Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > How Far Do You Drive?

How Far Do You Drive?

gvlaker27 gvlaker27 Profile

3/10/12 at
10:05:29 PM

After reading a few posts, I got to thinking about how far (or not far) many of us drive to get our fix, and how much we spend on gas.

I've read quite a few posts about some URCers who are within an hour drive of a home park and are able to get out very often. Coming from Mid-Michigan, I'm in a bit of a 'dead zone,' or so it feels sometimes. I'm just over 3 hours from my home parks, Michigan's Adventure and Cedar Point, and 5 hours from King's Island.

While all these are awesome parks, it can be a big hassle planning trips. I've always wanted to be within a short drive of a park.

That being said, how far do you drive to your home park? Or your favorite park? What factors into how far you're willing to travel?

For me, it's all about Shivering Timbers. MA will likely be the only park I'll visit for the next couple summers. A big variable that factors into that for me is the crowds. I don't want to drive 3 hours to CP and only ride a single digit number of coasters. I'd stay the night, but it just isn't worth it for me. Your thoughts?

Re: How Far Do You Drive? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 3/10/12 11:16:21 PM
My home park is Kennywood and is about 25 minutes. Hershey, Waldameer, and Cedar Point are 3 hours away and I usually do a day trip. There are numerous parks within 8 hours. That's the distance I feel is very management. I have driven 15 hours to central Florida, and over 20 hours to Texas. If I'm motivated, New England to Texas and everything in between is drivable. I traveled 12 hours last summer for Hades at Mt. Olympus. The key to any long drive is breaking the time up by visiting multiple parks on my to and the way home from my destination. For example, on the way to Texas I stopped at Holiday World, then SF St. Louis, then Worlds of Fun, then onto Texas. When planning a coaster trip I try to do it in a loop and never drive more than 8 hours in a single day. When you do it that way you actually forget how far away from home you really are.
Re: How Far Do You Drive? by drachen drachen Profile at 3/10/12 11:18:50 PM
If I were single, without kids, I'd drive everywhere I needed to go to fulfill my quest to ride all of the wooden coasters in North America.

Living in the Northeast, I'm fortunate that there are many parks within a day's drive from me, with the closest major park being within 45 minutes and there are a number of large parks within a 3-hour drive from my house.

I like to do day trips to and from parks or parks close together that either I've never been to, or have added a new roller coaster. The farthest I'll drive, without spending the night, is about 5 hours. But that also depends on whether or not I can fully experience the park in a day.

If it's further than that, I'll still drive it, but hotel accommodations are in order. If it's a major trip, I'm including the wife and kids.

Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: How Far Do You Drive? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 3/11/12 12:35:35 AM
SFGAdv used to be about 45 min to 1 hour for me depending on traffic, now I'm a sweet 20 - 25 min away (per mapquest - I'm sure I can cut that time down!). I will drive to Hershey for a day trip - about 2 1/2 hours. Hershey is about as far as I'll go for a day trip - I'm way too tired after a day at a park, especially if it's a scorcher, to drive any further than that. As I drive to Hershey I do pass Dorney and naturally flip the bird at it. I always wonder how many people driving around me think I'm flipping them off for no apparent reason :~)

For other parks like CP, KI, SFA, KD, BGE etc I'll stay overnight, sometimes 2 nights (get there one night - go to the park - home the next day, so I'm rested and can enjoy it). As far as driving for an overnight stay I'd say around 8 - 10 hours max and the farther it is the more likely it's a 2 day stay. It's always nice when you have multiple parks on a route like BGE, KD and SFA - can get much done in a few days but boy it's exhausting! (but worth it!)


Re: How Far Do You Drive? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 3/11/12 7:02:36 AM
I'm in Jersey like Jen, but times will be a little different. I'll give you three guesses why, and the first two don't count.

About 90 minutes to bothe GAdv and Dorney. Hershey, Knoebels, 3-3.5 hours. Those are day trips, although I have stayed overnight near Hershey and Dorney...Even GAdv..when circumstances dictated. I've done Compounce and SFNE as day trips, but that's a 3-4 hour drive. BGW and KD require overnight stays and a 5-6 hour drive if I DON't hit messy traffic..which I always do. Cedar Point and KI are 10 or so hours.

The furthest from home I've ever driven was to SFGam, but I had been at KI, Geauga, CP, Beech Bend and Holiday World on that trip before heading to Illinois, so that was not a straight trip. I went straight home from Chicago, though..Since I left late in the day after dropping someone in the city, I had to overnight in Ohio. The total drive time was about 12 hours.


Re: How Far Do You Drive? by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 3/11/12 10:33:33 AM
I'm an hour from Cedar Point but I would rather take the 3.5 to 4 hour drive to Kings Island. I'm also 1.5 hours from Waldameer, 2 hours from Kennywood, 4 hours from Darien Lake and Martin's Fantasy Island.

Farthest I've driven to a park was 9 hours to Carowinds last year and SFStL in 2010 and the farthest back home was the 13 hours from SFOG back to Cleveland last year.


Re: How Far Do You Drive? by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 3/11/12 11:12:19 PM
I'm fortunate to be in the North East. So it's awesome to have things within 3 hours.

- Dorney
- Hershey
- Morey's Piers
- SF Maryland (almost 3 hours)

So I would do any of those without thinking. I'm 45 min from Great Adventure so that's where I go the most, and it's my favorite park.

I've driven to Six Flags Great America, Michigan's Adventure, and Mt. Olympus and those were a hikeeee. 3 day trip for two of em, and I just hit Michigan's adventure while in the state another time.

If it's around a 4 drive I suggest doing other things in the area and making a 3 day trip out of it. I did that while going to BGE and KD.

With all of that said, I don't think there is a limit to just how far I would go to ride a ride. I want to take trips to other countries to ride coasters such as Germany, Japan, and China. So it's not about far it is to me, it's just about the rides and park at the destination. I love so much about the experience so it's just a passion of mine that won't be hindered by distance!

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: How Far Do You Drive? by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 3/12/12 2:32:37 PM
I live in Central Maryland so here are the distances for me:

Day Trips:

SFA - 30 mins

KD - 2 hours through DC during non-rush hour
3 hours through DC during rush hour
3 hours through Southern MD along US 301

Hershey - 90 mins

Dorney & SFGAdv - 3 hours

Trimpers and Jolly Rogers (Ocean City MD) - 2 hours

BGW - add 45 mins to the KD times

Parks that I've driven to for overnight stays:

Cedar Point - 6-8 hours depending on how much construction on PA turnpike

King's Island - 7 hours

Kentucky Kingdom - 8 hours

Holiday World - 9.5 hours

Darien Lake - 6 hours


Re: How Far Do You Drive? by hersheyworker hersheyworker Profile at 3/14/12 3:33:21 AM
Hershey is only 25 minutes from where I live.
Re: How Far Do You Drive? by DarkwingDuck DarkwingDuck Profile at 3/27/12 7:36:29 PM
Your thoughts?

last year I had a death wish...LoL so I did drive to all SF from MA to GA... skipped KD... Did both BG... and SW in Orlando, Drove to CP then back to Hershey Park... I am from Pa :)... this year I think am only heading to SFGAdv and BGE(have the 2 yr pass)...