Long-time reader, first-time poster here.
My wife and I are planning to put our newly purchased Platinum Passes to good use this summer, so over a 9 day period we'll be going to 6 parks (Michigan's Adventure, Kings Island, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Dorney Park, and Cedar Point). We've been to Cedar Point and Michigan's Adventure what seems like a billion times over and Kings Island holds a special place in our lives, but to the other three we've never been.
The main reason for the trip is amazingly not about the coasters, but because my wife and I will be celebrating 10 years of being together (we just celebrated 3 years of marriage, but we've been together since we were 14). We actually started our relationship by holding hands while in line for The Beast at Kings Island, and that's where we'll be on our anniversary. This was also the day I got her to fall in love with not just me, but roller coasters as well. We even had a Statix version of a Beast train for our wedding cake topper. Not kidding.
I mention this only because I need a little help from the biggest group of coaster junkies I know of. I want it to make it a special trip (and from the outset, it will be). I just don't really want to mess any of it up at any of the parks I haven't been to.
So, I'm just wondering if any of you who have been to Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Dorney Park (and I'm assuming that's most of you) could share any information for making those days better, that would be fantastic. I'm thinking like must-see shows, must-ride rides (not just coasters), must-dine restaurants. Any information would be helpful. Even the best route to and from, as Google Maps can only tell me so much.
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate any feedback you can give!
I spoke to an enthusiast who had actually gotten married at the top of a coaster at Six Flags America. They stopped the train at the top and did the vows and had a catered lunch and everything. If you call ahead, I would bet one of the parks would do something momentous for you in that area.
Have you been to Knoebels? I'd recommend a quick stop there on the way to Dorney. Second seat, first car of Phoenix is the best seat in the house, and you could probably sneak a kiss or two in the tunnel. :)
Around Dorney there are lovely, lovely restaurants. If you're a foodie at all, my favorite restaurant is Edge in Bethlehem. French contemporary food. Pricey as heck, but excellent service and rich, decadent food. I dream about the filet mignon with red wine sauce and au gratin potatoes. If you like microbrews, the BrewWorks in Bethlehem fits the bill nicely. Sugarbabe cupcakes in Bethlehem have weird hours and the cupcakes look plain, but they're the best damn cupcakes ever. EVER. I'd call them ahead of time for hours and to order some cakes to be out aside. She sells out within an hour or two on weekends. There are tours of Yuengling, Crayola, Martin Guitars...there are a TON of things to do around Dorney. PM me if you have specific questions about any of these things. I grew up in the immediate area, so if you have a question, I probably have an answer.
And don't ride Anaconda at Kings Dominion, or wait until your last ride. It is a trip ruiner. Just sayin.Last edited by bunky666, Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:43 PM
^^ Congrats on your annivesary
Thanks, guys. Bunky, I appreciate the response. We more than likely won't have time to stop in those areas, but if we do in the future , I'll keep it in mind.
Really, I'm asking more about the parks themselves. The best rides, restaurants, shows, etc. Thanks!
"Best restaurants" and "Kings Dominion" are mutually exclusive.
Ah, I see. Well, in that case, at Dorney there is the Apollo 2000. I don't think there are many of these rides left (at least in the states), so I'd definitely hit that up. Dorney's Whip is very old and a classic as well. Thunderhawk is a small but fierce wooden coaster that just celebrated its 90th birthday last year and was designed by Schmeck. Don't let its size fool you, it packs a pretty decent wallop. I recommend avoiding wheel seats to soften roughness, and you will then have a blast!
Also, I'm not a huge fan of water rides, but I still adore Thunder Creek Mountain, which is kind of tucked away near the Demon Drop side of the park. It is impossible to predict if you will get a nice pleasant spray of water or a drenching, so be forewarned.
I want to say more about the coasters, but I really can't. Dorney has a small but well-rounded coaster collection. I despise Stinger, but I don't know if it will be fixed by your trip or not (the trains have been put back on the track, so I'm guessing that's a good sign). Actually, from the middle, it's not too bad to ride and is very forceful.
If you enjoy salty food, Chickie and Pete's is a Philadelphia staple that recently came to Dorney. Their cheesesteaks are shockingly decent (again, salty), and their fries with that white cheese sauce are pretty good. I'm honestly not that wowed by Dorney food choices, but it is rare that I'm in the park long enough to eat there anyway.
At Kings Dominion, of course you should check out I-305. If you've been to Cedar Point so many times, you may be quite surprised at how Millie this coaster is NOT. They're such similar designs to the untrained eye, but the ride experience is way different. I personally love it, others hate it. Very polarizing ride.
Dominator is a fantastic floorless coaster and my personal favorite floorless (though I've only ridden four or five). Rebel Yell looks beat up and rickety but is filled with awesome airtime and a very smooth ride (especially for a woodie). I avoid the wheel seats and sit in the back and have a blast every time.
Woodstock Express? Seriously, don't discount it because it is a junior coaster. Sit in the back (maybe back two seats because the seats ARE small), and you will be entertained by this short but sweet little coaster.
And I haven't ridden Kings Island's Flight of Fear, but I really like Kings Dominion's.
Again, I don't eat much when I'm coastering, but there is an Auntie Anne's there that actually TASTES like Auntie Anne's and not a suspicious imitator. I can't recall getting any real food there, so other than that, I'm no help food or show wise.
Happy anniversary and have SO much fun.
Also at Dorney is the guaranteed wettest white-water raft ride there is....Thunder Canyon. The signs that say "You WILL Get Wet?" They speak the truth, and it's actually an understatement. And Bunky's right about the flume..it's a good one. Aside from Talon, my favorite ride there is actually Meteor, an inverting flat ride.
Oh, I forgot: for a tiny upcharge, you can ride the screaming swing at DP. That's always...petrifying.Last edited by bunky666, Thursday, May 29, 2014 4:52 PM
Oh, I forgot: for a tiny upcharge, you can ride the screaming swing at DP. That's always...petrifying.
What... she just said.
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback.
It's about a month until we leave and I really can't wait for our first trips to KD, Carowinds, and Dorney. Should be a good time!
One piece of advice: Grizzly, at night. That is all.
Grizzly, at night. That is all.
Um...that's what she said?
Why can't a guy talk about riding some good wood in the dark without all the innuendo?
;)Last edited by sirloindude, Sunday, June 1, 2014 9:20 PM
Is the experience on Grizzly at night similar to the experience on a night ride on Beast, where the train just seems to run faster and wilder? Or is it the atmosphere as well?
It's a similar concept, but obviously the Grizzly doesn't possess the magnitude of the Beast. In addition, nearby development has opened up some of the area near Grizzly, making it a much less secluded ride than it once was.
With that said, the Grizzly is one of the most amazing wooden coasters you never hear about, day or night. At night, it's just very dark back there. I should clarify that even with the nearby development, it's still a little off the beaten path, and you won't be disappointed.
Good to know, good to know. Grizzly sounds like an experience that's for sure. I'm definitely more excited about that ride now than I was before.
So, we officially have an itinerary and it's pretty much going to be a whirlwind adventure through these places.
So far, this is what it looks like:
This is where I'm deferring to others' expertise. To be honest, for me this is more of a credit trip than anything, although I am excited for the individual atmosphere at each park (if there is one, that is).
The question is: are we not spending enough time at Carowinds or Dorney Park and too much time at Kings Dominion or does that look right to those that have been to those parks? I definitely value all of your opinions on this, because I honestly have no clue.
You're probably about right on time estimates. KD on a Saturday can get pretty crowded, though IMO, there just aren't that many rides at the park that I want to re-ride over and over so you may be ready to leave mid day Sat. and start the drive up to Allentown. Dorney in the summer usually isn't too bad because it shares a gate with the water park and if it gets pretty hot, everyone flocks over to the water side. Just plan on taking a break after the water park closes as the ride side will be mobbed for an hour or two.
Since bunky mentioned stealing a kiss in the tunnel on Phoenix, I do NOT recommend trying to sneak a kiss in the one on Grizzly. ;~)
Haha, sounds good... Although I will say, that first day we started dating 10 years ago, I may have elbowed her right in the head on The Beast. It's a good thing she got over that. lol
Andy: Unfortunately we're locked in to KD for that Saturday because we're staying at the campground that night, but we have some wiggle room for Carowinds on Friday and Dorney on Monday. Do you think either of those parks are worth extending the hours for?
One and a half non-Saturday days is plenty for Carowinds, IMO.
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