Sunday (6/11) ----- PGA & SFMW
Monday (6/12) ----- KBF
Tuesday (6/13) ---- SFMM
We're gonna try and hit those first 2 the same day, and I hope we can do it. Does anyone know about how long it would take us to drive from PGA to SFMW? I figure we'll hit PGA first, then SFMW second (SFMW closes an hour later, anyway). Should we be able to knock out all the major coasters at these parks on Sunday?
Also, if anyone has any suggestions for first-timers for KBF and SFMM, please let me know. Thanks.
How long does it take to get from PGA to SFMW on a Sunday afternoon?
How long between the two? Hour and fifteen minutes?
And why not hit SFMM before KNott's? The drive from Fresno would be a lot shorter.
And I want to save SFMM for Tuesday--it will be further away from the weekend and hopefully somewhat less crowded. Also kinda nice to save the biggest for last.
PGA is a rip off, but if you have never been, I guess it's good. On a Sunday though, I bet it will be PACKED. Most of their coasters are low capacity, so good luck with wait times.
I would maybe try to chill the trip down if you can and have a good time.
Yea, PGA doesn't look all that great compared to some other parks, but we've never been, and this is our chance to check it out.
Our original plan was to hit DCA that day, but we changed it. This way, we get to see more of California, see more parks, ride more coasters, and save on admission fees, as our SFA and PKD passes will get us into these 2 parks.
I hope the parks aren't too crowded on Sunday. I went to SFGAm the beginning of May on a Sunday, and crowd size was wonderful--small. Of course, I recently went to PKD on a Sunday and, although it wasn't totally packed, it was a resonable amount of people. Lines for Grizzly, Hurler, and Anaconda were short, but Volcano, as usual on a more than light day, had a long line.
Too bad you're completely missing out on the real gems of the NorCal parks, SCBB and Bonfante Gardens. Both miles above PGA and SFMW as far as quality park experiences even with their limited coaster offerings.
Missing the classic SCBB is a real loss. I would consider dropping either SFMW or PGA. I've never had trouble with lines at PGA, but I was never there on a Sunday. PGA and the Boardwalk aren't TOO far apart, but doing SFMW and then driving to Santa Cruz would be a little far for a couple credits on the Boardwalk. Just depends on how cool you want your credits to be.
Coasters at SFMW are creative and pretty intense. At PGA they are generally uninventive and to the norm, apart from Top Gun, which is a personal favorite- especially when it is running top smooth.
Are you planning on driving the entire night to get to LA? It's a long drive, dude.
Consider changing KBF and SFMM- KBF gets the Disneyland leftovers on Sunday and Monday.
While I know I'll like SFMW, and Bonfante will be beautiful (good thing for the 1G memory card), SCBB is a place I think I'd want to LIVE...like Morey's or IB... :)
And a tip for PGA rablat5, as soon as the gates fly open, run to Invertigo, then Drop Zone, then Survivor, the Psycho Mouse, all in that order (all located in the same area). Even on slow days, the lines for the severly low capacity Invertigo and DZ will streach out to at least 1hr waits, so your best bet is to knock these out right at opening when everyone else is running to Top Gun.
PS...the drive I described is probably about two hours without stops.
*** Edited 6/6/2006 8:57:50 PM UTC by janfrederick***
^^ Thanks for the tip, jomo. I think I'll pass on DZ, since I've ridden enough other Intamin 2nd-gen freefalls (ToD, Hellivator, Pittfall, and the one at SFGAm), plus the 3rd-gen ones at PKI and PKD. I'll try and hit Invertigo--we'll have done all 3 in the US after that one! Correct me if I'm wrong--PGA, PKI, and SFA, right?
Nate Banta, no, we're not driving the entire night back to LA--only about halfway--to the Fresno area. Does KBF really get some of the Disney folks on Monday? Would SFMM be any worse Monday that Tuesday? And how much worse would KBF be on Monday rather than Tuesday? If we do SFMM on Tuesday, we also should be able to be more well-rested for our largest park.
SFMW is fun and all the coasters are toward the front (minus Boomerange) so that you could "knock them off fast" if you wanted to.
Maybe you already said, but why are you staying in Fresno?
There is so much do to in Southern California. You should not limit yourself to just Amusement Parks. Go to Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Bel-Air, they are like nothing you have ever seen before. Take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway through Hungtinton/Laguna Beach, the drive is amazing.
There is so much to see in SoCal, don't lock yourself into Amusement Parks because you will miss so much of what it has to offer. This is coming from a coaster enthusiast who passed up SFMM and Knotts to explore LA, and I would pass them up again in a second.
I'm as guilty of the, "skip everything and go to Disney" knee jerk as anyone else, but that's just not what everyone is looking for. Otherwise, I'm sure they'd plan an entire trip just around Disney.
If I had to choose, I'd recommend SFMW over PGA. I love Top Gun, but I think Roar/Medussa is a stronger combo.
On a Sunday, the commute from PGA to SFMW will be much better than the other way around. I-80 westbound is a nightmare on Sundays getting back to the San Francisco area.
Unless you have a real desire to see/drive-thru San Francisco, I'd recommend against it on your way from PGA to SFMW. The Bay Bridge is a complicated maze right now. You could easily spend an hour on Sunday waiting to get across it. (if it's even open!! I believe it's going to be closed again this weekend for construction work.) You can easily cut across on 84 or 92 to 880 and/or 680 and bypass the congestion.
You may want to think about your Monday/Tuesday combo, too. You can probably make it from SFMW to SFMM in about 6 hours. The drive from SFMM to KBF can easily add another 2 hours depending on traffic. I would definitely NOT recommend trying to get thru downtown LA at 8 or 9 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon.
I'd also recommend against Fresno unless you have a real need to go there. I-5 is the fastest way to go to/from LA and SF. Taking 99 instead of I-5 could add another hour to the drive and there really isn't anything there (no offense to Fresno readers).
There are hotels along I-5, but I couldn't tell you much about them. I-5 is pretty much an hour of nothing, then a McDonalds and a gas station, and then another hour of nothing. You could probably just drive until your tired and find a hotel (or sleep in your car in a rest area). Just keep in mind that you may end up driving for another hour before another hotel or gas station shows up. You can pick up one of the free "Traveler" newspaper/ad things at a gas station on I-5. It has ads for the various hotels on I-5 so you can plan your drive times.
I also found this site:
After you hit exit 176, you're in no man's land.
Can you tell I've done this before??
Good luck and welcome to California.
P.S. Avoid Harris Ranch unless you like the smell of cows.
P.P.S. Bring tunes. I-5 is limited to a Christian-Techo station and...well, I think that's it.
Of course I'm a *regular* at Solace and have YET to get to a couple of the smaller parks like Pharaoh's and Castle. But I finally got Belmont's Dipper just this March, and that was a cool little seaside park as well.
Has Adventure City officially closed its doors? I know they were still open during Solace this year. SoCal would take a long week (i.e., big coaster trip, 9 days more or less, a week off work) all on its own to do properly...but I understand where "basic drive-thru creho'ing" is essential at times too...
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