My 14 year old and I share the love of roller coasters, and since we have HersheyPark ~literally~ as our backyard, we made an epic journey this past summer! (Literally our backyard - we can see Skyrush, Great Bear, and the building of Candymonium out his bedroom window.

The road to 66!

Park #2 - Kings Island - We started at Kings Island, OH, since neither of us had ever been there. Our favorites were Diamondback and Banshee, with a tip of the hat to Beast as the longest woodie. The days we were there were quite hot, with temps hitting above 95, and I was very impressed at how Kings Island handled that. Great Park by my standards, and quite possibly my favorite park I've ever visited. (coasters: 12, total: 26)

Park #3 - Cedar Point The big dogs of the coaster world, with more Firsts than any other park I'm aware of . (First over 200', 300', 400' to name a few....) Favorites here were Steel Vengeance, Top Thrill Dragster, Millenium Force, with a big tip to GateKeeper for uniqueness and layout and Maverick for total coolness. (coasters: 15, total 41)

Park #4 - Kennywood We rode on of the newest coasters in the world! Steel Curtain! (It opened 7/13/19, and we rode it 7/23/19). We also rode one of the oldest track layouts in the country, too. Jackrabbit was built in 1920, and still has the same layout today. Historical moment, and even the teenager enjoyed the history. Favorites here were Steel Curtain, and Phantoms Revenge. (coasters: 7, total 48)

(Just a note, we did those 3 parks in a single trip, along with a day at the Great American Ballpark to see the Reds play, and a stop at the Columbus Zoo. A great weeklong trip for a father and son!)

Park #5: Knoebel's Amusement resort - A very unique park with no entrance fee. Its nestled in the mountains of PA, and is very family friendly. Since it's pay by the ride, family members can pick and choose what they want to ride, or just come along for the ride. Favorites here are Phoenix and Twister, but Flying Turns should be mentioned as a unique ride here as a bobsled style ride. (coasters: 6, total: 52)

Park #6 - Dorney Park - Surprisingly, neither of us had been to this park, either, despite only living an hour and a half away. Favorites here: Talon, and Hydra. Nice park to do in a day without feeling rushed or hurried. (coasters: 6, total: 58)

Park #7 - Busch Gardens, VA A favorite park for us over the years, and possibly my favorite ride of all, Apollo's Chariot. (A few years ago, this was the first "really big" coaster my son could ride - but only after I stuffed socks into his "tall shoes" to get him just tall enough to ride. Verbolten is a favorite, and Griffon gets honorable mention, here too, for its water tail effect at the end of the ride. (coasters: 8, total 66)

A great summer for my teenager and I. (...and the counts are the rides he rode. At 49, and being the only driver for the trips, my recovery time isn't quite as fast as his.)

Our plan for 2020 is to hit 75 coasters and add 5 new parks. The5 new parks - Six Flags, NJ, Six Flags, MD, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Nick Universe in NJ to the list (and probably in one big trip!) By the end of the 2020 summer, he will have been on more than 160 different coasters.

And we'll be adding 4 more big ones with Kingda Ka, Fury 325, Intimidator 305, and Nitro. That'll put us at having ridden 8 of the top 11 tallest in the country. not too shabby!

Thanks for reading!

What, no Sea Dragon? You could’ve had 67, and that ride is also of historical significance.

Sounds like you guys had a great time, took me back to my younger years. Cheers to next years trip(s).

For me BG VA is one of my favorites, can't believe it's been 10yrs since my last visit. Hands down the best park for opening day (Personal Golden Ticket lol)! It's an escape from the winter weather (from OH). Great coaster selection. One the most beautiful parks and it's one the few parks you have to get a beer. All of those freshly tapped kegs. I am a coaster nut all about the numbers, but BG VA is one of the few parks where I will grab a beer and simply walk around enjoying the views.

There is no such thing as a terrible Coaster just ones that haven't been taken care of

Raven-Phile's avatar

#66insasummer or #37inarow!?

His Personal record is 19 in a row without getting off. (Special invitation at HersheyPark during an employee speciality day.). He wants to meet the world record holder of the most rides in a day. The guy lives in our town!)

kpjb's avatar

I was in Blackpool many years ago, and there was a guy that lived on one of their coasters for a couple months (IIRC). Slept there, ate there. Got a couple bathroom breaks per day and that was it.


^^Mark, Raven-Phile's post is a joking reference to a scene in the movie Clerks about 37 in a row. If you decide to look up said clip, please make sure your son ISN'T around! ;)

Nice report, thanks for sharing.

I used to marathon Sea Dragon when I was a kid back in the eighties. One day it was real slow and I kept riding it so often they didn't make me get off and back on and since no one else was there the ride ops eventually just told me to let them know when I wanted off. They wouldn't even stop the ride I just coasted thru the station and back up the lift hill. I didn't count how many times I rode it that day. May have been a hundred or more. One of my favorite coaster memories for sure.

Nice Trip Report. My wife and I are in York PA. We love having Hersheypark as our home park. The parks within 3 to 4 hours of our home we visit every year. Kings Island, Cedar Point, and Kennywood are the parks on your list we hit every 2 to 3 years depending on what new rides they get.

It's good your son is enjoying amusement parks and rollercoasters. It's a great way to bond and make memories. My son is now 28 and when he was his age he couldn't get enough. Now he's not interested in them at all.

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