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Top 15 Must Do American Parks?

nadroJ

CF Legend
Okay, a question for all you yanks out there, and maybe some people with more extensive knowledge of American parks than I do.

I know it's a long way off, but after I graduate Uni (2012) I'm planning an epic trip to the great USA for some major coaster whorage, and I thought I'd better start planning early so I can get this trip tight as hell.

Basically, if there were 15, or even 10 parks in America that I MUST do what would they be? Excluding Orlando parks as I've done those.

Thanks x
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
I'd agree to pick a region. And that region should be East Coast.

IF I was going to do a list however...

SFMM
Disneyland
SFGAdv
BGE
SFOG
Hershey
Knoebels
SFNE
KI
KD (MAYBE)
Holiday World
CP
SFGA
Dollywood?

I dunno... just do East Coast ;) You won't regret it.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
East Coast.. as my fellow friends have mentioned.. is your best bet. Throw in some parts of the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee).. and you got yourself a who's who of American theme parks.
 

Tomatron

Giga Poster
nadroJ said:
Okay, a question for all you yanks out there, and maybe some people with more extensive knowledge of American parks than I do.

I know it's a long way off, but after I graduate Uni (2012) I'm planning an epic trip to the great USA for some major coaster whorage, and I thought I'd better start planning early so I can get this trip tight as hell.

Basically, if there were 15, or even 10 parks in America that I MUST do what would they be? Excluding Orlando parks as I've done those.

Thanks x

Here's my two pence:

As everyone else has said, it's best off picking a region and planning around that. Because there are so many parks and they're so spread out, doing one part of the country like East Coast, Mid West, West Coast, Deep South etc. is the best thing to do.

My US trips have always been to certain areas, and I plan to keep working my way around the country bit by bit. So far I've done Florida in March 06, Southern California in November 06, Mid West in May/June 07, and I'm still planning the rest.

Ben's list is pretty good, but he's missed off Kennywood (unforgiveable Ben!), Indiana Beach, Silver Dollar City (a middle of nowhere park I'd love to get to one day), and even though the Wisconsin Dells are tacky as hell, they're a great laugh in the right company.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
^ The only problem with the Wisconsin Dells is that is it 16 hours west of the Atlantic and is absolutely nowhere near the east coast. :lol:

Once you cross the Mississippi River, theme parks become very spread out and far in between.

So, don't go further than Ohio with majority of your search. :razz:
 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
Administrator
So East Coast is the way to go, but you have to make it as far west as Ohio. If you can afford it you can add on a weekend in Los Angeles just to do the other Disney Parks & SFMM.
Here's my list (north to south):
Canada's Wonderland
SFNE (for Bizarro) & Lake Compounce (for Boulder Dash)
Waldameer (for Ravine Flyer II) & Kennywood
SFGAdv
CP
SFGAm
Hersheypark
Knoebels
KI
Holiday World
BGE
SFOG
There are huge gaps between some of these parks that could be filled by King's Dominion, Carowinds, Dollywood, SFKK, Indiana Beach & Darien Lake (to name a few). Knoebels doesn't require a whole day, so I would do Dorney Park that morning.
There are some other parks to squeeze in there, but it's a killer trip as is - both monetarily & time/distance wise.
SFNE/LC to SFGAdv to DP/Knoebels to Hershey to Kennywood/Waldy to CP to KI to HW to IB to SFGAm is a good trip, but it leaves out BGE, SFoG & CW. It also requires flying into Boston & departing from Chicago.
SFNE/LC to SFGAdv to KD to BGE to Carowinds to SFoG to Dollywood to HW to KI to CP to Kennywood/Waldy to Dl to CW is another, but then you leave out Hershey, DP/Knoebels & SFGAm. This one is fly into Boston & depart from Toronto.
CW to DL/Waldy to CP to KI to HW to Dollywood to SFoG to Carowinds to BGE to KD to SFGAdv to SFNE/LC to DP/Knoebels to Hershey to Kennywood only leaves out SFGAm. Here you fly into Toronto & depart from Pittsburgh.
There are so many possibilities, it really depends on which parks are a must for you & which must parks are you willing to give up.
For me it's CP, SFGAdv, BGE, SFNE/LC, Hershey & KI. You can fit Knoebels/DP, Kennywood/Waldy, KD & HW into this grouping. CW, SFoG & SFGAm are all too far out of the way, but any one can be added on without too much of a problem. BGE is as well, but is too good to pass up.
So how deep are your pockets & how much time can you spare?
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
I definitely wanted to do Dollywood (it's the only park that's been mentioned that I'm not really sure where it is in America) and Disneyland/SFMM so maybe if I did an East Coast trip and then just flew out to those last two parks? Because money isn't really going to be a problem for me but most of the major parks I originally thought of are those that you guys have listed and all the best parks seem to be down the east coast anyway.

It was going to be like, a month long trip to sort of celebrate finishing Uni, my parents agreed to fund it for me if I save up the spending money and they know it is going to cost a lot.

Thanks for the incredibly detailed feedback =]
 

marc

CF Legend
I had been to no USA park apart from Orlando until last year.

I would say if you can get to California then do SFMM and Disneyland. At the time I was a bit let down by Disneyland but looking back at the park I actually loved it there, its so different to WDW. I think I was expecting the same and thats why I was let down, if you dont expect that then you will love it at the time and not after lol.

SFMM try and do it over 2 days, we done it in one day but would have actually enjoyed it more over 2 days.

If you do have time go to Universal Studios, yes there is not much there but I loved the park so much better than Orlando.

And again if your at Disney you may as well do Knotts Berry but you dont need a whole day there.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
East Coast(er) General said:
Knoebels doesn't require a whole day, so I would do Dorney Park that morning.

NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO

Knoebels warrants as much time as one can humanly give it. I'd LIVE there if I could.

And Tom, I did mean to put Kennywood actually when I was listing them in my head... obviously my fingers just aren't up to that speed!
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Meh. If she is going for a whoring session.. going to Knoebels for a few hours, getting the credits, and leaving isn't that big of a deal.

Phoenix is sex, and the food is delicious, but if you want to stand around at a fair for 5 hours, just go to Flamingoland.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
It isn't that big a deal if you mind missing awesome rides you wouldn't see in this country (or anywhere else, actually) for love nor money...

If all you want is credits, fine. But, if you want an actual park experience that is second to very, very, very few, do NOT skimp on time there.
 

10ryansmith

Roller Poster
As everyone says, do the East Coast.
List:
SFGA - NJ
Hersey - Pennsylvaina
Carowinds - NC/SC
Cedar Point - OH
Kings Island - OH
Dolywood - TN
Holiday World - IN
To name a few.
If you have the time and/or the money to make a Chicago Trip, Six Flags Great America is a great park (For being a Six Flags).
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Ben said:
It isn't that big a deal if you mind missing awesome rides you wouldn't see in this country (or anywhere else, actually) for love nor money...

If all you want is credits, fine. But, if you want an actual park experience that is second to very, very, very few, do NOT skimp on time there.

Hey.. I'm not saying to skip on any of the rides. Hell.. I rode most of them. The park just didn't keep my interest past the few rides, which were amazing.

It just felt like a fair.. a crude arrangements of rides just thrown in a random arrangement. Not my cup of tea.

Of course, I'm not saying don't go.. because that would be a mistake. Knoebels is a can't miss park, but if she is all for just a massive whoring session.. a half day there is doable.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Snoo, it might be like an American fair, I've never been t one, but, it's NOTHING like the fairs we have over here...

But, yeah, credit whore if you really want to. It would just be like credit whoring Disneyland in my opinion though...
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
Getting a rounded view on things, looks like what I'll do is do the East Coast lot, then fly over the California to do Disneyland (both parks), SFMM and Knotts Berry Farm. I'll probably revisit America in the future but I want this trip to have all of the best rides in America bar Orlando and it seems that most of these lie on the East Coast. Like I say, it's still about 3/4 years off and there'll probably be a ton more coasters to ride by then, I just wanted to get an idea about things.

It will be a bit of a whoring trip but with parks like Cedar Point and SFMM I'm hoping to do them over a couple of days. I doubt I'd ever do two parks in one day as I want to enjoy my time as much as possible rather than rush around nabbing every credit I possibly can.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Yep, that's in the spirit - give up!

It's really not THAT much more (barring California) than we did last year. At one point we were about 6 miles from Kennywood, in turn not a million miles from CP. Take the time and money we spent doing CW, Darien Lake, Martin's, that sort of area, and instead head to CP. It's not quite the terror you're making it out to be.

I don't think she's under ANY illusions it's going to be cheap or easy, but, impossible? No way.

I say go for it girl. If you can do it, do it.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
And if you need any great trip planning tips, hit up Tom/Ian/furie. All of those boys went/are going on massive trips. :p
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
You may also take into the consideration of new coasters. After all, 2012 is a whooping three more seasons. For all we know, BGA may have added a long-awaited Hyper, CP may have scrapped Mean Streak and gone for an AquaTrax, or Cypress Gardens may have been bought by some sheik with far too much money and coaster obsession (For example. Further research may prove any of these to be very unlikely). Or the financial crisis may have forced parks to close. Or a meteorite may have obliterated the entire US. Who knows.

But all in all, it's wise to research now. The general rule is, the best parks rarely get worse as time passes, especially as it's not anymore all about having the biggest coasters.
 

10ryansmith

Roller Poster
^ What about Amtrak? www.amtrak.com Alright, Amtrak doesnt go to every city in the US but they serve the major cities and the tickets are about half that of flying. Also, if she was to us the train, going to Sandusky from within 100 miles of it, there will be that "break" that you talked about. i live in central Indiana and havent been on a plane to go somewhere in the US in forever. The train tickets to and from Indy are around a hundred. i also know that the more rural the park, the more that they are going to have to rent a car, but instead of going hundeds of miles in a rental, she only has to maybe twenty to thirty miles away from the station. Trains in the US are here, they are just not as popular as in Europe and I have no idea why. They are loads better than planes.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
UC, quick question...

... you do realise I'm in the midsts of planning, costing and setting out an independent 2010 trip incorporating most of these parks, right? That's when I'm not busy planning, costing and booking this year's independent European trip. So, please don't treat me like I don't do any planning. Yes, I might have had it organised for me when I did it, but that doesn't mean I don't know how to do it alone.

Check your facts before you go on another patronising spell.

And to say I'd ever use trains or buses? Mad of you, frankly. I won't be using them in Europe. I didn't use them touring the UK last year. It is, frankly, useless if you're trying to do a park trip (minus Spain, which is actually easier on public transport!)

Frankly, I'd be willing to bet I've planned a hell of a lot more trips than you have.
 
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