30 Parks in 16 days: Day 1 (no parks)

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Friday, June 20, 2003 12:37 AM
May 26, 2003 marked the beginning of my 16 day trip. I am from the UK and every year since 2000 I have visited the USA twice a year in search of the ultimate coaster and the ultimate park. I have found several "ultimate coasters", but I am still looking for an "ultimate park".

Before this trip I had ridden 338 roller coasters. I was traveling with my friend Simon, and my dad Ken (who I will refer to from now on as dad), both are members of Coasterbuzz, but I will leave it to them to identify themselves. I have always loved roller coasters, but I didn't really become an "enthusiast" until 2000. I converted my dad in 2002 after one ride on V2 at SFMW.

We started planning the trip several months prior to departure, and it was all to be revolve around Coastermania at Cedar Point. I figured with Top Thrill Dragster being built the park would be crowded pretty much every day, so going on Coastermania would at least extend the hours of operation.

The parks we were planning on visiting (in order) were: Rye Playland*, Astroland, PKD, BGW, SFA, SFGAdv, Casino Pier*, Funtown Pier*, Steel Pier*, Gillian's Wonderland Pier*, Playland's Castaway Cove*, Morey's Piers, Williams Grove*, Lakemont Park*, Knoebels, Hersheypark, Idlewild*, Kennywood, Wyandot Lake*, PKI, SFKK, CP, SFWOA, Conneaut Lake Park*, Waldameer Park*, Martin's Fantasy Island*, SFDL*, PCW*, La Ronde*, SFNE, Canobie Lake Park*

Parks marked with an asterix* are parks that I had not visited before.

However due to the weather we did not get to visit Playland, Astroland, Idlewild, and SFKK. But we did manage to add in Great Escape, and Funtown USA*. So in all we did 30 parks in just 16 days.

The plane took off from Heathrow in the beautiful sun, and arrived at JFK (New York) in the pouring rain. It's not very often you go on holiday to find worse weather than what you left behind, especially being from the UK where the weather is usually pretty bad. The plane landed at 12.25pm (after a 7 hour flight) and by 2pm we had picked up our car and were ready to start conquering theme parks.

The plan for the day was to drive up to Rye and quickly ride all the coasters at Playland, then drive back down to Astroland and ride the Coney Island Cyclone, before setting off to Paramount's Kings Dominion in Virginia. The weather was so bad we knew the Cyclone wouldn't be operating, and we thought that the coasters might be closed at Playland too, so rather than waste time driving up there, we decided to head on straight to Virginia.

As soon as we past the Varranazo Suspension Bridge, the rain stopped, but the traffic around Coney Island was so bad, there was no way we were turning back. That was two parks off the list straight away, although there was a slim possibility of doing them on the last day of the trip.

We had stopped off for something to eat in Fredricksburg, Virginia, and arrived at our hotel at 8.30pm after a 338 mile drive. We were now just five miles north of PKD, which we were visiting tomorrow.
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Coaster Grotto - Save your Top 20 Coasters and Track Record Online!
*** This post was edited by Grant 6/20/2003 4:45:45 AM ***

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Friday, June 20, 2003 6:51 AM
Rain sucks. Sorry you had to pay EIGHT DOLLARS for that damn bridge too (I just "visited" NYC for the first time last week and took that bridge...why is it so expensive?!)!

Ah well, we actually got to hit Rye and Astroland, but never saw the skyline. :(

Can't wait to hear more TRs!

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Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

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