Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

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Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby VF15 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:29 pm

I'm in the process of planning a six day, five park coaster trip across Pennsylvania and New Jersey for this summer, where I'm looking to visit Kennywood, Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney Park, and Six Flags Great Adventure, all for the first time. I plan on taking the trip during mid/late June or mid-July, preferably the former, and it would likely be a Monday to Saturday trip. Looking for some advice on a few parts of the trip planning.

I already purchased my Kennywood ticket on their website, and will likely do the same for Knoebels soon. I'll be able to get into Dorney Park free since I'm working at Cedar Point this summer and I've heard my employee ID will get me into Hersheypark for free as well. Six Flags Great Adventure I'm not fully sure how I should get tickets yet. I’m looking to visit for an evening and a full day and was unable to find a starlight/evening ticket on the park and was wondering if they offer it at the gate and what the price is. The other, more likely option would be for me to buy a season pass because unless an evening ticket (if it exists) is about $30 or less, the season pass looks like it would be the cheaper option even though I don't anticipate visiting any other Six Flags parks this year besides Great Adventure.

As of right now this is the itinerary I'm planning on going with...

Day 1 (Monday): Drive from Cedar Point to Kennywood stay from open to around 8 pm, then drive to hotel about halfway to Hershey.
Day 2 (Tuesday): Finish drive to Hersheypark, stay at park from open to close.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Drive to Knoebels, stay at park from open to close.
Day 4 (Thursday): Drive to Dorney Park, stay from open to 3 or 4 pm, then drive to Six Flags Great Adventure and stay until close.
Day 5 (Friday): Six Flags Great Adventure from open to close.
Day 6 (Saturday): Drive back to Cedar Point.

Does this look like a good/realistic schedule? Do the times I want to stay at each park look acceptable or should I plan more or less time at some of them? Does the park/driving schedule I want to use sound doable or would I probably tire myself out at that rate?

Additionally, I'm already budgeting for one day of Platinum Flash Pass at Great Adventure. Since I'm planning on hitting Hersheypark on a Tuesday, would it be worth getting Fast Track or Fast Track Unlimited when I'm there?

Finally, is there any other advice you have or anything else I should know about visiting these parks? Any input is appreciated.
Last edited by VF15 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:41 pm.
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby A.J. » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:37 pm

Don't even worry about pre-purchasing Knoebels tickets, pay as you go once you get to the park. Pay-one-price wristbands won't be available during most of June and the entirety of July anyway, so you'll only want to buy as many tickets as you think you'll need. Alternatively, Knoebels often does a deal with Weis grocery stores where you can get a $20 book of tickets for a discount.
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby boldikus » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:05 pm

There is no twilight/evening pass for Great Adventure. The most sensible thing to do would be to get a season pass and try to get the most out of it by visiting maybe Great America or something a few times. I don't really think its worth it to pay twice to get into GAdv if the evening visit is a few hours, unless you have a SP of course.

Otherwise, you can find discounts on day tickets all the time and if you buy online you can get in for less than $50 usually (if you need codes, message me). As far as visiting on a Friday in June/July its a crapshoot. The crowds at this park have no rhyme or reason. It could be mobbed with school/camp trips and you'll want to die. Those days can be good since it clears out after they leave mid/late afternoon and the place is dead. But its just a crapshoot. If you hate lines just budget for FP and be prepared to buy it. Gold generally gets the job done as long as you reserve the next ride as soon as you get scanned into the current ride - i.e. by the time you ride and walk to the next attraction you'll probably be ready to ride.

Also, Hershey's fast track is a joke. Its kinda pricey and its one skip on each of the more popular coasters.

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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby JG-77 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:18 pm

If you wanna enter GAdv on two separate days, I'd get the Season pass, particularly when factoring in parking ($25 last time I checked).
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby boldikus » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:19 pm

Yeah that's what I mean. I feel like last year it was up to like $30 at one point. I haven't paid for parking there in ages.

edit: they're having a sale right now (because of course they are), you can get a Gold Membership for $7.10 a month, so you'll pay $85 over the course of a year for that... or you can pay $50 (at the cheapest) entrance and $25-30 parking on two separate days which runs you about $160. Its a no brainer. Just get a membership and you can stick to your plan. And maybe shoehorn another Six Flags this year. Maybe a return visit to HITP? Just ask JRice... he lived in Sandusky and drove to Great Adventure a bunch.. just saying.

https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/store/season-passes

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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby bert425 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:44 pm

not what you're planning. . but I will say that one of the best trips we ever took was flying into Pittsburgh, renting a car, and driving across Pennsylvania - ending up in Philly for 3 days of "culture" after hitting the parks while going thru the state.

I have a trip report on here somewhere, I think, from that trip.

found it. . from *5* years ago. . oh my!

https://themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=68306&hilit=bert+Trip+report
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby larrygator » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:58 pm

Advice:
One - If your hotel doesn't have free breakfast, get to Knoebels an hour before the park officially and do not eat breakfast beforehand. Go directly to the international food court and get a filling breakfast for a good price.

Two - After Knoebels go the SFGAdv on Thursday morning and stay all day (guaranteed to be less crowded than Friday). That way you can determine if you need to convert your one day admission into a season pass at the end of the first day for a return the next day. This allows you to hit Dorney on Friday (after a few hours at SFGAdv) and have a shorter drive back to Cedar Point.
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 pm

I'd suggest a day and a half at Hershey v. Great Adventure, especially since Great Adventure has Flash Pass. It'd be easiest if you reversed the trip and went to GAdv first.

Monday - Drive to NJ
Tuesday - Great Adventure with Gold Flash Pass
Wednesday - Dorney, drive to Hershey, go for preview day
Thursday - Hershey
Friday - Knoebels (yeah, slight backtracking, not far though)
Saturday - Kennywood with VIP, drive back home
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby Mike240SX » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:14 pm

Hershey is offering an unlimited Fast Track now (unless they pull it before opening like last year), so that kinda negates that.

But yeah, I'd still spend a day and a half a Hershey instead of SFGAdv. You can get in after 7PM the night before your main visit for no extra charge...they call it "preview."
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Re: Pennsylvania/New Jersey Trip Planning

Postby hoppedup » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:52 am

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:I'd suggest a day and a half at Hershey v. Great Adventure, especially since Great Adventure has Flash Pass. It'd be easiest if you reversed the trip and went to GAdv first.

Monday - Drive to NJ
Tuesday - Great Adventure with Gold Flash Pass
Wednesday - Dorney, drive to Hershey, go for preview day
Thursday - Hershey
Friday - Knoebels (yeah, slight backtracking, not far though)
Saturday - Kennywood with VIP, drive back home


Having done all these parks except Kennywood on a trip last June, I like this plan.

Dorney can be done fairly quickly. I highly recommend the preview at Hersheypark. We got in all the coasters except the boomerang, with multiples on a few, during preview. The next day it was pouring rain at HP, so we went to SFGAdv and had a great day, with little regret of missing a full day at HP (we are going back this June).

A quick review of Knoebels calendar shows that wristbands are available every weekday in June. That may be subject to change, I don't know. They have a pre-season wristband purchase option if you are going June 3,4,5 or 6 for $38.00 (normally $43-50) including wooden coasters.
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