So the wife and I have some American Airline vouchers we need to use before the end of the year and we have talked about a couple different destinations so I wanted to see views on both trips to help us decide where to go.
We are mainly going for coasters (not much into flat rides anymore)
Trip 1 - Texas, which will consist of us going to SFOT and SFFT as well as Sea World
Trip 2 - Baltimore/Virginia, which will consist of us going to SFA, Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Europe
Trip 3 (outside shot) - California which will consist of us going back to Knott's and SFMM (been to both), Disney (haven't been) and maybe Sea World San Diego
We were leaning towards Texas until we saw on the Food Network last night the best amusement park foods and my wife saw BGE was on there and the food looked awesome.
So help Crazy and his wife decide where to go as we can't decide.
I don't think you can go wrong with either of the first two trips. If it were me, I'd do Texas...might not have made "Amusement Park Food" (because it's not so much IN the parks, LOL), but trust me, there is GOOD food in Texas. Did I mention I'm a BBQ junkie? ;)
The Texas trip would involve more driving.
The MD/VA trip is obviously a big hit as well. SFA might not be the greatest SF park, but the rides ARE there. BGE/W is just a wonderful beautiful park with a solid steel line-up, start to finish....and there IS the excellent *in-park* food.
For non-coaster stuff, both have their draws there too. San Antonio has Riverwalk, Alamo, and the original Schlitterbahn less than an hour away. Williamsburg has, well, historical stuff, and by all accounts a VERY good waterpark as well.
Did I fail to mention that DL is one of my favoritest parks anywhere? Oh, wait, that was another thread... ;)
TX or CA give you the most flexability, both of those states' parks stay open MUCH later in the year... if you were going to do MD/VA, you'd really need to start thinking about planning soon.
Personally, I'd choose TX, only because of the choices given, those are the only parks I haven't been to.
If you're looking for a good coaster collection, MD/VA is probably your best bet. Between those three parks, you have some VERY good steel coasters (Volcano, Superman, Apollo's Chariot, Griffon...). BGE is easily one of the (if not THE) best non-Disney/Universal park out there, KD has a solid line up of coasters and flats, and SFA has a handful of great coasters (and some good shows as well, surprisingly). Not to mention, there's a TON of other things do do/see in and around Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, and Williamsburg.
You can't go wrong with Disney or BGE. Texas was cool for me cause its so much different than the north east, but SFOT was just a good park for me. I have no interest to travel there for the park again. If I were in the area for other reason I would consider it. It is no where the same league as BGE or Disneyland. IMO...
My girlfriend and I travel from Pittsburgh to BGE for a weekend once a year. Its a 6-7 hour drive and well worth it. Its just so different than anywhere else. It has the great theming, great shows, animal exhibits, beer, awesome rides, awesome food and has the nice "feeling" of a park that has been there for years, like a Kennywood or Knoebels. I honestly don't think any of the big parks offer as much as BGE does.
Plus, the area BGE is in is pretty neat to visit if you have never been there before.
Well the dates are in October so parks are only open on the weekends which is fine because both flights get in early enough that we could get to the park before they open.
Halltd, we just did that trip in June actually so that is out.
Unfortunately Schlitterbahn is closed after September so I won't make it there this year so maybe that sways the vote to Maryland. Also, we have checked on car rentals and they are about the same as well.
If you love wood coasters, go to Texas. If you prefer steel, go to MD/VA, although there are some killer steel coasters in Texas like the fabulous Shock Wave. However, there's pretty much (at least) one of every kind of steel avaiable in the MD/VA area.
If you're going for quality and quantity of coasters, I wouldn't even give Texas a second thought. The quality of rides you'll find in your MD/VA trip in my opinion leaves anything in TX completely in the dust.
--Brett, who will soon be moving to the Dallas area and doesn't think Kennywood, CP, GL and HP for SFoT, SFFT and SWSA is a good trade in the least ...
Let me clarify by "if you love wood coasters", I meant if you like to have your ass handed to you, then you should enjoy Texas Giant. If roughness bothers you, you probably won't like it. However, Boardwalk Bullet looks to be better than anything outside of Santa Claus, IN (IMO), so if good wood and some good steel trumps lots more good steel, I would pick Texas.
I like wooden coasters that kick my ass. Voyage, Avalanche, Hades, and the Raven are some of my favorite rides in the world. Texas Giant rides like Mean Streak - oversided, rough, and boring. That's not good wood, that's poor maintenance. :)
Ah but great woodies like Gwazi, Texas Giant, Hershey Wildcat, The Boss, and J2 kick your ass in a different way. :) Nate, I really hope you caught Texas Giant on a totally "off" day, becaue caomparing it to Mean Streak is like saying SROS (SFNE) is like Wild Thing. ;) If I find it to be otherwise this weekend, I will be very disappointed.
Anyhow, Crazy fellow Iowan, look at the coasters available and decide what you want to ride more.
I loved Gwazi and Boss, and found Hershey's Wildcat to be a pretty decent (if underperforming) ride. I imagine J2 rides similar to Avalanche. That's nothing like what the Texas Giant did. I'm very interested to hear what you think of it after this weekend though!
Oh I'll let ya know. :) And for comparison, J2 is like a more aggressive version of Avalanche with violent shaking and bouncing on the track which leads to lots of extra pops of airtime that probably shouldn't be there, but I absolutely love it! :D