Two-Park Trip in Limited Time

Monday, May 17, 2010 1:32 PM

Memorial Day Weekend Im planning a trip to Kings Dominion. We plan on leaving Erie, Pa Sunday and Returning Tuesday. Kings Dominion will consequently be on Monday.

The issue is that we are traveling through the great wooden coaster country of Pa. Considerations have been a sidestop at Lakemont or Knoebels. I've done all of the travel time calculations and found Lakemont to be only forty minutes out of the way, and Knoebels to be about two hours out of the way.

First, my rationale for Knoebels. Obviously Phoenix, Twister and a couple good flats. These are arguably one of the greatest woodie duos around. Also, my non-enthusiast but thrill seeking friends would enjoy these more than a coaster maxing out at 10 mph. Additionally, one of them made a request for Knoebels and understands the added cost of gas.

Lakemont is the most convenient, by far, being only forty minutes out of the way. There is Skyliner for some thrills, and I've always wanted a pilgrimage to the roots of our great coasters of today, but some others will see this place as a dump, frankly.

Therefore, what I'm asking you guys is the worth of going the extra two hours for Knoebels instead of Lakemont on the way to Dominion. Cost is not the issue, but time and energy spent on the road is worth noting. Also, Kennywood is out because no Sky Rocket and we all went there before. So have at it!

Last edited by AJFelice, Monday, May 17, 2010 1:39 PM
Monday, May 17, 2010 1:36 PM

Ever been to Kennywood? Because that is right on your way and in my opinion the best park in Western PA.

Monday, May 17, 2010 1:38 PM

All of us have been to Kennywood last year. If Sky Rocket was open there would be no contest. Besides, I hate driving in Pittsburgh!

Last edited by AJFelice, Monday, May 17, 2010 1:40 PM
Monday, May 17, 2010 2:47 PM

It sounds like Lakemont is probably your best choice, perhaps even with a quick stop at Del Grosso's, which is just a few minutes up the road.

Knoebels is definitely worth going out of your way, but the problem with it is that once there, you're not going to want to ride the Twister, ride the Phoenix, stare at the Flying Turns, and then hit the road again. It just won't work that way. You'll feel like you cheated yourself.

Instead, go to Lakemont. You can ride the Skyliner, which is a good ride, and Leap the Dips, and even subject yourself to the Toboggan if you want (and if it is running). Apart from that, Lakemont has very little to offer that you haven't seen before (hmmm...Twister maybe...) so you can be more satisfied to hop back in the car and continue your trip.

Likewise, Del Grosso's is a small park, has only the one big coaster (and it is Yet Another Crazy Mouse) but is a lovely little place, you can get really good food there, and like Lakemont, you can have a look at it, ride the coaster, and not feel like you're cheating yourself by getting back on the road again. Then you can make it a three-park trip and not feel like you really missed out on anything. As a bonus, both Lakemont and Del Grossos are ungated, but I think Del Grossos might be strictly POP.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, May 17, 2010 10:04 PM

I agree with Dave 100%.

In 2004, my wife and I made a weekend multi-park trip to PA. On Saturday we hit Williams Grove, Lakemont and DelGrosso's, and we spent most of the day Sunday at Knoebels. My one regret is packing too many parks in a weekend. After three parks and a lot of driving on Saturday, we were ready to head home from Knoebels by mid- to late afternoon on Sunday, and I really could have spent a full day at that park and spent the night had we not been so beat (and a bit 'parked' out at that point). I know for most enthusiasts that wouldn't be an issue, but we were ready to go.

Knoebels really is worth spending a full day in. If you don't have the time, go to Lakemont for the coasters, and DelGrosso's for the atmosphere.

Last edited by Vater, Monday, May 17, 2010 10:05 PM
Monday, May 17, 2010 10:29 PM

While I agree that Knoebels deserves more then a few hours, I would rather spend a few hours their then at Lakemont. IMO you would need to ride Phoenix, Twister, Flyers, Looper and the Skooters (bumper cars). On a quite day this could be easily done in a couple of hours, but on the Sunday before Memorial day that could be double the time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:02 PM

You missed a few, Dave. If you go to Knoebels and miss out on the Haunted Mansion and the sky lift up the side of the mountain, you should have not even gone in the first place.


You have a tough decision to make. Knoebels is much better than Lakemont, but you'd want to spend at least a whole day at Knoebels, while I tend to get tired of Lakemont after a half hour.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:08 PM

Its officially Lakemont. Knoebels sounds like an awesome place, but for being just a sidestop, I believe I'm not doing the place justice by just hitting the coasters and getting out. Coaster Season is still young, so Knoebels may still have a place in future plans!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:16 PM

Good call. Any chance of also hitting DelGrosso's, though? It's literally just a few minutes up the road, and worth a stop.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:41 PM

...And even though DelGrosso's only has a crazy mouse, coaster-wise, it is a very neat little park with some amazing food!

At DelGrosso's, I'll recommend Texas Hot Dogs (with mac and cheese and fries, and a milk shake), but everyone else will tell you to eat some Pizza.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:45 PM

I dunno, I remember Mark McKenzie raving about the potato salad...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:56 PM

You forgot to mention Lakemont Park is adding 2 rides this year.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:14 AM

^^^Del Grosso's *does* have a Wacky Worm they'll let you ride...if you're so inclined. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:57 AM

AJ, I checked their site to see get more info, and it's not there. Screamscape doesn't have any info either. Please fill us all in.


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