Sunday, February 10th, Theme Park Adventure hosted its fourth TPA’s Winter Nights at Sam’s gathering at Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel. This was the final winter gathering, as we are now moving in to spring (like SoCal had ANY winter to speak of).
We were thrilled to have over 60 TPAers show up, from Disney Cast Members to various groups representing different Southern California haunts. Knott’s Berry Farm was represented well by John Waite, who has become a regular at our events. John was one of the first employees to work on the Timber Mountain Log Ride at the Farm under Bud Hurlbut; since that ride is currently undergoing an extensive rehab thanks to the talented Garner Holt team (many of them were also in attendance), there was much excitement and discussion about that project.
Another individual in attendance for the first time representing the Garner Holt team was Javier Soto, an incredibly gifted artist that is well known in the fan community for his Haunted Mansion art as well as Vinylmation designs! It was a treat to have him join the meet, and hope to see him become a regular, as so many people have!
Another TPA gathering regular to show up was former Knott’s Haunt designer David Ortiz, who now works for Disneyland Entertainment as one of their artists. It was awesome seeing David and John Waite discuss the Log Ride at Knott’s; David designed Sleepy Hollow Mountain, the Haunt overlay for the ride that many consider one of the best in years at the Scary Farm.
Jeff Schiefelbein, owner of Sinister Pointe haunted attraction also stopped by to mingle and hang with fans and monsters from his haunt as well as others; always fantastic to see Jeff show up with his crew!
Since the gathering took place a few days before Valentine’s Day, TPA founder Rick West gave out many candy treats and chocolates via one of our raffles, which everyone had a lot of fun participating in! One of the most coveted prizes was a stuffed The Walking Dead zombie plush! James Brown, owner of Chambers of the Mausoleum and Labyrinth of Lost Relics donated two haunt props to the raffle; a corpse head and a skull, which were hits with the group! A huge thanks to the Chambers team for their contribution!
More information regarding the upcoming Halloween/haunters convention that Theme Park Adventure is part of was announced during the gathering. The official title of the convention is going to be ScareLA, and it will be held some time in the month of August in Los Angeles! We will be releasing more information at each TPA gathering, so stay tuned!
There were a lot of new faces this month, which was wonderful! We encourage people to come make friends and mingle – seeing new faces is one of our favorite things about these gatherings, as we know folks are curious and have something to contribute to this amazing group of fans! One of the new groups even arrived in a hearse; now that is badass!
With tons of new people, a hilarious, successful raffle and lots of who’s who folks in attendance, the final Winter Nights meet was a major hit and we are very excited to see everyone in March for the first of our TPA’s Spring Nights at Sam’s, tentatively scheduled for Sunday March 24th! Details will come in the weeks ahead, and we hope to see you all then!