Savor a crisp and cool amusement park experience – from VIP start to high speed turn and surge.
There is nothing like the thrill of rumbling up 300 feet and then plummeting 80 degrees at 90 m.p.h. on an amusement park ride. The feel of high-speed turns, multiple looping twists and that spine tingling forward and backward motion. Some might say that waiting voluntarily in a staggeringly long line is eventually worth the rip-roaring fun. But, please. If there are professional line sitters for just about everything else, it’s worth putting down that credit card to bypass the drones on vacay. Even better, splurge on a VIP private tour experience to kick off your exhilarating whole family-together spree in a souped up, turbocharged SUV ride there and back. Why not? The fast-track to fall begins soon enough. >>
SIX FLAGS UPPER MARLBORO, MD
Ride: The 2019 Firebird Floorless Coaster features sit-down floorless trains gliding at up to 56 m.p.h. before a nine-story drop followed by two inversions, corkscrew turns, a twisted airtime hill and a figure-eight finale. Go VIP: Take a private tour of the park with packages that include admission, front of line access, character meet-and-greets and reserved show and restaurant seating. Prices vary from $144.99 per person to the VIP Experience Tour at $249.99 each. Or, if you’re more of the DIY type, settle for the FLASH Pass Platinum ($65) that can nearly eliminate the entire wait time.
Party: Become a member and join in an end of
summer bash on Sept. 15.
BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG, VA
Ride: At this long-standing “Most Beautiful Theme Park” is Finnegan’s Flyer, an extreme swing that takes riders more than 80 feet in the air at speeds of 45 m.p.h.
Go VIP: Upon arrival, get an up-close reserved parking space ($35-$50), then secure priority access to popular rides with Quick Queue Unlimited from ($45-$75). Or, take a behind the scenes tour to see how the park’s newest ride, “Battle for Eire,” combines VR with a motion simulator, the first in North America ($28-$35).
Rest: Recognized as one of the World’s Most Luxurious Hotels, the Williamsburg Inn, just a few miles from the park, offers world-class service and comfort in its classic, elegant rooms after a colossal blast of a day ($449+).
KINGS DOMINION DOSWELL,VA
Ride: Steel and wood combine forces in Twisted Timbers. This new hybrid coaster is the first of its kind in the mid-Atlantic and uses the latest technology to combine wood supports and steel track.
Upgrade: Speed past regular wait lines on favorite rides and attractions with Fast Lane Plus ($65).
Drive: Pack the teens in a Lamborghini Urus for extra speed (from zero to 60 m.p.h in 3.2 seconds). Jet-fighter design, 4.0-liter V-8 and a healthy 641 horsepower ensure a blockbuster daytrip.
HERSHEY PARK HERSHEY, PA
Ride: Until Candymonium opens in 2020 (along with Hershey’s Chocolatetown region), Skyrush remains the park’s biggest, fastest and longest ride, topping out at 75 m.p.h. with an initial climb of 200 feet.
Go VIP: With Fast Track Unlimited ($49), you can skip the regular line all day long on 14 featured attractions Or, over two weekends in October, call for a personalized concierge service experience (72 hours in advance) inside Hersheypark with a “Sweet Access Pass,” ($245 for ages 9+) that includes unlimited front-of-the-line ride access, premium seating at Hersheypark entertainment venue, a personalized ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park Animal Encounter and more. (You must be guests at Hershey Lodge or
the Hershey Hotel).
Stay: A 4-star Google-reviewed hotel, kids are in chocolate heaven at Hershey Lodge with candy bars and balloons on arrival, an indoor water park with a Reese’s Water Walk and, for adults, a signature Hershey’s® Kisses™ Chocolate Martini offered at the Lodge’s premium restaurants (from $499 per night).
Connect: Supercharge your trip in the Chevy Traverse with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4GLTE Wi-Fi (with connectivity for up to seven devices), seven USB ports and a 120 volt charging port. Why? Because silence in the vehicle on the ride home from hyped-up, over sugared kids is simply delicious.
Published in our September 2019 issue.