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silver2005

The Journey To Find The Inner Terpy- silver2005's Pennsylvania & New Jersey Trip Planning and PTR

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As I've been hinting around the site, I'm planning probably my biggest trip ever next summer,, likely in early June.  Its a week long excursion through eastern PA and NJ with 5 parks in one go.

The parks are as follows-

Waldameer

Knoebel's

Dorney Park

Hersheypark

Six Flags Great Adventrure (NJFTP)

The first 3 parks will be first time visits.  I doubt I will need much advice on this trip concerning in-park details as the first 3 are small, I've been to HP a few times before, and I've received enough info about NJFTP over the years to know what I'm getting into along with having been there in 2000. The placing of NJFTP within the itinerary will be heavily dependent on the weather since I hear SIX weather policies aren't stellar.  

Also of note, I will be reaching my 100th credit on this trip. Since the NJFTP visit will determine which order the parks go,  I have the coaster picked at each park of what 100 will be-

Knoebel's- coin flip between Phoenix and Twister

Dorney- coin flip between Hydra and Steel Force

HP- Skyrush (the only 2 new credits to me there are that and Laff Trakk)

NJFTP- Nitro (only new credits are any coasters built after 2000)

I'll be doing Waldameer en route to the hotel, so its exempt from being the spot of reaching the century mark.  I am looking or ways around the turnpike though, at least for going between Knoebel's, DP and HP.  I'm aiming for a hotel around Dorney since that looks to be kind of the center point, though, it all looks pricey ATM.  

I am also looking into doing Flash Pass for NJFTP.  

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The only parks I've been to on your itinerary are Hershey and Dorney. Dorney is a smaller park with a considerably sized water park. The day I went, we (my cousin and I) were able to fit in all the coasters, minus Stinger and the kids coaster. Make sure to do Thunderhawk and Possessed; those two are amazing (and pieces of history!). Talon and Steel Force were fun too and Hydra was my first floorless. Also, Talon reminded me a little bit of Banshee. Finally, don't forget about the flats like The Whip, Demon Drop, Revolution (which I did not ride, but rode The Claw at Hershey, which was the same thing), Dominator, and Meteor.

As for your 100th, I would go with Nitro or Hydra (I think Skyrush is painful on the thighs), but ultimately, it's all up to you as it's your milestone. Enjoy! :D

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I enjoyed most of my visit to DP until the very end. The park is on a hill so keep that in mind as you traverse the park. You may want to go orderly around the park to save your stamina versus going up and down the hill all day. The Whip at DP is so much better than HP so don't skip it. It was one of my favorite rides there. Steel Force was quite a surprise as I was expecting something like CP's Magnum and it was so much better (and not painful to my thighs). The Zephyr train is a cute ride, and if they run it like they did a few years ago, it's also a nice history lesson of the park.

@MDMC01 is right about Skyrush. Do not pull the restraint snug against your legs as it gets tighter and tighter as you ride. Then, as you sit outside the station, your thighs will feel like they are being crushed. That was not a nice way to end that ride. 

And I loved Laff Track. It was so unexpected and I would love to see something like that in the TR building at KI. 

I don't have suggestions for hotels as I camped when I was at both DP and HP. I can't remember which way I drove but I don't remember a toll between DP and HP. 

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Great Adventure actually has a really good weather policy. Kingda Ka will close in anything more than light rain but it takes really heavy rain or thunder and lightning to shut almost everything else down. I know it won't apply that time of year but they are also one of the few parks to not care about temperature for running coasters. Last year Nitro ran in early January with it under 30 degrees out. If you go on a weekday in early June, by 4 or 5 when the school trips leave, it should be walk ons the final 3 or 4 hours the park is open but even during the day, it won't be that crowded. 

I still haven't tried Laff Trakk yet. I was there on Sunday and everything was a walk on - 10 minute wait except Laff Trakk that was 45 minutes, I would suggest riding it at opening or closing since it seems like the line is never short.

The best Whip out of those parks is I think at Knoebels. Hershey's is bad with the concrete floor making it rough. Dorney's is ok but the cycle is short and it takes forever to load the ride now that the single ride operator has to check each seatbelt and wrap it around the lap bar and tighten the belt. It took almost 10 minutes per cycle to load and run the ride on a trip to the park earlier this year. Knoebels has the same version as Dorney but not seatbelts and a much longer ride cycle.

Hopefully Impulse will be running 2 trains more next year. It ran 1 train a lot this year that makes the wait really slow. Knoebels also has the best Flying Scooters I have tried, so easy to snap and a long cycle. 

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The parks I've listed are the only parks I will go to on this trip, mainly because its a pretty expensive trip when considering the budget I need to work around with paying for school among other things.  

Also, I plan on wearing my KK Thunder Run shirt to NJFTP.  ;)

I should also note I have a few other things planned for next summer.  Going to go to my first Coasterstock next year, going to CP with malem in July, and a KK visit in there as well.  

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Your trip sounds really wonderful. Just thinking about this makes me miss park trips so much. I look forward to when my girls are big enough to ride coasters. 

A few years ago Lakemont the last hour of the day was free admission and $3 to ride Leap the Dips.  The other two coasters were free. In all honesty, that’s really all the time you need there if you’re doing coasters. I had heard they were closed this year and not sure that will be offered again.  However, if it’s offered that would possibly free up enough money to hit DelGross’s. 

I completely agree with @electricsun about the Whip at Dorney. I love it. I think I have ridden it more than anything at that park.  I am not a fan of Hydra. I don’t care for the roll at the beginning. Steel Force I enjoy much more. 

I have been to Hershey probably a dozen times easily. Even on busy days you can ride all coasters and then some.  Operations at that park have always been on point. If I had to pick between Laff Trakk and Skyrush, I would pick Laff Trakk. Skyrush/Thighcrush is among the worst coasters I have ridden. I am not a very big person and the restraints still seem to crush my thighs. Dave is tall and has propped his leg on the base to keep the restraint from going too low. I tried that but without fail I end up pushing the restraint down. 

Knoebels by far my favorite place to visit.  I think it’s sometimes hit and miss as far as operations there. I have had far more excellent experiences than poor. Phoenix would be my top choice there for a 100th coaster out of all the ones you mentioned. Impulse is a fun coaster, too. 

One thing that might cut costs with Great Adventure is buying the season pass. They are relatively inexpensive and you can get parking on it. Until I was expecting our oldest daughter we would get their version of the Platinum pass  it makes multiple park trips very affordable throughout the season. You can make payments for a minimal amount each month and I don’t think we ever had an increase, but I could be wrong because it’s been 4 years I think since we had that pass. Obviously you’d have to budget that throughout the year. Parking at Six Flags parks seems to be higher than other parks.

 

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I have questions regarding how SIX's Flash Pass works.  Do I have to buy a different pass per ride or do I get a pass and just reserve at any ride I want through the day?  Any other explanation in how it differs from Fast Lane would also be appreciated.  I'm contemplating using one for NJFTP, but its not set in stone since I plan to visit NJFTP during the middle of the week for this trip. 

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You have different levels of Flash Passes to buy.  You reserve one ride at a time and show up at or after your ride time.  When you are finished with that ride, you reserve another.  You can't reserve multiple rides at once.  And the most popular rides will only allow you to use it once per purchase.  Finally, there might be a ride or two that you have an upcharge on.  My experience at Magic Mountain forms the basis of this post.  X2 required a $15 upcharge with the Flashpass; Superman: Escape from Krypton and Twisted Colossus were one time use only.  When I visited NJFTP in midweek in June, a FlashPass was not needed.  All coasters were less than 30 minute waits with many walk ons.

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I'm scheduling one day off in the middle of this trip, and I may do Dorney's or HP's water park.  I may look out for hotels with pools, too.  I can afford to splurge a little bit for this trip I'm finding, especially with ACE and/or AAA discounts on hand.  

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I'm shoehorning this trip in here, which is, me likely going on a trip with UC to their NCAA tournament site since they look like they'll be a high seed, which, lets the committee keep them close to home.  I know what I'm doing if they go to Pittsburgh, but I could use some hotel suggestions if they end up in Nashville. 

I hope they don't go to Detroit though...

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I've been seeing a message on Lakemont Park's website still saying they don't have 2018 info yet.  I'm strongly considering replacing it with Waldameer at this point.

Has anyone here been to Morey's Piers?  Thoughts?

Also, even if I cut Lakemont and only go with 4 parks, I still can get to 100 credits.

Also also, I'm not doing SFA.

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Morey's is nice for a boardwalk park but their coaster collection compared to other standard parks isn't that great. Great Nor'easter vibrates and rattles the entire ride, Sea Serpent is a standard boomerang, Rollie's Coaster is a carnival type coaster with unnecessary over the shoulder restraints, Flitzer is an ok family coaster, Doo Wopper is a regular wild mouse and Great White is decent although a little rough. It's also expensive, around $50 for a wristband or over $7 per ride for the larger coasters if you use points. 

The non coaster rides are good, the log flume goes under the Boardwalk with some theming and there are a couple of good dark rides.

The piers are also spread out, it's a long walk from Surfsife Pier (where Great Nor'easter is) to Adventure Pier where Great White is. The openings are also not the same for each pier, Adventure Pier often opens at 4 which makes it difficult to ride all the coasters if you were planning on going early in the day.

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Waldameer it is then.  I'll probably pull a malem and get up super early and do it on the way to my hotel.  

Morey's is a bit out of my way.  May work it in a future trip though.  

I'll also probably need to work in 2 days for R&R between park visits, one for after my trip to Waldameer and one sometime before I tackle NJFTP (ideally, I'm trying to save NJFTP till last). 

EDIT: Given how far Waldameer is from the rest of the parks and where I plan on staying, I may stay up near Waldameer for a night.  I don't think I could drive that far after a park visit.  

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On 3/6/2018 at 3:18 PM, VekomaRulz said:

Great Nor'easter vibrates and rattles the entire ride

Just curious--have you ridden it since the track replacement last year? I've wanted to go to Morey's forever, especially after that was announced, but I've never heard any reviews since. Maybe that's a sign?

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2 hours ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

Just curious--have you ridden it since the track replacement last year? I've wanted to go to Morey's forever, especially after that was announced, but I've never heard any reviews since. Maybe that's a sign?

It's been a few years since I have been there. I forgot that there was track replacement done. Hopefully it made the ride better.

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It's been 6 years since I was last there, but I actually thought Great Adventure's food choices were a little nicer than the average chain park's. I distinctly remember getting a taco salad at a food stand beside El Toro and being really impressed by how good it was.

The rest of your parks' food wasn't particularly memorable, good OR bad.

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Dorney mostly has the standard burgers, pizza and chicken fingers. I usually go to Chickie's and Pete's (counter service location) since it's included with the dining pass. The only bad thing is the portion is small with only half a cheesesteak and a side of crab fries. 

Great Adventure has a lot of variety. Johnny Rockets, Macho Nacho (a lot of options there), Mama Flora's and Panda Express ( both not on the dining pass) plus a new cheesesteak place and Garden State a Grill that has specialty burgers and some other items. One of the more popular places is Best of the West near the log flume that has a lot of BBQ type food. There was a new addition last year in the boardwalk area with loaded hot dogs that was added to replace Nathan's that was where the cheesesteak place was added. Overall, food is expensive if paying full price. Most meals are around $12 - $13 without a drink. Food lines can also be slow, especially when the meal period ends for the dining pass users (lunch ends at 3, dinner and the snack 1 hour before park closing time).

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