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Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom Discussion Thread


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Cedar Fair has gotten even stricter with seatbelts. Now on the non coaster rides, them ride operators walk around and tighten everyone's seatbelt to the point where it is uncomfortable. On the Whip, they also now put the slack of each belt around the lap bar and it takes close to 4 minutes from when the riders are let into the ride area until the ride starts.

 

They are also now selling game prizes at each game booth if you would rather just buy the stuffed animal. Prices range from $4 to $125 depending on the item.

 

This sound like my experience at Morey's Piers. I've been stapled with lap bars before, but I've never seen an op grab the belt and tighten it to the max before then stapling the restraint.

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Made the trek out to Dorney for twilight ticket and due to the weather the park was even more empty than usual. Every single coaster was a walk on or 1-2 train wait. We arrived at Dorney around 5 and left around 7:45 riding everything multiple times for the most part. It was a great day with a bonus since we got to end it with Waffle House.

 

As far as the rides themselves go Steel Force was fun and nothing more in the front row, Talon was its usual very solid self, Demon Drop was terrifying as always and Possessed was still running without the holding breaks. The one ride that really grabbed my attention today believe it or not was Hydra. I had my best ride ever on it, the coaster was absolutely flying through the course delivering, dare I say it, a pretty forceful ride. I don't think the trims were on at all since there was no slowing down at any portion of the ride. If this is the case I hope Dorney leaves them off for good. Now on to the photos.

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Park was slammed when we arrived.

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I heard the new Giga will be running through here.

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Talon is a mighty fine looking coaster.

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Imagine buying one lol.

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New flats for all you nerds out there.

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Standard Talon photo op.

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Pleasant surprise of the day.

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Yup, this is Dorney alright.

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I got more soaked than I wanted too on this.

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I've ridden this thing more times than I can count and it is still the drop tower that scares me the most.

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This ride was a big deal when I was in grade school.

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I always admire the paint scheme on Thunderhawk.

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This ride always packs a punch.

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Classic fun ride.

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I just liked the way this looked.

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Ended the day with an All-Star special.

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Nice update. Since when does Hydra have trims? I love that its a complete walk on and they have both trains in operation. So Dorney.

 

Also an All Star fan here. You're making me hungry with that post.

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Nice update. Since when does Hydra have trims? I love that its a complete walk on and they have both trains in operation. So Dorney.

 

Also an All Star fan here. You're making me hungry with that post.

 

Good point about Hydra. I just can't wrap my head around why the rides on it today were so crazy.

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Nice update. Since when does Hydra have trims? I love that its a complete walk on and they have both trains in operation. So Dorney.

 

Also an All Star fan here. You're making me hungry with that post.

It was made to have trims on the hill next to the station before the final corkscrew, but they were never installed. Good thing as I don't think it would make it through the rest of the layout!

 

I normally visit the park by this time in the year, but haven't. If I get a Platinum Pass next year for what the other parks add and they do a deal with an admission ticket for this year, I might stop back for this season.

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Great photos and report Jcoaster. Is that the Waffle House just off of 78 at the Hellertown exit? Never stopped in there; any time I'm in the area I end up going to Crossroads Hotel just a little further down Main Street. Pizza of my childhood.

 

Hoping I can stop by at some point this weekend, possibly on Sunday. Going to be visiting family in the area. I know it's gonna be a tough sell on my wife though since she's still a little parked-out from last week's trip to VA.

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Went on Friday for the first time and had a fantastic day. There were some huge storms in the AM, so rather than arriving at 10am we arrived at noon. Drive was supposed to be 1 hour 20, but took 2 hours. We passed 4 very serious accidents involving trucks - one was blocking every lane in the other direction.

 

Even then, we got the closest non-handicap, non-priority parking spot available.

 

Hit the water park from noon to around 3:30pm. No lines at all, for anything. Rode every single slide. Everything was open except what looked like the smaller lazy river. The open lazy river was great, and blew the six flags one away.

 

Then walked over to the main park for the water rides. Unfortunately, the rapids were closed (although they did open later). Got absolutely soaked in the boat ride, where they were running 3 boats, each with 1-4 people (capacity of like 30 each). I went twice, and then hit the bridge. WOW. The force of the water on the bridge is insane.

 

The logs were fun but shorter than expected.

 

Went back to the water park to change. Caught a 5pm circus show in the main theater. Then rode pretty much everything in the park, catching the Enterprise at 9:57pm. They really hide that thing! Steel Force was down the first loop, but opened later. Demon Drop was closed at 9:15pm for "issues" but was open again at 9:40 with all 4 cars going.

 

Overall, a fantastic time, thanks to the weather for scaring everyone away from the water park.

 

I think our longest wait was for the bumper cars, only because we had to wait 1.5 cycles. Also, the bumper car area is way too small + too crowded. They need to pull 4 cars or expand the area.

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What do you know... I actually did manage to visit Dorney on Sunday, and dragged along both kids, the wife, and my father as well. A few brief thoughts and images for all y'all:

 

  • The weather was absolutely beautiful all day long. Even though the parking lot was nearly filled to capacity by noon, that didn't really translate into heavy crowds on the dry side. No great surprise there. We didn't end up waiting more than a single cycle for any ride all day long. I know that's par for the course no matter when you visit, but even on a Sunday? Amazing. I'm not complaining. But I can also understand why this means this park won't be seeing any new major coaster investments any time soon.
     
     
  • Early entry was kind of a joke. I have a Platinum Pass saved on my phone, and they literally had no idea what to do with it. They were going to issue me a gold pass at the gate, and I had to tell them, no, this is the actual platinum pass from Cedar Point... then they told me they couldn't honor it and they needed a physical card from everyone in order to scan them through. *sigh* Good thing I still carry them in my wallet too. They had no problem processing the bring-a-friend codes though. Anyway, once we get into the park, there were supposed to be four rides open for early entry; the Antique Carousel, Dodgem, Kaleidoscope, and Talon. My wife and daughter split off to do the carousel, my father and son headed over to Dodgem, and I bounced over to Talon. At 9:40, the chain was up and there was someone at the gate saying "ride is closed." All day? "I dunno. Maybe. Yeah." Met up with F+S at Dodgem only to find that there was literally no one at the ride. We walk back towards the carousel past Kaleidoscope only to see that that's closed as well, and there's a couple of ride ops inside the booth just BSing with each other. Try to wave them down and get their attention to ask if they're open... "Nah man, wait until 10." OH WELL. At least we got several rides in on the carousel...
     
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  • It's clear my daughter is going to be just as much of a ride junkie as my son and I. Part of the reason we stopped over here is because of their extremely liberal height policy; even though she's only 37" tall, she got a massive amount of rides in throughout the day. In the Planet Snoopy area, she rode the Camp Bus, Charlie Brown's Wind-Up swings, Peanuts Road Rally, Snoopy's Cloud Climbers helicopters, Woodstock's Wagon Wheel, and like a thousand times on the Kite-Eating Tree (mini-drop towers definitely seem to be her favorite). And for the second week in a row, we managed to get the whole core family (including my coaster-hating wife) onto a kiddie coaster with Woodstock Express. Meanwhile, out in the rest of the park, she also managed to get rides in on Sea Dragon, Monster, Road Rally, Apollo, Zephyr, the Whip, a solid back-to-back pair on Thunder Creek Mountain (which is neck-and-neck with Zoom Phloom for my favorite log flume of all time), and an extremely spinny ride with the four of us on Tilt-A-Whirl. Spun us around so hard she literally lost a shoe. Kudos to my wife who reacted fast and caught it mid-spin. She would have also been eligible for Musik Express but at that point, she was crashed out so hard in her stroller that we didn't dare wake her.
     
    123_1.thumb.jpg.0149f313a3aed9e7e357d46212241101.jpgGotta catch 'em all!
     
  • Had a really weird experience getting season pass dining at the Chickie's & Pete's near Sea Dragon. Apparently they upgraded to self-serve kiosks at some point. Even though I scanned in my card and it registered one credit for a meal, whenever I clicked "next" on that screen, it kept showing me "No options available". I walked up to the cashier window and asked if I could just place my order there. According to that employee... nope. All season pass plans need to go through the kiosks. Explained the situation to her, she took my card and went over to the kiosks to check, and ended up repeating the same loop I was stuck in about ten times before sighing, giving up, and asked me what I wanted. "Cheesesteak combo." Scribbles it down on a piece of receipt paper with an order number, gives it to me, "here you go". Didn't have any such problems with the self-serve kiosks at Kings Dominion, so no clue what's going on over here. No complaints though. Food came out quick and was yummy.
     
    IMG_1599.thumb.JPG.483ee33692a0e26a7b997dc4952eadf0.JPGThe kiddo and the cast of Cirque Imagine!
     
  • We took a break during the middle of the day to check out Cirque Imagine, the new show playing at the Good Time Theater thrice daily. We had seen the Cirque show at KD the week before, and our kids absolutely loved it just as much as we did, to the point where my daughter was attempting to imitate the performers in her seat. No such luck with this one, unfortunately. Although it managed to keep her attention for the first couple of segments, once the BMX stunt performer came out, she just turned off any interest whatsoever. The big kiddo loved it, especially the rope swing performer who did some absolutely amazing stunts (and easily blew away the rest of the cast). Overall, not as good as the Kings Dominion one, but still a worthwhile way to spend a half-hour.
     
    IMG_1620.thumb.JPG.8cbe92ae53fcfd2d249575365a72635f.JPGThis was the best photo I could get of him in front of Revolution. His reaction afterwards was MUCH better.
     
  • The big kiddo had an absolute blast as expected. He rode all of the above as well, and also eventually got in rides on Dodgem and Kaleidoscope. We also got in a number of rides on both Dominator towers; always nice to see a park that has S&S towers with 48" height requirements. Almost every park that we've visited recently aside from Casino Pier has had them at 52", so as soon as he saw that it was a 48" requirement, he made a beeline for the entrance. His verdict; green is better than red. I honestly don't know if I agree or disagree, they're both fantastic. This was also his first time hitting up some of the larger flat rides; Meteor, Revolution, and Demon Drop were all new to him. Meteor and Rev were both great, but Demon Drop ended up being his favorite ride in the park today! I'm so glad that they still have a classic Intamin drop ride like this up and running (even though it has no riders). After our first ride, we asked the guy on the exit side if we could stay on since there was no one else in line. He asked the guy on the other side. Guy on the other side ran up to the ride op and chatted for a sec. He then came back to us and said "OK, if you can beat me in a game of rock paper scissors, you can stay on." I lost. He cheated. We got some exercise and ran around for a second ride anyway.
     
    IMG_1391.thumb.JPG.47c1f2b14daab1260cf7f827e602f923.JPGThe most useless things on the face of the Earth?
     
  • Coaster-wise, it was slim pickings for us. The wild mouse line is always slow moving and we had done it before anyway, so we skipped it this time around. We all got on Woodstock Express as I mentioned earlier. When we walked past Thunderhawk the first time, it was down for maintenance and we hadn't seen any trains running at all, so we just walked past to Steel Force. The kiddo and I ran up the steps, through the obnoxiously long and abandoned queue, into the station and into a literal walk-on for row 7. Not great, but decent enough. When we got back to the station, again, there was no one waiting. We asked again if we could stay on and re-ride, and the checker's response was a surprising "yeah, do whatever you like". Okay! Two in a row for us this time. When we went to check our photos down at the booth, we found out that on both rides, our heads were cut off on the top of the frame. Nothing the guy could do to fix it either. A disappointment for the kiddo, because he collects photo keychains and wanted to get this one, but we made up for it at the end of the day by finding a Steel Force character keychain for him instead. We ended up walking past Thunderhawk a second time on our way back up to the top of the park and noticed that they were now running some empty trains, so we booked it back over to the entrance to find it still closed. We were going to wait, but then they stopped running test trains again for some reason, and the fellow manning the gate advised us that we should probably find something else unless we wanted to wait even longer. So no classic woodie this time around.
     
    123_1-1.jpg.4c9bd744bb1758bdf4dbebb9fdbb827e.jpgThe family that coasts together! Now if I could only get my wife on a wooden coaster...
     
  • We played a couple of prize games too. The kiddo kicked our butt at Raging Waters and won a Pikachu for his sister, and then I thoroughly schooled everyone at Whac-A-Mole (but gave him his choice of prize anyway, which ended up being a red Yoshi). I'm also loving the fact that retro game prizes seem to be in right now. In addition to the Pokemon and Super Mario prizes, they also had a large number of Sonic and Pac-Man prizes available.
     
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  • Kudos to the fellow running the Zephyr. He always does a great job of throwing down interesting historical tidbits about the park, and it always ends up being a pleasure to ride this classic mini-train.
     
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  • I can't even be mad at this one, I'm more amazed than anything, but someone managed to pinch out a turd in one of the urinals. A fitting final memory of our day at Dorney Park. While there were some mild disappointments, the lack of lines throughout the park ensured that we definitely got our money's worth and were never at a loss for things to do all day long. We ended up hitting the road around 6 PM and made a stopover in Hellertown at the aforementioned Crossroads Hotel for some pizza, pierogies, and birch beer. Always recommended!

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I can't even be mad at this one, I'm more amazed than anything, but someone managed to pinch out a turd in one of the urinals. A fitting final memory of our day at Dorney Park.

 

I lol'd at this. Can never not think about the South Park episode. But seriously, this is Dorney Park in a nutshell. It is the proverbial turd in the urinal of the amusement industry. Its pretty dissapointing but ot always manages to bring a smile to your face.

 

Great report.

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The other report reminded me of a couple of things I missed:

 

1) Why are some ride operators not happy with letting you ride again when the station is literally empty? Like 100% empty? Six Flags has no issue with letting you sit over and over again.

 

2) WTF is wrong with the wild mouse design queue? So they have four gates set up, and 4 rows ready to load. They open up gate 1 and the two people sit front and back only rather than side by side like every other ride in the word. Ok? Then they open up gate 4 and those folks do the same? Ok. So they get sent off and 2 new cars come in. They open gate 2, and then gate 4 again. We're in gate 3. Hello? Why don't we get to ride? So weird.

 

3) Big kudus for the park letting you store your items for free in the cubbies. Six Flags forcing you to pay $1 per ride is really grating.

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I agree with the comment about Dodgem. Having 20 bumper cars on it wasn't a good thing to do since it's a small arena. They should pull some of them out to make it better.

 

Last time I went only a few they had running, makes no sense to me that they have that many.

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A couple more things I forgot:

 

1. The vegetarian options in the park are abysmal. Took some work to feed my girlfriend. My sister, who is vegan, would only be able to eat french fries if she ever came.

2. The font on the menu screens is tiny. Im in the water park. Our glasses are safely stored in a l.ocker. DONT USE FONT SIZE 3 FOR THE FOOD ITEMS and 90% of the screen to advertise your souvenir cups.

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Why are some ride operators not happy with letting you ride again when the station is literally empty? Like 100% empty? Six Flags has no issue with letting you sit over and over again.

 

 

They probably just don't want to work. Sitting around all day in an empty park waiting for any sign of potential riders, and now that that rare and magical moment has occurred, you're making them do it again.

It's a feeling that I know on rainy days. The operators may question "Why the hell are people even here?"

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I have heard 2 reasons but not sure if they are true. One is they want turnstile clicks to be accurate and the few times I have seen re-rides allowed at Dorney, a ride operator does go to the turnstile to rotate it for each person re-riding. I don't see how it can be accurate when kids turn them. The other reason I heard is for insurance, if someone passes out or becomes unconscious and they don't respond and re-ride, the park doesn't want to be held liable. I stopped asking for re-rides at Dorney 10 years ago and now only will re-ride if the ride operator offers it or I see others re-riding.

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Why are some ride operators not happy with letting you ride again when the station is literally empty? Like 100% empty? Six Flags has no issue with letting you sit over and over again.

 

 

They probably just don't want to work. Sitting around all day in an empty park waiting for any sign of potential riders, and now that that rare and magical moment has occurred, you're making them do it again.

It's a feeling that I know on rainy days. The operators may question "Why the hell are people even here?"

 

Its the turn style clicks. Ridership goes into if rides are taken out or not.

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