Richard

Future Events

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38 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you likely attend a full-day event held at one of the Gold Coast's major theme parks in early 2008?

    • Yes
      33
    • No
      5


54 posts in this topic

I'd be interested to hear what people would be interested in attending in terms of theme park events. I'm looking (very tentatively) at some sort of event in early 2008 to be held at one of the Gold Coast's theme parks. Which park will come down to what people would most want, and also what the parks can do to accommodate what we're doing. The idea would be an event structured around a day at the park, most likely a Saturday in the off-peak season to make it all work. Everyone would find their own way into the park, be that by paying for a full-priced ticket at the gate, using an annual pass, a voucher or any other means to get into the park. We'd hopefully arrange a discounted entry fee but it'd be flexible so that those who can get their way into the park don't have to pay needlessly to be a part of the event. On top of entry, there would be an "event fee", say around $30-40. This fee would entitle each guest to some or all of the following: -ERT on one or more major rides at the park. -A fully catered sit-down meal. -A greeting from a "person of interest" at the park, as well as some sort of question and answer session. Basically a chance to find out a bit more about the park, how it is run and that sort of thing. -Momentos/souveniers from the event such as a lanyard, t-shirt, poster and that kind of thing. -DVD + photos of footage from the event sent to each attendee later. The basic premise and what can be offered is totally subject to interest. Early estimates suggest that we'd need at the very least 25 attendees, and we'd aim for around 50. Friends and family would of course be welcome, but they should have at least a basic interest in theme parks because things like a Q&A session or ERT would not work otherwise. I'd like to see at least 30 members from this site at the event, with extra numbers filled by friends/family. Basically just putting out the feelers to see if something like this would be viable. At the moment all we're looking for is a rough idea of numbers and other thoughts, comments or suggestions.

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I'd be leaning towards MW given that is the park I would most enjoy, and the fact it has more interesting attractions makes a question and answer session more worthwhile (Hate to say it but a DW Q&A session would probably turn ugly :rolleyes: ). What sort of date would you define early 08 as, as you know I wont be in Queensland till late Februrary so Id be hoping for a date after that point (Though you say in off peak, so that sounds like it would be around then anyway) I would have attended our past events in a flash if geographical location wasn't such an issue. I think they key is to get people in early, and collect at least the event fee, that way nothing is in jeopardy if people decide not to turn up. Merchandise sounds cool. This is just me though, but I'd stick with just a lanyard, I reckon I'd feel like I would stick out too much wearing a T-Shirt, and I probably wouldn't wear if after the event anyway. Can I just say I think everybody should get behind this, it costs $20 on top of an Annual pass to get into the Haloween event at MW, So I think $30-40 with all the stuff planned sounds pretty darn reasonable. Edit: Make sure you advertise this event on TPR, im sure they wouldn't mind ;)

Edited by Gazza

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Yeah Movie World would be great. A ERT on Superman would be good, but I don't think they would let you without paying through the roof. Movie World or Sea World are prob the parks to choose if you want a good meal, Dreamworld's food is nothing special along with the water parks. Haha, I loved Gazza's idea to post on TPR! My vote is Movie World.

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I think the key to this one Richard is advance planning. I know a lot of our members are in QLD, but there are also a lot of old-hat members from the Wonderland days that are here in NSW. Work commitments are another issue. Saturday is good but for those still working in retail and the like, saturdays are a hard slog to accomplish. I propose the following - in this order: 1. Agree on a park, and confirm that the park is willing to offer everything that has been discussed to avoid disappointment - for example if the ERT cannot be achieved. 2. Confirm numbers tentatively based on what dates are available that can be accomodated by the park. 3. Confirm the best date for everybody wanting to go 4. Lock this in with the park well ahead of schedule 5. Advise all members etc. that this date has been confirmed so that those who need to travel can begin making arrangements - again well ahead of time. My workplace would need a minimum of 10 weeks notice for me to be able to plan it without stuffing people around, as an example, so confirming a date in february would mean advising the date in november would be best. We also need to look into group bookings for accomodation, as this would share the burden around and make it easier on everyone. As far as travel plans, if I am able to go, I am happy to carpool with some other people and split the petrol, or better yet hire a minibus and make it a road trip. Seriously though, I am envious of some of the events that ACE can pull off in the states - those guys have some real pull over there, and I am dismayed that the parks over here don't treat us serious enthusiasts with the same kind of loyalty. We need to show the parks out there that R-C.com.au members are not a small bunch of people, made up of Richard, Flea, Rappa, Bussy, Daniel, Myself, Ian, Paul, Gazza, Adam etc... (i'm naming mainly long term members, and sorry if I forgot any regulars), but off the top of my head, I could think of only 10 long term frequent posters on this site, and two of them are employees of WVTP already. If we can make this a success, derive as much from it as we can, while also giving the parks something in return - online publicity, more attendance, good (and worthwhile) feedback (eg: not just criticism), then all we can hope for in the future is more of the same in return. ACE have been running for a long time, and they enjoy many benefits at almost any park in the US, let's get something similar going on here - lets involve TPR, ACE, and anyone else in a position to get behind this to come along. Richard wants 50. I say we can get 200 if we all pull behind this. At the very least, for 200 people, even if you take into account discounts and annual passes, thats a good $10,000 in the parks turnstiles (@ $50 per ticket) and not likely something that they could ignore. Count me in Richard, but please lets consider timeframes, and if we can get a park to do it - my vote is WBMW. As far as what we can do, if we get WBMW, i'd like to see: A behind the scenes of SDSC (lights on), ERT of SE, or alternatively, SDSC If we have 200, we can always have our QnA in the Police Academy Stunt Show stage. We might have the break lunch up over a period and do it in the restaurant bit by bit - whats the capacity of that place? Depending on numbers, maybe we could even split into groups throughout the day, and rotate around selected things such as: Back of house, Studio Tours, etc. Another option for the park would be to offer the ERT after normal operating hours - to avoid public disappointment, allow us to enjoy the rest of the park knowing that the ERT is coming at the end of the day, so we can skip that ride, and of course, to have just that extra time in the park! (of course, an alternative to lunch in that case could also be to have the sit down meal provided at the end of the day - as a dinner, instead of lunch during operating time!) Another suggestion i'd like to make is that we could also arrange to spend the evening at AoS, which would include dinner, as well as more WVTP entertainment, and Clint can also show off some of the absolutely cool crap he gets to do on a daily basis.

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The idea with getting the ball rolling so early is so that we can have heaps of time to plan everything. If it goes ahead as described we'll be needing attendees to prepay to confirm their attendance so for that reason we'll be aiming to have all plans set in stone at least a month out from the event. For everyone's sake it'll need to be a balance between enough notice for everyone to make arrangements, yet not so far into the future that it's difficult for us to properly plan all the activities. It looks like Movie World is already the standout choice, but we won't rule anything out becuase ultimately it will fall down to what the parks can offer us that suits our ideal costs for the event. I'd like to think most members can handle themselves with dignity in things like Q&A sessions (if not then they're simply not someone we want in this community). We'd be looking at some stage in March or April, outside of holiday periods. Saturdays would work best for the majority I think but all this will be planned and we'll go with whatever date that will guarantee us the best crowd (while also fitting in with all other requirements of the planning). Logisitcally I think aiming for 200 people for a first meet like this would prove to be a nightmare. If we shoot for 50 to turn up it would still very much be a financially viable event for the park yet not out of the realm of planning. The last thing I'd like to see is 200 people turn up expecting something that can't be delivered. That said of course, we'd never turn anyone away. If we could get numbers in the hundreds we'd start looking at hiring a park for a night. If any sort of ERT were arranged, naturally you can expect it would fall outside of normal park operating hours. As far as behind-the-scenes tours goes, we'll certainly see what can be arranged, but keep in mind that it will be a huge liability issue for the park, so anything they can offer most likely can't involve heights, moving components or that sort of thing. This is one area where a nice big open wooden coaster would be perfect. If there is enough interest from interstaters we'll most definitely look at arranging some sort of group deal. In terms of souvenirs/merchandise, the ideas of lanyards comes up especially because it's a good piece of memorabilia while also makes verifying who's who for catering, tours, Q&A sessions etc easy. Shirts are probably unfeasible due to cost of production (and you're right about not wearing them) but this is the sort of general category we'd look at for souvenirs. All great suggestions, and keep 'em coming. I'm sure we can come up with an awesome hypothetical event that can hopefully be made into a reality.

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Count me in for MW. Richard is right about the 50 people. 200 is bit WOTP for a 1st meet. I think that the cutoff should be 50 people. Themeparks have cutoff for special events (like Halloween and Screamworld) so maybe this could apply here.

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I think with ERT a good ride to settle on could be Batwing, its only a fairly minor attraction, but it is thrilling enough for all of us. Lethal could also fit into this category, though obviously Superman would be my #1 choice. Scooby I think could be out of the question as that would be a very expensive ride to run given its huge scale and large numbers of effects, as well as the staffing requirements. If it was on a coaster, could we organize to take POV footage (I think AlexB once mentioned something about a camera with an optic link, which would be acceptable if common sense was used) As for a behind the scenes tour, SE could be a good choice given the indoor part/motor room are just flat ground. Scooby would only really be viable if we just stuck to the floor area of the mad mouse section, I think going up into the catwalks would be completely unfeasible. If worst came to worst and we couldn't get numbers/special privileges over what we could do ourselves, would we still end up having just a normal meet? And DWrulz might have a point with the cut off, it could actually increase demand for this event given people know there is a scarce supply of places and a rare opportunity. It would also make it a bit more tight knight, the Q&A session would be better in terms of everyone getting to say something, and the behind the scenes part might be more flexible if there weren't huge numbers of people trying to get through these areas. And of course with ERT you would only be waiting a couple of cycles at the most. I think the key is to make this event good enough, so the people who regularly travel to the GC would be willing to plan a trip around this. When we run this event, we have to make sure we take tons of photos of people acting stupid, faking sex with statues and eating copious amounts of junk food, whilst making sure we only cover 3 or so of the attendees. But we must not take any photos of things people would be interested in, such as the rides.

Edited by Gazza

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I am thinking either Movie World or Seaworld. I would be interested, defiantly. Another time period you could also look into is long weekends, that way you could host it on the Sunday, and give people the chance to return to their respective homes for work/ school. Just another alternative I guess, because I know I would have problems finishing work at 5:30 on a Friday, arriving on the Gold Coast friday night, then trying to get to my respective location so late at night. Another issue could also be transport. I am pretty sure there is no public bus service from Movie World/ AOS late in the evening, and I am sure as hell my bug wouldn't make it up to the Gold Coast in one/ half a day.

Edited by T-bone

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Im sure with stuff like that people would be nice and pick up people you know from airports etc. If I had a car I would definitley do it for others, its all in the spirit of it all. I also suppose since people could be flying in from interstate then you could work out a time to meet at the airport, and hire a maxi taxi to get where you need to be.

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Yeah, That's not a bad idea. BTW, would this be at Gold Coast Airport or Brisbane? Because Gold Coast is close enough to hotels that you don't really need a lift from the airport.

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I disagree, Its right down on the NSW border, so transport, especially if people are arriving late or staying near the parks (GC Holiday Park FTW) is a must. But DW rulz has the right idea, flights are frequent enough meeting wouldn't be that hard.

Edited by Gazza

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Well I mean people would stay at one of the few hotels across the road from the airport, and then on the morning of the event, the bus would do a run through and pick everyone up. That way people wouldn't have to worry about making sure their flights all land at the same time. BTW: I wouldn't be needing a bus, I'm just giving ideas for the people who are flying in.

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I'd say Gold Coast Airport is at least 30mins from any of the Gold Coast theme parks. Do a WhereIs directions search for "Pacific Highway, Coolangatta" to any park. I know that there is a regular shuttle service that runs around the Gold Coast, run by Surfside Buslines. To my knowledge, it collects passengers from several key locations around the region and drops them at any of the 4 parks. Smaller operators run similar services. Check the myfun website for details on some of those operators. For those travelling into Brisbane, checkout www.airtrain.com.au. They operate the AirTrain service from Brisbane's domestic and international terminal, then stops at Eagle Junction, Bowen Hills, Brunswick Street, Brisbane Central and Roma Street stations, then becomes the Gold Coast service, running express from Southbank to Beenleigh stopping only at Yeerongpilly and Loganlea, then all stations to Robina. For all other Public Transport enquiries in South East Queensland, head over to www.translink.com.au. AirTrain offer limousine transfers from Gold Coast stations (Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang and Robina). From memory, they are only around $80, and can take up to 4 passengers. Personally, I'd love for this to be held at Warner Brothers Movie World. Of the parks on the Gold Coast, I would like to know more behind-the-scenes information from Movie World. Exclusive Ride Time on Superman Escape would be fantastic, and well worth paying a little more for. A sit down meal, and maybe have the Question & Answer session following. A look inside Scooby Doo would be great. Just seeing the track in full light would be fantastic. An alternative to this would be to force an E-Stop and walk everybody off the ride. It would give most people a chance to see some parts you wouldn't normally get to see. And perhaps we could find out, if it's at all possible, the impact our discussions here on Roller-Coaster.com.au have had on developments at WBMW.

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Well I mean people would stay at one of the few hotels across the road from the airport, and then on the morning of the event, the bus would do a run through and pick everyone up.
True, but if people are doing a whole GC trip around this they might want to stay somewhere less chatty.

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As far as transport, road transport, including 6 days from departure to return would cost less than $45 per person plus fuel. Europcar can do either 8 seater vans (like a tarago) or 12 seater vans (like an extended wheelbase hiace). I can get a trailer for luggage and so on, so we can fill it right up. If we get the people, I'm also considering a 21 person bus, and this would work even better as far as to and from the park as well, as it could be done in two or three trips. I am happy to arrange the hire if we can get the people (another licensed driver to give me a break would be good too). Bear in mind that these rates are standard also, so any discounts we could get would reduce it even more. On another note, my preference time wise is either february or april. March is out for me as my industry is very busy during march. If possible, and not to be pushy here but if we can nail the date down by mid-november, it makes organising leave easier. If we can't make the 8, 12 or 21 people, My wagon seats 5 and I only charge petrol. The QLD run for me is one tank for the 1000 k's...

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'Scuse my ignorance, but what is an "ERT"? I think you might find it is better off if people arrange their own accommodation, but you could still organise a transportation bus to collect everyone. Alternately, you might find everyone can arrange their own transport. It might be worth identifying how many attending will be coming from outside the Gold Coast area, etc. But I agree with getting things rolling sooner rather than later. Nice work.

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ERT is 'exclusive ride time'; basically exclusive access to a given ride for a period of time. We won't proceed with formal planning until we have expressions of interest from enough people. At this stage it's about feasibility so there's no way we could set anything in stone yet. Basically all we're working on at this stage is whether people would attend assuming they could get time off from work etc.

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There's a few things you really need to consider here and I'm going to bring a heap of my TPR experience in here. - Talks with park people A few people have already mentioned the ability for such an event to "turn ugly." The reality is that on both of the TPR trips I've been on, any time we've had with the park operators is more a cosmetic meet and greet session as opposed to a question and answer session. At the end of the day, a bunch of 50 teen-young twenties roller coaster enthusiasts passing judgement openly and often without tact is going to come across really bad, so I think it's people that a QanA session is realistically going to be more of a talk about the park rather than an opportunity to ask why Movie World doesn't yet have a B&M / Huge Woodie / 5,000 Room Hotel / Private Airport / whatever. - Massive amount of money and benefits to the park On an event bringing in $10,00 or 200 people, bear in mind this is the equivalent of four bus loads of tourists coming to the park for a day, without any hassle or special parks. These numbers almost pale into insignificance - yes, we'd get the usual group treatment, but it certainly isn't going to make them go all out for us. I think one of the best lines that Robb and Elissa take is that it's totally the park's goodwill that makes these events happen. The moment anyone starts saying "they have to take notice of us" or "they can hardly dismiss this amount of money" or "they should take notice of our importance" etc... is the moment it becomes a bit of a joke for the parks and we lose the event as well as the credibility. I'm still of the opinion that the best way to do it would be to tack this experience on to an extra day in the park. So we all go in, and then the event takes place say from 5pm - 6pm with dinner afterwards or something similar. As for ERT, I'm sorry, but personally unless we're talking about Superman I really wouldn't be interested in trekking up there for ERT. You're probably going to get the same response from family and friends as well. I've done ERT on WWF and that was OK, but the idea of paying $40 to shoot up and down on the Bat thing really makes me sick. The whole idea of ERT is to go on something you wouldn't normally get to ride over and over. I can go to MW at any non-peak day of the year and sit on the Batwing, WWF or even SDSC. Superman's really the only major drawcard for me. One other thing.... if people are talking about making it a weekend long affair, then the meet up or trip really needs to be turned into a longer event than just an hour of ERT. I don't know if this becomes an RC event or a casual meet up, but that seems to be the way people are heading. My 2 cents worth anyway...

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I agree with most of what you're saying. I think it's important to note that if such an event does go ahead, we won't be offering the world and it should be seen as more of a social event with a few perks rather than a "VIP for the day" situation. Things like behind-the-scenes tours and that would be awesome, but the likelihood of getting this is very low. As far as Q&A goes, I'd anticipate it being a short welcome from someone at the park followed by a brief opportunity to ask a few questions rather than a no holds barred 45 minute question session. Of course, all our parks are owned by ASX-listed companies which severly limits what can be talked about, and you'd guarantee that future attractions and that sort of thing isn't on that list. It will absolutely come down to the the goodwill of the park, but at the same time no park anywhere would offer these sorts of events to enthusiasts if they didn't see the value in the image they create for the park and how they can drive word of mouth advertising. Though perhaps not at profitable as private functions and the like, it's still an opportunity for revenue and a great PR boost aimed directly at a segment that, in theory, devotes a significant amount of their disposable income to visiting theme parks. On one hand I absolutely despise the notion that theme park or coaster enthusiasts are somehow better or more important than regular park-goers, but at the same time it's not like they put together enthusiast events as an act of charity. Parks do it because there is value in it. Of course, I can't stress enough that it's purely hypothetical at this stage. It won't go ahead unless we can firstly get the numbers and then, more importantly, full support from a park to put on an event that everyone sees as good value. At this stage we have 11 "yes" responses. We'll need at least five times this before anything more happens.

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Just a suggestion as far as expressions of interest go Richard, but since many of our "members" are infrequent visitors at best, but obviously those who still share the enthusiasm enough to have joined up, would a mass-mailout to our membership be worth while? Also please bear in mind that the votes only count registered members, not extras. My partner shares the same passions and enthusiasm for parks that I do, but is not an R-C member. Mainly because I do more than enough posting for the both of us, but my vote counts as two - The votes currently on there may count for more than one also, so I think we need something else to keep count, because as you've said at the start as far as family members and what not, depending on the date being set and so on, I could have up to 6 or 7 myself, some local QLDers and others interstaters. But considering its been just over 48 hours since the initial post, 11 members was about what I counted for regular posters... but a mass-mailout is my bet. I'd say advertise it but you'd really need it firmed up with the park before that would happen.

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