Can you help a newbie plan a coaster extravaganza?

Sunday, February 10, 2002 4:31 PM
Hi!  I'm new here and this is my first post, so I apologize if I ask/say anything silly or inapprorpriate. 

Anyway, my husband and I are planning a "Roller Coaster Extravaganza" trip for May.  We are going to be gone about two weeks.  We are planning to visit some great parks that we have never been to.  I know there are lots of other great parks in the areas we are traveling through (Hershey Park, Dorney Park, Worlds of Fun, Six Flags parks, etc) but we have been to most of those before.  On this trip, we are strictly going where we haven't been before - with the exception of Liberty Land in Memphis.

Here is our line-up: Silver Dollar City, two days visiting my brother in St. Louis, Holiday World, Kings Island, Cedar Point (for two full days), Kennywood, Lakemont, Knoebels, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Liberty Land. 

I know that Liberty Land isn't much of a park, but is was the very first amusement park I ever went to, so it is kind of a sentimental thing.  I haven't been back since I was 5 years old!  And besides, we have to ride Elvis' favorite roller coaster!

I was wondering if anybody could give me any insider advice or tips regarding these parks.  I am particularly interested in cheap places to stay and eat nearby.  I am also hoping the lines in May won't be so bad.  What do you think we should expect?  We plan to leave on the 7th and be back around the 21st.  We wanted to be done before Memorial Day weekend.  We live in central Arkansas, so the order I listed above looked like the best path to take.  Please let me know if you think the park orders need switching around.  I would appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone might have.  Thanks!

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 4:41 PM
I think the biggest thing you should look into are which, if any of those park are open during the week (Mon-Fri). Several parks dont start their 'everyday' schedules until after Memorial Day.
jeremy
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"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01
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Sunday, February 10, 2002 4:49 PM
Jeremy has a good point. Check the operating schedules for those parks to make sure that you can go. May is still early enough that a lot of parks don't have weekday schedules.

May is a good time to go because most schools are still in session while the college crowds are often still in Finals. The flip side, of course, is that parks tend to run fewer trains, so lines may be short but waits could still be long.

Check out some of the links on the site here for some help too, and enjoy yourselves!

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 4:55 PM
Thanks for the advice.  We did carefully check the schedules.  That is what we planned our trip around.  We are going to have to hit Kings Island on a Sunday, Lakemont on a Saturday, and Knoebels on  Sunday, but everything else we will be able to hit on a weekday. 

One other question.  Has anybody had any luck with Priceline hotels in any of those areas?  We have had great success with Priceline for getting cheap rates in Orlando and Tampa, and we would like to try to use it for some of our rooms on this trip.

Thanks!

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 5:09 PM
I found that staying at hotels 10 or more miles away from the point gives you a little bit better rates, and the drive isn't that bad.

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Just wait till next year!

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 7:07 PM

GEM said:

Here is our line-up: Silver Dollar City, two days visiting my brother in St. Louis, Holiday World, Kings Island, Cedar Point (for two full days), Kennywood, Lakemont, Knoebels, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Liberty Land. 

If you're visiting Cedar Point and PKI (Paramount's Kings Island), don't forget the Six Flags park that is about 2 hours from Cedar Point.  It's called Six Flags Worlds of Adventure.

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Bill Yost of Cincinnati, Ohio: Where we KNOW the Bengals suck!
http://www.small-business-webs.com/pkizone

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 8:26 PM
Sounds like quite the trip (similar to all the parks I am hopefully going to this summer). Don't forget Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, it is right there by Cinny. I have never been to the park but it looks promising. Plus you might be interested in knowing that Arkansas (my home state) is getting a new coaster. While it isn't WT, it is an Arrow Mine Train.
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Of course that's just my opinion I could be wrong~Dennis Miller
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Sunday, February 10, 2002 9:16 PM
Gem, what a cooindcidence!

My party is planning a trip of the very same area for may 9-20. I've got all kinds of info for you. First of all, operating days. Holiday world will be open Fri,sat,sun. PKI is ONLY open on Sat & Sun. Cedar Point,Kenntwood,and BGW have daily operations. I was at Cedar Point last May during the week and the ONLY line was 10min for Millenium Force. If you want to hit the six flags parks, SFKK is open 4-9 fri and sat&sun.SFWoA is only open Sat&sun. Our plan is to hit HW in the A.M.(10-6) and hit SFKK the same night (4-9). Its about an hour and a half drive, but the time zone shifts it to 2 1/2. Still, on an off-season Friday, this should be do-able.

Admission to HW is $28each, but spend $25 for a family CoasterbuzzClub membership and get in for $14.95ea. You'll save a dollar,be a member of a recognized club, and help support this site. Just click on the CoasterBuzzClub link. :)

Cedar point is open 10-8 daily, please dont go on the weekend. Kennywood opens at 10:30 and opens rides at 11:00. They do not have a "set" closing time. Kings Island and SFWoA open at 10 on the weekends for full (crowded) days. However, Sunday May 12 is Mother's Day and crowds should only be moderate wherever you are.

Driving distances:

HW to SFKK is about 90miles ; SFKK to PKI is about 125miles ; PKI to Cedar Point is about 240miles ; Cedar Point to SFWoA is about 70 miles ; SFWoA to Kennywood is about 115miles. From Knoebels to BGW is quite far (roughly 300 miles) and you'll be passing right by Hershey, Dorney, SFA, and PKD along the way.

Lakemont and Knoebels werent part of our tour, so i cant give you any accurate info on those. Hershey, Dorney, SFA, PKD and BGW were early ideas, but scratched from our itinerary.

Check the parks official web sites or places like Expedia for hotels. There are many Motel6 or Sleep8 hotels around $40-$50per night.

Have a blast, maybe we'll bump into eachother! :)

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My other car is a Giovanola!

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 9:21 PM
I think you'll be in really good shape for most of your trip as far as crowds go. I know I make it a point personally to hit Cedar Point opening week every year, because you can more or less own the park and marathon, if that's your thing.

Can I come along? :)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Sunday, February 10, 2002 9:35 PM
Jeff, I'd love to hook up with you when we are there. It will most likely be during the week of the 13th-17th. I'll let you know when our plans are concrete.
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My other car is a Giovanola!
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Monday, February 11, 2002 5:42 AM
Ha! I'm unemployed. I have no concrete plans! :)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Monday, February 11, 2002 6:19 AM
GEM - while I don't have any specific ideas on your itinerary I will say this:  having gone on many trips that were 7+ days I find its always best to try to schedule at least one day to rest or relax.  I used to try to squeeze in as much as possible and I began to find I wasn't enjoying myself as much as I could because I was always rushed and tired. This is your VACATION!  You should be having fun.  You're on the right track with 2 days at CP.  Just because you're on a "coaster extravaganza" doesn't mean you can't take a day off in the middle to veg!

Have fun ;-)

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Monday, February 11, 2002 6:19 AM
I would say at PKI at least hit the Invertigo right away. Even in May the line may not look very long, but you'll wait a long time. The first time I went on it none of the queues were open and we waited about 45 min. So soon as the park opens head over to Action Zone! Also while you're there go on the gyro drop (if it's open right away) cus once the line gets long you'll wait awhile. Usually after that I head to the back of the park and do a few laps on Beast because the crowd usually hasn't made its way over there yet, but I'd wager that would be quite different with tomb raider in the back of the park this year. Oh and don't forget about Reptar ;)

EDIT 2: Oh by the way PKI is the BEST PARK EVER!! ...That one was for you Joe ;)
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Is it the roar of Kumba or the kumba of Roar? Discuss!*** This post was edited by Spacecase8310 on 2/11/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Spacecase8310 on 2/11/2002. ***

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Monday, February 11, 2002 6:34 AM
Wow!  Thanks so much for all the great information.  I have checked out all the offfical websites and have used "freetrip.com" to plan all the drives, etc.  I am glad to hear the crowds will be relatively low, especially at Cedar Point!  We will be there on a Tuesday and Wednesday.  The only place I was really worried about was Kings Island on a Sunday, May 12th, but as somebody mentioned, that is Mother's Day - so maybe it won't be too bad.  It probably won't be the top choice for a lot of mom's on their special day!  We are planning to take some time and relax and visit other local attractions between parks, so hopefully we won't come home to exhausted!  We have done most of our coaster riding in Florida.  We usually make it down to Orlando about twice a year. So, this trip will be really different for us.  I can't wait!  Thanks again!

*** This post was edited by GEM on 2/11/2002. ***

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Monday, February 11, 2002 6:51 AM
Early in the season like that PKI isn't usually too bad. My best general advice is to try and drive a good 10 miles or so away from parks before you try and get a hotel or they'll gouge you like crazy. Hotels right around the Cedar Point peninsula are outrageously priced but if you drive a good 10-15 miles back toward the Ohio Turnpike you can find a large number of moderately priced places to stay. Ditto for around Kennywood.

Speaking of Kennywood I'd highly recommend *not* using internet directions to get to the park, I didn't realize the first time I went there that it's actually inside the Pittsburgh metropolitan area which seems to be under constant road construction and got hopelessly lost leaving. Having a good map of the area will help out immensely here.

I'm really glad to see you visiting all 3 of my favourite parks. Holiday World is unbelievable, Knoebel's is the best both in terms of rides as well as food (make sure to eat some cheese on a stick! And perogies! And...!) and Kennywood is a complete classic.

The only minor change I'd consider making is a stop at Americana while you're at PKI if it's open at that point in the year. It's a small inedependent park that's finally going to reopen this year and from all accounts is well worth the stop. It's around 30 mins from PKI and could easily be done in half a day.

Sounds like it'll be fun, make sure and give us a trip report when you get back :-)
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* The Legend @ HW
* Superman: Ride of Steel @ SFNE
* Mondial Top Scan

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Monday, February 11, 2002 8:04 AM
Gem, I agree with Mamoosh about keeping it on the light side. That is why we scraped the far eastern parks from our plans. Just too much in a short time for a VACATION.
Looks like we'll REALLY be there at the SAME time (unless our plans change). Our plans include PKI on Sat-Sun & CP Mon-Fri w/ our trip to Kennywood squeezed in the middle somewhere. We have the luck of a family member who lives in Cinci and owns a condo 10min from CP, so our lodging there is free.
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My other car is a Giovanola!

*** This post was edited by LoadedG on 2/11/2002. ***

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Monday, February 11, 2002 8:47 AM
Mamoosh does bring up something I tend to forget, in that you are taking a vacation. When I blew through SFGAdv, Dorney, BGW, PKD (Hypersonic only) and CP in four days, that was a bit much. We planned to stop at SFA as well, and you can see that didn't happen.

We ended up doing the same thing on our honeymoon. We were on Kauai for eight days, and right in the middle we decided to just do nothing for a day. The most beautiful place on the planet and all we did was sit on our balcony and watch people and the waves, and even get a pay-per-view movie in the room! Still, we had a lot more energy after that and we're glad we did it.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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