Prepping for the new season

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:51 AM

So, we've talked about most anticipated rides for this season. I figured I'd ask: how do all you park fiends prep for the season? Do you plan certain dates for certain parks? Do you go on any crash diets so you can better fit into Intamin's baby seats? Do you have your season passes all bought up? Do you have any rituals you do (not like dancing naked around a fire shaking a chicken. I mean more like...a flight pattern)? For instance, I usually go to Dorney before the season starts to process my pass, or I go opening day, get my pass, and then ride Talon to "adjust" my body back to riding coasters. From there, I usually hit Hershey once or twice, then spend my summer alternating between Great Adventure and Dorney for most of the season, with a possible random trip to a park farther away like KD or similar.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:34 AM

No real rituals. Back when I was single and in the North East, I used to plan trips to parks up the Atlantic seaboard as they opened each week. KD, then SFA, then GAdv. in successive weekends.

Now I don't live close enough to any parks (and I have kids) that I can do anything except go to the parks near where I was already planning to be anyway.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:26 AM

Andy, do your kids like coasters?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:43 AM

No rituals this early in the season for me. Of course I try to loosely plan what to do over the season throughout the winter. I make sure that my sneakers don't need replaced, and I might buy a new t-shirt to wear at the park, and sweatshirt, if necessary. I usually take my vehicle to my mechanic to make sure it is okay, and maybe get an oil change if needed. I like to give it a good cleaning inside and out before I go. I might do most of my packing a few days before my trip, especially if the trip is longer than a few days.

Most of that isn't really a ritual, in my eyes. It's just preparation.

Oh, and sorry to interrupt. Andy, do your kids like coasters? We never hear much about them.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:44 AM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:55 AM

Back when we were doing 20-30 parks each summer, we'd obviously have trips planned out, passes bought, rooms booked - all that stuff by now. Now that we've slowed down, it's more spontaneous.

Oddly enough, we visit less parks now that the kids are older.

Other than that there's never been any 'pregame warmup' needed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:55 PM

I have my warm ups, as has been mentioned before!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:19 PM

Gonchar, do your kids like pancakes?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:20 PM

I usually look at the operating calendars for Great Adventure and Dorney and try to see which days I expect the park to be less crowded and plan trips to the park on those days (not so much for Dorney, since it's almost always walk ons all day there).

For Dorney, I have been using the same pass since 2010 and just instant renew it online so I can avoid processing. I processed my Great Adventure pass last October but still had to go to processing on Sunday to add the dining pass but there was no line since the park was empty.

Other than that, I don't really plan anything since except for some day trips to a park like Hershey or going to the Ocean City, NJ piers when I am there during the summer my coaster season has been basically the same since 2008, 12 - 15 trips to Dorney each year and around 15 - 20 trips to Great Adventure each year.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:24 PM

Yoshi, I was there Sunday. Did you happen to see a brunette on a knee scooter? That was my party.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:31 PM

"Season"? You mean the salt, pepper, and spices you put on food? Yeah, I love tasty food - seasonings are great! ;~P

Coaster season doesn't become real until the first travel plans are made...this year, like most years, that'll be HWN.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:40 PM

Coming off a massively productive ski season, I'm beginning to view this summer's coaster riding as merely prepping for ski season '14. Consider it a shift in perspective.

In all seriousness, however, I don't see the need to overprepare. I pick out a few attractive weekends and watch the weather reports. The only firm trip so far is Kennywood the day after the Belle & Sebastian/Yo La Tengo concert in Pittsburgh. That, and whatever weekend Pedal to the Point falls this year.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 4:55 PM

Break Trims said:
The only firm trip so far is Kennywood the day after the Belle & Sebastian/Yo La Tengo concert in Pittsburgh. That, and whatever weekend Pedal to the Point falls this year.

I will be at that show! How is the Pedal to the Point ride? I did Escape to the Lake last year and it was fun but the first day was a little tough with 4k of climb.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:01 PM

It's not bad as far as terrain goes; the route out has a tough tenth or so of a mile that's pretty steep coming out of a valley, and made more difficult by the presence of a stop sign at the bottom of it. It's deadly flat otherwise. They rerouted the return trip last year, and it now includes an unwelcome climb at the very end, but this isn't more than a half mile.

I've done the entire 150 miles three times now, and the persistent issues are the irritating headwinds in places and and the rough chip-seal surfaces on some of the county roads. Still, it redefines your ambition to get to Cedar Point, which is fun. The park is always so crowded on that August Saturday that our group usually opts for Soak City, and indeed, after 75 miles on the road, waiting in a long, unshaded line isn't attractive.

All in all, it's enjoyable, and it gives you that sense of accomplishment that seems to wash clean all the other unhealthy sins of summer.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:02 PM

My oldest is 3 and loves Wile E. Coyote's Canyon blaster. Like, if we let him, he'd stay on it all day. My younger is 1 and enjoys getting pushed around in a stroller.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:35 PM

I don't really have a ritual so to speak. Being an Ohioan, I just spend quite a bit of time at Cedar Point (like 30+ visits a year), and I hit King's Island once or twice. Last year I only got 27 visits in due to meeting my fiance. I don't always ride when I go either. There are times I just enjoy walking around and snapping pictures of the park.

This year, in addition to Cedar Point and King's Island (which he has never been to) we plan on hitting up Kennywood, Great America, Holiday World, Waldameer, Knobels, Dorney, and Hershey.

Monday, April 1, 2013 9:42 AM

I'm SUPER excited. I'm 2 hours from carowinds which will start my season!


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