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PhotoTR: Coaster Journey to WV, NC, SC, VA, MD, PA! 9 Parks!

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I'll second what Chris said about Idlewild. The Behemoth-Flyer trip was my third visit there, and it's just been amazing every time. I suspect your mom will enjoy it, as well; mine strongly dislikes theme parks, but she enjoyed it there so much that she actually agreed to a return visit. Be sure not to miss the Caterpillar (supposedly one of only three caterpillar rides left operating in the world) and adult handcars along with the coasters (the Mr. Rogers ride is a trip, too, though I'm not sure I'd do it again). And if you're looking for a real taste sensation and aren't worried about taking a few years off your life, try the fully loaded Potato Patch fries!


If your tastes lean toward barbecue, Trappers Smokehouse in BGE is pretty good for park food; I personally like their fried pickle spears. My favorite restaurant there, however, is Festhaus, with its German sausage sampler and Oktoberfest show.


I'll also second what others have said about KD's food. It's not very good, and when I went last year the service was horrible. The lines for the "quick serve" restaurants were about 45 minutes because they basically had a single person (sometimes two) running each place, taking orders and cooking food.

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For a hotel near Carowinds, I'd suggest you stay on the SC side in Fort Mill. Charlotte has a very high hotel tax and the closer you are to Charlotte, the worse the traffic you will experience is. If you do decide to stay in Charlotte, do NOT stay in downtown. On the average day the traffic will be at a stand still on almost every road.


Carowinds crowd wise for when you are going to be there shouldn't be that bad. You probably will experience waits for rides such as Nighthawk and Vortex of an hour or more, but for the most part we keep the waits down to around 30 minutes except on the busiest of days.


Anyways, I'm happy you are coming to visit our park. I'll probably be working that day. When you are riding Afterburn, look for the guy in a red shirt with blond hair and Andrew written on his name tag. Please say hi. It's always cool to meet other members of the TPR community.

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Well... I've booked some hotels, and have done a little more planning and research.


It is crazy to me that in order to rent an electric cart (Amigo) at BGE, we will have to spend $45.00 a day. That's $90.00 on top of parking and tickets. That just seems ridiculous!

Does anyone know if you get any of it back when you return the cart?

Also, do you think that I could get away with pushing my Mom in a wheelchair around BGE, or any of the other parks to help save money?


Another question that I have is where to book our hotel in Williamsburg?

I don't care where we are at the other parks, cause we will pretty much just be sleeping, then leaving the next morning. Plus, I already have the others booked.

In Williamsburg though, we are going to be there for 3 days and if possible, we would like to be in a well populated touristy area near a lot of restaurants and attractions. Especially any Putt-Putt Golf places, as we both love Putt-Putt!

If you don't have a specific hotel suggestion, I'd be happy with just a general area suggestion.


Thanks again for all the help everyone!

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When I was in Williamsburg last I stayed at either a Courtyard or Fairfield (can't quite remember, but you should see it on any of the hotels.com or priceline.com type websites) that was quite nice and within a few miles or so of BGW and it isn't too bad price wise. I'd suggest that.

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^^My parents have rented scooters at BGW, and I recall that you do get some of that $45 back as a "deposit," but I might be misremembering this. You could push her around without too much trouble, except for the stretch between France and Ireland (where the wolves and other animals are kept)--that would be the worst part (down one end and up the other). The trip down to the Rhine River from Germany would be a bit tricky, as well, if you want to ride the boats--a fairly steep hill with some steps at the bottom.


There's a Pirates Cove Adventure Golf on the Rt. 60 Bypass (across from K mart on one side and Hooters on the other). If you want easy access to restaurants, I'd stay in the tourist corridor on Richmond Road, aka Rt. 60. There's the usual assortment of chain restaurants and fast food, such as Chili's, Carrabbas's, and Five Guys, and lots of hotels.


Something else--the ride with the trickiest handicapped access is the Loch Ness Monster. In the past, you had to enter via the exit, which is at the bottom of short, steep hill. Then you deal with some switchbacks, not to mention other guests exiting the ride.

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I have three $15 off Admission KD passes that I will be willing to trade for any old or new maps/brochures. I'm not exactly sure where they came from because my brother's German teacher gave them out as prizes for something but you should try any local fast food/hotels/supermarkets around Hampton Roads/Richmond if you don't wanna trade. Good for up to 6 people, the pases expire June 28th.

I posted this in the discount thread just in case you were interested...


As for touristy stuff around Williamsburg, you could try...

The Historic Triangle (Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown)


..on Richmond Road

There's a small Ripley's you can check out.

Prime Outlets

Williamsburg Pottery

Yankee Candle

... and because you're into Mini Golf, you could try Go Karts Plus. They've got mini golf, go-karts, and a small kiddie credit.


The Pottery and Go Karts Plus are a little bit out of your way though.


As for hotels -----------

I've never stayed in any Williamsburg hotels because I live there, but there are a number of new hotels along Bypass Road that you could check out...


Richmond Road also has a number of nice-looking hotels that you could try.

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If you buy your KD tickets online at least three days before your visit, you save $15 per ticket--and you can print them at home (no waiting in line at a ticket booth).

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If you do Conneaut heres some bits that may help.


You will not have to worry about Lines it is just about always WalkOns. The Tumble Bug is great and If you sit in the back you get a nice

Surprise. And by the time os your visit most of the Rides should be open.


If you stay at the Hotel Conneaut it is around 40 bucks a night and it has a rare charm which cannot be found anywhere else also it is Haunted.


What ever you decide just have Fun!

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I just got off the phone with BGE. It turns out that you do not get any of the $45.00 (plus tax!) back from the electric scooter rentals. That's outrageous to me!

Anyways, it looks like I will be pushing, pulling, weaving, and heaving my Mom around the park in a wheelchair for 2 days, cause there's no way in hell I'm spending $90.00 (plus tax!) on top of all the other expenses.


cfc - My Mom can not ride any coasters, as she has had open heart surgery and a plethora of other health problems, so I will not have to worry about the handicapped access to the coasters. Thanks for the heads up though!


I found a Days Inn Historic Williamsburg on Bypass Rd.

Is that still going to be near all of the touristy stuff? It says it is about 1 mile from Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf.


netdvn - I have a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass, and my Mom will have one soon as well, so the tickets would be no good for me. Thanks for the offer!

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^I actually asked about the scooter rental stuff when I was at the park yesterday. According to the CM working there, they used to refund $10 at the end of the day, but stopped doing so a few years ago (the last time my parents were there).


The Days Inn you booked should be OK--and it isn't far from Pirates Cove Adventure Golf. You're not far from the Richmond Road touristy stuff, either (a short drive to the restaurants and the Ripley's Museum, if you're so inclined).

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That Days Inn looks nice from the outside and its next to a pancake place so you can eat breakfast before you head off to BGW.


Its also close to Colonial Parkway and Colonial Williamsburg, although you may have to do a bit of driving if you're headed to BGW or most of the Richmond Road attractions that are on the outskirts of town (Pottery, Go Karts Plus, Prime Outlets, Yankee Candle).


Have fun...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know the talk about food has ended, but there's actually a Johnny Rockets new at SFA this year, so people were saying that there's nothing to eat there. If you must eat at SFA, I would eat there.


As far as Carowinds, just don't eat there. The prices have actually gone up since last year for just about everything. Hold off.


BGE, my favorite restaurant is actually Festaus (although people may debate me on that). I hit it up every time I go.

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Cool I'm from Nebraska, and I'm heading to Virginia on Saturday! We'll be hitting up Busch Gardens Saturday evening, Tuesday, and Wednesday! Also Kings Dominion on Monday. We got those tickets (I think it's called a Fun Card? Correct me if I'm wrong) where we can visit Busch Gardens anytime during a 7 day period. You'll probably hear me on Tuesday, I'm the one kid that screams obnoxiously loud!

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Well, it's about 5:00 am and the weather is terrible.

I'm just about to head off for my journey.

Keep an eye out for my Photo TR's when I return home in about 8 to 10 days.


Thanks again for all the tips and such, everyone!

You all we're a great help.

I'm out.



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Hey... Andrew (Pufferfish),


I looked for you today when I rode Afterburn, but I didn't see you.

I rode it at about 12:30 pm, and then got on again at about 12:45 pm.

I rode in the very front the first time, and the very back the second.


Bummer. I really enjoyed my rides though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, I'm back from my trip and finally unpacked.

I'm gonna do this TR in sections by park so it doesn't take me forever to do.


My Mom and I ended up visiting 9 different parks within 7 days. 2 of them were unexpected. I rode 48 new coasters, which now puts me at 260. Thanks again to Big Mike for the heads up on Del Grosso's. I would have totally missed it.

We visited parks in 6 different states. 5 of the states were new for me, so I have now been to 32 of the 50 states. Only 18 more to go!

We drove 2186.2 miles, and spent WAY too much money. It was well worth it though. We had a blast!


Here are the parks that we went to in the order that we visited them, which is the order that I will post the Photo TR's.

- Camden Park

- Carowinds

- Go-Carts Plus

- Busch Gardens Europe

- Kings Dominion

- Six Flags America

- Lakemont Park

- Del Grosso's

- Idlewild & Soak Zone


Up next, Camden Park... after I take a bathroom break, and grab something to eat.

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Alright, here we go!


The first park of our trip was Camden Park.

Camden Park

Route 60 West

Huntington, WV 25704


They have 2 coasters, both of which adults can ride.

They also have quite a few flat rides. Some of them are VERY old school.

There are quite a few photos in this first TR cause Larry wanted a "Comprehensive Photo TR" for the park index. I did my best.


It was blazing hot, and super humid.

The lighting was terrible for picture taking.

I didn't think anything about the park was too special, besides the awesome sign, and the Big Dipper. There were absolutely no waits for anything!


I'll get to the photos so I don't bore you, as there are quite a few.

There will also be photos of random bridges and road shots mixed in, as I am also a bridge and structure enthusiast, and I just like to have photos of places that I have been and seen. After all, some of the best things about these park tours are the road trips in between.


There are a couple on ride photos in here as well, but don't fret, I got permission to take them.


Hope you enjoy!




Buh Bye Camden Park!


The entrance and ticket booth from our parking spot.



Mini Whip!



Some nice landscaping.


The parking lot, with about 10 times the amount of cars than when we arrived. It was dead.


The SUPER janky turnaround on the Sky Ride.





Me waving to you!



New for 2009, West Virginia Adventure Golf.

I believe this is sitting in the old location of the Thunderbolt Express. Their old Arrow shuttle coaster.


The Sky Ride.

















A lift hill? A track? A drop? Why is this not a credit?


The Bebes!


Just kidding. But these Bebe impostures did have me tricked for a second.








Another photo edited for my personal use. This one is of me sitting in the Whip.


Onride POV!





Those tires in the middle spun. Whenever a bumper car would "bump" into them, they would usually spin the car. Definitely something that I have never seen before.













The only shot that I got of the train. Sorry!





A SBNO Skydiver.


Overview of Big Dipper.






Old School!











Now, photos of the Big Dipper.

I thought this was a great coaster. It had the old buzz bars with no seat belts. We all know what that combination equals.


Look at how bumpy and wavy the track is!


Somewhat of an overview.






The parks AWESOME sign!


On the way to Camden Park.


Now, photos of the Lil' Dipper. For some reason I don't have a photo of a sign. I can't remember if there wasn't one, or if I just forgot to take a picture of it.




I edited this one for my personal use. I love it! It just feels so old and nostalgic. The kid riding in the front seat looks like he's from the 60's as well, so it just makes it feel perfect!


I'll leave you with this photo of our mountain driving view while heading into Virginia.


Hope you enjoyed!


Up next, Carowinds.

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I was there for maybe 2 1/2 hours max. That was taking my time and making sure to get photos of everything. I rode Little Dipper, the Whip, Sky Ride, the Haunted House, and the Big Dipper multiple times.

It was pretty much a stop for credits like you said you'd like to do.

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