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The Expo.


Ralph D

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Hi everyone,

 

Was wondering who's going this year. For the first time ever I actually have the availability to go, I'm really not thrilled about the airline prices or having to deal with stopovers in each direction, so I'm seriously considering driving. Definitely not loving the idea about an eight hour trip. But if it has to be, it has to be. I'm more curious about where everyone has decided to stay. and since I've never been to Tennessee before I figure I'll ask from the people who have been there before. I will either be driving out solo or one of my kids might be coming, she is still undecided, but either way I think I am attending. 

 

Thanks

Ralph 

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Since I live about 30 miles from Gatlinburg in Knoxville, I think I’ll try to help you folks out.

 

Surrounding cities are Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Knoxville, Jefferson City and Morristown. Newport TN could be another choice, but it's a little further out. All of these areas are within 100 miles of Gatlinburg. The first two are closest, but that’s the tourist sections in that area. You will more than likely be able to find a motel in one of these areas. Be warned though, traffic is usually bad. There are also campgrounds spread all over the place, so if you’re up for camping, that should not be a problem. Knoxville is to the West on I-40 from the exit about 30 miles away. Jefferson City and Morristown are about 20-30 miles away and to the East on I-40, but they’re about 10 miles or so off of the interstate.
 

If you need more info, let me know. I leave for vacation in a week, for a week, so I can’t help during that time.
 

Hope this helps some of you out.
 

Ron

 

Ralph, you can always give Greg Renn at Seasonal Entertainment a buzz. He lives in Jersy somewhere. He may even want to attend. Just a thought.



 

Edited by Ron Boyd
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Well first mistake, ......its 11 hours from my house each way, lol  so maybe the 700 isn't so bad for a 4 plus hour flight with a (1) stop "stop over" each way "round trip"..   i'm thinking if the wife were to go id might like to take my time and see the lands but she isnt going and i need to keep cost down. man live simulcasting of the classes at the expo would be a great idea. I'd pay for that. well back to the budget planner, and see what i can come up with. 

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Hey thanks Ron, those are great tips. i'm working on this today and i hope to have a plain at least in the works by tonight.  

 

thanks again!

 

Ralph

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Check with your closest airport and see if Allegient flies to KTown. Airport label is TYS. They're quite inexpensive and they're usually non-stop. Thats who we're flying with. You hafta pay for everything but it's a bunch less than $700.

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I sent Dan an email yesterday too, he use to live here in NJ not too far from where i live. so trying to get input from everyone. I know a good friend of mine is going also from Cali so it should be a good time so i really want to go, planning it is the worst. lol

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HEY RALPH,

just to help you out a bit ron is correct there are several citys close to Gatlinburg. I have been to Gatlinburg probably 30 to 40 times in my life. I live just south of Cincinnati, oh in northern ky. its about a 4 hour drive for me. I went to the expo 2yrs ago and 4yrs ago. last time I went I got a room at a super 8 for $40.00 a night. it is about 2 blocks from the convention center. if you know nothing about Gatlinburg it is a tourist town. there are lots of shops, dining, and attractions all with in walking distance. between my hotel and the convention center there is a pancake house and a subway ($5 footlongs work great when you rather buy lights). around the convention center there are at least i'd say 15 hotels within a 5 block radius. you can spend anywhere from 30-40 bucks a night and up to 150 bucks a night. make sure to search for hotels around the convention center and if your interested then call them directly. most of the hotels have 1 rate for sun thru thurs and higher for fri and sat. also most all of the hotels around town have pools cause you know in july kids want to swim.

like ron said pigeon forge is the next closest town but its a 10-15 mile drive each way (pigeon forge is a pretty long tourist town). that's not a big deal except you have to factor getting in and out everyday as well as finding a place to park. there is free street parking if you time it right or there are pay lots not too far away. plus depending what else is going on down there at the time the traffic can get pretty hairy. the last time my wife and kids went to pigeon forge and it took her an hour to get back into Gatlinburg because there was a hot-rod show that weekend (fourth of july as well) and there was a boat load of people coming down.

I would suggest staying right in Gatlinburg and park your car at your hotel and you won't have to drive at all until you leave. there is lots and lots to do. once you get in you don't have to go anywhere.

last time there was a little meet and greet that dan from lightorama was gracious enough to have and it was at mellow mushroom pizza place that was right across the street from the convention center.

look up the Gatlinburg visitor information and you can find links to lots and lots of hotel choices.

also you can find a lot of places with kitchenettes in them. to get to Gatlinburg you have to drive thru pigeon forge and there is a grocery store (food city I think) as well as a super walmart. so you could stop and pick up some food and save some money that way.

do a little research and it can be a fairly cheap trip.

any more questions let me know and i'd be glad to help.

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Hey Kelly wow thank you so much for all the info. I'm prob going to keep it close to the convention center and stay within a block or two. looking into the flights and seeing what i can get. I didn't know that about dan and lor, thats very cool. I emailed him as well and still haven't heard from him but i'm sure he is crazy right now. I really am looking forward to getting this done. 

 

Thanks for the input.

 

Ralph

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So lets get a list started of who is going?

Edited by Ralph D
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your very welcome ralph,

 

I'll be there and look forward to meeting some of the members that have been so helpful over the years.

 

be sure to bring pic and videos.....we all love oohing over each other displays and stealing (I mean sharing  yeah that's it ) ideas from each others set-ups.  I was lucking enough to get a few ideas last time and everyone I talked to was more than willing to share their knowledge.  if I have something you like i'd much rather help you not make the same mistakes I did.  

 

we're all creating memories together.

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I'm really looking forward to the Expo, and seeing old friends and meeting new ones! Also, If everything comes together in time, I have something new to unveil in my animatronics class! See you all in a few weeks!

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