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Author Topic: My planned "amusement park trips"  (Read 1808 times)

noelbotevera

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My planned "amusement park trips"
« on: September 05, 2016, 04:42:47 PM »

I've noticed lately that I seem to love amusement parks/theme parks and want to go to more of them. I've decided to begin planning out some trips for the next two years if I don't get to go to Canada next year (in that case, I'll probably try and go to Canada in 2018). To make my dad happy, I'll try and consolidate each and every park with interesting places (for example, since Kennywood is near Pittsburgh, we'd also do things in Pittsburgh too).

Here's my list of my planned coaster trips:

Lakemont Park (Altoona, Pennsylvania) (2017)
Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) (2017)
Kennywood (West Mifflin, Pennsylvania) (2017)
Knoebels (Elysburg, Pennsylvania) (2017)
Canada's Wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario) (2017 or 2018)
La Ronde (Montreal, Quebec) (2017 or 2018) Note: This would be done on the same week as Canada's Wonderland.
Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) (2017 or 2018)
Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts) (2017 or 2018) Note: This would be part of a roadtrip to Boston. I'm also thinking that I could try to go to Pax East if I can't go here.
Dorney Park (Allentown, Pennsylvania) (2017 or 2018)
Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina/Fort Mill, South Carolina) (2017 or 2018)

CONTRIBUTIONS:
Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Virginia) (2017 or 2018)

Recommendations are welcome.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 05:26:26 PM by noelbotevera »
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briantroutman

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 05:22:45 PM »

Itís already on your list, but let me add a strong endorsement for Knoebels. Iíve probably been there every year of my lifeóincluding 1983 as a fetus and the years I lived in California. The park has two phenomenal wooden roller coasters (Phoenix and Twister) plus a one-of-a-kind trackless bobsled-type ride (Flying Turns) thatís tremendous fun. Knoebels doesnít charge for admission or parking; you pay for rides as you go, so parents and grandparents can tag along and enjoy the park atmosphere for free. Food is very reasonably priced, quite good, and sometimes unique. How many amusement parks sell pierogies, haluski, and potato pancakes? Knoebels is a unique, family owned, and quintessentially Pennsylvania institution.


I have a low opinion of the Six Flags parks (at least the ones Iíve seen)óthe crowds they attract, the ďdonít careĒ people who work there, their spotty safety records. I donít think it would be a major loss to skip them.


Dorney Park is owned by Cedar Fair, and while I had a good experience visiting Dorney, I didnít at another Cedar Fair park, Great America in Santa Clara, CA. Great America is one of the sorriest excuses for park Iíve ever visited. Lines were ridiculously long, employees inept, and the food was both low quality and expensive. I donít know if thatís just Great America, or whether other nearby Cedar Fair parks (Cedar Point, Canadaís Wonderland, Carowindsóplus Kingís Dominion and Kingís Island are also not far) suffer the same ills.


I also enjoyed Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Last I visited was about a decade ago, and at that time, I thought the European theming of the park was very well done although not quite at the Disney level. The park was quite clean and offered many fun roller coasters.


Iíve never visited Lakemont and donít know much about it, but if youíre looking for other PA parks, you might look at Waldameer in Erie (which I also havenít visited, but it might be worth a look). Idlewild in Ligonier, DelGrosso's in Tipton, and Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster might be lower speed than what you want. I assume you left out Hershey because itís so close and youíve already been there.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 05:27:54 PM by briantroutman »
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noelbotevera

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 05:30:48 PM »

Itís already on your list, but let me add a strong endorsement for Knoebels. Iíve probably been there every year of my lifeóincluding 1983 as a fetus and the years I lived in California. The park has two phenomenal wooden roller coasters (Phoenix and Twister) plus a one-of-a-kind trackless bobsled-type ride (Flying Turns) thatís tremendous fun. Knoebels doesnít charge for admission or parking; you pay for rides as you go, so parents and grandparents can tag along and enjoy the park atmosphere for free. Food is very reasonably priced, quite good, and sometimes unique. How many amusement parks sell pierogies, haluski, and potato pancakes? Knoebels is a unique, family owned, and quintessentially Pennsylvania institution.


I have a low opinion of the Six Flags parks (at least the ones Iíve seen)óthe crowds they attract, the ďdonít careĒ people who work there, their spotty safety records. I donít think it would be a major loss to skip them.


Dorney Park is owned by Cedar Fair, and while I had a good experience visiting Dorney, I didnít at another Cedar Fair park, Great America in Santa Clara, CA. Great America is one of the sorriest excuses for park Iíve ever visited. Lines were ridiculously long, employees inept, and the food was both low quality and expensive. I donít know if thatís just Great America, or whether other nearby Cedar Fair parks (Cedar Point, Canadaís Wonderland, Carowindsóplus Kingís Dominion and Kingís Island are also not far) suffer the same ills.


I also enjoyed Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Last I visited was about a decade ago, and at that time, I thought the European theming of the park was very well done although not quite at the Disney level. The park was quite clean offered many fun roller coasters.


Iíve never visited Lakemont and donít know much about it, but if youíre looking for other PA parks, you might look at Waldameer in Erie (which I also havenít visited, but it might be worth a look). Idlewild in Ligonier, DelGrosso's in Tipton, and Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster might be lower speed than what you want. I assume you left out Hershey because itís so close and youíve already been there.
That's been on my mind. I want to go there with my sister who goes to Penn State in State College, and it's not far (1 and a half hours, about the same distance from here to State College).

Yeah, I'm kind of uneasy with going to Six Flags parks because of countless stories of how bad they can be. But I want to go there because I want to ride the tallest roller coaster in the world and El Toro, which is supposed to be amazing.

Cedar Fair is usually top-notch, as Cedar Point's been one of the parks that basically everyone goes to. Maybe it might apply to just Great America, but I'm not sure. It could be new management issues ever since Dick Kinzel left.

Also been on my mind. I want to this in conjunction with a Hampton Roads trip, because it's not that far.

Lakemont has the oldest roller coaster in the world (opened in 1903). I've been to Delgrosso's and Hersheypark, so I left them out.
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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 06:12:35 PM »

I have a low opinion of the Six Flags parks (at least the ones Iíve seen)óthe crowds they attract, the ďdonít careĒ people who work there, their spotty safety records. I donít think it would be a major loss to skip them.
Yeah, I'm kind of uneasy with going to Six Flags parks because of countless stories of how bad they can be. But I want to go there because I want to ride the tallest roller coaster in the world and El Toro, which is supposed to be amazing.

Some of the blame when it comes to Six Flags has to go to Daniel Snyder (hated owner of the Washington Redskins) for leading it to bankruptcy in the late 2000s.
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MisterSG1

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 06:49:34 PM »

Since Cedar Fair took over Canada's Wonderland, they have really made the park a lot better (and a lot more expensive as well unfortunately) with putting in some serious rides like the Leviathan which cracks the Top 10 in tallest and fastest roller coasters.

I went to Kings Island back in 2004.....went on the now defunct Son of Beast, a rather interesting ride to say the least.
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Rothman

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 07:58:07 AM »

Six Flags also completely resurrected Riverside Park, which had declined into an absolute slum, into Six Flags New England.  Not saying Six Flags is perfect (the Superman death some years ago at the same park was troubling, but the company responded with increased safety procedures), but without them, some older parks would have gone the way of the dodo.
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wphiii

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 11:53:34 AM »

Great America is one of the sorriest excuses for park Iíve ever visited. Lines were ridiculously long, employees inept, and the food was both low quality and expensive. I donít know if thatís just Great America, or whether other nearby Cedar Fair parks (Cedar Point, Canadaís Wonderland, Carowindsóplus Kingís Dominion and Kingís Island are also not far) suffer the same ills.

Or maybe it's just symptomatic of urban California in general...

Kennywood used to be really great when it was family owned, but I could feel the vibe change after it was sold to an international group. Still probably worth checking out for the classic old wooden coasters alone, but I haven't been back in the six years since I stopped working summers there.

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 03:18:38 PM »

Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania (which I guess I didn't need to mention) has plenty of well-known coasters like the Sooper Dooper Looper, Fahrenheit, the Comet and a lot more. You can take the Turnpike from Pittsburgh all the way to Harrisburg and exit at I-283 and take that to U.S. 322 which heads straight into Hershey. Actually, no, getting to the Park requires a left turn onto PA Route 39, Hersheypark Drive. Or you can do Hersheypark as a separate trip. Or you can not do Hersheypark at all if it's too out of the way for you. I just wanted to mention Hersheypark since it's pretty close to me and I love it so much.

EDIT: I didn't realize you were the Chambersburg guy. That means you're probably more familiar with Hershey than I think you are. And in fact, you may have already been there and I don't realize it. But that would be I-81 to U.S. 11 to the Turnpike, or I-81 to I-83 to U.S. 322 if you were to avoid the Turnpike toll.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 03:33:09 PM by epzik8 »
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noelbotevera

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 03:48:54 PM »

So my dad decided that we might be going to Philadelphia and go to Six Flags Great Adventure, an hour away. Some alternates was to go to Coney Island in New York City and ride the Cyclone, but, well, Six Flags is the closest amusement park from Philadelphia.

Basically, I'll do I-76 east across the Walt Whitman Bridge, check the I-76/I-295/NJ 42 construction (which has progressed ever since last year), take that up to Trenton, then I-195 east. If the Walt Whitman or I-76 has congestion, instead I'll opt for the Ben Franklin Bridge and clinch I-676 (I'm missing the part in New Jersey).
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 04:02:51 PM by noelbotevera »
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noelbotevera

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Re: My planned "amusement park trips"
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2016, 03:39:33 PM »

EDIT: I didn't realize you were the Chambersburg guy. That means you're probably more familiar with Hershey than I think you are. And in fact, you may have already been there and I don't realize it. But that would be I-81 to U.S. 11 to the Turnpike, or I-81 to I-83 to U.S. 322 if you were to avoid the Turnpike toll.
I actually shunpike the PA Turnpike. It's faster for some reason, and I have several ways to get to Hershey. The shortest is I-81/I-83/US 322, but if I-83 or US 322 is congested, I use I-81 to PA 39.
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