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Photo TR: Boldy Does Dorney


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We had a really great time at Dorney this past Saturday night. After living fairly close to this park all my life I was really stoked to make my first visit. I went up with my brother in law Tom who himself visited Kings Island earlier this summer and has joined me at SFGAdv back in June, and again a few weeks ago for our trip to SFA. He is one of my favorite people to go riding with as he has stamina and absolutely no fear/limits when it comes to rides.

 

Tom had to work a half day on Saturday so we didn't get on the road until almost 4pm, arrived at the park around 5pm and stayed until a little before midnight. Overall I really liked the park. Well kept, decent to good themeing, lots of teens but a bit more reigned in that the types you get at a SF park.

 

The park felt pretty crowded while walking around, but as you guys predicted, the lines for rides were minimal. The longest wait was for both of our two rides on Steel Force, but I don't think either of those were over 20 minutes. Everything were station waits, or walkons. Most coasters had 4 ops and were all hustling and keeping trains on the move. A few waits on the stairs but on every coaster they have someone holding people back at the station entrance so it doesn't turn into a shitshow in the station (I'm looking at you El Toro). I guess most people were there for the Haunt stuff, none of which we did. We encountered some actors while walking around but our mission was strictly coasters and some flats.

 

Loved a lot of the lighting packages on the flats here, which looked even better with all the black lights and insane amount of fog the park was pumping out all over (we had a running joke going about the parks' accountant getting the smoke machine bill next month). The red running lights on Hydras lift are a nice touch. We had a really good time re-riding what we liked and just bouncing around all over, so I'm not giving you the play by play of our night but below is what I thought of the rides. We only stopped riding to sit down for beers and crab fries at the Chickies & Petes stand across from the Sea Dragon.

 

Talon (5x)

First ride of the day and my favorite overall. Walked right on to the back seat, then walked around to try the front. Definitely a front seat ride! We came back to this area a few more times later just to ride this. My only other B&M invert is Batman @ GAdv, and I liked this more as its just a hair less intense and has a few moments where you catch your breath before things get crazy again. This was great late at night as they had a haunt between the ride and the water park so walking through the queue in the dark fog and then while on the ride itself, especially the sections furthest away from the park entrance, you couldnt see much of anything. Didn't wait longer than 5 mins for this, even for the front row. (8/10)

 

Possessed (4x)

This was the surprise of the night for me. We loved this ride, Tom said it was his favorite. I hadn't done one of these Intamin launchers before and it really wow'd me. Loved the ops faking us out with countdowns before each launch. Liked it both in the back and the front, the back maybe a bit more because of those crazy high G's as you launch up into the back spike. Also really dug how they hold you on that back spike for a second. Such a great ride. Longest wait was 10 minutes for the front. We were HYPED riding this thing. (8/10)

 

Steel Force (2x)

My first Morgan hyper. Kinda meh. Longest waits of the day, 20 or so minutes each time. First time we rode it was still daylight and we just went for the back car as the wait was less. After this first ride I was calling it "Herky Jerky". The drop doesnt even feel that high for some reason. Almost no air on the bunny hills coming back. We rode again after dark and waited a little more for the 2nd row. We had two tiny little girls in front so we had a good view. What a HUGE difference in airtime when sitting in the front. Much better ride up there and in the dark, but overall it has absolutely nothing on Nitro and S:ROS (my only other two hypers). Coming up the lift in the dark and looking over at the lit up, fog filled park gave me chills and was a highlight of the entire evening. We (and lots of other screaming/scampering guests) saw a skunk in the grass near the bridge over the stream on our way out of this area. Kinda hilarious and wild moment. (6/10)

 

Hydra (2x)

We did this after dark both times as we didn't get back here til after sunset. First ride we went for the back in hopes of some air over the drop. A little, but nothing special. I totally forgot about the roll coming out of the station since we were in the back and this was right after Chickie and Pete's so that slow roll did not agreed with me, but I was OK. No reappearance of crab fries and Blue Moon. Hydra is a good night ride since its pretty dark in that area. Is it me or are the lifts on this and Talon sped up? Seemed like on both once the whole train was on the lift the chain would speed up similar to El Toro. Not as fast, but you could feel the increase in speed. We came back later and did the front (total walk on right up to the front row) and it was a much better ride. Nothing earth shattering, but a solid floorless. If I'm comparing, I prefer Bizarro @ GAdv. (7/10)

 

Wild Mouse (1x)

Credit whores. We had decided early on we didnt care about doing this but we walked past at one point late at night to a non-existent line so we hopped on. I would seriously kill myself if I had to work this ride, the station music is pure audio hell. Standard mouse, didn't hurt us, nothing to report. (3/10)

 

Thunderhawk (1x)

We did this once early and got it out of the way. Awful ride. They were running one train and the station wait was 10 minutes. Zero airtime, crappy first drop, bumpy bumpy bumpy. Square wheels. One and done. (1/10)

 

As far as flats, we also did:

 

The Whip - so great, we tried to get back after dark since they turn out the lights, and run a couple of strobes but it just never happened. (7/10)

 

Enterprise - I used to ride the one in Wildwood all the time as a kid, was easily my favorite flat for years. This one was hard to find, we wound up riding really late before we left. It had a totally creepy ride op, it doesn't go all the way up (wtf?), but still as good a ride as I remembered. (7/10)

 

Apollo - SO GREAT, I think this was my favorite flat of the night. (9/10)

 

Dominator - both sides. First the side where you are shot up, pretty great but we were blown away when we went back and did the drop side. Holy crap! Easily the most freaked out I've been on any ride in a long time. We loved this ride. (8/10)

 

My camera kinda sucks at night so I didn't take very many pictures. My only big regret is we forgot completely about Demon Drop! We just never made it back there. Also, Meteor was not running as they had a Haunt show in front of it, and Screaming Swing was down all day. Overall Dorney is a charming park, with a really nice collection of classic flats to balance out their half decent coaster line up. It felt pretty small, and was mostly easy to get from one area to another - though I never had any idea how hilly this park is. Some of those pathways are really steep! My legs are definitely feeling those climbs today. On to some pix.

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On the road from Philly to Allentown, PA there are cornfields

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And fall foliage

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And delicious burgers and theme parks!

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Love coming over the horizon to a coaster skyline

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Possessed and Dominator. Who knew these would be two of our favorites

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Talon. First of the day

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Nice park

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Beautiful day

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Liked this ride better at night but enjoyed it on all 5 of our rides

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Front seat coaster all the way

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Minimal waits all night

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This thing hauls ass

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Where to?

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Thundercrap

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Lift hill porn

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History lesson

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Now I get the Steel Forceless jokes.

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To be fair, it was much better in the front/at night.

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Possessed. LOVED this ride.

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You will be Possessed in 5.. 4... 3... *launch!*

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Wheel assembly porn

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Only encountered line jumpers once all day. Not too bad.

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The Whip. Great classic.

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Dominator. The drop on this surprised the hell out of us. Very forceful.

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Good times

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Good eatin

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Yum

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Clever.

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Great, simple lights on most of the flats.

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Hydra. Solid floorless coaster. The roll out of the station is very unique (but not good after crab fries and Blue Moon).

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One of the last rides of the night, tho I think we did Possessed again after.

Edited by boldikus
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Great report! I never get the criticism Dorney seems to get a lot, because even though I havent

been, from what Ive seen it looks like a very charming park! I always look forward to your TRs, theyre well-written and your reviews are on point and not snobby like some others on here. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you!

 

One other thing I failed to mention that sucked is their no re-rides policy. More than once we returned to the station on Talon and Possessed and asked if we could stay on since no one was waiting in our row and were told we had to walk around. Lame! I'm so spoiled by GAdv's extremely lax policy with this.

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On our last ride on Possessed, last ride of the night, we waited for 2nd row in front of a probably 10 year old girl and what was likely her grandfather. She was totally excited and when the cycle in front of us started he remarked that it "looks like its going 100 mph" and was leery of riding. He asked if we had ridden it and we told him that yes, this was our fourth ride of the day which sent him into nervous laughter. After we rode we asked him what he thought and he responded it was "amazing, like going to church". (!!) We laughed and were on our way, assuming he meant like a religious experience lmao. We agreed.

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Crap, I should have sent you a PM but totally forgot you were going to Dorney on Saturday. We were going to go to Six Flags but 80 degree weather on a Fright Fest Saturday we decided last minute that we didn't want to be anywhere near the place and spent the day at Dorney (actually from open to close which we hadn't planned on but we were having a great time). I was very impressed with Dorney's haunt and loved that even the Haunt attractions topped out at 30 minute waits. Our experience was the same as yours... the longest lines of the day were 20 minutes for Steel Force and the Thunder Creek Mountain log flume. Hydra, Posessed and Talon were between 10 minutes and complete walk on all day.

 

Great report!

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^ ^ I had every intention of riding it, I used to love FreeFall @ GAdv as a kid. We even spotted it running from the lot while walking in but we just totally forgot about it, and never wandered back to that area. I didn't even realize it til Sunday morning, to which my bro-in-law replied "Guess that means we have to go back!"

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We are heading there this weekend. Gonna bring a nice sized group and have a blast. Shooting to get there around noon and stay until close. Can't wait. Dorney is my home park, but most of the people coming havn't been there in a few years.

 

This is our first time going for the haunt. We do plan to do some of the haunt attractions as well. Glad you had a great time.

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Great report and pics! I'm always glad to see positive reports from Dorney; I've had a great time every time I've been there the last few years, it just seems like such an underrated park to me. Talon's an amazing coaster, they've gone some really good flats, one of my favorite, completely out of control raft rides, and their operations always seem really good for a chain park. Shame you missed Demon Drop though, it's a high point of the park.

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Yeah, another one that we missed. Never made it back there and assumed it was closed (I guess since GAdv closes theirs after Labor Day). Yet another reason to visit the park in 2015.

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The Log Flume and River Rapids were both open this weekend... the Log Flume just looks drained from the top of the hill (by Hydra) because as soon as they shut the pumps off the water all makes it's way to the bottom. The flume closes at 5pm this time of year though... we rode it twice on Saturday.

 

I was surprised to see the rapids open as they're the wettest rapids I've ever seen. I don't recommend anyone riding these unless they're in a bathing suit. I'm not sure if they're always open this time of year or if they just opened them because it was unseasonably warm but there were a lot of people riding them.

 

White Water Landing is closed for the season as it's station is part of a Haunt maze.

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We did see that White Water Landing was closed (as is the Water Park), so that played a part in assuming the log flume was closed. We got to the park just @ 5pm so we would have missed it anyway. Not to mention while it wasnt cold, it was a little chilly later in the night so we weren't exactly itching for water rides.

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Steel Force (2x)

My first Morgan hyper. Kinda meh. Longest waits of the day, 20 or so minutes each time. First time we rode it was still daylight and we just went for the back car as the wait was less. After this first ride I was calling it "Herky Jerky". The drop doesnt even feel that high for some reason. Almost no air on the bunny hills coming back. We rode again after dark and waited a little more for the 2nd row. We had two tiny little girls in front so we had a good view. What a HUGE difference in airtime when sitting in the front. Much better ride up there and in the dark, but overall it has absolutely nothing on Nitro and S:ROS (my only other two hypers). Coming up the lift in the dark and looking over at the lit up, fog filled park gave me chills and was a highlight of the entire evening. We (and lots of other screaming/scampering guests) saw a skunk in the grass near the bridge over the stream on our way out of this area. Kinda hilarious and wild moment. (6/10)

I didn't find steel force anything special but it was fun. On all of my rides I got some air on the hills back to the station, making them my favourite part. Maybe the MCBR was harder this time.

 

Is it me or are the lifts on this and Talon sped up? Seemed like on both once the whole train was on the lift the chain would speed up similar to El Toro. Not as fast, but you could feel the increase in speed.

 

Quite a few B&Ms (especially the newer ones) do it. It's quite subtle but it can be felt.

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The Log Flume and River Rapids were both open this weekend... the Log Flume just looks drained from the top of the hill (by Hydra) because as soon as they shut the pumps off the water all makes it's way to the bottom. The flume closes at 5pm this time of year though... we rode it twice on Saturday.

 

I was surprised to see the rapids open as they're the wettest rapids I've ever seen. I don't recommend anyone riding these unless they're in a bathing suit. I'm not sure if they're always open this time of year or if they just opened them because it was unseasonably warm but there were a lot of people riding them.

 

White Water Landing is closed for the season as it's station is part of a Haunt maze.

 

Really? We were there on Sunday (9/21) from 12 until 4ish and the log flume was not running and was completely drained - no water anywhere. Guess they filled it back up for the warm weather? The River Rapids was not drained - but was not running either when we were there.

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Nice report and pictures! Glad you enjoyed Dorney. I'm with you on Hydra at night, that first drop into rock-filled darkness is one of my favorites.

I didn't get to ride it at night but the drop is great fun. it's interesting that it's as steep as nitro's despite the massive height difference.

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