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Planning a 10 park trip - help me choose the "must rides"


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So here's the story...

 

My girlfriend and I were planning a road trip which involved visiting several museums with Egyptology collections, one of which was the Cleveland Museum of Art. We've wanted to visit Cedar Point for ages and since we were going to be in the vicinity we decided to schedule in a visit.

 

I started investigating the ticket prices and came across the Platinum Pass. What was a one-week "Culture and Coasters" trip quickly became a two-week "Coasters and Culture" trip instead!

 

We're flying into Chicago and meeting another couple in Toronto for the second week of the trip. This means that the first week will be pretty hectic, as we figured it would be more fun to visit as many parks as possible and do the major rides rather than spending more time doing everything at fewer parks. On the second week, we'll be visiting both Canada's Wonderland and Cedar Point for two days each so I'm hoping that should be sufficient to ride just about everything of interest.

 

We've never been to any of these parks before and in some cases we'll only have a few hours to visit so I'm looking for advice on what the "must do" rides are at each. We're mostly interested in coasters but if there are any flats highly recommended I'd be interested to hear about them. My GF quite likes drop towers - I hear the ones at Dorney Park and Kings Dominion are good? We're not interested in any water rides.

 

I'm hoping that as it's towards the end of the season and we'll mostly be visiting on weekdays that Fast Pass won't be necessary.

 

One other thing. I've only recently heard of something called a Funnel Cake. Coming from Scotland, where you can buy just about anything deep fried (meat pies, haggis, pizza, Mars bars...) the idea of a cake made from deep-fried batter kind of appeals! At which park would I get the best version?

 

Here's the tentative schedule and my first stab at a list of "must do" rides. Are there any you would add or remove?

 

Sat 15 Aug

 

Arrive Chicago, overnight at airport hotel.

 

Sun 16 Aug

 

1000 Chicago Oriental Museum

1200 Depart for Kings Island

1730 Arrive Kings Island, buy Platinum Passes

 

Kings Island must ride: The Beast, Banshee, Diamondback, Flight of Fear, Backlot Stunt Coaster, The Racer

 

Overnight at a hotel near the park.

 

Mon 17 Aug

 

0930 Early Ride Time on Banshee and Diamondback

1300 Depart for Princeton WV

 

Tue 18 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Carowinds

1000 Arrive Carowinds

1500 Depart Carowinds for Durham NC

 

Carowinds must ride: Intimidator, Afterburn, Fury 325, Nighthawk

 

Wed 19 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Kings Dominion

1000 ERT on Volcano

1500 Depart for Hagerstown MD

 

Kings Dominion must ride: Volcano, Intimidator 305, Dominator, Rebel Yell, Ricochet, Grizzly, Anaconda

 

Thu 20 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Dorney Park Road

0930 ERT on Talon

1300 Depart Dorney Park Road

1500 Arrive Knoebels

1630 Depart Knoebels

1900 Arrive Lakemont Park

 

Overnight in Altoona PA.

 

Dorney Park Road must ride: Steel Force, Talon, Hydra

Knoebels must ride: Phoenix, Twister, Impulse, Flying Turns

Lakemont Park must ride: Skyliner, Leap the Dips

 

Fri 21 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Cleveland Museum of Art

1300 Depart museum for Waldameer Park

1500 Arrive Waldameer Park

1600 Depart for Toronto

 

Waldameer Park must ride: Ravine Flyer II

 

Sat 22 Aug

 

1000 Royal Ontario Museum

1300 Arrive Canada's Wonderland

 

Sun 23 Aug

 

0900 ERT on Bohemoth, all day at CW

 

Mon 24 Aug

 

1000 Canada's Wonderland

1430 Depart for Sarnia ON

 

Tue 25 Aug

 

0800 Depart hotel

1000 Detroit Institute of Arts

1200 Depart for Cedar Point

1430 Arrive Cedar Point

 

Wed 26 Aug

 

0900 ERT on Maverick, all day at CP

 

Thu 27 Aug

 

0900 ERT on Millenium Force

1330 Depart for Grand Rapids MI

 

Fri 28 Aug

 

1100 Michigan's Adventure

1400 Depart for Chicago

 

Michigan's Adventure must ride: Shivering Timbers, Thunderhawk, Wolverine Wildcat

 

Sat 29 Aug

 

1000 Art Institute of Chicago

1830 Fly home!

 

Thanks in advance and I'll be sure to post a trip report on my return!

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If you have enough time at Waldameer, you should probably ride their classic Wacky Shack and do the pirate walk-through, as well (if you're into dark rides).

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If your doing a coaster run at Dorney you should be able to get out of there by noon if you ERT Talon and hit the Wild mouse first so you can give yourself more time at Knoebels. If you don't get our of there early leave Knoebels later. An hour and half is not much time. I say give yourself at least 2 hours there.

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IMO - @ Dorney: skip Hydra. Boring and forceless. Hit up Possessed, Dominator and Demon Drop instead. That's all I got for ya.

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I'd try to make room for Hersheypark on your trip, it's only like 60 miles from Knoebels. It's a great park and has an incredible trio of Intamin coasters in Skyrush, Storm Runnner, and Fahrenheit. Skyrush has the most insane ejector airtime I've ever experienced and Storm Runner has a powerful launch and some great inversions. The park also has a fun B&M invert (Great Bear) and a great racing woody (Lightning Racer). Sounds like a great trip, be sure to post some pics and let us know how it goes.

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S'up.

 

We're flying into Chicago and meeting another couple in Toronto for the second week of the trip. This means that the first week will be pretty hectic, as we figured it would be more fun to visit as many parks as possible and do the major rides rather than spending more time doing everything at fewer parks. On the second week, we'll be visiting both Canada's Wonderland and Cedar Point for two days each so I'm hoping that should be sufficient to ride just about everything of interest.

 

We've never been to any of these parks before and in some cases we'll only have a few hours to visit so I'm looking for advice on what the "must do" rides are at each. We're mostly interested in coasters but if there are any flats highly recommended I'd be interested to hear about them. My GF quite likes drop towers - I hear the ones at Dorney Park and Kings Dominion are good? We're not interested in any water rides.

 

This is pretty descriptive so kudos for that. Actually pretty helpful.

 

 

Sat 15 Aug

 

Arrive Chicago, overnight at airport hotel.

 

Sun 16 Aug

 

1000 Chicago Oriental Museum

1200 Depart for Kings Island

1730 Arrive Kings Island, buy Platinum Passes

Kings Island must ride: The Beast, Banshee, Diamondback, Flight of Fear, Backlot Stunt Coaster, The Racer

 

That's probably a very aggressive time you're setting for yourself going from the UIC campus to Kings Island. JMHO. Also while that's a fine museum, I would also strongly suggest the Museum of Science and Industry on the same campus. It resides in a building left over from the 1893 Colombian Expo and also happens to be *enormous*. But with just two hours, perhaps you've chosen wisely. I would also suggest going cheap and heading downtown for breakfast and a walk around something like Grant Park. Maybe looking at some architecture in that area as well. You may get more out of that and a better understanding of Chicago as a result. If you get there in time, you should be able to manage a lot of that due to capacity. I might even suggest saving Beast until the next morning. Drop Tower here is the same as the ride at Kings Dominion.

 

Mon 17 Aug

 

0930 Early Ride Time on Banshee and Diamondback

1300 Depart for Princeton WV

 

Suggestion: Leave KI even earlier if you did damage on the night prior with the high capacity rides like Adventure Express and Racer, head to Cincinnati Art Museum. It is quite excellent and also free for entrance. Ohio has great public art museums and zoos - go figure. I'd also seriously consider driving past Princeton. If you left the park at 1, did the museum until 3, and then drove 5 hours with a 30 minute food stop, that's still only 8:30PM.

 

Wed 19 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Kings Dominion

1000 ERT on Volcano

1500 Depart for Hagerstown MD

 

Kings Dominion must ride: Volcano, Intimidator 305, Dominator, Rebel Yell, Ricochet, Grizzly, Anaconda

 

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts might be along your path - you might want to check into it. They have the largest collection of Faberge eggs outside Russia.

 

Thu 20 Aug

 

0630 Depart for Dorney Park Road

0930 ERT on Talon

1300 Depart Dorney Park Road

1500 Arrive Knoebels

1630 Depart Knoebels

1900 Arrive Lakemont Park

 

Overnight in Altoona PA.

 

Dorney Park Road must ride: Steel Force, Talon, Hydra

Knoebels must ride: Phoenix, Twister, Impulse, Flying Turns

Lakemont Park must ride: Skyliner, Leap the Dips

 

Lakemont closes at 8PM - you're some bad traffic away from missing out on that and spending only an hour and a half at Knoebels. My suggestion to you is to skip Dorney or leave as soon as possible after riding those three rides (easily achievable before 11AM). I would personally skip it, do Lakemont first, then Knoebels second to maximize your time. Everything at Dorney of value except maybe Demon Drop will be there for many years to come (this assumes Cedar Fair cares enough to actually scrap Demon Drop). Lakemont looks very much like a place that won't be here soon. Also, while this seems counter intuitive, you may want to consider Lakemont first and then double back to Knoebels even with the Dorney stop. Lakemont is in the wrong direction from Knoebels to Cleveland to begin with. What you lose on the road you might get back by flying through Lakemont (which will be *dead*) and getting to Knoebels with its later close. Danville isn't that much further from Cleveland than Altoona either.

 

Mon 24 Aug

 

1000 Canada's Wonderland

1430 Depart for Sarnia ON

 

I would stay around a little later at CW and then just drive to Detroit. I doubt you'll even save that much staying in Sarnia vs. staying at the Aloft or Courtyard in Downtown Detroit.

 

Thu 27 Aug

 

0900 ERT on Millenium Force

1330 Depart for Grand Rapids MI

 

You might have some time to stop in at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, MI on your way over. There's actually a pretty rad exhibit they run inside a now disused portion of the State Prison in Jackson. Thursdays are their late day and they're open until 7PM. Alternately, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is open until 9 that same evening. If you haven't done so already, check the schedules. Many art museums operate late one day of the week. I'm sure you already know that but I swear I'm not being pedantic. People forget things sometimes.

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If you have enough time at Waldameer, you should probably ride their classic Wacky Shack and do the pirate walk-through, as well (if you're into dark rides).

 

Thanks for the tip! We've got a fairly long drive to Toronto after Waldameer but if we've got the time and the lines are short we'll do these.

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If your doing a coaster run at Dorney you should be able to get out of there by noon if you ERT Talon and hit the Wild mouse first so you can give yourself more time at Knoebels. If you don't get our of there early leave Knoebels later. An hour and half is not much time. I say give yourself at least 2 hours there.

 

IMO - @ Dorney: skip Hydra. Boring and forceless. Hit up Possessed, Dominator and Demon Drop instead. That's all I got for ya.

 

In reference to your Dorney plan, I was able to ride Talon, Steel Force, Thunderhawk, Possessed, Demon Drop and Hydra (in that order) by 12:30 on a Saturday in June. So that's certainly doable if you are there for opening.

 

Lakemont closes at 8PM - you're some bad traffic away from missing out on that and spending only an hour and a half at Knoebels. My suggestion to you is to skip Dorney or leave as soon as possible after riding those three rides (easily achievable before 11AM). I would personally skip it, do Lakemont first, then Knoebels second to maximize your time. Everything at Dorney of value except maybe Demon Drop will be there for many years to come (this assumes Cedar Fair cares enough to actually scrap Demon Drop). Lakemont looks very much like a place that won't be here soon.

 

Thanks all. It sounds like it should be possible to get out of Dorney before noon which will give me more time at Knoebels. If I leave Knoebels around 1600 I figure that barring disasters I should get to Lakemont well before closing.

 

Also, while this seems counter intuitive, you may want to consider Lakemont first and then double back to Knoebels even with the Dorney stop. Lakemont is in the wrong direction from Knoebels to Cleveland to begin with. What you lose on the road you might get back by flying through Lakemont (which will be *dead*) and getting to Knoebels with its later close. Danville isn't that much further from Cleveland than Altoona either.

 

Nice idea, but I've already got a non-refundable hotel booking in Altoona for the night so that part of the itinerary is pretty much fixed!

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I'd try to make room for Hersheypark on your trip, it's only like 60 miles from Knoebels. It's a great park and has an incredible trio of Intamin coasters in Skyrush, Storm Runnner, and Fahrenheit. Skyrush has the most insane ejector airtime I've ever experienced and Storm Runner has a powerful launch and some great inversions. The park also has a fun B&M invert (Great Bear) and a great racing woody (Lightning Racer).

 

Sounds like a terrific park but it also sounds like I'd need a full day to do it justice. If this road trip goes well I'm sure I'll be back for another at some point!

 

Sounds like a great trip, be sure to post some pics and let us know how it goes.

 

You can count on it!

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That's probably a very aggressive time you're setting for yourself going from the UIC campus to Kings Island. JMHO. Also while that's a fine museum, I would also strongly suggest the Museum of Science and Industry on the same campus. It resides in a building left over from the 1893 Colombian Expo and also happens to be *enormous*. But with just two hours, perhaps you've chosen wisely. I would also suggest going cheap and heading downtown for breakfast and a walk around something like Grant Park. Maybe looking at some architecture in that area as well. You may get more out of that and a better understanding of Chicago as a result.

Yes, I realize I'll be lucky to get to KI by 1730. Even if we're slightly late I'm hoping we can grab a few rides before closing.

 

I've been to Chicago a couple of times and it's one of my favourite cities in the States - I'll take it over New York any day! Never been to the Museum of Science and Industry though so I'll bear that in mind for a future trip.

 

Breakfast is going to be coffee and the leftovers of a large stuffed Giordano's pizza from the night before

If you get there in time, you should be able to manage a lot of that due to capacity. I might even suggest saving Beast until the next morning. Drop Tower here is the same as the ride at Kings Dominion.

That's good to know. I'll leave the Drop Tower at KI until last.

Suggestion: Leave KI even earlier if you did damage on the night prior with the high capacity rides like Adventure Express and Racer, head to Cincinnati Art Museum. It is quite excellent and also free for entrance. Ohio has great public art museums and zoos - go figure.

Thanks for the Art Museum tip, we'll head there if we can get out of KI early.

I'd also seriously consider driving past Princeton. If you left the park at 1, did the museum until 3, and then drove 5 hours with a 30 minute food stop, that's still only 8:30PM.

8.30p.m. is a bit late for us to be still on the road. I'm happier on US road trips getting up really early and getting to bed early - it helps with the jet lag!

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts might be along your path - you might want to check into it. They have the largest collection of Faberge eggs outside Russia.

Looks like that might be an option if we get out of Kings Dominion early. Thanks for the tip.

I would stay around a little later at CW and then just drive to Detroit. I doubt you'll even save that much staying in Sarnia vs. staying at the Aloft or Courtyard in Downtown Detroit.

The problem I've got is that the couple who are joining us for the second week are pussies when it comes to road trips! Some of the drives I've got planned for them are already a bit too long by their standards so I figured Sarnia would be a decent halfway point between Toronto and Cedar Point.

You might have some time to stop in at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, MI on your way over. There's actually a pretty rad exhibit they run inside a now disused portion of the State Prison in Jackson. Thursdays are their late day and they're open until 7PM. Alternately, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is open until 9 that same evening. If you haven't done so already, check the schedules. Many art museums operate late one day of the week. I'm sure you already know that but I swear I'm not being pedantic. People forget things sometimes.

Again, the problem I've got on this second week is the other couple who aren't exactly culture vultures! I'm already dragging them along to the Detroit Institute of Arts. I reckon that'll be their fill for the week.

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The problem I've got is that the couple who are joining us for the second week are pussies when it comes to road trips! Some of the drives I've got planned for them are already a bit too long by their standards so I figured Sarnia would be a decent halfway point between Toronto and Cedar Point.

 

It's an additional 45 minutes, but I think that's time well spent. There's also Chatham-Kent as well as an option. Several hotels are located there. I'd compare prices. The biggest thing you should keep in mind is that if you go in the morning, you might run into traffic crossing the border for work. Lots of people commute from Canada into the US for work.

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Dorney Park Road must ride: Steel Force, Talon, Hydra

 

Basically everything at Dorney is always a walk-on (especially Talon and Hydra) so you'll probably have time to add on Posessed and Demon Drop, which are the 2 most intense rides in the park by far. Yeah Posessed is a clone... but it's always a walk on and it's a good ride, plus the holding brake works. None of these rides will have a line except maybe Steel Force... but when I say "line" I mean a 5 minute wait. If time allows ride this in the front seat because it's pretty lame everywhere else but Knoebels is more important so if the wait is significantly longer just sit wherever and try not to fall asleep during the ride.

 

Knoebels must ride: Phoenix, Twister, Impulse, Flying Turns

 

I get that you're short on time and that's cool so I won't suggest everything in the park like I usually do BUT you can't go to Knoebels and not at least ride the Skooters and the Flyers. Add those 2 to the must-ride list and if time allows add Black Diamond (coaster credit if you care, but even if you don't it's very good) and the Haunted Mansion (cut this first if you have to cut something). If you only have time for one of these, ride the Skooters. I'd almost cut Flying Turns if I had to to ride the Skooters.

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Dorney Park Road must ride: Steel Force, Talon, Hydra

 

Basically everything at Dorney is always a walk-on (especially Talon and Hydra) so you'll probably have time to add on Posessed and Demon Drop, which are the 2 most intense rides in the park by far. Yeah Posessed is a clone... but it's always a walk on and it's a good ride, plus the holding brake works. None of these rides will have a line except maybe Steel Force... but when I say "line" I mean a 5 minute wait. If time allows ride this in the front seat because it's pretty lame everywhere else but Knoebels is more important so if the wait is significantly longer just sit wherever and try not to fall asleep during the ride.

 

Knoebels must ride: Phoenix, Twister, Impulse, Flying Turns

 

I get that you're short on time and that's cool so I won't suggest everything in the park like I usually do BUT you can't go to Knoebels and not at least ride the Skooters and the Flyers. Add those 2 to the must-ride list and if time allows add Black Diamond (coaster credit if you care, but even if you don't it's very good) and the Haunted Mansion (cut this first if you have to cut something). If you only have time for one of these, ride the Skooters. I'd almost cut Flying Turns if I had to to ride the Skooters.

 

After going to Dorney on Tuesday and Knoebels yesterday, I would make every effort to do everything at Knoebels the Coasterbill has recommended. Skip out of Dorney as fast as possible and ride all that you can at Knoebels. Every ride I went on caused me to have a huge smile. I also really enjoyed Flying Turns. It just has terrible capacity otherwise I would have ridden it more. I would also add the Carousel to the list of must rides of it isn't on there already. It's a ton of fun in the outer horses trying to grab the brass ring.

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It's an additional 45 minutes, but I think that's time well spent. There's also Chatham-Kent as well as an option. Several hotels are located there. I'd compare prices. The biggest thing you should keep in mind is that if you go in the morning, you might run into traffic crossing the border for work. Lots of people commute from Canada into the US for work.

That's a good point about crossing the border in the morning. I crossed the border there in the other direction last year and the wait was only ten minutes or so, but it wasn't in rush hour. I'll do as you suggest and check the hotel prices out on the US side.

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Basically everything at Dorney is always a walk-on (especially Talon and Hydra) so you'll probably have time to add on Posessed and Demon Drop, which are the 2 most intense rides in the park by far. Yeah Posessed is a clone... but it's always a walk on and it's a good ride, plus the holding brake works. None of these rides will have a line except maybe Steel Force... but when I say "line" I mean a 5 minute wait. If time allows ride this in the front seat because it's pretty lame everywhere else but Knoebels is more important so if the wait is significantly longer just sit wherever and try not to fall asleep during the ride.

 

I get that you're short on time and that's cool so I won't suggest everything in the park like I usually do BUT you can't go to Knoebels and not at least ride the Skooters and the Flyers. Add those 2 to the must-ride list and if time allows add Black Diamond (coaster credit if you care, but even if you don't it's very good) and the Haunted Mansion (cut this first if you have to cut something). If you only have time for one of these, ride the Skooters. I'd almost cut Flying Turns if I had to to ride the Skooters.

 

After going to Dorney on Tuesday and Knoebels yesterday, I would make every effort to do everything at Knoebels the Coasterbill has recommended. Skip out of Dorney as fast as possible and ride all that you can at Knoebels. Every ride I went on caused me to have a huge smile. I also really enjoyed Flying Turns. It just has terrible capacity otherwise I would have ridden it more. I would also add the Carousel to the list of must rides of it isn't on there already. It's a ton of fun in the outer horses trying to grab the brass ring.

Thanks for the advice, folks. You've convinced me to get out of Dorney well before noon to maximize my time at Knoebels and I'll be sure to check out the recommended rides.

 

Re. Flying Turns - the only bobsled coaster I've been on is Avalanche at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and I wouldn't rave about the experience, but I do rather like the idea of a wooden version!

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As far as MIA goes. You should be able to hit all the coasters quickly. If you are a waterpark fan, they do really have an impressive waterpark. Thunderhawk rides best in the back. Timbers needs to be ridden in the front and the back to really appreciate the massive airtime.

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I'm at work and just skimmed this thread quickly, so I apologize if I provide advice that has already been provided.

 

It's always hard to pick which parks to go to and how to schedule a trip. My best suggestion is buy a fast pass whenever it could be helpful. Consider the money going into the trip and honestly if there is any additional budget, fast passes will make the trip at least twice what it could have been (for busy parks).

 

I took a similar trip last year and my biggest regret was not spending more time at Knoebels. I was there for 4 hours and that wasn't even enough. There is just so much offered at that park and you WILL NOT want to leave.

 

Also, if your route brings you anywhere near Conneaut Lake Park (I know you will be at Waldameer which is only 45 minutes away) definitely stop by if you like classic woodies. The park is on life support and a bit of a mess but it's still a beautiful place and quite the experience, plus Blue Streak is a great coaster and in the back car you get serious ejector airtime on the out-run. It's great.

 

If you haven't been to Six Flags Great Adventure before, I would go there instead of Dorney. SFGAdv has a better version of basically every coaster Dorney offers. Demon Drop at Dorney is great though. If you do go to Dorney as planned, you can really do every coaster and Demon Drop in 2 hours if you arrive before opening.

 

Also, Hershey Park has an amazing line-up and I would suggest that over at least half the parks in your list.

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The Maurer spinning coaster at Waldameer is actually a pretty fun ride, if you can fit it in.

 

If you enjoy drop towers and have never been on a Larson, I'd highly recommend trying the one at either Knoebels or Waldameer. They're not the tallest, but they are the most fun. And actually, DelGrosso's has one that runs even better, 15min up the road from Lakemont, but that does not look to fit in the itinerary.

 

Lakemont has two increasingly rare, classic flat rides - Skydiver and Twister. The latter may be the last operating installation in the world, but it runs pretty slowly and is only an average ride IMO. The former is very intense but not particularly comfortable, and does not allow solo rides. Ride Skyliner in the first two rows for a crazy pop of ejector air at the top of the first ascent after first drop. Very underrated classic woody.

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As far as MIA goes. You should be able to hit all the coasters quickly.

That's definitely what I'm hoping for; we're probably facing a five hour drive back to O'Hare afterwards as we'll be battling Chicago rush-hour traffic.

Thunderhawk rides best in the back. Timbers needs to be ridden in the front and the back to really appreciate the massive airtime.

Thanks for the tips, I'll take your advice!

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It's always hard to pick which parks to go to and how to schedule a trip. My best suggestion is buy a fast pass whenever it could be helpful. Consider the money going into the trip and honestly if there is any additional budget, fast passes will make the trip at least twice what it could have been (for busy parks).

I'll definitely be buying Fast Passes if it looks like we're not going to be able to ride everything we want in the limited time we have.

I took a similar trip last year and my biggest regret was not spending more time at Knoebels. I was there for 4 hours and that wasn't even enough. There is just so much offered at that park and you WILL NOT want to leave.
If you haven't been to Six Flags Great Adventure before, I would go there instead of Dorney. SFGAdv has a better version of basically every coaster Dorney offers. Demon Drop at Dorney is great though. If you do go to Dorney as planned, you can really do every coaster and Demon Drop in 2 hours if you arrive before opening.

I've got Dorney, Knoebels and Lakemont all planned for the same day so swapping out Dorney for Six Flags probably isn't on the cards. Everyone seems to reckon that I should maximize my time at Knoebels so I'll be out of Dorney ASAP. If I didn't have the Platinum Pass I think I'd be skipping it altogether!

Also, if your route brings you anywhere near Conneaut Lake Park (I know you will be at Waldameer which is only 45 minutes away) definitely stop by if you like classic woodies. The park is on life support and a bit of a mess but it's still a beautiful place and quite the experience, plus Blue Streak is a great coaster and in the back car you get serious ejector airtime on the out-run. It's great.

Damn damn damn. I love classic woodies and Blue Streak sounds wonderful. Trouble is, I've got a really aggressive schedule for that day. 520 miles of driving plus a museum visit and Waldameer. A detour via Conneaut Lake Park would take it up to 553 miles.

 

Have to consider that idea further but I'm sorely tempted.

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The Maurer spinning coaster at Waldameer is actually a pretty fun ride, if you can fit it in.

Added to my list - thanks for the tip!

If you enjoy drop towers and have never been on a Larson, I'd highly recommend trying the one at either Knoebels or Waldameer. They're not the tallest, but they are the most fun. And actually, DelGrosso's has one that runs even better, 15min up the road from Lakemont, but that does not look to fit in the itinerary.

Well I didn't know it was a "Larson" until now but it turns out I have been on one - Drop Zone at Kemah Boardwalk. I'll be sure to check out at least one of the versions at Knoebels and Waldameer.

Lakemont has two increasingly rare, classic flat rides - Skydiver and Twister. The latter may be the last operating installation in the world, but it runs pretty slowly and is only an average ride IMO. The former is very intense but not particularly comfortable, and does not allow solo rides. Ride Skyliner in the first two rows for a crazy pop of ejector air at the top of the first ascent after first drop. Very underrated classic woody.

If I'm enjoying Knoebels as much as everyone seems to think I will, I'm thinking my time at Lakemont will be pretty limited! But I'll slot these flats in if I can manage it and thanks for the Skyliner seating tip.

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