Planning our next big coaster trip

Friday, July 10, 2009 3:40 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

This time we are thinking of heading out east.

Friday get the rental car and head for Wheeling to drop off the dogs at the in-laws.

Saturday get up early and drive to Lakemont in Altoona. 2 1/2 hours drive time

Ride the coasters and then head to Knoebels. 2 1/4 hours drive time

Leave Knoebles around 6:00 PM and head to Hershey Park for the preview time. 1 1/2 hours drive time

Sunday go back to Hershey. Stay in Hershey

Monday drive to SFGAv. 2 1/2 hours drive time

Monday night drive to Dorney Park 1 1/2 hours drive time

Tuesday go to Dorney till 6:00 PM then drive to Wheeling 5 1/2 drive time.

Wednesday morning drive back to Columbus to get the shop open at 10:00 AM.

Does this order make since?

I know that it is a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but we have already done 2 other 1200 mile trips so I think we can handle that part.

The other option would be to do it as 2 separate trips of SFGAd on a Sunday and Dorney on Monday and Lakemont, Knoebels, Hershey on a Sunday and more Hershey on Monday.

Feel free to comment

Dave

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Friday, July 10, 2009 3:45 PM

Have you been to Kennywood yet? If you havent, you should and its on your way and well worth a visit (perhaps over Lakemont.)

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Friday, July 10, 2009 4:09 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Yes, we did Kennywood earlier this year. I thought the park was just OK because the employees attitude was lethargic at best. The thing about Lakemont & Knoebels is that we can just pay for the coasters ala cart although Lakemont wristband is only $10. My thought was to just be there from opening for 1 hour or so. This would give us 4 hours at Knoebels which does not have wristbands on Saturdays.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 4:26 PM
Vater's avatar

Don't forget DelGrosso's, which is a short drive from Lakemont. I hit William's Grove, Lakemont, DelGrosso's, and Knoebels in a weekend, the first three on day 1.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 4:58 PM

You'll be doing a little backtracking with the driving Dave. But it makes sense that way doing the preview then full day in Hershey. One word of caution, they are calling for t-storms later Saturday afternoon and evening in east and central PA. So plan accordingly.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 5:38 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

This will be in August, not this weekend.

I chose to do it this way so that SFGAdv would be on a weekday and hopefully we will not require a q-bot at least not a gold one that I would have expected to need on a weekend.

Hershey will have a few extra hours with the preview so this will give us a chance to get everything done and hopefully most things more then once.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Friday, July 10, 2009 5:44 PM
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Friday, July 10, 2009 9:22 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

I somehow think I need Dave's job..

Dave you should document your travel times for all your journeys (if you havent already). It would certainly help others (read: at least me) who wants to try out coaster road trips.


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Friday, July 10, 2009 9:54 PM

DaveStroem said:
This will be in August, not this weekend.

I chose to do it this way so that SFGAdv would be on a weekday and hopefully we will not require a q-bot at least not a gold one that I would have expected to need on a weekend.

Hershey will have a few extra hours with the preview so this will give us a chance to get everything done and hopefully most things more then once.

Don't worry, there will probably be a t-storm that weekend too. :) One thing you might want to do with Hershey is to check whether there is a concert the same date you plan on visiting. Not a big deal, but you might want to allow some extra time parking, etc. Plus some of the parking closest to the stadium might be dedicated for concert parking. Even on "normal" days, it takes several minutes to get from Hersheypark Drive to a parking spot.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 10:04 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
Even on "normal" days, it takes several minutes to get from Hersheypark Drive to a parking spot.

Yeah, I believe it's how Hershey likes to mess with little kids. "Kids, look! We're here!... Psych! We just have to take this mile long spin around the Giant Center... I know you can't see the coasters anymore, just hang on, they'll come back into view...eventually!" :)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, July 10, 2009 10:37 PM
sws's avatar

Dave, usually one weekend in August, Lakemont hosts a classic car show. It's really fun to walk around and look at all of the classic cars. If it's not listed on Lakemont's website, e-mail Barry and ask about it. It's a good time. Also riding Skyliner during an Altoona baseball game is a blast.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:05 PM

So true, Carrie. "Look kids we're going under that road we were just on 5 minutes ago."

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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

Carrie M. said:Yeah, I believe it's how Hershey likes to mess with little kids. "Kids, look! We're here!... Psych! We just have to take this mile long spin around the Giant Center... I know you can't see the coasters anymore, just hang on, they'll come back into view...eventually!" :)

^That's called "taking the bitter with the sweet". ;)

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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:30 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Ken, believe me you don't want my job. We just decided to not worry about the expenses and seize the day.

To cover costs, we are doing things like buying coins from the mint to collect credit card reward points. I am also using a holiday in deal where you stay 2 nights and get 1 free. So far I have 2 free nights in the bank. We always take a cooler and make lunch in the parking lot. For dinner it is usually a pizza so we can keep it under $20. When we were with you, we splurged and got the meal deals.

When you are ready to ride the Cincy snake, let me know, I would love to meet you at KI.

sws, I did see the car show on the Lakemont website. I normally try to avoid events that might bring in more of a crowd to a park. Most of my experience is with bigger parks though.

RGB, thanks for the tip on the concerts. I just checked and we are good. I am tentatively looking at August 15th through 18th for this adventure.

Several of my customers have mentioned about turning our summer into a book. Maybe not one for sale, but more of the personal ones that can now be made rather cheaply online.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:31 PM

Be careful with planning on only spending an hour at Lakemont if you get there at opening, because when I was there a week and a half ago Leap the Dips didn't open until a couple hours after the park's opening.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:31 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

^That's called "taking the bitter with the sweet". ;)

At least the sweet is CHOCOLATE

Last edited by DaveStroem, Friday, July 10, 2009 11:32 PM
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Friday, July 10, 2009 11:41 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Thanks for the tip Pat, I will email the park about this. We only added Lakemont in because A: it was on the way to Knoebels and B: we could do the coasters for just a few dollars. If L&D is not open, I doubt that we would stop and just spend more time at Knoebels.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 9:52 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

OK, doing a bit more on this. On our SFGAd day (Monday 8/17), I see that the Safari opens at 9:00 AM and the park opens at 10:30 AM. I have never been to either of these. While I know you want to be at the park well before opening, Does this park do any soft openings like BGW or KD where they say they open at one time, but actually start a few things earlier.

Talk to me about the safari?

Can this be done in an hour? I have no idea because we don't have anything like this in Ohio. It is included with our SFA passes and we will be staying the night before in the area so getting there early is not a big deal.

I also am budgeting for Gold Q-bots but hope we won't need them.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:13 PM
sws's avatar

Two years ago on our three week amusement park marathon road trip, we spent two days at SFGAd. We did the amusement park on a Thurs and the safari/waterpark on Fri. We really enjoyed the safari. It was fun to have giraffes and other animals walking past your car. We took a fun video of an ostrich attacking the passenger window. Is it worth doing? I am very glad we did and have no regrets. My one suggestion, Dave, is rather than "Can this be done in an hour?" to approach it as "How can I make the best memories when I think back on this day?" I totally understand trying to get as much as possible crammed into limited time. Sometimes it can be more enjoyable to stop and smell the giraffe crap. :)

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:23 PM

Also ask, how much do you value your car? Because there have been numerous stories about cars getting damaged and even sometimes totaled by the animals in there.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:35 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Good thinking Touchdown, It will be a rental car. I guess if we plan on doing this I will opt for the damage coverage.

SWS, I totally agree. The thing is this is a coaster trip. Adding the safari would be a bonus. With only 1 day at the park, I don't want to spend those precious low crowd early morning hours outside of the park.

You mentioned giraffes. When we were at Animal Kingdom taking the Kilimanjaro Safari, a young giraffe came up to our truck and started nuzzling and licking my arm. Talk about a memory.

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