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What is the best place for a coaster enthusiast to live?


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I've always been one that is Quality over Quantity for sure. I didn't realize until recently what a sweet spot Savannah is....

 

Carowinds: 3 hour drive

Wild Adventure: 3.25 hour drive

Universal: 3.5 hour drive

SFOG: 4.5 hour drive

Lake Winnie: 6 hours

Alabama Adventure: 6.5 hour drive

 

 

Yeah. These drive times seem long....

 

BUT

 

All these parks have some neat little thing to offer that makes them worth the drive.

 

Carowinds is getting lots of love from Cedar Fair here lately in the form of refurbishment revenue. The one thing that I forgot to mention in my little addendum to David's (jynx242) Coaster Stock 2010 Trip Report was that the renovation of the children's area was not only genius, but done VERY VERY VERY well with particular attention paid to detail. Charles Schultz would be absolutely PROUD of what's been done here with the Peanuts gang. I'll take some shots when I'm there next. Carowinds has a HUGE amount to offer families and families with at least one coaster dork (Re AfterBurn and Intimidator 232). They've also done some work to Hurler which by way of 2nd hand information, has finally made this former Paramount staple, at long last, ridable without worrying if you left your spleen at the station. Same goes for Thunder Road. Ask Andrew (Pufferfish) and Steve (Skycoastin Steve) about the park if you don't take my word for it. OH... Props go out to one of my new bestest friend, Bryn Hough. She is the freshly installed PR Manager at the park and when I say freshly installed, I mean to say that she's been there a little over 4 months and was formerly a news anchor and was at one time, a field reporter for CNN. If you get to the park and you have the pleasure to meet her, ask her to tell you her story of how she went from being a career journalist to a PR manager for a theme park. She'll make you cry with absolute joy in your heart and you'll just wanna wrap her in a blanket to protect her from sometimes overly dramatic GP. Carowinds is going places. Look for big things from Cedar Fair here. WIN!!!!

 

Wild Adventures is another one that's on the fast track to greatness. While there is still a great deal of work to do, they are trudging forward full speed ahead. While it will never be a Silver Dollar City, or Dollywood for that matter, Herschend has laid the groundwork to bring this park up to be nearly in the same class and make its patrons KNOW that it's a Herschend park. Little things like ditching the concrete paradise, cleaning the lake, dealing with the question of quality vs. price with the food stands and last but not least, beginning a multi-year project to re-track Cheetah are what really make this park worth it. Add in the fact that you get NAME ACTS to perform at Wild Adventures EVERY SINGLE SUMMER at a REASONABLE price (free if you take your own chair).... You know, I'll just leave this with I am FANTAZMAGORICALLY impressed with what Herschend has done to turn this park around in... what... a year and a half? This place is loaded with kinetic and potential win.

 

Universal... well.. It's Universal. What can be said about Universal that hasn't been said by the 55,000 other visitors to this board? Fabulous park. I especially like the idea that at Thanksgiving David and I, plus Scott, Kimby, KerryB, Christiana, Terence... (Who else was with us...) could pop a turkey into the oven at the condo set to slow cook, go to the park, have a fabulous day because most of the rides are either walk on or 15 minutes or less wait time, have a turkey leg for lunch then go back to a FABULOUS whole bird dinner. This is a Thanksgiving win and you don't even have to wait for your drunk uncle to drop his pants and put on a lampshade during the football game.

 

SFOG: Wow... SFOG at Easter. Scorcher... WALK ON Mind Bender.... WALK ON Batman.... WALK ON Superman... WALK ON Goliath.... 15 minutes or less wait. GA Cyclone.... WALK ON (until someone strikes a match to the old gal) GASM.... 5 minute wait... 10 TOPS. Yeah, there are some times during the day that start to feel kinda ghetto fabulous and a little reminiscent of Six Flags America, but still a good holiday get away. It especially helps since we have family that live about 35 minutes from the park.

 

Lake Winnepesaukah (affectionately known as Lake Winnie) has all the fun, charm and history of Knoebels IMHO. They're doing some great things there and have one of the older, still operating, out and back PTC woodies in the region. Personally, I think Cannonball has no where near hit its stride. They are big on maintaining the history of the park and nothing rings this idea more true than the PTC Carousel located at dead center of the park. The park also features the only known working Eyerly Fly-O-Plane in the United States. If you're a music history dork like I am, you'll be particularly impressed with the pipe organ for this carousel. They are planning upgrades to their dark ride in the park and... well... it's just well loved, almost as much as Knoebels.

 

 

And then, there is Alabama Adventure in Bessemer. Yeah it's a little bit of a drive from Savannah. I gotta be honest with you too.... I knocked this park a little during Deep South 2009 but I think it was because I was TOTALLY OVERHEATED (102 degrees with a heat index of 115 that day) and was beaten to hell and back by the Vekoma Boomerang and Rampage. Let's face it though. There is one -almost- decent boomerang in the entire country and the rest of them suck.... BIG time. Rampage had JUST gone through a deprecating event a couple of weeks prior to our showing up at the park. Now that I look back on it, I think, "Yeah... the boomerang sucking is not their fault and the ride engineers at the park SCRAMBLED and I do mean HARD to get Rampage running again after her event, and they did it." I don't remember what the total downtime was, but it wasn't long at all. It was a lot less time than some other parks would have had a downed ride for a similar event. This tells me that what the park lacks in glits and glamor compared to its cousins in the Southeast, it more than makes up for by the love shown by the staff. This love is echoed and edified by their Director of Operations, Michael Schwitek. They've seen a lot of trial and tribulation since 1999 when West Jefferson Amusement and Public Park Authority first contrived the park of public SPLOST funds. I think that the park is in good hands now with the Adrenaline Family of parks. (Alabama Adventure's sister park is Clementon incidentally)

 

Just as a side note, I shared a thought with David just now. When you have a park that is run by a municipality such as West Jefferson Amusement and Public Park Authority, You get aborted projects, a failure to manage employees and infrastructure and poor overall quality resulting from a lack of love. Short story: You get Rye Playland.

 

When one takes into account the charm of living in the deep south, I can't think of a better place to live than right where we are.

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Sydney, Australia - with it's one wild mouse per 4 million people. Why? Because when you actually get to ride decent coasters you'll really appreciate it.

 

Most of my favourite coasters are in the north east of the United States.

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Best places: Philadelphia/NYC area, Central Florida, Southern California, England, Germany, France, Japan

Philadelphia/NYC area: Dorney, Hershey, Knoebels, Morey's Piers, SF America, SF Great Adventure, and many smaller parks within driving distance for a day trip

Central Florida: Disney World, Universal, Sea World, and Busch Gardens all within 2 hours of each other

Southern California: Disneyland, Knott's, SF Magic Mountain, and many fun centers within 2 hours of each other

England: Many parks and easy to get to using public transport

Germany, France, and Japan: See England

 

Worst places: Anywhere west of I-35 (outside of Central and Southern California), Houston, Louisiana, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Northern New England, Canada (outside of Toronto and Montreal)

Anywhere west of I-35: Many states west of I-35 have very few if any roller coasters

Houston: The fourth-largest city in the United States has only one roller coaster within 2 hours, thanks to Six Flags and Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana: Hurricane Katrina, enough said

UP of Michigan and Northern New England: Nearest roller coasters over four hours away and very little freeway to get there

Canada: Only two decent-sized amusement parks in entire country (Canada's Wonderland and La Ronde)

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Orange County, California, where I currently live. You can get to seven major parks and a few minor parks with a two hour drive or less. For quantity of coasters, you can't beat that. Unfortunately, ten parks get boring after living here for nearly twenty years and it is really difficult to get anywhere else except the four Northern California parks.

 

However, if I could move to anywhere in the US to find better conditions for a coaster enthusiast I would either move to the New York/New England area or to South-eastern Indiana. Both those places seem like they would have access to a number of good parks (New York would give you all the North-east parks, Eastern Pennsylvania, and down the coast to about Virginia, while Indiana would give you Cedar Point, Kings Island, western Pennsylvania, Holiday World, SFGA, and the Missouri parks).

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I live in Indianapolis and have found it to be a pretty ideal location for my coaster habit. While we don't have a park here in town there are 8 parks that can be day trips from here. Sure 8 hours (there and back) can be a haul for some, but I have done both Cedar Point and Michigan's Adventure as day trips and had a great time.

 

1) Indiana Beach - 1.5 hrs

2) King's Island - 2 hrs

3) Holiday World 3 hrs

4) Six Flags Great America - 3.5 hrs

5) Beech Bend 3.5 hrs

6) Six Flags St. Louis - 4 hrs

7) Cedar Point - 4 hrs

8) Michigan's Adventure - 4.5 hrs

 

All these parks have their perks and all are (IMO) worth the drive. If you are a fan of the woodies it is awesome to have Beast, Voyage, Raven, Shivering Timbers, Cornball Express and Viper all within a days drive!

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Once you're old enough to start traveling frequently, SoCal and Orlando will get boring because you don't have too much variety, you'll most likely be tired of the parks already, and other than your little area, it takes a lot of effort to get anywhere else.

 

I don't know, having Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Seaworld, IOA, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and soon to be Legoland all within an hour or so is pretty good variety if you ask me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I live in eastern CT:

 

1.5 hours from SFNE

1 hour from Lake Compounce <3 <3

4 hours from Great Adventure (3.5 if i drive like i usually do)

 

I've never made the trek out to Pa/Ohio, but I consider myself pretty spoiled where i am currently.

 

If only i had more friends that enjoy (are addicted to) coasters as much as i am. I guess the only gripe i have about living here is the damn winter. New England: Breeding ground for Bipolar Disorder

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Once you're old enough to start traveling frequently, SoCal and Orlando will get boring because you don't have too much variety, you'll most likely be tired of the parks already, and other than your little area, it takes a lot of effort to get anywhere else.

 

I don't know, having Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Seaworld, IOA, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and soon to be Legoland all within an hour or so is pretty good variety if you ask me.

 

Parks with a lot of coasters work the best for home parks. I love parks like Disneyland and BGW, but when you go there all the time the theming becomes less and less special. SFMM doesn't get old too easily because there are so many coasters to ride and keep busy with, but I could never go to Disneyland 6+ times a year. Same goes for the Florida parks... and they're all so expensive which is annoying when it comes to season passes. I stick with what I say about not too much variety because the majority of the parks are B&M looping coasters (which I am not a fan of) and coaster-wise, each of the parks look to get very old. And, like I said, outside of Florida you have to work to get somewhere.

 

Florida is, IMO, an amazing vacation spot but I do not want to live there.

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  • 1 month later...

Not Vegas! A few expensive rides here. Speed $10/ride, NYNY $14/ride, Desperado $8/ride. Stratosphere $40-$100/day

 

4.5 hours to SFMM, Disneyland, Knotts, and USH

 

If not in Cali, it's about 8 hours to Lagoon in Salt Lake City.

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If you live in the middle of CA, you have CGA, SCBB, SFDK, and Gilroy Gardens to the north and the dozens of Socal parks in the south. Pennsylvania is a good place if you prefer traditional parks packed with history, while you still have SFGav and some piers nearby.

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I live outside of Philadelphia and there are a lot of parks nearby. Dorney and Great Adventure are both 45 - 50 minutes away from me, Hershey is about an hour and 45 minutes, Knoebels is 2 1/2 hours, the parks on the Jersey Shore are an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours away and Six Flags America is around 2 3/4 hours. The only bad thing as mentioned earlier is that the winters are horrible and the offseason is annoying. November - March is very boring if you aren't into winter sports.

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I live in San Antonio and after reading how long some of you people have to drive to get to coasters, it makes me feel happy that I can get to Six Flags and Sea World in under 30 min. Though I'm probably moving to San Diego soon so I know I'm going to drive my parents up the wall with the 2 hr. drive to MM and Disney. Though I do think Virginia is one of the best places for coasters: KD, BGW, SFGADV, that would be heaven for me.

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I'd have a hard time picking against where I am now. I have:

 

Knoebel's: 15 minutes

Hersheypark: 1 hour

Dorney Park: 1.5 hours

Six Flags Great Adventure: 2.5 hours

Six Flags America: 3.5 hours

Kennywood: 4 hours

Lake Compounce: 4.5 hours

Six Flags New England: 5 hours

King's Dominion: 5 hours

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I'd have a hard time picking against where I am now. I have:

 

Knoebel's: 15 minutes

Hersheypark: 1 hour

Dorney Park: 1.5 hours

Six Flags Great Adventure: 2.5 hours

Six Flags America: 3.5 hours

Kennywood: 4 hours

Lake Compounce: 4.5 hours

Six Flags New England: 5 hours

King's Dominion: 5 hours

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I live in Southwest Virginia. It kind of sucks. The closest amusement park to where I live (Radford), is Carowinds at about 2.5 hours away in Charlotte. Then Dollywood at about 3 hours away, then KD 3-3.5 hours away, BGW at 4 hours away, SFA is 4 hours away, HP is about 5, Kennywood is about 5 but I've never been. Cedar Point is the longest I've gone just for an amusement park at about 7 hours. The farthest amusement park from where I live that I've been too is amazingly: Six Flags Fiesta Texas which was the first Six Flags I've ever been too

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I've given this a good deal of thought in the past, and I would have to say Pittsburgh. First of all, you have Kennywood for a great home park. Then you have Waldameer, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knoebels, Hersheypark, Dorney Park, and Six Flags Great Adventure all in a reasonable driving distance. And if you want to push it, you can also hit Six Flags America, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, Lake Compounce, Six Flags New England, and Holiday World. That makes for a grand total of 15 accessible parks! Not to mention, Pittsburgh is a cool city. Basically my criteria is having a good park in your backyard, a lot of parks in the surrounding area, and not being isolated from other parks. As far as home parks go, my picks would be Cedar Point or Magic Mountain. With that number of coasters, it would take a really long time to get bored when there's just so much going on. Orlando definitely has the best concentration of parks, but it's a little one-note, all great theming and amazing B&Ms. That's awesome, but it could get a little repetitive if you lived there. For worst places to live, it doesn't get any worse than the Mountain West for coasters.

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Busch Gardens! The best roller coasters are in this theme park. I never get lazy when I hear the terms Busch Gardens. My mind and body will work my way to the theme park if only given the chance. If you ask me where I would want to live, I would probably pick Busch Gardens in Florida.

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Once you're old enough to start traveling frequently, SoCal and Orlando will get boring because you don't have too much variety, you'll most likely be tired of the parks already, and other than your little area, it takes a lot of effort to get anywhere else.

 

I don't know, having Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Seaworld, IOA, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and soon to be Legoland all within an hour or so is pretty good variety if you ask me.

 

Parks with a lot of coasters work the best for home parks. I love parks like Disneyland and BGW, but when you go there all the time the theming becomes less and less special. SFMM doesn't get old too easily because there are so many coasters to ride and keep busy with, but I could never go to Disneyland 6+ times a year. Same goes for the Florida parks... and they're all so expensive which is annoying when it comes to season passes. I stick with what I say about not too much variety because the majority of the parks are B&M looping coasters (which I am not a fan of) and coaster-wise, each of the parks look to get very old. And, like I said, outside of Florida you have to work to get somewhere.

 

Florida is, IMO, an amazing vacation spot but I do not want to live there.

 

Well, for you having a park with a lot of coasters is best for home parks. For me, having a "coaster park" as my ONLY option for a home-park would get pretty boring. The only reason SoCal is tolerable is because we have a "variety" of parks. You can off-set the coaster parks of SFMM and Knott's with the variety of Disneyland/DCA.

 

For me, living in Central FL would be perfect for me. Not only do you have all of the amazing parks, but there are also some REALLY good coasters in Central FL. Throw in the amazing theming with those coasters and it works for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you're a COASTER enthusiast, I'd have to say SoCal, but if you're a general park lover, Chicago, or Gurnee in particular.

 

Great America is an amazing park here in the Chicago land area, and it provides superb entertainment, an amazing selection of flats, and a coaster collection that you'll never get tired of. To top it off, some of the best entertainment at an amusement park. Also, we havve arguably one of the best water parks in the chain!

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Hard question...To me, I live here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and im pretty impressed with what this state has to offer ride-wise. Ive been other places (LA, Orlando) and have to say while they're great places to visit and hang out, I wouldn't want to live there, especially Central FL, as its a giant tourist trap

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  • 1 year later...

Just a random topic I was thinking about. My nomination is Harrisburg, PA:

- Hershey Park in back yard

- Knobels 1 hour away

- Dorney Park 1.5 hours away

- Six Flags NJ 2.5 hours away

- Six Flags MD 2.5 hours away

- Kennywood 3.5 hours away

- King's Dominion and Busch Gardens VA 4-5 hours away

- Cedar Point 6 hours away

 

Any other ideas?

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