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Since you don't say exactly where you live, but you mention the Valley, I'm assuming you're in California. Here's my suggested plan of attack:
a) Fly into a major airport (BWI for example) and rent a car
b) Drive north to Hersheypark (1.5 hrs)
c) Take 81 north from Hershey to Knoebels (1.5hrs)
d) Head east to Dorney (1.5 hrs or less). Buy Dorney season pass
e) Head west to Kennywood on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (3-4 hrs)
f) Head north to SFWOA on PA Turnpike which changes into the Ohio Turnpike (1.5 hrs)
g) Head west on Ohio Turnpike to Cedar Point (1.5 hrs). Don't forget to use your Dorney pass to get in for free. Plan on two days, unless you can do it in one.
h) Return your rental car to a major airport in Ohio area (if possible), and fly back home
B&M vs. Intamin? CCI vs. GCI? Who cares! They're all fun!*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 6/14/2002. ***
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 6/14/2002. ***
From past experience... if you have never been to Hershey, Dorney, Knoebels and Kennywood before, then plan on a day at each. You can do them in less, but if you want to see everything and enjoy the entire park, then plan on a day each. With travel times built in, definately plan on a day per park.
That schedule sounds pretty packed. Like Intamin Fan said, there are alot of things to consider... exhaustion being one of them. Also, have a contingency in place for bad weather. If you hit a day of thunderstorms and heavy rains, are you prepared to extend your trip one day, or is there one of the parks that you can "afford" to miss?
You are looking at a large area to cover. While some of the parks are relatively close together, the distance from Dorney in the east to CP in the west is quit a haul.
"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."
To save A LOT of money on motels, I always stay in a tent at campgrounds. Check out www.koa.com (Kampgrounds of America).
And if you have someone with you, you can divide the cost for camping and gasoline. That will save you a lot too.
At Hershey, you can take advantage of their Preview admission where you get in for the last two hours of the night for free by pre-paying for the next day.
Be sure to check all the parks' websites for hours of operation and admission so you can plan your trip for maximum flexibility.
If you've never been to Cedar Point, you'll probably want two days there and otherwise a day or half a day for everywhere else.
Definitely get night rides at Knobels otherwise you might be disappointed by their killer woodies. The same goes for Kennywood and Hershey, but I'd recomend it for all the parks. I personally tend to avoid parks during the day and go in the evenings. Travel during the day. Also, most if not all those parks offer discounted admission int he evening anyway, so that's another variable to consider. Again, check their websites for this info.
Last summer, a friend and I went from SF WOA to Hershey to Knobels to SF America to SF Great Adventure to The Great Escape to SF New England to Lake Compounce in 7 days. Be flxible. We were supposed to go to Kenny instead of Hershey, but when we got there, Thunderbolt was closed, so we left and went to Hershey (did the preview) and ended up throwing in SF Greta Adventure and New England as bonus stops for one reason or another. That Six Flags season pass cam ein handy (we got into 5 parks for only $45) .
If you won't have a car for getting around, it's going to be expensive and difficult to make it work. Look into getting a Cedar Fair seaon pass since you'll be spending 3 days or so between Dorney and the Point.
-Matt in Iowa
193 coasters ridden -- #1 Shivering Timbers
Just say no to Gerstlauer!
*** This post was edited by Matt Scott on 6/15/2002. ***
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