My first ever coaster road trip

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My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:19 am

So today starts the first ever coaster road trip that I will be taking. I've only been to a handful of parks, cedar point, kings island, islands of adventure, both Disneyland and world when I was a kid and the now defunct Boblo Island in Canada/ Detroit.

Currently I am on the Ohio turnpike heading east for Kennywood where we will spend the day. it's not only going to be about going to parks, the rest of our tentative schedule looks like this:

Sat/sun: attend a family members graduation party in Somerset, PA and visit with family.

Mon: great adventure

Tue/wed: visit DC and possibly six flags America

Thu: Kings Dominion

Fri: Busch gardens Williamsburg

Sat/sun: visit family in Virginia beach

Mon: Carowinds

Tue/wed: Dollywood

Thu/fri/sat: Memphis/ Nashville

Sun/mon: Kentucky kingdom/ Churchill downs

Tue: holiday world

Wed: kings island

Thu: cedar point/ home

I'm really looking forward to getting on coasters like Phantoms revenge, El Toro, I305, twisted timbers, lightning rod, voyage, thunderbird, fury 325, lightning run, and storm chaser. My top 10 is surely to get work over, and I'm really interested to see if anything can compare to steel vengeance.

So I'll be updating the trip for anyone who's interested, and if anyone has any tips for the parks or cities I will be in I'd love to hear them, especially tips about restaurants! Thanks.

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby AndrewA86 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:29 am

Nice! I did a smaller similar trip earlier this year, great adventure, SFA, KD, BGW, and carowinds. It was a blast.


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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby coasterbill » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:17 am

Sounds great! Have fun!

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby michaellynn4 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:59 am

This is ambitious, but doable. So long as you stay cognizant of your time, you should have a blast. Looking forward to seeing more!
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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby mckayj93 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:35 pm

For Dollywood- be sure to check out the Great Smoky Mountain National Park since you listed the area for 2 days. I live in Nashville and often take the scenic route taking I140 to bypass Knoxville and go in the back way through the park. Lots to see even if you only have an hour or two. All kinds of great local restaurants as well. Some of my favorites are the Apple Barn, Pottery House, Huck Finns, Bennetts, Make sure you try Dollywood's cinnamon bread. The food at Dollywood is pretty good as well, the 2 buffets Aunt Grannys and Miss Lillians are pretty good value for what they offer. The shows are also top quality at Dollywood. Whatever is showing in the Celebrity Theater is always good, as is Dolly's My People show if your into country or Dolly. Everyone flocks to Lightning Rod and Firechaser Express, but lines always die out around 4pm, and the park is open until 10pm. Also make sure to not miss Mountain Sidewinder and Daredevil Falls, some people miss them because they are tucked away in the hills, both unique water rides. If you don't know where you are staying I can help with that as well. Also can help with Nashville area tips too.
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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:41 pm

My advice is don't report on your trip till after you get back.
Gives you a bit of time to recoup, get back to work (ugh),
and reflect on how it all went...both awesome and not so-.

And have a great time of course! :airtime: :airtimer:
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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:07 am

michaellynn4 wrote:This is ambitious, but doable. So long as you stay cognizant of your time, you should have a blast. Looking forward to seeing more!


We basically have all the time in the world so,we're not going to rush at all.

mckayj93 wrote:For Dollywood- be sure to check out the Great Smoky Mountain National Park since you listed the area for 2 days. I live in Nashville and often take the scenic route taking I140 to bypass Knoxville and go in the back way through the park. Lots to see even if you only have an hour or two. All kinds of great local restaurants as well. Some of my favorites are the Apple Barn, Pottery House, Huck Finns, Bennetts, Make sure you try Dollywood's cinnamon bread. The food at Dollywood is pretty good as well, the 2 buffets Aunt Grannys and Miss Lillians are pretty good value for what they offer. The shows are also top quality at Dollywood. Whatever is showing in the Celebrity Theater is always good, as is Dolly's My People show if your into country or Dolly. Everyone flocks to Lightning Rod and Firechaser Express, but lines always die out around 4pm, and the park is open until 10pm. Also make sure to not miss Mountain Sidewinder and Daredevil Falls, some people miss them because they are tucked away in the hills, both unique water rides. If you don't know where you are staying I can help with that as well. Also can help with Nashville area tips too.


Thanks for all this. The Great Smokey Mountain National park is definitely on our to do list. And we're getting skip the line passes everywhere they are offered so I'm not worried about lines. I'm usually not into water rides if you get absolutely soaked like the ones at cedar point. How wet should I expect to get on those at Dollywood?

Nrthwnd wrote:My advice is don't report on your trip till after you get back.
Gives you a bit of time to recoup, get back to work (ugh),
and reflect on how it all went...both awesome and not so-.

And have a great time of course! :airtime: :airtimer:


I'm a teacher so I don't get back to work for a while.

And thanks to everyone who wished me a good trip!

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:23 am

Ok so time to talk about Kennywood, not sure where to start, so how about with the park appearance overall. I'm not exactly someone who cares too much about theming, but I appreciate a nice looking park and Kennywoood is as nice as anything I've ever been to. No it's not on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by water like cedar point, but it's still A very unique and beautiful park. I especially loved the unique fountains that the park has.

Now on to the rides.

Phantoms Revenge: What an amazing ride, this absolutely blew me away. Steel Vengeance might have the most airtime of any coaster, but PR has the best airtime. I was almost literally standing up on all those airtime hills in the back row. The restraint, if you can even call it that, didn't even come down far enough to touch my thighs. And that second drop, yeah, best drop on any coaster I have ever been on. Amazing ride. Grade: A+

Thunderbolt: this is another coaster that blew me away. I could not believe how smooth it was for how old it is. I loved how unique the layout is. A drop right out of the station, and then those turns that send you flying into your riding partner at the end were awesome! It's my new favorite woodie. Better than the Beast IMO, and yes better than the brand new Mystic Timbers. I still cannot get over how smooth it was for an old woodie. This was probably the steel vengeance of its time. I don't usually buy t-shirts for rides, it's not really my thing as I usually only wear them as undershirts and a lot of ride shirts are big bold and in your face with the designs. Normally I like to buy cups, mugs, glasses, shot glasses, etc..but I bought the shirt for this ride. It was red with a bolt down the front and the name. Very classy looking shirt. Grade: B+

Racer: this was a fun ride, probably the roughest of all the woodies here, but still as smooth as a good ride on Blue Streak at Cedar Point, so I wouldn't say it was rough. But not as smooth as Thunderbird or Jack Rabbit. The layout isn't anything special IMO, the racing element was definitely the best part. I'd say it's not as good as Gemini but better (because it's smoother) than the Racer at Kings Island. Grade: C+

Jack Rabbit: I could not believe how smooth this coaster is. for as old as this is it should not be that smooth. Kennywood obviously takes great care of their coasters. The ride itself isn't anything special, very tame. The double down after the lift is pretty special though, especially with only seat belts as a restraint. If that was thrilling for me in 2018 it must have been pretty special when it was built. Grade: C+

Exterminator: like I said before, I'm not really into theming, it doesn't increase the ride experience for me, and this one is all about theming. At the end of the day it was nothing more than a spinning wild mouse. It was fun, but I only rode once. Grade: C

Sky Rocket: I liked this one, even though the second half didn't have much imagination. The launch was a fun launch, but I don't understand why they stop you going over the top hat. I think it just wastes all the force from the launch. The inversions are fun, and it's a very smooth ride, a lot smoother than Flight of Fear at Kings island. This could have been a really top notch ride if it had a better second half. Grade: C+

The non coasters were for the most part pretty fun. The large swing ride's are my personal favorite flat ride and while Kennywoods was fun, it wasn't as good as Cedar Points. The Garfield boat ride was unique, and the whip ride was a classic. They claim it's their oldest ride and it was pretty fun. I didn't really care for the Aero 360 ride. It was very uncomfortable. Black Widow was fun, but not as fun as the Huss rides at CP and KI.

The food was better than average. The Potato Patch fries were overrated IMO. They were kind of soggy. On the other hand the burger I ate and the pizza I had were pretty darn good for amusement park food.

We did purchase their vip skip the line passes, and IMO it was a waste of money. First of all for Phantoms Revenge they don't let you pick your row, they have rows 7 and 6 roped off and saved for VIP guests. the lines were not bad at all 10-15 min) so we just waited with everyone else and were able to ride in whatever row we wanted. The only ride it really saved us time on was Exterminator as that line was easily the longest in the park. I have no idea why. The lines for everything else were 5 minutes at the most so the passes were really useless. I'm not sure if we just got lucky and went on a slow day or of its always like that.

The only real negative was the operations. They were quite slow, along with only running one train on Phantoms Revenge. But like I said, the lines were very minimal so it wasn't a huge deal.

All in all it was a great time at Kennywood and I'll definitely be back! Great start to the trip. Now I'm just relaxing with family in the middle of nowhere in PA, watching a little World Cup action and looking forward to El Toro and Great Adventure!

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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby mckayj93 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:20 am

RobertWord wrote:
mckayj93 wrote:For Dollywood- be sure to check out the Great Smoky Mountain National Park since you listed the area for 2 days. I live in Nashville and often take the scenic route taking I140 to bypass Knoxville and go in the back way through the park. Lots to see even if you only have an hour or two. All kinds of great local restaurants as well. Some of my favorites are the Apple Barn, Pottery House, Huck Finns, Bennetts, Make sure you try Dollywood's cinnamon bread. The food at Dollywood is pretty good as well, the 2 buffets Aunt Grannys and Miss Lillians are pretty good value for what they offer. The shows are also top quality at Dollywood. Whatever is showing in the Celebrity Theater is always good, as is Dolly's My People show if your into country or Dolly. Everyone flocks to Lightning Rod and Firechaser Express, but lines always die out around 4pm, and the park is open until 10pm. Also make sure to not miss Mountain Sidewinder and Daredevil Falls, some people miss them because they are tucked away in the hills, both unique water rides. If you don't know where you are staying I can help with that as well. Also can help with Nashville area tips too.


Thanks for all this. The Great Smokey Mountain National park is definitely on our to do list. And we're getting skip the line passes everywhere they are offered so I'm not worried about lines. I'm usually not into water rides if you get absolutely soaked like the ones at cedar point. How wet should I expect to get on those at Dollywood?


You might not need TimeSaver at Dollywood, or maybe could get by with the cheaper of the 2 options. It also gives reserved seating for most shows. IMO Lightning Rod / Firechaser benefit from it the most, but with my visit last week LR was under 10min wait after about 4pm. Of Dollywood's 3 water rides- Smoky Mountain River Rampage is a fairly good rapids ride. I normally get the most wet on it. Daredevil Falls was the country's tallest log ride when it was new. If you lift your feet up when you hit the water on the big drop, your feet don't get wet. I normally don't get very wet on this one. Mountain Sidewinder is a very unique mix of raft ride and water slide. You get about medium wet on this one. How wet you get heavily depends on the weight and who all is in your raft. Have a blast :)
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Re: My first ever coaster road trip

Postby RobertWord » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:06 am

^ ok thanks. I'll try to observe how wet people get on the water rides at Dollywood and then decide if I want to ride. Everyone in the group has already made the decision about the fast pass so we will have it of we need it. If we don't, no big deal. Really looking forward to that park, and the smokey mountains as well.

But first, today I finally get on the great El Toro!!!!

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