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  1. Good Morning all of you wonderful people! It's finally here and I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our First European trip to Disneyland Paris! The date of the event is provisionally set for the Weekend of Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th September 2015! As usual you have the power to change the date. As you can see it's the whole weekend, due to the extent of the trip and likelihood is those driving will be going Friday night! Please take note if you plan to stay with us overnight, it will be your responsibility to book your own rooms/ flights and unfortunately if your under 18 we cannot help you with this! If you were to come under no circumstances will TPM get involved and take responsibility with your stay, and if you did go you would also need written permission from a guardian just for the sake of border control! This trip has been set in mind as an over 18's event. I understand some of you may be disappointed about this but due to the meet being outside the country it complicates matters too much! As this is the largest scale of a meet TPM has ever attempted some advanced planning for those who are interested and want to go will need to take place. I will help you as much as I can with groupings and questions and answers about the trip and I will go into much further detail on this with those who want to go. Depending on your circumstances some may have to pay some money up front to their 'group leader' so things can get booked The Outline of the day/s will be as follows: Meet At the Central plaza outside sleeping beauty's castle on the edge of main street USA at 08:15 am for those who want to make use of magic hours on an annual pass and if not then meet at the same spot at 10:15 am This will give people a chance to sort out their tickets. We will ensure during the day for those who may want to sort out an annual pass that you will get the chance in the day as the rest can watch a show or parade by the castle Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either phone or text so we can arrange to meet you. As members have found out! We will then go and enjoy our day in the Disney Parks. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides/ shows at Disney. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back after the group has finished riding the attraction. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day, around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the day and continue going round the park. Around 7-8 we will have a quick snack somewhere to keep us going and then continue riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes. . At 10pm We will watch Disney Dreams. After this you may head back to your hotels or join me by heading out for a bit of nightlife in the Disney village until 1am. The Sunday we will meet at the same time and place as the Saturday but instead at 10:15 we will meet by the tower of terror in the studios park and basically continue what we were doing Saturday until people need to start leaving to make their flights or crossings. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photo’s in the day being taken and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending - Once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Just look at the past trips this year! I will soon be posting up a separate post on possible accommodation locations which you can use to help you decide where to sleep (If your staying for the night.) If however you know where your going already by all means book it up when we confirm the dates this time next week. I know for example I will be staying at an apart hotel by val'd'europe. Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post here, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Please PM me or post here to say if you’re attending. If you are bringing a mate along with you, please also include who they are so they are not known as ‘Plus 1.’ The events with TPM have been fantastic this year and this one will be no different! Starring (10) Iannem J.S217 Matt Creek Mer Mr. Fish Peaj Rocket Ryan Smidget StevenVig
  2. Mark9

    Glitz and Glamour

    Yes I know what you're thinking, another Europa Park/Disneyland Paris trip report from Mark9. I was blown away by Europa Park in 2010 and 2013 and surely this trip can't be any different. And how could I possibly compete with the three blog wonder of Matt Creek's comprehensive Disneyland trip reports. Well... this is a report with a little bit of difference (Or at least I hope so, this is all on the fly so might just end up me complimenting every aspect of Europa Park). Nonetheless, I hope this entertains or at the least interests you. Scene 1 - Staying on site at Europa I make it a point to stay on site at Europa. Unlike other parks where it isn't essential, I feel staying on site gives such an advantage because of the sheer beauty and theme of the hotels. I've previously stayed in the Tipidorf, Hotel Colosseo and Bell Rock, and this time around was Hotel Alcatraz. Themed around a Spanish castle, this 9 floor building is the closest to the theme park. During check in I was hoping, praying for a view of the park. My wishes came true with an 8th floor view over the entire park. This blows away my previous favourite view of Shambhala and Dragon Khan at PortAventura. Hotel Alcatraz itself isn't the best of the hotels at Europa but it is certainly the most intimate, As an alcoholic I particularly enjoyed the 40th anniversary special cocktails in the bar on the 9th floor which afforded spectacular views of Wodan and the hotel area. I had a Blauer Enzian (The Mack name for their powered coasters) and a 40th Euromaus special. They were delicious. Staying at Europa Park is a fantastic experience and well recommended. The staff are friendly, accommodating and the attention to detail in the rooms is second to none. Next time, I'll be staying in Hotel Isabel but for first timers, Colosseo is the one I'd recommend. Scene 2 - 40 Years of Europa Park ​Something that separates Europa out from the competition is its sense of pride in its achievements. It's easy for a park owned by a coaster manufacturer to perhaps do this, investments after all are cheaper and as a showroom for the Mack products, it can afford to be perhaps more extravagant then others. I find this a cop out excuse though. The reason Europa Park is the best park in Europe (perhaps the world) is because it never rests on its laurels, it never slows down and it never stops improving. Back in 2013, massive works had been done to the rapids including a new lift hill building, animatronics and theming and a new tunnel to accommodate the rapids going over the pathway into Iceland. This time around two other rides were in the process of change. Columbus Dinghy, a simple boat carousel like Chessington's Seastorm had seen massive change with new queue line theming, a show during the ride and a simple addition of a steering wheel which allows the rider to control when the boat spins. A small change but massively changes the fun levels of the ride. And completely unnecessary as there was nothing wrong with the ride set up previously. The other two ride's to see a change is the rides Splash Battle, Whale Adventure. Now with the tag line 'Northern Lights'. It wasn't open unfortunately, still in construction but a massive change and I'll be interested if the water sprayers remain on the boats. Eurotower has been spruced up with new theming and a steampunk look. Other new additions include a new 40th anniversary parade, a new 4D show which was really fun, a travel escalator in the car park (WOO) and a new show called Fabulous Europe. This was a dud, essentially trying to imitate Disney's Soarin' but lacking any kind of cohesive flow or enjoyment. Scene 3 - Rides and Stuff Rides are Europas bread and butter. With so many, it's impossible to get them all done in a day. That being said, there has been some operational changes and it makes me slightly concerned. Firstly, Europa was always a park that wanted you in and out a seat as quickly as possible. That hasn't changed. What does seem different is that the rides weren't at full (or higher capacity). Now maybe it wasn't necessary as the park wasn't packed on our visit, but I was surprised to be hanging around for a few seconds in stations on Euro-Mir and Eurosat along with trains being deliberately stacked. Silver Star's third train never made an appearance, neither did the second Pegasus train. They also seemed pretty intent on checking bars which in previous years only happened on Wodan and Blue Fire. Now the only ride not really checked is Alpen Express, that was the only ride that ran with urgency. Arthur as a piece of ride hardware is sublime. It's an amazing piece of kit that train. The ride itself could be better. There's some parts of the ride show that don't live up to expectations such as the giant rat in which its pulley system is more noticeable then the rat itself or the fact the first screen on the ride is so in view of the queue that its effect is pretty much zero. I would love for a park like Phantasialand to get their hands on the hardware as they could do it absolute justice. Europa kind of dropped the ball on the ride experience on this one, even though I enjoyed the ride for what it was. And finally, I just wanted to show some pictures of how beautiful Europa is. Trip reports sometimes get stuck in a list of ride descriptions and misses what makes a park good or bad. This time around, I really wanted to appreciate what makes Europa special. Euro-Mir Switzerland Atlantica Supersplash and Portugal Austria Greece And with that another year of Europa Park had passed. Pleas visit this wonderful park. It deserves every accolade and every part of your attention. Scene 4 - Disneyland time I'll keep this brief. Visiting at the moment doesn't deliver the Disney experience that people probably deserve, at least if you're going primarily for the rides. With Space Mountain closed for a refurb, a lot of pressure is being put on Thunder Mountain and that seems to have terrible reliability. First day, it was closed, second day it opened at 12, third day it was on and off. With both main coasters down, rides like Indianna Jones and Phantom Manor have 45 minute queues. It's the first time I've ever used an Indy fasts or even seen it running. Beyond refurbs of Thunder and Space, another massive ride is required to spread those queues. A potential Star Tours 2 refurb in Discoveryland will only go so far. All the ride investment is in Studio Parc and even there was rammed. I'm never going to queue 55 minutes for RC Racer or 20 minutes for Slinky Dog. That's an insult. The park though is on the up and is a very different place from my first visit in 2013. Life seems to be returning such as a new spring time show, more meet and greets occurring regularly and the stages in Frontierland/Discoverylandcoming back into action. With Cafe Hyperion closed in Discoveryland, all the other food places on park were open. I couldn't believe my eyes to see Hakuna Matata open and actually serving food. Hopefully this isn't temporary and will continue to serve in future. So all in all a successful week. If you read this far, I thank you for your time. Till next time, Mark9 out.
  3. I couldn't find a topic about Parc Bagatelle, a small theme park in North France. Anyone ever been? What are your views? I went there a few years ago. I loved it, but their main ride, Le Triops, an inverted boomerang was closed EDIT: Changed the location from West to North
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