Ideas for a PA Coaster Swing

Well, I actualy have some paid vacation time comming up this summer cand I want to do a week-long coaster trek through PA.

i'm driving from NH (about 8 hours to Philly.)

I want to hit KW, Hershey, and Kenobles. Any ideas on where to stay and or eat? What's a NOT MISS and what should i avoid?

Also, are threre some hidden gems in the Keyston state (besides the Yeungling brewery)?


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

eightdotthree's avatar
The Troegs brewery is in Harrisburg not far from Hershey outside of that, there are lots of hidden gems in PA, check out for some additional ideas outside of coasters.

When you are at Kennywood "The Waterfront" is right down the road. There is a Rock Bottom brewery and a brand new hotel. If your a beer fan I can give you some more Pittsburgh advice on where to eat and drink.

When in Pittsburgh, you can make a two hour trip north on 79 to Waldameer to ride the brand new Ravine Flyer. I wouldn't pass that up if I were you.

You might want to hit Dorney as well as they have some good Coasters. For thrills of a different kind go to Ohiopyle State Park southeast of Pittsburgh. There, you can go White-water Rafting on the Youghiogheny River. There are three sections you can go on. The Lower (Most Popular) is Class IV. The Middle is Class II (Easy) and if you have some "Serious Thrill Issues" the Upper (In Maryland) is :) CLASS VI :)!!! Well worth the $plurge IMO.

Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!

Don't forget Lakemont Park in Altoona PA!!!

And nearby DelGrossos!

Keep the small parks alive!
beast7369's avatar
IF it opens...and this is a long shot at best...Conneaut Lake Park. It is only about an hour from Kennywood. Either that or Waldameer up in Erie is definite not miss park. It really depends on what kinds of stuff you like and what you might enjoy. You could call to PTC to get a tour of the shop too. Near Allentown is the Crayola factory. These are just things off the top of my head.

If you have any interest in US history, a day at Gettysburg is a must, its very close to HP and infact I have done a day there with a "night-cap" at Hershey which ended up being just a fantastic day.

If you go I highly suggest springing for the Electric Battle Map (arial view of the stages of the battle) and buying or renting the audio tour (gives you directions to the sites, and tells you the background of the sites so you know what you are looking at.)

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Hopman, how do you plan on doing this trip? I mean, are you going to be spending the better part of the day at a park, or just making a quick stop for the coaster credits then moving on?

Your schedule would make a difference in what other things I'd recommend. For example, Yuengling's only offers tours at 10 am and 1:30 pm each day.

For traveling, I'd suggest making a large "C" shape using the following interstates: 78-81-76-79-80. This would put you close to these parks-- Dorney, Hershey, Idlewild, Kennywood, Waldameer, Knoebels. (Or you could reverse the order). You could also fit in Lakemont and Delgrossos crossing the state in either direction. The only downer is there's a long drive between Erie and Elysburg.

Food-wise-- what do you like and not like? Are you looking for recommendations on "local fare?" Most of the parks have all the typical fast food joints nearby plus the one-step-uppers (Applebee's, TGIF, etc.) Or would you prefer a relaxing, unrushed meal?

^You better get there quick as the Electric Battle Map and the museum that holds it will be razed according to The Baltimore Sun for a new $103 million dollar museum and visitor's center. The family that started it is not pleased.
The must visit parks fin PA are Hershey, Knoebels, Kennywood and Dorney. Try to make stops at Lakemont for Leap-The-Dips and at Waldameer for the new Ravine Flyer II as well.

Arthur Bahl

Make sure you have as much of the day as possible at Hershey if you intend to ride all the coasters and the good ones more than once. The park has seen a big increase in customers since the water park opened, I'm sure Fahrenheit isn't going to help that any, and on top of that, most of their coasters aren't known for efficient operations.

Knoebels won't have a line problem (except the Flying Turns, if it opens), but don't just do the coasters and leave if you can help it, try the antique all-metal bumper cars and the world's best Flyers, and look at all the restaurants before you decide what to eat, unless you want to end up eating A LOT.

Kennywood, get there at opening if possible and ride Exterminator and Phantom's Revenge before the queues fill up, then do the woodies and whatever (Kangaroo because it's old and Cosmic Chaos because it's new, and the drop tower if you haven't been on one that big, and there's some kind of new dark ride if that's your thing, but don't waste your time on Garfield's Nightmare), then PR for as long as you can put up with the wait.

rollergator's avatar
^Maybe it's just been me, but I don't recall Exterminator opening with the park. Seems like it's always been on more of the DV schedule, opening an hour or two after the rest of the park. Of course, with that and PR typically opening with one train, I've managed to plan accordingly.

I understand RF2 is going to be opening according to plan, and want to get there badly...but I'm *trying*, desperately, to hold off until there's news of a potential ride on The Turns...add in Seabreeze, and a decent fare to Buffalo, and there's a long weekend trip in there somewhere...

Maybe even Philly if I could talk someone into that trip...wonder if AV knows anyone that might be interested....LOL!

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)


My advice would be to start at the furthest part of PA(Waldameer), and plan your way back from there. At least you'll always be working your way back to NH, instead of having to start your way back from western PA.

eightdotthree's avatar
Exterminator opens with the park, its the best choice for a first ride since the line drags when there is a wait. You can hit that, then Phantom's Revenge a few times before the crowds get in.

If you get there early enough to be near the front of the line, I suggest doing PR then Exterminator then PR again. I havent been to the park that often, but thats what I do and that way in the first 30 min I get 2 rides on PR and one ride on Exterminator :).

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Did someone say my name? :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

kpjb's avatar
Okay... 1 week, and 8 hours to Philly, eh? I'll bite.

Day 1: Drive the 9-10 hours straight to Hershey. If you buy a one day ticket the evening before, they'll let you in free for the last 3 hours of the day. (I'd suggest this day to be a Sunday. It'll help the other days to be not-so-busy ones at the parks.)

Day 2: Hershey... drive the hour or so to Dorney at night.

Day 3: Dorney

Day 4: Drive the couple hours up to Knoebel's. Get there at opening, and you can easily be done in 1/2 a day. Drive the few hours to Altoona, and hit Lakemont with an hour or so left to get on their couple woodies. It's something like $6 for a RAD pass, or a buck-and-a-half for GA.

Day 5: Drive the few hours to Kennywood. Follow advice and get there at opening doing the PR/Exterminator/PR thing first off.

Day 6: Drive the 5-6 hours back across the state and stop at Morey's on the Jersey shore to break up the long drive.

Day 7: 6 hours back home. Relax. Have a beer. Read your mail.

None of the days will be too ridiculously long, and you're getting all the PA parks less Sesame Place, Dutch Wonderland, Idlewild, and Waldameer. You can come back to those four when you're with kids.


Its hard for me not to say yuengling brewery, cause I live 4 blocks away, but if you go let me know, I still haven't toured it and I have lived here all my life.

If you get time, the pioneer coal tunnel in Ashland, PA, is extremely interesting.

gary b

kpjb said:

Day 6: Drive the 5-6 hours back across the state and stop at Morey's on the Jersey shore to break up the long drive.

from NH come down the New Jersey Turnpike and hit Clementon Park its only 12 miles south of Philly (about 15-20 minutes)and mostly highway and about 7 miles from the NJ Turnpike.
Tsunami is a great ride and the park can be done in an 1-2 Hours.then Moreys is 65 miles away south (nothing like it in the world)and Great Adventure is 45 Miles from Clementon.
- *** Edited 3/25/2008 4:48:54 PM UTC by PcMan*** *** Edited 3/25/2008 4:51:11 PM UTC by PcMan***

^^ That's funny, Gary. I've been so many times, I think I can give the tour. Then again, I've never been to the Pioneer Tunnel. I guess when you grow up in a miner's family, it doesn't have much allure.

Morey's, Clementon, and GAdv are all great parks I'm sure, but aren't exactly part of a PA Coaster Swing."

Hopman, just remember when it comes to traveling in PA there are two seasons-- winter and construction. ;)

Thanks for the ideas!

As for food, I try to look for the local joints. You know, the "locals only" type places.

I was giving some thought to do it cheap by camping a few nights.

BTW will the Ravine Flyer be open this year?

I was planning on hitting Hershey, Kenoble's and KW at the VERY LEAST.

I'd probably leave Sat early afternoon ('im done work by 1 pm).

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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