Early Bird Or Night Owl?

Friday, July 21, 2006 10:47 PM
A day at any amusement park is a marathon. I'm there for the rides and coasters. I get there at opening and stay late. The morning hours rarely have lines, and at night the lines shorten and rides are totally different. I ride the less popular rides during the afternoon. I eat and rest in lines. I never get tired until the moment I crash in bed. Waking up the next day is difficult unless it's a multiple day trip.

My favorite time will always be at night. I love the atomosphere with all the lights and energy. This is probably because I'm a DJ whose used to working until 3:30 am.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:24 AM
While I'm seeing a lot of people answering both, I'm going to give the totally opposite answer. (go figure, huh? ;) )

Neither. We usually roll in to a park an hour or two after opening and are usually gone before close. There are exceptions, but for the most part we don't open or close the park.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:53 AM
Great answers, everybody.

As one of the world's most impatient people, I usually avoid park openings. I remember one time I drove to Hershey from Maryland in time for opening, only to be stuck in a 2 mile traffic jam waiting to get into the park.

Another time, I met some friends from Hbg. and we were supposed to spend the day at the park then go out to dinner that evening. Well by 2:00, they were ready to leave, and I'm saying no way did I spend 30 dollars to get in here only to leave after 3 1/2 hours- including a lunch break. So they left and I hung out by myself till I met them later.

Personally I prefer to hit the park around mid-afternoon, find a relatively close parking space from an early bird who left already (most later arrivals don't make the effort to cruise the closest rows), then stay until closing. I love a park in the evening and at night anyway. I only need to spring for one meal and some drinks and snacks. Besides, I'm probably past the point of being able to last in a park for 12 hours anymore. :)

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 1:03 AM

Chaindog said:
Start early, open the park and stay 'till the end. If I need a break, it's in the afternoon.

Ditto

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 1:31 AM
With a Qbot or a smaller park, I'm a night guy. Or if there's badass woodies, of course. ;)

If not, I'm there at opening, and gone by 2. :)

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 2:14 AM
A typical arrival time if a park is open until 10pm or later would be around 4pm at the earliest, sometimes even as late as 6pm if I don't plan on riding everything that day. I'll also stay until the park closes, so that puts me in the night owl/last ride category. I'll gladly trade somewhat longer wait times for cooler afternoon temperatures in the summer, and the night rides always seem faster and more intense as well.
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Saturday, July 22, 2006 11:51 AM
I used to be an open to close type, but now that I'm having more trouble staying awake for the drives back from Ohio, I've turned into Gonch ;) I typically leave at a "lazy" time if possible, get to the park mid-afternoon, get on everything, and I'm out of there in enough time to have my ass in bed by midnight! Unless it's a new-to-me park, or I'm staying in a nearby hotel, it's not worth the early rise to get there at open, or the rough late-night drive to stay there until close anymore. Obviously this stategy only works when lines are low to non-existant... which means I'm also a spoiled brat and rarely go to parks during the summer months because there's too many people around ;)

So I guess my preference is mostly dependant on keeping my drive pleasant. Does that make me a sleep enthusiast instead? ;)

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Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:04 PM
Serious nite owl here.
I shun the sun should be my motto.
I think coasters are more fun in the dark.
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Saturday, July 22, 2006 1:48 PM

GregLeg said:
I'm a night owl by nature. Amusement parks are one of the few things that can (sometimes ) get me going early in the morning, though.

Yep, I agree, especially working a modified 2nd shift. I have made several attempts to get to CP or PKI by park opening and have actually made it once for each. I have a 2 hr drive to each, and I went through a period of time where I was getting sick if I got up before 8 AM, Glad Thats OVER! I will still need something to wake me up for the Valleyfair event this comming Friday.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006 10:40 AM
I used to drag people around with me for open-close days. They didn't really appreciate that too much. ;) Maybe I'm getting jaded, but I've gotten to a point where it's not worth getting more than 5 laps on anything to have to get up early.

Nowadays, I'm definitely a night owl overall. Everything rides better at night. That said, you can get more done in the first half hour of park opening (if you "surf the wave" - see my park strategies post in Travel Tips thread) than in 3 or 4 hours at peak time.

If it's new to me, I usually plan on getting there at opening (and usually end up getting there about 30 min. late) and I almost always stay 'til close. If it's a smaller park (DW and AA were my recent examples) I'll get there around midday and just take a lazy afternoon.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006 3:01 PM
Mornings are for sleeping... ;)

Parks, really, I understand some of you get there AT opening for the quick re-rides and such. For me, really, the ATMOSPHERE of parks lit up at night, that's what I live for... :)

Recently I got to take my sister to Magic Kingdom for "Magic After Hours", and I think she was nearly converted...SO nice when the weather's cooler, crowds are thinner, and the LIGHTS are lit up beautifully....that's why I keep trying to get more parks to adopt IB's "ride sessions"...so all the daytimers can be out of there when the night owls are *hunting* the all-important NIGHT rides... :)

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Sunday, July 23, 2006 3:12 PM
Open to close is ideal for me, but if I needed to plan accordingly, I would choose to close a park. Depending on the park, I might get a fireworks (which I completely dig!) or a laser-light show, plus the look of a park at night when all the rides are lit-up, as are some of the guests, LOL.
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Sunday, July 23, 2006 3:30 PM
When am going to a park I have never been to or is a long distance away from South Bend and might not get a chance to come back soon I open and close. But If I had to choose one I would definetly stay till they kick you out.

For Example:

Beast: Wasn't really that fun AT ALL till night. Then it rocks!

Same for Apollo's Chariot, liked it during day alot but at night it jumped to No. 4 on my list.

Others include: Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Phantoms Revenge, Voyage, Legend, Raven, Raging Bull, Incredible Hulk,etc.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006 3:47 PM
definantly all day
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Monday, July 24, 2006 11:22 AM
Well if you want to jump on the rides quickly, I would definantly go in the morning. But for those who love coasters in the dark, then you have no option but to go in at night.

For me I would say I am an Early Bird because I hate lines. And the lines in the morning aren't as bad as at night.

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Monday, July 24, 2006 11:58 AM
When I go to KW, my home park, I usually stay from opening until after dark. Getting there early allows me to get on the more popular rides without the long wait. Staying after dark lets me enjoy the beautiful lighting and the thrills of riding the coasters in the dark.

I did a daytime visit to KW this year and left around 6 PM but I plan to return some evening before the season is over.

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