Giant Dipper - Belmont Park, Worth the drive?

Monday, August 4, 2003 12:36 PM
I am heading out to California next week, LA specifically and I will probably be hitting a few parks while I am out there (I am mostly going on business). I am intrigued by coasters with a historical attachment to them and am curious if it is worth the drive to San Diego to go ride this coaster. Also, how does it compare to it's namesake up in Santa Cruz. Is the longer drive to that park more worth my time?

Thanks.

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Monday, August 4, 2003 12:42 PM
It's a fun, classic ride. I personally wouldn't make the drive if it were the only reason I wanted to go to San Diego, though. If you're going to go to Legoland or the Zoo, however...


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Touchè, teacher, touchè.

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Monday, August 4, 2003 12:50 PM
Oooh, never thought of Legoland...

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Monday, August 4, 2003 12:57 PM
Bob - while I feel it's worth the drive it really depends on what you're looking for. Since Dipper began running Morgan trains the thrill has been sucked out of it. It's still a very, very fun coaster with a great layout and awesome first drop, but don't expect major airtime, just hints here and there.

Legoland is a fun park, too. Expensive, but fun. I expected to be done with it in a few hours and ended up spending a whole day there. Again, no major thrills but all the rides an adult can ride are enjoyable.

You can easily do both in a single day. Also don't forget the other small parks in So Cal: Castle Park, Scandia Fun Center, Pharoah's Kingdom, Santa Monica Pier, and Adventure City.

mOOSH

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary entry: Hipititis [n.] terminal coolness.

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Monday, August 4, 2003 1:13 PM
Can anyone tell me if the park is open year round or just during the summer? I noticed on their website that they only had a schedule through September. I'm going to be doing my first So Cal trip this winter and was wondering if it is going to be open.

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G's! They're what's for dinner!

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Monday, August 4, 2003 2:44 PM
I think the Belmont Giant Dipper is a great coaster. Maybe not as much punch or air as an equally sized CCI, but still well worth it. I never rode it before the Morgan trains, so that is the only way I know it, and it's good. I think the Santa Cruz GD is a tad better overall, but the first drop of Belmont's is the best drop. Also, the gift shop has a very cool model of the coaster and the lead car from the old Prior and Church train, worth seeing for the historical value.

I wouldn't recomend Legoland to someone not going with kids, unless you are a Lego enthusiast. Otherwise I think it's just 2 kiddie coasters and a mouse for your track record. I've taken my niece and nephew there twice, but I would not have felt comfortable wandering around there alone.

Pale Rider: Belmont is open year round, but rides will be DDM periodically due to the nature of a year round operation. Best idea is to keep an eye on their website or call them up for operational status for the winter.

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SCREAM with me... in 2003!

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Monday, August 4, 2003 4:07 PM
The view from the top of the lift hill is spectacular! But after that, I really didn't enjoy my ride too much. The ride was rough, slow, and kind of uneventful. I'd still check it out, seeing how many other opinions vary from mine.

If you're going to ride one Giant Dipper in California, make it the one at Santa Cruz. :)

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Monday, August 4, 2003 4:20 PM
Belmont's Giant Dipper is an old school coaster. It has a very unique design and is not to be missed especially if you're debating whether to go or not. We almost lost that one, I'd go.

But yeah, Santa Cruz is awesome too but a lot longer drive. You'll want to spend more time there than at Belmont I would guess. The amount of time/money you have available to you will be the key.

Wood - anything else is an imitation

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Monday, August 4, 2003 4:37 PM
I don't believe I'd drive down for just Giant Dipper. However, San Diego is a nice city and there are a quite a few things to do there. A great zoo and Sea World come to mind. It's always worth a drive down to Point Loma - the view at the Cabrillo Monument is breathtaking.

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 6:29 AM
And, for those of us who are coastally-deprived, the giant dipper is right nearby a pretty pleasant stretch of beach. Plan the drive carefully; depending on where you are in LA and when you go, you can easily double the congestion-free drive time.

As for the Zoo: I've got little kids. I go to a lot of zoos. San Diego's is the best I've seen, hands down.

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http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~bnoble/

*** This post was edited by Brian Noble 8/5/2003 10:30:12 AM ***

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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 10:57 AM
Come on down and hang out at the beach for the day. The coaster doesn't compare with the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper, and is a bit on the rough side, but it is a nice looking ride and the beach is nice.

Just be sure to hit Knott's and plan to stay through the evening so that you can hit the Ghostrider at night. I introduced my little sister to it last night. What an outstanding ride!!

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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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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 11:27 AM
I really enjoyed the side-trip Moosh and I made to Legoland and Belmont after Solace, and would suggest that you do both if you have the time. I'm not sure that I would drive all the way down there *just* for the Giant Dipper. It's a fun ride, and of some historic interest, but it's not *all that.*
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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 11:37 AM
But it is better with Moosh.

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary entry: Karmageddon [n.] it's, like, when everyone is sending really bad vibes and then, like, the earth explodes...a serious bummer.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 2:09 PM
Dang Moosh, you should be in Marketing or something! ;)

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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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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 5:12 PM
GD is a nice little coaster, but I don't know if it's worth driving all the way down from LA. If Mission Beach is anything like it was last weekend, then it's worth driving down just to see all the hot chicks! A lot of work was done on GD over the winter and its running really smooth and suprisingly fast with a full train.

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