On the negative side, it seemed that he was the only one who knew the plan, so if you got separated from the group at a bathroom stop, it was hard getting back together. Park Security knew nothing about our group or the Camp at all, but one of them helped us out...almost wish I'd caught his name. Meals were was upstairs at the main entrance with a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower and reflecting pool, and a large, strange-looking tarp overhanging some sort of sign...details later;). They hadn't planned on vegetarians, but three showed (including Jill), and they were very accommodating.
The campsites were set up around a central bonfire location, and Jeff S. pulled his SUV up next to the fire and we watched coaster show videos, old Brady Bunch and Partridge Family PKI episodes, behind-the-scenes footage of the park, etc. Sodas, snacks, treats, etc. were provided at the bonfire, which shut down around 3-4 am. Sleep quick, 'cause Jeff S. had us up around 7 am for breakfast and morning ERT. We had "ERT" after closing Friday at the Action Zone...Over the weekend, we got to ride Drop Zone, Face-Off, FoF (with LAPBARS!), Vortex, Beast, SoB, and 7th Portal. (I may be missing a ride or two). The "issue" some folks had wasn't that it was not typical "ACE-style" ERT...Jeff S. would walk us to a ride, we'd stay for 20-30 minutes, then move to another ride. I think that our group being small meant they were thinking of staffing costs...understandable.
The "activities", as they were called, included three competitions among our groups of four (or gangs, as Sean F. is quite the thug, LMAO). Competitions were 1) Scavenger hunt around the park, 2) Trivia Contest, and 3) Build-a-coaster contest, using popsicle sticks for track and supports. Well, our group included no PKI "lifers", but we gave the first two a good try during the day Saturday. The scavenger hunt stumped us pretty good, but since "rules" were rather loosely enforced, we found some "inside" help with the trivia contest. Other teams, we found out later, were equally "resourceful", ROFL...after lunch Saturday, we got to work on the contest we had a shot at, given our team was lucky and had two folks with some construction expertise. We were to come up with a team name, theme, and coaster. Inspired by PKI's sense of history, and the Drop Zone overlooking the campground, we came up with our team name - SoDZ, Son of Drop Zone. As Sonny pays homage to Papa by having the helices, we designed a coaster with a vertical drop to honor the Drop Zone. As Sonny revolutionized the coaster world with a loop, we would do with a jump...the world's first (OK, second;)) "jumping coaster".
Saturday nite, more ERT, wore The Beast down...man it was running WILD (so much so that Sun. am walkback had to be moved to SoB)! FoF with lapbars was such an amazing difference, Jill got re-rides on a coaster she had previously "crossed off". Small bummer that they wouldn't let us slap hands in the station...SFKK even allowed us that...
Sunday was contest judging, one group even decorated their CoasterCamp T-Shirts with their team name. I wear my shirt, but I might reconsider if the camp really doesn't happen again...THAT'S memorabilia. After another breakfast, winners and runners-up (runner-ups?) were announced. Prizes were awarded, including passes to media day (what IS behind the tarp?......TR:TR!), original SIGNED PKI artwork from the 70s and 80s, originals of park maps, etc. We actually won with our coaster, even though several were really good...won Paramount '02 season passes, SoB bolts - these things weigh about 15 lbs.!, and a huge 3'x8' banner that hung over Beast at an ACE event (with scratches). It will (eventually) make its way to the ACE museum...
If I have made any errors, I apologize...
As for how it could be improved (if held again): 1) More people attending, I figure at $100 they could get 150-200 people. Several people I talked to thought the price was kinda steep, considering they already had Paramount passes...perhaps discounting the camp for passholders. 2) Better coordination with security and guest relations. 3) A schedule of times/places to meet up should you need to take a "pit stop" during ERT. Overall, I thought it was great and would do it again, it became my "birthday present" about 15 minutes after the e-mail announcement came...it did say "space limited"!!!!
Off-season coaster blues got you down, stop by the 'buzz and turn your frown upside-down...
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
Mayday - Memorial Day Weekend - Nonpoint, Nickelback, Oleander, Staind
Ozzfest - June 8 - Drowning Pool, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Black Sabbath
Awake Tour- June 15 - Darwin's Waiting Room, Puddle of Mudd, Deftones, Godsmack
Your memory is fine! The park hasn't released any details about a future Coaster Camp. If they do, I will be sure to post them as soon as I get them.
Sorry I had to....
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