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MrSourNinja

Need Help Planning a Trip

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Hello Folks,

A friend and I are really into rollercoasters (as many of you here are) and we wanted to take a trip around late April to late May. My friend is moving out of town soon and we wanted to do something fun. 
 

Anyways, we definitely wanted to spend like 3 days going to 3 different parks. I was thinking the Virginia area because there is a lot of parks around there and BG: W seems like a must hit. We currently reside in Columbus. 
 

We would probably go like Friday-Sunday. Is there any other parks we must go to? And tips you guys have? Any and all information is greatly appreciated. 
 

Thank you!

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13 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

3 parks in three days.  Sounds like an @malem trip.  When do you plan on sleeping?

Haha probably not much but for a few hours every early am hopefully 

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^^ Ha.

One of the nice things about that area is that the parks are close enough together that you don't have long drives between destinations. If you stay in the Richmond area, where hotels are reasonably priced, it's a very doable drive to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion. Both of these are fantastic parks to visit; BGW is one of my favorite parks of all time.

You might consider also visiting Six Flags America, especially if you have a Six Flags pass/membership. This is considered one of the lower tier Six Flags parks, so don't expect it to be like one of their premier parks like Six Flags Great America or Six Flags Great Adventure. Nevertheless, it can be a good way to spend a half day or so, especially if racking up coaster credits is one of the goals of your trip. Or Carowinds is 5 hours away, if you really want to make it a crazy drive.

Another area to consider if you want to do a lot of parks in a short period of time is eastern Pennsylvania. Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney Park, Six Flags Great Adventure, and more are within relatively close proximity. Here's a handy Google Map I often use when planning trips: https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/themeparks/map/

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Here's a thread of my TR from my epic PA/NJ trip in 2018.  Did Waldameer kind of separate from the rest, but stayed in Allentown for Dorney Park, Hersheypark, Knoebels and Six Flags Great Adventure.  Turned out to 5 parks in 6 days, the near Allentown being back to back (had 1 non-park day to travel from Erie to Allentown and explored downtown Philly).  I do my TR threads like this not only to pool info from other members, but so other members can get tips as well.  Doing one right now for my trip to northern Ohio and Michigan for a multi-park blitz.

Allentown is home to Dorney, an hour from Hershey, about 90-100 minutes to Knoebels (with a GORGEOUS drive), and 60-70 minutes to SFGAdv.  Great center spot to stay. 

Hint- don't stay at the hotel I stayed at in Allentown, aka, a hotel I've dubbed the Snyder hotel. 

silver2005, who wishes he backed up his data and also wishes his old laptop didn't crap out resulting in over 600 lost pictures from the trip.

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12 hours ago, malem said:

^^ Ha.

One of the nice things about that area is that the parks are close enough together that you don't have long drives between destinations. If you stay in the Richmond area, where hotels are reasonably priced, it's a very doable drive to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion. Both of these are fantastic parks to visit; BGW is one of my favorite parks of all time.

You might consider also visiting Six Flags America, especially if you have a Six Flags pass/membership. This is considered one of the lower tier Six Flags parks, so don't expect it to be like one of their premier parks like Six Flags Great America or Six Flags Great Adventure. Nevertheless, it can be a good way to spend a half day or so, especially if racking up coaster credits is one of the goals of your trip. Or Carowinds is 5 hours away, if you really want to make it a crazy drive.

Another area to consider if you want to do a lot of parks in a short period of time is eastern Pennsylvania. Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney Park, Six Flags Great Adventure, and more are within relatively close proximity. Here's a handy Google Map I often use when planning trips: https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/themeparks/map/

This is some great info and I really appreciate the help! I’ve been to Carowinds but it was before copperhead was there and my friend has never been so we will have to see but that is definitely an option. 
 

I will also have to look into six flags America as I don’t know much about it but maybe we can get cheap tickets? 
 

And yeah the Pennsylvania area is petty solid too. May have to consider that as well as it is probably a bit closer. 
 

I will check out your site and really appreciate the work. Would going to BG: W be much better on a Friday for getting rides in? Or is it pretty busy all the time. 
 

Thank you!

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12 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Here's a thread of my TR from my epic PA/NJ trip in 2018.  Did Waldameer kind of separate from the rest, but stayed in Allentown for Dorney Park, Hersheypark, Knoebels and Six Flags Great Adventure.  Turned out to 5 parks in 6 days, the near Allentown being back to back (had 1 non-park day to travel from Erie to Allentown and explored downtown Philly).  I do my TR threads like this not only to pool info from other members, but so other members can get tips as well.  Doing one right now for my trip to northern Ohio and Michigan for a multi-park blitz.

Allentown is home to Dorney, an hour from Hershey, about 90-100 minutes to Knoebels (with a GORGEOUS drive), and 60-70 minutes to SFGAdv.  Great center spot to stay. 

Hint- don't stay at the hotel I stayed at in Allentown, aka, a hotel I've dubbed the Snyder hotel. 

silver2005, who wishes he backed up his data and also wishes his old laptop didn't crap out resulting in over 600 lost pictures from the trip.

Definitely gonna read through that thread! Thanks for typing all the fantastic info up!

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^^ Weekends are generally more crowded than weekdays, but if you're going during spring break, all bets may be off. I'd recommend getting to BGW before park open on whichever day you go, hitting popular and low capacity attractions (eg. Tempesto, Invadr, and especially Verbolten) early. Pantheon remains to be seen, but I'd expect a long line to form quickly there.

Six Flags really discourages guests from buying tickets, in favor of memberships and season passes. I just checked, and they're not even selling single day tickets for the upcoming season yet. When they do, they typically cost approximately the same as a season pass, and they don't include parking (at $20-30 per visit).

If you think you will visit any Six Flags park again within the next 12 months, a monthly membership can make sense. Just be sure to read the membership terms carefully, especially regarding how to cancel. If you happen to be members of ACE, Six Flags has provided one free ticket to each member for the past few seasons. If you are ACE members, and Six Flags announces this offer before your trip, it's worth taking advantage of.

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I did this exact same trip for a number of years.  You'll run into school groups at both Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg on Fridays when the park is weekends only.  There will be more school groups at BGW than there will be at KD those particular Fridays.  KD is typically only open until 6 those Fridays while Busch is open until 8.  Saturday and Sunday are really weather dependent that time of year at either park.  Saturday will be more manageable at KD than BGW.  If you have any park time available on Sunday you'll probably find the lightest crowds at BGW during the whole weekend then, especially if you get there in the first 2-3 hours after opening.

At KD - make sure you get Twisted Timbers as soon as you get to the park and if you see it running.  I've ridden the coaster on exactly one visit in my four visits to the park the last two years.  Prioritize this and then work to the other rides from there.

At BGW - prioritize Pantheon (assuming it's open to the public then) and Verbolten in that order.  These will have the longest lines and are the most likely to experience downtime.  If you like gelato, the gelato place in Festa Italia serves some outstanding gelato.  I highly recommend a stop there.

Several people have mentioned Six Flags America.  The good news is that if you do that, it won't add much - perhaps an hour - to your overall drive time.  Richmond to Columbus is about 8 hours.  Richmond to Six Flags America to Columbus is about 8 hours 45 minutes.  There are two issues you'll run into: (1) Washington DC traffic depending on when you're the area, and (2) whether you want to go out of your way to go to a park that only has three decent rides and will likely feature one-train ops that time of year.  In my opinion, I'd skip this park in favor of more time at the others.  Having said that, there is a side trip that you may enjoy...

If time permits, I'd strongly recommend that you take a small detour and take a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway in between Lexington, VA and Waynesboro, VA.  The exact route I'm referring to is below.  Some of the most beautiful vistas you'll see east of the Rockies can be found on this stretch of road.  It will only add 45 to 90 minutes extra to your drive depending on how often you stop to take pictures, and it is time well spent.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Richmond,+VA/Lexington,+VA/Columbus,+OH/@38.2075409,-78.8609889,9z/data=!4m35!4m34!1m20!1m1!1s0x89b111095799c9ed:0xbfd83e6de2423cc5!2m2!1d-77.4360481!2d37.5407246!3m4!1m2!1d-78.9072552!2d37.9812919!3s0x89b365c07b93e267:0x3c01c61f14a705db!3m4!1m2!1d-79.0348649!2d37.8932688!3s0x89b3421c98a0a31f:0x68688cfc130d4ab0!3m4!1m2!1d-79.2219643!2d37.8075949!3s0x89b337ea0446d627:0x696a7a0c767b5eee!1m5!1m1!1s0x884cc8d057b0a5e5:0xe81881d4e2830060!2m2!1d-79.4428157!2d37.7840208!1m5!1m1!1s0x883889c1b990de71:0xe43266f8cfb1b533!2m2!1d-82.9987942!2d39.9611755!3e0

  

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A site I've found handy for planning coaster trips is http://www.coast2coaster.com/ It gives you a good idea of what parks are close/far and it's filterable by number of coasters, so you can see the map without every little fun centre with a kiddie coaster...

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