I'm sorry that I didn't chime in on this sooner. I'm sure you'll have fun in LA, but it wouldn't have been the choice I would recommend.
Personally, I think the coaster selection on SoCal is one of the most mediocre in the country. There are really no "GREAT" coasters to speak of. Some people may argue that X2 is GREAT, but I personally think it's rough as hell. Xcelerator is a really good Intamin launched, and it is probably the best coaster in all of SoCal. Most of the SoCal coasters, IMO, are "average at best."
For the locals in SoCal who don't travel, they have a good "local" coaster selection, but the parks do not offer any, what I would consider, "stand out" wood or steel coasters. The best wood you'll get is Terminator at SFMM and the best steel would be X2 and Xcelerator, and I'm not even a fan of X2.
I would have suggested a multi-park trip doing something like Knoebel's, Hershey, Kennywood, Cedar Point. Cedar Point may also lack a stand out woodie, and often gets mixed reviews on their steel coasters, but I feel the selection at Cedar Point is better than anything California offers, and the "resort" is actually much nicer, too.
Another thing to keep in mind, Los Angeles is a PAIN IN THE A$$ to get around. It could take you 60 minutes to get from SFMM to Knott's, it could take you 2 1/2 hours. Other than maybe Disneyland, there isn't really a good "base camp" for any of the parks that doesn't involve a lot of driving. On a map, some of the parks look close, like SFMM to Unviersal, but I've had it even take me 90 minutes to get to Universal from SFMM. At least at Cedar Point, you can get a room at Hotel Breakers, stay on property, and have a place to go back and relax during the busier times of the park.
IMO, Cedar Point's coaster line-up is also "kinda average", but I feel it's at least better than the SoCal offerings. And if you've never been to Cedar Point before, the combo of Raptor, Top Thrill Dragster, Maverick, Millennium Force, Wicked Twister, Blue Streak, MaxAir, Windseeker, Magnum, Power Tower, Sky Hawk, Shoot the Rapids is going to be on par, if not slightly better, than anything you'll find in SoCal. And it's all in one place, unlike SoCal which is very spread out and frustrating to get around.
IMO, California is a GREAT place to go coastering...after you've done most of the rest of the USA.
Rosso wrote:Is the coaster line up in Cedar Point and general atmosphere superior to the three parks I listed above? What do you guys think?
"Superior", probably not... "Better" .... I think "yes."
--Robb "Sorry I missed this thread..." Alvey