Hey there, Park Journey readers!
Happy January! For many of you, that means you're in the middle of long stretch of cold weather and closed amusement parks. Don't worry, we have your fix to hold you over.
Last weekend I ventured north of San Francisco for a fun day-trip filled with coasters and beer! Come with us as we make a quick stop at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and make our first ever visit to Sonoma TrainTown Railroad!
Written by Andrew Cunningham
We started our day with a quick stop at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. They are open year round, so January and February offer great alternatives to visiting in the midst of the summer crowds.
Every major coaster was running today except for the boomerang (yes, even V2!). Joker was about a 3 train wait (one train operation), while the rest of the park was walk-on. I'd say it was a very stress-free visit!
Above you can see the ride closures for the day (it was a bit chilly, so naturally the water rides are going to be down).
Also something to note- the park was in the middle of some minor construction for a "members-only" entrance. Hopefully this will cut down on the time it takes for passholders to get through the front gates on those really crowded days!
I was able to take my first ride on Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, the parks new-for-2017 ride. I am not a fan of heights, and this things went highhhhhh. It's safe to say I was sufficiently terrified.
And that's all we have from Six Flags!
No noticeable construction has occurred for their new-for-2018 Skywarp, Harley Quinn: Crazy Coaster. We'll make sure to check back as things start to get going on that!
Now to venture into the heart of Wine Country!
About a 30 minute drive northwest of Discovery Kingdom sits Sonoma Traintown Railroad, a charming family park that, yes, does include a coaster credit!
TrainTown has been on my radar to visit for a while now. Aside from their beatufil landscaping and eclectic collection of classic amusement rides, the park famously boasts an elaborate miniature train as its marque attraction.
Admission to the park is free. The train ride costs 6.75 a go, while all the attractions are 2.75 each. For us, a ride on the train plus coaster ran us a whopping $9.50.
The train ride takes you over bridges, through tight tunnels, past various frontier scenes, and into the park's heavily wooded areas. The trip is about four miles long and lasts about 20 minutes. It was really fun and unique!
For our hardcore amusement nerd readers, I would most liken it to a lengthier, more elaborate version of Knoebel's Pioneer Train.
Towards the end of your ride, the train stops at a miniature town called Lakeview, which includes a petting zoo, a fort-themed playground, and a few exhibits. This area is removed from the rest of the park and is only accessible by the train.
Riders get about 10 minutes to stretch their legs and interact with the animals before it's time to jump back on the train and head back to the main park. I met a very friendly alpaca!
Aside from the train, the park has a carousel, ferris wheel, scrambler, some classic flyers, and the coaster. The rides area is situated around a small pond that the train also travels over and around.
The coaster is manufactured by Miler and is dubbed Mine Train. The ride is set back in a wooden area and is a bit larger than your standard Miller kiddie credit. I didn't feel too dirty riding this one
To wrap up our day, we made the quick drive up to Petaluma to visit Lagunitas Brewing Company. We highly suggest visiting if you're a beer fan and find yourself in the area. They sport an amazing outdoor space, great limited release selections, and tasty locally grown food.
Overall, we had a great day! If you ever visit Discovery Kingdom and find yourself with extra time, make sure to take the drive over to Sonoma TrainTown and Lagunitas. As a bonus, if you're heading back to San Francisco, the return drive will bring you across the Golden Gate Bridge!
Anyways, thanks for reading! Happy January and may your off-season be short!
If you are interested in running and theme parks, this is the place for you. Below is a run-down or all races from RunDisney to Cedar Fair and everything in-between. Be sure to check out the updates below, we try to update this a few times a year.
Be sure to check out our original runDisney article to see some of our thoughts on the race series. Reviews of individual races are also listed below.
The information below is current as of February 12, 2018
Disney Races are listed in date order, starting in January. We'll update these dates as they become available.
If you have a Disneyland or Walt Disney World Annual Pass, are a member of DVC or go through a variety of Travel Partners you can get early registration. Go to the RunDisney Home Page to learn more.
RunDisney has made some enhancements to their races, you can read all about them here. Be sure to check out the highlights below:
Note: ALL RunDisney races on the West Coast have been cancelled until further notice, reportedly due to Star Wars Land construction. You can read more of our thoughts on this here.
Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon
Registration Now Open
*In order to participate in the runDisney Kessel Run Challenge, runners must be registered for either the Star Wars First Order Challenge OR Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon PLUS the runDisney Kessel Run Challenge. The Star Wars First Order Challenge and Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon are subject to a separate registration fee, eligibility requirements and capacity limits.
Virtual Running Shorts Series
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Walt Disney World)
January 9-13, 2019
2019 Registration Begins on April
2019 Registration Fees: (Prices not listed yet)
Tip: The Dopey Challenge, Half Marathon, 5k and 10k sell out VERY soon so be sure to register as soon as it opens.
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend - The Light Side (Disneyland)
Star Wars Half Marathon Updates:
2015 Star Wars Half Marathon
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (Walt Disney World)
February 22-25, 2018
2018 Races SOLD OUT
Princess Half Marathon Updates:
2014 Princess Half Marathon
2016 Princess Half Marathon
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend: The Dark Side (Walt Disney World)
April 19-22, 2018
Registration Now Open
Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side Updates:
2016 Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side
2017 Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (Disneyland)
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (Disneyland)
Disneyland Half Marathon Reviews:
2014 Disneyland Half Marathon
2015 Disneyland Half Marathon
2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Part One
2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Part Two
2017 Disneyland Half Marathon
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (Walt Disney World)
November 1-4, 2018
2018 Registration begins on March 13 (Noon Eastern)
Registration Fees: (Prices not listed yet)
Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend (Disneyland)
Super Heroes Half Marathon Reviews:
2014 Avengers Super Hero Half Marathon
2016 Super Heroes Half Marathon
Other Theme Park Races
So what if you don't live near a Disney park or a runDisney race is out of your budget or you just refuse to pay that much? Never fear, because other theme parks have actually caught on and are now offering races of their own.
The Coaster Run
We have unfortunately received word that The Coaster Run has been Cancelled for 2018
The Coaster Run Updates:
2014 Knott's Coaster Run
2015 Knott's Coaster Run
Run for the Fund 5k (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)
May 19, 2018
Registration Now Open
Registration includes one voucher to purchase a $25 + tax Busch Gardens Tampa Bay admission, valid for one visit through Labor Day, September 3, 2018. Participants also receive a dri-fit (uni-sex) race shirt, finisher’s medal, race bib with timing chip, and light refreshments at the finish line.
General Registration = $25 (before April 15)
Employee Registration = $15
Pole to Pole 5k (Sea World San Diego)
No 2018 Date announced
Cedar Fair "Run and Ride" Race Series
Various Dates (See below)
Registration now open
Below is the schedule for the Run and Ride series at Cedar Fair parks. These are the only dates so far for 2018 be we are sure more races will be added in the near future.
Dream Big 5k at Sea World Orlando
Brick Dash 5k - Legoland Florida
April 14, 2018
Registration now open
Brick Dash = $35
Kids Fun Run = $25
Virtual 5k = $35
If there are any races missing from this list or you are hosting a theme park race you'd like us to feature please send us an email or comment below
Welcome to our second full day of IAAPA 2017 coverage. Today we are spending more time on the show floor looking at some new ride vehicles, visiting with some of our favorite ride manufacturers and even showing some of the never before seen things that may be coming to a park near you soon.
Be sure to check out our Day One Coverage .
Coverage by Renée Girard
We’re back for day 2 of IAAPA! Getting a bit of a late start today. I’m getting too old to be staying out past midnight!
If heights are your thing, you can take a climb on the ropes course.
VR is still a popular thing at a lot of attractions. Brogent Technologies offer a cool looking experience.
Checking out the Gerstlauer booth.
Soaring Eagle makes some unique and awesome experiences like Terror Dactyl and Dare to Drop.
Battle Company has all of your laser tag needs.
Crazy 8’s is a fun little spinning coaster.
Love the trackless ride system!
I love a good B&M coaster, including Mako from SeaWorld Orlando, on display here.
Really looking forward to the S&S Steeplechase Evolution!
More VR for those who like that sort of thing.
ABC rides Switzerland will be showing up at the Six Flags Parks next year with their top spin.
Some of the trains made by the folks at Zamperla.
Going to check out what’s new from Triotech. Love these guys!
Triotech introduces a new branding and logo for this year.
Ghostbusters opened last year in Heide Park.
Triotech has partnered with Ubisoft for a new attraction that is a VR maze.
The partnership between Triotech and Ubisoft is sure to lead to great things in the future!
Fidget spinner video game anyone?
The Aquaticar by Cloward looks pretty neat!
A virtual reality water slide, because why not.
This guy will welcome you into Journey to the Five Realms.
SimEx iWerks offers a lot of great 4D experiences, with Superman Man of Steel coming soon.
The WhiteWater company always has amazing slides and other activities for a fun water park experience.
ADG Mountainsides makes some pretty sweet mountain coasters.
Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters booth
This looks like a fun interactive driving experience at the Fotosmile booth
A look at a ride vehicle at the Maurer booth.
Finger Coaster VR experience from Smaaash.
Thanks for joining our trip around the show floor on day 2 of IAAPA. We’ll be back one last time tomorrow!