My Aunt, who is turning into a coaster nut, is flying from Albuquerque to here in Michigan. Last year we did CP and PKI and a great time was had by all. This year we were planning on visiting Kennywood Saturday and spending half a day(I can't wait to get her on PR) driving towards Allentown and spending the night. The next day we'd visit Dorney Park, leaving there and driving towards Jackson NJ, sleeping and visiting SFGAD the next day(Monday). Of the 3 parks, I have only been to Kennywood and can't wait to go back.
Now here's where it gets interesting. Steel Force at DP is down which is really throwing a wrench in our gears. Not having to worry too much about hotel rooms( I get pretty fat discounts) no reservations have been made yet. My last minute thought is should we skip DP and head over to SFAM? I'm a hyper fan who hasn't experienced S:ROS so I'm leaning that way. Isn't traffic horrible in that neck of the woods, being so close to D.C.? We got stuck in it one year on the way to BGW and it really was horrid.
Now on to SFGAD. I know we won't be getting on Ka or El Toro(ouch ouch) so do you think one day is enough? I had planned on 2 days there but I'm thinking with Ka down, El Toro not being open yet and being at the park on a Monday maybe one day will be enough time. We don't care about flats, shows or Bugs Bunny. ;) I'm thinking one day with Flashpass(sorry dexter!) might be worth it versus spending the money on another night at the hotel.
I'm going to try like crazy to get her down to Holiday World before she leaves, but that will be a day trip and might not happen due to my work schedule.
Any opinions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading! :)
DC will have some bad traffic, but probably no more than an extra hours worth.
Dorney even without Steel Force is nice park, where SFA is an ok park. How about Hershey or Knoebels?
She likes big steelies, so Knoebel's would be a hard sell. I'm still in the process of talking her into Holiday World. ;) I can recommend that park because I've been there but can't say the same for Knoebel's.
Speaking of DC traffic I just realized we'd be arriving in the area around 10-11 the evening before so that's a good thing. We'd just have to deal with it once in the morning.
Also, from what I'm reading, you're going to drive from MI to Kennywood, spend half a day, then drive to/toward Allentown? That sounds like a lot of driving for one day. West Mifflin to Allentown is a good five hours. There's also major construction (again) on I-78 west of Allentown, but if you're going through on a weekend, it might not be that bad as far as delays.
Travel-wise, Kennywood-Hershey-GAdv works out better since you don't have to travel as far from KW to HP as you would going to Dorney. And it's not that far going from Hershey back to the Turnpike to head east towards Jersey. It's up to you whether or not to hit HP again. But traveling from so far away, given a choice I'd do Hershey over Dorney. Especially if Dorney's big boy isn't operating. HP= 10 coasters, DP = 4 operating (not including kiddies).
As much as I'd recommend Knoebels, I think it's a bit out of the way of the other parks you're planning on visiting.
Other factors to consider:
1) Are you a passholder for either CF or SF? If yes, go to whichever park for which you can get in free (Dorney or SFA).
2) Check the schedules for both Dorney and Hershey. Into early June, both parks run on shortened schedules even on weekends.
Whichever parks you choose, have a great time!
Hmm now you got me thinking of Hershey again. Stormrunner blew me away! I better get back to Yahoo Maps and RCDB. ;)
macho nachos said:
I'm a CF passholder but my Aunt isn't. Is it safe to assume we can find discount tickets or coupons on the way to Dorney for her to use? Someone from Great Adventure told me they have buy one get one free coupons at McDonald's.
I haven't seen such coupons at McDonald's and I can't remember Dorney ever having such discounts in recent years (the biggest coupon I have seen is $16 off admission last year).
Dorney has no discounts early in the season because admission is $24.99 now, then for Memorial Day weekend (Saturday and on), the price goes up to $36.95 which there might be discounts for.
I would choose Hershey over Dorney as well. Dorney is a nice park but I think Hershey has a much better coaster collection (quantity and quality). *** Edited 5/17/2006 12:32:06 AM UTC by YoshiFan*** *** Edited 5/17/2006 12:32:49 AM UTC by YoshiFan***
For that trip, we went from Pittsburgh to SFA Saturday morning, stayed in Baltimore. Did Baltimore -> Dorney -> Hershey -> Pittsburgh in one day and while that was a whole lot of fun, and we got on everything, the drive was so/so.
I didn't read too close so this might not be good advice, but if you're worried about Hershey vs. Dorney, and you're hitting one at open, why not hit both? I've done that multiple times on my way out to SFGAdv from Pittsburgh. If you get to Hershey at open, you can usually get on everything and see some sights by 2:30 or 3pm, leave for Dorney, be in Dorney by 5, get on everything be out of there by 8 and you're only an hour from SFGAdv. Just another thing to think about. And yes, that schedule works even on Saturdays as long as it's before school is out and before Wildwater Kingdom is open.
I too would go to Hershey. I know you've been there but its a great park!! As for Dorney, I'm not a big fan but if you wanna go there then go for it. Your looking about an hour an half from Dorney to SFGADV. Also I'd take the turnpike all the way out.
Have a safe an fun trip!
If you're coming in from Kennywood, and are credit-hungry, stop by DelGrosso Amusement Park in Altoona. Kevin and I did it last weekend. It's on the way toward Hershey, and they have a Crazy Mouse and Wacky Worm. Free parking + 40 minutes to park and do the coasters and a few flats, and also get some good food. It's a nice way to break up the trip. *** Edited 5/17/2006 3:08:47 PM UTC by Arson***
That's why I plan a trip to visit a PARK, not for a specific RIDE.
Anyway wherever you go have a good time ;)
Only downside is that Hershey's hours are 10-8pm and Dorney is 10-7:30 this coming Sunday. So that might be a bit rushed. Neither park is open on Monday.
Now, to throw another hook into the pond. Hershey is open till 10 on Saturday night, and I know they offer the free preview deal. So... if you were to get to Hershey after 7:30 Saturday night, and buy tickets for Sunday, you could ride the rest of Saturday night for free. Even in 1 1/2-2 hours, you could easily get rides on LR (both sides), Wildcat, and get into line for SR (before they cut it off), if not more.
Then you could hit the rest of Hershey early Sunday, head to Dorney and get that in before it closes. Hey, this idea of planning other people's lives is really fun! :)
macho nachos said:
Thanks for the input guys. I didn't know that S:ROS wasn't very reliable.
I wouldn't let the bad experience of one individual decide whether or not S:ROS is reliable. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether or not a coaster is reliable or unreliable.
S:ROS has been running everytime I've been to the park this season. Yes, up to this point it's been pretty much one train operation. The blue train is back but it wasn't completing the circuit in time on Sunday so they had to back it off. Not that it made much difference, the park was pretty dead anyways. A problem with a proximity sensor on Saturday was the reason they red train was backed off on Saturday.
Batwing has been running two trains, two stations in the afternoons and occassionally all day.
If you go to SFA, make sure you ride S:ROS after dark. That's when S:ROS shows it's true power.
Wild One is a great wooden coaster, not real bumping but watch the kick to the right after the double down on the return leg.
Overall, The park is at it's best in years under new management.
*** Edited 5/17/2006 7:45:20 PM UTC by coasterguts*** *** Edited 5/17/2006 7:48:27 PM UTC by coasterguts***
Then again, I've been to Dorney a million and one times, so that sweet, sweet third hill on S:ROS is a little more exotic for me. :)
Don't think you could really go wrong either way.
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