Park Impressions: 2000 And Today

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 9:50 PM

I have been thinking about my park trips over the years, and, I have found myself with a mixed bag of thoughts on what parks I still enjoy. There have been a lot of changes in the last 12 years. Some parks have continued to impress me, while others seem to be kinda blah.

Cedar Point, and Six Flags Great America still manage to keep my interest. I always manage to have a good time at both parks. The only thing that I don't like about going to them, is driving on the Ohio turnpike, and the nightmare that is traffic in Chicago! But, for those of you who have not been to either park, I would recommend them any time. They are both outstanding parks, with a great collection of rides, and big coasters! Canada's wonderland is another great park.

One park that has fallen off my wish list is Indiana Beach. I have been there several times, but, from what I have heard, the park is not what it used to be. I may be interested in going to ride Steel Hawg, but, the rest of the park seems like it might be going downhill. And, it's too bad, because I used to think it was a very cool place, and certainly reasonable. But, from looking at the recent pricing, with all the same attractions as 12 years ago, minus Steel Hawg, Splash Battle, and the new upcharge course. I'm not sure if I would want to go back, or suggest it. Certainly not a must visit.

So, the question is, what parks have impressed you most? Which parks would you recommend? I have Holiday World, and Dollywood on my wish list. But will have to get rich again first! Another on my list is Hershey Park.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 10:35 PM

Hersheypark is a great park. It is becoming more commercialized than it used to be, but Lightning Racer is an amazing wooden racing coaster, you've got a classic Schwarzkopf looper there, Skyrush has the potential for east coast domination (but not until they fix the restraints), and even their junior coaster is probably the best junior coaster I've ridden in a while. Hershey can get really crowded, and their operations are slow, but there is something about HP that definitely makes me smile. Plus, Chocolate World with its free admission and educational free ride about chocolate making is actually a favorite yearly destination of mine. However, be prepared to sing the "Hershey's Chocolate" sing all damn day afterwards. It is just about as bad as "it's a small world". In fact...

*singing* Hershey's Chocolate, Hershey's Chocolate...

Hee hee...

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:33 PM

Hello Bunky666.

Do they still give people free chocolates at the end of the factory tour? I had a friend that went many years ago, and he told me that they give you a nice helping or bag of chocolates after the tour.

My main reasons for wanting to go are Great Bear and Storm Runner. But, I have heard they have a pretty decent collection of coasters there now. What does it cost to get in there these days? Is it expensive?

Actually, I just checked. $56.00 just to get in! Holy Crap! Do they charge for parking? I didn't notice. Looks like a nice collection of rides though.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:51 PM
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:53 PM

Welcome to the internet. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Last edited by sws, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:55 PM
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:32 AM

Timber-Rider, the park is expensive, but if you get discount tickets at Giant grocery store, you can get a pretty decent discount.

Unfortunately, they no longer give out a nice big serving of chocolate candy. Usually it is some weird candy they are trying out before mass production to the public. These are kind of hit or miss. The ride itself is still a favorite of mine.

Parking is 12 or 14 dollars (I forget), but the HUGE parking lot also has tram service from your parking area to the park, which is WAY past mid-Timbers distances. Not saying that to be sarcastic either. The parking lot has got to be at least a mile away at its furthest point, and if there is a concert, you will thank your lucky stars there is a tram.

Some of my dream parks: Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Magic Mountain, Universal Hollywood, Disneyland, and Holiday World. I also wanna get back to BGE since most of the coasters I rode there no longer stand and many more are now there that I haven't ridden. Also want to ride Bizarro at SFNE, and New Texas Giant at SFOT.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012 11:47 AM

Hmmm interesting question.

In 2000 I thought the parks to beat were Walt Disney World, Universal and Busch Gardens Williamburg. FFWD 12 years later, the following parks just absolutely blew me away in terms of awesomeness: Phantasia Land, Europa Park and Tokyo Disney Sea. For me, when it comes to theming and telling a story around a ride, these guys get it!!!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:54 AM

So, pretty much, you discovered there was a world outside of this grand ole country? ;-)

Last edited by DantheCoasterman, Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:54 AM
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Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:06 PM

For me, the biggest change is Cedar Point. It does not inpress me like it use to. But, since I grew up going there a lot, it does, and always will, have a special place in my heart. I have many friends that I have met there over the years and it's a home away from home.

In recent years, I choose Holiday World as my favorite park. Then parks like Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, and Busch Gardens Tampa impress me more and more. Not because of their rides. But for the total package experience. Then there are parks like Universal that are great THEME parks and fun the first time visiting. But I not willing to visit every year. I will take BGT anytime! That place is just wonderful! Great rides, shows, animals and overall experience want me to go back more often.

It's been two years since my last visit to Indiana Beach. We thoroughly enjoyed it as usual. With everything I have read about it this year, I would like to return soon.

I like this topic. It brings up a great point: People change. What someone likes one year may not be desirable years later. I remember in previous trips to Dorney that I really enjoyed it. But our trip there this spring, I felt different about it. Once we got the coaster credits in for my wife, we ate and then left because we were bored.

I am eager to go back overseas. I have not been to Europe since 2002. I loved it! Parks like Europa Park and Eftling were simply beautiful.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:32 PM

A few things. Parking at Hershey is 15 bucks, but if you do the 3 hour preview thing the night before your "main visit" they will give you a voucher to park for free the next day, plus you will already have ticket in hand and avoid the long line just to purchase a ticket.

I was just at Dorney yesterday and was amazed at how much CF has spruced it up, I haven't been there in decades, since WWK was a seperate admission. I just remember it being kinda crappy.

As a kid my favorite parks were SFGA and the Wildwood piers, I still like going to Morey's on a weekday deal but my favorite park now is Knoebels. SFGA is a hot mess. I hate going there.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:16 PM

Yeah, but there are perks that make a visit totally worth it if you stay at the onsite resort.

Oh wait...

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:23 PM

I think the plan is to keep raising parking prices until it costs as much as a nights stay.. then you will have some demand for a hotel.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012 3:43 PM

Bill, that is of course unless then they charge 20 bucks a night for guests of the hotel to park there. Ahem, Universal, ahem.

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