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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast?

Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast?

Aragia Aragia Profile

Posted:
5/29/12 at
7:02:42 PM

Hello everyone, I've been a lurker for awhile but finally decided to post to get some votes on which trip to plan. My fiance and I are taking a full week off next week to go on some coaster trips. We frequent BGW as it's only 30 mins from us, and have a platinum pass for their chain. We also just got a Cedar Fair platinum pass through KD and are going there Friday to activate it for the first time (I've never been to KD - he has). He has a lot more coaster experience than I do, but there are a lot of parks we've never been to. In the past, I have been to KI, Elitch Gardens and BGT, although in Tampa we had driven 17 hrs through the night to get there before going to the park, and ended up only riding Gwazi (which I loved) and some family rides before leaving as both were feeling sick.

Anyways, backstory aside, I have two possible trips planned out. One is to go south, with the final destination of BGT again and Adventure Island, also stopping at Sea World Orlando, Six Flags over GA, and Carowinds either on the way down or back. The other option is heading north, stopping at Six Flags America, Great Adventure, Dorney Park, SF New England and after that either going to Cape Cod for some beach time or heading up to Great Escape (depending on whether or not my friend near the park has had her baby yet and I can visit her). I can't decide which parks are better to visit, and also which we can get the most out of - if we go south we can spend 2 days each park, on the north leg only 1 day each. I'm not sure if that's enough time, especially for GAdv. So any advice from people who have been to these places is greatly appreciated.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by cellocoasterdude cellocoasterdude Profile at 5/29/12 8:25:31 PM
Hi,

I would strongly recommend that you go to Lake Compounce if you go to the northeast. Boulderdash is one of the best woodies, and the park has a lot of charm. If I remember correctly, it is not that far from SFNE.

Have fun,

-Tim

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/29/12 8:40:42 PM
If you decide on the northeast - get a Flash Pass for SFGAdv - you can easily do it in one day then. I have only been to SF America, Dorney and SFGAdv is my home park so I'm a bit biased to it, LOL! I actually hate Dorney but that was because I had a terrible experience there and would never give them one penny of my money again but since you have a season pass...

SFA was a nice park but not a lot to do. I went during the heat wave last year and I rode every coaster within 2 hours before they closed and nearly died of heat stroke - but I thought it was a quaint little park and I'd go back someday.

SF New England I've never been to b/c I'm a Yankees fan and they won't let me in LOL!

Personally, I think your south trip sounds better. SFGAdv is the only great park in the north trip where you have several great parks in the southern one. I've only been to the FL parks but I hear wonderful things about SFOG and Carowinds and would like to go myself one day.

Welcome to the board and have fun in whatever you decide!

Jen

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by Aragia Aragia Profile at 5/29/12 10:18:13 PM
Thanks everyone!

Jen, that's helpful to know - see for some reason I thought the northeast parks were so great and the southeast wouldn't have as much to offer. I guess I bought into all the nonsense on the Six Flags site about how the parks all have the world's best roller coasters haha. NJ is only a few hours from me, so I can easily go up there for a couple days on another trip and return to Great Adventure everyday until I ride everything. I can't stomach the thought of paying for the flash pass, personally. I looked it up and it would be over $200 for both of us on the day we would be there, if we got the gold. It also annoyed me that the water park and safari are extra, so we couldn't even do that while waiting if we just got the regular flash pass.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by alpengeistno3 at 5/29/12 11:49:27 PM
As a fellow Tidewater native, I would pick the Southern route for such a long trip (especially if all the parks are new to you either way). You can use your platinum BGE pass at Busch Tampa and Sea World and your KD Platinum pass at Carowinds. That's a huge chunk of parks there, since you didn't mention having a Six Flags pass. Plus, although you may not need 2 days, it helps to have it in your back pocket to use if you feel you need it.

Another thing to keep in mind, traffic going north can be a beast around Washington DC, Philly and NYC and there are a ton of tolls that will drive you nuts(and we aren't talking about the $.25 one that used to be on I-44 :) Going South, there are next to none and other than possibly a little bit around Atlanta and Orlando, traffic is nearly nonexistent.

If you really have your heart set on going North, get a Season pass for Six Flags at SFA. It will be around $60, but will get you in Gradv and SFNE as well as SFA, so that is 3 parks for the price of 1.

Hope you have a great trip!

Paul

PS
Don't let Jen poo-poo on Dorney for you. It is a great little park that is rarely crowded so you can get more than your fill of the major rides there, 2 of which are top notch right along Apollo and Alpengeist.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by RobLec RobLec Profile at 5/30/12 9:33:03 AM
Most of what needs to be said has already been said. Personally I favor the southern parks. We make the Florida trip most every year from where we live near KI. Carowinds and BGT alone would be worth the trip south, and everyone should experience USF/IOA at least once in their lives.

I know the northeast is touted as thrillride mecca, but for a young couple or family I believe you will find Florida more entertaining, especially with Carowinds thrown in. A stop SFOG or Wild Adventure might also be worthwhile, but honestly your trip would be complete even without those two.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 5/30/12 12:36:33 PM
I've done everything but the West Coast. Id suggest the I-95 tour With SFGADV, SFNE Dorney is a bit off the path but doable.

Don't miss Rye Playland, Right off 95 just north of NYC, Lake Compounce is also easy stop. Ride the Skyride off the granite cliff and Bouderdash.. Another possible stop is Canobie in Boston.

Rye has nothing increadible except its location, history and lots to do but everything they have is good. (It might not be around much longer either)

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 5/30/12 12:54:27 PM
CoasterFanatic said:


Another possible stop is Canobie in Boston.

Canobie moved to Mass.? I've heard of moving individual RIDES...:)

Mike (couldn't resist, Chuck!)

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by squirrels at 5/30/12 12:58:17 PM
I've never been to the southern parks. I have been to a lot of the northern parks.

You already listed 6F-GAdv on your northern route. You CAN hit it all in a day, especially if you go on a weekday to dodge the crowds. It all depends on how well KdK is working. It doesn't run in the rain, and it faults out a lot even in nice weather. Despite that, I was able to ride it 2 1/2 times last time I was there. (the "1/2" was when we got out on the launch track and it faulted on us) If you want double-rides on everything, it may take a day and a half.

I've never been to Six Flags America, but I live in the general area. All reports I've heard are that it's overrun by PG County "thug life". Maybe if you go on a school-day it'll be better.

One park I don't see on your northern list is HersheyPark in Hershey, PA. If you're heading through PA and hitting Dorney, I'd advise looking into Hershey as well. Great family park, plus you have:

Stormrunner - Intamin launch coaster with inversions
Fahrenheit - Intamin looping/corkscrewing coaster
Great Bear - B&M Inverted-seating
Lightning Racer - GCI Racing woodie
SkyRush - Brand new Intamin wing-rider hyper
...and more!

Something to think about.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/30/12 9:18:21 PM
squirrels said:

I've never been to the southern parks. I have been to a lot of the northern parks.


You already listed 6F-GAdv on your northern route. You CAN hit it all in a day, especially if you go on a weekday to dodge the crowds. It all depends on how well KdK is working. It doesn't run in the rain, and it faults out a lot even in nice weather. Despite that, I was able to ride it 2 1/2 times last time I was there. (the "1/2" was when we got out on the launch track and it faulted on us) If you want double-rides on everything, it may take a day and a half.

I've never been to Six Flags America, but I live in the general area. All reports I've heard are that it's overrun by PG County "thug life". Maybe if you go on a school-day it'll be better.

One park I don't see on your northern list is HersheyPark in Hershey, PA. If you're heading through PA and hitting Dorney, I'd advise looking into Hershey as well. Great family park, plus you have:

Stormrunner - Intamin launch coaster with inversions
Fahrenheit - Intamin looping/corkscrewing coaster
Great Bear - B&M Inverted-seating
Lightning Racer - GCI Racing woodie
SkyRush - Brand new Intamin wing-rider hyper
...and more!

Something to think about.

I was just going to add exactly that - Hit Hershey if you go north.

And that's always my worst fear - being on the launch track and KK going down....

I didn't find SFA to be "thuggish" at all when I went but I was only there once last year for a few hours.

And you don't need the Gold FP - the regular is more than enough to do everything at least once and more likely two or three times on a week day in the summer. While you are waiting for your next ride on the FP you can go on another ride without a hellish line. The longest waits I ever had for the regular was around an hour and that was on opening day this year when no one knew what they were doing and it was a mess. It's usually anywhere between 20 - 45 minutes, depending on the ride and since you can input your next ride as you get on line for the current one, by the time you actually get off it's really like a 20 minute wait instead of 40 min. anyway.

Jen

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 5/31/12 2:31:38 AM
squirrels said:

I've never been to Six Flags America, but I live in the general area. All reports I've heard are that it's overrun by PG County "thug life". Maybe if you go on a school-day it'll be better.

If you've never been then you shouldn't form a personal opinion based off somebody else's experience. Period.

SFA is better to hit on the weekdays as the lines are a lot shorter. However, there will be a SF Season Pass Preview on 6/2 and 6/3 to ride Apocalypse, the relocated Iron Wolf coaster.

I've had good days at SFA, I've had bad days at SFA, and overall since 2007 there have been a lot more good days than a lot more bad days. In fact, SFA has ranked #1 in Guest Satisfaction throughout the past two seasons for the entire SF chain.

If you're just there for the coasters and not the waterpark, you can easily hit all the coasters as Jen said in about 2 hours. Wild One, IMO, is one of the most underrated coasters in this ocuntry.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 5/31/12 6:37:41 AM
I really don't know which area I would go to. Some of my favorite parks are in PA and NJ while I live in FL. For thrill seekers it would come down to Hershey + Dorney + SFGAV vs. Carowinds + SFOG + BGT. All three of those in the north are in my top ten parks, but two of my top five coasters are in those places to the south (Goliath @ SFOG and Intimidator). Go to the north. If there are small family members involved, go to the south. Everyone has something for them down here. Hershey is the only place up there that has enough for kids.

[ I'm sorry that I have never been to New England. Western PA, western NY and Ontario are planned for NEXT year. ]

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by Coaster316 at 5/31/12 8:18:20 AM
Personally, I'd go with the Southern trip. It seems to have a better variety of parks than the northeastern trip does.
Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by MABrider MABrider Profile at 5/31/12 8:40:58 AM
Ashley,

I personally feel a coaster enthusiast can't win in deciphering discussions like this.
Why?

Because every park mentioned above has a top notch coaster that "shouldn't be missed" by any enthusiast worth his/her salt, so to speak.
And many of those parks have multiple great coasters, according to "us."

Heeding others opinions pre-visit/pre-ride is like reading movie or stage reviews: throw them away and just experience the show for yourself.

I mean, really, if you want to go to a new-to-you park, will you NOT, if one of "us" says they had a bad experience?
Would you NOT ride a coaster that someone else was not satisfied with?
I hope not; go, and ride, and then see if you agree with what others have said, or not.

To me, it comes down to which trip will work best "right now" in one's life circmstances.
That other trip may work better "next time" (next season or the one after that, or after that...).

* This post was modified at 5/31/12 8:41:33 AM *

Mike B.
Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by squirrels at 5/31/12 11:48:27 AM
Great_Ump said:

squirrels said:


I've never been to Six Flags America, but I live in the general area. All reports I've heard are that it's overrun by PG County "thug life". Maybe if you go on a school-day it'll be better.

If you've never been then you shouldn't form a personal opinion based off somebody else's experience. Period.

I've had good days at SFA, I've had bad days at SFA, and overall since 2007 there have been a lot more good days than a lot more bad days. In fact, SFA has ranked #1 in Guest Satisfaction throughout the past two seasons for the entire SF chain.

Well that's interesting news.

I'm not saying anything about the coasters...I'd love to go check them out. If someone says to me, "the crowds can get rowdy", I'm still willing to give it a chance. If people say, "try not to get stabbed", that's a different story entirely. Even if I only half-believe them, I don't like the idea of going to a theme park half-expecting to get jumped.

Maybe everyone DOES exaggerate. I've been to PG County, though...I went to UMCP for 4 years. And I'm not even squeamish myself...I was at the premier of "He Got Game" at Beltway Plaza Mall. But if I'm taking my wife or my friends there, it's a little bit different story.

This is the first place I've ever heard that "it's not that bad". So maybe I need to form a new opinion...maybe I'll ask around some more.

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/31/12 12:05:07 PM
Great_Ump said:

In fact, SFA has ranked #1 in Guest Satisfaction throughout the past two seasons for the entire SF chain.


Once again I have to agree with Joe. When I was there it was brutal weather - around 105 F - and I had some trouble navigating the park. Anytime I asked for directions to a particular ride the employee would actually walk me there! That has never happened at any other parks I've been to. When I was going on Superman I only had a bottle of water and there were a few employees around the lockers so I couldn't be sneaky and hide it. I asked one if I could just leave it near the lockers and he said "no problem - enjoy your ride". That would NEVER happen at SFGAdv. The nicest, most helpful employees I've encountered and this was on a brutally hot day when I'm sure they were extremely uncomfortable.

Wild One, IMO, is one of the most underrated coasters in this country.

Agreed again - LOVED it!

Jen

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/31/12 12:11:56 PM
squirrels said:

If someone says to me, "the crowds can get rowdy", I'm still willing to give it a chance. If people say, "try not to get stabbed", that's a different story entirely. Even if I only half-believe them, I don't like the idea of going to a theme park half-expecting to get jumped.

Exactly which parks are you in danger of getting stabbed/jumped in? Maybe back in the 80's/early 90's before they had metal detectors there were some parks with questionable security and bad elements, but in our present day?


This is the first place I've ever heard that "it's not that bad". So maybe I need to form a new opinion...maybe I'll ask around some more.

Here's an idea - why don't you just go yourself and form your own opinion. :~)

Jen

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 6/1/12 6:40:22 AM
GoYanks34 said:

Exactly which parks are you in danger of getting stabbed/jumped in? Maybe back in the 80's/early 90's before they had metal detectors there were some parks with questionable security and bad elements, but in our present day?

I would have said that the Six Flags parks in higher crime areas like Atlanta, DC, or New Jersey would have made me feel the most uneasy. I believe New Orleans and Houston actually had a few "events" that inpacted on whether they stayed open. After going to Six Flags Over Georgia last year my few on this has changed. There was a ton of security at the front and it was quite clear that they had zero tolerance for any monkey business. You basically could not enter the park with anything medal other than keys, watch, and cell phone. If you are going to start trouble you are going to have to throw trash. "Food Fight"!! (Ok, now I am joking.)

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 6/1/12 11:02:02 AM
Jen,

We're agreeing on WAY too much lately.

But the Yankees still suck.

Go O's!

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 6/1/12 2:42:11 PM
Great_Ump said:

Jen,


We're agreeing on WAY too much lately.

But the Yankees still suck.

Go O's!

Joe
Great_Ump

Thats right, The Reds Spanked the Yanks! Poor Jen!

Baltimore who?

Re: Decision to make: North east coast or south east coast? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/1/12 9:09:53 PM
Great_Ump said:

Jen,


We're agreeing on WAY too much lately.

But the Yankees still suck.

Go O's!

Joe
Great_Ump

LMAO! I actually have a "Baltimore Blows" shirt somewhere in my mother's attic from way back when we were actual rivals. I will have you know that I absolutely LOVE Cal Ripken Jr and he is the only non-Yankee bobble-head allowed on the bobble shelf. And Camden Yards is beautiful - much better than that concrete hole we have now. And I also agree that the Yankees suck right now too so there we are, agreeing again! :~)

I'm still bitter that they tore down my stadium, can you tell? And you guys know I can hold grudges *cough* Dorney *cough*

Jen