Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster

Ad
Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > 1st California Trip.

1st California Trip.

chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile

Posted:
9/5/12 at
8:59:45 PM

I am excited about taking my first coaster trip to California in the summer of 2013.I am not sure who the California expert is on this site but I would like some advice.I guess first off I would like the top 5 parks to visit strictly for thrill value.I was thinking both six flags parks and both Cedar Fair parks to start plus I don't want to miss Santa Cruz Boardwalk.Would that be the best five parks to visit??

Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/5/12 10:59:19 PM
I don't know how you can go to California and not go to Disney.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is clearly the leader for thrills. Knott's is second. California's Great America is a nice park, but has a weak lineup of roller coasters. The GCI coaster will help a lot.

I like the Santa Cruz Boardwalk from a nostalgic stand point, but I would never bother to visit for the roller coasters. Giant Dipper is a mediocre wooden coaster that California enthusiasts prop up since they've got nothing else to talk about.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/6/12 2:47:57 PM
I am not a Disney guy at all.I will have to look into what the thrill factor is at Disney.Maybe I should do Universal? I am surprised I am not getting more of a response on this.I thought we had some California experts on this site??? I just need some suggestions on how to handle a California park vacation.
Re: 1st California Trip. by JasonInSoCal at 9/6/12 3:27:50 PM
If I were you I would do the Disney parks, Knotts, Universal, and SFMM.

I understand your trip is primarily about thrills, Disney is on the tame side, but it is an experience. Disneyland is absolutely top notch and with the addition of Cars Land, DCA could be about 5-6 hours well spent with the E-ticket attraction ride in Cars Land, Tower of Terror, Soarin', the Rapids ride, California Screamin' and also Toy Story Mania.

Knotts has a few decent thrills, Xcelerator, Montazooma's Revenge, the very underrated Silver Bullet, Supreme Scream, and Ghostrider. The Boomerang is ride-able but it's a boomerang... There is a rumor about a possible Giga but who knows... The thing that makes Knotts a must visit is the Old West portion of the park.

Universal, is personally, my favorite park in Southern California. Transformers is amazing, the Mummy is very fun, and Jurassic Park, I find to be superior to Splash Mountain due to the huge drop and during Summer they turn on extra water to get you soaked!The Simpsons is a fun little simulator. That is it on the ride side, but they also have a great 45 minute tram tour which includes the Kong attraction. All the shows are top notch. I would also suggest going to Samba for lunch. It's a Brazilian All-You-Can-Eat restaurant located on CityWalk.

Six Flags is king of thrills for SoCal. The location and operations can be described as sub-par at times. It is HOT during the Summer and the park doesn't do a great job of keeping guests cool. Also, depending on the day, operations range from mediocre to good (and this is an improvement in recent years). Don't eat at this park, leave and come back, there are quite a few places to eat at within 3 miles of the front gates. If SFMM was a stand alone park in another market, I think it would be more highly regarded due to all it's thrills. However, quite frankly, all the other parks are ran so much better that a day at Disney, Universal, and Knotts is just better.

The NorCal parks are about 6 hours North by driving up the 5 freeway. Nothing up there, in my opinion is worth the 6 hour drive.

I hope this helps, I've been around this board for years but 99% of the time I just read stuff. I will be getting a little bit more active since in the past year, I have been attending more parks in California and am planning to go to Cedar Point in May of 2013.

Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/6/12 3:41:00 PM
I'm born and raised SoCal so I know the parks, but if you're not a Disney guy I don't really rate the area that high. Disney is the place to go. I wouldn't bother going to Universal. If you don't like Disney there is no point in going to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/6/12 3:55:33 PM
Well i guess I don't want to bother with Disney and Universal because we have those parks here on the East coast in Florida.Is there any difference between California Disney and Florida Disney??
Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/6/12 4:00:09 PM
Thanks for all the info Jason.I appreciate anything you can help me with.I have to do Northern California because I wanna visit the number one rated Seaside Amusement Park.Vera Cruz looks beautiful!!! More importantly though I have to go to Great America for the new GCI woodie that is being built there.Looks like it is gonna be awesome!!!! I also buy Cedar Fair and Six Flags passes every year so I midas well visit whatever parks I can with my passes.
Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/6/12 6:28:12 PM
chitlins73 said:

Well i guess I don't want to bother with Disney and Universal because we have those parks here on the East coast in Florida.Is there any difference between California Disney and Florida Disney??

From the ride list it seems more or less most of the thrill rides they have at DL are similar to DW. But I think Carsland and the boardwalk section of the 'California' half look neat. I haven't been to DL and would give it a shot. Try it once and then you can see if it's worth coming back to. With the more 'compact space' it seems better than Disney world as everything is spread out and you'd be lucky to visit 3 of the 4 parks in a single day.

No one mentioned SF Discovery Kingdom? I haven't been there, but wouldn't that be worth a trip?

* This post was modified at 9/6/12 6:30:09 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/6/12 6:48:59 PM
I am definitly gonna do Discovery Kingdom.That parks looks like fun because it has a little bit of everything including marine life and animals. Nine coasters also!!
Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/7/12 1:54:36 AM
chitlins73 said:

Well i guess I don't want to bother with Disney and Universal because we have those parks here on the East coast in Florida.Is there any difference between California Disney and Florida Disney??

There is a huge difference between the California and Florida Disney parks. Disneyland is superior to Magic Kingdom and California Adventure offers more than the three other Florida parks combined. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is my favorite theme park combo. I've been a passholder at Disneyland for 20 years.

Universal Orlando is my second favorite theme park combo and when I'm in Orlando I spend more time at Universal than at Disney. However, I don't even try to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. If I go there once every 10 years I'm good.

I can respect the fact that you're not a Disney person. In your case you can't go wrong with Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's. Six Flags Magic Mountain has an impressive lineup of coasters and you may want to spend two days at the park. It's a shame that GhostRider at Knott's is no longer any good, but I love Silver Bullet and Xcelerator. Montezooma's Revenge is also a classic, plus both Pony Express and Jaguar are unique roller coasters.

I've been to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom when it was Marine World. Medusa is an interesting B&M floorless coaster and at one time Roar was notable since it was one of the first GCI wooden coasters and the first to have Millennium Flyer trains. I haven't been there since they added V2 and the newer Superman roller coaster. It's a nice Six Flags park.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/7/12 4:25:02 PM
Thanks for the suggestions Eric.Maybe I will take your advice and do one of the Disney parks.I am also a waterpark guy also.Do you know which waterpark out there is the most thrilling?
Re: 1st California Trip. by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/7/12 9:31:49 PM
I agree with Eric. I prefer Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom hands down. With the Orlando parks everything is so spread out with 4 different parks that it's exhausting just thinking about going to all of them while Disneyland has everything in one place and has a little bit of all the Orlando parks in it.

I'm already jealous of your trip - I was just there and didn't have time to really do very much. When I went to Knotts and passed the exit for Disney on the way I nearly cried b/c I didn't have time to go. :~(

Have fun!
Jen

Re: 1st California Trip. by rossrich66 rossrich66 Profile at 9/7/12 10:02:38 PM
chitlins73 said:

Thanks for the suggestions Eric.Maybe I will take your advice and do one of the Disney parks.I am also a waterpark guy also.Do you know which waterpark out there is the most thrilling?

Definitely agree with Eric and others on all counts given his understanding of what you're looking for (w/the exception that I believe the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper is more than mediocre...but that's coming from a native Nor Cal transplant to LA). In any case glad you've been sold on going to Disney. You might as well go to both parks which is doable in a day with the park hopper and the fact that they are right across from each other (you could run from gate to gate in 30 seconds). Disneyland is far superior as the original Magic Kingdom to its Orlando counterpart...and I think you'll have a blast on California Screamin coaster at DCA.

You'll like Six Flags Discovery Kingdom...it is a small Six Flags gem and you'll definitely like Roar since you're into GCI action (but Apocalypse at SFMM takes it to a whole new level).

CA Great America is the park I grew up with since the Marriott days and its definitely gone through hard times. But I'm glad it has a new lease on life and I'm optimistic the new GCI woodie heralds a new era for the park...enjoy!

Re: 1st California Trip. by glutton glutton Profile at 9/7/12 11:09:19 PM
chitlins73 said:

Thanks for the suggestions Eric.Maybe I will take your advice and do one of the Disney parks.I am also a waterpark guy also.Do you know which waterpark out there is the most thrilling?

I haven't been to many of the water parks in California recently, so I couldn't tell you which is most thrilling, but the nice thing about "Boomerang Bay" at Great America is that it is within the main park, you don't need to get separate tickets or leave the park to enter a different gate. It isn't that big a waterpark, but it has 3 raft/tube slides that are pretty fun, and 2 body slides for the adults & bigger kids, along with a lazy river, kids slides, and a wave pool.
As for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, it is a fun park, and I enjoy the mix of rides and animal attractions. But you must be counting the kiddie rides when you said there are 9 coasters there. I'd say there are 4 really good coasters there (Medusa, Roar, V2, and the new Superman, if it's WORKING!) Kong can be too jarring sometimes, and I really hate Boomerang.
Magic Mountain has an awesome collection of coasters, and it would probably be worth it to get a Flash Pass there if you're going in the peak summer season.
And I'm a big fan of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and especially the Giant Dipper. If you visit there on a weeknight (Mon-Thurs) during the summer, they have great discounts for the rides after 5pm. And did you know they're putting in a new spinning coaster for next summer?

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/8/12 3:21:21 PM
Yes.....I see quite a few parks are getting new coasters next year so I figured it should be a great year to finally do California!!
Re: 1st California Trip. by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 9/9/12 8:12:38 AM
I just wanted to say that it is over 400 miles from southern Los Angeles to Vallejo California (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). Even if you fly from one to the other, that would use a large part of a day. I see this as a TWO week vacation. That would give you time to try parks like Gilroy Gardens or SeaWorld also.
Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/10/12 12:52:14 PM
How many weeks is this trip? The drive from Southern California to Northern California eats up nearly an entire day. It's long and generally slow going.

As for waterparks there are no real stand outs among the ones I've been to. Southern California is a tough market for waterparks. They have to be located far inland to have consistently warm weather, but that means accessibility becomes an issue.

Wild Rivers Irvine was one of the more unique waterparks with interesting slides, but it closed last year.

Knott's Soak City Orange County isn't worth your time. It's a very generic park with not a single stand-out attraction. It's clean, which is a positive. Raging Waters San Dimas is a large waterpark, but tends to be very busy during the summer months. Again, most of the more interesting rides here have been replaced by generic off-the-shelf models. The amazing river complex was replaced by a multi-lane racer. The park's four body slides replaced by multi-rider raft rides.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor next to Magic Mountain is another large park with a good collection of slides. I would go here, but I won't because the clientele that visits the park is disgusting and in general the park makes me feel dirty. More than once I've watched thugs spitting on people below from the stairs on the slide towers.

Knott's Soak City Palm Springs is hard to get to and small. They have two slides that are interesting, but that's it. I used to frequent this park when it was called Oasis Waterpark in the 80s.

The one waterpark that I haven't visited is the former Pharoah's Waterpark in Redlands now called Splash Kingdom. It's an hour drive inland from Disneyland. I've been to the property, but not the waterpark. It looks like it has an interesting slide tower with the world's tallest, enclosed water slide (90-feet high). I wanted to visit the park this week, but they're already closed for the season in what is typically the warmest month of the year! The former management of Wild Rivers now owns and operates the park, so they'll keep it family friendly and clean, but they are marginal park operators at best.

Re: 1st California Trip. by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 9/10/12 5:03:53 PM
I'm not a California expert but I did this same trip in 2001. I recommend at least 1.5 to 2 weeks to fully enjoy yourself. The first week I was in LA and did SFMM, Knotts, Disneyland (not California Adventure since it had just opened), and Giant Dipper in San Diego. Second week was SFDK (was Six Flags Marine World at the time), Great America (then Paramount), and SCBB.

Personal recollections:

Though I had went to SFMM for a couple days they were not full days. While the coaster collection is great the park as a whole was a let down. Not sure if or how much of that has changed in eleven years but as a warning - don't go in with very high expectations.

Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz is miles above the one at Mission Beach but even the San Diego Dipper was decent at best. Loved Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with its oceanfront setting and overall atmosphere.

Did the drive from Valencia (where my LA hotel was) to Santa Cruz (where my hotel was for most of the week and was an easy walk down to the Boardwalk) via U.S. 101. It was about a six to eight hour drive.

Disneyland was not a part of my trip, I'm not a big fan of Disney either and I always thought Disney was for kids anyway, but my friend and I went anyway and I was blown away by the experience. Indiana Jones is still my favorite dark ride.

I really want to get back out there as there are many new credits I'd like to check out plus a few credits I didn't get before (Matterhorn was closed for rehab when I was there and finally visit California Adventure).

G-Dog

* This post was modified at 9/10/12 5:07:42 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/10/12 10:05:51 PM
I wanna thank all you guys for all the advice!! I wish I did have more time but I only get 15 days vacation all year and I usualy like to take two vacations instead of using all my days for one trip.The more I am reading all your thoughts,the more I am questioning my decision to do a California trip.Is it really worth the time and money??...lol.I understand they don't have many top ten coasters or any record breakers but hopefully I will discover a few new coasters I really like.I think I will do disny one day because California Screamin looks like a coaster that is worthy!! I am gonna keep doing more research and come up with 5 or six of the most worthy parks to visit.
Re: 1st California Trip. by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 9/12/12 7:08:43 AM
If Disney might be included and you are short of time, I would stay in the Los Angeles area. A couple top ten coasters might be there. Disneyland, California Adventure, Knotts, Universal, and Magic Mountain would be a nice trip with lots of new credits.
Re: 1st California Trip. by lk2500 at 9/12/12 1:12:46 PM
I've been three times now.

I would recommend flying into LAX early in the morning and do SFMM that day and spend a night or two near the park and do the next full day there as well.

Then I would head down and stay near Disneyland (walking distance) and also do Knott's from there.

I know you say you're a thrill guy but like the others say, it would be a shame to go to Cali and not do Disneyland. Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin', Soaring over California, Grizzly River Rapids, Splash/Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Matterhorn are all fun rides. Do try to soak in the atmosphere there. To "get it" for Disneyland and pick up tips maybe hang out on the disboards with all the Disney fanatics for a while. It is pretty cool to walk around and just notice all the details that go into the theming and watch all the families having fun with their kids. Spend a minimum of 2 days there so you don't have to hurry through everything. You could even get a 3 day park hopper and do Knott's in the morning/afternoon one day and then Disneyland at night - it's open until midnight and the atmosphere there at night is pretty cool.

* This post was modified at 9/12/12 1:17:00 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/12/12 6:12:40 PM
I would seriously consider just staying in the L.A. area except that there are two reasons to do North and South California.For one,I have a Cedar Fair pass and can get into those parks free but the main reason is that I do not wanna miss the new GCI being built at Great America.I love my wooden coasters too much to pass that up.Maybe I can take an extra day or two off to make up for my travel days.
Re: 1st California Trip. by AirBear AirBear Profile at 9/12/12 11:51:09 PM
It's been a while since I've posted, and I'm late to this party (as usual), but here's a couple thoughts ...

Have you considered a multi-stop flight, where you fly into SoCal to do that area, then fly from SoCal to the Bay Area to do the parks up here, then fly home from the Bay Area? That would allow you to do both areas without wasting a lot of time travelling in between. And I have found that sometimes 3-legged flights aren't much more than a typical roundtrip. Even if it is more expensive, it may be worth it for the time savings.

As far as the parks, everyone else covered that well. I would definitely include Disney, but then I go way back with Disneyland (like opening summer at the tender age of 8 months, which shows you how old I am). On the other hand, it's Magic Mountain for thrills hands down. It's been a few years since I've been to Knott's, so I can't speak to that one.

I would always recommend Santa Cruz Boardwalk to Bay Area visitors, but then that's my favorite of the local parks. As mentioned before they have summer discounts after 5pm Mon-Thur, and don't forget the free Friday Night Bands on the Beach summer concert series. Discovery Kingdom has a great mix of rides and animal stuff, rather unusual for a Six Flags park. And if you have time to squeeze it in Gilroy Gardens is unique if only for the Circus Trees and amazing gardens, even if it's a bit light on the rides (though they are nicely themed). It could easily be combined with the Boardwalk on one day.

Anyway, I'll crawl back into my cave now :-)

Rick W - AirBear (also looking forward to the new GCI at Great America)

Re: 1st California Trip. by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/12 6:23:26 AM
AirBear said:


Anyway, I'll crawl back into my cave now :-)

(Mr. Bill voice) Noooo!

Glad to see you're still 'round these here parts, Bear.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: 1st California Trip. by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/13/12 10:04:10 AM
AirBear said:
It's been a while since I've posted...

It's always great to hear from you Rick, but we don't see near enough of you. It's good to see that you are still in the game and I hope you've been well lately. Please pass along our best to Coleen also. Laurie and I think of you often and the great times we've had together.

We are in the midst of retiring and moving to Florida and frankly don't do park events much anymore... in fact we usually only get in a few rides before we're worn out and leave the park. But we'll always be enthusiasts. It will take us a while to get settled in but will have a guest apartment available if you want to visit the sunshine state and come sit on park benches with us someday.

Re: 1st California Trip. by glutton glutton Profile at 9/19/12 11:05:58 PM
AirBear said:

Anyway, I'll crawl back into my cave now :-)

Rick W - AirBear (also looking forward to the new GCI at Great America)

Hey AirBear, good to "see" you! I hope all's well. I keep expecting to run into you at SFDK or a Cal game!

Re: 1st California Trip. by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 9/21/12 6:22:16 AM
RobLec said:

AirBear said:
It's been a while since I've posted...


It's always great to hear from you Rick, but we don't see near enough of you. It's good to see that you are still in the game and I hope you've been well lately. Please pass along our best to Coleen also. Laurie and I think of you often and the great times we've had together.

We are in the midst of retiring and moving to Florida and frankly don't do park events much anymore... in fact we usually only get in a few rides before we're worn out and leave the park. But we'll always be enthusiasts. It will take us a while to get settled in but will have a guest apartment available if you want to visit the sunshine state and come sit on park benches with us someday.

Welcome to Florida! I work at a park here and play at a couple of others too. I have plans to go to new places until 2017. After that, trips to Ohio to visit my family may include coasters. Otherwise I'll just wait for the grandkids to ask to go see Mickey or Shamu.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/24/12 7:44:47 PM
I think I have been to all the major parks in California during the last five years. I haven't been to Gilroy Gardens or Santa Cruz, otherwise, I have flown down/rented a car AND driven my own car from Oregon.

My top thrill park for sure is SFMM. Tons of coasters, spend a few days there for sure. If you go in the summer, I highly recommend paying extra for the Flash Pass. Don't pay for X2. Just get there right when it opens and RUN to the line at least one day, maybe twice.

KBFF would be second for thrills. Xcelerator and Silver Bullet are quality and the other rides are fun enough to do. It goes almost hand-in-hand with Disneyland because of the proximity.

Disneyland is expensive ($220 for a 3 day parkhopper), but the rides are good. California Screamin' is probably Disney's best coaster and the parks are compact. If you work it right, you can ride everything in two days. Nothing super thrilling, but very entertaining.

Universal in Cali is a disappointment compared to Florida. Honestly, it's pretty low on my list. If you love movie stuff, it's OK, but the rides are Mummy and Jurassic park, then a bunch of simulators.

Seaworld is the same for me -- Florida was much better and has better rides. I will comment at the bottom about animal shows.

LegoLand is mostly for little kids. If you like Legos, go ahead and spend a day ogling the massive layouts all over, but don't expect much for rides.

In Northern California, I did SFDK in one day and rode everything multiple times. That was during the week in July. Longest wait was 40 minutes for Superman and it had just opened. Medusa is great and Superman is very good. The animals are fine, kind of a bit of a bonus.

It is a LONG way to drive between the Bay Area and LA, but there are lots of other things in the area. I stayed in Napa and enjoyed wine country, too.

Also keep in mind that can take quite a while to drive from Anaheim to Santa Clarita (Valencia) where SFMM is. Traffic can be TERRIBLE.

I would recommend staying in a hotel across from Disneyland with free parking (walk to the park and avoid parking headaches) then you can also drive to KBFF. Drive north and stay at a different hotel near SFMM for a couple of days. The Hilton Gardens is very close and has a free shuttle. It was great to just call them and have a pickup within a few minutes.

On a side note, comparing Disneyland to Disney World. I have been to DL five times in the last seven years. I have been to DW twice (2010 and this past May/June). DL is more compact, has a lot of similar/comparable rides and is much easier to do in a few days. DW has much more to experience. The thrill rides are very spread out, but there are a more of them. I really like to pay the extra and stay on property at DW, where I can swim, relax, go to a park for a while, eat, etc. At DL, I tend to hit the parks HARD and stay most of the day.

Universal in FL is really a great park(s). I went there after CA and it was hands down, far and away superior. The Hulk alone is worth the price of admission.

I really loved Busch Gardens in Tampa. They have the best bang for the buck, for sure. Excellent thrill rides and a superb animal habitat.

Personally, I am not a huge animal viewer. My wife and son are. We have been to the San Diego Zoo (largest variety), Disney's Animal Kingdom (stayed at the Lodge, too) SFDK, Seaworld (both) and Busch Gardens. They all have strong points. I think if I had to pick one, it would be Busch Gardens, followed by Animal Kingdom. The San Diego Zoo is older and has less natural looking habitat and a lot of great creatures actually in cages.

* This post was modified at 9/24/12 11:46:29 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/24/12 10:16:01 PM
Ok...so one question i have about the flash pass at SFMM.Do I get to choose where I ride or is it pre determined where flash passers sit??
Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/24/12 11:41:21 PM
The one I used was the regular FP. It just holds your place in line, but there are lots rides with short lines to do while it waits for you.

As for row placement, once you get to the front (where you break off into rows) it's pretty much everyone for themselves.

Six Flags (both MM and DK) let you choose the row and best rows (front or back) usually have a wait of several cars more than the middle rows.

IMO, Six Flags does a poor job of speeding things up at the front of the lines. No single rider lines, often empty seats and extended waits due to this.

Mostly, I used the FP for Tatsu, Goliath and what is now Apocalypse (Superman was closed for renovation). I bought a FP for one day. That day we did NOT run to X2. Instead, we maximized the FP. We did Tatsu twice, Goliath three times (one ride early in the AM was back-to-back), Terminator twice and w/o the FP rode Scream, Colosssus, Viper, Ninja and I think it was Batman. The latter ones were short/no lines. We also rode a log flume I think.

This was July 2010 during the week.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/25/12 6:21:32 PM
Ok......so what I can do is just buy a flash pass so I don't have to spend two days at Magic Mountain.I should be able to hit all the coasters in one day then.......correct??
Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/27/12 9:44:45 AM
You might be able to. They have a LOT of coasters. I would give yourself at least 2 days, though. If your time is that limited, pay the extra $15 or whatever to ride X2 and buy the more expensive FP. Otherwise, you might miss one of the best rides (X2, Tatsu, Superman) if one of the lines is very long.

Personally, I stayed several nights and rode every single coaster there. The ones I liked I was able to ride numerous times. At that time a season pass was about the same as 2 one-day passes, so we had a chance to leave the park and eat or do whatever. The hotel had a shuttle and was just a few minutes away. Santa Clarita is a nice, urban area with shopping and food. There was even a Costco not far away.

Keep in mind Magic Mountain is mostly all by itself north of Los Angeles. Unless you drive there in the middle of the night (after 9 p.m.) or maybe on a Sunday morning, traffic is terrible between Southern Los Angeles and there. With light traffic, it's 2 hours.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/27/12 5:32:31 PM
I don't know what you mean by paying extra to ride X2?? Is that an upcharge ride?
Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/28/12 1:46:01 AM
Yeah, you buy the FP for every ride but X2. Riding it without a line (extra fee with Gold or Platinum FP) costs an extra $15 I think.

IIRC, if you pay the $$ for it, they assign you a time. If you don't make it at that time, you are ou of luck. I though the whole thing was crap. They might have changed that policy, though. It was 2010.

The shuttle bus driver from our hotel told me about running to X2 first and she was totally right. She was maybe early or mid 20s and was a frequent park visitor. Loads of help from her during our trip.

Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/28/12 11:14:50 AM
I'd imagine X2 to be that park's signature ride like the way El Toro or Kingda Ka would be at GAdv. You need to get to that ride asap or you're SoL. When they did the time assignments, generally how much time did they give you? Like was it 3 hours later or just 'random'?

* This post was modified at 9/28/12 11:16:49 AM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/28/12 3:18:05 PM
I went in the summer of 2010. I was in the FP line with someone else for the Tatsu and he said they assigned you a time. They may have changed the policy since then. He may have been lying or misunderstood, also.

I had purchased the regular flash pass (holds your place in line). You need the Gold (cut in line) or Platinum (on the ride right away, get to ride twice) to buy the X2 pass.

X2 is the most unique coaster at SFMM with nothing else like it in the US. It is completely unlike anything I have ever ridden, so I would say certainly it is the "signature" coaster. To me, it is a 100 percent "must do" coaster.

IMO, Tatsu is also a "must do" but a lot of people aren't that big on flying coasters. Personally, it's one of my favorites. It's got a great setting on top of a hill and the Pretzel Loop is really special.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/28/12 4:51:54 PM
Wow!!.....just looked up the price for the Platinum pass. $187.00 for two people!!! I am really gonna have to think long and hard about that decision!! Do I spend two days at the park or get a FP and limit the time I have to use down to one day??? I hate decisions,lol.
Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/28/12 5:37:24 PM
chris92se said:

I went in the summer of 2010. I was in the FP line with someone else for the Tatsu and he said they assigned you a time. They may have changed the policy since then. He may have been lying or misunderstood, also.


I had purchased the regular flash pass (holds your place in line). You need the Gold (cut in line) or Platinum (on the ride right away, get to ride twice) to buy the X2 pass.

X2 is the most unique coaster at SFMM with nothing else like it in the US. It is completely unlike anything I have ever ridden, so I would say certainly it is the "signature" coaster. To me, it is a 100 percent "must do" coaster.

IMO, Tatsu is also a "must do" but a lot of people aren't that big on flying coasters. Personally, it's one of my favorites. It's got a great setting on top of a hill and the Pretzel Loop is really special.


The best flyer I've been on so far is Manta (and that's not saying much compared to the S:UF clones). I'd definitely love to ride Tatsu, it looks awesome.

Re: 1st California Trip. by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/28/12 5:44:36 PM
chitlins73 said:

Wow!!.....just looked up the price for the Platinum pass. $187.00 for two people!!! I am really gonna have to think long and hard about that decision!! Do I spend two days at the park or get a FP and limit the time I have to use down to one day??? I hate decisions,lol.

You don't need a platinum pass. The only difference between the platinum and gold passes are the platinum you get to stay on the ride twice in a row. If you have the gold FP the wait won't ever be more than 10-15 minutes and it will take that amount of time to get off your butt and walk back around. If you have a SF season pass you get $10 off the flash pass as well.

Jen

Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/28/12 6:16:48 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

The best flyer I've been on so far is Manta (and that's not saying much compared to the S:UF clones). I'd definitely love to ride Tatsu, it looks awesome.

I'm an odd ball. I like Manta, but really dislike Tatsu and so much so that I won't ride it at all. I feel absolutely ill after riding it. Manta is tolerable for a ride or two. I won't ride the Superman flyers either.

Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/28/12 7:42:07 PM
hem, well I obviously can't comment on Tatsu, but other than the still awkward feeling from the pretzel loop portion, Manta is good for a few rides. I think I got 8 rides in one day mostly because I got on the single rider entrance and bypassed the long lines waiting to get on. So perhaps maybe it's cuz I'm still young, but I have no issues with the flyers.

* This post was modified at 9/28/12 7:50:48 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/28/12 8:16:53 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

So perhaps maybe it's cuz I'm still young

Yeah, yeah, yeah..:)

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: 1st California Trip. by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/28/12 8:25:04 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

hem, well I obviously can't comment on Tatsu, but other than the still awkward feeling from the pretzel loop portion, Manta is good for a few rides. I think I got 8 rides in one day mostly because I got on the single rider entrance and bypassed the long lines waiting to get on. So perhaps maybe it's cuz I'm still young, but I have no issues with the flyers.

Rode my first flyer when I was 32 and I have hated them ever since so I'm not sure age has anything to do with it. They do nothing for me and I find them uncomfortable (I have long hair that I put in a pony tail at parks and this prevents me from holding my head up on the flyers). Some are more tolerable than others but I can't say there's one that I've truly enjoyed.

Jen

Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/28/12 10:40:23 PM
Well for Sea World, it's basically Manta or Kraken as far as dry thrill rides goes. If they had more choices I don't think i would have to take 8 rides on Manta. But I dunno, I don't find Manta bad at all (short line, for me and it's kinda fun to me). I kinda enjoy it partly over Kraken because Kraken's line is so damn long, they don't allow rerides even if there's no one on line and finally despite the 7 inversions, it feels 'forceless'.

But before I derail this thread, I'll just say 'to each his/her own'.

beastmaster said:

Cyclone_Phil said:

So perhaps maybe it's cuz I'm still young

Yeah, yeah, yeah..:)


Lol, well, gotta enjoy my youth while it lasts :) I have some catching up to do as I started this 'hobby' late in my teens.

* This post was modified at 9/28/12 10:49:40 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/28/12 10:54:30 PM
Manta is an amazing flyer!! Gave me the most g's I have ever felt on a coaster.That pretzel loop is insane.Me and my friends could not even keep our eyes open because the forces were so intense!! Puts the lame Superman flyers to shame!!
Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/28/12 10:56:00 PM
Jen......thanks for the Flash Pass info.I never use flash pass so I never knew the deal.Sounds like I should get the Gold.
Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/29/12 12:34:43 AM
It depends on the time of year you go. If it is the busy season (July, August or weekends) I would get the Gold for sure, especially if you are going to pay for X2.

I went during midweek and the regular FP was fine. I guess you are just planning for one day, which means it's likely you will kill yourself trying to do every ride. I had three days total with one day using the regular FP and that was a killer. I only did about half the coasters, but did Tatsu, Goliath and Apocalypse more than once (with the help of the FP).

The park is built on a hill and for some of the rides you need to walk up quite a ways.

As for Manta vs. Tatsu, I was lucky enough to ride Manta in Orlando just a few months after Tatsu. Manta was fun and seemed a bit smoother to me, but it is like a 2/3 version of Tatsu for thrill. Obviously, the Tatsu has a bigger pretzel loop, but the way Tatsu sits on top of a hill, you get a much bigger sensation of "flying" and although the actual height might be only 170 feet off the ground, you look down a lot farther and the elevation change on the ride is around 250 feet.

Manta goes almost immediately into the pretzel loop and it's sort of meh from there. Tatsu is much more intense throughout and has some very nice fast maneuvers before the loop (which comes near the end of the ride). The initial corkscrew and zero G roll give you the sensation that you might fly right off into the sky. Every time I ride it my heart races on those first two rolls!

Re: 1st California Trip. by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/29/12 10:13:37 AM
Wow!! Tatsu sounds awesome!! I have heard this same report from someone else I know that was out there.I am starting to think that Tatsu will top Manta for best flyer after I get a chance to ride.

I am not sur what month I want to head out there.I originally wanted to go in June but I think that would be risky because who knows if Full Throttle will be up and running by June.So I am thinking that it might be best to wait till August to make the trip.

Re: 1st California Trip. by chris92se chris92se Profile at 9/29/12 3:30:27 PM
It can be hot in August and September just to warn you. SFMM is more inland than say Disneyland or KBFF. It might be 85 at Disneyland, but 95+ at SFMM. The hot weather stays longer down there, too. This weekend will be near 100 degrees in Santa Clarita.

If you watch youtube videos of Tatsu, you will see what I am talking about. The ride is on top of a big hill and it drops down below the sides of the hill. It really does an awesome job of using terrain.

X2 cannot really be described until you actually ride it. :-)

Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/29/12 3:46:04 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

I kinda enjoy it partly over Kraken because Kraken's line is so damn long, they don't allow rerides even if there's no one on line and finally despite the 7 inversions, it feels 'forceless'.

What do you mean? The line for Manta is almost always longer than Kraken and if no one is there they've always let me stay on both of the coasters at SeaWorld.

I've ridden Kraken in particular multiple times without getting off the ride.

As for Manta I don't think the ride is meh after the pretzel loop. Two of the coolest parts of the ride come in the second half, the swoop into the pond and the turn around the waterfall. If you're on the right side of the train you can reach out and touch the water. There is nothing like that on Tatsu.

Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/29/12 3:54:31 PM
Manta has a separate entrance for single riders (i've been riding at least 2 years now). It's the same path where you exit, just around the ride's photo booth and you keep right till you see a set of doors with the single rider/'express pass' entrance sign. I dunno if you are by yourself or with someone, but since I'm always solo, I always take the single rider line whenever it is open. I've been on the regular line a few times at the beginning when I first got on in 2011, but that was before I knew about the 2nd entrance. Believe me, it saves you a lot of time. That's why it's shorter walking wise than Kraken's endless ramps.

The ride is pretty good, but for me, the pretzel loop sucks. The 'splash down' was the best feature of the ride including the close turn near the waterfall.

Do you have a special wristband/pass that allows for a reride? The ride op this year told me I needed that if I wanted to reride. I dunno if it was just the ride op or if it was park policy to deny 'regular' riders to have a reride. I'll check back when I go there next year.

* This post was modified at 9/29/12 4:01:47 PM *

Re: 1st California Trip. by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 9/29/12 4:11:34 PM
I've rarely been there when there is any line. Walk on for both. Manta I find has a line in the morning and that goes away as the day goes on.
Re: 1st California Trip. by alpengeistno3 at 9/29/12 7:57:36 PM
I had the same problem with Kraken. No one even on the train except the front row and yet they still would not let me reride. Manta wasn't short enough for a reride, but the line was nonexistent until an hour after the park opened. The grouper was a real pain with allowing me to choose my row, however.

Paul

Re: 1st California Trip. by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/30/12 12:38:11 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

I had the same problem with Kraken. No one even on the train except the front row and yet they still would not let me reride. Manta wasn't short enough for a reride, but the line was nonexistent until an hour after the park opened. The grouper was a real pain with allowing me to choose my row, however.


Paul

Exactly. Sea World is just anal about the reride policy compared to BGT. And just to be clear, 1) I'm relaying what I've been told and will check back next year. 2) It's not the end of the world as I will just go back the long line and ride again, but it's an inconvenience when there's hardly anyone waiting. And to me it appears the park is putting profits over guest satisfaction especially considering they have so few thrill rides. If anything they would try to accommodate the riders by allowing a simple request (just 1 reride on an empty line, not let me stay for 10 rides).

On Manta, a few times you can get lucky if you can get one of the 'line attendant' to allow you to pick a row. I saw one person (also a single rider) ask if he can get the front row and he was told to wait on the side till a party of 2 or 3 was found to take the front. But I'm there one the weekdays and I hardly ever see Manta empty to the point where no one is waiting on the row. But then again this is either June or August, so I dunno when Eric is visiting the park.

Re: 1st California Trip. by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 9/30/12 9:56:49 PM
I'll have to get back to you next year with my take on Manta vs. Tatsu.
I plan to shoot for late June in an attempt to avoid larger crowds and
the heigher temps while still having a chance at Full Throttle. I think
that I will need two weekdays at SFMM and would like to use just the
regular Flash Pass.

I live only 30 minutes from SeaWorld Orlando and have an annual pass.
Since I have probably been on Manta 50 times and Kraken about 100,
I never really cared whether I get a re-ride without going back around.
I never tried the 2nd entrance for single riders on Manta, but it is good
to know that it is there. I usually go during the week and avoid holidays,
so the lines have been short. (It was a little crazy back when it first
opened though.) I don't like being told what row to sit in, but rides
like that with low capacity need to keep the trains full.