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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don't know if you've been to IB before, but here is another tip for going to IB.
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***
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. :)
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. ;-)
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.
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.
My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.
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.
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.
To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".
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.
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.
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.
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