Western PA Park Loop

Thursday, August 18, 2005 6:31 PM
Since I (finally) get to take a few days off next week, I was thinking of heading a bit out west and hitting as many of the western PA parks as I could. First time visits for all.

Armed with my trusty National G atlas and my Choice Hotels directory, I have some ideas what I want to do. Checking the park websites, I already found I can't do what I originally planned on doing.

So let me ask the real experts in here...

DelGrosso's, Lakemont, Idlewild, Kennywood, Conneaut, Waldameer... too ambitious to hope to accomplish in 3 1/2 days? (Tuesday through Thursday, and get back home Friday afternoon)

The parks seem to pair up nicely, can they be done 2 a day (although I was thinking Kennywood should be an all day visit in itself)? Which are the "you don't want to miss" attractions, and which are the "save it for another trip"? What would be your preferences for the parks to hit first or save for last?

Any help you guys and gals can give is appreciated.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:10 PM
You can easily do Lakemont and DelGrossos in a 1/2 day, and can possibly include Idlewild on that same day if you don't care about Story Book Forest and Soak Zone. They used to offer an un-advertised evening rate at Idlewild after 6:00pm. You may want to check by calling the park if they still offer this.

I recommend 1 full day at Kennywood if you've never been there before. Besides, Kennywood at night is pure magic!

Waldameer and Conneaut are also do-able in 1 day. Conneaut offers an evening POP plan. Both parks have free admission and pay as you ride, or you can buy POP's at both parks. (DelGrosso's and Lakemont also are free admission and pay as you ride. POP's are offered at both parks too.)

I hope this helps! *** Edited 8/18/2005 11:19:54 PM UTC by Brother Dave*** *** Edited 8/18/2005 11:20:26 PM UTC by Brother Dave***

Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:49 PM
That make sense although doing Lakemont, Delgrosso's, and Idlewild in a single day would be pretty intense. At least it would be for me as I like to savor the atmosphere in traditional parks. But it is still doable.

My list of "must do" attractions (with the understanding that I gravitate towards the old, historic, or unique rides, not necessarily the ones that provide the greatest rush).


Leap the Dips




Mouse coaster


Space Oddyssey (enclosed caterpillar with light and sound effects)



Rollo Coaster

Wild Mouse


Caterpillar (complete with canopy and air blower)


Dizzy Lizzy's


Mr. Rogers (if you have time, the line can get long, and don't mind earworms)



Sky Ride


Train (especially if the usual guy is running it - it's hysterical)

Steel Dragon spinning coaster

Wacky Shack dark ride

Pirate's Cove fun house

Ferris Wheel for a great view of the lake and Presque Isle


Blue Streak



Flying Scooter

Devil's Den dark ride

Roll-O-Plane (if your stomach can handle such things)

Visit Hotel Conneaut (or stay there, it's a great place)




Jack Rabbit


Phantom’s Revenge (truly awesome coaster and I’m a pretty hard-core woody fan)





Auto Race


Old Mill (even though the current Garfield theme is pretty awful, in my opinion.)

Noah's Ark funhouse

Gold Rusher dark ride

Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:15 PM
Just a bit of FYI. If you hit up Kennywood before Idlewild, you can buy tickets at a pretty good discount from guest services.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:27 PM
^^And vice-verse. Idlewild sells Kennywood tickets for a discount as well.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:28 PM
Sweet! That I did not know. Just curious Brother Dave, if you knew off the top of your head how much the Kennywood discount was there?
Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:35 PM
I'm almost certian it's $21.95 for Kennywood tickets if you buy them at Idlewild (you can also get Sandcastle tickets). Idlewild's evening price is (correct me if I'm wrong) $12.50 and starts at 6:00.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:43 PM
This can be done! Only KW needs more than 4 hours---and you can usually hit the biggies in less than that!
Thursday, August 18, 2005 11:02 PM
Carrouseler is correct on the prices, I believe. (He should know due to his knowledge of Idlewild!)

Personally, I can spend an entire day at Idlewild. It's one of the most beautiful parks in the country! But, if you're only looking to hit just the major coasters and rides, then the after 6:00 plan is do-able, just rushed. Given RatherGoodBear's limited time frame, this is why I suggested doing DelGrosso's/Lakemont/Idlewild in one day.

Friday, August 19, 2005 12:00 AM
DelGrosso's, Lakemont, Idlewild, Kennywood, Conneaut, Waldameer... too ambitious to hope to accomplish in 3 1/2 days?

Absolutely not, RGB! I did Kennywood, Conneaut, Lakemont, Del Grosso's, Knoebels, and Williams Grove over a Labor Day weekend and still had time for more parks. Tell me where you're starting from and I'll give you an itinerary.

mOOSH [PA Pro!]

Friday, August 19, 2005 12:16 AM
Thanks for all the great tips, everybody! You answered a lot of my questions. Originally I was planning on doing DelGrosso's/Lakemont on Tuesday until I saw that Lakemont isn't open on Tuesday.

I was also hoping to put Waldameer/Conneaut in the middle, since I didn't want to drive all the way to or from that corner of the state first or last thing. I'm also not an out the door at dawn be there when the gates open kind of guy.

Millrace, thanks for the awesome list. I might just print that out and use it as a checklist. I'm not just going to ride 2 or three rides then drive to the next park. I definitely like to soak up the atmosphere. So we think alike in that respect.

Moosh, I'll either be traveling 76-79-80 or 80-79-76, plus all the side roads of course.

Thanks again. I'll let you know how things turn out. If you think of anything else that might be helpful, please let me know. *** Edited 8/19/2005 4:20:07 AM UTC by RatherGoodBear***

Friday, August 19, 2005 12:34 AM
RGB - I guess I should have been more specific: what CITY are you starting from?
Friday, August 19, 2005 10:18 AM
What are the exact days you plan on taking this trip. Kennywood has an upcoming special price day which gives you all-day admission for $12.95.
Friday, August 19, 2005 10:58 AM
Keep this in mind: Conneaut is closed on mondays and tuesdays. If you're leaving on a tuesday, don't go there.
Have a safe trip.
Friday, August 19, 2005 11:47 AM
Just like FLYING SCOOTER said, ZCl is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so I would just to be sure..... take a glance at all those park calanders... to be on the safe side.
Friday, August 19, 2005 12:39 PM
If you go to Waldameer and Conneaut on the same day, you may want to plan to spend more time at Waldameer becuase of the larger size of it's water park compared to Conneaut's sad excuse for a water park.

A small tip would be to go to Water World at 11:00 and then go to Waldameer at 1:00. Then you may have more time for Conneaut.

Although, on hot days (even weekdays) , Water World is very likely to be packed even at 11:00 before Waldameer opens.

Friday, August 19, 2005 1:31 PM
millrace, you named a bunch of baby rides at kennywood. The only good rides on that list are the coasters. Maybe because i'm from pittsburgh, but i havn't got on any of those other rides since i was little. You should have named stuff like the Aero 360 and King Kahuna and Volcanoe and Pitt Fall and Log Jammer. Now those are rides you must ride. Rides like the whip and kangaroo and turtles are for babies. They are so boring. *** Edited 8/19/2005 5:32:59 PM UTC by PGH_Steeler***
Friday, August 19, 2005 1:34 PM
Thanks for the tip, AJ, although I'll just be going for the rides as I'm not a waterpark person. (waits for glare from certain contingent in the forum)

Moosh, I'll be coming from the Pottsville area-- take your map of PA and draw a triangle connecting Elysburg, Hershey, and Allentown. I'm close to the middle. :)

Scooter, thanks for the heads up about Conneaut. I'll be checking the websites again and again.

razore, I'll be heading out next week. I was planning on asking for the "I know razore discount" :)

Friday, August 19, 2005 1:39 PM
I have done Conneaut/Waldameer in a day, as well as Lakemont/Del Grosso's.

You may be able to do Lakemont/Del's in a half a day since they are so close together and NOT very big, if you are pressed for time.

Kennywood and Idlewild COULD be done together in a day but I would recommend not rushing it. BOTH of those parks deserve to be explored fully. I could easily spend a whole day at Idlewild.

I don't know where you live in PA but assuming you are coming from the east.....

Day 1: Lakemont and Del's

Day 2: Idlewild by day, Kennywood by night and if you are travelling up I-79 towards Erie you could easily hit Fun For All *on the way*.

Day 3: Conneaut then Waldameer.

You are easily looking at a 3 to 4-day trip.


*** Edited 8/19/2005 5:44:15 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Friday, August 19, 2005 1:39 PM
^I have an extra "Will get you in for $7 since you know me" ticket if you want it?

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