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Any TOP TIPS for our trip?


colinlyoung
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Our U.S. road trips always combine sight-seeing and parks and we always try and add some new bits to all our trips, as well as some old favourites. For the first time we're on vacation at the same time as the schools, as the parks we want to visit don't open in September/October during the week - will this cause us any additional problems?

The other tips were after, from anybody that may be able to help, are things like: rides to hit first, rides to avoid unless we're desperate for the credit, good places to eat, water parks worth spending time at, where to get discount tickets for CP and Kennywood (will be buying SF season pass), is Q-bot worth spending money on + any other random tips any of you with local knowledge may have.

Our itinerary:

13/15 Aug - Boston

16 Aug - SF New England (New Park)

17 Aug - SF Gt. Escape (New Park)

18 Aug - SF Darien Lake (New Park)

19-20 Aug - Niagra Falls

20-21 Aug - Cedar Point (Last visit 2000)

22 Aug - Kennywood (Last visit 1997)

23-24 Aug - SF Gt. Adventure (Last visit 1997)

25-28 Aug - New York

 

Would really appreciate any help anybody can offer.

 

Colin & Jane Young (Nottingham - England)

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Lake Compounce is supposed to be not too far from SF New England, and that has one of the best wood coasters in the world in Boulder Dash, might be worth investigating.

 

I found that if you are a member of an an automobile association, you may be entitled to the discounts that AAA members in America are entitled to, my Australian membership ceratinly does. There is plenty of good discounts to be had, like 15% off at Days Inn. I think the program is called Show Your Card and Save.

 

Check the Cedar Point website for coupons for their on site accomodation for late season, I got $20 off a night for hotel breakers last year.

 

I'll be travelling to a lot of the same places just before you guys so if I find any other good discounts (and I can get on the net) I'll let you know.

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Some Pepsi cans have coupons for $10 off at Kennywood (Only Weekdays)

Some Pepsi cans have coupons for $10 off at Cedar Point (Anyday)

 

If you are driving from Darien to the falls, you may want to look into quick pit stops at Martins Fantasy Island and Marineland. If you haven't been to either, they are both on the way.

 

Make sure you grab a Primanti Sandwich (with a cold Iron City) in Pittsburgh

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Lake Compounce is supposed to be not too far from SF New England, and that has one of the best wood coasters in the world in Boulder Dash, might be worth investigating.

Would love to add this park into the trip as have never been, but had to compromise with Jane (Who is a Disney addict, and thinks other parks are O.K. as long as they have some good smooth non-looping coasters and some good water rides). She also prefers sight-seeing if it's not a Disney park, hence our split itinerary. I enjoy the sight-seeing as well, but would like to add some extra parks if I could.

 

If you are driving from Darien to the falls, you may want to look into quick pit stops at Martins Fantasy Island and Marineland. If you haven't been to either, they are both on the way.

 

Are these parks 'pay one price' or can you just nip in and ride the coasters. If you can there's an outside chance I might be able to sneek them into the trip?

 

Thanks for all the tips so far, especially about the discounts.

 

Cheers guys.

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All of the parks you mentioned are pay one price admission, along with Martin's Fantasy Island, Marineland and Lake Compounce. I'd definitely recommend cutting your day at SFNE short, make the 1 hour drive south to Lake Compounce and spend 2-3 hours at Lake Compounce. Boulder Dash at night is incredible. I tend to find that SFNE becomes hard to deal with crowd wise and their parking lot is a nightmare at closing.

 

You are hitting the summer school break but it is usually 2.5 months covering June to August so it's not as big a deal as the school breaks in Europe based on my experiences. Some schools will be starting up when your trip starts so I think you'll at least get average park conditions. The bigger problem is weekends. CP will be busy regardless but it will be much tougher to deal with on a weekend.

 

The only parks where I'd consider a Q-Bot are SFNE and SFGAdv. Unfortunately SFNE has become hard to manage without a Q-Bot. At SFGAdv, Kingda Ka will probably be a tough situation even with a Q-Bot. Otherwise I can't give much advice as I usually visit SFGAdv in the early spring.

 

While you are in New York, at least consider a short trip to Coney Island for the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel. Coney is completely opposite of what Disney is so I'm not sure if Jane will like it. The Cyclone is a bruiser and the area is a bit rough. But I haven't had any problems there as I've always kept a careful watch on my wallet and my surroundings. It's easy to take the subway to Coney Island. Probably the easiest route is to take the Q train from 57th/7th in midtown Manhattan to Stillwell station at Coney Island (Brooklyn). You'll ride the entire line and it takes 70 minutes. N train would also work from the same stations. You can do the attractions at Coney pay as you go.

 

In Central Park, there is a little Zamperla filled park set up at Wollman Rink called Victorian Gardens. Admission is $6 or $7 and that includes one ticket. They have a mini mouse.

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If you want to add extra parks, don't foget Idlewild near Kennywood .. wacky mouse from Alton Towers and an old woodie.

 

But deff. make sure to get a Primanti Bros. sammich while in Pittsburgh, there's nothing better, well maybe tied with Potato Patch fries

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Hi, I'm from England too; I did a similar trip this July, you can read my report here for some info: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18095&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=english+hit+east+coast

 

Anyway:

Six Flags New England: In my opinion, the only really great ride here is Superman Ride of Steel, and you'll want to spend all day on that pretty much! Hit Superman early on! Their new ride is Mr Six's Pandemonium, a family spinning coaster: it has an awful capacity, and isn't really worth hitting if there is a big queue. Spinball Whizzer at Alton is much better.

 

If you're interested in water parks, definitely hit SFNE's. It's free with admission and has a large selection of excellent rides. But make sure you get there at 11am (opening time) and get strraight to the latest ride, Typhoon (which is a whole lot of fun!).

 

The way I'd hit SFNE would be: Superman first, (then if you want the credits, Poison Ivy, Mind Eraser etc), then Batman, then get into the water park for the 11am opening. Head straight to Typhoon! Finish water park at 1pmish, go back into SFNE, hit all remaining rides, reride Superman!

 

Some general tips: Mr Six's Pandemonium DOES have a single rider line, but it wasn't that efficient, but still better than the normal line. Cyclone is crazy at the back (very rough but somewhat amusing!). Superman is worth a ride at the front, but back seats are by far the best! I didn't go for a Q-bot, but if you really want to cough up the extra $30 or so for 2 people to use it, go ahead!

 

Oh and final tip: Lake Compounce is pretty near (although in the other direction from Niagara Falls)- Boulder Dash is worth the trip though!

 

I visited SF Darien Lake a while back, in 2003, and again, the only real amazing ride there was their Superman coaster...

 

Marineland is right next to Niagara Falls... it's kind of worth a visit if you like Sea World style parks, but in the way of thrills, there's not much; a tower ride and a stupid long Arrow coaster. Martin's Fantasy Island is nearby too, I didn't hit that, but it does have a CCI woodie.

 

I hit CP and Kennywood in 2003 as well; can't really give you many tips for them... just that CP is sooo awesome! Make sure you use their fast-pass style service, it's very good.

 

Right, I did SFGAdv a month ago: Kingda Ka wasn't open. Now, IF KK is operating, go there straight away! It also may be worth buying a Q-bot for this park, but again, I didn't want to shell out the extra dosh. Superman Ultimate Flight builds up a line VERY quickly, so you'll want to hit that early on.

 

I had planned 2 full days at SFGAdv and didn't really need them (although KK wasn't open). On one day, we hit Superman first, then hit Rolling Thunder, Runaway Mine Train and Medusa, and didn't have to wait for any of them. You could also do it the other way round: Nitro to Batman the Ride to the Chiller. Chiller will most likely only have the Robin side operating, so the line could get quite big for this. Nitro is popular, but has a decent capacity so the line hardly ever gets over 30-40mins.

 

Obviously, if KK is open, that throws a slight spanner in the works with regards to park-strategy, but I'd definitely head straight to KK if it's open, it'll be worth it.

I found that Great American Scream Machine, Runaway Mine Train and Skull Mountain were all skippable and were just 'credits'.

 

NYC: Very fun place! Watch out for the Empire State Building though: the lines can be massive to get to the Observation Deck. If you want to do that, I'd get there very early or very late to avoid the crowds.

 

Otherwise, good luck, have a fun trip!

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eyeamthu1 and N'at Man
a massive thank you, for taking the time to provide us with some great info. We really appreciate it.

It's just the sort of info that's difficult to get from guidebooks and the park web-sites.

We were in NYC in 2002 and took the trip out to Coney Island then, as you can imagine Jane hated the Cyclone, and I loved it ( Just one of those special rides). Now you might think I'd have no chance of getting back there, but Jane loved the Hot Dog's from the original Nathan's Hot-Dog stand - So you never know? (Women can be very unpredictable!)

 

Thanks again

 

Colin.

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well, i went to NYC earlier this year.. (june i thnk) i rode the cyclone once in the front, it was suprisingly smooth, then rode it in the back, which wasn't rough, but i couldnt leave my hands up but, if i rode it again, i would DEFINETLY ride in the back ^^

 

i also rode the wonder wheel.. it was alright, but all it did was go back and forth for me..

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