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CoasterCrazy
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Kennywood 5/29

Knoebels 5/30

Hershey Park 5/31

Dorney Park 6/1

SFGAV 6/2

SFA 6/3

PKD 6/4

BGW 6/5

PC 6/7

 

How long do I need to be at each park and are there fast passes at any of the parks? I would like advice on some good hotels around the parks. And I would like any advice that will make my trip better.

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How long do I need to be at each park and are there fast passes at any of the parks?

 

Kennywood 5/29 - At least 6 hours

Knoebels 5/30 - At least 6 hours

Hershey Park 5/31 - Full day

Dorney Park 6/1 - If you never been here before 4 hours, 6 if you plan on doing the water park. If you've been before, it's a 2-3 hour stop depending on if you're doing the water park or not.

SFGAV 6/2 - Full day and they QBot.

SFA 6/3 - 6 hours. Does SFA still have any kind of Fastlane? They used to do the coupons, but I don't remember if they do anymore.

PKD 6/4 - Full day. Get to Hypersonic EARLY. They were trying out a fastpass like system in '01 and '02. Are they still using it?

BGW 6/5 - Personally, I only need about 4 hours here, but if you like the park and the coasters you could spend a full day.

PC 6/7 - 4 to 6 hours depending on crowds.

 

I'll look into hotels later, but most of these parks have a 'cheap motel' option near the interstate exits.

 

--Robb

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Keep in mind you also have some sizeable drives here...nothing that's not doable, but just keep that in mind.

 

As for hotels, we usually try to stay right near the park that we're visiting the next day so we're there for opening. On this trip though it's not as easy as on most and there will be some annoying hotel situations...

 

Kennywood & Knoebels & SFGAd & SFA you'll have to stay probably at least 20 minutes away.

 

Hershey & Dorney are expensive to stay right nearby.

 

PKD has real crap around it, try to stay in ..I think it's Ashville?

 

BGW has plenty.

 

Elissa "funny how that works out sometimes!" Alvey

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Here's my advice:

 

Kennywood 5/29 - At least half a day, probably more. This is one of my all time favorite parks. Operations are pretty good here, though for some bizarre reason they seem to not like to put the second train on Phantom's Revenge, so you might want to get there at opening and get on this first. Don't forget to get some Potato Patch fries! Even better with gravy! For hotels, you'll want to check on some near the PA turnpike exit. The area around Kennywood is not the best, and there are no hotels close by (you wouldn't want to stay there anyway).

 

Knoebels 5/30 - At least half a day...BEST PARK EVER! Besides the coasters, don't miss all the cool flat rides like the Whip, bumper cars (best ever), the train ride, carousel where you can grab rings, the haunted house, and so much more. Plus KICK ASS food, especially the pizza (best park pizza EVER!). For hotels, you'll want to look at Danville, as Knoebel's is about in the middle of no where. Though it's about 90 minutes from Hershey, so perhaps you want to drive down there before Hersheypark the next day.

 

Hershey Park 5/31 - Full day. This place is huge, and despite whatever Elissa says ( ) this is also a great park. Food is hit and miss here. If you like water rides, and it's warm enough, you'll want to get to those early, as they get enourmous lines. They have a lot of "chain" places in the park (Subway, Taco Bell, that kind of stuff), so if you like that, you're good. There's also the usual assortment of park food available. There are a lot of hotels in the Hershey area, so you should be able find something reasonable.

 

Dorney Park 6/1 - Half day, unless you do the waterpark. Perhaps even less, as if you get there before opening, you can usually knock out a lot of rides pretty quick. The wild mouse has some of the slowest operations ever, so if you want that credit, get it early. The water park here is really good, one of the best I've ever seen, so if it's warm enough, you might want to check that out. The food here is pretty "meh", usual park stuff but not prepared in any sort of excellent way. There are a number of restaurants (Friday's, Carabba's) just down the road, so you might want to wait on food. There are a number of hotels close by, including a couple across the street (you can walk to the park and save the parking fee).

 

SFGAV 6/2 - Probably most of the day. Get a QBot! This will likely be the busiest park you'll visit on this trip. Food is expensive here, so plan accordingly (the chinese place was pretty good the time I ate there). There are NO hotels anywhere near this place for some mysterious reason, so you'll have to stay elsewhere.

 

SFA 6/3 - Probably half a day, maybe more depending on crowds. Good coaster collection, but the operations here are totally random. You could have an amazing day, or a really annoying one. It depends on the motivation of the staff and the annoyance level of the crowd. You're going early in the year and on a weekday, so it should probably be OK. They used to sell fastlane tickets, so if those are available and the park is busy, get those. Be prepared for ride breakdowns, especailly Two Face. If you like water rides, and you happen to notice the Typhoon Sea Coaster operating, jump in line IMMEDIATLY! I've been to the park over 20 times (I used to live not too far from it) and have ridden that thing ONCE. Food here is typical Six Flags food, so, um, you might want to snack and then eat somewhere else! Hotel situation around here is questionable. There are areas not to far from this park you'll want to stay away from (like much of DC). Staying on the outside of the beltway is probably a good idea...

 

PKD 6/4 - Probably a full day. No fastlane/fastpass stuff, unless they've put it back (it wasn't around the last time i was there). It's probably a good idea to get there before opening and get to Hypersonic quick, as the capacity on this ride is not all that great. The water park is pretty good here too, though avoid the ENCLOSED SLIDE OF TERROR AND DEATH. Unless, of course, you like these things...Food is typical park fare, but not horrible. The hotels near the park are not all that great, I'd advise staying at ones a couple of exits away.

 

BGW 6/5 - It really depends how much you like this park. Many people love it, but I am not one of them. To me it's an "OK" park that I can spend half a day at and be satisfied. It all depends on how much you end up liking the place. Everyone raves about the food here, but I have never been impressed. Slightly better than usual park food, in my opinion. On the other hand, in nearby Williamsburg there is an absolute GODLY restaurant called The Trellis that is absolutely amazing and has some of the best food ever! Plus, it's the place where the "Death By Chocolate" cookbook came from, so the desserts are amazing! Worth the visit. For hotels, this area is packed with them, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding somewhere to stay that fits your budget.

 

PC 6/7 - I have never been here, so I can't help with this one...

 

Have fun on your trip! Any other questions, ask away!

 

dt

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I will try to address the hotels

 

Kennywood 5/29

Since you are going to Knoebels the next day, try Breezewood PA (1.5-2 hr drive). Warning Econo Lodge = Truck Stop

 

Knoebels 5/30

Days Inn in Danville (Indoor Pool, Decent Rooms, Cheap)

 

Hershey Park 5/31

You will probably want to look around Harrisburg. Hershey rooms are pretty pricey.

 

Dorney Park 6/1

Check out the places by the airport (Airport Rd / Allentown). most of the hotels are pretty new and in good condition.

 

SFGAV 6/2

Never stayed close. Sorry.

 

SFA 6/3

No idea

 

PKD 6/4

Look in Ashland and Ruther Glen. Avoid Doswell Econo Lodge (truck stop)

 

BGW 6/5

There are two Quality Inns in Historical Williamsburg. They don't look like much (motor lodges), but they are pretty quaint. Also, very reasonable.

 

PC 6/7

Avoid the Charlotte rush by staying on the other side of the park in Rock Hill.

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Just out of interest, would you recommend booking hotels in advance, or is it easy enough to get away with just booking into somewhere at the time.

 

I'm in the US (fingers crossed) next year, and while I have the parks I want to hit planned out, I was trying to avoid any strict schedule, just to give us some freedom out there.

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Just out of interest, would you recommend booking hotels in advance, or is it easy enough to get away with just booking into somewhere at the time.

 

I'm in the US (fingers crossed) next year, and while I have the parks I want to hit planned out, I was trying to avoid any strict schedule, just to give us some freedom out there.

 

It depends what time of the year you'll be traveling...if it's around a US holiday you'll need reservations (also with some areas near parks you'll need reservations). Other than that a lot ot times you can wing it! At most fast food places on the Interstates (motorways) you can pick up a discount motel guide and just call them up that day and book a place.

 

Elissa "do you think we can wing it in Europe or do we need reservations?" Alvey

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For hotels near SFGAdv, probably your best bet is to stay in Bordentown. It's right off Exit 6 of the NJ Turnpike (toll), and Interstate 295 (free), so you can take either through NJ. We have about a dozen hotels right here, plus restaurants, shopping etc. It's about 15-20 minutes to the park from here, and hotels are affordable.

 

It's also easy to get here on your way to or from Hershey and Dorney since the PA Turnpike connector bridge is just 2 miles south.

 

Let me know if you need more info, I'll be happy to help! :orangesmile:

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  • 2 months later...

My trip is 24 days away, I can't wait.

 

I have a few more questions, are there any coupons at local stores for any of the parks? And would you recommend buying tickets in advance for parks like HP and BGW? I would like any advice that might make my visit to the parks better.

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I do know that Giant (local grocery store chain) used to sell discount tickets for Hersheypark, so you might want to stop at one before you go to the park. There's one pretty close to the park (use mapquest to find it as I suck at giving directions!).

 

dt

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My wife and I did the trip below last June. It was 8 parks in 12 days. We have never been to some of these parks and we wanted to stay for a couple days at some places.

 

6/5 (Saturday) Flew to DC. Gyen's parents live in Fredericksburg, VA. We borrowed their car for the trip!

 

6/6 (Sunday) Drive to Paramount's Kings Island (Red Roof Inn)

 

6/7 (Monday) PKD, then drive to Sandusky (Holiday Inn, very expensive!)

 

6/8 (Tuesday) Cedar Pt., process season pass, we stayed at Hotel Breakers for the ERT

 

6/9 (Wednesday) Cedar Pt., day 2

 

6/10 (Thursday) Cedar Pt. day 3, then drive to Aurora, OH for Geauga Lake. It was raining Geauga Lake Hotel

 

6/11 (Friday) Geauge Lake, still raining. We left early for Hershey, PA

 

6/12 (Saturday) Hersheypark We bought a 2-day ticket because we knew we would come back on Sunday. (It was Saturday and very busy, but they have a come back guarantee if you have a bad time. We had a great time and we were there on Sunday too). We stayed at the Hilton close by. I made all the reservations before going. I need to learn some things!

 

6/13 (Sunday) Hersheypark, then drive to Dorneypark. We went to Dorney before it closed on Sunday. It wasn't busy at all. We stayed across the street at the Holiday Inn Express. It was under $100 for the night.

 

6/14 (Monday) Dorneypark. We were there for about 3 hours and then left for Jackson, NJ for Six Flags. We arrived there in time to go through the safari and play at the park for about 4 hours.1 Best thing, we stayed at a Days Inn about 30 minutes south of the park. It was under $100.

 

6/15 (Tuesday) SFGadv. Thank goodness we were there the day before because this day was crowded! We left in the afternoon for Washington DC to SFGA. We went there for the end of the day and rode a few rides. Batwing wasn't running, but Superman was. We stayed at a Hampton Inn in Largo, MD. Expensive!

 

6/16 (Wednesday) SFA. Not crowded at all, but Batwing wasn't running still. We drove to Fredericksburg (back to Gyen's parents house.)

 

6/17 (Thursday) Paramount's Kings Dominion. Great time there!

 

One of the good things about this trip was that we were at a park on the weekend only once. It was Hersheypark. They are so nice there. We were in line waiting to get in on Saturday and a woman behind us said, "This is the crowdest I have ever seen it!" Our wait time to get on Stormrunner was 30 minutes! That is how good they are.

 

I wish we would have known about this website last year. We probably would have stopped at some more parks in Pennsylvania! Oh well, can't do everything. We have to work at some time.

 

I don't know if this helped, but our big thing was to get to the next park before it closed. It usually wasn't all that crowded and we could ride a few rides.

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