Planning my first trip, MA to WI road trip

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 10:44 PM
Okay, so I'm planning my first trip out of Southern California where I'm looking to hit some parks. I'm going to visit friends in Boston, then spend about 8 or 9 days driving from Boston to Madison, WI, and hit some parks along the way.

Now, I know there are a couple of must hits along the way. I'm going to be hitting SFNE before I leave Boston to ride S:ROS, so that will already be taken care of. I also know that there's a couple of *must* hit parks along the way, namely Holiday World and Cedar Point. It will be my first visit to both, so while I've seen many people say that given the choice, HW over CP, but nonetheless, I've yet to ride Magnum or Millennium Force, so TTD's open or closed status is pretty much a moot point and CP is a must hit to someone who has never been there.

I know Kennywood, Knoebel's, and Hersheypark are also along my path, and I have a feeling those will all get high marks.

Then there's things, like going to ride Boulder Dash, which seem like a good time.

Since I haven't a clue as to what really is out there, I'd love some advice as to what parks are truly must hit. I will at some point, hopefully, hit the ones that I don't get this time in the future, but I basically want to make the most of one of the very few vacations I can get (it took almost a month to finally get my work to agree to let me take a 2 week vacation, and I've got over 5 weeks of vacation saved up, so you can get an idea of how hard it can be for me to get away from work at times).

I realize that this is ripe to turn into a this park vs. this park thread, so I'd appreciate it if responses didn't say which parks to avoid, just which parks would be your personal choices to hit. I plan for one day at Holiday World and 2 days at Cedar Point, so I've got 5 or 6 more days to spare. I'd appreciate any advice as to what you think the best bets are for this trip. Also, I have friends in Boston, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Madison, but I'm completely open to staying in motels when those locations don't work for easy access to a park.

If this is violating the TOS by setting up a park v. park thread, I apologize, and go ahead and close it up.

If not, thanks in advance!

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 10:52 PM
When are you going? I live in Boston, and am planning a road trip to SF: WOA, HW, and CP the week of the 4th (June 29-July 3).

Regardless, how much time are you spending in Boston? I'd gladly meet up with you for a bit, or go to SFNE with you if it's not when i'm away.

I think you're on the right track - SFNE is definitely worth the stop for Superman, Kennywood is a must see, and obviously CP and HW have to be included. I'd go to SF:WOA too myself if you have a season pass - it's a good park even by Six Flags standards and not very crowded, and if you're going through WI you should hit up the Dells for Big Chiefs and Noah's Arc. Also, how could i forget SFGAm! It's right on the way from Chicago to WI.


S:ROS; SFNE. Ride it, and you'll understand.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 11:17 PM
I'll be arriving in Boston around July 12th, and leaving there around the 16th on the way to WI. It looks like my trip to SFNE may be on my own (it'll have to be a weekday, Monday or Tuesday, due to some various plans in Boston with my friends), but if you can make it, it'd always be nice to meet another enthusiast :)

Otherwise, thanks for the advice. I have a KBF season pass (which gets me into CP, as I understand it) and a Six Flags pass, so that will help with the financing of this trip ;)
*** This post was edited by Tom Servo 6/11/2003 3:18:42 AM ***

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:50 AM
With a SF season pass, you should definitely plan on SFGAm north of Chicago. Although I've never been there (when open), I'll also second the recommendation for Big Chief's up in the Wisconsin Dells. It's only about a 45 minute drive north of Madison.

Let me know when you'll be in WI and maybe I can catch up with you.

Remember that if you're one in a million, that means that there are 5000 other people on Earth just like you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 6:06 AM
You can do Cedar Point in one day. I did 95% of it in 6 hours, last time I was there. Use that extra day to to go to SFGAm - which in my opinion, is a "must". Then, what I would do is spend an additional 5 hours on the road, and go to Valleyfair! in Minneapolis, hitting Big Chiefs as a pit stop. It's really not a bad drive from Madison to Minneapolis, and it's even shorter if you're one of thos people who like to drive fast.

Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
Steel: 1) Raging Bull 2) Millennium Force 3) V2 4) Wild Thing 5) Deja Vu / Mr. Freeze (tie)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 6:36 AM
Some places that may be on your path there:

Indiana Beach
Del Grosso's
Lakemont (home of the oldest operating rollercoaster)
Great Escape
Indianapolis Zoo

Zero G Thrills - Moved and Improved

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:28 AM
Conneaut Lake was another one I was looking at, and it needing visitors is another reason to go. Problem is, a list like yours would take up my entire trip as it is :)

Since it might be cheaper for me to fly out of Minneapolis than Madison, the trip to the Dells and then Valleyfair! seems very reasonable, especially if I take a late flight out of Minneapolis. I will definitely keep that in mind.

Thanks for your help so far!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:07 AM
So many coasters & parks, so little time...

There are so many parks between New England and the Midwest, you couldn't hit them all in a month. You could also throw SFGAdv, Dorney, SFDL, Dorney, Coney Island, Playland, Waldameer and IB into the mix.

I you're like me and do a park a day, I would recommend: SFNE, Knoebels, Hershey, Kennywood, CP, PKI, HW, Indiana Beach & SFGAm. This would give you a fairly logical route without any backtracking. Have a great time!

Laugh your troubles away at Riverview, the world's largest amusement park.

Saturday, June 14, 2003 9:57 PM
I can add some comments on parks near Chicago. First of all, DO NOT miss Indiana Beach. In my opinion, it is the best park of the face of the planet! It is a classic park that has survived into modern times, but retains many of the best aspects of an old park. You can get to all of its attractions in a half-day (and their many ticket options will allow for this), but I reccommend staying an entire day.

You will definately enjoy CP. Last year was my first visit, and it is quite a place. Tons of great coasters at a cool location!

I can't comment on HW, as I have not ventured there yet, but I am sure it would be a worthy visit (someday I will get there). Two world-class CCIs.

SFGAm has some great coasters, but I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the park overall. Do not miss Raging Bull and Viper. You'll probably spend an entire day here.

I will put in another plug for Big Chief in Wisconsin Dells. They have a day ticket and night ticket, so you can do it in a half-day. Tons of great go-kart tracks and three CCI masterpieces (especially the small-but-legendary Cyclops).

Little A-Merrick-A in Marshall, WI (near Madison, just off I-94) has a Mad Mouse and Toboggan coaster, if you are interested in riding them. They also have some flat rides. If you stop here, you probably will not need to stay for too long. The park is more suited for kids.

Have a good trip.


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