Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
I just sent a PM to bunky666 and said I might do a trip report, but not now. Then I realized the details are gonna disappear from this 48-year-old-brain pretty quickly, so I better get on it.
After meeting my friend and riding partner Judy at an Allentown motel so we could take one car to the park and avoid the parking fee (Judy has platinum) we arrived a little past 8:30 and waited a few minutes for the parking gate to open. They had a registration table set up outside the main gate, and had individual bags with the name of each participant, containing the items they were receiving/had earned through fundraising. Everyone got an admission ticket, lunch wristband, CFK T-shirt (red,) a certificate of participation, and a coupon for a free on-ride photo. My fund-raising also got me an additional t-shirt, a counter/clicker, an awareness wristband and a FastLane wristband (so many wristbands!!!) We brought our bags to the car, which was VERY close by.
Judy and I met up with bunky666 (henceforth referred to as Jaclyn) in the registration area, and also greeted a few people we/I recognized from the last two years.
From 9:30-10 Stinger was gonna be open for us before the park opened to the public. However, the number of participants exceeded Stinger's capacity, so they opened Possessed for us as well. Good move as far as I'm concerned. It's not my favorite ride, but I'd certainly ride it over that pain machine a few hundred yards away. We hopped on for three rides (Jaclyn took two, I think.) I can still fit, unlike on Wicked Twister. The launch seemed kind of weak, but the rides were okay. I read somewhere, maybe on here, that they were not engaging the hold brake on the second trip up the straight spike, but it was on yesterday.
We were due at Steel Force at 10 for a two hour session on the ride. After some obligatory group video shots, we boarded our dedicated train. Judy and I took the back seat, while Jaclyn was somewhere around the third or fourth car. We kicked off about 10:10, so we had slightly less than two hours. We ended up with 24 rides, although not all participants went all the way through. Judy and I did though. We met a cool young lady, probably 12 or 13, named Parker, and another Jersey girl named Kate. Jaclyn ended up coming toward the back for some rides, and the five of us were switching around the back three seats. As the ride warmed up, the airtime on the first drop increased such that I was practically (unintentionally) standing up toward the end in the very back. The helix remained pretty forceful throughout the session. And the finishing bunny hills? I told Jaclyn I might change my last name to Spalding, I was bouncing up and down so much!
At 12, that session finished and it was time for lunch. The menu was hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, and all-you-can-drink soda. I asked for one of each. The verdict:
Hot Dog..one bite and into the trash it went. FAIL.
The awards ceremony/ presentation was scheduled for 1:30, but Judy and I thought it was 1pm. When we realized there were no shirts, red or otherwise, at the designated area, we grabbed a ride on the log flume. Got pretty wet after waiting about 10 minutes.
The presentation went off fine. They acknowledged all the $1000+ fundraisers, and our girl Parker won the third-place GKTW gift bag.
Our session on Talon was from 2pm-3:30. Judy and I got in the back and never left, although we shifted seats several times. Again, a dedicated train, while the station was getting full. Talon remains my favorite ride in the park. It was running really well. Jaclyn is now a convert to the back seat, left side religion. That's a sweet spot. Judy and I finished with 27 rides, no break..although by the end of this session, most CFK'ers had moved on. I would have been content to stay on Talon the rest of the day. But the final coaster, Hydra, was calling..although I didn't particularly want to answer it. But, hey, it's for the kids...I'll tolerate it.
Again, a dedicated train. Judy and I hopped in the back, and Jaclyn, Kate, and Parker ended up in that vicinity for several rides. I'm not really a fan of Hydra..it really does nothing for me. I find Bizarro and Dominator vastly superior in the floorless genre. Hydra DID do something for me yesterday...it made me a little green around the gills. I stuck it out until the end, with 26 laps by 5pm. The event was now over, although most of the red shirts had disappeared from Hydra MUCH earlier.
We wanted to hit Thunder Canyon and get soaked...the high was around 83-84, so it was a bit hot. Jaclyn need to put her bag in one of the single use lockers, and Judy had gone out to the car to drop off the Hydra photos we'd gotten. Jaclyn found herself w/o cash, so I gave her the three bucks for the locker..which the locker then proceeded to eat. So I went to meet Judy by Thunder Canyon while Jaclyn headed off to seek assistance/refund. Judy suggested I use my FastLane to take a ride while she waited for Jaclyn, and I did. Then I met up with them on line for another drenching.
With the idea of drying off, we took another lap each on Talon and Steel Force. We also rode Thunderhawk, which certainly didn't feel like a coaster celebrating its 90th anniversary . That thing was flying with no trims, best ride I've had on it in several years. Judy and I also took a spin on Meteor at some point..it's a blur.
At that point, Jaclyn headed out. After goodbyes, Judy and I took a (literal) spin on the Enterprise. That put me me over the top, coming close to finishing the job that Hydra started. I felt like I was gonna hurl, but I didn't. We had planned to go to Golden Corral, but I decided that wouldn't be wise and suggested Friendly's next to our motel. Neither one of us could eat, though, and I ended up bringing most of my clam strips and most of Judy's chicken strips home...they'll be supper tonight and tomorrow.
We each had a cup of wine in the room before crashing. Slept okay for most of the night, and hit the road home about 7:30. Pouring rain from Allentown well into Jersey made it a very difficult drive.
It was great to meet and hang out with Jaclyn, and to a lesser extent, Kate and Parker. Cool people. I also want to give a shout out and a "Job Well Done!" to Dorney's ride ops and other employees. And special props to Ride Efficiency Supervisor Buddy, who trained the crews the night before for our sessions, and to Carrie Basta. I'm not sure of her exact title, but she's done a bang-up job of putting together Dorney's CFK event for the last two years, and maybe before that...
Thanks for reading, and can't wait til next year!...but I guess I'll have to...Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Monday, June 10, 2013 12:35 PM
Yep, yep, and yep. Lol The ride ops were fantastic, the day was gorgeous, and the people I was with were all fun and friendly. I was so very proud of the group of CFK riders. Carrie was an excellent, kind event coordinator who was all about listening to suggestions from the group on how to make the event even better for next year. Buddy was an exceptional ride capacity manager as well. Between meeting people who share my passion for all things coaster and doing something for charity, this felt like one of the best things I've ever done.
Something I did notice: the park was dead. It was a perfect day in terms of weather, but no one was there until the waterpark let out. With Steel Force running three trains, I don't think anyone ended up with more than a station wait. As the day wore on though, people on Talon and Hydra were getting irate at our dedicated trains (especially as Talon and Hydra decimated our group of participants). It didn't help that for some reason on Talon, they did not announce we were a charity group with a dedicated train (on the other two main rides, they did).
I'd like to know how I got sunburned on my face with two layers of screen on.
All in all, this was an amazing experience that I plan on repeating for many years to come. I'd love to say more, but Mike did a great TR, and I'm a little dopey from all that riding.
Mmmmm... Clam strips. I'm glad you didn't make it to that Golden Corral, sounds like you mighta had your own personal Chocolate Wonderfall going there if you had...
Which leads me to your lap count. Good lord, man, there's no way I could've managed that. My math isn't good, but you're at at least 80 coaster rides plus Meteor and Enterprise AND a couple/three sloshy water rides. How are you standing? (maybe you're not...) While Dorney's rides certainly aren't the most excruciating out there, still, that would be excessive for me.
Which leads me to something I've said several times in regard to the subject: thank you, everyone. The dedication to this project is astounding. Isnt it wonderful that coaster enthusiasts have found a way to combine the passion they feel for their hobby with compassion for ill children and their families? Once again, good job everyone.
I love how you Easterners say "on line" while we'all in the Midwest say "in line".
I had 67 laps and missed some on all the coasters, plus I did some flat rides (Apollo was NOT a good idea), so Mike and Judy were way ahead of me. Mike jokes about his "older" brain, but he way outlasted my younger brain!
It really was quite the event, RCMAC. I can't stop thinking about how great it was.
And Mike moved over for me for some rides, AND he didn't volley back and forth.
One last thing: Thunderhawk was ridiculous. It was so rough, but it was out of control fun too. I was holding on for dear life because that thing gave some of the best air of the day (besides Steel Force's backseat first drop and last two bunny hills). I know Mike already said it, but wow! Even Hydra, usually very vibrate-y and rough, was running great (for Hydra).
I am going to start raising money the second next year's event opens up.
Start now! Keep an envelope. :-)
Well, just to break it down..tou were pretty much on target with your math, RCMAC. Thanks to my hard-earned clicker, the totals were:
24 Steel Force
One non-event lap each on Steel Force/Talon
2 Thunder Canyon
1 Thunder Creek Mountain (log flume.)
Looks like 88 total rides.
I just woke up from a nearly 3-hour nap.
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