On the balmy evening of June 23, 2013, we launched our second year of monthly Theme Park Adventure fan gatherings at the Disneyland Resort with TPA’s Summer Nights at Sam’s! The gathering kicks off the second year that TPA has hosted a monthly meet-up at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Approximately 70 theme park, haunted attraction and entertainment fans came together under the glow of Tiki torches on the patio between Trader Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace to mix and mingle with one another for several hours while sipping awesome beverages and enjoying the warm weather!
The night began with the unveiling of our new TPA Tiki logo, beautifully illustrated by industry professional Tom “Thor” Thordarson. Tom drew last year’s Tiki that adorned our meet-up buttons for Summer, Winter and Spring; the new logo, which features a lava rock Tiki in a pineapple roller coaster car, will be our new mascot through Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring this time around, and fans went nuts for the new button! In fact, as we do at the beginning of each TPA meet, we gave away 30 free buttons to those arriving first; this time, they were gone in under five minutes! Insane! If you didn’t get a Summer Nights button yet, don’t fret; you have another chance coming soon!
Folks from Garner Holt Productions were in attendance; this was the first time we’d held a meet-up since the Timber Mountain Log Ride had re-opened at Knott’s Berry Farm, so TPAers were able to give them a huge round of applause and talk to them one-on-one about the project and their involvement. If you haven’t yet been to Knott’s to see the new log ride renovation yourself, we strongly recommend it – and plan multiple rides, as there is now so much going on inside the mountain that you can’t possibly see everything on one ride! Theme Park Adventure has posted the first part of a three-part series on the renovation process; the second part is coming soon, and we invite you to check out the first portion if you haven’t yet seen that yet.
In keeping with the Knott’s Berry Farm theme for a moment, one of the industry folks that showed up to Summer Nights at Sam’s was historian/designer/writer Eric Lynxwiler, co-author of Knott’s Preserved and soon to be moderator of the Knott’s Halloween Haunt presentation panel at ScareLA next month in Los Angeles! Eric brought copies of the new table place mats that he designed for the Ghost Town Grill at the Berry Farm for everyone – if you haven’t seen them yet, they truly are works of art and actually are so cool that fans were clamoring for them at our event. It’s one of our favorite things to bring fans and industry people together each month to simply appreciate and interact with one another, and many TPAers were able to thank Eric for is awesome contributions to Knott’s and the industry!
Also in attendance was David Markland, owner of CreepyLA and one of the producers of ScareLA, the brand-new Halloween/haunt/fan convention coming to Los Angeles August 10th and 11th, 2013. Theme Park Adventure is a cornerstone partner in ScareLA, and has assisted in the programming of the event’s panels and workshops, which include Knott’s Halloween Haunt, Reign of Terror, Boot Hill, The House at Haunted Hill, Backwoods, McKamey Manor, Blackout Los Angeles, Sinister Pointe and Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights! Tickets are now on sale at the ScareLA website; if you haven’t purchased yours yet, there’s still time! Click the banner below for more information.
Speaking of Universal Studios Hollywood, they are celebrating a “Summer of Survival”, and in doing so, donated four park tickets to Theme Park Adventure, which we gave away as part of our monthly raffle prize line-up! It’s always so much fun to send excited, happy TPAers to local theme parks as a thank-you for their support and to help enrich their love of the industry we all share in one way or another!
Our TPAers are some of the coolest, most giving people in the world, and we’re experiencing a phenomenon that is new to us and awesome – folks are coming to us at each event or contacting us to ask if they can donate prizes for our monthly giveaways. Last month, we were thrilled to have DVDs supplied by Paul Barrie of Window to the Magic, as well as cool collectible toys from Sinister Pointe haunter Stephen Haight! Legendary Knott’s employee John Waite even kicked in with a cup full of yummy brownie bites! It was a goodie bonanza, and everyone was so very appreciative! TPA does not solicit its fans for prizes, but are more than happy to hear from you if you’d like to take part in the prizes we raffle off each month! Our fans and this community never cease to amaze me with their love and generosity!
The next Summer Nights at Sam’s TPA meet and greet will be held Sunday, July 28th at 7:00 P.M. at Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel. It’s a bit later this month, due to many of our fans attending Comic-Con in San Diego the weekend before. Now, no one has to miss anything! We’re givers, you know? Look for our Facebook fan page announcement soon so you can RSVP! We’re also really excited by the amount of first-timers we’ve had show up at our events; sometimes alone, which is totally awesome! We encourage you to come out, bring friends and make many new ones each month at our gatherings. All the cool kids are doing it this summer!
As usual, we thank the staff at Trader Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace for being great hosts to our gathering, and give a huge shout-out to our “unofficial TPA bartender” at Sam’s, the amazing Bernardo! No one yells, “KRAKATOA!” like he does! Woot!
Thank you to all of the fantastic friends we have for continuing to support our monthly gatherings – everyone is welcome each month, and we look forward to seeing who’s who the next time we gather under the grinning Tiki’s of Trader Sam’s!