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

Looking for help in planning Penn. park trip.


Recommended Posts

Hi TPR,

 

I know there are several threads for the individual parks, but as i'm just starting to do the research, I thought i'd ask for help here in a centralized thread.

 

my 10th Anniversary is coming up in January. (yay us).

 

my Partner is older than I am, and these days, he just can't handle the "big" rides, even tho he loves theme parks as much as I do, and has no problem if I go on things while he waits. As much fun as Knott's was a couple of years ago, I would have loved it more if he were on many of the rides WITH me.

 

since he's such a fan of parks, and older rides, I proposed a trip to Pennsylvania, since that state has many of our "bucket list" parks, that are filled with rides he'd have no issue going on!

 

So for sure we'd like to hit Knoebel's, Kenneywood, Hersheypark. . and then add a 4th, either Waldameer, Idlewild, Dorney, or maybe something else.

 

this is what we know for sure:

 

1) as our Anniversary at the end of Jan is off season, we are going to take our Anniversary trip in Late May (our typical vacation time anyways).

 

2) we are planning on spending at least two days at Hersheypark, and at least 1 full day (potentially 2 days) at each other park. so we're looking at an 8 day minimum trip.

 

 

what we DON'T know, and can use help with is:

 

1) how close are the parks to each other? (we're from Texas, so Pennsylvania looks like a rather small state that we could likely fly into one place, rent a car, and easily drive to the parks we want to (before eventually driving back to where we rented the car from and flying back out (or flying back from a different airport).

 

2) what would be the best airport to fly into (for the 1st park).

 

3) what should we plan for the 4th park? any suggestions, or just stick with the 3 I noted as must go's (Hershey, Knoebel's, Kenneywood).

 

4) is this an insane idea? or is it a great trip for two queers who love amusement parks (one of whom is a fuddy duddy who wont' go on "big" rides, but doesn't mind if the other does.

 

so that's my pitch for any suggestions, as I get into the research here.

 

any input is appreciated!

 

best,

bert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

You can get from one side of Pennsylvania to the other in about four hours of "normal" highway driving. But obviously the places you want to go aren't in a line.

 

One route that I would consider is as follows - fly into Williamsport Regional (IPT) and drive to Knoebels (~45min on I-180, I-80, PA-54 and PA-487). After a day or two there, drive to Hersheypark (~1 hr 15min on PA-54, PA-901, I-81 and PA-743) and spend your days there. Then drive to Kennywood (~3 hr 30 min on US-322, I-70/76), spend your day there and fly out of Pittsburgh International (PIT).

 

On that particular route, you could detour up I-99 one day and hit up the two parks in Altoona, Delgrosso's and Lakemont, before going to Pittsburgh on US-22.

 

OR...you could fly into Allentown (ABE) and go to Dorney Park. From there, you go Knoebels > Hersheypark > Kennywood.

 

OR OR...you could fly into Pittsburgh first and do the route in reverse.

Edited by A.J.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Kennywood is a 3,5/4 hour drive away for the 'others'. Knoebels,Dorney,Hershey are a close distance apart.

 

2) I would fly into Pittsburg and pick up a car there, and then make te trip and fly out of Harrisburg or Baltimore(maybe even visit DC)

 

3) You could do a quick visit while driving west to east. Look on http://www.coast2coaster.eu for some parks near the road.

 

4) No this is no crazy trip! Just have fun while doing it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would recommend adding Waldameer to your trip. It's an amazing little park and Ravine Flyer II is fantastic. It's a few hours north of Kennywood (Erie, PA), but Conneaut Lake is also on the way and both parks are easily doable in one day. If you're a real credit whore, Fun Fore All's Fiesta Express is also easily accessible on the same day. Your trip will be a blast! The Pennsylvania parks are wonderful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you decide to go to Dorney, don't go on a Friday in May unless it's later in the day (until around 5:00 or a little later). They have Music In The Parks with many school groups on Friday's in May and some of June and it's one of the few times where Dorney actually gets lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idlewild is conveniently located between Pittsburgh and Altoona (Lakemont and DelGrosso's) if you so desire to take a scenic drive down Route 30....which also runs right beside Dutch Wonderland, which is near Hershey and the rest of the eastern parks......

 

http://rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=3&ol=18965 you just have to sort by status to get all the currently operating ones at the top of the list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dorney is not going to provide much for the fuddy duddy but has the most coasters for you. I'm not sure what fuddy duddy (sorry I just like tying fuddy duddy) would enjoy beyond the log flume

 

Idlewild has a few interesting attractions (Mister Rogers Train, crooked house) that are not intense, and RolloCoaster, a very fun wooden coaster for its size.

 

Idlewild has Ravine Flyer and a few intense flats for you and the two classic Bill Tracey attractions.

 

If possible take advantage of Hersheypark preview plan the night before you plan to spend a whole day there.

 

Fly into whatever airport gives you the best price and flexibility. I hate flying into regional airports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Instead of a forth park I would stay 2 days at Knoebels, it really changes the perspective of the park if you stay on site (night time rides on the Phoenix at amazing especially when the lights are off for the last train of the night). But if you insist on a fourth park then I would say Waldameer if you want to drive a little bit out of your way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your looking to fly in and out of major airports, Pittsburgh would probably make the most sense as Kennywood is right outside the city. The three parks you picked make the most sense based on what your looking for. You could add Dorney simply because it's relatively close to Hershey. Waldameer is a nice park too, but it seems more out of your way. The way I see it you could fly into Pittsburgh and fly out of Philly if you want to keep to the major airports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember that Waldameer can be done as a package with Conneaut Lake Park (45min apart) easily in one day if you decide to come up this way. If you started with Kennywood the first day, go up I-79 to Waldameer and CLP the next day, and after that you can come part way down I-79 to I-80 West which takes you to right to Knoebels. In the same direction as Knoebels is Dorney and Hersheypark which are all decently close to each other. But Northwest PA is kind of isolated from the rest of Pennsylvania, so it's understandable if you decide not to make the drive up. Also, Erie does have an airport with a good amount of connections to other cities that could serve as a starting place as well if you decided to start from Northwest PA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dorney is not going to provide much for the fuddy duddy but has the most coasters for you. I'm not sure what fuddy duddy (sorry I just like tying fuddy duddy) would enjoy beyond the log flume

 

Idlewild has a few interesting attractions (Mister Rogers Train, crooked house) that are not intense, and RolloCoaster, a very fun wooden coaster for its size.

 

Idlewild has Ravine Flyer and a few intense flats for you and the two classic Bill Tracey attractions.

 

If possible take advantage of Hersheypark preview plan the night before you plan to spend a whole day there.

 

Fly into whatever airport gives you the best price and flexibility. I hate flying into regional airports.

 

he's a HUGE flume fan. . we have pics of us on flumes at every park/carnival we've ever been to that has one!

 

so that might be a selling point for Dorney

 

that would give me fun big coasters to go on, and then when we hit Knoebel's and Kennywood, we can ride catepillar and kangaroo together! (he's already promised he'll go on Flying Turns with me, proclaiming it "looks like fun" when i showed him the POV here.

 

thanks fro the suggestions!

 

I'll keep this up as we start planning things out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your looking to fly in and out of major airports, Pittsburgh would probably make the most sense as Kennywood is right outside the city. The three parks you picked make the most sense based on what your looking for. You could add Dorney simply because it's relatively close to Hershey. Waldameer is a nice park too, but it seems more out of your way. The way I see it you could fly into Pittsburgh and fly out of Philly if you want to keep to the major airports.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. . this might be what we start the plan with and see what we plug in.

 

but in at Pittsburgh, out from Philly SOUNDS like a good plan, since we can rent the car in Pittsburgh and return it in Philly too!

 

thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far. I was considering two days at Knoebel's but wasn't sure if there was enough there that we'd want to spend two full days. . .but if the park is beautiful at night, we'd definitely stay until closing.

 

(but fuddy-duddy likes to head back to hotel fairly early, tho that's not necessarily true on "Vacations". . and since this is a BIG Anniversary trip, I'll bet I can keep him up late!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Kennywood doesn't have a caterpillar, but Idlewild does.

 

really?. . I thought for sure the "old Kennywood" section would have it.

 

maybe I'm thinking Turtle. But i know they have a Whip he will like. (he's really big on flats).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but in at Pittsburgh, out from Philly SOUNDS like a good plan, since we can rent the car in Pittsburgh and return it in Philly too!

 

thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far. I was considering two days at Knoebel's but wasn't sure if there was enough there that we'd want to spend two full days. . .but if the park is beautiful at night, we'd definitely stay until closing.

In that case, I would go Kennywood > Knoebels > Hersheypark with whichever other parks in between. Philadelphia is an easy drive from the Harrisburg/Hershey area, just hop on I-76 or US-30/202 and away you go.

 

Regarding Knoebels at night - you could spend the say driving there and show up in the evening, ride some stuff at night, and then spend a full day there the next day. Knoebels' pay-one-price offers a discounted sundown plan after 5:00 PM. Hersheypark also has (like Larry mentioned) a Preview Plan where you can be admitted into the park for free after a certain time (dependent on the day) if you have a ticket for admission the next day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you drive from Knoebels to Kennywood you'll be on I-99 and you'll drive right through Altoona PA. The oldest coaster in the world will be about 5 minutes out of the way, how can you not stop there? Seriously... make sure you ride Leap the Dips (Skyliner is good too so ride it when you're there).

 

If you're into credits you can stop at Del Grossos too which is a few miles away and again only about 5 minutes off the exit. If you're not skip it, but don't skip Leap the Dips at Lakemont. It will only take about 30 minutes out of your drive and it's an experience you'll never forget.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of the other parks you're considering, I think Idlewild has the most enjoyable atmosphere. It doesn't have anything I would call a "big ride," but several attractions that could appeal to all ages. I'd say the delightful Mr. Rogers trolley is a must there. Hopefully, they'll bring back the Caterpillar, as I believe was rumored. They do have a log flume, too.

 

Dorney is mainly a thrill park, but that's not to say it's impossible to relax there. They do have a classic Whip (as do several other PA parks), and the flume is very enjoyable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Kennywood doesn't have a caterpillar, but Idlewild does.

 

They actually took it out before the start of this past season.

 

I forgot about that, I guess that's why someone at Canobie was saying they have the only one when I visited over the summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny this topic should come up as my partner and I are going to do something very similar next year. I love Kennywood and usually stay over night (or 2) in Pittsburg. Pitts can be an interesting side trip unto itself. Taking an evening ride on one of the Incline Railways to the top and visit one of the neat restaraunts overlooking the city all lit up could make for a romantic anniversary dinner. Plus the Strip District and many ethnic areas are neat too. We are planning on starting at my partners parents home by Kings Dominion, travelling through PA to hit Knoebels, Kennywood , Conneaut, Waldemeer, Cedar Point and Kings Island on our way back home to Florida.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny this topic should come up as my partner and I are going to do something very similar next year. I love Kennywood and usually stay over night (or 2) in Pittsburg. Pitts can be an interesting side trip unto itself. Taking an evening ride on one of the Incline Railways to the top and visit one of the neat restaraunts overlooking the city all lit up could make for a romantic anniversary dinner. Plus the Strip District and many ethnic areas are neat too. We are planning on starting at my partners parents home by Kings Dominion, travelling through PA to hit Knoebels, Kennywood , Conneaut, Waldemeer, Cedar Point and Kings Island on our way back home to Florida.

 

we should team up and go together

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being from PA, and also a person who loves parks, but not necessarily thrill rides I may have a few suggestions.

 

While I love Kennywood, I really have no reason to spend more than a day there, if that. Great park, Great setting, but I hate to stand in lines and hate crowds, and it seems as if every time I am there, I hit it on a busy day. I still get everything in I want too, but just because I am not a "crowd" person, and I tend to not enjoy myself as much as I should. If you are into old school woodies, this is the place to go. Kennywood's 3 wooden coasters are awesome to me for different reasons. Jackrabbit, cool trains, short, but has the OMG moment you will know when you hit it. Racer, not thrilling, but just plain fun. Thunderbolt odd layout, but in my opinion a great ride.

 

As for Conneaut Lake, I have a sentimental attachment to this park. My first park, first big coaster, and I got married there. Not sure what kind of places you like to stay at but Hotel Conneaut may be a nice place to spend a night for your anniversary. A little rough around the edges, but cool for being right on the lake over 100 years old, and being able to hang on out the front porch, and drink a beer in the evening, if that is your thing. Has a nice restaurant in the basement, and nice to wake up in the morning and take a walk on the boardwalk. Could show up there in the evening after a day at Kennywood and spend a few hours riding rides, and crash in the hotel for the evening. Blue Streak is a fun ride, and somewhat aggressive ride that has been getting some much needed TLC in the last few years. Has the better Tumble Bug out of the last two running, and cool old school dark ride. Other than that, not much to write home about. Wish it would return to how it was when I was a kid, it was an awesome park in its day.

 

Waldameer is only about an hour up the road, used to not like this park, but it has really grown on me in the last 10 years. They have been doing a ton of upgrades, and my family make sure we get there 2 or 3 times a year. If you like flumes, I think Waldameers is one of the better ones out there.

 

Hershey, I can see why you want to go, but for me I could give or take it. Been there twice, once was my honeymoon, but I still drive almost right by it to get to Knoebels every year. Loved the Lightning Racer though. Comet was fun, as well as the Super Duper Looper, I think that is what it is called. If I recall the Wild Mouse seemed to feel the most out of control of any I have been on.

 

Lakemont, Small park, lots of old school flats. Very little atmosphere, but home to the oldest coaster as has already been mentioned. Also, I think the Sky Liners is under rated sometimes. Small, but as of a few years ago, gave some great rides, and lots of airtime.

 

Delgrossos, I can't really give you an opinion, been there once for one of the free concert days, was so packed I didn't get to ride any rides. We were there for the concert though, and not the rides, so no big deal for me. However I do remember the spaghetti being awesome, mainly because their main business is making spaghetti sauce across the street.

 

Now for Knoebels, My family and I usually spend 4 days a year there. We have a camper we take with us and stay in the campground, however if you are up for it, they have some really cool looking cabins in the campground you may want to look into renting. But if you do, you may want to plan now, because from what I hear they fill up fast. The are bare basics, mainly just a place to lay your head at night, but looked clean. Also they have decent shower houses usually close by to the cabins, so it is community showers, no frills, but I have found they have been mostly clean. I love the fact that we can stay at the park. For some reason it just seems that when we can walk from the park to our bed, it makes the day more special. And waking up in the morning and hearing the park come alive. From dead silence to hearing the Twister, and Phoenix testing, to full out yells and screams of the crowds and riders is awesome to me. Also we don't seemed rushed, and if we want to take a break, we can walk back to camp and relax for an hour or so. Down side with that for you would be bringing blankets and pillows while flying. That being said, if you can, STAY at Knoebles. There is so much to do, like I said we spend 4 days and never get bored. I am sure some will disagree with me though. There a tons of rides, and some for everyone. If your partner likes to ride, but not thrill rides he will LOVE Knoebels. As I said my wife and I love parks, but not rides so much, but we ride rides at Knoebls all the time. So much to do even if you are not riding, games, cool little shops, and FOOD! While not the best food I have ever had, it is about the best "park" food I have run into. Usually the crowds are not at all bad, and I am not sure I have ever waited in line for longer than 20 minutes for anything there, other than the first year the Twister was open. Sometimes we will just sit on a bench and hang out and watch the crowds. We also found that unless you are power riding, the tickets are the better deal than the wrist bands.

 

By the sounds of what you like, I would think you would enjoy two days at Knoebles, just my opinion though.

 

I just want to add, my opinions about about lodging may be different than others, for my wife and I it doesn't take a lot to make us happy, however I know there are people that would never say at a 100 year old hotel, or a cabin without a private bathroom. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, and understand. Just wanted to get it out there so you know what you are getting into.

 

If I can be of any help, let me know

 

Bull

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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/