Anyways, I have never been to either park and was wondering if anyone had any tips...
I've never been on a floorless coaster so that will be my main priorty in both parks...but what else?
SFWOA is a really cool park. B:KF is awesome IMO, many say it's over-engineered or stuff like that, but it seemed perfect to me and my friends when we rode it. Make sure you get the front rows on the floorless coasters though, thats what really makes them stand out from your normal sitdown. X-Flight is also fun, the line can get long though as it does seem to have constant mechanical trouble, and just the way the Vekoma flyers are designed don't make for easy loading. If you've never been on a flyer don't miss the experience. S:UE is another great ride, if it's back open by then. I liked it and V2 a lot better than WT, the holding break is by far the best part. Villain, which isn't mentioned much is also good for a few rides, many complain about the trains, but I found nothing wrong with them.
Never been to Knott's during Halloween, but I hear it's supposed to be even better than HHN at USF/IOA, which is saying a lot. Knott's is way underrated, Ghostrider and Xcelerator themselves pretty much can be ridden all day just the two rides. Perilous Plunge is also a cool experience, but in the fall you may be getting a little too wet for it to actually still be fun. Oh, and as far as I know Matterhorn is perfectly fine, in fact it just got out of a major rehab a few months ago. Space Mountain is closed though, and will be until 2005. Honestly I'd recommend skipping Disney and doing two days at Knott's.
"This time I think ... I think it's ... it's going to work!" - Dr.Bruce Banner
at woa...be sure to plan the day out, if you do both sides then you'll need to know about the show times etc. the park is pretty big if you do the whole thing.
one thing you need to do at woa though, is to eat at mandarin buffet right across from the whale show. the price is iffy at like $13 or something, but ive been to the park where i just go around, get really hungry, eat in the afternoon at the buffet, and im good all day, no snakcs needed. that place is awesome. :)
SFMM hopefully won't be too crowded then, it shouldn't be as bad as in the summer months. However, their halloween stuff is lacking, at best. When I went, they had a couple of decorations, like spiderwebs on some signs, but nothing really spectacular. Don't expect any special Halloween stuff there.
My tips differ somewhat from most people's. Almost everyone says to get there early and make a beeline for X. I read reports where people say they went straight for X and only had an hour and a half wait. I generally head for X around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon and have an hour and a half wait. The most important thing is try to get there on a day where it's running two trains, that makes all the difference in the world. Even a slow day can have a 3 hour wait when they've only got one train.
As far as X's queue goes, if it is running two trains, a line that stretches to the queue entrance is about 1 & 1/2 hours, if it's spilling significantly onto the bridge, you're looking at 2 to 2+ hours. If it's one train, a line stretching to the queue entrance is more like 3 hours, and if it's beyond the queue entrance, don't even bother, unless you *REALLY* have to ride it.
I love the ride, but 3+ hours is a bit much, even for X.
What I usually do is get there early and make a run for the back of the park. Scream, Batman, Riddler's, and Deja Vu are all back there, and are often walk-ons early in the morning. Almost the entire crowd goes for either X or Goliath first, I've actually gotten re-rides without having to leave the train on Riddler's and Batman in the morning.
Psyclone is also back that way, but I imagine not many people really want to ride that. Colossus also falls in that bunch, and it's pretty fun, but it's definitely better at night, if you can wait for that.
In addition to the back of the park, almost nobody makes their way up the hill to SF:TE and Ninja, though Ninja tends to open late these days and only runs one train (I've heard rumors to the effect that the second train didn't pass muster on state inspections and is being rehabbed). If you want to get a quick ride on either of those, get to that part of the park early.
Finally, if you want to kill some time and enjoy yourself while simultaneously checking out X's queue, ride Viper. You get a couple of great views of X's queue from the first drop and from the boomerang-y element, so you can get an idea of the wait for X while riding another ride. Bonus!
Goliath tends to churn through people pretty well, so it doesn't matter too much when you get there. It'll get crowded at night, though, lots of people want that to be their last ride in the dark before leaving the park.
Knott's is all about getting there early. GhostRider's queue tends to fill up, so try to get on that one as early as you can. Then, after getting your fill/having the line fill up, head back to the back fo the park for Xcelerator. Most people won't have made it back there yet (I rode 4 times from 10:15 to 10:45 last Saturday), and I find the park clientele to be less brave than SFMM, so Xcelerator's line never really gets too crazy. The front is very cool, so you may want to wait for that once, but I still prefer the back and usually have a 5-6 train wait, even on busy days.
I can't help you much with Disney, unfortunately.
Anyway, enjoy your trip!!
*** This post was edited by Tom Servo 8/13/2003 2:12:27 PM ***
As a Cleveland area resident who travels for a living (allowing me to visit parks around the country), I would ask you why you would go to SFWoA when Cedar Point is under 90 minutes away. Ok, X-flight, S:TE, and B:KF are moderately fun, but MF, Raptor, Magnum, and TTD (granted, when operating) are some of the best coasters in the world. I finally got on TTD after 7 tries this summer and can tell you there is nothing I've ever ridden like it. (Going at night is truly a life altering experience!)
I don't mean to be a total CP homer here, but I have visited three of the SF parks, PKI, and BGF and can tell you that none compare. (Although Raging Bull at SF:GaM is a great ride)
Since I'm working in New England currently, I'm hoping to check out S:RoS this fall for comparison to CP's MF. Still, having been to both CP and SFWoA multiple times, my advice would be go to CP.
You may flame me now.
Scenically- the park is UGLY- very few reminders of its historic past and they ruined the wilderness shops and the cute boat ride by installing Magnum Part 2, err MF- incidently any park who relies traditional Arrow coasters as their big draws (i.e. Magnum) is not going to be liked much by me.
"No, it offends me as a comedian."
I do admit back in my youth I vowed never to work at CP since I figured it would ruin the park for me. I'm shocked by the labor practices, but wonder if they are unique in the industry. (I am encouraged when I come across park employees coming back on their days off just to ride some of the rides. Had a pair of employees behind me on TTD one night and they said they had been on it 16 times already. Perhaps your experience is out of the ordinary?)
Anyway, if you prefer the SF:WoA Vekoma head jerkers over the Arrow rides, enjoy. Personally, I go to CP for MF, WT, TTD, and Raptor - none of which were designed in Utah.
Either way, I hope you enjoy your time in Cleveland.
Being a woody fan, I suggest Villain. This is what Mean Streak at CP should have been. Check out the structure of that ride. The support structure is made out of steel, but the track is wood. There are many air times on that ride especially on the back. This is in my top five "Woodies". Big Dipper is also good (75 years old!) I cannot say I like Raging Wolf Bobs. That is a horrible ride! Try X-Flight, Superman and the Batman. One cute coaster is the Road Runner Express. That was my daughter's second coaster. She rode that 8 times! Even though the ride is a kiddie ride, it is a fun ride.
My trip to SoCal has been delayed until early December- has anyones' comments on advice changed due to the schedule change?
Also I need advice on where to stay- can I stay near Disney/Knotts and still "go out" in Silverlake and Long Beach?
Both days at SFMM, X was running 1 train and was a 3-hour wait. This is a must-ride, sit last-row, inside seat if possible. Be careful, the station is a cluster-f*ck. Viper is a actually a good Arrow mega-looper that has no line a bit later in the day. All the other coasters had about 10 minute lines when they were running 2+ trains. About 1/2 through the day, Batman, Riddler, & Psyclone all switched to 1 train op. Watch when you get in line for those to make sure you aren't wasting you're time with a long line for a coaster you already rode. Scream had a station wait both times I went on it, as well as Goliath.
By going in the Winter, Flashback might actually be open!
That being said i would say CP is still the better choice for coasters and FREE Halloween attractions.
Finally if you don't have a car in Cleveland i can't think of any other way to get to WOA other than a taxi at this time of year.
Although I started this post to get advice on a few parks others want to make it into an argument. That stated, let me say this: I have worked at Fantasy Island, Darien Lake, Disney (FL), Universal (CA), SFGAm, Knott's Camp Snoopy (mall of america), and CP was the worst place I have ever worked- ALL of the others paid over time and did not MAKE their employees work 10-14 hours per day, 6 days a week- I don't even feel safe with people working that many hours operating rides. Incidently the season I worked there Magnum came with a foot of having a rearend collision, Mean Streak had TWO rollbacks, filmed footage of several rides running during a tornado (its visable in the shot), and numerous other incidents.
But if you insist on being such an asshead, here is my OTHER tips.
-Don't make B:KF a priority. Make S:UE and X-Flight your priorities.
-RIDE THE BIG DIPPER. Some of the most incredible air ever.
-Don't bother with Double Loop... unless the line is under 5 minutes.
-Don't be a wuss, ride RWB, very intense, furious ride.
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