Shortest visit to a park? Curious.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 7:22 PM

I have been reading a lot of the "short" park visit posts, and, I am kind of surprised at how little time some of you are spending on your park visits. I rarely go to a park, where I do not get there when the gates open, and leave when they close. Besides getting horribly Ill at Canada's Wonderland, and Rained out at Great America, I can't think of any trips were I haven't been at a park for at least 9 or 10 hours.

When I went to Indiana Beach for the first Time, I didn't take into account the time change from Michigan, and we were actually in the park an hour and a half before it opened. I think it was around 9:30 in the morning, and we stayed in the park until 10:00 p.m, might have been later, but it was very late.

I have also been at Cedar Point for the running of the bulls, and was probably one of the last people out of the gate at close. Sure made it a heck of a lot easier to find my car!! I was also the last ride of the night on Magnum. That was an incredible ride. I have also been on Mantis while they were doing the fireworks show...that's very freaky going up the lift!!

OOPS! I did not intend to put this in the trip reports! Sorry!

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Sunday, July 1, 2012 7:25 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2012 7:27 PM

For me, I like to go at opening or near opening and then shut the place down. With Dorney, however, I live SO close, and I have a season pass, so sometimes I will drive to the park for a quick ride on Talon and then leave. Why not? If I was ambitious (and crazy, considering it would a highway ride), I could ride my bike there. Hershey is also pretty close, so I don't always stay the whole day or I'll drive there after work and ride as much as I can. All the other parks are further away though, so those are at least full day trips if not a few days of constant riding.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:01 PM

I don't know the last time I spent an entire day at the park (CoasterBuzz events excluded).

Also, moved it to General Buzz for you. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:01 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:16 PM

If I drove a while (more than an hour), or I'm with friends who don't visit said park very often, that's when I'll usually be there for 75-100% of the operating hours.

The Orlando parks, on the other hand, I'll head over an hour or two before closing, ride my usual favorites and maybe stick around for the nighttime show, then head out (or relax in CityWalk if I'm at Universal). Of course I live 25 minutes from the Magic Kingdom (farthest Disney gate, Studios and Epcot are 10), and about 20 from Universal with light traffic and/or getting lucky with lights, so I'm not exactly typical in that regard. I think the last time I spent a full day in any Central Florida theme park outside of family visiting was when my girlfriend and I went to BGT for the first time back in like...January.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:28 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

I don't know the last time I spent an entire day at the park (CoasterBuzz events excluded).

Also, moved it to General Buzz for you. :)

Thanks Lord Gonchar. that was nice of you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:33 PM

Do you have kids? A spouse? Just curious. (no I'm not being snarky...this is what changed for me over the past 9 years).

When I was young, single, newly married, etc...I/we would open/close a park. Then my life expanded, and our trips now almost always include hotel stays and multiple days, and staying at a park all day now only seems not only annoying, but also damn near impossible. I'd rather get back to the hotel and have a nice dinner and some drinks. :)

Not that there is anything wrong with it; just zero desire to be at one park all day, and the young ones can only handle so much. And when you are there for multiple days, why not spread it out?

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:05 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:36 PM

I went to Michigan's Adventure once. Parked mid-timbers. Went inside, saw that there werent any new rides, and I turned around and took the long walk back to the car.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:38 PM

One of the shortest visits I ever had to a park was Mission Beach in San Diego, California in July of 1991. I was flying to Los Angeles and the Airline had me do a layover in San Diego which lasted 3 1/2 hours. Since Mission beach is only 5 miles from the airport I took a shuttle over the park, rode the Giant Dipper, had lunch then returned to the airport for my Flight to LA. Upon arrival there I picked up my Rental Car, then BEELINED to Disneyland, where I spent the remainder of the day. I've done "Double Headers" Before (As well as a Triple Play and even a "Quad Squad") and after this, but this is the only case where I did two parks and hopped a flight between them! :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012 8:59 PM

My trip to California next year is likely to include a similar single (maybe double) ride stay at Mission Beach as the other half's family wants to visit the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld for two days of the trip.

I want to say the shortest trip I've made to a park was when I got to the gate of DHS at about 9:50pm on a 10:00pm close and made it back to Toy Story Mania just in time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:19 PM

MiA is by far the shortest visit to a park for me. Timbers was brand new and waited 10 minutes to ride, 6 or 7 minute walk back to timbers x 2. Wow a whopping 24 minutes in the park, and no I didn't park mid timbers.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:46 PM

I don't know the last time I spent an entire day at the park (CoasterBuzz events excluded).

Me either---and that *includes* the one or two CoasterBuzz events I've attended. Even then, I take at least a mid-day break out of the park. We just got back from a week at Sea World Orlando/Universal, and I don't think we had any one day with more than 7-8 hours total in-park.

Then again, when I go to a park, it is generally to spend quality time with my family. We also almost always have season passes or length-of-stay tickets, so there's no sense of "wasting a day".

But, I think my shortest ever visit was on a no-kids weekend to Cedar Point. On departure day, we walked into the park after packing the car, took one lap on Magnum, and turned around and walked out to drive home. Our shortest "trip" was probably to King's Dominion, when we ducked in on the way to the Outer Banks for two coasters and some ice cream.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:48 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2012 9:51 PM

Sometimes for a small park like (Long Island) Advetureland or even Rye Playland...a few hours is all you need.

Once I went to playland...went on a few rides...went back to the car for my fishing gear...spent a few hours on the pier...went back to the car...went for a swim...and then ate in the park and went on some late afternoon - early evening rides.

Also, I do similar things at Keensburg...they have an INCREDIBLE fishing pier and a beach.

It's nice to combine two or three hobbies at the same time. It's not always about power riding for me anymore.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:05 PM

Raven-Phile said:

I went to Michigan's Adventure once. Parked mid-timbers. Went inside, saw that there werent any new rides, and I turned around and took the long walk back to the car.

In your remarks, it is obvious to me that you have never been there.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:13 PM

Corkscrew Follies said:

MiA is by far the shortest visit to a park for me. Timbers was brand new and waited 10 minutes to ride, 6 or 7 minute walk back to timbers x 2. Wow a whopping 24 minutes in the park, and no I didn't park mid timbers.

I was there on Shivering Timbers first day of operation. It was so new the construction workers were on the supports tightening bolts as the first few trains went through the ride, and there was no scenery, just sand and dirt all around it. I rode 18 times in a row, with only a 5 minute wait each time, and it was smooth as glass. I spent most of the day on ST in between multiple rides on Chaos, and the wildcat. 23 rides on ST total.

And gee, parking was only $5.00 and I think admission was only $18.00. Lockers at the water park were only 50 cents.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:39 PM

Michigans Adventure, 2005, 4 hours

Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:42 PM

In answer to your question Ohiostater. I do not have kids. (Thankgod)

I usually travel to amusement parks alone, with family, or with friends. And, the reason I say thank god about not having kids, is because I would feel very bad about not being able to afford to take them to the parks. I can barely afford to take myself anymore. But, if I could afford it, and I did have kids, you bet I would have spoiled them park rotten.

It's very difficult for me to find anyone to take to the parks these days. My partner doesn't like to go anymore, and some of my friends like to do all the boring stuff when I bring them along. They spend all day in gift shops, and bitch about the long lines. I have much more fun when I go alone.

An example. I took my friend David to Cedar Point, and he insisted on walking through every single gift shop in the park, and never bought anything. For some reason he was thinking it was like a city, and one of the stores would be giving things away free. But, trying to explain park layouts and merchandising to him is like talking to a brick wall. Never again.

I spent most of that trip going on rides by myself, while he thought he could go into the stores and make deals for cheaper goods. I think he might have went on a total of 5 rides, two of them the sky ride and the train.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:48 PM
Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:48 PM

Oh geeze... not proud of this stat, but as a resident of Orlando... 5 minutes? (not including the walk from parking to the gate?) I have literally parked at Universal, walked in, seen the crowd and said... not today and walked out.

More realistically with the spirit of the question, an hour.... park at Epcot head in for a margarita and watched Reflections of Earth from the dock and gone home. (Good first date for those inclined.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012 10:50 PM

This one:

Sunday, July 1, 2012 11:05 PM

Home parks, I've gone for less than an hour and done nothing and felt satisfied about it.

Shortest for non-home park was 45 minutes at Indiana Beach on my one and only trip there (from Texas). I was at a conference at Purdue and it let out in the evening and I raced over. Had to convince the lady at the gate to let me into the park. I got a ride on HH, a ride on the LoCoSuMo, a ride on Tigrr, and 3 rides on Cornball.

I probably could have gone back the next day again for another hour or two, but the drive and cost vs. time in the park wasn't worth it.

Two weeks ago I did Waldameer (new to me) in about 2.5 hours (1 of which was spent eating and talking on the phone) and did Hershey (not new to me) in about 4.

I used to go open to close and get 20+ laps on coasters in one day. In fact, I remember doing Carowinds, SFoG, Kennywood, and CP open to close on 4 consecutive days (with the exception of leaving SFoG about an hour early to catch a flight). Even before I had a family and kids it just stopped being worth the tiredness, heat, standing in lines, and that long painful drive back home (only time I consume caffeine) and now with family and kids, there's no way it's even possible to open and close a park without leaving for a good chunk of the afternoon for a nap and regroup.

Edit: Also did a credit stop at Del Grosso's which took something like 20 minutes. Sadly, have also credit stopped a couple of Jeepers which takes about 10 minutes. And have only done double headers a few times and never more (not counting park hopping at Disney or Universal). I've also opened SFoT a few times before heading in to work to get laps on New Texas Giant or Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast before they got mobbed. Can usually get 2 or 3 laps in half an hour.

Oh edit 2: My record if you can even call it that was driving to SFoT (25 minutes from house), seeing how full the parking lot was, and driving straight through the parking lot to the exit of the parking lot.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, July 1, 2012 11:12 PM
Monday, July 2, 2012 4:03 AM

Timber-Rider said:

In your remarks, it is obvious to me that you have never been there.

Ah, you got me. I must have imagined the time I went up there and hated Timbers.


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