Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Road Trip Planning


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I'm in the very early planning stage of a decent road trip and wanted to make sure I don't drive by a great park forgetting it exists only to kick myself when I get home. I guess this could also serve as a good list for Must-See parks, historically significant parks, or even small parks with a Must-Ride coaster.

 

Please add or subtract as you feel necessary, I know I included a few parks that might not be worthy for various reasons. Explanations are helpful as well and would be appreciated.

(Disney and Universal parks omitted on purpose)

Thanks!

 

Beechbend, KY

BGW, VA

BGT, FL

Carowinds, NC

Cedar Point, OH

Coney Island, NY

Conneaut Lake, PA

Dollywood, TN

Dorney Park, PA

Great America, CA

Hershey Park, PA

Holiday World, IN

Indiana Beach, IN

Kennywood, PA

Kings Dominion, VA

Kings Island, OH

Knoebles, PA

Knotts Berry Farm, CA

Lake Compounce, CN

Marine World, CA

Moreys Pier, NJ

Mt. Olympus, WI

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, CA

Silver Dollar City, MO

Silverwood, ID

Six FlagsNE, SFOG, SFMM, SFFT, SFOT, SFGrAdv, SFGA, SFDK

Waldameer, PA

Worlds of Fun, MO

Edited by willthethrill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The "problem" with the United States is that there are SO MANY good parks you cannot possibly do them all in one trip unless you are horrendously rich and have huge amounts of time. Also, the US is gigantic, so going from Missouri to California without any coasters would be an exhausting drive. I'd suggest you stick to a single region at a time.

 

If for example, you REALLY wanted to do Six Flags Marine World and Mt. Olympus in one trip, you could. But I would suggest the following route in that case:

 

Day 1: Mt. Olympus and Timber Falls

Day 2: Drive 5 hours to Arnold's Park in Arnolds Park, IA.

Day 3: Drive 7 hours across South Dakota, using the little amusement park "Boondocks" in Deadwood SD as a rest stop.

Day 4: Drive 10 hours to Farmington, UT and stay overnight.

Day 5: Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, UT.

Day 6: Drive 10 hours to Vallejo, CA and stay overnight.

Day 7: Six Flags Marine World.

Edited by Tanks4me05
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Agreed. Admittedly it is an tremendously ambitious plan but the road trip is part of the experience. I wouldn't be heading out to just hit amusement parks, and I have the freedom (no family, work from home/road) and the resources ($) to maybe pull it off and to even live in certain cities/regions for 1-2 months at a time.

 

Ideally I'd like to focus on the Northeast, PA in particular, or the South. I've never been to the East coast outside of a couple days in Savannah, and I've already been to a few parks on the list, Cali parks, Cedar Point, SFGA to name a couple.

 

*edit, you cut out the second half of your post as I was writing this...

** double edit, I should say that my starting point would most likely be SoCal - but your points remain valid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if you want to do the Northeast, I'd recommend doing Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, & Washington DC. These cities have a lot of historical places to go and a lot of tourist traps. Plus, you can do SFNE, SFGAdv, Dorney Park, SFA, and perhaps BGW & KD in that road trip. You can easily spend a week at each of these cities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^I actually do this for fun all the time (planning trips) so I can plan the whole thing for you right now.

 

The east coast is actually the highest concentration of high quality roller coasters in the world.

 

A good rule of thumb is that an amusement park trip will cost about $200 a day as I have found out, when including tickets, food, lodging, and gas.

 

So I can actually plan the whole thing for you if you want, because I find that stuff really fun. (Google Earth is really freaking useful.) Also although I have been on over 230 roller coasters, I have never traveled farther west than Cedar Point in my life so I know the area well.

 

First, I'll need a max budget you'd be willing to spend, average mileage of your car, and your hometown to calculate the general distance from home to your first park. (Don't need the specific address, just the city.) If you live really far outside the region, tell me what airport you want to fly out of (for car rentals, I recommend either intermediate or standard size as a good optimization between cost, fuel efficiency, and size protection in an accident.)

 

EDIT: Also, the northeast has so many coasters, I personally split the northeast into the New England states (NY and CT up to ME) and the Mid Atlantic (PA down to VA)

 

EDIT 2: I saw your own edits, so tell me which region you want to focus on, if you want to stay in SoCal, or if you want to venture out further, because you can actually make your way to Vegas and even cross over to Texas while using Cliff's in Albequerque as a stepping stone (but then you'd be able to do less in SoCal as a result if you aren't totally loaded with cash.) And when you'd like to do the trip would also be helpful as hotel costs and park hours vary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as you're already doing California's Great America you might as well do Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA too. A couple years ago I'd say skip it but Superman: Ultimate Flight is worth the hour or so drive from Great America.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you trip ends up taking you to Mount Olympus be sure to include Timber Falls for HellCat as it is less than a mile away.

Also if you include Lake Compounce and can squeeze Lake Quassy in it is worth it for Wooden Warrior.

 

Also, if you are looking for a fantasy trip of US parks, include Silverwood for their woodies.

 

I know you are including Lake Conneaut for historical purposes, but I would not include Conneaut or Moreys as must visit. if your looking for a side trip from Waldameer instead of Conneaut, I'd consider Martin's Fantasy Island just to ride Silver Comet.

 

You probably have Beech Bend on the list for Kentucky Rumbler, but if you are riding other GCIs, I would consider the skipping. Rides on the newer GCIs don't vary that greatly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not include Moreys as must visit.

 

I 100% disagree with this. IMO, Moreys is 1 of the most underrated parks around. As someone that has vacationed in Wildwood plenty of times, I can tell you Moreys is definitely worth a visit. Its 1 of the best seaside amusement parks in the world, has great flats and very solid coasters. Plus it's a great vacation spot with a beach right there. I would compare it as the seaside version of Knoebels. Moreys has a special atmosphere that I dont recommend passing up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not include Moreys as must visit.

 

I 100% disagree with this. IMO, Moreys is 1 of the most underrated parks around. As someone that has vacationed in Wildwood plenty of times, I can tell you Moreys is definitely worth a visit. Its 1 of the best seaside amusement parks in the world, has great flats and very solid coasters. Plus it's a great vacation spot with a beach right there. I would compare it as the seaside version of Knoebels. Moreys has a special atmosphere that I dont recommend passing up.

 

It's only one of America's best seaside parks because there are so few left. The boardwalk and beach are great, but the rides?

Flats are above average and they have one great walk through, but can you tell me the names of these solid coasters? They have one OK coaster (Great White) and a bunch of sub par coasters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you trip ends up taking you to Mount Olympus be sure to include Timber Falls for HellCat as it is less than a mile away.

Also if you include Lake Compounce and can squeeze Lake Quassy in it is worth it for Wooden Warrior.

 

Also, if you are looking for a fantasy trip of US parks, include Silverwood for their woodies.

 

I know you are including Lake Conneaut for historical purposes, but I would not include Conneaut or Moreys as must visit. if your looking for a side trip from Waldameer instead of Conneaut, I'd consider Martin's Fantasy Island just to ride Silver Comet.

 

You probably have Beech Bend on the list for Kentucky Rumbler, but if you are riding other GCIs, I would consider the skipping. Rides on the newer GCIs don't vary that greatly.

 

So you would say that Wooden Warrior and HellCat are notable enough to get their home parks on the list? I'm not arguing; I've been following coasters and theme parks for a long time and have never even heard of those parks or rides... (or at least I don't recall them)

 

Honestly I was iffy about even putting Olympus on the list. Its been a LONG time since I've been there, and I've heard their coasters have not held up so great. And yes, Conneaut was included for purely historical purposes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not include Moreys as must visit.

 

I 100% disagree with this. IMO, Moreys is 1 of the most underrated parks around. As someone that has vacationed in Wildwood plenty of times, I can tell you Moreys is definitely worth a visit. Its 1 of the best seaside amusement parks in the world, has great flats and very solid coasters. Plus it's a great vacation spot with a beach right there. I would compare it as the seaside version of Knoebels. Moreys has a special atmosphere that I dont recommend passing up.

 

It's only one of America's best seaside parks because there are so few left. The boardwalk and beach are great, but the rides?

Flats are above average and they have one great walk through, but can you tell me the names of these solid coasters? They have one OK coaster (Great White) and a bunch of sub par coasters.

 

Well Great Nor Easter is an above average looping coaster to me, Great White is a very unique woodie and Sea Serpent is an above average boomerang. I understand they don't have a standout coaster but they also don't have any bad coasters. When I say Moreys is a seaside Knoebels, I mean the atmosphere is a great small park one that is rare to find in other parks. Maybe this is just me because Wildwood has a special place in my heart but I feel like it is underrated for those reasons. It also seems like much more of a worthy visit then some of the other small parks listed.

 

But again, this is just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you trip ends up taking you to Mount Olympus be sure to include Timber Falls for HellCat as it is less than a mile away.

Also if you include Lake Compounce and can squeeze Lake Quassy in it is worth it for Wooden Warrior.

 

Also, if you are looking for a fantasy trip of US parks, include Silverwood for their woodies.

 

I know you are including Lake Conneaut for historical purposes, but I would not include Conneaut or Moreys as must visit. if your looking for a side trip from Waldameer instead of Conneaut, I'd consider Martin's Fantasy Island just to ride Silver Comet.

 

You probably have Beech Bend on the list for Kentucky Rumbler, but if you are riding other GCIs, I would consider the skipping. Rides on the newer GCIs don't vary that greatly.

 

So you would say that Wooden Warrior and HellCat are notable enough to get their home parks on the list? I'm not arguing; I've been following coasters and theme parks for a long time and have never even heard of those parks or rides... (or at least I don't recall them)

 

Honestly I was iffy about even putting Olympus on the list. Its been a LONG time since I've been there, and I've heard their coasters have not held up so great. And yes, Conneaut was included for purely historical purposes.

 

I'm biased since HellCat is one of my favorite coasters. Timber Falls isn't a real amusement park, more like a glorified FEC. I assumed you had MtO on the last for a backseat ride on Cyclops and to try Hades 360. If the like woodie roller coasters a trip to Wisconsin Dells is a must.

 

Wooden Warrior is the only real reason to visit Quassy, it was a Top 25 woodie in Mitch Poll for 2012. It's mostly a park for families with pre-teen children. But depending on how you plan your drive it might not be that far out of the way.

 

I think most of the Top 50 woodies are worth riding if it is not out of your way. With that said I inadvertently left out Shivering Timbers on my original suggestion, but I've heard it now has good and bad days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but I would not include Moreys as must visit.

 

Like stated above, then you're crazy. Nothing beats the atmosphere, the friendliness, and everything else. And no, it's not only one of the best because there aren't many seaside parks left. Its great because they have a big selection of rides that cater to ALL ages, some unique rides and like stated above atmosphere and friendliness AND cleanness. ...It's a full scale park despite it's seaside location. And with the construction of the new coaster happening now, it will just make the park that much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Ideally I'd like to focus on the Northeast, PA in particular, or the South. I've never been to the East coast outside of a couple days in Savannah, and I've already been to a few parks on the list, Cali parks, Cedar Point, SFGA to name a couple.

 

 

Pennsylvania is a great place to base a trip around. Knoebel's and Kennywood are great "traditional" parks and Hershey Park has some great Intamin coasters. If you have the time and financial means, I suggest you try doing something similar to the Northeast/Road to Cedar Point trips from 2011. You could start in the Boston area, (SFNE, Lake Compounce, Quassy, Canobie Lake) pass through NYC, (Coney Island, SFGAdv) Philly and Pittsburgh (Hershey, Knoebel's, Kennywood) on the way to Cedar Point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm assuming that you're not doing all these parks in a single trip, and are more trying to compile a list of the must visit non-Disney, non-Universal parks in the United States. In that case, I'd suggest splitting the list into two categories: Destination and Detour. Destination parks are the ones that you absolutely want to visit during your trip, as they are either highly regarded parks or are the biggest in the region. Detour parks are those that would be good to visit if you're in the area, but that aren't worth making a long trip out of the way just to visit them as they typically only contain one or two notable rides. Using this method, I would make the following changes (note: I have not been to all these parks, but have been to most of the east coast and deep south parks):

 

Add these parks to the Destination list:

 

Great Escape

Michigan's Adventure

Silverwood Theme Park

 

Move these parks to the Detours list:

 

California's Great America

Conneaut Lake Park

Dorney Park

Indiana Beach

Morey's Piers

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

 

Add these parks to the Detours list:

 

Darien Lake

Idlewild

Kemah Boardwalk

Quassy Amusement Park

SeaWorld Orlando

Six Flags St. Louis

Timber Falls Adventure Park

Valleyfair

 

There are a few other parks (such as the SeaWorld and LEGOLAND parks) that could be worth adding to the Detours list depending on interest level and available discounts.

 

As for planning the actual trip, I would start by picking a region and finding all the Destination parks in the region, then pick a route that gets to all those parks and as many of the nearby Detour parks as possible. If you wish to extend the trip beyond that, pick other Destination parks and a route that includes Detour parks. Based on your original list, I would start with the east coast parks and come up with a route to all the desired parks in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and possibly Virginia, then either expand it south through North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia or west through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and possibly Missouri depending on time and budget.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand Silverwood, but I'm not seeing Michigan's Adventure or Great Escape as must-do destination parks... Am I missing something?

 

Also it's less of a road trip and more of 'I can live on the road' so the actual planning of the route is not nearly as important as just know what parks I need to hit as an amusement park/coaster enthusiast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but I would not include Moreys as must visit.

 

Like stated above, then you're crazy. Nothing beats the atmosphere, the friendliness, and everything else. And no, it's not only one of the best because there aren't many seaside parks left. Its great because they have a big selection of rides that cater to ALL ages, some unique rides and like stated above atmosphere and friendliness AND cleanness. ...It's a full scale park despite it's seaside location. And with the construction of the new coaster happening now, it will just make the park that much better.

 

I never said I wasn't crazy. I wouldn't consider the park a must until the the new coaster opens. I don't consider a park great if it doesn't have at least one very good coaster.

 

I can understand Silverwood, but I'm not seeing Michigan's Adventure or Great Escape as must-do destination parks... Am I missing something?

 

I'm betting he is including them for Shivering Timbers and Comet, two very good wood coasters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand Silverwood, but I'm not seeing Michigan's Adventure or Great Escape as must-do destination parks... Am I missing something?

 

If you are going to hit SFNE, then you might as well go hit the Great Escape. Riding The Comet is worth it just in itself. They have some nice rides and a great waterpark. Plus it's sort of in the middle of SFNE and Darien Lake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/