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USA Road Trip 2007


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Hi all,

 

I'm hoping to get across to the US for three weeks next year and I've already got my itinerary planned out. So the where is covered.

 

However I was just wondering about what pitfalls I might encounter and if anyone could give me some general advice on the sorts of mistakes to avoid making.

 

The general idea is to fly to New Jersey and then do an Anti-clockwise trip taking in Hershey, Knoebels, Kennywood, Cedar Point, PKI, Indiana Beach, Holiday World, Beach Bend, Dollywood, PCW, BGW, PKD, SFA, SFGadv. There's four of us hoping to make the trip and probably looking to head across towards the end of the parks operating seasons. We'll be hiring a vehicle and driving it ourselves and stay at recognised motel chains.

 

So with all that in mind any advice, help, weblinks etc. would be very welcome.

 

Thanks.

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Firstly, make sure you give yourself enough time to get rest between parks. Trying to do a bunch of parks day after day, especially with late nights and lots of driving, without getting rest is a terrible idea and will leave you absolutely exhausted, and possibly short-tempered and unable to fully enjoy the experience. It also makes for a really long run-on sentence.

 

Also, if you're printing out directions, MAKE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK THEM if possible. Check them against the directions from the official park sites. This goes for hotels, as well.

 

For the parks you're going to, I'd give at least one day to most of them. If you haven't been to any of them and are a credit whore and expect to be on every coaster at every park, but also want re-rides on the good ones, two-day stays are a must at Cedar Point, Great Adventure, and HersheyPark.

 

What days are you planning to come over + what days do you think you'll be at the parks? Planning around weekends to avoid crowds is a must, especially since most of the parks you're going to seem like they're very heavily attended [Cedar Point, PKI, HersheyPark, Great Adventure], so be sure to plan accordingly.

 

I've been to a bunch of the parks [CP, PKI, PKD, BGW, Indiana Beach, Holiday World, Kennywood, Knoebel's, Hershey], so I could probably help further if you have more detailed questions.

 

Er... but you probably know most of this stuff anyway. I hope I'm some sort of help though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think what 307 said about making sure you have enough time to get from one park to another with enough time for you to get some rest is probably the most important thing, seeing that you're from the UK, and driving on the other side of the road will just be one of the many problems you'll face.

 

But if you plan enough time between the parks to get there, you should be fine.

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Yeah, already well aware of the whole driving thing as I'm off round Europe in three weeks time doing 12 parks in 15 days and the best part of 2000 miles.

 

It's the 4th such trip I've organised so I'm no stranger to this form of Theme Park Frenzy. However, there are always things to learn and each trip has furthered my planning skills. America is totally different in many respects so just getting hints, tips, thoughts etc is going to help me loads when it comes to putting wheels in motion.

 

So keep them coming!

 

Thanks.

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  • 10 months later...

Bump - Reviving thread based on a definite plan for 2008.

 

Due to a job change and financial problems (not enough cash saved in time) the 2007 trip fell by the wayside. However it's going to happen next year for certain and there'll be four of us flying across.

 

I'm aware of the driving issue and lots of parks one after the other etc. but it is something we've done every other year round Europe covering just as many miles in the same amount of time. Plus we had the whole camping thing to deal with as well so this will be easier for us in a way as we'll be using motels.

 

So one thing I'm trying to get a feel for is the accommodation and what chains would people recommend and which ones should we avoid like the plague?

 

In terms of the when, we're looking at early to mid June 2008 which I figure should not be too bad in terms of the places being busy.

 

Again as I said in the original post I'm open to all suggestions, ideas, thoughts etc.

 

Thanks,

 

Jason

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So one thing I'm trying to get a feel for is the accommodation and what chains would people recommend and which ones should we avoid like the plague?

 

Personally I just get the cheapest room I can find. Though as long as it's a name brand hotel like Comfort Inn, Travelodge, Super 8,etc etc.

 

Most of the time all you're doing is sleeping, and then hitting the road, so no sense paying for a better room. As long as you're not booking some motel in the middle of nowhere you'll probably be fine.

 

Just try and look up each hotel to check if there's any serious complaints about it.

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^As for hotels, I always try to look for a Motel 6.

 

Why?

- They're usually easy to find (usually right off an Interstate exit)

- They're relatively cheap

- You know what to expect -- a cheap, clean, no frills hotel

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So one thing I'm trying to get a feel for is the accommodation and what chains would people recommend and which ones should we avoid like the plague?

 

My favorite site for hotels reviews is Trip Advisor. It's helped me avoid some bad hotels in my favorite chains and also find some gems in the lower level chains.

 

I like Choice Hotels, particularly Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn for reasonable prices and clean rooms. Super 8 is hit or miss. Most Red Roof Inns are reasonable places to stay.

 

Here are some suggested hotels for you where I've found nice accomodations and a good price:

 

Knoebels - Red Roof Inn Danville is always a good choice. There is also a new Best Western which sometimes has good rates. The Econo Lodge Bloomsburg is pretty decent too.

 

Cedar Point - It really helps to stay "on site" for the resort ride time in the morning. Breakers Express isn't in the park but it's pretty close and much cheaper than the hotels in the park.

 

Holiday World - Motel 6 Dale is a newer building a better than expected. If you don't mind paying more Santa's Lodge is a block away from the park and a nice option.

 

Dollywood - I like the Sleep Inn in Sevierville.

 

PKD - All I can say is DO NOT stay at the Best Western Kings Quarters. It's a poorly run dump. I would avoid the cheap places in Ashland. Maybe look toward Richmond or the other direction near Fredericksburg.

 

SFGAdv - Nothing is nearby but the closest place I like is Comfort Inn Bordentown (NJ). I've also stayed at the Red Roof Inn Trevose (PA) to access the park.

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  • 2 months later...

Dates confirmed as 30th May 2008 to June 14th 2008

 

Schedule

 

Fly Gatwick to JFK Friday 30th

31st - Knoebels

1st - Hershey

2nd - Kennywood

3rd & 4th Cedar Point

5th - Indiana Beach

6th - Holiday World

7th - Beech Bend

8th - Dollywood

9th - Carowinds

10th - Busch Gardens Williamsburg

11th - Kings Dominion

12th - Six Flags America

13th - Six Flags Great Adventure

14th - Possibly Coney Island before catching night flight back.

 

So there we go my first trip to the USA since 2001 is going to happen and I can't wait. So much has changed since I was last out there and just the thought of coasters such as Legend, Voyage, El Toro, Kingda Ka, Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot etc. etc. is already getting me excited. I mean last time I was at Holiday World was the day they announced "The Legend" to the media!!

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^I'm not so sure going to Great Adventure on a Friday in the middle of July is the best time to go. I would try to go there Monday-Thursday. From what I have heard the park is mobbed Friday-Sunday during the summer. Besides that your trip looks very promising so long as the weather is nice. Have a great time!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Looks like there's a European invasion next May/June!

 

Our dates are set in stone now as it's a very circular route that we're taking so anyone in the area on the dates quoted would be most welcome to join us. I noticed a lot of people discussing PKI and it's one we did have on our list to start with but we ruled it out based on location and quality of rides. Easier to miss it out and do Indiana Beach instead before running down to Holiday World.

 

Rang Choice Hotels today for some info and I was amazed when they said we could book all the stops in advance with nothing to pay till we arrive at the Motel!! Plus we can change the itinerary up to two weeks before we go and we may also be able to wangle a few free nights as we're planning on using them for all our stops except for Cedar Point. Talking of Cedar Point anyone know when the room rates for next year are likely to be published?

 

Just a shame that as we're outside of the USA we can't book our Cedar Fair Passes now and get a free Jacket! SULK! Anyone know someone in management there that could maybe swing us a jacket each as we'd have paid for a pass now if we were allowed. GRIN!

 

So, Flights sorted, Motels nearly sorted, just car hire to do and that can wait a while.

 

Turned out nice again!

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Next question.

 

Anyone know any websites for getting a good deal on car hire? Ideally we'd like a minivan type of vehicle for the extra space but would settle for something a bit smaller. A lot of the companies are quoting Chrysler Pacifica or similar (in the smaller than a minivan category) so can anyone out there give some advice on that size of car given that there are four of us travelling plus luggage?

 

In fact any suggestions on what would suit our needs would be great so that I can at least go hunting knowing the sort of thing to go for.

 

Think 4 guys, 4 suitcases, 4 bits of hand luggage, some long drives.

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Next question.

 

Anyone know any websites for getting a good deal on car hire? Ideally we'd like a minivan type of vehicle for the extra space but would settle for something a bit smaller. A lot of the companies are quoting Chrysler Pacifica or similar (in the smaller than a minivan category) so can anyone out there give some advice on that size of car given that there are four of us travelling plus luggage?

 

In fact any suggestions on what would suit our needs would be great so that I can at least go hunting knowing the sort of thing to go for.

 

Think 4 guys, 4 suitcases, 4 bits of hand luggage, some long drives.

 

I'm also interested in the feedback you will get on this.

We are thinking about renting through Alamo.

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