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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like?

What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like?

lk2500

Posted:
4/1/12 at
5:12:11 PM

I would like to take a roller coaster vacation this summer. However, living in the Northwest I haven't been able to justify the cost of the flight to Florida or Ohio vs just taking Virgin America to LAX and just doing Disneyland/KBF/SFMM again.

Could you guys toss me a couple of sample itineraries for Ohio and or Florida with the must do coaster parks? Say, flying out on a Sunday and returning on the next Saturday some time in July.

What we did in California last time was get a 5 day Disney Park Hopper and stayed at a hotel near DL. Then we did KBF one morning afternoon and SFMM two morning/afternoons. With the 5 day park hopper it gave us plenty of flexibility to just walk over there in the evenings and catch a few rides, shows, fireworks etc.. as well as spend a full day or two there and do whatever else in the evening.

How would you all set up a similar trip to Florida and hit all the worthwhile coasters in the area?

I would love to hit up Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio but the flights are so much more expensive than Cali ($540 vs $266 round trip) and I'm travelling with 2 kids and wife. Any tips on making it more worth the money spent? I could see hitting CP on a Monday/Tuesday, drive Wednesday, then KI Thursday Friday or something like that? It seems to me that any other parks worth going to in that area are over a 7 hour drive away right?

Any tips are appreciated, TIA.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by d-lo775 d-lo775 Profile at 4/1/12 5:57:11 PM
Cedar Point to Kings Island is about a 3 1/2 hour drive. Holiday World (Indiana) is about a 3 hour drive from Kings Island.

* This post was modified at 4/1/12 6:00:15 PM *

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/1/12 6:10:08 PM
So would you fly into Indianapolis and do Holiday World first, then KI, then CP, then fly out of Cleveland? Or the other way around? How many days each if flying out on a Sunday and flying back on Saturday?
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/1/12 8:32:26 PM
You might do best to fly round trip in and out of Columbus or Dayton on Jet Blue (for example) and drive to CP and KI. They are only a couple hours from those midpoint cities. If you want to do HW then fly in and out of Louisville (SDF). HW is three hours from KI and CP four hours from there. No way around that.

As for Fla, we do that trip all the time. If you want to do USF it's one day for each side. Add SW if you wish but that may not be worth devoting an entire day to. Disney is however many parks you want to see... one day per park, and you still won't see everything. BGT is a 1-1/2 hour drive from Orlando and is a day well spent. I think Legoland (Cypress Gardens) is midway between. We spend two weeks at a time doing Fla parks and there's still more to do than we have time for.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by depotrat at 4/1/12 9:34:48 PM
I wouldn't just think Ohio. You could easily drive to parks in Indiana and Pennsylvania. If you picked a central location and flew in and out of the same airport you will save a ton on the car rental. One way car rentals are very expensive. My route would look like:

Fly into Columbus:

Parks
1. Kings Island
2. Holiday World
3. Indiana Beach
4. Cedar Point - 2 days
5. Kennywood

Back to Columbus to fly home

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/2/12 1:59:31 AM
depotrat said:

I wouldn't just think Ohio. You could easily drive to parks in Indiana and Pennsylvania. If you picked a central location and flew in and out of the same airport you will save a ton on the car rental. One way car rentals are very expensive. My route would look like:


Fly into Columbus:

Parks
1. Kings Island
2. Holiday World
3. Indiana Beach
4. Cedar Point - 2 days
5. Kennywood

Back to Columbus to fly home

How many different hotels would you stay at with that park rotation? A different hotel each evening depending on the park or one central hotel in Columbus and drive to each park?

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by depotrat at 4/2/12 8:34:48 AM
It would have to be a different hotel each night except at Cedar Point where it could be two nights.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by kdleader kdleader Profile at 4/5/12 10:34:09 AM
Here's a trip I took back in 2009:

Saturday – Leave central PA at 1200pm for Cedar Point (6 hours)
Sunday – Cedar Point
Monday – Cedar Point until 1:00pm
Monday - Travel to King’s Island (4 hours)
Monday – King’s Island
Tuesday – Kings Island until 3:00pm
Tuesday - Travel to Holiday World (3 hours)
Wednesday – Holiday World until 2:00pm
Wednesday - Travel to Indiana Beach (4.5 hours)
Thursday – Indiana Beach
Friday – Travel to Michigan’s Adventure (4 hours)
Friday - Michigan’s Adventure
Saturday – Travel to Cedar Point (5 hours)
Saturday – Cedar Point
Sunday – Cedar Point
Sunday - Travel home (6 hours)

The one change I wish I would have made is to stay at Holiday World a second night and stay just one night at Indiana Beach.

As for a Florida itinerary:

Later this year I'll be flying to Orlando. My tentative plans are to do Universal (2 days), Disney (2 days), BGT (1 day), and Seaworld (1 day). This will be more than what I usually attempt on my biennial Disney trips.

Kevin

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/5/12 11:59:18 AM
kdleader said:

The one change I wish I would have made is to stay at Holiday World a second night and stay just one night at Indiana Beach.

It appears that more often than not, you drive to a park in the evening, then stay over night so you can hit the park early in the morning (the old "running of the bulls when they drop the rope"), then leave the park midday - well before closing, so you can move on to the next park.

We do just the opposite. We drive to a park in the morning, arrive midday, stay at the park until close, then get a good night's sleep at a nearby motel before leaving the next morning.

I guess it comes down to whether you prefer to spend most of your time in the parks in the morning or in the evening.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/5/12 12:43:01 PM
kdleader said:

Here's a trip I took back in 2009:


Saturday – Leave central PA at 1200pm for Cedar Point (6 hours)
Sunday – Cedar Point
Monday – Cedar Point until 1:00pm
Monday - Travel to King’s Island (4 hours)
Monday – King’s Island
Tuesday – Kings Island until 3:00pm
Tuesday - Travel to Holiday World (3 hours)
Wednesday – Holiday World until 2:00pm
Wednesday - Travel to Indiana Beach (4.5 hours)
Thursday – Indiana Beach
Friday – Travel to Michigan’s Adventure (4 hours)
Friday - Michigan’s Adventure
Saturday – Travel to Cedar Point (5 hours)
Saturday – Cedar Point
Sunday – Cedar Point
Sunday - Travel home (6 hours)

The one change I wish I would have made is to stay at Holiday World a second night and stay just one night at Indiana Beach.

As for a Florida itinerary:

Later this year I'll be flying to Orlando. My tentative plans are to do Universal (2 days), Disney (2 days), BGT (1 day), and Seaworld (1 day). This will be more than what I usually attempt on my biennial Disney trips.

Kevin

Hehe, awesome Midwest itinerary.

I guess my big problem still is justifying the added cost of travelling from Seattle to the Midwest. The flights cost twice as much and there are no non-stop flights. I personally would rather ride X2 and Tatsu again than hit CP/KI/HW but one of my two kids really wants to try some new parks.

I'll probably end up just re-doing my Cali trip this year (went in 2008 and 2010) and hitting the new rides at SFMM and maybe trying to get down to SWSD and hitting the new Manta ride. My itinerary would look similar to your Florida one with DL/KBF/SFMM/SWSD in the mix.

Keep the tips coming ya'll. I do plan on trying to make a Midwest trip some time in the future and my kids may still try to talk me into it instead of Cali.

* This post was modified at 4/5/12 12:43:51 PM *

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/5/12 12:54:59 PM
lk2500 said:
I do plan on trying to make a Midwest trip some time in the future and my kids may still try to talk me into it instead of Cali.

Be sure you get in those trips while your kids are still young. At some point they won't want to be seen with their parents and would rather just hang with their friends. Then next thing you know they're busy living their own lives and it's just you and your spouse. Your first "just us two" getaways are still fun, but you soon find yourselves saying "I wish the kids were here".

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 4/16/12 3:09:19 AM
I'm very fortunate to live in Western PA. I have so many parks within a 8 hour drive. If I were in your shoes, here is a trip I would eventually make.
Day 1: fly into Richmond Va
Day 2: Busch Gardens Va (1 hr. drive)
Day 3: Kings Dominion
Day 4: travel day to Jackson NJ (5 hours)
Day 5 : SF Great Adventure
Day 6 : Hershey (2 hr. drive from Jackson
Day 7: Kennywood (4 hr. drive from Hershey)
Day 8: Cedar Point (3 hr. drive from Kennywood)
Day 9: Fly home out of Cleveland
These are the best parks in the country, well Kennywood isn't, but the others are. Someday do a Florida trip and Texas trip and you'll have most of the nations top parks covered. I know how expensive a trip like that would be, but it has to be on your bucket list. When I retire and draw my 401k, I'm going to spend a month in Europe, riding coasters. Just wanted to give you a different perspective.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by cellocoasterdude cellocoasterdude Profile at 4/16/12 3:44:16 AM
Hello,

I don't know what prices are like now (I have lived in Japan for 5 years), but my most memorable trip was driving to the east coast and hitting a lot of parks. I did this the summer before I got married.

Would it be possible to fly to St. Louis? That way you can include SFStL as well as driving more or less directly to the Indiana , Ohio, and/or PA (don't forget Knoebels) parks. You could drive all the way to VA, hit half the parks, and make it to the others on the way back.

Just a thought,

Tim

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by RobLec RobLec Profile at 4/16/12 8:49:38 AM
frontrow said:

Day 1: fly into Richmond Va
Day 2: Busch Gardens Va (1 hr. drive)
Day 3: Kings Dominion
Day 4: travel day to Jackson NJ (5 hours)
Day 5 : SF Great Adventure
Day 6 : Hershey (2 hr. drive from Jackson
Day 7: Kennywood (4 hr. drive from Hershey)
Day 8: Cedar Point (3 hr. drive from Kennywood)
Day 9: Fly home out of Cleveland

These are the best parks in the country...

Interesting how the "best parks in the country" are those located near you, with only ONE of them actually in Ohio, one of two states the OP wanted to visit.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/16/12 9:34:07 AM
frontrow said:

I'm very fortunate to live in Western PA. I have so many parks within a 8 hour drive. If I were in your shoes, here is a trip I would eventually make.
Day 1: fly into Richmond Va
Day 2: Busch Gardens Va (1 hr. drive)
Day 3: Kings Dominion
Day 4: travel day to Jackson NJ (5 hours)
Day 5 : SF Great Adventure
Day 6 : Hershey (2 hr. drive from Jackson
Day 7: Kennywood (4 hr. drive from Hershey)
Day 8: Cedar Point (3 hr. drive from Kennywood)
Day 9: Fly home out of Cleveland
These are the best parks in the country, well Kennywood isn't, but the others are. Someday do a Florida trip and Texas trip and you'll have most of the nations top parks covered. I know how expensive a trip like that would be, but it has to be on your bucket list. When I retire and draw my 401k, I'm going to spend a month in Europe, riding coasters. Just wanted to give you a different perspective.

Sounds like a cool trip. Any prospective alternate trip itineraries are appreciated.

If I'm anywhere near the NE I would likely have to include a tour or game at Fenway since my older boy is a huge Red Sox fan.

I'm going to just do the Cali trip again this June and hit DL-SFMM-KBF-SWSD and try to ride the new Manta and LLDOD.

The only way I can justify to myself the cost of a trip to the Midwest is to visit family in Kansas (and maybe my 30th high school reunion next summer) and hit WOF then take a short-cheap flight to Ohio and hit CP-KI and maybe Holiday World.

My wife seeing all the weather this weekend doesn't help the prospect of a Midwest trip either, lol... Hope everybody stayed safe. My family in KC was spared any damage - everything hit around them but nothing hit directly where they are.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/16/12 11:35:39 AM
frontrow said:

I'm very fortunate to live in Western PA. I have so many parks within a 8 hour drive. If I were in your shoes, here is a trip I would eventually make.
Day 1: fly into Richmond Va
Day 2: Busch Gardens Va (1 hr. drive)
Day 3: Kings Dominion
Day 4: travel day to Jackson NJ (5 hours)
Day 5 : SF Great Adventure
Day 6 : Hershey (2 hr. drive from Jackson
Day 7: Kennywood (4 hr. drive from Hershey)
Day 8: Cedar Point (3 hr. drive from Kennywood)
Day 9: Fly home out of Cleveland
These are the best parks in the country, well Kennywood isn't, but the others are. Someday do a Florida trip and Texas trip and you'll have most of the nations top parks covered. I know how expensive a trip like that would be, but it has to be on your bucket list. When I retire and draw my 401k, I'm going to spend a month in Europe, riding coasters. Just wanted to give you a different perspective.
Not to nitpick, but no Dorney park?
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 4/16/12 12:42:11 PM
RobLec said:

frontrow said:

Day 1: fly into Richmond Va
Day 2: Busch Gardens Va (1 hr. drive)
Day 3: Kings Dominion
Day 4: travel day to Jackson NJ (5 hours)
Day 5 : SF Great Adventure
Day 6 : Hershey (2 hr. drive from Jackson
Day 7: Kennywood (4 hr. drive from Hershey)
Day 8: Cedar Point (3 hr. drive from Kennywood)
Day 9: Fly home out of Cleveland

These are the best parks in the country...

Interesting how the "best parks in the country" are those located near you, with only ONE of them actually in Ohio, one of two states the OP wanted to visit.

I should rephrase. These are some of my favorite parks. My other favorite parks not listed above are SF Over Texas, SF Over Georgia, Islands of Adventure, and Busch Gardens Tampa. I am very lucky that some of my favorite parks are so close to home.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/16/12 10:02:54 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

Not to nitpick, but no Dorney park?

You don't want me to answer this one, right? LOL!

Jen

Jen
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 4/16/12 10:18:19 PM
Lol. Ok, I guess not then.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by CoasterSparty at 4/27/12 12:43:06 PM
lk2500 said:

kdleader said:

Here's a trip I took back in 2009:


Saturday – Leave central PA at 1200pm for Cedar Point (6 hours)
Sunday – Cedar Point
Monday – Cedar Point until 1:00pm
Monday - Travel to King’s Island (4 hours)
Monday – King’s Island
Tuesday – Kings Island until 3:00pm
Tuesday - Travel to Holiday World (3 hours)
Wednesday – Holiday World until 2:00pm
Wednesday - Travel to Indiana Beach (4.5 hours)
Thursday – Indiana Beach
Friday – Travel to Michigan’s Adventure (4 hours)
Friday - Michigan’s Adventure
Saturday – Travel to Cedar Point (5 hours)
Saturday – Cedar Point
Sunday – Cedar Point
Sunday - Travel home (6 hours)

The one change I wish I would have made is to stay at Holiday World a second night and stay just one night at Indiana Beach.

As for a Florida itinerary:

Later this year I'll be flying to Orlando. My tentative plans are to do Universal (2 days), Disney (2 days), BGT (1 day), and Seaworld (1 day). This will be more than what I usually attempt on my biennial Disney trips.

Kevin

Hehe, awesome Midwest itinerary.

I guess my big problem still is justifying the added cost of travelling from Seattle to the Midwest. The flights cost twice as much and there are no non-stop flights. I personally would rather ride X2 and Tatsu again than hit CP/KI/HW but one of my two kids really wants to try some new parks.

I'll probably end up just re-doing my Cali trip this year (went in 2008 and 2010) and hitting the new rides at SFMM and maybe trying to get down to SWSD and hitting the new Manta ride. My itinerary would look similar to your Florida one with DL/KBF/SFMM/SWSD in the mix.

Keep the tips coming ya'll. I do plan on trying to make a Midwest trip some time in the future and my kids may still try to talk me into it instead of Cali.

Sorry I am a little late to this discussion, but here is how I would justify going to the Midwest instead of another trip to Cali:

1. I did a very quick search on Travelocity, you can book a round-trip flight from Seattle to Columbus for $374 for a trip that leaves Sat. July 14 and returns Sat. July 21 (I just picked some random dates in the range you specified). That is only $108 more than what you said the Cali flight is.
2. It is widely accepted that Cedar Point is THE BEST park for roller coasters in the country. Kings Island also has several very good ones, including two great wooden ones.
3. You have already been to Cali twice (and I have been to those parks and dozens of others around the country, there is no comparison to Cedar Point).
4. At least one (if not both) of your children have shown an interest in doing something different. As someone said earlier, you don't want to wait until your kids reach that age where they don't consider going to the park with their parents a "fun" vacation.
5. Ten years from now, you won't remember that the trip cost an extra $432 in airfare (and if you do a little research, you may find something even cheaper), you will remember taking your family on the best roller coaster vacation of their lives!

We have taken many trips together as a family and I can tell you that my two sons (22, 20) spend more time talking about (and comparing) all of the different coasters they have been on than anything else we have done.

Don't wait. Do the Ohio trip this year!

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/27/12 1:33:08 PM
CoasterSparty said:

Kings Island also has several very good ones, including two great wooden ones.

And hands down the best drop tower I've ever been on! When I went a few years back I'm glad I didn't go on that until late in the day or I might not have ridden anything else. ;~)

Jen

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/27/12 2:24:10 PM
CoasterSparty said:

Sorry I am a little late to this discussion, but here is how I would justify going to the Midwest instead of another trip to Cali:

1. I did a very quick search on Travelocity, you can book a round-trip flight from Seattle to Columbus for $374 for a trip that leaves Sat. July 14 and returns Sat. July 21 (I just picked some random dates in the range you specified). That is only $108 more than what you said the Cali flight is.
2. It is widely accepted that Cedar Point is THE BEST park for roller coasters in the country. Kings Island also has several very good ones, including two great wooden ones.
3. You have already been to Cali twice (and I have been to those parks and dozens of others around the country, there is no comparison to Cedar Point).
4. At least one (if not both) of your children have shown an interest in doing something different. As someone said earlier, you don't want to wait until your kids reach that age where they don't consider going to the park with their parents a "fun" vacation.
5. Ten years from now, you won't remember that the trip cost an extra $432 in airfare (and if you do a little research, you may find something even cheaper), you will remember taking your family on the best roller coaster vacation of their lives!

We have taken many trips together as a family and I can tell you that my two sons (22, 20) spend more time talking about (and comparing) all of the different coasters they have been on than anything else we have done.

Don't wait. Do the Ohio trip this year!

Thanks tons for your post.

Reading through here and other forums has convinced me to make that Midwest trip, but next summer. I've already booked travel to Cali and am looking forward to seeing what they've done with CA and hopefully riding LL:DOD and Manta assuming they are finished on time.

I noticed that you can get some dirt cheap fares from KC to somewhere near CP (Columbus, Dayton, etc....) So, what I plan on doing next summer is flying into KC to visit family (that's where I grew up) and maybe even attending my 30th high school reunion. I'll buy a Cedar Fair Platinum pass and hit up WOF while I'm there. Then a short flight to Columbus and hit up CP and KI.

That's my current game plan.

Happy coasting!

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 4/27/12 3:31:49 PM
Out of curiosity, have you ever visited Silverwood? I've never been there. Just wondering how good Tremors and Timber Terror are.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/27/12 5:54:55 PM
frontrow said:

Out of curiosity, have you ever visited Silverwood? I've never been there. Just wondering how good Tremors and Timber Terror are.

Nope, it's quite a drive to get there from here. According to google it's 338 miles so 6+ hours with breaks I would think.

We have Enchanted Village nearby that has a couple of baby coasters. I haven't been there in a while but my kids have.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by depotrat at 4/27/12 6:37:24 PM
How about flying into KC, get a one way car rental then:
WOF 1 day
SFStL 1 day
Holiday World 1 day
Kings Island 1 day
Cedar Point 2 days
Fly home from Cleveland or Detroit.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 4/27/12 7:47:48 PM
depotrat said:

How about flying into KC, get a one way car rental then:
WOF 1 day
SFStL 1 day
Holiday World 1 day
Kings Island 1 day
Cedar Point 2 days
Fly home from Cleveland or Detroit.

Definite possibility.

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 5/6/12 3:43:53 PM
depotrat said:

How about flying into KC, get a one way car rental then:
WOF 1 day
SFStL 1 day
Holiday World 1 day
Kings Island 1 day
Cedar Point 2 days
Fly home from Cleveland or Detroit.

What's the better park, SF St. Louis or SF Kentucky Kingdom?

If the flight into Louisville were cheap enough it might be worth hitting SFKK instead of driving KC to St. Loius and St. Louis to HW?

Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by depotrat at 5/6/12 5:02:08 PM
Kentucky Kingdom has been closed for at least a couple of years. Some word it may reopen in 2013 but I wouldn't bank on it.
Re: What would your Florida or Ohio itinerary look like? by lk2500 at 5/6/12 8:29:05 PM
depotrat said:

Kentucky Kingdom has been closed for at least a couple of years. Some word it may reopen in 2013 but I wouldn't bank on it.

Ah, lol. Saw it on this map:

http://www.coasterimage.com/north-american-theme-parks-usa-amusement-parks/

Thanks,