10 & 11th February 2018
Opening weekend events at the Pleasure Beach would soon become a thing of the past and this was a contributor to that; bad weather, unpredictable ride availability and short notice changes to the itinerary made for a headache for both the BPB staff and PBE team trying to keep the event ticking over. Add that to a wider interest in opening weekend from UK coaster enthusiasts, all eyes were on BPB all of a sudden.
The excitement of ICON was the focus of the day, it wasn't even completed but it was taking the interest of everyone including the BBC who used footage of a PBE vlog to share some coverage of the ride, amazing!
Our opening day event was started with an unscheduled Revolution ERT, originally planned to be Avalanche, followed by first public rides on the Big One despite the weather trying to ruin all of those things.
A sneak peak at the new BPB merchandise and an ICON presentation followed the early morning rides.
On the following day, we had an ERT session on the Grand National to make sure anyone feeling hangover was wide awake for the rest of the day.
19th & 20th May 2018
Bits of the Beach was the next event to take place in 2018 and ranks as one of the most exciting days we've had at the Pleasure Beach because we were the first public riders on ICON!
Originally, there was no plans to include ICON on this event but less than two weeks before the event was due to begin, it was announced ICON would open for "boarding pass holders" only on the same dates. 75% of our group were boarding pass holders so we arranged with BPB to make that up to 100% which meant we could be the first ever riders on ICON. It was a memorable moment!
ICON was followed up with an hour on the Big One and the usual Log Flume antics. The day finished with a 30 minute ERT session on Valhalla.
On the following day, we had a behind the scenes tour of the Derby Racer and Nickelodeon Streak ERT.
16th & 17th June 2018
Liseberg 2018, an incredible weekender of ERTs, tours and memorable moments.
Officially, it was planned as a two day event but it turned out to be a three day event thanks to Liseberg's incredible hospitality.
There was ERT sessions on Balder, Loke and Helix, as well as behind the scenes tours of Helix and Balder.
4th - 6th October 2018
In early 2018, I sent some speculative emails to Efteling and Toverland about doing an event, both came back with good event packages so instead of doing just one park, I decided let's do both! Phantasialand was then thrown into the mix and we had our first European road trip event, and for some reason our only one so far.
Efteling started things off for us with an ERT session on their wooden coaster Joris en de Draak. This was followed up with group takeovers on all of the coasters, and of course on the Rapids.
The following day was focused on a behind the scenes tour and ERT session on Fēnix at Toverland however it can't be ignored that one of the PBE group members received a certificate from the ride operator's on Troy for a huge number of re-rides.
Phantasialand gave us a great ending to the trip with ERTs on Black Mamba, Mystery Castle AND Taron, as well as walking us all straight onto Chiapas.
This success of this trip further influenced my ambitions to do an America road trip event, that had to wait a few years but the wait for another European road trip event has been even longer.