"Dorn" On The 4th Of July

Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:43 PM

1. "He must still be sick. Maybe he needs to go back in the hospital."

2. "Is he on drugs?"

3. "Must be an imposter posting."

4. "Did he temporarily take up residence in Bizarro World?"

5. "WTF?"

Those are the reactions I might expect from my CoasterBuzz brethren when you read the following sentence:

I went to Dorney Park yesterday and rode ONE coaster.

Back on June 10, I participated in a Coasting For Kids at Dorney. After the Steel Force marathon and some food, my companion and I went into Wild Water Kingdom to dip our legs in the wave pool before the awards ceremony. It was the first time I had even been IN WWK in at least 6-7 years. I decided at that time, that before the summer was out, I was gonna hit WWK "for real." Following my recent hospitalization, a not so pleasant return to work, various aches and pains, and a need to "relax", I decided this past weekend that yesterday would be the day.

I arrived about 20 minutes before they opened the gates to WWK at 10am. In a variation of the "running of the bulls," I managed to secure a chaise lounge, partially under a large umbrella. I didn't bother with a locker, and took a chance leaving my bag under my shorts on the chair. Worked out fine, although I understand most on here wouldn't take that chance.

Essentially, I spent 95% of my day floating the two lazy rivers and hanging in the two wave pools. relaxing was my goal, and that did the trick. I did do one body slide with a mat..think it's called the Aqua Racer (what a LONG flight of stairs.) I also did one tube ride. Did a decent amount of walking, though the mistake I made was going barefoot...very painful walking on the hot concrete, essentially from one end to the other more than once. I also put some sunscreen on, which I don't often do. Still ended up with what is easily one of my five worst sunburns ever (hit CVS on the way home in Bayonne for some solarcaine type stuff.) I dreaded waking up today..I'm in a lot of pain right now...the Naproxen I took this morning has worn off.

At about 2:30 I grabbed what was actually a pretty decent hot dog and a fresh lemonade that was actually made fresh. I've seen other parks that serve lemonade made from a mix and put a piece of lemon in it and call it "freh-squeezed." I also had a good pretzel. Dorney's pretzel vendor is now the Philly Pretzel Co. I've always liked their product..used to have one near the job...but $3.50 for one vs. $2 for three is a big difference.

Near 3pm, I decided to venture over to the ride side. WWK had gotten crowded, and I saw empty seats on Talon, so I anticipated the possibility of little to no line. I was right, and took four rides, two in the back seat. I poached, and avoided walking around and struggling with the stairs again. The rides were good, although my ride in the second seat was pretty forceless. I actually do like the front seat on Talon, although not quite as much as the back. Didn't get a front ride today.

The only other ride I had intention of going on was Thunder Canyon, but the line appeared to be at least an hour fifteen. I passed. Took one more dip in the wave pool and split just past 4:30. Stopped at Weis and for gas, and ate at Friendlys near the park.

Mission accomplished..only really bad thing about the day was the sunburn.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:45 PM
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Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:58 PM

I'm surprised Talon was a walk on even with the waterpark so crowded since I would have thought with it a holiday, both sides of the park would be jammed.

Thunder Canyon's line is usually slow moving. Part of the problem seems to be that the rafts aren't designed well with 8 seats with each set of 4 so close together so most of the time only 5 -6 people at the most could ride in 1 raft. Sometimes they put as few as 2 people in a raft, even with a line.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012 3:14 PM

Because I didn't make the rounds of the ride park, I wasn't able to get a feel for the crowd on that side.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012 5:06 PM

Sounds like a perfect day or relaxation. Sorry to hear about the sunburn. My daughter burns fairly easily, so we established a rule a few years ago: no waterpark until after 2:00 in the afternoon. Then, with a couple applications of SPF 50, she's good to go for the rest of the day.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:11 PM

Mike G - - - > "Relaxing" at a park is very hard to do - especially it seems for many of us. A lounge chair in the shade is a blessing. As I am getting older I have found an oasis in similar type settings.

Perhaps my favorite relaxing waterpark spot is at Splish Splash. There is a spot in Soak City (A simple attraction consisitng of a 3 foot pool, some waterfalls, a few bubbles and some in-pool benches.) My seat is where the run off from the river flows into soak city creating a massaging type of feel against my back. Pure Therapy! If the water could be heated....it would be even better! (AAhhhhhhh!)

I also am partial to my favorite bench at Great Adventure...behind the bandstand towards the lake. Feet out on the fence position. Now stay there for an hour or so. (ZZZZZzzzzz...)

I also could doze off under some of the Knoebels twirling umbrellas looking at the water mechanism. (Zzzzzz!)

Even without the waterpark...you gotta use the sunblock and re-apply as needed. I have fair skin and there is no ifs ands or buts about it.

By the way...I am not a lemonde fan, but the pretzels at Dorney are the only things there marginally edible. They were quite good if not pricey!

Not every great day needs to be marathon riding...especially when it's above 90 degrees.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 11:42 AM

Yeah, Richie, regarding your last line... I got an e-mail from an ex-girlfriend about a half-hour ago, asking if I wanted to join her at GAdv tomorrow. Predicted 100+ temps caused me to decline..no thank you.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 2:45 PM

I think I know what it means, but want clarification of the word "poached".

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Friday, July 6, 2012 3:01 PM

^Grabbing an empty seat on the train you just got off if available. You guys can flame me if you want, but if I can do it, I will, especially if I'm on my own. It certainly doesn't hurt anyone, the seat's going unoccupied. And, as mentioned, the walk-around and stairs take a lot out of me with my breathing issues.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 3:10 PM

Mike Gallagher said:

You guys can flame me if you want...

I want to, but the fact that you know people would tells me you understand that it's questionable at best...even with your attempt at justification.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 3:42 PM

"Questionable?" I can accept that, especially because It's not something I'd have even considered as recently as 2-3 years ago...unless the operator specifically said I could stay on, which is obviously a different situation. And one that still happens occasionally, especially on El Toro :)

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Friday, July 6, 2012 4:29 PM

I don't go to Bison Burger 1 anymore. They're stingy with the condiments.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 4:30 PM

My gut says it's sleazy, but I think I could honestly argue poaching either way.

Just because you happened to be in the station doesn't really give you the rights to unused seats.

On the other hand, no harm/no foul?

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Friday, July 6, 2012 4:47 PM

You could even argue (this is a huge stretch, I know) that if you poach now, then you won't get in line again and save everyone else a millisecond.

When the line is 15 minutes, it doesn't really matter that much either way, but when the line is 2+ hours (like it was for Kingda Ka opening season) then you're saving yourself a ton of time and you're saving a few thousand people 1/36 of a cycle (which is about 5 minutes, so somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 seconds).

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, July 6, 2012 7:28 PM
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Friday, July 6, 2012 5:27 PM

Last fall, I took my son and one or two of his friends to CP on several Fridays. They typically left the old man in the dust so I spent the time riding rides by myself. I did a lot of re-rides (or poaching as its being called here). I always asked the ride op if I could re-ride (most said yes). If they said no, I exited. Tyically its with trains that are clearly not full. I never rode in a row with another person. I never viewed is as being wrong or inappropriate.

I thought that I could also act like I was going to the bin to store something and walk back to the train and get on the ride. But to me that involves deception which crosses the line.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 5:31 PM

Hmm...new idea for an upsell? PoachPass! Wait in line (or not, if you also have a FastPass), ride once, then turn in your PoachPass to grab an unfilled seat for a second ride.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 5:49 PM

GoBucks89 said:

I always asked the ride op if I could re-ride (most said yes). If they said no, I exited.

I think that's the difference between 'poaching' and being on a slow ride.

Ops allowing re-rides isn't poaching.

Kind of mulling around the station, blending in the crowd and sliding back into an unused seat instead of exiting is poaching.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 6:57 PM

One cheek sneak? Why not? If they're shutting the gates and there are empty seats and a long line, what are you hurting? I never stay in a seat or attempt a re-ride without asking, or at least, I never keep a seat if there are people waiting for it. However, I can't tell you how many times I've ridden Nitro two or three times in a row because there were empty seats. El Toro goes out of the station notoriously half full because no one even knows that the station goes back as far as it does because everyone crowds at the front, so I have ridden multiple times without leaving the station because no one could be bothered to head to the back (their big mistake on that one, considering the two back seats on the right side are easily the best seats in the house). Perhaps I am morally bankrupt?

Mike, sorry you got sunburn. That really sucks! Only had an awful awful burn once, and I couldn't even sleep that night because the sheets brushing on my skin made me wanna yack.

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Friday, July 6, 2012 10:34 PM

The One Cheak Sneak, The Boomerang, The Burn and Return, The False Exit, etc...

Call it what you want. It's really a victimless Crime if it doesn't cause anybody an inconvenience.

Also as a public service, I tend to close the restraints of the empty seats near me, so in a way I'm saving considerable timeto the train, helping the crew and providing a public service.

Guilty as charged.

Last edited by Richie Reflux, Friday, July 6, 2012 10:34 PM
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Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:22 AM

Richie, as do I with the restraint closing thing. I don't know if the ops appreciate this or find it annoying, but I always feel it is a nice thing to do.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012 2:12 AM

Usually I Get a "Thanks," a smile or a thumbs up.

On Nitro I've gotten to the point where I visually scan the lines for groups of 3 as the train comes into the station.

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