West Coast Theme Parks

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West Coast Theme Parks

Postby OCaml » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:24 pm

Hey all,

I will be moving to the California Bay Area in a few weeks. As I was born and raised in Florida, I'm not too familiar with the theme parks out west. I would appreciate any park recommendations that the forum may have, as I hope to take one trip per month. The only real criterion is that I can make the trip over a weekend; I would prefer not to take vacation days if I can avoid it. Other than that, accessibility should not be a problem; road trips and flights are both fine, and the park doesn't necessarily have to be in California.

Additionally, I've already been to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, California's Great America, and Six Flags Magic Mountain, and I already am planning to visit Knott's Berry Farm. Furthermore, I am not currently interested in visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, Sea World San Diego, or either of the Disney parks. What gems aren't on this list?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby robbalvey » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:37 pm

I'll move this to the main forum since we moved out of California about five years ago now.

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby Superbatboy » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:00 pm

There's the Giant Dippers in Santa Cruz and San Diego
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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby scooterdoug » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:02 pm

Welcome to the Bay Area! From your list, it looks like you've got pretty much everything covered. Your SoCal parks are easy weekend trips, while CGA and SFDK are (obviously) easy day trips. I prefer SFDK's coaster collection to CGA's (the year-round operation and the fact that it's closer to me make a difference as well). Sundays at SFDK during the fall and winter months are fantastic, that park gets some glorious days where you practically have the park to yourself. Don't forget about Gilroy Gardens, a charming little local park (though I've never been). Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is also fantastic, one of the few remaining genuine boardwalks left in the country. It really is a must do.

Outside of California is a little tougher, as parks aren't as close by as, say, the east coast. Texas is a 3 hour (if you get nonstop) flight from California, so there are plenty of places there to visit. You could also go to Colorado and visit Elitch Gardens, though their top ticket rides are a Vekoma SLC and a Vekoma Boomerang. Utah is a rather short plane flight away, with Lagoon being about 20 minutes from the airport. So, you've got Cannibal well within your reach.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure that others here will be able to share all sorts of knowledge with you. Again, welcome to the Bay Area. I hope you enjoy it here, it's a great place to live (though expensive...at least on the peninsula).

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby OCaml » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:08 pm

Thanks Robb.

Superbatboy wrote:There's the Giant Dippers in Santa Cruz and San Diego


Thanks for the reminder on this one. I actually have been to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and got to ride the Giant Dipper. (It was somewhat painful, come to think of it.) I haven't been to the one in San Diego, so that's definitely a possibility. I haven't been to SD before, so maybe I'll wrap that in with a round of golf at Torrey Pines.

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby OCaml » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:20 pm

scooterdoug wrote:Welcome to the Bay Area! From your list, it looks like you've got pretty much everything covered. Your SoCal parks are easy weekend trips, while CGA and SFDK are (obviously) easy day trips. I prefer SFDK's coaster collection to CGA's (the year-round operation and the fact that it's closer to me make a difference as well). Sundays at SFDK during the fall and winter months are fantastic, that park gets some glorious days where you practically have the park to yourself. Don't forget about Gilroy Gardens, a charming little local park (though I've never been). Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is also fantastic, one of the few remaining genuine boardwalks left in the country. It really is a must do.

Outside of California is a little tougher, as parks aren't as close by as, say, the east coast. Texas is a 3 hour (if you get nonstop) flight from California, so there are plenty of places there to visit. You could also go to Colorado and visit Elitch Gardens, though their top ticket rides are a Vekoma SLC and a Vekoma Boomerang. Utah is a rather short plane flight away, with Lagoon being about 20 minutes from the airport. So, you've got Cannibal well within your reach.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure that others here will be able to share all sorts of knowledge with you. Again, welcome to the Bay Area. I hope you enjoy it here, it's a great place to live (though expensive...at least on the peninsula).

-Doug


Thanks Doug! Yes, I'll be in Mountain View. Rent is obviously much higher than what I'm used to, but I'm fortunate to have this opportunity in the first place. I enjoyed your recommendations. A Texas trip definitely seems worth doing over an extended weekend.

Gilroy Gardens looks really nice and isn't too far. Even closer than that is Raging Waters, which I've been to before and thoroughly enjoyed.

It seems like Oregon and Washington don't have much. Maybe I'll do an extended Vegas trip with some buds...

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby mark549 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:56 pm

OCaml wrote:
It seems like Oregon and Washington don't have much. Maybe I'll do an extended Vegas trip with some buds...



There's lots of things in Oregon and Washington, but not from a coaster perspective.

Oregon's best coaster is a Pinfari looper. Ouch. Hot springs are more fun.

For coasters, Silverwood in north Idaho is very good: two very good wood coasters plus a Giant Inverted Boomerang.

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Re: West Coast Theme Parks

Postby OCaml » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:22 pm

mark549 wrote:There's lots of things in Oregon and Washington, but not from a coaster perspective.

Oregon's best coaster is a Pinfari looper. Ouch. Hot springs are more fun.

For coasters, Silverwood in north Idaho is very good: two very good wood coasters plus a Giant Inverted Boomerang.


But of course. I've been to both states and had great times—just not at their (non-existent) theme parks.

Great call on Silverwood. My roommate is from North Idaho, so I'm sure we'll travel up there at some point to spend time with his family, play a round at Coeur d'Alene, and hit up the park.


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