CBCon Trip - Part Two - Dorney Park

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:50 PM
Dorney Park - Saturday, May 21, 2005

Nothing strikes fear into my heart more than going to an amusement park on a Saturday. Now, you have to realize where I am coming from on this. My home park is Six Flags Great America and Saturdays there mean waiting two hours to ride things and only getting a few rides in on a given day.

So, I was amazed when I walked into Dorney, fifteen minutes after the park opened, to find it dead. Really odd. I was even more amazed to walk over to their newest ride and find a line formed outside the ride that was barely long enough to fill two trains.

Most of my morning was like that, with walk-ons to just about every coaster. It wasn't until the afternoon when the lines started picking up and it made it difficult to ride things.

Anyways, I was at Dorney for Coasterbuzz Con, population of around thirty. I met up with some friends I met at SRM a few years back, Vater (Mike) and his lovely wife (I'm sorry, I forgot your name :( ) Anyways, we remarked at lunch how everyone just kind of stayed in their little groups and didnt go outside their comfort zone.

I met up later with ProgRay? and his friend while they were taking pics of Hydra and during ERT I met up with Lord Gonchar and family. That was my extent of social interaction for the day, unfortunately.

Anyways, like my last trip report, first the rides, and then an overall impression of the park.

  • Hydra: Let's start with the new one first. Great ride. I love how compact of a course it is and the pacing of the ride, at least up to the airtime hill over the station where the ride seems to lose it for a bit and then picks up again into the end. The jojo-roll was fun (and yes, I love the term). I liked hanging in the harnesses and getting a bit of a rush before going up the extremely fast and short lift. The ride makes great use of the terrain to make the lift hill as short as possible. They try to keep things going after the jojo roll, which makes a lot of sense. While the ride is very smooth, it still exhibits some nice g-s through the elements and a few pops of pleasant airtime. I think this will be a huge winner for Dorney and I cannot wait to get out and ride it again.
  • Talon: If Hydra is great, Talon is awesome. Talon is by far the best invert I have ever ridden and is probably one of my favorite coasters of all time. The forces on Talon are some of the best I have ever felt on a Beemer. My favorite parts are coming into the loop, the zero-G roll and the ninety degree banked helixes towards the end. Great ride. I loved marathoning it at the end of the night.
  • Steel Force: I was expecting Wild Thing and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't Wild Thing. Nice pops of air throughout, nice first drop, and a fairly smooth ride. Not a great hyper, but pretty good.
  • Laser: Have I ever mentioned how much I love Anton's creations? Another masterpiece by the master himself.
  • Thunderhawk: I rode this twice and found it pretty rough. I got socked good in the stomach with the lapbar a few times from this ride.
  • Wild Mouse: Pretty good for a wild mouse. Seemed to be running pretty much brakeless throughout.
  • Woodstock Express: Yes, another kiddy credit. I'm such a whore, but no one was riding so I figured I would score the credit.
  • Other Rides: The best find I had in the park was the whip! The last time I rode a whip was at Dandelion Park in Muskego Wisconsin, when I was six. It was my first adult ride and got me hooked. I actually called my mom from the station because she shared my first ride with me and she was really surprised one still existed. She wished she could be there with me. By the way, Dandelion Park closed in 1978. I also rode Dominator, finding it to be blah compared to other S&S towers I have been on. Still kicking myself for missing those extreme bumper cars everyone is talking about.

Anyways, my overall impression of the park was pretty good. The park reminded me of Valleyfair, a park I am very fond of. The park was clean, but not really themed. The employees were nice and helpful for the most part. Overall, it was typical Cedar Fair.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 4:05 PM
I was amazed the one time I went to ride Hydra during the afternoon. When I got to the entrance, a steady stream of people were coming out. I thought, oh no, the ride's down. But then I heard a few of them talk about how long the line was, and how they weren't going to wait so long.

Were they crazy? The "long" line extended along the one queue nearest to the station, across the back, and just starting along the aisle furthest from the station. None of the six or eight interior aisles was even in use. What are these people going to think in July? Like the saying goes, it's no skin off of my nose. I just got on the ride sooner.

Regarding social interaction, in the future, I resolve to introduce myself to more people, as long as they promise they won't fling cucumber salad at me.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 4:48 PM
That is a long line for Dorney..especially in May.

I've visited the park 36 times in 2002 & 2003 along with CBCon this past weekend and the absolute longest I've ever waited for any ride there is when we had friends visit and stopped by the park on a beautiful Saturday in June in 2002.

That day we waited around 25 minutes for Talon.

I can't think of a single other time we waited more than a few trains or a ride cycle or two to ride something there.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:31 PM
Wow, my first trip to Dorney back in ... I'm gonna say August of '03, Steel Force and Talon were hour waits minimum on a Saturday, and that was with the waterpark open and full. I was there last year too early in the year and each was about a 30 minute wait, again on a Saturday. That was definitely the most dead I've ever seen Dorney, although my 3 piddly visits pales compared to some ;)

SpecialEd also said the Whip was great, more whipping motion than Kennywood's he said. We never got on it during the day though, I was more hooked on Revolution and Meteor (obviously, I prefer modern rides most any day ... unless they're Krazy Karts!!!)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:39 PM
Well, I can say I was smart enough not to hit the park on the weekends once season really gets moving. I imagine weekends can be a pain with lines.
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