Trip help

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Re: Trip help

Postby larrygator » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:29 pm

MikeJames wrote:As for SFA, that's not even a Half day park? I usually like to hit every coaster for the credits and then the best flats, and then re-ride the ones I really like. And speaking of traffic in the DC area, I was thinking of bypassing DC altogether by taking the Crain hwy south and paying $6 to go over the bridge. Mapquest says it will add 30 minutes to the trip but I'm thinking/ hoping I won't run into too much traffic going that way.


I always take US301. The Mapquest time is generally very accurate, You can count on making it in less than 2.5 hours. The I-95 is always subject to huge traffic delays says the 90 minutes trip could increase to over 3 hours and include lots of aggravation.
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Re: Trip help

Postby MikeJames » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:55 am

prospekt88 wrote:That's doable but definitely an ambitious trip. I would do the full length drive from Great Adventure to Kings Dominion on 4/2, just making a couple hour pit stop at Six Flags America. That will be a very long day but at least you get to spend your days at Great Adventure and Kings Dominion without making any drives that morning or night. That entire stretch of I-95 is a pain in the A$$ so I'd say just rip the band-aid off real quick and get it all done in one day. Then you could even stay at the same hotel around those two parks for two nights each. That would give the trip a little bit more of a relaxed feel and you'd still get everything done. So it'd be

4/1: Wake up near Great Adventure. Park Open to Close. Stay at same hotel near Great Adventure
4/2: Drive from Great Adventure to Kings Dominion with pit stop at Six Flags America.
4/3: Wake up near Kings Dominion. Park Open to Close. Stay at same hotel near Kings Dominion.

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Thanks for the recommendations. You're the second person to tell me that SFA is just worth a pit stop. So if true I have no problem with leaving super early and going down to kings dominion. I was planning on getting fast lane at the cedar fair parks but if I have a day and a half at kings dominion maybe I want need to. And I'm not even going to mess with I95. From SFA I'm going to take 301 south and pay the $6 to cross the bridge.

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Re: Trip help

Postby MikeJames » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:07 am

3Mutts wrote:Definitely possible however try to time your drives through major cities like Philly, DC and Baltimore at night others its going to be traffic hell with spring break on I 95 and all the people driving to Florida. Also take I 80 through PA, I 76 is major truck route, a toll road, and goes through Pittsburgh (and since you dont want to go to Kennywood its best to avoid Pittsburgh all together) I 80 on the other hand goes through no major cities and is free to travel on.



Yes I will be in Philly during the evening. I've decided to not even mess with DC and Baltimore traffic. After great adventure I figure I can stay somewhere in Delaware and then in the morning I wil take the blue star hwy and cross this bridge by Annapolis which I'm guessing will get me around the Baltimore morning traffic. And like I mentioned to others, after SFA I'm going to take 301 south to Virginia instead of 95.

And yes I planned on taking 80 through PA because the turnpike looked ridiculously expensive.

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Re: Trip help

Postby prospekt88 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:32 am

MikeJames wrote:Thanks for the recommendations. You're the second person to tell me that SFA is just worth a pit stop. So if true I have no problem with leaving super early and going down to kings dominion. I was planning on getting fast lane at the cedar fair parks but if I have a day and a half at kings dominion maybe I want need to. And I'm not even going to mess with I95. From SFA I'm going to take 301 south and pay the $6 to cross the bridge.

Yeah especially when looking at the grand scheme of the trip. Maybe Jokers Jinx would be worth a reride, but you're gonna have Flight of Fear which is the same exact ride the next day. Other than that the only thing you'll probably wanna ride more than once is Superman, and possibly Wild One. So you should be able to knock off every coaster and get a couple of rides on those two all within a few hours.

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Re: Trip help

Postby mckayj93 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:05 am

Since your more familiar with Dollywood, you might know some of these things already, but just offering if it will help. From Charlotte to Pigeon Forge you have to go through the Smokies. That drive could be a little intense at night if you have never done it before. I'd recommend taking I40 to Newport and then taking hwy 411 to Sevierville. The road is 2 lanes half the way and 4 lanes the rest. It would trim a good chunk of miles on I40 and dealing with Parkway traffic. This brings you on Dolly Parton Parkway near Veterans for a shortcut to Dollywood. There are also many hotels in the area. I definitely wouldn't recommend going through the National Park esp. at night if you haven't driven it before. There is also the chance weather will shut that road down anyway. That being said, the National Park has many great things to see if you haven't had the chance, even if you aren't the hiking type. I'd encourage maybe a morning or a couple hours the day before you drive home to see.

As far as hotels for the whole trip- I'd pick Wyndham or Choice Hotels and learn to work the rewards program. I personally do Wyndham, I find their points system and prices work better for me. With that many nights in your trip you'd earn at least a few go fast or go free Wyndham nights. Currently offering a promotion stay 2 separate nights get a free night at any property til end of summer. No matter where you say, if its a budget brand always check TripAdvisor to make sure it's not a dump before hand.

For Dollywood area hotels- prices fluctuate greatly based on the day of the week. I've stayed at most of every Wyndham hotel in town at least once if you have specific questions on any. If you don't care about any other touristy stuff I'd stay at the Baymont in Sevierville. It's one of the first hotels you get to if you come in via hwy 411. Their rates are normally good. If you are in town on a Friday or Saturday night the best Wyndham deal is the Pigeon Forge Howard Johnson go fast award for $35 plus 3000 points.
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Re: Trip help

Postby coasterbill » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:46 am

Pick between Wyndham and Choice, join the rewards program for free, get the app, book through the app and exercise extreme brand loyalty.

Apply for one of their rewards cards too (TODAY, because you need to reach the end of the statement period, make a payment and have the points post before your trip). If you can hit the minimum spend of $1000 within one month, get this card. You won't pay for a single hotel during your entire trip. If you can't hit the minimum spend, go with Wyndham and get this card. Don't ever get this card since Choice has a better sign up offer and no annual fee. This is the only card with an annual fee. This card sucks. Honestly, Wyndham rewards in general sucks when they're not running a stay twice get a free night promotion. Choice does that too, but they're not doing it right now.

Basically, if they're still doing that promotion for your trip then go with Wyndham unless you can hit the minimum spend for the Choice Privileges Visa. Then screw Wyndham...

You don't need to get the card to sign up for Choice Privileges or Wyndham Rewards by the way, I'm just suggesting that because of the massive sign up offers. Some people freak out when I suggest that they sign up for a credit card, but honestly if you don't take advantage of them you're f*cking insane. I don't care if you hit the minimum spend and then never use the card again (or do what I do and make pathetic monthly purchases of like 2 bucks just to keep them open). There's no annual fee anyway, who cares?

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