California Trip Help!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 7:47 AM
Hi, I'm planning a trip over to the States next summer from England and am trying to hit the parks in California for around a week and then the Las Vegas area for approximately a week.

Seeing as there's a Las Vegas coasters thread going on, I won't ask any questions about that, but would like some help with the Californian parks please.

Right we'll have a hire car so there's no problem with transport. I plan on hitting SFMM, Knotts, Universal and Disney.
- Are there any other parks worth hitting in that region (Los Angeles/Anaheim)? (I've pretty much discounted Sea World San Diego as I've been to a lot of marine parks, including SWOrlando, and all this one seems to have over it is a different Journey to Atlantis and a rapids ride- is this one really worth visiting too?).

Then I need a little help with how long to spend at each park:
SFMM- 3 days?
Knotts- 1 day? 2 days?
Disney- Is it possible to do the thrill rides of the two parks in one day? Cos I've been to the Florida Disneyland (Magic Kingdom) and so don't plan on spending too long in the original Disneyland park; although I do want to hit it. Then would I be able to do California Adventure in the same day? Is it possible to get a one-day ticket for both parks? OR would it make more sense to just do a 2-day thing?
Universal/CityWalk- 1 day?
The rough idea is that we plan on about a week in Los Angeles/Anaheim... including parks and other attractions. However this could be extended if necessary.

Also:
- Although coasters are the main priority, what other things are there to do in Los Angeles/Anaheim (e.g. tours, sighteseeing etc. Hollywood/Beverley Hills)?
- Are SFMM's and Knotts's water parks any good/ worth a visit?

Basically I'm just trying to work out how long I need at Los Angeles/Anaheim, doing the parks and attractions; so that I do everything I want to do, but I'm not too rushed.

Thanks ever so much for any help I get- its greatly appreciated! :) If i have any more questions I'll post some more... Thanks!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:40 AM
I would really recommend doing 2 days at SFMM and 2 days at Disney. In my opinion, three days at SFMM is just too many! You'll have more fun doing two at disney.

I did Knotts in less than a day, so I can't offer advice on this park.

I wouldn't recommend sightseeing in Hollywood. My family made me do it and it was pretty bad. Hollywood, as described by my friend, is just a bunch of ugly prostitutes and bums. Its not what its made out to be in the movies.

Legoland is a bit north of LA if your interested in going there, but I believe there is one in england (Or is it somewhere else in Europe?) so that may not appeal to you.

I hope I was of some help!

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"AHHH!! Oh wait, we didnt drop yet"

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:46 AM

eyeamthu1 said:
Hi, I'm planning a trip over to the States next summer from England and am trying to hit the parks in California for around a week and then the Las Vegas area for approximately a week.

Seeing as there's a Las Vegas coasters thread going on, I won't ask any questions about that, but would like some help with the Californian parks please.

Right we'll have a hire car so there's no problem with transport. I plan on hitting SFMM, Knotts, Universal and Disney.
- Are there any other parks worth hitting in that region (Los Angeles/Anaheim)?

Some other parks to consider, in the order I consider them worthwhile:

1. Legoland - Lots of fun, very unique. A little bit kiddy, but you'll be having too much fun to care. Located off the I-5 on the way down to San Diego.

2. Adventure City - Just down the road from Knotts, this quick stop has a very unique wild mouse coaster and the most violent kiddie coaster ever.

3. Scandia - This Family Fun Center (FFC) has the truly awesome Scandia Screamer, the steel coaster with the most airtime in all of California. This one is located in Ontario, off the I-15, which is on the way between Disney/Knotts and Vegas.

4. Castle Park - Another little gem, full of very old school rides. The coasters are not great, but a fun little place, none the less. This park was designed by the same gent who set up most of the early rides at Knott's Berry Farm. Located in Riverside off of the 91 freeway, just a few minutes from Scandia.

5. Santa Monica Pier - Another place with only a mediocre coaster, but great views of the ocean, and Santa Monica is a pretty cool part of L.A.

6. Mission Beach, Belmont Park - Located down in San Diego, home of an old (sort of) classic woodie. It's decent but not really worth the trip down to San Diego unless you are also going to Legoland and/or Sea World.

7. Pharoah's - The absolute bottom of the barrel, for credit whores only. An over-priced, borderline dangerous Galaxi coaster. This park is ****e. Located off I-10 in Redlands.

(I've pretty much discounted Sea World San Diego as I've been to a lot of marine parks, including SWOrlando, and all this one seems to have over it is a different Journey to Atlantis and a rapids ride- is this one really worth visiting too?).

I like Sea World, but it's not really that special. Their rapids ride is very good, and Journey to Atlantis looks to be fun, but this is skippable if you decide not to go to San Diego.

Then I need a little help with how long to spend at each park:
SFMM- 3 days?

Probably too long. 2 days is good for a first time visitor.

Knotts- 1 day? 2 days?

You can do the whole park in a day, if it's during the week. Avoid Saturdays here!

Disney- Is it possible to do the thrill rides of the two parks in one day? Cos I've been to the Florida Disneyland (Magic Kingdom) and so don't plan on spending too long in the original Disneyland park; although I do want to hit it. Then would I be able to do California Adventure in the same day? Is it possible to get a one-day ticket for both parks? OR would it make more sense to just do a 2-day thing?

2 days. Absolutely, positively. The original Disneyland has lots of unique attractions and you'll want a full day there. DCA can be less than a full day park, but why rush yourself? As far as I know, the resort does not sell a 2-day passport, so you'll have to buy admission to each park.

Universal/CityWalk- 1 day?

1 day should do just fine.

The rough idea is that we plan on about a week in Los Angeles/Anaheim... including parks and other attractions. However this could be extended if necessary.

Also:
- Although coasters are the main priority, what other things are there to do in Los Angeles/Anaheim (e.g. tours, sighteseeing etc. Hollywood/Beverley Hills)?

Hollywood is invariably a let down for visitors. No movie stars walking around, and it's kind of grimy. Unless they live there or play in a band, locals never go there. ;-) Beverly Hills is full of expensive shops and pretentious people, so if that's your bag, go to it! Parking is VERY expensive there as well.

For first time L.A. visitors, I strongly recommend the beach, with a visit to the Santa Monica Pier and the Venice Beach Boardwalk the preferred combo. Driving up to Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway is nice, as is driving down Mulholland for some incredible views.

- Are SFMM's and Knotts's water parks any good/ worth a visit?

No. If you're going to add a water park, I'd recommend Raging Waters in San Dimas over any other in the area.

Basically I'm just trying to work out how long I need at Los Angeles/Anaheim, doing the parks and attractions; so that I do everything I want to do, but I'm not too rushed.

Thanks ever so much for any help I get- its greatly appreciated! :) If i have any more questions I'll post some more... Thanks!


Happy to help. Hope you enjoy L.A.!

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Mike Miller - The CPG: The ORIGINAL flash mob

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:46 AM
I'd spend no more than two days at SFMM. I'd spend two days at Disney, as summer crowds there are pretty dense. Knotts should be OK for a day, though you might want to go back! There are a bunch of smaller parks scattered around the area that you might want to visit for a couple of hours, depending on how set you are on getting "credits" or whatever.

As far as other stuff to do, there's all the usual tourist stuff that you can think of. I'd recommend checking out some beaches, driving around Beverly Hills, and in general enjoying the great places to eat in and around LA. Downtown Hollywood is pretty much a dump, but you can occasionally have fun playing "Guess The Hallucination" of whatever person you happen to be walking past at that point...)

dt

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:48 AM
Small correction to what Blitzjade had to add...Legoland is south of L.A., not north.

Mike Miller

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:49 AM
As for Sea World, I'd say skip it except for the nostalga aspect since it was the first one...but also in the area of Sea World there is Mission Beach home to the Giant Dipper which is a really fun wooden coaster.

SFMM usually doesn't require more than 2 days especially since it tends to have multiple rides down at a time. If you get there early and stay late you should be able to see everything in that time. They still have the twicket promotion where you buy one day and get a second for just a few dollars more...

Knott's I'd say a very full day getting there early and staying late. Sometimes the park can be empty sometimes it can be full. Since you are goin in the summer I expect it to be rather busy with locals.

At Disney they only offer the one day two park hopper to locals (i think) and even then I dont think they do that during peak season. Who knows what ticket promotion they are doing for next summer. They have a 2 day ticket (one park each day) as well as 3 day park hopper. Disneyland has attractions from all of the WDW parks in addition to original attractions you should find plenty to fill up your time. DCA on the other had can be completed in about a half day if you use fastpass.

Universal Studios takes about a day. CityWalk essentially is just a mall between the parking garage and the park entrance just like in Florida...

As far as other stuff in the area you should go to a beach...I like Santa Monica (Third Street Promenade rules!). Hurricane Harbor at SFMM is ok, but Soak City is better. If you want to go to the best check out Raging Waters in San Dimas, its really good!

As always how much time you are going to want to stay all depends on if you just there to get credits and leave or if you want to ride and reride and take in the atmosphere of each park.

Hope that helped!
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=brandon=

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:50 AM
isnt it funny how we all try to reply to the same message at the same time...when i first read the message there were no replies...once i hit submit all these other replies came up

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=brandon=
*** This post was edited by haiderodes 10/14/2003 12:51:19 PM ***

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 9:31 AM
Welcome to our crazy state ahead of time; it sounds like a fun trip in the works. My first suggestion is to do a search for similar threads on this site, people have ask for the same advice several times in the last couple of months. You will probably find some good opinions and helpful suggestions there.

Depending on the time of the week I would suggest 1 1/2 or 2 days @ MM. You'll want a full day at Knott's and at least a full day at the Disney parks.

My opinion on Universal Studio's park and Citywalk is a little bleak. One day is easily enough for the US attractions, and Citywalk is literally right next door. Citywalk gives me a headace, but I hate shopping malls. It's American consumer culture at its worst, but then again, so is southern California. Citywalk also houses Universal Ampitheatre (indoors), which gets some fun acts year round. If you enjoy live music, you could possibly coordinate your visit to include a show one evening.

If you like the sort of thing there are a few shows taping in Burbank and LA in the summer, but attending one of those can take up an entire day. I have fun milling around Hollywood/Beverly Hills area. It's the California people know from TV.

If you don't mind not hitting the will-be new Journey to Atlantis, it sounds like you might skip Sea World. I live in San Diego and don't even have a pass. I would recommend Belmont Park. If you love wood, as I do ;-) , a ride on San Diego's only coaster is worth the drive. Mission Beach can easily be turned into a fun day, and there is soooo much to do here in SD I don't know where to start. Getting around SD is a lot easier than navigating the LA area, which is vast and traffic-plentyful.


Obvioulsy everyone has their own opinion so my best suggestion would be to get as much info as possible and then make your decisions. Good luck and have fun!!!
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scott

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003 9:44 AM
I'd take a day or two to do some non-coaster things. Take a drive down the coast. Go to Catalina for the day. Hit the beach. It'd be a shame to spend all your time here at the parks only. If I were you, I'd spend a single day at each park. Take a day in the mountains. Check out Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Solvang, San Diego, etc. Get away from LA!

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"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003 12:30 PM
Ok thanks for everyone's help, its been really useful. Thanks :)

Just wondering what else is there to do in the San Diego area if its worth visiting?
And what sort of slides does Raging Waters have? Is it anything out of the ordinary? (e.g. like how Zoombabwe and Zinga at Splashin Safari are out of the ordinary).
*** This post was edited by eyeamthu1 10/15/2003 4:49:35 PM ***

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003 12:42 PM
Balboa Park is a really nice park. If you are into museums, there are plenty. The historic buildings from the Columbian Exposition line the Prado. Very scenic. There's also Old Town, the Gaslamp Quarter (restaurants), and of course the restored classic Belmont Giant Dipper. The coaster looks better than it rides, but the sea air and setting make it a job to experience. You could hit the beach just afterwards too. http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery203.htm?Picture=4

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"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
*** This post was edited by janfrederick 10/15/2003 4:44:07 PM ***

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Wednesday, June 2, 2004 6:09 PM
Sorry to resurface this topic, but I'm wondering about which water park/s to hit...

I think Hurricane Harbor at Magic Mountain is on the cards, seeing as they have a ProSlide Tornado (went on Zinga last year, huge fans!).

The websites for Raging Waters (San Dimas) and Wet'n'Wild (Las Vegas) are ok, but lack info on what the slides there are actually like (e.g. no decent pics)... so some help would be greatly appreciated :) :

The rides I'm most interested in are the 'non-standard' slides... not the same ol' giant speed slides and body flumes; something special like a Zinga or Zoombabwe...

So, Raging Waters; what's there besides the 'standard'? What exactly are 'Neptune's Fury' and 'Raging Rivers'? What are the standard slides like? On the TravelChannel site, it mentions 'the Wedge' but this doesn't seem to be included on the official website? Any ideas what this is/was and if it's still there?

Wet'n'Wild; similar questions really... Is there anything special there, and is it worth a visit?

Also, considering that I will definitely be hitting Hurricane Harbor, do you think that all the water parks will become kind of 'same-y'? As I say, I only really want to visit them if there's something extra special there.

Do any of these water parks offer 'late entry'- a cheaper entry fee after 4pm or whatever the time maybe? Thanks to anyone who replies to any of my queries; it's greatly appreciated! :)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2004 6:47 PM
Wet-N-Wild has "Royal Flush" a Toilet Bowl slide.

A new slide at Raging Waters this year is "Dragon's Lair" wich is a combo dark ride/ water slide. *** Edited 6/2/2004 10:47:56 PM UTC by Coaster File***

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 3:17 PM
Torrey Pines State Beach! Seriously! Did I mention that it's free? ;)
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Saturday, June 5, 2004 2:03 AM
Definately hit Scandia for the wonderful Screamer. You only need an hour tops, if that. The only thing worth riding is the Screamer, but it's worth the stop. Besides it's on the way from Orange County to Vegas. Just remeber to keep you hands in the car at all times. ;)
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Sunday, June 6, 2004 12:33 PM
Any help on the water parks?
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