Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, USA
Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
So, since my friend is heading back to the UK on Thursday, we decided to cram in as many parks as we could for his final weekend here. He had visited 2 of them but the other 3 were going to be new.
Park 1, day 1, Friday, September 21st was Cedar Point. Having ridden TTD for the first time the Friday prior, He decided to challenge himself to hitting both Strata-coasters within a 24 hour period. Unfortunately, TTD had issues and 3 roll backs while we were in the station. so, we gave up on that. We still ended up with a couple of awesome rides on SV, GK, MF and to both of our surprise, fantastic rides on Magnum. 3 rides in the front row of car 6 were perfect. Next time you ride, close your eyes while riding Magnum. it's hilarious.
Park 2, day 2 was at Knoebels. Got 2 awesome rides on the Phoenix, Twister and 1 ok ride on Impulse. That coaster makes me a little nauseous. Based upon the experience we had at the park we went to next, we should have just stayed at Knoebels.
Park 3, day 2 was Dorney Park. While I love their top 3 coasters and think the park is beautiful, the ride ops were terrible. They couldn't focus on their jobs if it meant saving their lives. How does what would have been a 5 minute wait on Raptor turn into a 20 minute wait on Talon. After riding Talon, Steel Force and Hydra and dealing with their awful dispatch times, I knew we needed to get out of that park, so we moved on after 90 minutes...HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! I had been there a few times when it was in the 90's and got better service.
Park 4, day 2 which WAS my favorite park was 6 Flags Great Adventure. Luke had gone there with me in July, so we didn't need a whole day. Now bear in mind that I KNEW it was going to be busy, BUT, knew my friend wanted to ride KK, so we went anyways. I had been there 6 different times during the 4th of July weeks for the past 3 years and never saw the parking lot so crowded...I expected it, though, so was not bummed out. We both have season passes for 6 Flags so it only cost us the extra gas to get there. I wasn't going to ride KK with him because it is far inferior to TTD and gave me a headache the only other time I rode it BUT, I decided to ride it with my friend. After MANY issues, we finally got to ride it...definitely still sucks compared to the smooth ride I get on TTD. My friend was excited for himself, though. At around 9 pm, we started heading to the gate to leave because the line for El Toro was longer than the stairs so, after being there 6 times and NEVER waiting that long, I didn't want to spoil my view of El Toro by waiting at all for it...lol. As we approached the gate, my buddy asked if we could check the line for Nitro since people in the KK line said it was pretty short. So, we went over to Nitro, got in line and waited about 20 minutes to ride. At this point, I knew I HAD to ride El Toro since it's one of my top 5 coasters. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes for it. LOVE this ride. It's insane for wood. Cedar Point needs one. Anyways, we got off and rode Bizarro which was a walk on. By the time we got back to El Toro, the wait was only in the station, but, there were too many people to do re-rides UNTIL 11pm. After that, as in the 6 other times I've been there, I marathoned El Toro with only having to possibly move to another seat for the entire last hour...SO HAPPY we stayed until closing. Awesome park. Very good operations. Needs paint. Plus season pass good at all of their parks for parking, admission, 2 meals, 1 snack and all drinks was only $170. I would easily pay Cedar Fair pricing of nearly $400 for a comparable pass if 6 Flags would hire painters.
Park 5, day 3, Hersheypark, home to my absolute favorite coaster, Skyrush! I ended up buying the Season Pass Plus for Hershey since it includes parking and admissions for the rest of this year and all of next year. So, we started out by heading to my baby and nearly walking right on...God I love this ride! The lap bars DO suck, but the insanity of this ride makes up for it. My friend said it was fun, but didn't like the lap bar but went in knowing they can suck. After that, we hit all of the other coasters but Laff Trak. I must say that my 2nd favorite coaster in the park is the Lightning side of Lightning Racer. This ride is so perfectly designed and built that you get 2 very different ride experiences but the sides constantly switch between winning. Such a fun ride. We did the eyes closed on this and couldn't believe how long the track is. Cedar Point needs a bigger version of this ride. For the last hour or so, we probably got 10 more rides on Skyrush. Anyways, based upon my experience I had at Hersheypark that day, I had to move Hersheypark up to my favorite park and Great Adventure got bumped down to number 2. While I think GAdv has one of the best collections of coasters out there, Hersheypark does too but is a much more beautiful park.
Can't wait until our 19 day, 19 park tour next July to see most of the parks again. Dorney will strictly be a filler if we have time.Last edited by zoug68, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:06 PM
That itinerary sounds absolutely exhausting. Did you even have enough time to shower and take a dump at any point during this trip? And 19 parks in 19 days... yikes.
I also had a much better time at Dorney. I went into it with the full assumption that I'd be in and out in a couple of hours and managed to enjoy a full day.
Friday night was a typical Halloweekend Friday at Cedar Point. On Saturday, Knoebels was just starting to get busy when we left. Dorney was much better during the summer when I've been in the past. They really sucked this fall Saturday even when the crowd wasn't huge. While 6 Flags was extremely busy, the evening died off perfectly for us. I didn't want to get there any earlier because the haunts weren't going yet. Driving time between those 3 parks was only 90 minutes each. That gave us about 90 minutes each at Knoebels and Dorney and 6 hours at 6 Flags. For it being a Saturday, things worked out pretty well. We had already been to Cedar Point and Great Adventure, so, the really important park was Hersheypark so we planned on that being the all day park. That was only a 2 hour drive on Sunday morning from the hotel we stayed at in Princeton. The biggest mistake I made was booking a room near Pittsburgh after going to Hersheypark but I got the Pittsburgh Marriott North for only $60 on Friday and Sunday nights. The Double Tree in Princeton was $80 but was only 30 minutes from 6 Flags. So, we had really nice hotels to sleep in.
As far as the trip next year goes, I will have at least one other person with me. In 2016, I did 14 different parks in 14 days on my own. THAT was exhausting.
BTW, turned 50 years old and had no problems doing this trip...try to keep up. lolLast edited by zoug68, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:02 PM
I want to go too! My park-traveling companion and I did a loop in June: BGW, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Dollywood, and KI. Next year, it's looking like Silver Dollar City, Six Flags, St. Louis, Worlds of Fun, Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World.Last edited by T2, Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:00 PM
Tentative plans for an 18 day trip starting next July 3 include, but are not limited to...Cedar Point, Waldameer, Niagara Falls, Fantasy Island, Darien Lake, Knoebels, Hersheypark, Dorney Park, Coney Island NY, 6 Flags Great Adventure, Sesame Place, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Carowinds, Sea World Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, 6 Flags over Georgia, Dollywood, Mammoth Caves Wild Caves tour, Beech Bend, Kentucky Kingdom and Kings Island.
Hitting Sesame Place due to Oscar's Wacky Taxi which led me to discovering their Platinum Membership which is also good for parking and admission to all Busch/Sea World parks for $165 which is $200 less than buying the platinum pass at the Busch Gardens parks. The season pass I got at Indiana Beach good for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019 was only $42 and includes premium parking. The 6 Flags passes I bought that include the rest of this year and all of next wear which include parking, admission, 2 meals, 1 snack and all drinks cost me $170. I also picked up the Hersheypark season pass plus which includes the rest of this year and all of next year with premium parking was $250.
I too had a better time at Dorney. While the ride ops there at times strike me as indifferent compared with those at other parks, I've never experienced incompetence or extended waits. The only thing that bothers me about Dorney is the prohibition against consecutive riding. Interesting take on Skyrush. Came across something about someone who's ridden 840 coasters and ranks Skyrush #1: https://www.unilad.co.uk/life/rollercoaster-enthusiast-names-worlds...-10-rides/ Skyrush would probably be in my top 10 were it not for the restraints. These kill it for me. I also prefer the Lightning side of Lightning Racer. Thunder has won over 90% of the time that I've ridden but I continue to ride Lightning b/c it's a better ride.
I kept switching sides on Lightning Racer and finally won on maybe my 5th or 6th race. Lol... Tells me that it's pretty perfectly engineered. I would lose on the very train that had just won.Last edited by zoug68, Tuesday, October 2, 2018 5:11 PM
Joris en de Draak (George and the Dragon) at Efteling is the same way. While not an exact clone, it has the same racing/dueling effect and it’s also a true race, with each side having a fair chance. They’ve made that aspect of the ride a feature every time, complete with special station effects for the winning train.
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