More help needed: parks near Omaha

Friday, January 9, 2004 12:09 PM
I know I really ought to hire a travel agent, but you guys (and gals) are so good at this, I figured that I would save the money by posting here!

A friend of mine recently took a job to Sioux Falls, South Dakota- a state where there are NO roller coasters (oh, the horror!) Flights into the city are rather expensive, as the city is only serviced by a few airlines, and he told me that Omaha is probably a better choice. Now, I see that Iowa is right next to Nebraska and I know that the state is home to Adventureland and Arnolds Park, soooooo....

Has anyone ever driven from Omaha to those parks in Iowa? Mapquest says that Adventureland is about 2 hours and Arnolds Park is about 3 1/2 hours, but I know not to put too much faith in their information. I'd rather hear from someone who knows rather than a website! Would visiting one (or both) or those parks put me too far out of the way as I drive to Sioux Falls? It would be nice to be able to get in a few coaster rides!

Of course, the Twin Cities aren't too far from Sioux Falls, so I suppose that I could hit Camp Snoopy and Valleyfair as well.

Friday, January 9, 2004 12:14 PM
Rob - the closest parks to Ohama are all a few hours away: Worlds of Fun, Arnold's Park, and Adventureland. All three are between a 2.5 and 3 hour drive.


Friday, January 9, 2004 12:15 PM
Mapquest is probably about right on this one. Driving in Iowa is very easy. When I was at Adventureland last summer, there were probably more cars from Nebraska parked in the lot than any other state, even Iowa. It can't be too far. Adventureland is an awesome park...definitely worth your time!
Friday, January 9, 2004 12:22 PM
Why the hatin' on Mapquest? I've done every coaster trip that way with no problems. (including many multi-stop trips)

I've found that their times are usually very conservative (driving the speed limit, accounting for traffic) - I think of mapquest estimates as the longest it'll take to get from point A to point B.

I don't think I've ever gotten bad directions.

Between RCDB's "parks nearby" feature, mapquest and the parks' official sites - you should be able to plan a trip to multiple parks in an area you've never been to before with no hassles.

Friday, January 9, 2004 12:23 PM
Mapquest got rid of the "road trip planner" feature... :( I always liked that.
Friday, January 9, 2004 12:26 PM
Yeah, that was nice. Now you have to do it all step by step.
Friday, January 9, 2004 12:26 PM
Gonch - I think the biggest problem with Mapquest and Yahoo Maps is that they sometimes over-explain their directions, making what is simple seem very confusing.
Friday, January 9, 2004 12:33 PM
Yeah, I can see that at times 'Moosh. Like I really need to know that the ramp off of exit 246 is .16 miles. They have a way of including exit ramps that is overkill.

I always print up directions "step by step with maps" (or whatever the option is officially named). It's pretty foolproof when you just have to look at pictures to get an idea of where you're going. Could have something to do with the fact that I don't read books, I just look at the pretty pictures. Might I recommend Dr. Suess books? Great pictures!

Mapquest really should pay me for all the support I've given them around here over the years. :)

Maybe one day, if I get burned with bad info, I'll change my tune. Until then...mapquest, mapquest, mapquest! (in my best dictator voice)

Friday, January 9, 2004 12:38 PM
Mapquest is a great tool and I use them a lot in tandem with a good atlas, which I never leave at home when travelling.
Friday, January 9, 2004 12:40 PM
Well, it can't hurt to have actual maps in the car :)

I'll support that.

You're getting dangerously close to the dark side. Admitting Mapquest can be useful is the first step.

Step 2 - ?

Step 3 - Profit


Friday, January 9, 2004 1:14 PM
Anyone who would swear by mapquest needs to use them to get to Knoebels.....btw...GOODLUCK!
Friday, January 9, 2004 1:33 PM
I've done it :)

Although I was only coming from Allentown.

But I guess it'd all be the same once you get off of I-80 (Unless you're coming from the south)

Maybe I just have a natural sense of direction? ;)

EDIT - let me clarify. Now that I really think about it - if I need mapquest, I'm usually (90% of the time) staying at a hotel. It's easy enough to find the hotel closest to the park (especially if you're like me and basically only stay at Marriott & Hilton brand hotels). I usually mapquest to the hotel, then rely on the hotel (and their local staff) to give directions to the park in the morning. Almost every hotel worth staying at will have preprinted directions to local attractions.

So I guess I technically didn't mapquest to Knoebels. We got the directions from the Hampton Inn to the park from the hotel itself.

So the lesson here is to use mapquest to get to wherever you're staying, then use their local knowledge of the area to get you to the park.

Works like a charm.

*** Edited 1/9/2004 6:42:00 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Friday, January 9, 2004 1:45 PM

Adventureland is my backyard park and it is about 2 1/2 hours most, take I-80 all the way to the exit in Altoona. There are only 4 coasters here to ride though. Arnolds Park is about 3 1/2 hours from Altoona and that is around the Iowa/MN border.

Glad to see you loved the park DawnMarie, loved your tr, it pretty much sums it up as you nailed it on the head about the park being clean and the coasters.

Friday, January 9, 2004 2:06 PM
Mapquest also got rid of their aerial maps feature. It magically disappeared one afternoon a few weeks ago. Grr.
Friday, January 9, 2004 4:42 PM
Adventureland seems like a nice park with two good wooden coasters! And Arnolds Park seems like one of those places that you can't be sure will survive each year. I was just hoping to be able to take advantage of an opportunity, but a three-hour drive "out of the way" might be too much.
Friday, January 9, 2004 10:51 PM
As for getting directions, make a stop at your friendly state visitors center when you have to take a leak. They usually have state maps available for free, and you can also pick up those coupon magazines good for discounts on motels/hotels.
Friday, January 9, 2004 11:06 PM

Intamin Fan said:
...when you have to take a leak. .

Was that really necessary? Man I have a bad mental image now. (where's the grossed out face when you need one.)

All kidding aside, picking up a map at the rest stops along I-80 is a good idea. I still think that you would be a lot more "satisfied" in the terms of coaster-bliss by going to WOF in KC. ;) Come on, you know you want to try out that new spinning coaster!

Saturday, January 10, 2004 2:39 PM
Depending on how you drive (from the OMA airport already in Iowa) it's about two hours going five miles over the speed limit. Worlds of Fun is 3 hours (wrong way from Souix Falls, Arnolds 3.5 hours, and Souix Falls is about 3 hours from Omaha. I used to live in Omaha, now i live on the West side of South I know a few things about driving time.

One trip to Kansas City (WOF) and got confused in the KC construction. I ended up in Des Moines, took 2.5 hours to get to the West side of Omaha, and it's about half an hour to cruise the interstate through Omaha.


Saturday, January 10, 2004 10:38 PM
Just remember that I-29 goes to Omaha and I-35 goes to Des Moines. I-435 goes around KC/KCK and I-70 goes through KC/KCK. It's not hard to figure out. Now if you want complicated I can try to explain St. Louis's main roads ;) which I can.
Sunday, January 11, 2004 12:25 AM
Just for the record - on the subject of websites for directions, I just stumbled across Rand McNally's site

Might be a good alternative to mapquest. I didn't mess with it much, but I liked what I did see in a few moments on the site. Lots of options.


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