SFMM and Knotts in Same Day -- Feasible?

I am traveling to California for a vacation. Have a day visit planned for SFMM. Question is how feasible would it be to also visit Knotts on the same day? Likely will have flash passes for SF. Looks like its about a hour drive between the two parks (without taking into account traffic). Feasible or more trouble than its worth?

eightdotthree's avatar

I think it's more trouble than it's worth.

Tekwardo's avatar

I did it in December on a week day where both parks were dead and traffic was (quite unusually) a non-issue. If you're doing it during the regular season, I say it's more trouble than it's worth.

I was at Knott's for 2.5 hours and then drove about an hour (seriously, there was no traffic and that's so not LA) and spent the rest of the day at SFMM. I would suggest a full day at SFMM just because of the poor operations.

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rollergator's avatar

Both parks have stuff you don't want to miss out on, and the drive is RARELY as easy as Tek had it....

On a re-visit, where you're going back to "finish up some credits" - might be doable. As a first-time visitor, I think you might end up disappointed you were unable to do everything you wanted - flats, flumes, "attractions"...

If all you're really after is coaster credits *and* you're doing Flash Passes - might be doable, but still not "recommended."

I say no.

I went from Knott's to my hotel near SFMM on a Sunday evening, minimum traffic, and I spent an hour and a half on the road. That's like driving from my house to Kings Island. Short, hurried times at parks are only frustrating for me and make me mad, but I've never been the type who's satisfied to walk in, bust em out quick and leave.

matt.'s avatar

Default answer: do the only sensible thing and go to Disneyland.

Other answer: I wouldn't do it. Both SFMM and Knotts has its charms, and I don't see the value in rushing either.

Jimmy Boy's avatar

Not a chance. Traffic stinks down there and SFMM is a full day park. Knotts however is a park that only takes a few hours at most though so you might want to pair that up with one of the other southern california parks for the day.

I wouldn't even think about it. Especially if it's your first time to either park. Bear in mind I did do a California Amusement-Park Doubleheader in 1991. Flying to Los Angeles, my itinerary included a three-and-a-half hour layover in San Diego, so I took a shuttle to Mission Beach where I rode the Giant Dipper and had lunch there. Returning to the Airport, I continued on to LA where I picked up my rental car and beelined to Disneyland where I spent the rest of the day.

I can't help but wonder, has anyone else visited two Amusement Parks in the same day, hopping a flight between parks?

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eightdotthree's avatar

Just the other day someone said they had a layover in Charlotte and took a cab to Carrowinds.

That was my 2003 "Mastercard Moment" (In both cases the parks (Mission Beach and Carowinds) were but five minutes from their respective airports, and with several hours to kill they just Beckoned me to visit them). In 2010 I almost had a third opportunity to do this thing again, on the way beck from my New England Coaster Trip my itinerary included an EIGHT HOUR layover in Atlanta, and I planned to Take MARTA over to Six Flags over Georgia to kill time, but I was offered a Trade - San Antonio Sea World, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags over Texas in exchange for the Atlanta Park, and in order to get to those parks I also received Free Airfare to Texas!

Last edited by Regulus,
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!

matt. said:

Default answer: do the only sensible thing and go to Disneyland.

We are going to the two Disney parks the day after. So whatever sins we are exposed to at SF will be cleansed with the visit to Disney. LOL

Thanks for the responses in this thread. From what I have seen/read, seems like it would be a stretch at best to visit both parks in one day. Though I last visited California about 40 years ago. On that pace for another visit in 40 years, I will be in my upper eighties pushing 90s (if not already pushing up daisies). Unlikely I will be visiting amusement parks at that point.

Jeff's avatar

I've never been to either park, but just on the issue of traffic alone, I wouldn't even try it. There isn't a single place in the universe where I've seen more ridiculous traffic.

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We hit the Cali parks for the first time this past January... And honestly, traffic was never nearly as bad as people made it out to be... As long as you avoid rush hour times, you are fine. There were some slow downs, but nothing terrible. We only hit significant traffic on our last night in LAX coming back into town at a bad time... Otherwise, I think Atlanta was worse honestly (at least in our experience). If you can, use the carpool lanes and it will help a bit as well. The traffic we ran into seemed to be 40mph for a few miles and back to normal... It was never stop-n-go until our last day when we hit the bad traffic and ended up through downtown LA... :)

And as far as hitting both parks, it can easily be done depending how much you really want to do. We lucked out with a DEAD day at SFMM (X2 was walk-on) and was able to hit every coaster in the park within 2-3 hours, but that is NOT common. If you plan to only hit the main rides and get out, you can easily do Knotts the same day. Knotts basically has three *main* rides worthwhile to ride... Xcelerator, Silver Bullet and Ghostrider. But there are some other cool things in the park to see and do... Sadly the log flume was closed when we was there for refurb.

But if you really want to ride everything and somewhat enjoy the parks, don't do them in the same day. If you plan to rush through and ride what you want once and leave right away, you can do it. Just depends! We have done all (4) Disney parks in Florida before in one single day and did all we wanted... Many would think that it would not be worth it but it was an awesome time... For Disney... :p

If you were only able to go to one park though, definitely SFMM. Much better collection of rides... Although I would love to steal Silver Bullet and place it right next to Raptor so they can be good friends :)

Last edited by SteveWoA,
Walk-Off HBP's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

Question is how feasible would it be to also visit Knotts on the same day?

I'm heading out to SoCal towards the end of the summer and I plan on doing just that- I guess I'll be able to see for myself. I'm looking to take care of Knott's in short order before heading to SFMM in the late afternoon/early evening for a preview of sorts. I'll be back in the morning for a full day.

The trick was to surrender to the flow.

Its not an easy task but definitely a doable one. My buddy and I went to SFMM one day and then made a bee-line to Buena Park to do KBF for Halloween Haunt. It was well worth it. We hit all the major rides at SFMM and then got to see about 5 of the haunted houses at KBF and get in 4 rides too.

Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?

As others have said, it's doable, but that depends on traffic actually cooperating. On my only visit out there, our hotel was by Knott's, and we drove to MM twice. Only one of those 4 trips (each way) had manageable traffic and we made it in an hour. On the last one, heading back to the hotel, it was raining and took 3.5 hours. Additionally, I wouldn't want to rush at either one of those parks. If I had to pick only one, I'd pick MM.

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Tekwardo's avatar

And as far as hitting both parks, it can easily be done depending how much you really want to do

Totally disagree with this based on what he's asking. I, like you, went during the off season, and it was possible then. But with SFMM's operations, which, while better, still aren't where they need to be, during the regular season, with school out, I don't see both parks being easily done. And let's not forget how busy Knott's is likely to be with school out.

And although I agree that Atlanta traffic is worse from my perspective, I've only ever driven in SoCal during the colder months, also avoiding rush hour traffic. I imagine traffic being worse during the summer.

I put my experience in there to show that, yes, in theory, it could be done, but I wouldn't risk doing it during the summer.

A Monday in December, though, is a different story.

So I'd say focus on everything WOA said after that particular sentence. :)

Last edited by Tekwardo,

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If you want traffic, try NYC. I would take the I-5 over the I-95 any day, and its toll free.

I have done both parks in 1 day but did not get all the coasters done in SFMM, but I was going back the next day so it didn't matter. I only did it because I was done with Knotts after 2 1/2 hours, and have done both parks before.

You need to be out of Knotts by 1pm, cos the freeways start getting gridlocked after 2pm, or so I was told by a local. It took me 1 3/4 hours in traffic.

This was also a Friday with schools in. Knotts is usually dead then, but since SFMM was not open daily then, it was busier.

Incidentally, I have done SFMM and SFDK on the same day during October. 2 rides on X2 and Tatsu then off to SFDK.

There is a section of the I5 that is being widened between Knott's and the junction downtown. Forget about doing it during the week. I just had to do that yesterday in both directions and it took an hour and a half to do twenty miles. The weekends, especially early in the morning are not bad and doable, but otherwise it's a bit of a nightmare.

I suspect it'd be far easier to hit Knotts and DCA in the same day.

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