Major Summer Trip Planning - Opinions Wanted

Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:17 PM
Okay so, my girlfriend and I are incredibly excited about our major two-week summer excursion, but we [mostly me] am interested in you guys' viewpoint on the matter. I'll basically list the itinerary, and a couple of "iffy" stops along the way, and then I'm gonna ask y'all for your suggestions on how we could improve it, places we should hit along the way, or hidden gems that we may have overlooked.

Day 1 - Leave Toronto, drive to Knoebel's [about 7 hours] and spend the day.

DILEMMA #1: We have Cedar Point passes. Dorney Park is only about an hour and a half from Knoebel's, however we're a bit strapped for cash. Is Dorney worth a trip to, plus an extra night's hotel stay? Or is it a park that we can skip?

Day 2 - Drive to Hershey, spend the day at HersheyPark.
Day 3 - Drive to Doswell, spend the afternoon at King's Dominion, using our Paramount passes.
Day 4 - King's Dominion for most of the day, and then drive to Williamsburg.
Day 5 - BGW
Day 6 is driving completely south.. so.. nothing happens here.
Day 7 - BGT
Day 8 - Universal Studios Florida
Day 9 - Islands of Adventure
Day 10 - Islands of Adventure

And then we spend a couple of days at the beach in Ormond.

Now, what are the general opinions of these parks from you guys who have been there? Also, are there any hidden gems in regards to flat rides in the parks that we're visiting?

The place I'm most concerned about is Knoebel's, because it's been a mostly last-minute addition to the trip [er, even though we're not leaving for two months]. I haven't really read up on the flats they have there, so I'm wondering which ones are hits and which ones are misses.

And yeah, is Dorney worth the extra day + hotel stay?

Any help and opinions and whatever are greatly appreciated!!!


Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:38 PM
I think Dorney's a nice park, but there's nothing so thrilling that I would say you'd be an idiot for missing. Sure Talon's cool and Steel Force is kind of fun, but I think you could skip DP and not have any regrets. The flats are pretty much standard trade, with the exception of the classic whip.

If you hit PKD on a not so crowded day, you could quite possibly knock out the whole park by the end of the evening, saving you a lot of time in your built in extra day for it. The only coaster that can be kind of iffy is Flight of Fear. I don't know if the lines have increased for TR:F either, so that could be another factor (you must ride it at night). So may I suggest that you substitute BGW on day 4 instead. That way, you can drive south and hit Carowinds with your season passes (unless you've already been there, or it's taking you too far out of the way).

As always mention, any question about flat rides can be answered by the official websites which usually list a good amount of the flats, and the unofficial websites that many people have. General opinions of the parks can always be found in the trip report section. There you can find a more neutral view of a park instead of it turning into a "You think park X is great? How could you, that park sucks!", that often happens when people ask for advice on this page.

Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:50 PM
^ OMG you like PKD! PKD is teh suxxor!!!11!!11!!

... anyways....

If you are driving south and have Paramount Passes, if you have not been to Carowinds I recommend stopping by for at least an hour or two (long enough to ride Top Gun and Borg). It really is a fun park and those two rides are great.

Other than that, your plans sound pretty optimized. Have fun!

EDIT: Made it clearer that I was joking. *** Edited 6/4/2005 6:51:30 PM UTC by RollrCoastrCrazy***

Saturday, June 4, 2005 10:41 PM
Carowinds takes us pretty far out of our way - believe me, I've already checked into stopping there =P

The only reason we were going to PKD for more than a day is because we have passes, and thus it won't cost us anything to go in.

Since the trip will take place between August 15 and 28, we're pretty much banking on big crowds at most of the parks anyway, especially the FLA ones.

Saturday, June 4, 2005 11:20 PM
I don't know if anyone agrees with me on this, but I don't think that you neccisarily need two full days at IoA. Spend your second day at WDW or Sea World. Also, im not sure if they still have this or not, but when I went to BGT season passes were only about ten bucks more than a regular day admission- so if you got a season pass at BGW you could get into BGT and Sea World for free. Just a thought.
Saturday, June 4, 2005 11:53 PM
Hmmm, it's kinda one of those things (re: dorney) that you're sorta in the area already, and you already have the passes. Maybe you could squeeze in some time at Dorney and reduce your projected time at PKD. Then you might not need an extra night lodging. But it is a bit farther than an hour and a half from Knoebels to Dorney. If you don't think you'll be back this way again soon, I'd suggest you look into Dorney.

Normally, I would suggest you do Knoebels/ Hershey/ Dorney in that order (for driving). But then again, I think it would be a shorter trip to PKD starting from Hershey instead of Allentown.

On the other hand, you are doing a lot of driving at the start of your trip. What time are you talking about leaving TO and arriving at Knoebels anyway? You might need to rest up a bit along the way and stay put for two days like you're doing at PKD. So maybe two PA parks would be enough-- in that case, I think you picked the two best. If you can't fit Dorney in, well you can't. You have plenty else planned.

Couple of suggestions for you...
the law of averages says you'll run into rain two days out of the ten. If not an all-day event, at least a mid to late afternoon thunderstorm, especially in PA. Plan accordingly.
Build some flexibility into your schedule. Maybe there's some ride you just have to ride and something happens to keep you from riding it on the day you planned. Or are you cool with it if you can't?
Depending what time you get to Knoebels the first day, you might want to rest just a bit before hitting the park. You can have a ride- and fun-packed day in 6,7,8 hours-- and not miss a thing (including food breaks). It would be a shame if you got there and felt wiped out after only a few hours.
On one of the pre-CBCon threads I give detailed directions to get to a Giant Food Store in Hershey to get tickets for $10 off regular admission. I'm too tired and lazy to search for it myself, right now, so I suggest you do it. :) And make sure you hit Chocolate World.

Finally, have fun, drive safely, enjoy yourselves.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 12:04 AM
Agreed, VF. Back in April, I managed to hit all the big attractions at IOA and Universal Studios by mid-afternoon. The express pass thing can definitely help... although so does arriving at 9 am.

My only advice: beware of over-planning. There are a lot of variables in a monster trip like that. Sometimes you need to leave yourself room to improvise. On my last two trips, which encompassed 10 parks, I ended up spending a lot less time at the parks than I anticipated.

If you're going to BGW and Knoebel's, I don't think Carowinds is too out of the way, by comparison.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 12:42 AM
Yeah, we're banking on a couple of rain days, but we assume that if it's not TERRIBLE STORMS OF DOOM~! that we can still enjoy the parks.

Thanks for the details, RGB =)

We likely won't be making another trip like this for a couple of years, since it's taking a large chunk out of my bank account.

The drive from Toronto to Knoebel's is about 7 hours, according to MapQuest [we usually cut about 30 minutes off of a long-distance MapQuest prediction, though] and we'll be leaving at around 5'30"AM. We're pros at that, however, as we've left at 5'30"AM on three previous 7 hour drive trips [to CP twice and PKI once], and not suffered ill effects from it at all.

My girlfriend decided on Dorney Park instead of Carowinds, because Carowinds has a lot of coasters that are clones that we've ridden before [Reptar, Assimilator, Fairly Odd Coaster], and the only ones she/I were interested in were Top Gun and Vortex, while Dorney held more interest for us in Steel Force, Talon, Hydra, etc.

As far as I knew, if we bought Season's Passes at BGW, we could only use them AT BGW and parks in the area, since the official website makes absolutely no mention of using BGW passes at BGT. If the site is just trying to screw us out of more money - it worked, as we have passes for both BGT and BGW already. Please tell me the site wasn't trying to screw us.

Also, IOA and USF were a deal-buy, as we paid for two-day passes but got 5-day passes as part of a deal, which is the reason why we bought them in the first place.

And yes, Hershey is closer to PKD than Dorney, which is the reason we'd be doing Knoebel's - Dorney - Hershey.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 9:56 AM
BGW passes can be good at BGT, you just have to pay more I think. At least, that's the way it worked last time I was at a Busch park and that was over last "season" at BGT. I think it's like the Gold pass or something like that, and if you do that, it's good at Sea World parks too, therefore if you got bored at IoA on your second day (which I think you might, incredible park, but really not enough to do to pull off two full days unless you do CityWalk and USF too) you can head over to Sea World and pick up Kraken and stare at animals.
Sunday, June 5, 2005 10:51 AM
Well, the problem is, we already have our day passes for both BGW and BGT - so buying Gold passes [which are almost $150US] would be entirely pointless. Plus, if there was no guarantee that we'd use the Gold Passes to their money's worth [ie: It's $50 for BGT day pass and $40 for BGW, that leaves us with $60 left to find use for somewhere on these passes], then I wouldn't bother getting them.

Had I known about this before, I may have said otherwise, but it's too late now. I guess I should've done a bit more research before buying all of our passes, huh? :S

Sunday, June 5, 2005 11:13 AM
Wow. That trip is no joke. Sounds like a blast. I've been to five of the seven parks you plan on visting and they are great.

Hidden flat gems...well I'm not a huge flat fan but I do love DaVincis Cradle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, very unique.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 11:21 AM
I've been to BGW, Universal, and PKD before, however not in the past 7 years, so there is a LOT of new stuff for me to do.

In fact, I went to PKD with the intentions of riding Volcano - and it turns out, it was experiencing one of those looooong periods of downtime. The actual first day of full-time operation was the day AFTER I was there, which pissed me off greatly.


Knoebel's is apparently getting a Huss Frisbee or something? Is it a smaller version of maXair and Delerium, or more like Canada's Wonderland's Mondial Frisbee? *** Edited 6/5/2005 3:22:13 PM UTC by grind your soul***

Sunday, June 5, 2005 12:52 PM
Knoebels already has the frisbee, it's called Fandango. It's a smaller version of Maxair.
Sunday, June 5, 2005 1:56 PM
Thanks, coastergurl. It wasn't listed on ThemeParkCritic, and I couldn't find anything on it anywhere else [though I'll confess to not looking too hard], so I assumed it was new.
Sunday, June 5, 2005 2:27 PM
I'm often guilty myself, but why do people seem to look for information everywhere but the source? I mean, wouldn't logic kind of dictate that if you need info about Knoebels, you go to the Knoebels site?

Again, not picking. I find myself doing the same thing at times. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2005 4:06 PM
DaVinci's Cradle is anything but unique. Kennywood also has the same model. The Huss-made Buzzsaw at SFNE is very similar. They'll also run across 1001 Nacht at Knoebels which is a Weber-made flying carpet. It's not quite as thrilling due to the restraints, but is similar enough to where I wouldn't call D.C. unique.
Monday, June 6, 2005 12:25 AM
Sounds like a great trip, but you might want to plan on a few days that are *gasp* "park free". I know that we (MiG) did a huge trip like this one year and we ended up sort of "park-numb" by the end of the trip and didn't really enjoy the later parks as much as the earlier parks due to the repetitive nature of flats offerend, etc. Have fun though! :)

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