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Canada's Wonderland, or Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens?


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This summer, I plan on travelling to at least one theme park I haven't been to and I've more or less got it narrowed down to what I want. I'm torn between:

A ) Two days at Canada's Wonderland (which would require me to renew my passport) or

B ) A day each at Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

This summer, I can do one or the other, but not both.

I will give you any information that I think may be relevant in helping me make up my mind here:

I prefer wooden coasters over steel, but only marginally. In terms of steel coasters, Arrow is my favorite manufacturer with B&M in a close second. I have been to Carowinds and KI, so many of the rides at KD would be clones of other things I've ridden. And last, but not least, while quantity of coasters plays a part in my enjoyment, I would much rather have variety.

Also consider that I will probably be with my dad, who is on the larger side. He didn't fit on most things last year at Cedar Point, but he did fit on all the Arrows and woodies, and he was very close on many others and he has been losing weight. He doesn't mind sitting and waiting while I ride, but I'd prefer not to make him wait up if I don't HAVE to.

This is a reward from my parents for landing a job offer before I graduated college (so anyone who helped in my resume thread, thank you, it paid off)

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I've never been to any of those, so I can't help you. But congrats on the job offer, and have fun (both at the job and on the trip)!

Thanks! I'm working in Loveland at the same place I worked last summer (only this time I'm a real employee, not an intern), 10 minutes from KI. So even working a full 40 hour week, I plan to continue my weekday trips to KI, just limiting them to after 5 only.

I know from experience that on a good day, I can show up at 6 and ride everything I care to ride, twice. It's a nice arrangement, I must say.

Oh! And to add perspective to the topic at hand, parks I've been to are KI, Cedar Point, Carowinds, Holiday World, and Kennywood. I'd like to maximize the amount of new experiences. That's why I can't decide. Canada's Wonderland has more new-to-me RIDES, but KD and BGW have more TYPES of rides I haven't experienced.

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This might be a silly question, but have you been to any of the parks before? I'm assuming you haven't, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

I have only been to Kings Dominion out of the parks you're discussing, so I can't offer objective advice. I do think Kings Dominion is a fantastic park, but it wouldn't be fair of me to just recommend the KD/BG trip just off that. But since you mentioned what you did about your dad, I'd probably suggest the KD/BG trip anyway. People I've talked to seem to highlight Busch Gardens' focus on the overall park experience, rather than just the rides (which are a very large part of Cedar Fair parks' atmospheres--or at least the ones I've been to.) I'm sure others who have been there can give you more details about what all Busch Gardens offers.

Plus, if you do want to experience a Cedar Fair-esque selection of rides, you do also have Kings Dominion to experience in the KD/BG trip. In my humble opinion, Kings Dominion has one of the best collections of rides of any park. And this is coming from a fellow wood coaster guy. Grizzly, in my opinion, is severely underrated; it's got a solid mix of airtime, laterals, and classic coaster pacing. I actually really liked Hurler when I rode it in the front seat, despite the trims. Rebel Yell was significantly smoother in 2010 than Racer, and it offered more airtime than the average summer Racer ride. The steel coasters aren't anything to sneeze at, either--Dominator, Volcano, Intimidator, and Avalanche are unique, great rides that I'm incredibly jealous to not have at Kings Island. Their Flight of Fear is (or was, anyway, in 2010) much smoother than ours and doesn't stop on the MCBR, and I do prefer it to ours. And The Crypt is wonderful! And they have Antique Cars. And Flying Eagles! And... ahhhh. I've got to stop now. I'll be typing all night. I didn't even get into how beautiful that park is. It's Kings Island's evil-in-the-best-way-ever twin.

Also, watch out for Berzerker, because that thing will lure you in and try to kill you. It looks all innocent, sitting there to the left of their International Street... Don't believe the charming "looping swinging ship" act--it will squish all the air out of your lungs. You heard it here first.

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I haven't been to any of the above listened parks, but I would vote Canada's Wonderland, because having one day at a park usually isn't enough time to ride everything their. Sometimes it is which is great but two days at CW would make sure you ride everything (or at least a great deal of it), even if you ride everything the first day, would give you a chance to ride any rides you really liked on second day.

Even although I haven't been to those parks, I hope I was of some help.

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I have not been to any of the parks in question.

Also, watch out for Berzerker, because that thing will lure you in and try to kill you. It looks all innocent, sitting there to the left of their International Street... Don't believe the charming "looping swinging ship" act--it will squish all the air out of your lungs. You heard it here first.

I rode the Southern Star at Carowinds. I know all about that experience. I was there with my sister and two (female) cousins, who wanted to kill me for the rest of the day. It wasn't what I would call "pleasant" but apparently to them it was painful in ways that nobody with a Y chromosome could ever understand.

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You know, now that I think of it, I COULD add two days at Six Flags St. Louis or Great Adventure into the mix.

Basically, I'm open to any parks that could be driven to from Cincinnati in a day.

Now that I've expanded to that, I know what Terpy will be recommending.

Terpy can be surprising. Incredible flat rides. Beautiful landscaping. Two HUMONGOUS B&M's. International travel.

Terpy says: Canada's Wonderland. And how.

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Don't knock out Dollywood! Especially with their new coaster.

I think I'll be doing Dollywood at some point as well. Probably a weekend trip, as will a trip to Kennywood (which is a park I loved so much, it may become an annual tradition). Basically, I'm wanting to do something that is a day or less of driving time, but would be difficult or impossible to do as a day/weekend trip.

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You know, now that I think of it, I COULD add two days at Six Flags St. Louis or Great Adventure into the mix.

Basically, I'm open to any parks that could be driven to from Cincinnati in a day.

Now that I've expanded to that, I know what Terpy will be recommending.

Disney World, Universal Orlando and Bush Gardens Tampa is all just a 14-16hr drive away! :)

Edit: forgot LegoLand, in Florida!

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I prefer wooden coasters

Consider that BGW does not have a wooden coaster, and 3 of the 4 Kings Dominion wooden coasters are clones of Kings Island/Carowinds rides. I have not been to Canada's Wonderland so I will pass on offering an opinion on them.

You know, now that I think of it, I COULD add two days at Six Flags St. Louis or Great Adventure

Those two parks (as well as a Hershey/Knoebels trip or Six Flags near Atlanta) are very good selections for wooden coasters within a day of driving.
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You know, now that I think of it, I COULD add two days at Six Flags St. Louis or Great Adventure into the mix.

Basically, I'm open to any parks that could be driven to from Cincinnati in a day.

Now that I've expanded to that, I know what Terpy will be recommending.

If Great Adventure is one of your possibilities, definitely think about it. I haven't been to any of the other parks you're considering but I would highly recommend GA. It has a great collection of rides, and some of them are just amazing. *COUGH* El Toro *COUGH*

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That was genius homestar.

I think my wife is planning a surprise trip to CW this fall because we're planning a long weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, ON and I've talked at length about how I'd like to visit CW someday.

As far as the original discussion goes, given the choice I would prefer that park over KD and BGW.

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