California Trip... Part 2- Which Park?!?!

Ok, I just realized that not only will I be near not only Six Flags MM and Knotts Berry Farms, but also that Universal and Disney aren't too far away. I also found out I have TWO free days... SO, help, where do I go? LOL

I'll have Friday and Sunday of next week free to go to park(s.) I have a SF and Cedar Fair pass which will save me money on park entrance fees, but willing to pay for maybe one park. I'll probably never get back to CA, so I want to pick the best places. In case it matters... I love coasters but hate long waits, lol.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Are you interested in purchasing a q-bot?

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I get one when I go to SFGA... how much are they at SFMM?

And if I remember correctly, home is PA?

Unless you are really interested in the tram tour of the *real* Universal back lot and want the experience of going to the *real* Universal Studios...and riding on the identical-if-not-cut down versions of rides you can experience in Orlando, for a short visit, I think you can safely drop Universal. It's a nice park, but if you're a ride person there are much better alternatives in the neighborhood.

Another place to stop that won't take it one evening while you're at your conference, not on one of the "play days" Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier. If you haven't been there, it's worth a visit. Take a ride on the mini Morgan coaster, and see the LED-lit Ferris wheel that shows up every night on the evening news.

Honestly, as much as I like both Knott's and Magic Mountain, if I could only pick one park for a trip to the Los Angeles area, I'd go to Disneyland. Check their operating hours. The more hours the park is open, the busier they expect to be. Also, get local advice. There is more than enough at Disneyland to keep you busy all day long, but right next door is California Adventure, which has two more coasters. Okay, one is a Mack Wild Maus, but California Screamin' is a really nice ride even if it was built by Intamin. But California Adventure does NOT have enough to keep you busy all day. Disneyland will have the longest lines of any park in the region, but Disney does a pretty good job of keeping people moving.

Also, check and see if Adventure City is still operating. If you don't have a kid, you might have to do some explaining to get in the gate, but once in they're very nice about letting you ride all the rides, including a rare Wild Mouse. It's really close to both Knott's and Disneyland, and a visit would not take very long.

Scandia is also within range, but it is waaaaaaaaaay out to the East, and even though you can see it from IR-15, getting there is quite the challenge.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Mamoosh's avatar

LOL Jennifer. Although your conference location sucks traffic-wise (that awful 405!) you are about equidistant from SFMM, Knotts, the Disney Resort, and Universal.

I have to agree with Rideman about the Santa Monica Pier. If your conference let's out around sunset one evening take a drive up to Santa Monica, have a nice dinner overlooking the Pacific, and enjoy Morgan's "mini-hyper."

If you go to Knotts, from the conference center follow this route: 405 South, 105 East, 605 South, 91 East, exit Beach Blvd.

For the Disney parks use the route to Knotts above. From the 91 East take I-5 South and exit Disney Drive.

If you decide on Universal avoid the shorter route through downtown via I-10 and take 405 North to 101 East/South.

Have fun! ;)

Last edited by Mamoosh,

According to your other post, you arrive Thursday morning around 11am. You are free all day Friday & Sunday. And free Saturday Evening.

This is what I would do:

Thursday the 16th: Head straight to Knotts when you land (they're open til 9pm, so you should be able to get a good day in at the park.)

Friday: Disneyland (8a-12a) & California Adventure (10a-9p)(get a one day parkhopper for like $90, or check Craigslist for people selling tix) Start your day at Disneyland from 8-Noonish, then hop over to DCA from noon to 6 or 7, then go back to Disneyland for the rest of the evening.

Sat: Your conference & Rest (since you just killed yourself staying up past midnight at Disneyland on a work day... shame on you!) Or hit up Santa Monica if you're not tired.

Sun: SFMM (10:30a-8p)

Don't bother with Universal Studios.

You may hit morning traffic on Friday, so leave early (6:30ish). Shouldnt have any traffic issues on Sunday morn and not likely too bad around noon on thursday.

Don't forget to try the Boysenberry Punch at Knotts!

Have fun!!!!! & Let us know how it goes!!!!

Last edited by LoadedG,

I've traded in my 2002 Arrow X4D for a Gravity Group Out n Back. My other car is now a Voyage!

rollergator's avatar

How much has Universal recovered from that awful fire a few months ago? I am far from a movie person, but the backlot tour there was the highlight of any studio park in the country for me (other than USF getting Mummy)... ;)

Last edited by rollergator,

^The backlot is still under construction. All of New York Street is still closed and being rebuilt.

Like others have said, unless you are a huge movie fan, skip Universal Studios.

Universal Studios is awful as an amusement park. Most of its visitors are out-of-town tourists. Hardly any locals visit frequently. But as mentioned before, if you're a huge movie buff, then it would be hard to turn down a visit because unlike the Orlando park, the Hollywood park is actually an active movie and television production studio lot.

I would recommend cutting Universal Studios out of your options. However, it's not impossible to finish the park on a slow day within 3 or 4 hours if you really wanted to. Then you can hop in your rental car and drive 40 minutes north to Magic Mountain and finish your day there.

And if you have not been to any of the two California Disney parks, I would highly, highly recommend those as your choices. You could possibly do both in one day without missing too much with a park-hopper ticket.

Jennifer Gentry said:
I get one when I go to SFGA... how much are they at SFMM?

Here is a link to Q-bot info at SFMM. Although not listed, it is $5 or $10 to add X2, if you get a gold Q-bot. Since you have never been to SFMM before, and will be there during what may be a busy period, I would recommend that you get one. If you don't want to get gold, or pay the extra for X2, you should get to the park before they open, go on X2 immediately, then come back down the hill to get the Q-bot.

Also, I agree completely with LoadedG that you should go to KBF on Thursday and SFMM on Sunday. If your flight arrives around 11:00, you could go to KBF from about 12pm-9pm. That should be plenty of time. SFMM from 10:30am-8:00pm should be plenty of time too. If you can afford it and want to be sure, get the Q-bot. Another option on Saturday night, is that you could go to KBF or SFMM, since they are both open until 10:00pm on that saturday. But Sat, is the most busy day of the week, at both parks, so you may not be able to do much in only 3-4 hours. But since you would get in free, it might be worth trying.

My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437

Although not listed, it is $5 or $10 to add X2, if you get a gold Q-bot

You have to buy a gold Q bot and then it is $10 per person, per ride on X2.

Last edited by RyanTTD,

Jennifer, I posted my recent experiences at KBF and MM on your other post...

Lord Gonchar's avatar

SFMMAddict said:
Here is a link to Q-bot info at SFMM. Although not listed, it is $5 or $10 to add X2, if you get a gold Q-bot.

RyanTTD said:
You have to buy a gold Q bot and then it is $10 per person, per ride on X2.

So which is it?

eightdotthree's avatar

I loved every bit of Disneyland, it is so much different and more unique than the Magic Kingdom. Loved it!

^^ I would post a link with pictures that show the prices, but this web site dose not allow linking to TPR.

Like I said, you HAVE to buy a Gold Q bot to be able to have the privilege to pay to skip the line on X2. They are treating X2 as an up charge attraction.

$61 for one person to buy a Gold Q bot. Then If you don't want to wait in line for X2 it is $10 per ride, per person.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

That's ok, I found the info myself and you're right.

$10 per reservation on X2.

LostKause's avatar

Well, that one way of limiting the less fortunate people from riding their star attraction.

Note to self: If I ever have the chance to visit Magic Mountain all the way on the other side of the country, bring at least $140 for parking and admission.

matt.'s avatar

Disneyland is my most favoritest park in the world. So I guess that means I think you should go there.

You think Q-Bot's bad? At least you still got the opportunity to rent one. I was at Tokyo Disneyland last saturday and here's how the waits looked like:

Park open from 8am to 10pm. At 8:20am, there was a 120 minutes wait for Pooh's Hunny Hunt and Buzz Lightyear. The wait to get the free fast passes at each ride was nearly 30-45 minutes long. By 11am, both those rides had run out of fast passes and were approaching 4 hours waits. Every other rides in the park with fast passes (most of the major rides there) had minimum 150 minutes wait and all fast passes were gone by 2pm.

I know the park was doing its best, running 5 trains on Big Thunder Mountain, 40-50 boats on Splash Mountain, 12 trains on Space Mountain, etc., but I still would have liked the option of buying more fast passes, instead of having a complicated free system.

Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm so excited to see people recommending Disneyland. I think you should go there, too.

That'd be the first place I'd head to if I was in your shoes. Of course, I'd spend all my free time there, because I'm a "fanboy" like that. :)

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