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Dorney Park Crowds


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Despite the fact that I have a season pass to Great Adventure, I'm thinking about going to Dorney Park since I haven't been there in quite some time and looked fun to check out.

 

How are the crowds compared to Six Flags Great Advenutre, though? If I go on a weekday (non-Friday), will I likely be waiting in hour-long lines for every roller coaster or thrill ride?

 

Also, which is a better waterpark - Hurricane Harbor or Wildwater Kingdom?

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Also, which is a better waterpark - Hurricane Harbor or Wildwater Kingdom?

 

I've only been to HH once, but I'd say WWK is better by a long shot. Not only is it included with park admission, but I think they have a much better variety of attractions there.

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WWK is the father of waterparks in the region being probably the oldest. I think HH as a younger park is more expansive. Recently WWK has received upgrades just to modernize. I'm not a big waterpark fan but it would be nice to get a Tornado at HH. I guess they figure since WWK doesn't have one....

 

The lines at Dorney at basically a walk on joke compared to SFGADV. The only wait you may annoyingly have may be a 30 minute wait at least for the Wild Mouse.

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Yeah the Mouse usually has a crazy line because of the stupid rules (no more than 2 adults per car, seatbelts, not many cars on the track)

 

As others have said on weekdays Dorney never has lines for most rides. That is because 2 trains are always on Talon, Hydra and Steel Force and operations are very fast. It is very rare to see a train stack for more than a few seconds.

 

I would get to the waterpark at opening or try to go later in the day in the last few hours it is open since that is where the crowds are. I went last Tuesday, on the ride side nothing had a wait at all unless you wanted the front (and even then it was less than 10 minutes) except the mouse.

 

The waterpark had lines of 0 - 20 minutes, not bad considering how crowded it can get (Aquablast was 20 minutes) but that is the main draw of Dorney.

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My old strategy was to get there at opening, and do the water park until around 3-5 PM. It always worked out well and I rarely had to miss any rides I wanted to go on due to lines.

 

Last year, I tried something new. Upon arrival at park opening, I blitzed every coaster and many flats. It took less than 2 hours. Went to the water park from noon until they closed at 7 and had almost no lines for any of the slides towards the end of that time. Re-rode Riptide Run (The one with multiple pools connected by slides, cut in to the hill) like 8 times in a row. Then we went back to the rides side and got at least one more ride on each coaster and several flats before the park closing. I found it worked out really well and you were in the water for the hottest part of the day.

 

Either way, you'll do all right. Coming from SFGA, lines are virtually nothing by comparison, and even on weekends you'll never wait for any ride as long as you could at SFGA. Operations are just that much better and capacity is simply less. I'd still recommend going on a weekday to avoid a lot of the Philadelphia crowd that shows up on weekends and can lessen your experience.

 

As for water park comparisons...

 

Hurricane Harbor is nice. I was working at the park when it first opened and was there all time time after or before shift. Aside from the one new slide tower they added two years after opening, it's been stagnant. There's a decent amount of things to do, and the "island" scenery is nice, but the layout is crap and rides are very spaced apart.

 

That said, Wildwater Kingdom is still leaps and bounds beyond. More slide towers, greater variety in slides, two wave pools, two lazy rivers (which unfortunately are not a method of transportation). The layout has gotten weird in the past few years with several dead ends, and there isn't much in the way of structural scenery.

 

At the end of the day, HH alone costs as much as a ticket for both parks at Dorney, and there's more to do at WWK alone. Both have poor layouts (albeit for different reasons). Structural/themeing scenery shouldn't be what you're looking at while at a water park anyway.

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