Trip advice - KI, HW, IB, SFKK, SFGA

Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:05 AM
I am planning a trip to Kings Island, Holiday World, Indiana Beach, Six Flags Kentucky, and Six Flags Great America around the 4th of July. We want to spend time in Chicago as well.

I am looking for advice about time needed in the parks, what to see outside the obvious etc. We like to enjoy the park and not rush around, but dont really want to spend an entire day at a small park. Can we do IB and KK in a day/night?

KI, HW IB and SFGA are our priorities, KK is on the list because its fairly close and will be free.

I have seen trip reports about all the parks and have learned about them and chosen them based on what I have read.


Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:41 AM
You could probably swing an IB/KK day, but that 3.5 hour drive would certainly take away from extra time at IB. I have only been at IB during the day and KK at night, so I have no idea what the other is like at the other time. If you had a choice of which one to go to first, you might want to consider their water parks. My personal choice (if you wanted to split them in a day) would be to hit IB during the most part of the day at KK during the night. Anywho...

KI is definitely a full day, especially with the water park. HW can be a full day if you want it to be, certainly a full day with the water park. KI and SFGAm are now in the same boat.

My only advice about things not to miss is to not miss Dr. Frankenstein's Haunted Castle at IB. It does cost a little extra dough, but it was a surprisingly good time.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 11:39 AM
I don't know if your hitting the water parks, that would be a consideration.

I think hitting KK and HW in one day would be your best choice for doing 2 parks in a day.

I'm guessing that you are going to PKI first, then KK, HW, IB, and SFGAM. A fast pass would be an option and KK to get you out of there eairler and on to HW. You'll probably want to get multiple rides on the Raven and Legend.

IB would be cheaper as a half day cause they have 2 ride sessions and an all day ride pass. 11 to 6 is the first session and 4 to 11 is the second for $17.00. An all day wristband is $26.50. A half day is plenty of time to cover this park at a leisurly pace, but night time at IB is much cooler and funner to me.

Make sure to ride the Cornball in the front and back seats. Each seat provides air at different moments throughout the ride. Take the time to wait for the front of the Hurricane also. It is in my opinion the best seat.

Don't fear Lost Coaster. They have smoothed it out considerably.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 11:46 AM
I need to get a better overall map of the parks from aaa, but we will definately spend a full day at HW.

I bet what we will end up doing is heading to KK after a day at HW and then camping at IB that same night on our way up to Chicago.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 4:09 PM
I do believe you get a time change from HW to KK and back to IB of an hour. I think you can do them both in a day as long as you don't do the water parks.

Are you going to be at a park on the 4th? We did HW on the 4th and IB on the 5th last year and the crowds were not bad at all. Just wish HW was open later. Only got 1 night ride in.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 4:54 PM
Yes, there is a time change. That will definatly work in your advantage. You could spend from 10 to 3 at SFKK be at IB by 5:30pm (Indiana time). Get a wristband and spend a wonderful fun filled evening at Indiana Beach. You would have 5 1/2 hours to spend at Indiana Beach.

I don't know if you've been to IB before, but here is another tip for going to IB.

  • Park in south parking lot. You'll get to enter Indiana Beach by walking across the suspension bridge. From here you get your first and fantastic view of Indiana Beach.

But you were going to camp so that wouldn't work. You'll most likey take the ferry. *** Edited 1/29/2005 10:02:58 PM UTC by Wabash Cannonball***

Saturday, January 29, 2005 6:25 PM
Didnt think about the time change! Thats really awesome. This will be our first visit to all of these parks actually, outside of my trip to KI years ago.

As far as water parks, we will probably visit HW's for sure. Is KI an upcharge? From their site it doesnt look like it. We will probably steer clear of Great America's as its new/busy/six flags.

What about a plan of early morning ride attack for KI and SFGA? Is the Beast a good morning coaster or should we wait until evening? I remember last time I was there The Beast rocking me for the rest of the day, so maybe we will wait till later. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2005 9:45 PM
All of the water parks are included sans IB which requires an upgrade.

As for an attack at KI, starting from the back is my best advice however the crowds will probably congregate there this year with the addition of IJ so starting in Action Zone and moving over to FoF may be a better strategy.

Start in Southwest Territory at SFGAm to knock out RB and Viper.

Experiencing The Beast later is always a good option. ;-)

Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:54 PM
I've not done IB or HW(plan on knocking out Raven & Legend this summer), but here is my suggestion:

SFKK can be done in a short amout of time. As long as the park isn't busy (is it really ever?), then go knock out Greeze first, then head over the bridge and work back to front. Do get a backseat ride on Thuder Run for me, as I forgot to last year. I did the park in the middle of summer in about 2 hours, doing every coaster except the closed twin, plus the Shoot-the-Chute. I even did Greeze Lightnin 2 times.

PKI is a definite all dayer. Esp. if you do the water park. Start off in Action Zone, though, if you are there at opening. Rush to Face/Off first, then hit Drop Zone and Delirium. Of course, IJ:ST will be there this year, so mayhaps you should do that after Face/Off...

PKI is an easy park to navigate, and the rides that seem to have the longest line in the middle of the day are Face/Off (always) and FoF. Water Rides can get long lines as well. Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster will have a long line no matter what because it has terrible capacity (and if you aren't such a CreHo, I'd say skip it, it sux). Otherwise, most rides and coasters will fluctuate, some will be busy in the morning, some in the evening, but you should be able to skip right over and hit them again later with little to no wait.

I haven't been to SFGAm in a long time, But I'd say what Neuski said, go get RB and Viper first, then meander around the park.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 1:45 AM
All I can say is, you won't be disappointed with this lineup of parks and the fact that they are all relatively close to eachother if you bang them out in the proper order. Yes, I am including SFKK and not being a disappointment because they have some decent coasters and the place never seems to be crowded.

Since SFGAm will be your final stop and you want to visit Chicago, try to be in the area during the week. The Chicago SF park gets pretty crowded at this time and even going into the city on the weekends during the summer is pretty busy.

Have fun.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 2:07 AM
I did a trip similar to this in '03 except instead of PKI and KK, I did MIA. If you are down near HW, you can drive up to IB the next day, and after IB closes, drive about an hour or so towards MIA. Then finish in the AM, do a day at MIA (they close early), and then head to SFGAM. You can probably make it there by midnight and then do SFGAM the next day. I agree that the night session is best at IB, so you can use that morning for driving, and I think ST is a better draw than KK. The drive from MIA to SFGAM from close at MIA till bed time really worked out well for me. *** Edited 1/30/2005 7:07:49 AM UTC by RavenTTD***
Sunday, January 30, 2005 10:23 AM
It was mentioned that IB's water park is not included in the admission and requires and upgrade. When actually IB has an all day ticket just like the rest of these park that includes the water park. Therefore, all of these parks have the water park included in the all day admission.

What IB offers that the rest of these parks don't is a half day ticket for a discounted price that does not include the water park.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 11:13 AM
I didnt realize MA was so close to Great America, I am afraid I we may have a bit too much on our plate allready. Its on the list of parks to do, maybe if we have extra time.
Sunday, January 30, 2005 11:20 AM
Some of these suggestions have you going through Louisville like 9 times. I'd suggest getting a map and doing what is most geographically feasible. PKI, KK, and HW are all about a little over an hour from one another in that order, but PKI and HW are a good 2 and a half/3 hours from one another, and you would have to go through Louisville/Cinci which could up your driving times depending on traffic. Really the moral of all of this babbling is that you should probably do HW, KK, and then PKI, OR the other way around (make sure KK is in the middle). This will keep you from back tracking and save you a lot of time.
Sunday, January 30, 2005 12:54 PM
If I may add a couple of items on admissions:

ACE membership will get you half price admission to PKI and IB, along with a substantial discount at HW. And you'll get a walkback to something at PKI. If you're not already a member, you will be money ahead by joining.

I also thought I'd mention that HW is not a very large park. I love the place as much as anybody, but it is very easy to complete the park in a few hours, even taking your time. I suppose if you're going to hang around at the waterpark you could kill a few more hours, though.

And, as mentioned earlier, I would not go near SFGAm on the weekend.

Monday, January 31, 2005 1:50 AM
Also if your after the coaster credits you can stop at the Indianapolis zoo on your way to IB from louisville and ride theirs.

I did half of your trip last year and came from the Chicage area. I went down to PKI, then got up the next morning drove to a KOA just north of Louisville and dropped the camper off. Went to HW, drove back to the camper. Next day was SFKK. If going to HW or SFKK during the week. I think both parks can be done the same day without using the waterparks. From SFKK it is about a 4 1/2 hour ride pulling the camper to SFGam.. about 2 hour to IB.

Monday, January 31, 2005 3:09 AM
HW cannot be done in a few hours. You have to try every seat on Raven and Legend, and then go back and re-ride your favorites. Keep in mind you are going to have a lot of favorites.
Monday, January 31, 2005 9:33 AM
Questions to ask yourself:

a) Am I scrambling around the midwest attempting to ride every possible coaster to improve my track record?

b) Do I want to enjoy each individual park for what it offers in charm and atmosphere?

c) Financially, can I stay overnight in each one of these places?

d) Do I really want to visit Chicago's finest near the 4th of July and actually enjoy myself?

e) Do I understand the SFKK really sucks? No, I'm kidding. I had to throw that in there so the Trolls can feed. But, in your research of Trip Reports, did you find SFKK kicked around like an unwanted cat?

Anyways, we did the SFKK/ HW thing in one day. We will NEVER do it again. HW deserves a full day, I will never give it anything less. Because at 2pm when everyone is at the pools, I'm marathoning the two coasters like I'm possessed. Also, IB deserves one day, too, just in charm of the traditional trolley park feel.

SFKK can be done in 4 hours, but you'll only be getting one ride on each coaster since they only open one train on each coaster and rarely on "the sisters" We waited 45 minutes on Chang with one coaster operation on an above average crowd and this is only one crappy example of our day there. Thus, they get a vote for best mirage of an amusement park.

No matter what, have a great time.

Monday, January 31, 2005 9:53 AM
We definately like spending time at the parks and neither of us count coasters.

We are planning on spending a day at KI then driving down the next morning to KK, and in that same day driving to HW, setting up camp and possibly visiting the park at night. Then the entire next day would be at HW/relaxing at the camp. Wake up the next day and head to IB setting up camp for the night and probably visiting that night unless we find something else to do. After that we may spend a half day at IB if we want and travel to Chicago.

We were originally planning on leaving on a Friday night, but we may need to rethink that so we arent visiting the two biggest parks on weekends.

Monday, January 31, 2005 12:34 PM
That would be a good idea, as PKI gets pretty busy as well.

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