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Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip

GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile

Posted:
4/10/11 at
4:06:58 PM

Hi everyone. My friend and I are planning a Va park trip to celebrate my graduation from vet school (only 4 weeks to go!!). The tentative itinerary is: Leave NJ early on 6/19 to go to Virginia Beach. Spend 2 days there relaxing on the beach. Go to BGE on Tues 6/21 and then KD on 6/22 (we are staying near the parks - not traveling back and forth from Va Beach once we leave). Then a day to rest/drive and then hit SF America on 6/24 (would have been nice to catch an Orioles game on the 23rd but naturally they have that day off). What I would like to know is the best order to hit the rides at these parks (we are planning on being at the parks for opening) and if the BGE Quick Que for $14.99 is worth the money. I also saw a special for KD for $45.99 that includes admission and the picnic buffet (only $3 more than regular admission) and wanted to know if any of you have done the picnic and if it's any good.

I haven't been to BGE since around 1990, KD since I was like 9 years old and have never been to SFA so any information will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!
Jen

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 4/10/11 9:34:32 PM

I will write more, kinda in a rush but I went to KD last year and it was awesome.

Tips: there is a food meal package we got where we ate at the picnic grounds and although the food wasn't the greatest it was all you can eat!

Everyone at that park was nice to us and it was super well kept.

I-305 has been revamped, and from what I hear it's as intense as it was when it was first opened :D I would suggest going there second. (well why seonond mugen?)

Well, I can answer that! First when the park opens they let you go quite a bit and then there is a rope. We went to the left where there is Volcano, Dominator, I-305, Anaconda, ect.

While en route to I-305 you will see the rope and they won't let you past for like 20 minutes maybe. I'm not sure why they do this but they did it when I went.

The rope and security guard are just past dominator :D

So if you want, before the park even opens up the major rides and let's you past, you can get like 3-5 rides on Dominator if it's open!

For us, it was a great start to an overall awesome day at KD.

I will come back and edit this or post again, but I really gotta go, cya and hope this helps!

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by alpengeistno3 at 4/11/11 12:11:29 AM

For BGE, there are 2 strategies (make sure you get a park map at the front because depending on attendance projections, times may vary.

Loch Ness will open as soon as the park opens (usually 9:30). Don't worry about getting a Loch Ness ride now. The line will be shorter later in the day. At 10:00, the paths to Griffon through Ireland (Hastings last time you were there) or to Apollo through Italy will open. My preference is to go to Griffon, knock out a ride before the crowds arrive then go straight to Alpengeist to reride until the Germany gates open (10:30 or 11:00, depending on what the map says). Griffon will get crowded early, but probably has the best capacity in the park. Get a warm-up ride then move on. Alpengeist has good capacity, but a slow crew will keep stacking trains making the line the worst of the 3 B&M's later. Usually, the lines will be non-existent until Germany is open.

Once Germany opens, go straight to DarKastle. Capacity is worst than any coaster, so lines can get unbearably long later. After DarKastle, you can either stop for a beat the crowd Festhaus lunch or go back through Italy and hit Apollo. If you are in the rush, you can beat the 1:00 rush for Apollo as most everyone will run for Griffon and be behind you.

Best time to hit Loch Ness is between 2:00 and 5:00 as most of the crowds are deep within the park, leaving the front "relatively" empty. This is also the best time to do Europe in The Air, too.

If it is a hot day, the water rides will be crowded all day after 11:00. Pompeii is the only real "must-ride" and if you sit in the middle of the boat, you should not have to worry about getting wet, so don't let that scare you from waiting until the crowds die down near dark to score a short wait.

Feel free to take in a show or ride the train/Skyride once things start getting crowded. At 8:00, try to run the same loop, ending wherever you want to end your night. If the park closes at 9:00, you may have to rush. If it is a 10:00 closing, you will have no problem hitting all the coasters one last time before heading home. Apollo or Alpengeist will probably be the most crowded while Griffon and Loch Ness should be 15 mins or less, unless the park is super crowded.

KD

Dominator and Berserker will open with the main gate. If you are there early enough, no reason not to go for a ride, as long as you can make the "running of the bulls" at 10:30. (the Dominator rope is the closest you can get to the Congo area, so even if you don't ride, you should wait there.) Once the rope drops, GO TO VOLCANO FIRST!! While logic usually dictates going to I-305 first, Volcano has the worst capacity in the area. Getting that out of the way could save you from 30 mins on a slow day to a couple hours on a busy day if you wait until later. After that, see if Flight of Fear is open (sometimes, they won't open until 12:00) and get that out of the way. If I-305 is eating the crowds like it normally does, go ahead and ride it 3rd. As long as both trains are running and the park is not tremendously busy, you should never have to wait longer than 30 mins at the longest.

From there, it is your choice where you want to go. On a typical weekday, the woodies will run 1 train and the steelies will run 2, so it could be wise to get to Grizzly and Rebel Yell early and come back to Anaconda and Backlot Stunt Coaster. Drop Zone has a nasty habit of loading half of the seats when the crowds are low and not switching to loading the full capacity until the line is spilling out on to the midway, so look for that to determine whether to ride now or later. 8:00, they will knock the woodies back to 1 train, seemingly regardless of the crowds, so if the park is crowded and you are looking for that night ride on Grizzly, you may want to be aware of that.

SFA
SFA is not a difficult park to complete if you are spending the whole day there. If it is busy, Superman and Batwing will have the longest waits. Jokers Jinx and Wild One can get busy in the middle of the day, but if you wait it out, they will be walk ons later. Roar is almost never longer than 20 mins and Mind Eraser never over 30 as long as both trains are running.

Hope that covers everything. Have fun :)

Paul

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/11/11 2:38:00 AM

Totally agreed Paul, excellent advice. They were extremely helpful for me back in 2009 [BGE] and 2009/10 KD.

Summing it up and seconding those choices, this is what I did:

BGE in order: Griffon, Alp, Darkastle, [then BBW], AC, LN, back to Griffon [though I don't remember what time it was, maybe 3pm]; was the best strategy to get some rides [as well as choice of seats] before the lines made that and the waiting unbearable.

KD: Totally get 1-2 rides on Dominator when the park opens. When the rope drops, go for Volcano and try to get 2 rides if possible [it'll be nearly impossible to get a small waiting time after this]. Then go to FOF [I just settle for 1 ride before leaving]. I-305 handles crowds well and it can be maybe 10-15min waiting [give or take +5min] I got at least 5 rides [quit because the then original restraints were taking their toll on me]. After that I just worked my way clockwise around the park from coasters to flat rides.

So have fun and looking forward to the tr!

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/11/11 7:34:36 PM

Thanks for the great advice I knew you guys would have. What about that Quick Queue at BGE for $14.99? I was thinking that might be good to have to use during the day when crowds are at their peak. It gives you one ride on all the major attractions and $14.99 is not a bad price at all. Do you know if you can purchase it at the park if I felt I needed it or is it an online thing only?

And thank you Paul for the Pompeii advice - that's one I might have skipped since I HATE getting soaked and walking around in wet clothes. Now I will brave it after all. I don't mind "Log Flume" wet - I won't do "Shoot the Chutes" wet.

Jen

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/11/11 7:59:11 PM

We used the Quick pass at BGT a few years ago. They were selling them at concession stands when we entered the park. I don't know if that's the same now at BGE.

But what we found was that EVERYBODY had one and it just seemed to slow things down. Not the pass itself, but the fact that there were large groups that all had passes and so the QP line still seemed to move slowly.

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by hyperrider hyperrider Profile at 4/12/11 10:48:02 AM

There has been some good advice given above. I will second getting Volcano done first thing in the morning. It's a great ride but I tire of waiting so long for it. Also, Backlot Stunt Coaster can get more crowded as the day goes on. I agree with the earlier notion of getting all of Congo done first (Avalanche does not open until noon as well as FoF).

One thing I used to always do on all of my trips to KD is night rides with the woodies. If they are running two trains on Grizzly then that is your best bet. Grizzly is a must at night! I recommend sitting in the front of the next-to-last car. This is the best night ride in the park and if you get lucky you can ride it multiple times for the last half hour until the park closes and they give you the boot.

BG is not difficult to get everything done in a day. I have always gone on week days and have never had more than a 15 minute wait for any coaster (Your mileage may vary). I have always enjoyed getting a front seat ride on Alpengeist once in the day as you get to enjoy all of the scenery around it as you ride. Apollo is great in the back. You must go to the Festhaus for a meal during the day. It is the best atmosphere with some AC and a great show while you eat.

This is a great set of parks. Enjoy your time there and enjoy your time in the south! ;)

Jason

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America trip by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/12/11 12:39:06 PM

> You must go to
> the Festhaus for a meal during the day. It is the best
> atmosphere with some AC and a great show while you eat.

> And a decent corned beef sandwich, although it wasn't as good in September as previously. The fresh brewed iced tea made up for that.

Mike

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/16/11 1:06:25 AM

Question about Griffon:

Since this will be my first dive coaster, where is the best place to sit? I would think front on a wing. Any suggestions? And any special seats you think are best on any of the rides at the parks I'm going to would be appreciated. You guys have all given me great advice in the past (especially the Wicked Twister one!) so all tips are welcome!

Thanks again,
Jen

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/16/11 8:46:50 AM

Others probably know better than I do, but as I recall it's: right front on Griffon (first to board), back right on AC, and on Alpie I prefer the back seats for the whip action, which also boards faster, though many prefer the front for the visuals. Have fun!

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by hyperrider hyperrider Profile at 4/16/11 9:29:42 AM

> Others probably know better than I do, but as I recall
> it's: right front on Griffon (first to board), back right
> on AC, and on Alpie I prefer the back seats for the whip
> action, which also boards faster, though many prefer the
> front for the visuals. Have fun!

I'm definitely not trying to go against this advice. I say first ride on Griffon ride it in the front. I didn't specify what side because you don't really get to choose. However, once you ride it in the front once you have to try it in the back. I feel the drop (actually both of them) is fantastic in the back row. Back right or left on AC, either way. I agree with the back row on Alpie, I think especially back in the day this had the most intense cobra roll ever! I'm just saying the visuals are worth one ride in the front. After that, stick with the back.

Jason

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by alpengeistno3 at 4/16/11 1:00:42 PM

Alpengeist- hands down back, loading side. We used to call that the "G seat" because you get the most positive G's coming out of the cobra roll.

Apollo - Back, unloading side. Nothing but water under you as you go over the 3rd hill towards the turnaround

Griffon - I'm still new to Griffon and not being able to really choose your seat beyond the row, but my impression is the best would be back unloading side (very tough seat to get with the loading procedure). Coming out of the 1st immelmann, you get an extra push of positive G's as that side levels out of the twist.

Loch Ness - everyone knows the back is the place to be :)

Paul

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/22/11 11:43:40 PM

Question for those who live in the Virginia area or who often take the trip down there: My friend and I decided to leave on Sat 6/18 instead of Sunday so we can have two full days at Va beach. We will be leaving very early from NJ on Sat so what is the best route to take down there? The Chesapeake Bay bridge or driving through the DC area/95 traffic wise? I know that 95 can be a nightmare in the DC/Baltimore area so I was thinking we should take the bridge and go through Delaware but if the bridge gets really backed up we may be better off going the other way. Just wondering if it makes a difference or not. We'd probably be in that area around 1 pm.

Thanks,
Jen

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/23/11 1:56:58 PM

> Question for those who live in the Virginia area or who
> often take the trip down there: My friend and I decided to
> leave on Sat 6/18 instead of Sunday so we can have two full
> days at Va beach. We will be leaving very early from NJ on
> Sat so what is the best route to take down there? The
> Chesapeake Bay bridge or driving through the DC area/95
> traffic wise? I know that 95 can be a nightmare in the
> DC/Baltimore area so I was thinking we should take the
> bridge and go through Delaware but if the bridge gets
> really backed up we may be better off going the other way.
> Just wondering if it makes a difference or not. We'd
> probably be in that area around 1 pm.

> Thanks,
> Jen

I took 301 down last Friday. If you don't hit too much traffic and lights, it only takes about 15-30 minutes longer than 95, and your toll costs are reduced slightly. It's worth it to avoid 95, which sometimes can be as bad as a ride on Dark Knight. If you're driving from Jersey, pick up 301 in Delaware and it lets you out just north of KD. Knowing your driving habits, it'll be about a 45 minute ride.

Mike, hoping to take a ride on KK for ya tomorrow..and for my friend Fran, who shares your feelings for the big green guy.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/23/11 2:01:09 PM

> Knowing your driving habits, it'll be about a 45 minute
> ride.

I have NO idea what you're talking about.... ;~)

> Mike, hoping to take a ride on KK for ya tomorrow..and for
> my friend Fran, who shares your feelings for the big green
> guy.

Tell him I miss him and I'll see him soon! Thanks for the advice - I'll look into it.

Jen

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/23/11 2:05:23 PM

> Mike, hoping to take a ride on KK for ya tomorrow..and for
> my friend Fran, who shares your feelings for the big green
> guy.

> Tell him I miss him and I'll see him soon! Thanks for the
> advice - I'll look into it.

> Jen

If I even make it over to the Kingdom. Tomorrow's the one-year anniversary of my 90-ride Toro-thon, and if I have the opportunity to hit the century mark, I'm sure as hell gonna try.

Mike

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer *NM* by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 5/22/11 1:20:41 PM

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 5/22/11 1:22:42 PM

> There has been some good advice given above. I will second
> getting Volcano done first thing in the morning. It's a
> great ride but I tire of waiting so long for it. Also,
> Backlot Stunt Coaster can get more crowded as the day goes
> on. I agree with the earlier notion of getting all of Congo
> done first (Avalanche does not open until noon as well as
> FoF).

> One thing I used to always do on all of my trips to KD is
> night rides with the woodies. If they are running two
> trains on Grizzly then that is your best bet. Grizzly is a
> must at night! I recommend sitting in the front of the
> next-to-last car. This is the best night ride in the park
> and if you get lucky you can ride it multiple times for the
> last half hour until the park closes and they give you the
> boot.

> BG is not difficult to get everything done in a day. I have
> always gone on week days and have never had more than a 15
> minute wait for any coaster (Your mileage may vary). I have
> always enjoyed getting a front seat ride on Alpengeist once
> in the day as you get to enjoy all of the scenery around it
> as you ride. Apollo is great in the back. You must go to
> the Festhaus for a meal during the day. It is the best
> atmosphere with some AC and a great show while you eat.

> This is a great set of parks. Enjoy your time there and
> enjoy your time in the south! ;)

> Jason
Just curious as to why second to last train front row is best on Grizzly at night?? I do love this coaster at night though.

Re: Advice for Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Amer by alpengeistno3 at 5/22/11 9:25:22 PM

> Just curious as to why second to last train front row is
> best on Grizzly at night?? I do love this coaster at night
> though.

I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but PTC wheel seats (last row of any individual car) are known to run rougher than the front (or middle of a 3 bench). Maybe that is what the OP was referring to.

Paul

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