Going for the Giga – 2012 Theme Park Travel Plans
Leviathan - Canadas Wonderland - Giga CoasterI thought that it might be a bit early to write this post, but I’m sure many of the hardcore enthusiasts out there already have some kind of idea of which theme parks they’re targeting for 2012. And, believe it or not, theme parks will start to open for the season in about a month. In my neck of the woods, Dollywood opens March 24th and my home park, Carowinds (boasting a nice new website!), opens on March 31st.

With so many new roller coasters opening in 2012, picking which new ride to target is tough. Right now, I’m planning to take my first coaster trip to another country as I head to Canada to take on the formidable 1-2 punch of Leviathan and Behemoth, and the rest of Canada’s Wonderland. If I can I’ll include other parks on both sides of the border. On the Canadian side, there’s2012 Theme Park Travel Plans Marineland with it’s 5,500 foot long Arrow terrain looper Dragon Mountain. On the U.S. side, I’ve visited Waldameer and Darien Lake a number of times, but I haven’t been to smaller parks Seabreeze and Martin’s Fantasy Island.

And, I’m too close to Dollywood and Busch Gardens Williamsburg to not make the drive to experience Verbolten and Wild Eagle. Also, I’m looking forward to visiting Carowinds to see whether I have any acrophobia whatsoever on their new Windseeker. I’d love to make it out to Chicago for X-Flight and up to Hersheypark for Skyrush, but I’m not sure it’ll be in the cards this year.

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What’s Your Take?
Now it’s your turn. Where are you headed in 2012? Leave a comment below and vote in the poll above.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

29 Responses

  1. Surya

    After my big east-coast trip last year, I'll be doing a tour of Europe this year. I plan on going to Thorpe, Alton Towers, Europapark and Holiday Park again, but also a couple of new parks
    – Parque Warner Madrid
    – Portaventura
    – Mirabilandia (Italy)
    – Gardaland
    – Parc Asterix
    We're planning a 2 week trip from Belgium through France, Spain, Italy and Germany 🙂

  2. Guilherme

    I am planning a trip to Pennsylvania and New Jersey:

    Arrive in the Cleveland airport, go to Waldameer, Kennywood, Lakemont Park, Hersheypark, Knoebels, Dorney and finally S.F.G.adv.

  3. Matt

    I am going to Dorney, Hershey, SFGAdv. SFOG, and possibly another park near SFOG, maybe Carowinds. Also possibly Knoebels. The new ones are SFOG and the possible Carowinds.

  4. Travis

    I'm hoping to take my first real coaster trip after I graduate this spring. My goal is to go from my home park (Carowinds) to Kings Island and Cedar Point and maybe Kings Island and Dorny. I'm excited about it!!

  5. Aric

    I'm on the Junior Researcher list for Skyrush, so that for sure. I plan to make it to Dollywood the week after Wild Eagle opens, and will definitely be taking in X-Flight as well.

    If you want early reviews or impression, just let me know.

  6. Mike

    New parks for my that I'll be visiting in a couple of weeks are Universal Orlando/Islands Of Adventure and Busch Gardens Tampa. Hoping to get back to HersheyPark and BGE for the new coasters but nothing planned other than the FL trip.

  7. Mike M.

    Besides my usual Florida parks, I definitely plan on buying a Cedar Fair platinum pass this year for myself and the new wife. Gonna take a weekend trip up to Carowinds, take a trip to VA to tackle Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion, and also take a trip up to Ohio to hit up Cedar Point and Kings Island. Looks like my job will be sending me to the LA area sometime soon, so I'll also tack on Knott's Berry Farm while I'm out there.

    I'd LOVE to add Canada's Wonderland to that list (Leviathan is a MUST ride for me), but that might be a bit overzealous for this year. We also might make a trip up to Atlanta, so besides Six Flags Over GA, I'd also take the drive up to Dollywood to get on Wild Eagle. I also have a brother in Chicago so SFGAm remains an option, but that might be a 2013 trip…

    • Mike

      That is a great trip. I bought a plat pass last year and did the same exact parks. It was incredible. I would add Dorney Park if you have the time since you have a pass. I found Steel Force to be one of my favorite coasters of last year. If you ride from the front it is a great great ride!

      • Mike M.

        I actually hit up Dorney Park during my coaster trip last year. Steel Force was actually my first proper Mega Coaster (Goliath SFMM is meh). I actually liked mostly all of the coasters I got on there (except Thunderhawk). My favorite was actually Possessed, believe it or not. I love the pure airtime of the backseat, especially when the brakes catch on the back end. Had fun goofing around with Hydra's 2 on-ride cams. And Talon was surprisingly good (intense helix action!!!). I'd definitely go back if it wasn't so out of the way.

      • Mike

        I agree Dorney has a small number of coasters but they are all pretty good. I was also taken aback by how much I enjoyed Talon and Possessed was great also. Enjoy your trips and make sure to take advantage of the early entry at Cedar Point. I went in the 2nd week of operations in May (Mon – Wed) and the crowds were not bad at all.

    • Alex Fahner

      I live about 15 minutes from Canada's Wonderland. You should go there! Great roller coasters! Did you know they have 17? That 2nd most in the world for an amusement park

  8. Prof.BAM

    My other home park, Mt. Olympus, Cedar Point, and hopefully NIck U. My main home park Valleyfair! is a possibility, depending on when my physics trip for school is.

      • Quil

        I'm not sure what the HTML tags and attributes do, but I copied and pasted one of them above. I love the new look of the cite CC!

  9. Frank

    SFGA is my home park so I'll hit that up and prob get a season pass and go to SFNew England, Lake George and maybe SFAmerica. MIGHT make it down to FL for BGTampa or Universal. Def wanna get back to Cedar Point this year for sure…

  10. Dion Bender

    Well I have two trips planned this year.My mini trip this year will be on Memorial Day weekend.I am gonna do Busch Gardens to tackle Verbolten and hit up Water Country USA.Then on Monday I will swing up to Hershey to do my most anticipated coaster for this year.Skyrush is gonna be Amazing I predict!!

    My major long distance trip will take me on a big loop starting at Dollywood for my first wing rider experience.then shoot up to Chicago for X Flight.It will be nice to compare the 2 of them right after one another.Then I will get up to Canada for Leviathan.I am excited to see how the B@M version of a giga coaster pans out.Then my last stop is the park that I have not been to yet.Laronde in monteal.They have a high ranked B@M coaster also i need to check out.The only thing I am worried about is all of these new coasters being open on time and running!! Hey coaster Critic….I am surprised you are not gonna make a point to hit up Skyrush this year.

  11. Cade

    I will definitely be going to Six Flags St. Louis, as it is my home park, and I will also be going to Cedar Point and possibly Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain.

  12. Trent

    I will be at a few parks in the east, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Six Flags New England, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

  13. Gearhart

    I will definately hit up my home park Wild Waves and a weekend camping trip involving Silverwood. I also usually try to hit up SoCal once a year so DL resort, USH, Knott's, SFMM, and this year have to check out Manta at SWC. I'm super excited though about a trip I'm planning involving flying out to Philly, renting a car, and doing CW, Marineland, Darien Lake, Martin's Fantasy Island, Seabreeze, Knoebels, Hershey, Dorney, and SFGAdv in June, all new parks for me.

  14. Matt McIrvin

    I got some discount advance tickets to my home park, Canobie Lake, for Christmas, so I'll obviously be going back there a few times. My wife's been discussing the possibility of a trip to Walt Disney World. I might try to visit Funtown in Maine (my sister-in-law lives near there) and give Excalibur a try.

    I'd been idly discussing the possibility of a joint visit to Hersheypark with my sister's family (more adults to watch the young kids!), but it sounds like they have other plans for the summer, so that might not happen this year.

    • @mattmcirvin

      It's amusing how completely untrue these predictions were.

      So far, it's been a smaller-parks-of-New-England theme summer. One visit to Canobie (we'll go back at some point, since we have some of those tickets left), one to Story Land way up in Glen, NH (great if and only if you have young kids), and one decadently child-free overnight trip to Lake Compounce, which I think may actually be an underappreciated gem even aside from Boulder Dash.

      Also one visit to Funspot up in Laconia, which is a really big arcade rather than an amusement park per se, but they do have some adorable, tiny kiddie bumper cars. It's near a road called Roller Coaster Road, which makes me sad because there is no roller coaster.

  15. LinaSkye

    I live about 5 minutes away from Dorney, so of course I will be there to check out Stinger and do all my favorite standbys. There will def be a trip to Hershey for Skyrush, a few trips to ride my Toro at GrAdv, and I have weekends set aside for trips to Mass. for Bizarro, Kings Dominion for I305, BGW for many new ones I haven't ridden, and quite possibly another Florida trip as well. This will be a huge coasting year for me.

  16. Alex Fahner

    I live in Newmarket, Ontario. About 15 minutes from Canada's Wonderland. And Behemoth is awesome according to me! Best roller coaster I've ever been on! And I've been to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, 3 disney Florida parks, and Busch Gardens Tampa.


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