Eastbound Trip Help - HW, SFKK, Heshey, Dorney, SFA

I am heading to HW Saturday, SFKK Sunday, then making base in Hershey for Hersheypark on Tuesday, Dorney Thursday, and SFA on Friday.

I read the most recent trip reports on these parks, but I am looking for some good tips from the locals, and experienced enthusiasts of this board. Thanks to Shaggy for his info on I-64 and SFKK.

I will do my best to hit all running coasters of course, but what rides other than coasters should not be missed?

My daughter is right at 48". How tough are these different parks when it comes to measuring height limits?

Any rough coasters I should avoid letting her on? Boss @ SFSTL banged her up a little earlier this season. Her favorites are Demon @ SFGAM and Screaming Eagle @ SFSTL.

Is Knoebel's worth an evening visit during the week?

Any other tricks, traffic updates, discounts that might be helpful?

Thank you in advance. I will keep looking in over the course of the trip, and post TR's as soon as possible. *** Edited 6/8/2007 4:54:22 AM UTC by ihauntu2***

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Knoebels is worth all the time you can spare! It's one of few parks I could spend a whole week at--just so many different things to do on top of some exceptional coasters. You can definitely have a great time spending just an evening there though!

Sounds like you've got plenty of space between your planned visits for traveling, adjustments to the itinerary and just taking it easy. The best tip I can give about Hershey is to take advantage of their Preview Option--you get into the park for the last 2 or 3 hours of the night if you buy a ticket for the next day! That way you can grab some night rides right away and then take your time enjoying the park the next day.

Considering your daughter's height, I don't think you need to worry about any of the rides she "qualifies for" being too much for her. Twisted Twins, Roar, and Wildcat are probably the only ones that might be a little rough for some.

Other than perhaps Knoebels, you should have plenty of time to ride whatever interests you. At Knoebels, don't miss the up-charge haunted mansion. And don't miss the Looper! It's such a unique ride. It's like a time machine back to when amusement rides were simple by today's standards. You won't believe the restraint system! And of course, don't miss the woodies the flying scooters, or the bumper cars. If you have time, check out the Fascination parlor.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

SFA will check height limits and if she doesn't meet the height requirement for that ride, she will not be permitted to ride. Remember it's for your daughters safety. The height requirements for all of Six Flags America's rides are on the parks website.


Wild One is a good coaster, not rough at all. Roar can be rough at times.

Nice selection of parks, you will have a good time.

Not sure how your coming, if you will post the route your traveling, people might be able to give you some specific places to stop and if construction will be a problem. I know a few years ago, construction slowed me down from getting to Dorney between Harrisburg and Allentown. *** Edited 6/8/2007 7:35:22 AM UTC by coasterguts***

A day at the park is what you make it!

SFKK also checks heights. She will be able to ride all coasters there except for Chang and T2. Chang's height requirement is 54" while T2 has a 52" height requirement (but you'd want to avoid that ride like it was someone with a very rare and drug resistant strain of TB). Thunder Run used to be one of the smoothest wooden coaster's you could find but over the last couple of years, it has gone downhill. It's definately a must ride though and I suggest you ride in the first car. Greezed Lightnin' typically has the shortest line in the park (maybe 1 or 2 train wait) on the busiest of days, which I don't get because it is such an awesome ride, so you'd probably be able to get a bunch of rides in on it. Most children can't get enough of that ride. Hope that helps with SFKK.

Ride count on the Voyage: 40 Most consecutive rides on the Voyage: 36 Day after thigh bruises from airtime: Priceless
Knoebels has something else special, a beautiful Carousel with a ring machine. Also this park has good food that is reasonably priced.

If you can only spend an evening at Knoebels they have pricing options that work out well. One is to just buy tickets for the rides you want to ride. Also, this park, unlike most of its size, has free admission and parking.

One other park worth considering if you have the time is Kennywood. The only problem there is that Thunderbolt has a 52" minimum height but all of the other coasters will be OK. Perhaps you intend to make another trip sometime and you could then do this park along with Geauga Lake, Waldameer, Idlewild, Lakemont, and DelGrossos. Maybe the thing to do here is to wait until your child can ride Thunderbolt. As an additional bonus, Waldameer should have a new wooden coaster running next year.

Arthur Bahl

For thew distance you are driving, don't miss Knobels! It's about 2 hours from Hershey and well worth the visit, even if you can only spare a few hours.

For your daughter's height, I wouldn't be too worried about these parks being too rough. The only one I would be a bit careful of (just because of its intensity) is Voyage, but it certainly is ridable. I would not recommend the back of the train until you have ridden it at least once!

For Hershey, last year you could purchase tickets at Giant food stores (grocery chain) that were discounted quite a bit off of the regular price plus had a coupon for a free souvenir cup. I'm assuming there is something similar going on now, but I don;'t know for certain.

Wendsday you could head to Knoebels. Your looking at about an hour and a half drive from Hershey. Just be sure you DON'T take rt. 125 off I-81 to get there or it will be a longer windy drive. Go up to Exit 116 the Minersville exit. Next week Knoebels is open 11:00 till 8:30 until Friday 10-10 so be sure you don't get there too late in the day. If it's your first time there I'd consider at very minimum 4 hours and that really rushing it.

I'd consider going to Dorney for opening at 10 and get in your credits and rerides then head to Knoebels. Dorney has a pretty good coaster lineup but lacks in flat rides. Be sure to ride their log flume Thunder Creek Mountain it's one of the better ones out there. If it's hot the crowds should be minimal since everyone will be at Wildwater Kingdom. From Dorney your looking at a good 2-2 1/2 hour drive considering there is construction on I-78 near Cabela's. I know alot of people look at Knoebels seeing they only have 3 coasters and think they can be out of there in a hour but there are alot of cool rides people miss like the Haunted Mansion, Flyers, Bumper Cars, Log Flume, Looper, two trains, and as mentioned before the Grand Carousel.

DantheCoasterman's avatar
I'm just about to post a SFKK trip report from tomorrow so look for it. :)

If you think she can take a drop ride, Superman Tower of Power is really fun with a usually quick line and it is well worth the wait.

DO NOT ride Thunder Run in the back seat, made that mistake yesterday ;) but yes, the front is ALOT better.

And are you going to hit Splashwater Kingdom? If so take her on Deluge, the new water coaster. She will LOVE it!

If skull mountain is open at SFA be sure not to miss it....I'm going tomorrow myself & hope it'll be up by then.
Parks like Knoebels, Kennywood, Canobie Lake and Rye Playland don't have the coaster numbers of the megaparks and big chain parks but make up for this with their other rides including their great variety of flat rides. These parks are worth more time than the hour or two it takes to get your coaster credits.

Arthur Bahl

Dorney's Thunderhawk can be pretty rough in the back seat, and the brakes are extremely rough.

Yeah that final brake can be brutal in the back of the train. If they keep running the ride the way it's been on my last 3 trips it won't be an issue though. They have had the back half of the train chained off and only loaded the front half (sometimes they leave the back seat open other times they don't). Maybe when crowds pick up that will change.
Great advice so far, keep em coming.

Sounds like I should try to squeeze in Knoebel's. I've got an Uncle who loves the old Amusement Parks, and I've always wanted a chance to grab for a brass ring. Sounds strange I know.

Thanks for the warning on Thunderhawk, and Thunder Run. As for Voyage, I showed my daughter the on-ride video from the HW site. She hasn't stopped smiling for two days now. I hope she measures up at the height station.

Route - I am leaving Springfield, IL 5am tomorrow. Heading down 55 to RT 4, then on to 64 E to HW. Staying in Tell City for the evening. It seems almost all of the hotels near HW are booked solid, anyone know why?

Taking 64E to SFKK Sunday via the 264 bypass. Monday, I am taking 265 to 71 North to Cincy, then 270 to 70 East till I-83 then a series of US routes to Hershey (US 322, US 422, PA 743)

SFA and SFKK - Where can I get my Daughter Height Banded? It seems to vary from SF park to park. Usually either Guest relations or Lost Parents.

Coasterpunk - I can't leave Dorney early. I have an Aunt who wants to enjoy their Waterpark. Any advice on route from Hershey? I might try to sneak it in after Gettysburg on Wednesday.

Thanks all, I'll check in tomorrow night. Hopefully with TR from HW in hand.

coasterpunk said:
I'd consider going to Dorney for opening at 10 and get in your credits and rerides then head to Knoebels. Dorney has a pretty good coaster lineup but lacks in flat rides.

Say what? Dorney has a lot of flats: Meteror (Hawk 48), Revolution, Apollo 2000 (Huss Swingout), Hang Time (Top Spin), Wave Swinger, Enterprise, Sea Dragon (pirate ship), Whip, Ferris Wheel, Musik Express, Scrambler, Dominator (S&S towers), Carosuel, and the pay-per-ride S&S Swing, not to mention all the stuff in Camp Snoopy.

This is something I'm really starting to get sick of is people who are so blind to other options besides their own park.

ihauntu2 said:

SFA and SFKK - Where can I get my Daughter Height Banded? It seems to vary from SF park to park. Usually either Guest relations or Lost Parents.

The last time I checked, SFA doesn't do height banding. They use measure sticks at the entrance to a ride.

Be prepared to pay $2 for a locker to store any loose articles before you enter the queue for Wild One and Superman at SFA.

Coasterpunk - I can't leave Dorney early. I have an Aunt who wants to enjoy their Waterpark. Any advice on route from Hershey? I might try to sneak it in after Gettysburg on Wednesday.

If you get the opportunity and have an hour or two to spare, you may want to consider driving out to Adventure Park USA in Frederick, MD while your in Gettysburg. The park purchased William Grove's old Wildcat coaster and moved it there. In its new life, they did a good job of fixing it up and painting the cars to the theme of muscle cars. I believe 48" is the height limit. You may want to check the park or the parks website first.

Adventure Park USA is located off I-70 in New Market, MD. You may even pass it on your way back home. They also have Go-Kart Tracks, Bumper Boats, Mini-Golf, Paintball, indoor laser tag, arcade and a "big" kids play area. *** Edited 6/9/2007 10:02:56 AM UTC by coasterguts***

A day at the park is what you make it!

Mamoosh's avatar
Doesn't Holiday World offer to measure children near the entrance and give them a wristband [or some sort of identification] that will indicate their height so that ride ops do not have to remeasure in the station?

I checked the park's website but could not find any mention of it [although admittedly I didn't dig too deeply]. Hopefully Paula or someone else who knows for sure can shed some light. I know other parks do offer such a service.

HW does offer height banding next to the Alamo. It was completely worthless, but I'll cover that in my TR.

Its halfway done, and I have some downtime tonight and tomorrow night.

Even with the height check issues, HW was a complete surprise. I know others have told me how good it is, but man even their descriptions didn't do it justice. The Koch family should be proud, and the big boys **cough** Shapiro **cough** would do well to visit and take notice of how this park is run.

Thanks for the help, I'll check in again tonight.

Thanks for traffic tips, I too will be doing the Hershey to Knoebels via I81 trip come the last week of June :)

I am planning to leave Pittsburgh Monday morning 6/25, and do some non-park related things on Monday... the antique car/bus museum, the Strasburg RR outside of Lancaster, and the like. Is Dutch Wonderland worth a stop? (my son is 9 but rides all the big stuff).... if its a free gate (or real cheap) maybe a stop just to say we'd been there..

Tuesday is Hersheypark day and Knoebels on Wednesday... if I have enough jing left over and my son and I have enough stamina left over (no doubt) maybe we will hang out overnight in the area and do a 2nd day at Knoebels. I scheduled this trip to Knoebels during this time frame for several reasons.. to take advantage of the one price ride all day during the weekdays, and also for NIGHT time at the park, my favorite, of course :) ... they are open till 10 PM during that period! *** Edited 6/10/2007 10:08:43 PM UTC by Chooch249***

Chooch, Dutch Wonderland offers both a greatly reduced twilight package,and a combination ticket for both DW and HP. Check out the Hershey PA website to see if either works for you.

Ihauntu, the directions cpunk gave from Hershey to Knoebels are pretty good. In a bit more detail--- From Hershey take either Route 39 or 743 to I-81 North.
Follow that to exit 116 (Minersville), then take Route 901 west to Route 54 West. The two run together for awhile, but stay on 54 when they split.
Take 54 to the town of Elysburg, then turn onto 487. The park is about 3 miles on the right (next traffic light you'll come to).
While it's great to spend a whole day at Knoebels, it's also possible to get a lot of riding done and do other things in only 2-3 hours.

As far as height goes, kids love to measure their height at Hershey. For months, you'll probably hear what "brand" they are. Plus the rides are well marked as to what groups may ride them.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
As far as height goes, kids love to measure their height at Hershey. For months, you'll probably hear what "brand" they are.

That's the kind of corporate product intergration that makes Mark Shapiro weep at night.

Home Depot, Nintendo, Cold Stone? Pfft. We built an entire park based on the product we sell! ;)

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