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Photo TR: Dorney Park - 5/30/10


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Over Memorial Day weekend, we hopped in the motor home and headed for Allentown to visit my sister, husband and nephew for a few days. On Sunday, Michael, Dad & I took my nephew (Michael) and his friend (Greg) to Dorney, which is about ten miles from their house. This was my 2nd visit to the park in as many years and the first of which we got to do Wildwater Kingdom.

 

Being that it was about 90 degrees that day, the park was literally deserted and most coasters were walk-on's. The water park however, was packed to the hilt. We ended up spending about three hours in the amusement park and four hours in the water park. Below is my review of both parks although I don't have any pictures of the water park or Thunder Canyon (left camera in the car).

 

Coasters

 

* Talon - Easily a top five invert for me. Rode it once in the front seat with very little wait. I love the little pop of air you get (where they take your picture) near the station. No banging noted against the restraints...very smooth ride. 9/10.

 

* Hydra: The Revenge - Would be great if the lift hill was a bit higher, but a very fun B&M floorless. My nephew got my sister & brother-in-law on this last year (they don't do coasters) and they were both ready to kill him when they got off! Never again, they said! 7.5/10.

 

* Thunderhawk - My 2nd time riding this coaster in the front seat. My nephew said that it is not as rough if you ride on the right side. Being that Michael got beat up on the left side front last year, I daringly chose the left side front this year. Sorry, but I still love this old coaster! Great pops of air at the top of each hill with only one rough turn near the end. For a coaster built in 1923, this is not nearly as rough as other wooden coasters that I have ridden that aren't even 1/4 as old! Very under-rated coaster in my opinion. 8/10.

 

* Steel Force - They are in the process of giving this a Magnum-esque paint job (orange track). First drop is very tame compared to Magnum, but the bunny hops near the end aren't nearly as brutal on the thighs! 7/10

 

* Possessed - This was up and running after being down at the beginning of the season. Not sure why, but it seemed like it was running faster than it did last year. Also prefer the straight up back spike over Wicked Twisters curviness. 8/10

 

* Wild Mouse - DNR.

 

Flat rides

 

* Hang Time - My first ever Top Spin! Never dared to ride these before with my GERD, but I remembered to take my medicine before I left, so felt pretty good about riding it. After we got off, my nephew told me that hanging upside down for fifteen straight seconds wasn't normally part of the ride cycle. I am glad that he waited till it was over to tell me that! Food/acid stayed down which was good although I don't think I'll make it a habit of riding these types of rides! 6.5/10.

 

* Dominator - Standard S&S drop tower, albeit much smaller than CP's. 6/10.

 

* All other flat rides - DNR, although they do have a great selection! I give them a 9/10 compared to other parks (SFGA take notice!)

 

Water rides & slides

 

* Thunder Canyon - Definitely a top 5 rapids ride simply because they actually had ALL of the water effects and waterfalls on! Good theming with lot's of torrential waterfalls to get just about everyone on the raft completely soaked! Other than Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges, I think this will be my new #2. Perfect water ride when it is 90 degrees and I think I like the tinier rafts over the 12 seaters. 10/10

 

* Thunder Creek Mountain Log Flume - DNR. Looked smaller than most standard flumes, but a nice looking family ride.

 

* White Water Landing - This Snake River Falls clone was down both times we went to ride it. I liked the fact that Dorney let's you come back into the back side of the park where WWL and TC are located so you can ride wearing your swimming suits.

 

* Patriot's Plunge @ WWK - Fun tube slides with (obviously) red, white and blue flumes. I chose the middle white one because of what looked like an awesome air time hill at the bottom. Not as fast as I thought it would be and the airtime was not as intense as I thought it would be. Still fun though...7/10

 

* Riptide Run - Very interesting tube ride - kinda like a lazy river that goes down small hills. Lot's of people losing their tubes on the hills! Tame, but a fun family ride. 6.5/10

 

* Wildwater River - One of two lazy rivers (the other one wasn't open). Lot's of waterfalls and wetness - perfect for this hot day! 8.5/10

 

* Wave pool - Standard wave pool (they have two, which were both packed). 7/10.

 

Customer Service/Friendliness

 

Nothing outstanding, but no rude employees either. One exception was the young African-American ride attendant on Possessed. Great enthusiasm and he was asking the guests if they were ready to ride "one awesome roller coaster!" Didn't catch his name, but he stood above and beyond all the other ride attendants. Rest of the attendants at coasters were just there to do their job...ho-hum. Sam Adams Pub employees were sluggish and that would be a credit on their behalf. 4/10

 

Line jumping report

 

I have read reports on here that this park can get pretty bad, but we only had one couple line jump in front of us. This may have been because lines were pretty much non-existant in the amusement park. No one line jumped in WWK, which was nice.

 

Beer report

 

* Sam Adams Pub - Draft beer options include: Boston Lager, Cherry Wheat, Summer Ale and Coors Light. A 16 oz cup will set you back $6.50 + tax (yes, Coors Light is the same price as Sam Adams!). I believe they may have had bottled options as well, but I did not ask for the selection. I will say that customer service was about as slow as molasses at this place. We waited at least fifteen minutes to get a draft when there were only three people in front of us. Seemed as if the employees were having trouble getting chicken wing orders correct for the guests (spicy or barbeque were the only options). Beer selection: 9/10 (for a theme park). Customer service: 1/10.

 

* Game Day Grille - I believe they also have beer here, but we didn't go in.

 

Park cleanliness

 

Very clean and tidy park - 9/10

 

Park Summary

 

Dorney is a nice little park with a great selection of flat rides and coasters. Love the fact that the water park is included with admission and that they offer a senior discount (attn: Six Flags!). I could see this park becoming an annual tradition for our family when we are in the area, but it would be nice if the employees were a little more customer focused. I could also see where they could install a nice B&M hyper or Intamin Mega-Lite over near Possessed and Steel Force - that would really make this park shine! 8.5/10

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I believe this is what is left of Demon Drop in the parking lot.

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Love the brake on the back spike, but wish it lasted a little longer.

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Talon's lift, plus the bonus air time hill!

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Greg (left) and my nephew, Michael on the right.

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A very fun invert!

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Hang Time featured about 15 seconds of upside down-ness. Apparently not normal for this ride cycle?

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I look like I'm having fun, but actually I am a little concerned about barfing on everybody!

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For all lovers of wild mice...

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WWL running empty boats - never got to ride.

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Hydra's lift hill. A little small for a B&M floorless, but still a fun coaster.

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Happy Hydra riders!

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The unique jo-jo roll out of the station.

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Definite hair time!

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Lot's of nice flats including the Tilt-A-Whirl...one of my all time favorites!

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The new/old guy in town...

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Instead of the herky-jerky unloading platform, they are just going to stop you at the end of the track and let you slide down the light pole.

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I think they should have put Demon Drop up here with the Ferris Wheel to make it seem taller. It is now located in what I would refer to as Demon Drop gulch!

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Thunderhawk signage..which is the better name? Thunderhawk or Roller Coaster?

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Dad, Greg and Michael all opt for the right side, but I defied and went left! Note the lines, or lack there-of...

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Two shots of trains with empty seats...on Memorial Day weekend!

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I wanna be like Magnum someday (except the bunny hills)!

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It definitely needs the new paint job!

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New paint to the lift hill and at the end of the ride.

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Michael and Greg waiting for their front row launch on Possessed.

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About one second too trigger happy on the shutter! PS - I was not in the restricted area!

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Uuuuup they gooooo!!!

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Michael showing off his pizza on a stick that he waited twenty minutes for! It was basically a giant doughy pizza roll made with artificial cheese for $4.50 - yum!

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You can see where the majority of the people were heading today...

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Here you can see Demon Drop barely poking through the tree tops. Still seems like a silly place to put it if you ask me!

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Final shot from the lot...we're headed back to my sisters to have barbeque and drink beer. Thanks for reading!

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Nice report, I'm surprised lines were so short. If you try Patriots Plunge again, the red slide with the double down has better air time and the blue slide is more intense. Also on Wildwater Rapids, the slides under Patriots Plunge, the yellow enclosed slide is very fast and intense and a lot of fun.

 

The food service has always been slow at Dorney. I rarely eat in the park and the few times I have, you are always waiting forever even with not many people waiting in front of you

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Thanks for the TR! It's normal for Hang Time to leave you upside down for about 15 seconds. Not my favorite flat in the park. Do you know if Steel Force was painted anywhere further away from the station/lift?

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Nice pics! Reminds me of the day when I went back in August of 2006. Dorney is indeed a nice place. I still like Hershey's Wild Mouse better with the lack of trims and the loading/unloading procedures. Talon is one of my favorite B&M inverts (along with Great Bear, Raptor and Montu). I think hot days are the better days because everyone is at the water park. That has been the case both times I went in 2000 and 2006. The second time, I think Talon was the longest wait, followed by Hydra, and they weren't exceptionally long waits either. It's weird seeing Demon Drop there as to when I was at Cedar Point last year and saw it operating there. I can't believe it's that close to me now lol. Dorney is only about an extra hour from me than Hershey. I hope maybe I'll make it back again in the near future.

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Cool pics! I really liked Dorney Park when I went there 2 years ago. It's no Great Adventure, but still an underrated park with some quality rides, in my opinion. I'll have to get back out there to ride Demon Drop sometime!

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Great trip report, Phil!

 

Interesting how that sign says that Thunderhawk reaches speeds of 63mph...when did they install rockets on the back of the trains?

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Do you know if Steel Force was painted anywhere further away from the station/lift?

 

Just the area around the station to the lift and the final brake run were painted. The actual circuit was still a very faded red. I would assume that they might do more when the park is closed...either at night or early morning.

 

Interesting how that sign says that Thunderhawk reaches speeds of 63mph...when did they install rockets on the back of the trains?

 

Yes, I thought that was strange as it certainly didn't seem that the trains moved that fast! If they did, I'm not sure if I could handle those turns as they would be too rough!

 

 

Thanks for all the comments, folks...glad you liked the report!

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^ Of course you mean other than Magnum being the first mega-coaster, right?

 

My comment about Steel Force/Magnum was only tongue in cheek...definitely two completely different rides here. Back in the day, Magnum actually used to give a great, pain-free ride, but I doubt any coaster would want to be like Magnum these days!

 

While I much prefer Magnum's 1st drop over Steel Force's, the rest of the ride has gotten pretty painful over the years. Steel Force actually rides smoother, but it's not quite as intense as Magnum. Although, I will say that it's gotten harder and harder for me to ride Magnum every year when we visit. Usually once in the back seat (at night) is more than enough.

 

Actually, I wouldn't quibble if they tore Magnum down and replaced it with a Nitro-esque B&M floorless. That would be a perfect area for one, but I don't see that happening anytime in the near future. We can always dream though, right?

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Great trip report. Maybe I'll try and get up to Dorney this year. Haven't been there since they opened Possessed (I still have the urge to call it Voodoo).

 

 

Nicole

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I was last at Dorney in 2008, and the beginning and end of Steel Force looked freshly-painted then. Maybe they don't ever paint the rest of the track.

 

I'm gonna agree with Jim- the beginning/end has been noticeably repainted for at least two years, which just makes the rusty lift hill look worse.

 

Steel Force has been running better this year than I remember, but I'd still probably take Magnum. The lap bars can be painful, but I love coastin along the beach.

 

I was in the park that night, after Wildwater Kingdom closed the lines all moved over to the amusement park, for about a 20 minute wait for anything except Talon.

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^Hmmm...I wonder why they would just paint that specific area? You are correct in that the coaster is starting to look pretty shoddy on the hills. Maybe the painters they hired have a fear of heights?

 

I have only ridden Steel Force four times in two years, but I will say that it did seem a little smoother than last year and definitely smoother than Magnum during the bunny hills. My nephew told us to ride in the middle this time so we did and it actually did seem a little smoother than last year when we rode in the front row. second seat, and back row.

 

I am glad that we left after WWK closed. It was fun to walk on everything we wanted to ride during the afternoon and then take a few hours in the waterpark. I think my family was surprised that I suggested we leave at 6:00, but we had done pretty much everything we wanted to do and I knew my Dad and Michael were tired from the heat. My cousin & his friend had no problem with leaving either as they have season passes and go there just about every day anyway!

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