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Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom Discussion Thread

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I’ve tried to convince Brit to get a bunch of women together and march on Washington demanding real pockets in women’s clothing. I don’t understand why there aren’t millions of women there with pitchforks every single day, I really don’t. If I were a woman I would be burning shit.

Full disclosure, this is slightly self-serving because then I wouldn’t have to carry everything all the time, but let’s ignore that for now.

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Photo TR:  Haunt Friday, September 16th,

My busy schedule this fall only allowed me one trip to Dorney Park this Halloween Season, and it was on the opening night of Haunt.  I arrived shortly after park opening at 6:00.


My first stop was the security checkpoint.  As I mentioned above, Dorney Park (along with KD, KI, and probably a bunch of other CF parks) have instituted a bag restriction policy this year:  Nothing bigger than 6.5" x 4.5" x 2" is permitted inside the park.  Ladies, I don't need to tell you how absolutely impossible it is to find any kind of bag that is that small.  This closest I could find was this, with dimensions of 6.8" by 4.5."  Surely they wouldn't be measuring, and this extremely slight overage would be allowed, right?  Nope, not at all.  They have a wooden box that is sized to the allowed dimensions, and if the bag doesn't fit, it's not allowed.  The person checking bags asked two other people for confirmation, and the decision was "You've gotta return it to your car."  Seriously, if you wanted a "no bags allowed period" policy, just state that.  If anyone has any suggestions of a small purse that meets these inane requirements, please let me know for future trips to CF parks.

That out of the way, I made my way inside, and redeemed my season Fast Lane pass, which (as it did last year), also includes Fright Lane.  Grabbed a quick ride on Talon (two train wait for row 7).  I said it last year, and its more true this year:  This thing needs a paint job.


I double-backed up to the gift shop, to see if they sold any bags that comply with their policy - of course they don't - and grabbed a pretzel from Auntie Anne's.  After a quick photo of one of the bars...


...I was back in the Hydra plaza area to catch the beginning of the Illuminightmares show, which despite its name, is really just drummers playing over some backing tracks with some dancers.  Meh.  At least they reused the stage from last year's opening ceremony show.


I made my way down through the CarnEvil scare zone, which is a little tired by this point, but I did find the bubble machine to be a nice change from the ever-present fog machines.


I hopped on Demon Drop (walk on, solo ride); I always forget how intense these first-gen Intamin towers are.  Then it was time for my first haunted maze of the 2022 season:  Roadside Stop and Chop.


Yes, they've finally stopped calling it Cornstalkers!  This maze mixes up a few different themes, to good effect.  You start in the above pictured building, which is done up to represent a hillbilly rest stop on a highway, then proceed into a small section of corn maze.  You then alternate between butcher-shop style areas, corn mazes, and other "redneck" themed areas, until you get the end.  There was even a human petting zoo!  Very well done, and a ton of actors (at least 30).

I don't have any idea what this says, but thought it looked cool, so here's a picture.


Tell me this isn't supposed to be Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Pretty sure that's a Disney property, CF.


Thunderhawk's lights are still running in a steady-burn, as opposed to the chaser pattern of years past.


My next haunted area was The Lair, which is kinda a cross between a maze and a scare zone, in that there's only one way in but there's no queue or grouping.  Well done, again with a ton of actors.


Towards the back of the park, I took in Trick or Treat, which seems better in terms of artistry from years passed, but still too many unadorned black hallways.  In contrast to the previous mazes, there were only 10-15 actors in this one.

I also grabbed a walk through Necropolis, which is a graveyard setup in the field next to the old Dinosaurs Alive walkway.  Marked improvement from last year (the path was much more clearly marked).  Decent amount of actors here.

Yes, there is still no activity at the old Laser/Stinger site.


Next up it was time for Enigma...


...which, just like last year (noticing a pattern here?) was a good concept with okay execution.  Not a lot of actors in here either (only counted 7), but I guess it doesn't need them since most of the point is the disorienting visuals.

Another of the bars...


...and a picture of the menu.  Only what was listed is available; no custom cocktails here.  I blame Pennsylvania's weird alcohol rules.


After a quick ride on Possessed (1 cycle wait for row 12, of course no holding brake), I took in the Skeleton Crew show after a reccomendation from an employee who said it was "all new this year."


It was not.  The show is comprised of four different acts:  and aerialist, a hoop-roller, a fire-twirler, and the trademark "guys falling off the building and bouncing."  Good enough I guess, but not anything I hadn't seen before.

The pirate area is very well done though.


As is the Hollow, with all of the jack-o-lanterns.


I guess maybe that wasn't Oogie Boogie before, since they had a few more of those things set up elsewhere without trademarked characters.


The next maze up was Tourist Trap, which by this time (around 8:45), the mazes had started to develop some lines.


I found this pretty well done, the maze was very long with a lot of actors and great artistry.  That said, this house has been around for a long, long time, and it might be time for a re-theme.

Next up was Blood on the Bayou, which from the barker and beads all over the front, you might think had been modified to be a Mardi Gras theme....


...but alas, was pretty much unaffected from last year.  Notably, this one had a 7 minute wait with Fright Lane due to the merge point.  This one was very good, as it usually is, with over 40 actors and a ton of different well done scenes.

Blackout, the pitch-black maze, was not open tonight, so that about wrapped up my activities.  I took a walk through the Dystopia scare zone, which I had thought would be better at night than it was...IMG_20220916_210745399.thumb.jpg.1f6d2a56f67652176a1b090feb0d0759.jpg

...and grabbed some pictures of the Dorney Park Haunt staples...


...and made my way out and started my drive home.

Overall, I'm glad I started my Halloween-in-parks season here rather than closing it out with this park like I did last year, since things can only get better.

Seriously though, it wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination...it's just very samey with very few differences compared to previous years.  And that bag policy needs serious work.

Next Stop:  Kings Dominion next weekend.

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1 hour ago, coneyislandchris said:

^ Just to clarify, that bag policy is only during Haunt hours, correct? If you're attending during the daytime, any size bag is still fair game?

That's what it says on their website.  Which makes it more insane, since if you come in during the day with your "large" bag, you don't need to leave with it before Haunt.

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  • 1 month later...

So we took our kids to Dorney for the first time, and my first visit since 2013 for their Family Halloween bash. I remembered this park was nice but when visiting with our kids it was even better. It's more of a full day park since kids tend to slow you down and experience more than just the biggest coasters. The weather held out for us, it was cool but not freezing and the rain never came. Crowds were decent for a Sunday in October but lines were non-existent.

The Peanuts Pumpkin Fest was great, they had lots of activities and games for the kids, and one of the best trick or treat setups we've done. They turned their cabanas into little houses to go door to door to. Much better than Sesame Place that we went to the day before. The kids also loved Planet Snoopy a very underrated kids section.

Most of Dorney is underrated, and it's a shame Cedar Fair doesn't put more into this park, especially being in a big metro area. The major coasters are all solid and in good shape. Thunder hawk was fun and not to rough, just some bad trim brakes. Hydra was good but had a noticeable rattle that I don't recall from the last time. Possessed was fast and exciting but it sounds like it could be in need of some repairs, the launch section sounded bad. 

The stars were Talon and Steel Force, Talon is also very underrated and one of the better Inverts out there. It's got great pacing and intense inversions, the crew could be a little faster though. Steel Force was so much better than I remember, it's not top ten but better than many give it credit for. The back has a great first drop but the airtime is better in front, and less forceful when landing back on the seat. The mid course barely slowed down the train. 

Overall Dorney is a solid family park that gets overlooked in Pennsylvania with so many other more well known parks. If it were in an area with less competition it would be a star. I wish we lived closer to this than the couple of six flags we have. As for no lines ever I'm fine with that, it was good to see that hasn't changed over the years.

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