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Robert Niles
Editor

An invitation to join Team TPI

Published: March 23, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I'm guess that since you are reading this, you are a theme park fan. But how big a fan are you?

Silly theme park hats

Do you visit theme parks so often that your friends always ask you for advice before they go? Do theme park employees recognize you since they see you so often? Do people joke that a park can't change the location of a flower pot without you noticing?

Do you take as many pictures of theme park attractions as you do of your own relatives? Does your iPod contain at least one song from a theme park attraction? Have you ever tried to make a churro, Monte Cristo and/or Butterbeer at home?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, I'd like to invite you to think about joining a new project I'm starting on Theme Park Insider: Team TPI.

Team TPI will be a great way for fans to get better connected with their favorite theme park, while helping keep other Theme Park Insider readers informed about that park. To help them do that, I'll be giving Team TPI members extra privileges on the website, including the ability to create a new discussion thread without having to wait for approval. Also, Team TPI members also will be eligible to represent the website at special media events at "their" theme park.

In exchange, I'll be asking Team TPI members to write at least one front-page "Blog Flume" post a month about "their" park. It could be a review of a newly opened restaurant. A write-up from one of those press events. Or an in-depth look at an overlooked service or feature at the park. No matter what these blog posts turn out to be, they'll provide a great excuse for an extra park visit. I'll also be asking Team TPI members to be active in helping others readers by spreading word about the great, helpful trip-planning content we've got on Theme Park Insider (such as by "liking" TPI stories on Facebook).

To thank Team TPI members for their help, they will be the first to get the new Theme Park Insider T-shirts I'll be having made this spring. And, at the end of the year, I'll send a gift to Team TPI members who blog frequently during the year. (It won't be huge, but it will be worth more than the T-shirt.)

Sound interesting? Here are the theme parks (and theme park resorts) I need to recruit Team TPI members to write about:

Walt Disney World (at least two Team TPI members, possibly more)
Universal Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando
Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
Universal Studios Hollywood
SeaWorld San Diego
Disneyland Paris
Tokyo Disney Resort
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Singapore

Obviously, these are top-attended theme parks which get most of the traffic and comments here on Theme Park Insider. I don't want to discourage readers from continuing to submit discussion threads and blog posts about other theme parks, but these are the ones I want to deploy Team TPI to first.

I'm going to make this an open audition process. If you live near one of these parks and would like to be a part of Team TPI, just start posting to the discussion board, Blog Flume and Facebook page with the sort of stuff you'd bring to the table as a Team TPI member. Then let me know you're interested, either through the comments or my e-mailing me privately via themeparkinsider@gmail.com. Over the next month, I'll keep me eyes open and e-mail the folks I'd like to invite to become official Team TPI members.

This will be a lot of fun for the Team and should lead to many more great stories, photos, videos and tips for everyone else here on Theme Park Insider. Thanks to everyone who contributes around here, and I hope that Team TPI will allow some extra recognition for some of our biggest theme park fans.

Got questions? Fire away. And, again, thanks.

Replies (34)

Joshua Counsil

Published: March 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Great idea. You're full of them this week.

I would love to join Team TPI and would fulfill all of your established requirements, BUT I don't live near any of those parks. If you add Canada's Wonderland to that list, however, I could be your official Canadian Correspondent.

168.85.177.4

Published: March 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Also Dollywood, if you're interested. I live right next door in Knoxville.
70.127.35.51

Published: March 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Hello,

I visit Busch Gardens very often,and have known about Cheetah Hunt from the beggining(thats how involved in park ideas I am), I have known about it since it was called Cheetaka. I will keep you up to date on all park happenings and plans, I'll make sure this site stays on top with all Theme Parks on the list if I am required!

173.171.68.224

Published: March 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I am very interested
Nick Markham

Published: March 23, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Well, I would love to, but until Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah is recognized as a quality park, I unfortunately can't help out here. :(
Andrew Holden

Published: March 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I would love to take part in this. I am just a short drive to Orlando so I have been to all of these parks multiple times. I love Disney World and would love to be a team member for that park, but I feel I am more qualified to represent SeaWorld, a park I have had year passes to twice and probably know better than my own home; or Universal Orlando where I have a current year pass and have been several times (including at five in the morning for the opening of Harry Potter) but have skipped most of the shows in favor of the other rides.

Just a warning, I am only seventeen so if you want a certain age I might not meet the requirements, but I feel that I could do this better than most adults. Also, I might not be able to cover ALL events at the respective park due to cost restrictions but I will do my best.

Tom Rigg

Published: March 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Robert,

I would really enjoy joining Team TPI as a "field reporter" for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I am a platinum season's pass holder that visits probably no less than 20 times a year including at least 3 times for Howl O Scream and 2 times for Christmas Town. I know the surrounding Williamsburg area fairly well and I have been going to BGW since the mid 80's when I was a kid and they still handed out Eagle Brand Snacks at the exit each night. I would absolutely love the chance to write a blog flume post to promote the "World's Most Beautiful Park." Another great aspect of my situation is that I have several friends who are pass holders so I have a "panel of experts" to draw from.

68.227.202.112

Published: March 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I know my participation has been pretty sparse recently, but that's what a new kid will do to you. However, I would still be interested in covering Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Jorge Arnoldson

Published: March 23, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Is there an age limit for this? This sounds cool, but I think I'm too young to do this.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM

In order to get into press events, you'll need to 18. Folks younger than that are welcomed to submit reports, comments and threads to the site, but I'll need to set 18 as the minimum age for Team TPI because of the press credential requirements at most parks.
Andy Milio

Published: March 23, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I would love to report for Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure :D :D :D
Carrie Hood

Published: March 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Always when I'm not living in Florida, can I use 20 years of resident experience?

You need to pick up some northern parks! ;)

Anthony O'Neal

Published: March 23, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Awww. . . no Six Flags! Those are the only parks close enough!
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: March 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

I would glady join as well, but no SFGA!

I will pay for a TPI swag though!

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 23, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Thanks for the enthusiasm, everyone.

If you'd like to be considered, why not start by kicking off a discussion thread with a post like one you'd write for the front page? Give me a restaurant review, highlight of an overlooked service or in-depth report on your favorite ride or show? Whatever you think would be helpful to someone planning a trip to your favorite park. You can either make a special trip to the park for, uh, "research" :^) or base your post on a recent visit.

Since I live in the Los Angeles area, I especially need Team TPI members who will write about Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Thanks again.

Also, if you post anonymously, I won't know how to contact you. Be sure to e-mail or post while logged in.

chris cona

Published: March 23, 2011 at 7:53 PM

I would love to be a part of disney world i go about 1 every year and a half but if I have a second choice i'll do universal I have been to universal for three times and love it. Hope you choose me bye
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: March 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

I am willing to write about Walt Disney World, but, as you know, I live in Chicago. Still, I have been there WAY too many times. I am going there next weekend.

If SFGA is ever added to the team, count me in!

Kara Leblanc

Published: March 23, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I would Love to be apart of this great idea!!

I have passes to all Walt Disney Parks, Universal, Islands of adventure, Seaworld, and Busch gardens. I love all of them but I would want to be on the Universal Studios and Islands Team. But i could do whatever tho. lol

John Beals
Writer

Published: March 23, 2011 at 8:35 PM

I would love to join the team and start blogging about Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. I live in Orlando and have annual passes to both places. We spend a lot of time going to the parks, and I feel I have a lot to share. I have been wanting to write articles about going to Disney (and theme parks in general), especially about going with your family.

We have family and friends that work for Disney, so we spend a lot of time there. We have spent time in the parks with the young (6 mth old) and the old (93 yr old grandmother), and have much to share.

I will try to share a few of the topic ideas I have in the next few days, and I look forward to becoming more involved with the site.

John
@thesneakymouse

Tyler Stover
Writer

Published: March 23, 2011 at 10:26 PM

I'd love to be considered for the Disneyland Resort.

Do you take as many pictures of theme park attractions as you do of your own relatives? Does your iPod contain at least one song from a theme park attraction? Have you ever tried to make a churro, Monte Cristo and/or Butterbeer at home?

My wife took about 40 pictures of Cinderella in one parade alone. I'm frequently criticized for having more pictures of construction updates than my friends at Disneyland. Our ipod has an entire playlist of Disneyland resort soundtrack songs, and I listen to it a few times a week. We make delicious Monte Cristos.

I'm asked by friends all the time to share my Disneyland knowledge, whether it is trivia, history, upcoming projects or advice on getting the most out of the park. We go at least once a month.

I'll be sure to contribute a lot in the next month, and beyond.

Tyler Bell

Published: March 24, 2011 at 5:48 AM

I can take Seaworld florida and universal orlando.
199.184.238.196

Published: March 24, 2011 at 7:58 AM

I will be at Disneyland this Sunday with my wife and some friends. I will definitely keep an eye out for something interesting to report on. I already have some ideas brewing.
Wayne Gresham

Published: March 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Hi there all,
I am very interested in joining Team TPI as i go to the parks in Orlando and Tampa every weekend. I would love to give my insight and experences to the members of TPI. As a flight attendant that works a lot of flights in and out of Orlando I find myself giving advice to many families going on vacation to the Orlando parks. I find that the families find the advice that I give them is so much better than the books they spent a small fortune on before they left home. I look forward to hearing from you soon and submitting my stories.
Wayne Gresham
Matthew Barkley

Published: March 24, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I would LOVE to be a part of this and I actually live in Florida, but I live in the Panhandle so I'm not really close to any of the parks. I love theme park news, though. I am very up to date on that.
Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: March 24, 2011 at 4:03 PM

I would be interested in continuing to cover events at Busch Gardens Williamsburg as I have done in the past.
69.127.223.61

Published: March 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I go yearly and make the rounds to WDW,BG-Tampa, BG-CW, SeaWorld,IOA,Universal and sometimes Hershey. The part that just cracked me up on this post , was the part about the Ipod songs...my daughter has most of the Disney shows on hers and the bestest....is the message for the Monorail.."please stand clear of the doors"....she had me listen to it all the way down a few years back on Amtrak Autotrain.
Michael Owen
Writer

Published: March 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Hi Robert,

I'd love the join Team TPI and would happily cover Disneyland Paris.

I normally visit at least once a year and keep up-to-date with everything that goes on at the resort and TPI would be a great platform for me to get some of my articles out there.

71.41.149.142

Published: March 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Neat idea. I'm surprised you didn't include SeaWorld San Antiono or Six Flags over Texas but I understand!! Good luck w/this new addition to the TPI website! Can't wait to read everyone's reviews & articles.
76.114.207.197

Published: March 25, 2011 at 9:57 PM

A friend just posted that Walt Disney World is like the final exam of parenting-If you haven't been keeping up for a year, you won't be able to catch up for a week in June. While one can argue that all four parks are kid-friendly, here are my top 5 attractions or activities that keep a meltdown at bay:
1. Peter Pan's Flight. One of the originals that doesn't get old. Perfect for preschoolers but the detail in the scenes created and the sensation of flight will please even those who are way past the Winnie The Pooh stage.
2. The Festival of The Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom is a great way to beat the heat and rest your feet. The musical is interactive and even if kids don't know the story, the massive floats with animals will grab their attention and make them forget about video games for 30 minutes.
3. Collect unconventional autographs. If you have 6 Mickeys and 3 Goofys, try to find a birthday boy or a honeymoon couple. The custodian or security guard are good picks, as well. Ask how they came to work in Central Florida.
4. Club Cool at Epcot is an air conditioned soda exhibit. Try this towards the end of the day in case delicate stomach's can't handle the concoctions.
5. Give a kid a camera. Tell your wiggler or whiner that you want to see things through their eyes. You can develop a "shot list," which is like a photo scavenger hunt. You may find some memories you would have missed this way.

Most importantly, remember that childhood is a journey, and not a race. Stop and find the Hidden Mickeys.

Shannon Sullivan, www.meltdownfreedisney.com
@meltdownfreedis

David Sutter

Published: March 26, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Robert, id be more the happy to become your "Insider" here in the Orlando Area. I live about 13 miles from Walt Disney World, And 15 from Universal Studios. And Sea World, And Busch Gardens tampa is about 45 mins. ANd have written a few posts for here. i think I have a handle on what your after. Also I have friends and family that work for all the parks and they are always filling me in on the 'inside' dirt. A few things Iam able to do is look at things from a diffrent angle. And look at it from both a professional side and a guest side. Im also within stones throw of other central fl attractions. And smaller venues. Which can often go unseen by the lure of the larger parks. So if you feel I fit the bill and all please feel free to contact me.
Robert L

Published: March 26, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Having been an Universal Orlando Annual Passholder for over a decade, some of the turnstile attendants at the Studio have commented on my frequency of visits. I also have been a Disney Annual Passholder and DSH has always been my favorite park. (I have a fondness for being dropped from the 13th floor). I've also left a review for my stay at the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. So I would love to be part of Team TPI.
Jose Vazquez

Published: March 26, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Hey I would like to join Team TPI,
I am 17 going on 18 soon but I prefer to offer a teen perspective to Florida parks. My specific areas would be Busch Gardens Tampa and the Disney parks as well. I can offer great reviews and have reviewed hotels on the Disney campus that are great for a family on budget.
24.92.12.203

Published: March 26, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I think that it would be AWESOME to be a member of Team TPI!! I've been going to the Walt Disney Resort for over 37 years and now am getting a whole new experience through the eyes of my 5-year-old. It's like a whole new world getting to see it all again for the first time with him. I am such a admitted Disney FANATIC that when I got married almost 7 years ago the gift I bought for my husband was a Disney annual pass!! Our son's first trip to Disney was when he was only 2-months old!! I also love to share my insights to my co-workers and anyone who'll listen about my Walt Disney World Resort tips and suggestions to get the most out of their trip! I think that I could bring an infectious enthusiasm for the Walt Disney World Resort. We are also passholders at Universal Studios and we live just an hour away in Tampa, Florida!!
Jen Smith

Published: March 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I think that it would be AWESOME to be a member of Team TPI!! I've been going to the Walt Disney Resort for over 37 years and now am getting a whole new experience through the eyes of my 5-year-old. It's like a whole new world getting to see it all again for the first time with him. I am such a admitted Disney FANATIC that when I got married almost 7 years ago the gift I bought for my husband was a Disney annual pass!! Our son's first trip to Disney was when he was only 2-months old!! I also love to share my insights to my co-workers and anyone who'll listen about my Walt Disney World Resort tips and suggestions to get the most out of their trip! I think that I could bring an infectious enthusiasm for the Walt Disney World Resort. We are also passholders at Universal Studios and we live just an hour away in Tampa, Florida!!

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