Advice on visit days SFMM / DISNEY / KBFLooking for advice on which days to visit Six flags, KBF and Disneyland.
From Gary BrownWe are in LA for four days from Fri 4th June to Mon 7th. I realise, being a veteran of multiple trips to Orlando, that weekends are never the best days to visit, but our three week Western USA adventure wont tolerate any other dates without screwing the whole plan up.
Posted April 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM
So I'd like to ask those people here who visit these parks regularly, which of the 4 days (FRI, SAT, SUN, MON) should we visit our 4 target parks (Disneyland, Disney California, Six Flags, Knotts Berry in order of preference) to have the best overall experience?
I'm also not committed to KBF for what its worth, I resent not being able to purchase tickets in advance on the net (we are in the UK and they only 'serve' US and CAN) and some of the tales I've read here are a little worrying. If we dropped one of the 4 days, this would be the one.
If it helps we are two 40 somethings with a 10 year old son. I and my lad prefer thrill rides whilst my wife likes the 'atmosphere' you find at parks like Disney along with the shows (she once went on Thunder Mountain in Orlando and hated it, if that gives an idea of her 'level'; each to their own of course).
Many thanks in advance to any who can help...
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Nick MarkhamFirst, let me tell you anything bad you have heard about KBF is wrong. It is a great park, just with one little problem coaster which I believe should be back up ready and working when you get there, Xcelerator. Here is what I would do and why:
Posted April 6, 2010 at 7:22 PM
FRI: Six Flags Magic Mountain- Some schools should still be in, and this park is a major draw for teens, so it should be less busy in the day time.
SAT: Knott's Berry Farm- What is considered busiest day for Knott's by most, I consider the best day to visit Knott's, and if you would like to know, I have the perfect route for getting every ride acomplished within half the day (rushing) or a good portion of the day leisurly strolling! :D
SUN: California Adventure: The Disney parks are nearly ALWAYS busy, so I just chose the day DCA is open the longest.
MON: Disneyland- The crowds will probably tone down on this weekday with work and some (but very few) students, so this should be an opprotune time to visit.
From Steph RamosHmm...I have to agree with Mr. Markham about the whole KBF situation, it really is a nice park!
Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:13 PM
I went there just recently, and taking into consideration what preferences your family seems to have it really does seem like the best park to visit...
In other words, don't belive everything you hear about KBF!
Anyway, I've been to nearly all of these parks on various days of the week (Except California Adventure...never been there so I really can't advise you on that one). My best advice to you is to save Monday and Friday for the parks you wish to visit the MOST. Taking into consideration the dates you provided, most SoCal schools are still in session at the time you plan to visit so they should be more or less free of students.
From AJ HummelWeekends are definitely not a good time to visit parks, but you have one major advantage: school isn't out for the summer yet in Southern California at the time you'll be visiting. This will reduce even weekend crowds slightly, and weekday crowds (Friday and Monday) should be fairly low. Here is what I would recommend, assuming your budget will allow it.
Posted April 6, 2010 at 11:28 PM
First of all, you should get a three-day park hopper for the Disneyland Resort. This will allow you to maximize your time there, as that appears to be the most important park. It will also be the most crowded, but since it has the Fastpass system you will still be able to experience everything. Also, try to get a hotel near the Disneyland resort, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It doesn't have to be a Disney hotel, just one within walking distance of the parks. Now, here is what I recommend for each day.
Friday: Knott's Berry Farm opens at 10 A.M. everyday. Be at the park as early as you can. Depending on crowds, you may be done with the park by 4 in the afternoon. Even if it is crowded, the park doesn't usually take a full operating day. Once you are done with Knott's, drive down to Disneyland and explore the park until you are tired. It will likely be open until midnight by that time, so you could potentially stay fairly late. This is probably the least crowded day for the Disneyland Resort, so try to take advantage of it if you can.
Saturday: Be at Disney's California Adventure when they open. Try to get on all the rides you want to ride as quickly as possible. When you are done with the park, head over to Disneyland for the remainder of the day. This will probably be the most crowded of the four days at most parks, although the Disneyland Resort is an oddball and is often less crowded on Saturday than on Sunday due to Annual Pass holders.
Sunday: Spend all day at Disneyland, or spend part of it at Disney's California Adventure. If you did California Adventure on Saturday, you don't really need to go back there as the park can be done in about 7 hours even in sold-out crowds (with a good plan of attack). If you finish early, that is fine, and is actually a good thing. If possible, get a different hotel near SFMM for Sunday night to avoid LA traffic Monday morning.
Monday: Spend all day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Make sure you are there at opening so you have time to do everything. Even though it will likely be fairly uncrowded (least busy of the four days), Six Flags Magic Mountain has the most rides and requires the most walking. You will be tired after the park, even if they are only open for eight hours.
I've never actually done anything like this, but based on my experience at the parks I'd say this is probably your best bet. It will be somewhat tiring, but it will be worth it. Depending on your endurance level, you may want to alter it by leaving out Disney on Friday or focusing on one park each day over the weekend. However, having a hotel right near the parks will help significantly as you can easily go back to it and rest in the middle of the day. Whatever you end up doing, I wish you good luck and hope you have an enjoyable trip.
From Nick MarkhamOkay, here is how you can get all of Knott's done fast on ANY day if you want to maximize Disney time.
Posted April 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM
1. Arrive To Knott's Gates 30 minutes Before Opening
Now, this should work as I went to Knott's for 4 days straight (THURS-SUN) meaning I have seen anywhere from little crowds on Thursday to the big yet still avoidable crowds on Saturday (yet you would never guess the day I used this touring plan and got everything done was the very busyh SATURDAY!)
Hopefully this helps as well! If you need help with other parks, just ask as these parks in Southern Cal (if you will) are my area of expertise!
From Gary BrownThanks very much for the above advice. I need to digest it all I think.
Posted April 8, 2010 at 5:15 AM
Several of you mention the SoCal schools, can anybody tell me when they actually do break? Our schools summer break is mid July - end August in the UK so you guys obviously do it different over the water.
Regarding KBF, if I could get tickets at a 'sensible' price I would probably re-instate it. It seems very old fashioned in this day and age not to sell tickets worldwide over the web. Paying the price on the gate would annoy me when I know it can be bought cheaper.
I suspect I can't even buy online once in the US as my CC will have a UK address attached to it.
However, I take the advice regarding the quality of this park and will have a serious rethink.
From Gary BrownOk, quick update. I emailed KBF CS to complain about not being allowed to buy tickets online and they sent me an email from their CS Manager saying I can show the email on arrival and pay online prices at the door, which is good CS whatever way you look at it.
Posted April 11, 2010 at 4:54 AM
We've now added an extra day to LA to take a bit slower, so KBF is back on and we can take the Sunday/Saturday off and go to the beach to rest up.
From Nick MarkhamMost schools in the US break from Early June to Late August, possibly early September.
Posted April 11, 2010 at 8:58 AM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Plan your theme park vacation with our readers' travel guides:
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive