Vote of the week: When's your next theme park vacation?
Published: August 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM
Summer vacations are ending, and students are heading back to school. That means we're approaching the end of an another theme park season, though the season for theme parks never really ends here on Theme Park Insider, does it? ;^)
Of course, with the calendar turning toward September, our focus does change from taking vacations to planning the next one. Over the next several weeks, we'll be offering more front-page posts on theme park vacation planning, with tips for saving money and finding value for your next family vacation.
Ah, the fun of family vacation photobombing….
But when will you take that next trip to a theme park? With so many parks extending their season with Halloween events, will you be attending one of them, in September or October? Or are you looking to the holidays for a theme park getaway? Maybe it'll be next spring break, instead? Or will you be sitting out until next summer, when another wave of theme park attractions debut, led by Universal Studios Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley?
Of course, some of us are fortunate enough to live in Southern California, Central Florida, Tokyo, Singapore, or someplace else where the theme parks never close for the season, and we can keep visiting year-round.
For our vote of the week this week, please tell us when you're looking to take your next theme park trip, after this summer ends.
What's your favorite theme park memory from the Summer of 2013? Please share it with us, in the comments.
Published: August 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM
My favorite memory from this summer? As much as I love dark rides, I'm going with multiple rides in the front seat of Hersheypark's Lightning Racer, on a morning after a torrential rainstorm. A forecast for continued rain helped keep crowds away, allowing my son and I to be the only people on the train. A coaster lover's dream, getting a great coaster to yourself!
Published: August 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM
I'm wrestling between two favorite moments. The first one was during my wife and I's three day trip to Universal Orlando. For three days in a row, we were the first riders on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It sounds stupid, but it was a really awesome feeling to be the first park guests to ride it those three days.
The second moment was just the experience of going to Carowinds with my cousin. It was my hometown park as child and I spent many summers there enjoying the rides. It has been a few years since I've been back. While Carowinds is nothing compared to Disney or Universal, feeling the nostalgia of riding my favorite childhood coasters was awesome. Experiencing the new roller coasters like Intimidator, Night Hawk, and Carolina Cobra was special too.
Published: August 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Wrong seat, Robert, right coaster :)
Published: August 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Favorite memory of 2013 was being among the first people to ride Outlaw Run
at the media preview day! Sweet!
Next trip: heading to SoCal in less than a month!!!! First week I will be visiting relatives, but the second week is all about theme parks... five days of Disney + Not So Scary, then Six Flags MM, and Knotts (no Universal Hollywood - too much money for too little park). I cannot wait. Been a long time since I rode the original Pirates of the Caribbean!
Published: August 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Our highlight for the year was our first trip to Southern California in nearly 5 years. We were in total awe of the precision and level of detail in Cars Land, and this was our first time seeing World of Color. Not only that, but I got to have lunch with our fearless leader at Carthay Circle.
Overall, there were lots of new rides for us this year including: The Little Mermaid (DCA), Radiator Springs Racers, Green Lantern (SFMM), Lex Luthor's Drop of Doom, Apocalypse (SFMM), Transformers (USH), Pony Express, Siera Sidewinder, Manta (San Diego), Antarctica, Gatekeeper, and Diamondback. In addition we've enjoyed rediscovering the wonder of theme parks through our son, who's turned into quite a ride junkie before he's even reached 42" tall.
We'll be going to our three local parks (Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, and Six Flags America) a few more times through the end of October, but that's probably it until next March. We're planning a HUGE Florida trip for October 2014 since there will be three big additions next summer (Falcon's Fury, Harry Potter London, and Seven Dwarves Mine Train), which will probably include our first trip to Legoland since our son will be old enough (4 1/2)and tall enough (over 42" hopefully) to appreciate the park.
Published: August 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM
Published: August 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM
My personal favorite experience this summer was riding in the Lilly Belle passenger car for the first time at Disneyland. My family's favorite memory was experiencing the updated Log Ride, Snoopy ice show, and Boomtown acrobat show over multiple visits this summer.
Our next theme park visit will probably be to Legoland near San Diego in October for their Halloween family activities.
Published: August 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM
My favorite theme park memory of the summer is visiting six parks in nine days with my boyfriend! Universal Studios Hollywood, Sea World San Diego, Knott's Berry Farm, California's Great America, and four days at Disneyland and California Adventure!! We were exhausted, but it was worth it!
By the way, for anyone who doesn't know about it, the California CityPass, which provides three days at DL/DCA, plus one day each at USH and SW, is a great deal! And if you buy it online from USH or SW, you get a bonus day there! (We ended up not using our bonus day, though, because a friend who works at DL offered to get us in free with his season pass. Who can turn down an extra Disney day?)
Our next trip will be to one of our favorite places, at one of our favorite times: WDW at Christmastime! We hope the Magic Bands have rolled out by then, so we can give them a try. I'm also considering adding the Dining Plan -- I've never done it. I haven't made any ADRs yet, but it usually isn't too difficult with a party of two. :)
Published: August 23, 2013 at 5:23 PM
Oh man this one's easy for me. I went in July with my girlfriend to Tokyo Disneysea for the very first time! Wow it really is the best theme park experience you'll ever have. Highlights were indiana Jones (better than CA imo), Journey to the Center of the Earth (definitely on my best 3 favorite attractions ever list), mystic rhythms which blew me away with it's cirque du soleil quality, aquatopia was surprisingly fun and thrilling as you never know when the water is going to hit you, dinner at SS columbia, and I fell in love with the electric railway (which reminds me a lot of the Disneyland railroad in terms of authenticity). The entire park is fantastic but those were my highlights.
Published: August 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM
I've gone in October over the last 5 years and this year is no exception. Six and a half more weeks and I'll be at WDW! Can't wait!
Published: August 23, 2013 at 10:44 PM
The best memory for this summer is getting to ride Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi with my kids. It was their first time on the world's fastest coaster and they were thrilled.
And our next trip (trips) will be in October when we go to Cedar Point for a weekend (new Ultimate Fastpasses in hand), then to Universal Studios Florida for a weekend (Loew's Pacific Resort), and then a week at WDW staying at the Boardwalk. Can't wait!
Published: August 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I am going to the Food and Wine Festival
Favorite summer memory? Seeing my brother's 19 year old Girlfriend fitting into the large Belle costume and then making her wear it to Be Our Guest. The Beast danced with her!
Published: August 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Next trip September 2013, last trip Sept 2007. Bit of a trip from the UK
Published: August 26, 2013 at 3:41 AM
For me it is a toss up -- First was getting to pet a dolphin and later a penguin at Sea world San Diego! A thrilling experiance for me even if not that uncommon.
Second was having dinner at the Cathay Theater resturant in Disney's California Adventure to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary - and the return to disneyland, the location for our first date six years before.
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