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Best Trip In North America In 7-9 Days!

Imagineer Josh

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Okay, so I have 8 days open for a trip. Two weekends (one at the start, one at the end), and the 5 days in between the two weekends. Depending on where the parks are located, it could range from 7-9 days, because of driving days. I live in West Chicago, if that helps.


My current plan is this.


Saturday 1 - Drive to Pittsburgh

Sunday 1 - Kennywood, and drive to Hershey in the evening

Monday - Hersheypark

Tuesday - Dorney and Knoebels, whilst still lodging in Hershey

Wednesday - Lake Compounce and Quassy

Thursday - Six Flags New England

Friday - Six Flags Great Adventure

Saturday 2 - Six Flags America for like 2 hours in the morning, then Kings Dominion the rest of the day

Sunday 2 - Drive home from Doswell


- - - - -


This is a plan that I could easily do, but if there is a better way to hit up "better" coasters, or a wider range of the best coasters in the country that can be hit up in 7-9 days. If you want to see which parks I am interested in, basically everything not on my coaster count, except Cedar Point (for Steel Vengeance and the missing credits) and Six Flags Over Georgia (for Twisted Cyclone and the missing credits) if they fit in the trip somehow. My coaster count - coaster-count.com/user/3386/ridden

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My only advice would be to maybe consider scaling this back a bit. I think it's really ambitious to do Dorney and Knoebels the same day. Even one full day isn't enough to experience Knoebels the ways it's intended. This would be a pretty ambitious schedule even if you could teleport from hotel to hotel. Taking into account the traveling you'll be doing, this is a trip that would be better spread out to at least 9 days, but likely 10 or 11. While nice to be able to check off a bunch of parks in one trip, ultimately it is possible you would wear yourself thin on a trip like this.

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This is an ambitious road trip.



My take on a trip like this:

Day 1: Drive towards NYC, pick a place to sleep north of NYC

Day 2: Quassy & Lake Compounce, try SF New England in the evening

Day 3: SF New England, drive towards SF Great Adventure. (You will get stuck in traffic around NYC!)

Day 4: SF Great Adventure

Day 5: Dorney Park & Knoebels(not wise, but if you run trough Dorney possible)

Day 6: Hershey Park, drive towards Pittsburg

Day 7: Kennywood, drive to Sandusky

Day 8: Cedar Point

Day 9: Drive home


This way you won;t have a long drive home, when you are already tired. And still get some kickass coasters along the way! Save I-305 for another trip, where you could visit Busch an Carowinds too.

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Why are you leaving on Saturday? Unless you have plans on Friday night, get out of town after work and start driving. Assuming you get out of work at 5:00, you could theoretically be 7 hours away by midnight. Give yourself a jump-start and break up the drive.


I agree with Werner that going to Kings Dominion makes little sense on this trip but if you insist, I guess this is the best plan I can come up with.


Friday night: Leave and start driving. Get a hotel along the way, don't pre-book. Just see how far you get and when you want to stop look for an exit with a "lodging" sign. Maybe you can plan out a few options in advance depending on traffic and how far you get. We do this all the time and I highly recommend it.


Saturday: Keep driving, go to Six Flags America. If you get there late afternoon that's fine because it sucks and there won't be lines.


Sunday: Kings Dominion


Monday: Hersheypark - You're looking at a sh*tty drive here, but with a plan like this that's bound to happen. This is a flat out miserable stretch of highway, and whatever your GPS tells you should be taken with a grain of salt. You don't really need to stay at at Kings Dominion until close. Personally I'd leave around 7:00 or 8:00 and either drive to Hershey or within about an hour of Hershey. If you leave at 8:00 and drive until about 10 or 11 PM you can easily get to a point where you're close enough to Hershey that you don't have to leave until about 9am and you'll still make it by park opening. Just make sure you get past the DC Beltway on Monday night.


Tuesday: Knoebels - This is a FULL DAY PARK. Seriously.


Wednesdsday: Six Flags Great Adventure


Thursday: Quassy and Lake Compounce - while there's no pressure to get to Quassy and Lake Compounce that early, when you leave Great Adventure it might be a good idea to start heading in the right direction for a little bit. Don't go over the George Washington Bridge. Follow the signs for FORT LEE as you head towards the George Washington Bridge (which you're not going over). Get off the Fort Lee exit and take the Palisades to 287 over the Tappan Zee, / Mario Cuomo bridge to the Saw Mill Parkway north. If you can get over the bridge and get a hotel in Tarrytown after Great Adventure (a 1 hour and 40 minute drive), you'd be doing yourself a lot of favors but if that's not possible that's okay too). If you pass Tarrytown and feel ambitious, you won't see another hotel for like an hour. Fair warning...


Friday: Six Flags New England


Saturday: Drive to Kennywood but stop at Dorney on the way. Ride all the coasters, Demon Drop and the Log Flume and bail. It should take like 2 hours. No, I don't care if it's a Saturday. There won't be anyone there. This is pretty much a driving day.

Sunday: Kennywood. Get there at open and knock out the coasters and major rides early, then you have a few hours for smaller rides and re-rides. Leave mid afternoon and drive home. That's a crazy day but the best solution if you want to include Kennywood. We frequently go to Cedar Point, leave at 4pm and drive 8 hours home. You're younger than us, if we can do it so can you. Luckily the day before won't be that stressful and you'll probably get in early so you'll be well rested.


I know that's a crazy last day, but the trip is inherently crazy. There's no way to completely avoid craziness but that should be the only crazy day as long as you leave Kings Dominion before park close on Sunday and start driving. You'll easily get on everything at Kings Dominion with time for re-rides by mid afternoon though so that isn't that crazy of a suggestion.


Personally I would skip Kennywood. It's close enough to you that you can probably hit it any weekend you want (drive there Friday night, go to the park on Saturday and drive home Sunday) and the rumors make it seem like 2019 is the year to go anyway.


Then you have a less insane drive home.

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Thanks everyone for the help. I'm really taking it all into consideration.


My friend helped me make this. Any thoughts?


Friday evening - Start driving

Saturday - Kennywood

Sunday - Hersheypark

Monday - Dorney and Knoebels (I know what people said, but if Dorney does take two hours, then I should have a good enough amount of time at Knoebels)

Tuesday - Lake Compounce, Quassy, and SFNE (It sounds ambitious, but I'm just going to be knocking out Compounce and Quassy, and it saves time to fit in SFNE)

Wednesday - Six Flags Great Adventure

Thursday - Washington DC Culture Day and Six Flags America in the evening

Friday - Kings Dominion

Saturday - Carowinds (no BGW because it's fairly out of the way and expensive)

Sunday - Drive home

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Quassy (the park you'll need to hit first, which is 4 hours from Knoebels by the way) isn't going to open until 11am so you won't get to Lake Compounce until at least 12:30 in IDEAL conditions. Since they run one train on everything there's no way you get to Six Flags New England until at least 3:30 or 4:00 in which case you'll need a high level Flash Pass and you'll need to stay to close when you'll be looking at a 4 hour drive to Great Adventure which will probably have a ton of traffic if you wait until morning to tackle it.


You're also spending a ton of money to go to Lake Compounce which is an absurdly overpriced park and you'll be rushing through it and credit whoring.


That plan is insane, and you've loaded it with insane drives between parks. If that's the route you want to go then more power to you but I drive a TON and even to me this sounds terrible.


Visit less parks and take the time to enjoy them while you're there. Oh... and Knoebels is still a full day park.

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Before you post again, you should use Google Maps and use the + destination feature to make a web/route of where you want to go to see how long the distances are. It'll even show you traffic conditions that may make a drive longer. That's what I use when I'm looking at driving options and it should help you figure out a realistic driving path before getting into park research.



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