Well, I am finally done with college. Just graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio and now I'm off to go to the Army (I did ROTC).
But, I'm heading back home to Atlanta (where my folks live) for the summer and I was thinking of making a road trip out of it. One of the main stops I'm going to do is go visit my cousin in DC.
So, I was going to go up north through indiana, ohio area and cut across to DC then head back down to Atlanta.
Here's the scoop:
I only have enough money for one, maybe two parks. So, I want to make it count. I'm on a budget.
I've also been to Cedar Point. I went with my dad when I was in jr high back when the Millenium Force opened up (goodness that feels like ages ago)...well, it was 2002. So, 2 years after. Anyway...I've also been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (twice). I loved Busch Gardens tremendously, but would like to see what else is out there.
I hear Kings Island is good, but would it be worth it to just drive the rest of the way up through Ohio and go see Cedar Point again? Even if I only have a day to spend there? What about Kings Dominion? I've heard mixed reviews about it.
I love thrills, but I also don't like parks that are a concrete jungle with no theme. Cedar Point and Busch Gardens were great to me. So, what do you say all?
Now, this would be a hard decision. Both Kings Island and Kings dominion have A LOT in common, but I'll point out the coasters differences and you can decide which of the unique coaster selections you would rather see (any coasters not listed below for either parks are completely or nearly identical.
-Avalanche- Bobsled Coaster
-Dominator- Floorless B&M
-Grizzly- Wooden Coaster
-Hurler- Wooden Coaster
-Intimidator 305- Intamin Giga Coaster
-Volcano: The BLAST Coaster- Intamin Launched Invert
-Ricochet- Mack Wild Mouse
-Shockwave- TOGO Stand-Up
-Adventure Express- Arrow Mine Train
-Beast- Wooden Coaster
-Diamondback- B&M Hyper Coaster
-Firehawk- Vekoma Lay Down Coaster
-Flight Deck- Aroow Suspended Swinging Coaster
-Flying ACE Aerial Chase- Vekoma Junior Inverted
-Invertigo- Vekoma Inverted Boomerang
-Son of Beast- Wooden Coaster
So here is your dilemma: Both parks have 8, high quality coasters unique from each other (4 other high quality coasters are of similar layout). The other problem: they have the same name, a variety of same rides, same park centerpiece, and same park themes. These parks are so similar it really comes down to your taste in thrill, or where you would like to spend your time.
Oh, this keeps getting harder and harder for me! Can you list some of your favorite coasters and parks, that would help A LOT!
That said, I love both parks. I'll be heading to KI in late June.
If you're going to D.C., Six Flags America has a one GREAT roller coaster (Superman,) a couple of good ones (Roar, Wild One, Batwing) and a couple of somewhat unique non-coaster rides. Plus, the park is reasonably close to Kings Dominion. I don't know how much you like gigas, but it's a shame you'll be introduced to the NEUTERED Intimidator-305 if you go to KD.
Kings Island's Racer is often credited as reigniting interest in roller coasters in the 1970s. And while opinions certainly very on whether or not The Beast deserves its reputation as one of the greatest wooden coaster of all time, it's hard to deny its uniqueness in the world of amusement parks. Few coasters cover 20 acres of dense woods. Again, no matter how one feels about it, The Beast is an iconic ride.
Of course if Kings Dominion works into your travel plans more easily that's fine too. It's a solid park with a unique collection of coasters and rides.
Hope this helps. Have fun with whichever park you choose!
But Mike, you are not alone on liking Son of Beast. I've truly never met a roller coaster I have never liked. So sad to see Son of Beast in such bad shape.
EDIT: And Tim, Racer is exactly like Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion.
I was mostly pointing out that Racer had some historical significance in theme park history. It was enough of a hit in 1972 that it was essentially copied (with the major difference noted above) at Kings Dominion three years later. Admittedly the two ride experiences are nearly the same except perhaps for a slight difference in how the trains enter and exit the turn-arounds.
Will, is Holiday World (Santa Claus, Indiana) an option? If so, I would make it a stop so you can ride the #1 wooden coaster on the planet (The Voyage) and the world's longest water coaster (Wildebeest). And, you'd be just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Kings Island.
I would suggest Kings Dominion as one of the parks. It has a better coaster collection than Kings Island and both parks offer similiar experience. Besides, if you've been to BGW and ridden Apollo's Chariot, you've basically ridden Diamondback... So Kings Island is pointless.
How about Hersheypark for your second park? It's 2.5 hours from DC, but looks to be worth it.
Dollywood is also something to consider while on your way home from DC.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood