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


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I know Hershey has fantastic ribs around the base of Storm Runner's top hat. Also, with all the trolling they've done to me with their dessert posts on social media, I'm probably going to indulge in one. 

Just so y'all know, Hershey is my 2nd favorite park only topped by Dollywood.  I'm beyond excited to be able to return this season.  Great Bear, Storm Runner, Lightning Racer, and Comet are coasters I'd consider my happy places.  

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So tuition wasn't as much as I thought, so I should be able to finance this trip a-okay, including being able to handle the pricier hotels.  

Inner Terpy?  Just stay home and troll everything on this site letting folks know you know everything going on at Kings Island, but can't say anything.  :-)

So this didn't turn out quite as planned as the ops weren't fond of taking photos of me on the train, so I went with plan B.  I wore a UC shirt to Knoebels as C is the Roman numeral for 100 and UC, ma

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So, I may have lucked out on lodging...maybe.

My parents are visiting a relative in Philly this summer, and depending on the timing, I may score free lodging.  I usually do my trips so they don't interfere with UC Community Band concerts, so we'll have to see. 

My dad gets nifty hotel discounts being a former P&G employee that I can use, too. 

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So I've been tinkering with an itinerary lately, and I'm starting to piece stuff together. 

I plan on doing Dorney, Hershey and SFGAdv during the week.

I've been told Sundays are the best days to visit Knoebels, so that's what I'm likely to do.  Since I'm likely staying a night near Waldameer now (doing it on the way), I'll likely be doing that on a Friday.  

So it'll boil down to something like this-

Friday- leave Cincinnati, get a speed run through Waldameer (I plan on leaving super early)

Saturday- travel from NW PA to a hotel likely to be somewhere around Dorney

Sunday- Knoebels

Monday- Hershey

Tuesday- Off Day

Wednesday- Dorney

Thursday- SFGAdv

Note- I would ideally save SFGAdv till last, but it'll be heavily dependent on weather.  I may tinker around with my off days since Dorney and Knoebels are smaller parks.  Like, I may do Dorney on that Saturday (I don't know how Dorney fares on weekends).  Hershey and SFGAdv are parks I'd like to keep on the weekdays.  I would like to keep one day as a total R&R day though.  This is just an early draft.  Going by credit count (will be at 86 before this trip), it'll be likely that #100 will either be at Dorney or SFGAdv.  

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Dorney will be ok on a weekend in June. I'd be surprised if any coasters were more than 10 - 15 minutes during the day except Wild Mouse.

Knoebels on a Sunday should also be good especially if you plan to get the wristband, I was there on Sunday in June in 2016 and other than Flying Turns, it was mostly 5 - 15 minute waits. 

I agree Hershey and Great Adventure would be best on weekdays, if you had to go to Hershey on a Sunday for some reason, it wouldn't be too bad. Just avoid a Saturday, it doesn't matter what time of year, Saturday's are bad. There were days in October where even small coasters like Trailblazer were 60 minutes on a Saturday yet on Sunday the same weekend, the park is empty. It wasn't because of Halloween events since there are no trails or mazes or anything scary. It was the same over Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday 60 minute wait for sooperdooperlooper, walk on, on Sunday.

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A season pass with free upgrade to gold looks like it's $92. Daily admission online is $52, last year parking at Great Adventure was $25 so you would save more with the daily ticket and parking if you are sure you aren't going to any other Six Flags parks the rest of the year. Either way online there is also a processing fee that you may be able to avoid for the season pass if buying it at the park directly but then you have to pay for parking first and hope they will reimburse it when buying the pass or going to guest services. 

Parking may have gone up in price this year. I was supposed to go there this weekend but they closed ahead of time because of weather. I plan to go sometime in the beginning of April and I'll post in this thread if there was a parking increase.

 

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7 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

How hilly are Dorney, Waldameer, and Knoebels? (I know the terrain of the ever hilly HP and NJFTP).  

Knoebels is pretty flat, but the walkways are all gravel instead of your usual asphalt, cement, etc.

It’s worth mentioning that the food at Knobels is excellent. Cesari’s Pizza there is much better than any of the pizza places I’ve been to in the Cincinnati area IMO.

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3 minutes ago, KIghostguy said:

 

It’s worth mentioning that the food at Knobels is excellent. Cesari’s Pizza there is much better than any of the pizza places I’ve been to in the Cincinnati area IMO.

 

Better than Pomodori's and Adriatico's?

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Dorney has a steep hill near the entrance that goes past Sea Dragon and down to Dominator and The Whip, although not as bad as the hill near Storm Runner at Hershey. There is another hill from Hydra to the lower area of the park and that one isn't as steep either.  Otherwise, the rest of the park is mostly flat.

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I was at Great Adventure yesterday, parking is $25 for regular ($40 for preferred). According to someone on another site, they are not reimbursing parking for season pass or membership purchases so you would need to buy it online to avoid the $25 parking cost. Online pricing for the season pass is also less online than at the gate.

Hopefully when you visit the park, things will be better than they were yesterday. I guess because yesterday was the only day this week without rain, even with the cold weather and wind it was crowded with Nitro closed all day for mechanical issues. Superman, Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro kept closing because of the wind and some coasters were running 1 train. A lot of food places were closed and others had limited menus but I would hope by June, everything will be fully running and at full capacity.

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As for dates, I'm aiming for around June 22nd-27th. I'm currently waiting until the end of the semester and for my tax refund to get here to see how things look on the financial end.  Also,  I am waiting for my summer community band schedule to come out so I can plan around that, so it will probably be around early May when I actually book everything.   

I probably won't do the more intricate planning like routes (particularly in regards to the PA Turnpike) and stuff until the semester ends.  Got a busy 2 weeks ahead (as of this post).  

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^It won't stop me from liking GCI's if that's what you're inferring.  Granted, El Toro is probably in my top 5 in terms of the coasters I have high expectations for (including the likes of Steel Force, Nitro, the Knoebels woodies, Ravine Flyer II and Talon), but that doesn't negate that GCI's are still amazing. 

Remember, I also get Ravine Flyer II, Pheonix, Twister, and Lightning Racer in this trip as well.  I will be doing reviews on every coaster I ride, including ones I've already done before.  I also like to keep a ranking of the credits I've ridden, which can be found in my profile under 'About Me', and I'm not afraid of explaining how I like certain ones over others.  

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23 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

^It won't stop me from liking GCI's if that's what you're inferring.  Granted, El Toro is probably in my top 5 in terms of the coasters I have high expectations for (including the likes of Steel Force, Nitro, the Knoebels woodies, Ravine Flyer II and Talon), but that doesn't negate that GCI's are still amazing. 

Remember, I also get Ravine Flyer II, Pheonix, Twister, and Lightning Racer in this trip as well.  I will be doing reviews on every coaster I ride, including ones I've already done before.  I also like to keep a ranking of the credits I've ridden, which can be found in my profile under 'About Me', and I'm not afraid of explaining how I like certain ones over others.  

Save El Toro for last, it will blow away the other rides on your list.  Talon is one of the better b&m inverts but not as intense as the batmans.  Kingda Ka is not as intense or fun as TTD since the launch and restraints are different.  

I can see your top 2 coasters on your PTR being El Toro and skyrush.  El Toro is a coaster that cannot be hyped up enough, you wont be dissapointed.

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I will say that my take on the SFGAdv coasters is slightly skewed because the one time I did go, I had a head cold, so I didn't quite hold BTR in high regard since it was all a blur to me, but I imagine my views on it may improve slightly.  Also, my last visit was before Nitro was even built (Medusa was the newest coaster at the time, this would be 2000).  

I didn't share Terpy's view on Rolling Thunder in the slightest.  However, I did find Great American Scream Machine to be vastly underrated.   Unfortunately, both sides of Chiller were down, so I didn't get that rare credit.  I also didn't get Skull Mountain.  I did ride one of the worst steel coaster ever envisioned, being the Togo designed Viper (stood where El Toro now stands).  Combine a claustrophobic environment with the support rings along with god awful restraints and jack hammering, and you have one bad coaster.  I remember being a bit impressed by some of the theming SIX had to offer, especially their DC stuff.  Runaway Mine Train was rather mediocre.

Medusa (which was a year old at the time, that yellow and purple paint scheme was mesmerizing) was one of the coasters that got me into being an enthusiast and made me fall in love with B&M floorless coasters.  I simply love that thing.   

While Nitro, El Toro, Superman (which will be my first B&M flying coaster), and Kingda Ka are rides I highly anticipate, I am looking forward to finally getting Chang/Green Lantern as a credit.  I was planning to go down to, what was then, SFKK during the off season prior to its closure, and I still kinda like stand up coasters.   Also, that new flat ride they got this year looks insane.   Joker and the Dark Knight mouse in a box are the icing on top.  '

Hershey, IMO, has one of the most well rounded coaster collections of any park I've been to (they could do slightly better on flats, but they've been addressing that lately).  I don't think there is a single coaster  except Trailblazer (which is one of the most boring coasters out there, even for a starter coaster IMO) that I didn't find, at minimum, pretty decent.  My only thing is I wish they would have kept the PTC's on Wildcat because it felt wilder (in a good way, they also made this awesome vibrating roar in the final helix) than it did when it switched to the Flyers.  I even found Sidewinder enjoyable, and that was with its original train. All their coasters were re-rideable as well.  My last visit was 2008 when Fahrenheit was new with a previous visit in 2003 as well.   They combine some old school charm with the new stuff incredibly well.   I like what focus they had on their candy products that didn't come off as over the top either.   It has a charm that rubs off on me that makes me not want to leave at the end of the day.   Oh, and Great Bear, Storm Runner, Comet, and Lightning Racer are all awesome-tastic.  

As for some other views on the rides at the parks I haven't been to, I'd say Dorney has the most I'm looking forward to.  Hydra and Talon both look like B&M's breadbasket (I think Hydra is going to give Bizarro and Rougarou a run for their money), and both having heard amazing things about Steel Force and having experienced 2 Morgan coasters and holding both in high regard (Lightning Run and Phantom's Revenge), I anticipate good things from SF.  Also looking forward to picking up a relocated GL credit in Possessed.  I'm a pretty big fan of Intamin Impulse coasters.  

I will be allowing myself to take my time more at Waldameer since I now plan on staying a night around Erie, so I won't have to rush through it.  I'll probably make my off day be the day I go from Erie to Allentown, so I'll likely be doing Knoebels, then HP, then DP, then NJFTP.  I'm trying to avoid doing HP and SFGAdv back to back.  Again, weather will play a factor in that order. 

I'm looking forward to anything and everything that has to do with Knoebels.  

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I've been delving into each of the parks' FAQ sections to see if there are any interesting quirks.

On SFGAdv- I like how it specifically mentions not to bring in laser pointers off all things, like they pick that one specific thing to bring up.  Also, how does one go about transferring hand stamps exactly? :lol::P 

On Waldameer- for anyone who has been there- what's your opinion on the cashless operations there?  

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That ain't nothing. Kennywood's rules explicitly tell you not to bring dead animals into the park.

Also, I'm indifferent to Waldameer's system. It certainly doesn't hurt anything, but I cannot think of any real benefits to it. Then again, I never visited before the cashless system, so maybe there was something about their cash transactions that took forever?

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Is the cashless system something they're trying out that's new this year or is it something they've had implemented for a while? 

I'm trying to see how this thing works because the rides are worth a certain amount of points.  I'm trying to see what I'm getting when I buy admissions or if there are certain levels at Waldameer.   It's looking like something similar to Knoebels.  

EDIT: After further reading on the website, I found the unlimited options.  I'd rather not be going around having to worry about recharging the card/wristband.  

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One other benefit I've just realized in doing Waldameer first and leaving off Lakemont- I now spend significantly less time on the PA Turnpike.  The only times I'll actually need it is going to NJFTP and going back to Cincy.  

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^Agreed, I usually make it a point to ride a coaster that's new to me with a substantial sized train all over the train to see where it runs best at.  

Alright- route suggestion needed going from Cincy to Erie- go through Cleveland or go through Pittsburgh?

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On 4/7/2018 at 1:59 PM, silver2005 said:

On SFGAdv- I like how it specifically mentions not to bring in laser pointers off all things, like they pick that one specific thing to bring up.

A laser can cause a ride censor to fault, among other issues. I remember the CP maps used to say laser pointers prohibited.

As for route, I'ld take  71 to 271 to 90. Shortest, fastest, and flatest.

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So my concert schedule came out, and there are concert dates earlier in June than usual, so I'm thinking between 3 options-

June 15-20 and miss 1 concert (one of the smaller venues)

or

the original schedule, June 22-27, miss 1 concert at a slightly bigger venue

or

July 6-11 -wouldn't miss any concerts, but I feel July is generally a busier month for amusement parks, though, parks usually have longer hours in July.

I'll think it over after exams.  Am I overthinking the difference between months?  I'm particularly centering that line of thought with HP and NJFTP.  

As of right now after initially sorting this out, I'm leaning for the mid-June trip.

 

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