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Which park is the biggest pain to visit?


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When you go to certain parks, it can be a very enjoyable experience once you are inside, but is it all worth it to deal with any major problems that may exist outside its gates? Is the car traffic leading to it abysmal? Is it located in a scary-looking neighborhood? Do you have to travel what seems like forever from the parking lot to the front gate? Share these sorts of parks here.

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I always found KBF to be a pain when I lived in California, simply because of the horrid LA-area traffic. And also DL/DCA for the one visit I made to that park - it literally took me almost 3 and a half hours to get home on a Sunday night even though at the time I lived less than 40 miles away from the park because of the traffic.

 

As for parks here on the east coast and other places, the only ones I can think of are IOA (and probably also DW, even though I haven't been there in ages, as it is in the same general area as IOA) and to a small extent, Kennywood. Kennywood because its proximity to the river and downtown Pittsburg make the driving a bit tricky - the first time I went I had my friend helping me read the maps and navigate, and still we got goofed up and turned around. Once you get some familiarity, it isn't too bad, though. IOA simply because it is in the Orlando area, and Orlando is a hellish place to try and drive around. Sadly, even though I totally enjoyed IOA, I am left with rotten memories of that trip of me trying to get around Orlando with its incredibly rude drivers and congested roads. I am planning a trip to DW next fall (2014) and I am going to do everything in my power to avoid the Orlando area (other than going to DW and staying as close by as I can) all together.

 

Also, I have to be careful if I go to SFA or KD - simply because I have to pass thru all the DC traffic on the way to either park (and even more of the Northern VA mess if I go to KD) and coming back. I try to plan on going at times when the traffic normally isn't too bad.

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There were some neighborhoods around Michigan's Adventure that were pretty sketchy and had child watch signs all over them, vandalism, and thugs were walking along the street and sitting in their yards. This was less then 5 min. away from the park.

Did find some graffiti that was interesting.

Someone scratched on a stop sign so it said "STOP hammer time!"

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Kennywood - I don't go via Monroeville but through downtown Pittsburgh and the whole section from I-579 to I-376 is a pain. Plus the neighborhood around Rankin along Braddock Road before you get to the bridge is a bit sketchy.

 

SFGAm - Taking the Ohio and Indiana Turnpikes are a total bore as there is nothing to see but once you get to the portion of the Indiana Turnpike around Gary/Hammond it's a nightmare with all the trucks. I go through downtown Chicago instead of the Tri-State Tollway, which some may think is suicide once you get to the Dan Ryan portion of I-94 but at least you aren't stopping every so many miles to pay a toll and the view of Chicago's magnificent skyline is a bonus perk of taking that route.

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^^^^I visited DW and Orlando first time this Feb as a driver and found it quite easily to navigate, next to that no problems with rude drivers. Orlando drivers may drive more confident than in most parts of the US but coming from Europe that is kind of refreshing and reminds of home...

 

To avoid sketchy neighborhoods I normally come in as suggested on the park website via highway only plus I also check Google Maps and Earth before and mark areas as red I want to avoid. Worked like a charm so far.

 

The only driving problem I had was this Feb going to BGT as heavy construction was going on at the highway and with all signs removed I missed the exit. But as I had planned enough extra time I was still right on time when the park opened.

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Visiting England for the first time, Alton Towers was an adventure to drive too. Left side of the road, left shifter, narrow country roads, dodging buses, were all obstacles leading me to what looked like nowhere, until a theme park decided to show up. So crazy!

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"Hey, how do we get to Dollywood?"

 

Follow the only road!

Follow the only road!

FOLLOW, FOLLOW, FOLLOW, FOLLOW,

Follow the only road!

 

That road would be Highway 441. It's the most direct route to Dollywood and given that its the only major road in Dollywood's vicinity combined with being surrounded by mountains with almost no alternative practical routes in the area, traffic is bumper-to-bumper coming from the North and from the South morning, noon, and night. Interestingly, when you drive along this same road AWAY from Dollywood in either direction, the traffic is perfrectly normal. So, when going to Dollywood, take whatever route you can find that uses Highway 441 as little as possible (research it heavily so you don't get lost).

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Dollywood is a pain to get to from southeastern Virginia. You have to take I-64 west all the way to Staunton, the double back on wretched I-81 to catch I-40 into Tennessee, not to mention the terrible Pigeon Forge traffic.

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On a continent where taking a train directly to a park is almost expected, Alton Towers' difficulty to reach as a non-driver is a pain in the ass.

 

For me in the US, SDC. Want to fly into Branson? Hand over $600-700. Oh, don't want to do that for Branson, Missouri because you aren't Flanders from the Simpsons? OK. Fly to Kansas City or St. Louis, rent a car, and drive it for several hours. Yeah, that sounds...great.

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For me in the US, SDC. Want to fly into Branson? Hand over $600-700. Oh, don't want to do that for Branson, Missouri because you aren't Flanders from the Simpsons? OK. Fly to Kansas City or St. Louis, rent a car, and drive it for several hours. Yeah, that sounds...great.

 

This is exactly what many do when they decide to visit Kings Dominion and BGW. Fly into either the two DC area airports, Baltimore, Raleigh, Charlotte or even PHILADELPHIA..rent a car and drive the many of miles even though nearby Richmond and Hampton Roads have their own airports, actually Hampton Roads have TWO ( Newport News/Williamsburg International and Norfolk International ). Charlottesville and Roanoke also have airports but of course neither is near any theme/amusement park, well Roanoke did have Lakeside but they have been gone for over 25 years years now.

 

Over the years I have heard many of stories as to why people tend to avoid Virginia's airports other than Dulles and National near DC such as "too expensive", "hard to get to" ( that one I do not buy at all ) and the ever important "..lack of non-stop flights". Of course its easy to fly non-stop to say Richmond or Norfolk from Charlotte, Atlanta and Baltimore and most other big cities up and down the east but just try to find a a non-stop flight say from LA or Phoenix to Norfolk..not gonna happen. Considering that region not only has BGW but Virginia Beach, Norfolk Naval Base, water parks such as Water Country USA and many other attractions plus being a metro area with close to 2 million people one would think Hampton Roads would have a major airport with lots of non-stop flights nationwide..but they don't.

 

Oh well the lack of non-stop flights is a gain for the many of hotels/motels on the way. Both Hagerstown, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia their hotels and restaurants do get a LOT of business from travelers from Ohio, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Kentucky who make those areas a "stop over" on their way to the various Virginia attractions in other parts of the state.

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When I was booking flights for TPR's Scandi Trip in 2009, it was less expensive to start my trip at Richmond than it was to start at, say, Dulles or Baltimore. That is, fares were lower out of RIC.

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A lot of parks I've been to with TPR, so it's hard to gauge how difficult they'd be to visit on my own.

 

Driving to Alton Towers was pretty terrifying. For starters, it was my first day driving in the UK, and most of the drive was through little towns and along winding country roads. Driving to Tripsdrill was a similar experience, except it was my first time driving in Europe, and since I was in Germany I always felt like I had F1 drivers waiting to pass me.

 

For Japan, I'd probably say Nasu Highland (my first time going to Fuji-Q was also pretty bad, and then there's dealing with the park itself). Coming from Tokyo, you take a bullet train, followed by a local train, followed by either a bus ride or a taxi. Many parks in Japan are variations on the same formula (train, train, bus/taxi), it's just with this one, the park is so far from the train station that it's either a long bus ride (~1 hr), or a very expensive taxi (~$50). I got there late in the day, and the next bus wasn't for about an hour, so I took a taxi there, then took the bus back. Plus, the drive there reminded me a lot of getting to Tripsdrill, so I imagine driving there in a rental car would've been scary.

 

Of parks I've been to with TPR, I imagine Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido is the most difficult to reach, since it seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere. Also, La Ronde probably would've been a nightmare on my own; I remember traffic being a mess, not to mention the rest of the park.

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Dollywood is a pain to get to from southeastern Virginia. You have to take I-64 west all the way to Staunton, the double back on wretched I-81 to catch I-40 into Tennessee, not to mention the terrible Pigeon Forge traffic.

 

I agree with that! Mine was... interesting. I live in Franklin and made that trip a few weeks ago. 58 to I-77 to I-81 to Pigeon Forge. Once we got to the mountainous part of 58 it got fun, but before and after that was quite annoying.

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Getting to my favorite park in the world, Europa Park, is insanely difficult as it is located in the middle of nowhere. From the highest points of most coasters there, you can only see farmland. Farmland as far as the eye can see. To get to EP from the west coast (applies to me) you must:

 

1.) Find a flight to FRA, and as is the case with any overseas flight (especially from the west coast), it's NOT cheap.

2.) After an exhausting and expensive 11-hour flight, catch an ICE train from FRA's Fernbahnhof (preferably one that stops at Offenburg, as that means only one changeover).

3.) Change over to an RE train at Offenburg that's heading towards Freiburg. Ringsheim is the bahnhof you'll want to get off at.

4.) Catch the shuttle bus (not free BTW) that travels between Ringsheim bahnhof and EP, where it will stop at two locations (hotels and main entrance).

5.) You feel like crap, but the same time, you're ecstatic. Be proud that you've overcome the long, complicated, stressful, and exhausting ordeal of making it to one of the best parks in the world!

 

Honorable mention: SCBB. Even though it's close to me, there's HWY 17 to deal with. In the daytime, it isn't so bad. But the return trip back home at night is terrifying. There's very little light, it's windy and twisty, and people like to haul A$$ like they all have the most important meeting in the world to get to.

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Highway 17 is insanely scary at night. What's worse though is when it's raining and people still floor it through. I would not want to experience 17 at night during a storm..

 

Another slightly less pain to find is Gilroy Gardens. It's actually kind of tucked away in its own little corner of the world, comparing to many of the CA parks being located right next to a major thoroughfare.

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For those that say Dollywood is a nightmare to get into there are several routs you can take from sevierville that bypass pigeon forge. I take them all the time and come in from the backside of veterans blvd

 

For me going to SFOG is a nightmare because I always hit atlanta traffic. That is why I always stay at one of the hotels beside six flags. Yes, most are older but I don't have to fight traffic everyday. There also seem to be a few confusing exits I have to pass heading to sfog

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For me Great Adventure can be a real pain depending on what time of the day I hit the Jersey Turnpike. Also the tolls are just outrageous. It cost me 20 dollars in tolls to do a great adventure trip from upstate NY, it cost me 0 dollars to go all the way to Dollywood.

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Merimbula's Magic Mountain is well off the beaten track. Assuming you're in Australia to begin with, it's 6 hours drive from Melbourne or Sydney, for one Pinfari credit. I was very impressed to see TPR include this on their Australia trip a few years back!

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My Vote goes to Silverwood, Lagoon, or Michigans Adventure. They are all far enough out there that it is a flight just for that park.

 

In Smaller parks, Waterville USA is on my list, just because again, there is nothing close.

 

Puyallup Fair is a Pain, not because its far away but its only open for like 3 weeks a year.

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The ones I can think of are Oakwood, it's just so totally out of the way and a long way from anywhere.

 

I agree with Rusutsu Resort, that felt a long way away.

 

I love the journey to Alton Towers around the lanes and through the countryside. Would hate to do it on public transport though.

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