2010 Theme Park Trips

Theme Park Tips

Summer officially begins in just a few days and it’s the height of the theme park season. This will be a slow year for me as we’ve got a young one at home and we’re still adapting to life with two kids. There’s a chance that I’ll make it back to Kings Dominion. Perhaps fittingly, I could be returning to my home park where it all started to ride my 200th roller coaster and Intimidator 305. I may also get to check out Family Kingdom thanks to a family trip to Myrtle Beach. Sadly, Freestyle Music Park won’t be open, but a ride credit on the fun-looking woodie, Swamp Fox, will lessen the sting.

With theme park travel in full swing I figured it’d be cool to discuss where everyone’s planning on going this year. And, if you need any advice on choosing which parks to visit I’ll try to help and I invite everyone else to chime in with their take too.

Where Are You Headed in 2010?
Are you sticking with your local park or headed on to a new park far from home? Are there any big roller coasters that you’re looking forward to or milestones in your coaster count? Leave a comment below and take the poll below.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


  1. I'm still in the planning stages, but right now Michigan's Adventure, Cedar Point and Six Flags Great America are all currently on the agenda.

    A mid August trip seems likely, ideally being CP, Kennywood, King's Island, Holiday World and then home. I'd like to head further into Pennsylvania, but after this years disaster trip to Hershey, I'm not sure I have it in me.

    • Are any of those parks new for you? That'll be cool if you can get to Kennywood to ride Sky Rocket. If you do, I'd love to hear what you think.

      And keep an eye out for Chang construction at Six Flags Great America. Maybe by then they'll start teasing it.

      • Kennywood and Holiday World will be new, and I really want to wear out the Beast and Diamondback. DB was so awesome last summer that she figured very high on my top ten list, I want to see if a second trip retains the awesome.

        But I really want to tear up the Voyage and Phantoms Revenge.

        • Curious to know what you think of Phantom's Revenge's finale. My memory of that ride has faded, but I hear that the end has some pretty good airtime. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing where you'll rank Voyage. I'm jealous that you'll get to ride it with the new timberliners.

  2. I`plan on going to ceader point, great adventure, hershey park, kings island and holiday world and possibly dorney.

    maybe in september or october i wil get back to mgic mountin where a week before i broke my coller bone and could only ride the littler rides

    • That sounds like a busy year. Plenty of world-class coasters in the mix. Are a lot of these parks new to you? Which coasters are you looking forward to the most?

      • its actually my first time for any of them so i am looking forward o all new coasters, the ones im most looking forward to would have to be mavrick, nitro, the voyage, and Fahrenheit because of its uniqness and obviously mellinuim and kingda ka because of thier sheer size.

        • El toro is easily one of the best coasters out there. can't miss it.

          • yes im very exited for that one too, i ill get to ride alot of top wooden coasters

        • oh i forgot the beast ive always wanted to ride it

  3. I'm shipping out to Wis. Dells tomorrow and the first thing there that I shall do (other than unpacking luggage), is Hades! See you Friday Afternoon!

    • Can't wait to hear how it's holding up. I love Hades although the finale was kinda rough and the park itself was run kind of poorly. Hold on tight if you ride in the very last seat of Cyclops. It's known for it's extreme ejector airtime. It's ridiculous borderline dangerous.

      • Hades update: Rough. The second time i rode it this vacation, I sat in the second seat of the first car. Nearly tore my arm off. Pain is still there. Starting small petition around hometown to get them to buy timberliners. As for the rest of the park, a new promo is on where you can enter the park from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. as long as you're staying at the hotel or spend $5 on ticket before you leave. Hades is awesome in dark. As for Cyclops ejector seat, Hades inflicted pain too great for that air. When ridden in front seat, I nearly jumped the divider between the two seats.

  4. This post makes me a little sad as I've already made all my planned theme park trips already! Been to KD, BGE, Hersheypark and Six Flags Great Adventure. If my wife and I make anymore trips it will probably be to BGE since we have season passes. My wife is kind of coastered out lol.

    • i don't realy see a reason to be sad, 'cuz that means you know what to tell everyone!

    • You don't want to burn out your coaster partner. She's a trooper for going to that many parks assuming she's not as big of a coaster fan as you are. I used to drag my wife to several parks a year when we were dating and then before we had kids. That's a pretty strong year though.

      • Yeah we have both grown to love coasters. i think the problem was we took one big trip over two days (hersheypark and Six flags NJ) and we ended up going to 4 parks in one month. on top of that we went 3 other times over two months so it was a little overboard. i was just coaster crazy for a minute. next year our goal is to go to cedar point and kings island. so far away though lol.

  5. I'm going to Six Flags New England, Lake Compounce, and Coney Island. I haven't been to any of these parks, and I am very curious to see how Bizarro matches up to Millennium Force and Maverick.

    • Most people tie darien lake into a trip like that, did you go there?

      • Never been there. I'm not planning on it, but would it be worth it. How does ROS compare to Bizarro at SFNE?

        • havnt ridden bizzaro but ros is great

          • Actualy, I've never been there before. but i have rideen Six Flags america's clone of it. it was realy fun and had some great ride elements, it didn't even compare to Bizzaro.

        • Your plans for a SFNE, Lake Compounce, Coney Island trip sound great. I took a SFNE-Lake Compounce trip back in '05. Boulder Dash and Bizarro in the same trip is quite a 1-2 punch. I tied Coney Island and Rye Playland into one trip last summer. If you can fit it in, Playland's inexpensive and has homey old-school feel. Here's my Rye Playland trip report. If you're tight on time, you already have a great lineup of parks.

          • I might consider that. Dragon Looks like a nice classic coaster, and I am also interested in the Zamperla Flyer (the guys at TPR call them Flying Rat Cages), simply because I did not get a chance to ride the one at Elitch Gardens before they took it out of operation.

      • Quil, Darien Lake's 6 hours from SFNE. Do you mean Great Escape is included into a SFNE trip?

    • Okay, I returned from my trip, which ended up including Coney Island, Lake Compounce, and Knoebels (that was a stretch, we did 8 hours of driving in one day to fit it in).

      Coney Island:

      Cyclone: 6/10- I got three rides in the back seat, and found it very violent with lots of ejector air. It was fun, but my back still hurts.

      Lake Compounce:

      Boulder Dash: 10/10- My new favorite coaster. The terrain, airtime, smoothness, and out of control feeling propelled it to the top of my list.

      Wildcat: 2/10- My new LEAST favorite coaster. This ride has one redeeming factor: historical significance. It was rough with no significant forces to speak of.


      Bizarro: 9.5/10- My new #2 steel (behind Maverick). The audio was thankfully not functioning in one train, so I got three audio free rides, which were awesome. My one ride WITH audio, in the back seat, is the reason the ride got a 9.5 instead of a 10. It shook a little in the helices, and the audio was one of the loudest experiences of my life. EVER. It nearly ruined the ride.

      Dark Knight: 7/10- Fun little floorless, but nothing special. Seating was assigned, but I was lucky enough to get a front row ride.

      Thunderbolt: 7/10- Fun, smooth, classic coaster. Looks like it could use a fresh coat of paint, but its ride makes up for it. It was the surprise coaster of our trip. I wasn't expecting much, but it ended up having generous amounts of airtime.

      Cyclone: 3/10- Coaster Critic's Favorite (Rolls Eyes)! Badly maintained trains. Too short first drop. Pretty rough. Not much air. Still, nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.


      Phoenix: 9.5/10- My first ride on Phoenix was dissapointing, with only decent air. However, on my next four rides, I was catapulted out of my seat. Excellent.

      Twister: 7.5/10- Rough. Primarily Airless, though there are a few noticable pops. Riding defensively significantly improved my experience. Despite this, I found it to be a very intense and fun coaster (which can only be enjoyed through defensive riding).

  6. I all ready went to King's Island this Summer. Diamondback was awesome. The Beast was a bit of a let down for me. I went to Six Flags Great America once, and I will probably go again. I'm going to make a trip up to Cedar Point in early August.

    • What about the Beast didn't you like?

      • I don't know it was pretty rough, didn't have airtime,

    • I loved Diamondback as well (all that floating air). I wasn't a big fan of the trims on Beast, but I really enjoyed my ride. What didn't you like?

  7. My wife and I will be heading to Busch Gardens in Tampa actually next week. We're Indiana natives and have made it to Kings Island in May and Holiday World at the start of June.

    Gardens looks to have enough thrill to keep a day going, but I am nervous of the heat and rain. Any tips would be appreciated.

    We have 2 young boys, 5-1/2 and 3-1/2. The 5yr old can ride up to 44 inches and I have had him on the Beastie and Thunder Mountain. He loved them both!

    I told my wife that once both are 48" we're hitting all the Midwest parks hard. I really enjoy coasters and parks over say boating at a lake. We have friends that travel 2 hours north almost every weekend to boat. But they really just float around in swallow water and drink beer. I have no interest in that. I love to get up early, hit a park and walk my legs off. It's great exercise and every half hour or so you get to plummet down to earth on a good coaster!

    • the heat in florida really isn't that bad. wear shorts and short sleeve shirts and lots of sunscreen. rain there really isn't too bad.

  8. Saw coaster critics comment. YES, if you are headed in the Pittsburgh direction. ABSOLUTLY hit up Kennywood and check out the sky rocket. It set to launch (date still tentative) on June 29th. If you go to their website http://auction.pittsburghfoodbank.org/ You can bid on the first ride! The highest 200 bids will be on the first launch. I've been keeping an eye on it, and there are only 9 bids!!!! This means $50 can get you on the first ride and into the park all day!!

  9. season pass to KD for me. Crypt is amazing, along with volcano. haven't ridden volcano this season, only once about 2 summers ago. but will definatly ride again. want to try crypt at night!

  10. I'm quite happy with how many parks I have attended this year. In March I headed down to Orlando, I went to SeaWorld, 3 Disney Parks, Universal Studios, Isls of Adventure, and Busch Africa. That was a whole lotta fun…to add to it I will be attending Dorney Park, Six Flags Great Adventure and Knoebels next week while I am visiting NYC. My coaster count has skyrocketed…hopefully in the fall I will be able to go down to SFOG to ride Goliath or St Louis to see Evil Knievel. In 2009 I went to Cedar Point, Hw, and Dollywood for the first time, and so far in 2010 I will have visited 10 new parks.

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