So, finally after years of reading about them, I got to experience my first TPR event – and Wow!!! What a great time!!! First, kudos to Robb, Elissa and Don Helbig (and I’m sure many more behind the scenes) for organizing this great event for us! Every time I saw Robb he was making sure everyone was having a great time! Don was there all day too – even ending with a few well deserved night rides on the Beast.
Me, my son and daughter arrived Thursday night about 7:30 PM – grabbed a bite to eat and could not resist getting in a few rides before heading to bed. I had planned to get to bed earlier than later since we had a full day ahead of us but with such a beautiful evening and Platinum Passes we had to head over to the park for a while. So, after grabbing a bite to eat we got to the park about 8:30 PM – walked over and waited about 45 min for Diamondback – grabbed some blue twist cones and made it to the Beast line right before 10 PM. Got a great night ride on the last train of the night and headed back to the hotel to rest up for Banshee Bash!
We happened to be at the same hotel as the TPR tour – so it was exciting to see all the TPR members getting ready for the big day (and you know, eating cereal and stuff). Anyway, we headed over to park about 7:30 AM, checked in and received our lanyard and event wristbands from a smiling and excited Robb. I met Dave from the upcoming Mini-East-Coast tour and then we hung out until the gates opened. First up was Banshee for some morning ERT – or I like to call it EERT – EXTRA Exclusive Ride Time! I was pleasantly surprised that Robb had kept the number of participants in check so it was walk-on city (and a 1 train wait for the front) during ERT. We even snagged a back row ride with Robb – it was like living in one of his POV video’s – hearing him whoop and wheee through the course!!!
We then head over to Diamondback for some more walk-on ERT! Too many rides to count. Had a great crew member on the mic that was excited to have all us enthusiasts aboard and kept it fun for us.
We then decided to skip the waterpark ERT (due to the time and distance) and headed over for a morning Beast ride as the park opened to the public. We opted out of the Fast Lane Plus as we had done the park a few times before (with FL+) and were good hanging out and enjoying the day. So we head up the Eiffel Tower to enjoy the views then my kids did the Sling Shot since they loved the new one at Cedar Point – though this one was a bit painful as the restraints are not as comfortable as the new one – and really dug into their laps. We swung by the front of the park and kicks some soccer balls into the fountain for the KI Kicks Cancer event.
It was nearing lunch so we headed over to the Picnic Grove where we were treated to a nice spread of food and drink. There was even a Banshee Bash cake! And it was really tasty! I enjoyed a beer with lunch as we listened to Robb, Don, Greg and a gentleman that runs all the Cedar Fair FunTV programming. Don gave us a quick history on the Beast while Greg discussed the process of bringing in Banshee. The FunTV guy (sorry can’t remember his name) told us how all content for all Cedar Fair parks originates from the Kings Island office. He also mentioned that they plan more interactive trivia games via smart phones – so you could compete with folks in your line and even in other parks – pretty cool. He then asked for some requests for content – Robb jokingly asked for Frozen – then on a more serious note asked for some good behind the scenes videos. Which then led to them revealing that FunTV will be providing official POV videos for all Cedar Fair coasters in the future. Also got to meet some friendly TPR folks (sorry don’t recall the names) and got to get a quick pic with Snoopy! Good times.
Next on the event schedule were some behind the scenes tours of Banshee, Beast and Diamondback. Banshee was more of a side, than a behind the scenes tour – and being there opening day when the crowds over-spilled to the side of the ride I had already seen this side of Banshee. I was hoping to get back by the pretzel loop area – but with the amount of people it was understandable – and it still made for some great pics! The Beast tour, however, did not disappoint – we got to go all the way back to the 2nd lift hill. It was great to be among all that historic lumber and you could really appreciate how they used the existing terrain. The TPR crowd was definitely in coaster-nerd nirvana back there! Oh, and the Diamondback views were cool too - especially when the train came rolling through.
Next, we decided to head to the water park to relax and recharge. Unfortunately, we got so caught up over there that we did not make it back in time for the Cirque Imagine show that evening. Though from all accounts (and all the tweets) it was a great show.
Getting hungry we headed to the Reds Hall Of Fame Grille for a bite to eat – wings were surprisingly good there – rest was just ok. My son played the spin the wheel game in front of Diamondback and went 2 for 2 – so we headed over to Banshee where he and my daughter used a voucher. My son and I did the drop tower then we head over to the Beast where my son wanted to get an evening ride in using his second front of the line voucher (he always seems to take his sister - and not me
We then made our way to the International Restaurant above the front gates for the TPR fireworks viewing. Had a great time and a great view of the show – just one more cool / unique thing we got to experience that day.
Now it was time for some night ERT! We headed to Banshee for a quick ride in the dark – then off to Diamondback for a few quick rides – and finally over to the Beast at 10:55 PM for the 11 PM ERT. Got too many rides to count – and had a blast! Rode until the final train of the night! Again great crews at all the night ERT sessions.
Finally it was time to make our way out of the empty park. We were able to thank Don for his hospitality as we made our departure. Great day – so many highlights – and a well-run and fun event!!!