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I thought I'd put this post out as this year I'm doing something a bit brave/stupid/borderline insane. I'm quitting my job next month and gonna be visiting the USA/Canada for 2 months, and have saved a load of money up to hit a lot of theme parks.

 

I'll be in the States driving around, visiting some old and some new amusement parks. Hopefully I'll be able to meet up with some of you that I've met before from TPR trips in the past, and as long as you're not an axe-murderer, some of you that I haven't met.

 

The trip is gonna be broken up into 3 main parts which I'll go in to in more detail. Part 1 will be based around the Plains and the Rockies and a few parks in the sticks like Cliff's and Wonderland Amarillo. I'm a bit tied by park hours and timescales, and there's some criss-crossing/backtracking, but I'll take what I can get.

 

Part 2 will be with a few friends I'm meeting at Newark, going from New York , on to Toronto/Niagara Falls, then through Ohio across to Missouri, Texas and New Orleans, across to Georgia and back up the East Coast to NY. This is the one that we've got nailed down in terms of route and parks, hotels etc.

 

Part 3 is still in the planning stage depending on where I spend 4th July, but will probably be centered around the North East/Pennsylvania.

 

I'm very aware it will involve long drives (some of which through absolutely nothing - sorry Nebraska!), laundry days and a few cans of Monster. I've done road trips across the US before but nothing as large as this, so any tips on where to stay, good laundromats and good places to eat, etc etc. would be fab.

 

The first part is very restricted by opening hours, hence some of the long drives/backtracking. I'll post the rst up a bit later. If it looks like I'm missing some big parks out, I'm probably doing them later in the trip so don't worry if the first part looks a bit weird.

 

Fri May 22: Arrive Chicago ORD in the morning, Six Flags Great America.

Sat May 23: Little Amerricka, Santa's Village. Drive to Indianapolis, possibly stop by Indiana Beach depending on time.

Sun May 24: Watch the Indy 500,. Drive to Des Moines.

Mon May 25: Adventureland, Arnolds Park, Drive to Kansas.

Tue May 26: Worlds of Fun, Schlitterbahn.

Wed May 27: Drive to Denver.

Thu May 28: Elitch Gardens.

Fri May 29: Drive to Salt Lake City, possibly via Glenwood Caverns

Sat May 30: Lagoon.

Sun May 31: Drive back to Denver, Lakeside Park.

Mon Jun 1: Drive to Albuquerque.

Tue Jun 2: Cliff's, Drive to Amarillo, Wonderland Amarillo, Drive to Oklahoma City.

Wed Jun 3: Frontier City, Drive to Joyland if Frontier City takes no time at all.

Thu Jun 4: Drive back to Chicago

Fri Jun 5: Fly back to Newark. Find somewhere to do my dirty laundry.

 

Parts 2 & 3 to come.

 

Wish me luck, this is a big one!

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You are going to die, to put it lightly. I feel like you're SERIOUSLY underestimating drive time here. When the heck are you planning on sleeping? Denver to SLC alone is a full day of driving, let alone that you need to cognitive ability to navigate through the Rockies.

 

Seriously, dude, I'm all for big and dumb trips, but this schedule you've put together is pure stupidity. You can't live on energy drinks. You will pass out unexpectedly, I don't care how "awake" you think you are.

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Everything that he just said. You are really underestimating drive time.

 

Also, how do you plan on doing Adventureland, Arnold's Park, and the long drive ( I think it is somewhere around 6 hours) to Kansas?

 

And how are you going to do Schlitterbahn AND Worlds of Fun in one day?

 

This trip will be extremely exhausting.

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Tom - Are you planning to just ride each coaster once and leave the park quickly or will you be riding certain coasters multiple times and trying out other rides?

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I hate to pile on here, but some of those ideas are really bad. You have no hope of getting in and out of Indianapolis in such a manner as to see the 500, get to Indiana Beach the same day, then go do both Iowa parks AND drive to Kansas the next day. You need to be more realistic here and, at best, cross some parks off.

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A few questions for you:

 

1. Will you have any traveling companions to share driving duty?

2. Will you be credit running at most of these parks?

3. Have you done trips before that involve several consecutive days of 5+ hour drives?

 

If you answered no to any of these questions, you probably should reconsider the scale of this trip. This region of the United States is full of a whole lot of nothing and you'll have long drives between destinations. While the general route you have planned out is pretty good, you've got some days with too much in them and a couple parts of the route that don't make a whole lot of sense. I'd suggest making the following changes to your current plan (changes are in bold, notes indicated by asterisks):

 

Fri May 22: Arrive Chicago ORD in the morning, Six Flags Great America.

Sat May 23: Skip Little Amerricka, Santa's Village. Drive to Indianapolis, stop by Indiana Beach en route.

*Little Amerricka adds three hours of driving time for what appears to be a 2 hour park. Indiana Beach is absolutely worth a visit and you probably wouldn't be able to do all three in one day.

Sun May 24: Watch the Indy 500, Skip Indiana Beach (visited on Saturday). Drive to Des Moines.

*If you want to see the Indy 500 and drive to Des Moines, there is absolutely no way you'll be able to fit Indiana Beach in as well.

Mon May 25: Adventureland, Skip Arnolds Park, Drive to Kansas City, Worlds of Fun.

*Arnolds Park is at least a five hour detour, and while I haven't visited I highly doubt it would be worth the time.

Tue May 26: Schlitterbahn, Worlds of Fun (only if additional time is desired)

Wed May 27: Drive to Denver.

Thu May 28: Elitch Gardens.

*This will be a good rest day as Elitch Gardens is a 5-6 hour park at best.

Fri May 29: Drive to Salt Lake City via Glenwood Caverns.

Sat May 30: Lagoon.

Sun May 31: Drive back to Denver, Lakeside Park.

Mon Jun 1: Drive to Albuquerque.

Tue Jun 2: Cliff's, Drive to Amarillo, Wonderland Amarillo, Stay in Amarillo area.

*Two parks and 8+ hours of driving in one day is probably a bit too much.

Wed Jun 3: Drive to Oklahoma City, Frontier City, Skip Joyland Amusement Park, Possibly drive to Joplin or Springfield, MO.

*Joyland is over five hours from Frontier City in the opposite direction of Chicago. It is probably not worth the time investment to visit.

Thu Jun 4: Drive back to Chicago.

*Since the drive from Oklahoma City to Chicago is over twelve hours, I'd advise splitting it up. You can either drive for a few hours after Frontier City and stay in Joplin or Springfield, MO, or wait until Jun 4th to begin the drive and stop in the Springfield, IL area, then continue to Chicago the next day (would require an afternoon flight).

Fri Jun 5: Fly back to Newark. Find somewhere to do my dirty laundry.

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Going to move this to the main forum as things are insane for us right now and I want some of our members to be able to help out.

 

Thanks Robb.

 

Tom - Are you planning to just ride each coaster once and leave the park quickly or will you be riding certain coasters multiple times and trying out other rides?

 

Larry - after doing all my research including on this site, I'm allocating an ample amount of time for each park, depending on what rides they have, which ones are/will be worth re-riding, etc etc. A few of the parks on this trip will be revisits, and from previous experience I can say that some of them simply won't need my full attention even with new additions.

 

I've also edited the first part of the topic as the first list I posted was a very early draft, from which I've since removed a couple of things which simply aren't feasible such as the Castles 'n' Coasters leg.

 

Those who don't know me will be unaware that I've been an enthusiast for nearly 20 years, I've been to nearly 300 parks, and been on over 900 rollercoasters around the world, so I know my way around and what it takes to get there.

 

I've done several long road trips before through Europe and the US, including a 2,000+ mile round trip through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany a fortnight ago. So when it comes to planning, I'm confident enough to know what can be done and what cannot, hence the changes from draft to final form in this, and in all the trips I plan. Whilst the concern over the length of the drives is nice to hear, I've actually over-estimated driving times which is essential for any trip to account for any forseeable delays, stops and the like. There's also room to manoeuvre some of the parks if required.

 

The hotels I've booked, combined with the right amount time spent in the parks, and having learned through experience how to stay healthy and comfortable on a long trip such as this make it entirely feasible. I'm acutely aware that some of the schedule looks a bit heavy for those who haven't done long trips before, or baulk at the idea of long drives. They simply don't faze me because I've done them before and I know how to look after myself on them. FYI Energy drinks are an absolute last resort.

 

A lot of these parks on the first part of the trip I will have no intention of going back to any time soon, so in some respect there is an aspect of box-ticking (the ridiculous jaunt to Joyland is a case in point, and yes even I admit that it's a bit daft going in completely the wrong direction for that amount of time). If I were to ditch any part of the trip completely now, that would be it - I can take it or leave it,

 

From speaking to many people and reading a lot of reviews including from this site, Worlds of Fun will not take a long time. The coasters don't look outstanding (sorry Prowler fanboys, I know you think it's like that rebirth therapy from the 70's, but whatever!) and even by some awful divine intervention it is a busy day, I can just fastpass the main stuff there. I also can't envisage myself being at Schlitterbahn for more than a few hours given what they have and the day I'm visiting.

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I respect that you've done significant travel and aren't a neophyte to this hobby, but that doesn't change the fact that if you go to Indianapolis to watch the Indy 500 and then try to leave IMS to go to an amusement park after the race that you'll be trapped in traffic for hours with the other quarter million people leaving the race. If your plan is to buy a ticket, watch 50 laps, then split before it gets busy, that's one thing, but then I'd wonder why you'd have bothered at all. Perhaps attendance will be down this year and you will do fine.

 

I'm hoping you've sat down and seriously considered traffic and rush hour in many of these places you're traveling through as it will be problematic, especially on the day in which you will probably spend around 18 hours in transit between Lubbock and Chicago. Good luck; you'll need it.

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That's averaging 400-500 miles of daily driving while visiting parks enroute. I wouldn't enjoy such an aggressive pace, but if you can manage it, well done! Bring lots of water on the long driving segments. Very easy to underestimate that need in the drier, hotter regions.

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If I were you I'd skip Little Amerika instead of Indiana Beach. Also driving from Albuquerque to Amarillo to OKC in one day and squeezing in two parks seems crazy - I would suggest dropping one of the parks or cities from this day. Also I am wondering why you are skipping Silver Dollar City when it doesn't seem too off route between OKC and Chicago, and why youu would do a detour for a lesser known park instead of Holiday World (unless your going back to these later).

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Little Amerricka won't be taking up much of my time. It's a 12 noon opening and I can't see myself being there longer than an hour. I missed it on my last trip because of a scheduling conflict with Indiana Beach where I ended up spending most of my day, so this is to go and tick that box.

 

That's averaging 400-500 miles of daily driving while visiting parks enroute. I wouldn't enjoy such an aggressive pace, but if you can manage it, well done! Bring lots of water on the long driving segments. Very easy to underestimate that need in the drier, hotter regions.

 

Absolutely. A huge pack of water bottles and a cool bag is always a good idea, especially considering where I'll be driving.

 

I'd join you at SFGAm. There are a good amount of members in the area.

 

That would be good! I'll PM you soon with my details.

 

I'm also going to be at Great Adventure the day before to process my season pass.

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Tom - as someone who can do the hell out of a road trip - I think this looks like a lot of fun!! I'd highly recommend checking out some books on cd or making sure the rental car has satellite radio (or both.) The long stretches through the middle of the country can be VERY dull. Books on CD work for me because they keep me from zoning out too much at the vast spaces .

 

I do hope you will get down to Orlando, because having seen your pictures in numerous trip reports over the years, it would be very nice to meet you.

 

Take care and safe travels!!!!!

 

 

David

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Tom, I certainly think the whole trip is doable (but difficult). The only concern, which others have brought up, is the traffic getting into and out of the Indy500.

 

Good luck in stating a new job when you are done with the trip.

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Tom, I certainly think the whole trip is doable (but difficult). The only concern, which others have brought up, is the traffic getting into and out of the Indy500.

 

Good luck in starting a new job when you are done with the trip.

 

Thanks Larry. And yeah, in all seriousness I'm giving up on that idea given the timing and the long day afterwards.

 

If I fly through Little Amerricka and Santa's Village (which looks extremely likely given what I want to go on at each) I'll be able to dedicate time to Indiana Beach on the Saturday. I could give it a miss, but I have a soft spot for El Locos and I like the park enough to spend a bit of time there.

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FYI to get your SF Pass, you get it as you go throughout the turnstiles like you're regularly entering any other park. Shockingly efficient! They scan your finger print and give you a card all in 30 seconds.

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