably find it pretty scary now.


Yes, this pretty much sums up my experiences with women. ;)


OK, the Eiffel Tower does look a little creepy now.


There's that UFO again!


From the looks of that themed wall, I think Medieval Macabre will be in the Dodge'em building during Haunt. Just another hunch.


Almost time for our nighttime ERT on I305, but first . . .


. . . some explosions!


Looks like Anaconda took a direct hit! Whether this is good or bad is up to you.


My thanks for Kings Dominion and TPR for a great day! Next up is Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed all the 305 backstage photos. It looks like everyone had a blast at this event.


As for Halloween Haunt XII, I'm curious to see if those new circus props are for that are on display in front of the Eiffel Tower. We know that 1 of the 2 new houses will be themed to a haunted hotel (in the left side of the Action Theater), so maybe we will see a clown maze return. But they might just be new props for CarnEvil... I guess we'll find out soon!


I'm looking forward to the BGW pictures.

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Couple things:


1) I made it into a photo. I'm the guy in the Washington Capitals shirt next to my terribly short mother in the orange tank top in the shot where you mention Wild Kingdom.


2)Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular was really cool. The fireworks were awesome but they should really have made an announcement. They scared the crap outta me because I was looking away and they were loud.


3)Words cannot describe how insane I305 ran at night. It seemed much faster and more intense.


Best day I've ever had at an amusement park hands down.

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I305 was definitely running better during the night ERT rather than the morning. Definitely a little bit of greying out. It became my new #1 steel coaster after that session. Thanks for the pics Chuck.

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Good lord, that's what Backlot Stunt Coaster looks like now?


Other than that, East Coast Bash looks pretty great so far, and as always, I'm extremely jealous that I couldn't get out there for this one. I haven't been to Kings Dominion since well before Intimidator 305 was built and I'm dying to try it out for myself... So in the meantime, I'll continue to live vicariously through you and your trip reports... Thanks Chuck!

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They even gave up on the sound effects and fire, Adam. You just stop for a moment, then "take the tunnel."


Part 2: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I live about 20 minutes from BGW, so I can go there pretty much whenever I please during the season; yet, I still enjoy TPR events there. Why? ERT, my fellow TPR members, and the backstage tours. I've been backstage a couple of times over the last few years, and actually thought about passing on it this year, figuring there wasn't much that I'd hadn't already seen.


But I was wrong about that. Even though I've been inside Escape from Pompeii, Verbolten, Loch Ness Monster, and Griffon before, they showed us some stuff and areas I still hadn't seen. Definitely worth the time! Once again, my thanks to Busch Gardens, Robb, and Elissa for another great day!



ECB Day 2 began bright and early with ERT on Verbolten (the "New Hotness") and Mach Tower (the "Old Hotness"?). Here's a look.


Yep--it's nothing but glamor behind the scenes at ECB, Day 2! Where else do you get to rip tickets with Robb and Erik?


Larry wants everyone to know that you will never see the Mr. Grumpy shirt again. He has officially retired it--although he promises to remain grumpy.


And hordes swarm over BGW for ERT on . . .


. . . Verbolten!


"Don't look back, as you brave the Black Forest!" (Even though you are told countless times not to go there. Wouldn't be much of a ride if you didn't take a wrong turn now, would it?)


Let the backstage tours begin!


First stop: Verbolten. The Black Forest is in that green building on the left.


Oh no! Those poor people are in the EVIL YELLOW TRAIN OF DOOM!


As Gerta says (about 1,000,000 times a day), "Auf weidersehen!"


They didn't even take us back here during the Verbolten Media Day.


Well, Gerta warned them that the "Black Forest ist verboten!"


Not a good sign.


You fools! Can't you read German?


The Drachen Fire station may not be haunted, but it has been infested with vampires in the past.


This is most sophisticated control room at BGW.


Here's what the operator sees when a train enters the drop section. (Oh, darn! Did I give away the surprise?)


Next stop, the ruins of Pompeii.


Rumor has it that there's an abandoned subway line in here that's infested with homicidal Italian zombies.


You know, considering the volcanic eruption and the passage of about 2,000 years, that door looks to be in pretty good shape.


These ancient Roman stairs have held up well, too.


See those two big black buttons in front of the operator? Those are for FIRE!


Here's where a ride op monitors the top of Pompeii's big drop.


Just wait for a boat, jump out, and go "boogieboogieboogie"!


If you could open this window, you could drop water balloons on passing boats--just to add insult to injury.


Time to go behind the scenes at the park's last remaining Arrow coaster. Some may weep.


"Now, these are what we call 'wheels' in the trade."


Yes, that is a wheel. We coaster enthusiasts are rather savvy that way.


This is the "mole hole," which technicians use to inspect the underside of a train. I'd show you a close-up picture of the hole itself, but such coaster porn would violate the site's Terms of Service.


Welcome to a somehat-less-sophisticated-than-Verbolten set of controls.


I think people should wear indicators like this--just so you know they're OK. One more set of pics to come.

Edited by cfc
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Meanwhile, back at the Loch Ness Monster, TPR members were dazzled by the ride's awesome technology.


Yep--that's looking pretty 1970s there. But it works.


Here's the most high-tech piece of equipment in the room.


Gone, but not forgotten.


It's rather expensive to get burned anywhere else at Busch Gardens.


It would be nice to able to take this short cut to Griffon every day.


My god! Those people are going to crash into that building!


Here's a view of Nessie that you don't get every day.


According to our tour guides, the Loch Ness Monster isn't going anywhere--except up this lifthill.


On to Griffon.


Behold the backside of Griffon!


"You can't fool me, I'm Canadian! That's a big wheel!"


Looking across the shop toward the station.


"Not too many people know this, but B&M wheels have a delicious creamy center."


Another awe-inspiring piece of high-tech equipment.


Another look at the station from the shop. Fascinating, no?


You have to like any ride that has a technician named "Killer."


Griffon shows its impressive profile.


You get pretty good views of the Loch Ness Monster from here, too. I remember when this section was almost completely hidden by trees.


Griffon may be "mythical," but the control room is not.


Yes, I know where they stash the Illiuminights balloons--but I'll never tell!


Almost time for lunch--there's the Festhaus in the distance.


And look who's in the employee cafeteria--Nicole from Team TPR and Coasting for Kids!


Meanwhile, KT was nearly swallowed by a giant penguin!


"Yep. It's like Christmas every day here in the old stall. That's for sure."


I highly recommend taking a night ride on Verbolten.


Rick Moore, this machine is calling you!


The yellow train is even more terrifying after dark!


Canada supports night rides on Verbolten!


And that's a wrap for East Coast Bash 2012! Thanks for reading.

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Great TR, even if I wasn't there I can see what you got up to. Love the photos almost made me wish I had joined Amber for the tour. That was Amber who was injured Quest, but hey you play the game, you take the risks. I would have really enjoyed the backstage tours. thanks for all the great shots.

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^Funny story about that: One of the quests was to bring up someone over 50 years of age. I volunteered, and Amber saw my hand up and came running--right into a bench! Ow!

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