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2018 Plans. What's on your radar?

November 3, 2017, 12:02 PM · To go along with Robert's article about the United States of Theme Park Fans, I was wondering:

Now that the season is over for most of the regional parks, what parks are you thinking about visiting in 2018?

I'm also curious about why you are picking certain parks over others for next year's touring plan.

Replies (14)

November 3, 2017, 12:07 PM · ...and I guess I'll go first...

I'm planning on going to Cedar Point next year because I promised Jim Koehl I would....this goes back about 6 years ago when I said I would never ride Mean Streak again until Rocky Mountain Coaster fixed it.

I'm hoping that I can convince Jim to try and squeeze in Dollywood to our touring plan because I have never been.

My boys are still too small to make grand touring plans so while we will have a season pass to either Elitches or Santa's Workshop, I will likely not get any further stops in. I may try to get the kids out to Legoland in California in October or early February 2019.

November 3, 2017, 12:13 PM · I need to conserve funds after the long trip last year (and the visa for my fiancee thats coming up). However, I am hoping to take her to experience Alton Towers. I think the coaster formerly known as Air (I refuse to acknowledge the VR gimmick) will amaze her.
Edited: November 3, 2017, 12:31 PM · We have another trip to Universal Orlando coming up sometime in 2018 (don't know when yet, but hopefully after F&F opens).

We're also strongly considering a trip to Minneapolis in early July (we're baseball fans and try to take a couple road trips each season to see our teams and the O's play the Twins right after the 4th of July), so we'll likely hit Valleyfair and Mall of America.

We'll definitely be hitting Cedar Point as part of our annual trip to Ohio for my family reunion in early August.

Our big theme park trip next year will be to the southeast with visits to Dollywood, Six Flags over Georgia, and Carowinds. We were hoping to make that loop this past year, but it never worked out. However, the O's are playing the Braves in late July, so that gives us another incentive to put that trip together.

Aside from that, we'll be making our usual visits to BGW, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America, Six Flags Great Adventure, and possibly Dorney Park. At some point we'll head back up to Herseypark, but since we have to buy separate tickets for that park, it always gets dropped from our trips north. I've also been wanting to swing up to Knoebel's since Flying Turns opened, but it's always too far out of the way to make it worth while. My son's height may also drive some of our decisions (he's 49" right now), so if he hits 52"-54" by next summer, we'll be even more likely to visit the big coaster parks.

November 3, 2017, 2:42 PM · After visiting Cedar Point for the first time this year, I'm dying to go back. (Even more so after being tantalised by watching the Steel Vengeance construction.) Fingers crossed I can pull off a work trip to make that happen...

In Europe, the new coasters at Alton Towers, Blackpool and Phantasialand are likely to pull me back. And I want to make a first trip to Poland - mainly for the new coaster at Energylandia (world's tallest hyper coaster, yes puh-leeeeze) but also to check out some other parks and the country in general.

November 3, 2017, 2:50 PM · Last visit to Disneyland was May 2013. Disney World was Nov 2015 but I have to give the full credit to the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot (or we would not have gone). We have been following a pattern the last 3 years of going where the flight sales take us. (And it hasn't been Orlando)

We have a 4th qtr. visit to Florida on the map to see Universal for 2 days and then possibly a 4 days at WDW (2 Epcot) (2 Animal Kingdom) A return to Disneyland is quite a ways off as I would like to see them a year or two removed from their current projects. My thanks to AJ for planting the Kennedy Center bug in head. Might be going their too. The economy backup plan is Universal Hollywood, (Haven't been their since (2008).

November 3, 2017, 2:55 PM · I’ll be at CP sometime before the water park opens for a Steel Vengence try out. Not sure exactly when as my plan is to visit Carowinds and Kings Island in that time frame. I’ve already got my 2018 platinum pass so I’m on my way :). I want to go to Carowinds first so I can try out Fury 325 before I get back on MF. Will it demote the Force down to #2 on my list ?? But then again maybe Steel Vengence will take the #1 spot. Going to be an awesome 2018. Once the 3 parks release their schedules for next year I’ll be able to finalise my plans. I’ll spend about 3 days at each park as I find I can’t ride and ride and ride again like I used to ... it sucks getting old !?!?
Other than that I’ll be using my 4 day Disney pass in January and hopefully by then I might actually get a 7 dwarfs mine train fast pass .... LOL !!!
Edited: November 3, 2017, 5:57 PM · Obviously, all of this is subject to change, but as of right now here are my 2018 plans.

In California, I'll definitely be spending plenty of time at the Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm, SeaWorld San Diego, and Six Flags Magic Mountain, as I've got passes to all of them. Two have major additions coming next year, and a third has a decent sized addition, so I'll likely be visiting each several times. I'll also definitely get up to California's Great America to try Railblazer, and will probably stop by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on that trip as well.

In the spring, I'm planning a long weekend trip to Virginia for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion (and possibly Six Flags America if I decide to stretch it and visit Washington D.C.). I visited both of these parks in 2010, but BGW is at the top of my return visit list and KD is adding Twisted Timbers, so I think it's time to go back. Plus, I've got passes that include both parks. I'm thinking mid April for this trip, but may push it back if Twisted Timbers is delayed.

My big trip for next year is probably going to be a New Jersey/Pennsylvania/Ohio road trip. I'm still planning this one out, but it will likely be sometime in June and will definitely include stops at Cedar Point, Dorney Park, Hersheypark, Kennywood, Kings Island, Knoebels, Morey's Piers, and Six Flags Great Adventure (not necessarily in that order), as well as sightseeing time in Philadelphia. The plan is for this to be a week-and-a-half to two week trip, and I'm hoping to get a small group together for this trip to share the costs (if anyone here might want in, let me know).

The last possibility is a United Kingdom trip, which would be a small group trip that is being organized by a friend. This one is a bit of a long shot due to timing and cost, but I haven't ruled it out yet. If I do this trip, I'd likely do it instead of a big road trip and just do a long weekend Ohio trip in June for Cedar Point and Kings Island.

November 5, 2017, 6:36 AM · Jeff Elliott's idea for a Dollywood trip still in the "blue sky" phase, I might be too busy hosting visitors to Cedar Point (spelled Steel Vengeance) next summer to go anywhere else! I have my own "blue sky" idea to drive over to Michigan Adventure, if just to try the coaster with my favorite name for any woodie- "Shivering Timbers". Love that name! Really, for anyone coming to Cedar Point this summer I'd love to meet up and bore you with a history lesson about America's second-oldest amusement park. Let me know!
November 6, 2017, 9:48 AM · AJ, make sure you're watching the operational calendar when you plan your mid-Atlantic trip. Busch Gardens almost certainly will operate every weekend from late March through Memorial Day, but Kings Dominion and Six Flags America have had some strange spring schedules of late due to private events. If I remember correctly, Kings Dominion was actually closed for a full weekend in late April (after spring break) and another weekend day in May for private events (where a large company rents the entire park for the day for just their employees). There used to be only 2 or 3 days a year where this happened, but there were 5 or 6 such days in 2017 (including a full weekend in late September after the start of Haunt).

I'll tell you that when I saw Twisted Timbers in early October, it was about as far along as Steel Vengeance was when I saw that in early August. Now, central VA doesn't deal with the same weather as northern Ohio, but considering how thin RMC is going to be spread this year with 3 custom wood to hybrid conversions and the 2 Raptors opening next spring, I wouldn't be surprised if Twisted Timbers' opening falls back a bit to early/mid May. I don't know if that's the primary impetus for your trip, but it's something you might want to consider if you can be flexible with your timing.

November 6, 2017, 3:42 PM · Thanks for the heads up, Russell. I'll probably wait until after the holidays before I start seriously planning anything, but I'll be sure to keep a close eye on the operational calendar (especially for the Virginia parks...SFA is just a bonus if time and schedule permit). As for Twisted Timbers, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if I missed it, but that is one of the reasons for doing the trip in 2018 rather than 2017. Based on the latest video I saw (shot on Saturday, I believe), it looks like about 1/3 of the track is installed, and given the speed of previous I-Box conversions I'm guessing it will be structurally complete by the end of January. Still, I'll be watching construction a lot closer than I typically would for a non-California coaster, and will push my trip back if needed. I've basically got three good windows in which to do the trip: early/mid April, mid May, or sometime in the fall.
November 7, 2017, 2:51 PM · Since Disney ain't gonna let me in wearing a mask, I'll be doing the Universal thang this year.
November 8, 2017, 11:58 AM · Planning our yearly May visit to Orlando. But now I am considering the first week in June when the Orlando informer has a private event scheduled at Universal..

It would be awesome to be in a Theme park for this type of event...

We like Universal but might also grab a day at Busch Gardens Tampa and a day at Animal Kingdom to see Pandora.

Universal Orlando usually has buy two days get two days free promotion before the summer starts... We will be watching for that offering.

November 9, 2017, 7:29 PM · Living in New Zealand I dont get many opportunities to visit too many parks, however 2018 is going to be a fun year as I turn 50. To celebrate that fact I am going to ride 50 different coasters while I visit Anaheim, Orlando and Las Vegas.

I plan to visit all the local parks in Anaheim and Orlando and ride the 3 coasters at Circus Circus and New York New York in Las Vegas

Is it 2018 yet?

November 9, 2017, 7:57 PM · Nigel, take a side trip to Cedar Point and you can add 18 more coasters to your total, and 12 more if to add a side trip to Kings Island while you're in the neighborhood.

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