Dorney -- 3 hours of fun (10/6)

Associated parks:
None

Monday, October 7, 2002 8:04 PM

Oy. After riding the wooden gems at Knoebels, we went back to our rooms to sleep, planning on hitting Dorney the next day. Our alarms were going off all too early, and we were all feeling rather sluggish as we went to the Friendly's in Danville. As the driver for our crew, I was the one who most had to be awake, but a pot of coffee quickly solved THAT little problem.

This would be the first visit to Dorney for Matt and Lori. Liz had been there, but before Steel Force was added, so it had been a while. So, the goal was to hit ALL the coasters even though I'd already been on all of them in the past.

We arrived at the Dorney parking lot around 9:40, with the park scheduled to open at 10. I knew we were in for a good day when I pulled up to the parking booth. I took out my Cedar Point season pass, with the big red parking "P" on it, and nicely asked "I don't suppose this works here, does it?" The nice girl in the booth smiled, said "Sure, why not, have fun", and waved us on. Very nice.

Liz had to buy a ticket, while Lori, Matt, Joe, and myself found ourselves having to go over to the Guest Relations booth to get tickets with our season passes. This is one of very few aspects I'll give credit to Six Flags to over Cedar Fair and Paramount -- Six Flags passes just work, chain-wide, with none of this "get a ticket first" junk.

Once we were in the park, we went straight to Talon, where we had to wait a few minutes. The ride DID start operating a bit early, which was a pleasant surprise given how empty the park was. I had ridden Talon before, at the 2001 ACE Con, but this was the first ride for the rest of the group. Matt, Liz, Lori, and I went to the front row. I thought it was actually running a TAD slow, but it still felt good. The rest of my crew was very impressed. We quickly went around to hit the back row, which is more forceful in my opinion.

After two laps on Talon, we saw that the rest of the park was opening up, and headed over to hit the other rides. We hit all the other coasters once each, except for Steel Force which we rode twice.

Wild Mouse: Your basic steel mouse. The car Lori and I were in was really moving, and I had just gotten finished saying "Hey, no trims" when we hit one about halfway through that was on. Given how much Lori and I were flying into each other, that might actually not have been all bad!

Hercules: Sorry Jeremy -- I know you like this ride, but I REALLY don't. It's a shame, because it does look good, and may have had potential. The sweeping turn over the water looks so damn cool, for instance. But the implementation really just doesn't work for me. This was Lori's first ride, and we both decided that if we were going to ride it and submit ourselves to the pain, we may as well do it right and go for the back. Fortunately for us, the back two cars were roped off. I say fortunately, because even in a middle car, back row, our backs were subject to all sorts of horrible abuse. I really should have known better than to ride on an axle seat on this pile, but as it didn't bother me too much last time, I tried it. My back was sore for the rest of the day. Never again -- it's in my track record, but without major improvements, I doubt I'll ever get back on this ride. I'd sooner marathon Rolling Thunder.

So after riding Hurt-me-please, we found ourselves wandering by

Thunderhawk: Much better. Liz and I knew what this little gem was capable of, but the rest didn't. Thunderhawk is pretty underrated -- it can give a great ride, but it isn't talked about often. Sure enough, it tossed us around nicely, at least until the trim on the return bunny hops. I'm not sure what the point of that trim is, but this is still a good little woodie, one that I'll happily ride again.

Steel Force: We rode this one twice, once in the front, once in the back. I know this hyper used to be quite highly regarded, but it really wasn't doing much on Sunday. There were hints of air, but it just wasn't giving as much as it has. Fun, but not my favorite.

Laser: We were the only people on this ride (actually, this was true for pretty much all the coasters). Lori and I naturally hopped in the back row, only to be told we had to move up front. Too bad. This is a fun little Schwartzkopf, but we would have been much happier in the more intense back seats. Oh well

Woodstock Express: A credit for the rest of my group, and I figured what the heck -- I didn't want to feel left out ;)

Dominator -- one ride on each of the Up and Down towers. Fun, even if it's not as tall as Cedar Point's installation.

All this, and Lori and I decided to spring for a ride on the Skyscraper as well. Neither of us had ever tried one, and with no wait we just had to give it a shot. This is an insane upcharge, and one that I'll gladly do again some day. One of the attendants who strapped us in noted our shirts (SRM 2001 for me, Phoenix for Lori) and asked us if we had come from PPP. :)

Next up, a lunch at Red Garter (another detail that had us all going "Cedar Point Jr"), 3 more laps on Talon (by which time Kara and her friends had arrived), and we decided to go back to Knoebel's for a while before heading home. Total time in the park, including the sitdown lunch, was about 3 hours. The crowd was starting to pick up a little bit, but the park was still quite dead. In spite of how short we had been there, it was a very worthwhile stop.

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:42 AM

Nice TR, Greg. My wife and I were there that day too, and we had a blast. Can't beat walk-ons on every coaster on your first visit! I'm surprised we didn't see your group walking around...I guess we were in opposite areas of the park while you were there.

Glad to hear someone else rave about the Skyscraper! Wow, that was one of the best thrill rides I've ever ridden, upcharge or not. Not a bad price compared to a skycoaster -- only $13 for a single rider. I really hope CP, PKI, or SFWoA looks at putting one of these in...I'd be tempted to ride it on every visit!

Aaron

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:44 AM
The guy who strapped you in at Skyscaper was Jeff...he's is the supervisor at Skyscaper he is also an ACEr and an awesome freind. In fact I rode scaper with him on saturday before heading up to Knoebels and during our ride we flipped about 150 times! It was so awesome!!!

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www.alexsplace.com
2 years working in rides at Dorney Park
01' Indy Cars, 02' Steel Force

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 5:10 AM

Skyscaper is just insane!! Too much fun for such a simple ride.

I'm going to have to side with Greg on this one Jeremy. Hercules sucked!!! I thought Raging Wolf Bobs was bad, this thing beat that by 100% percent. Has to be the worse coaster I've ever encountered. I told Steve when we go back next year, he can ride and I'll sit out.

I really liked Thunderhawk until a trim caught us in the middle of a bunny hop. You could just feel yourself coming out of the seat then it is rudely interrupted by a trim. Who in their right mind would put a trim brake in the middle of a bunny hop?! Cedar Fair I suppose.

Talon is awesome!! Not the biggest invert but man the forces are great in the back. The front is great for visuals. Good speed and layout and this one is a winner for sure. And quiet, too quiet.

Great way to spend 3 hours and I'm looking forward to going back next year with Steve and our daughter.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 5:24 AM
What, exactly, is Skyscraper? I checked the Dorney website and saw absolutely nothing about it. Since you "flip", I assume it's not a Skycoaster (ala Ripcord), but flipping "150 times" (i realize this is an exageration) doesn't give any clue at all. Is this one of those bungee balls?

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 5:51 AM

GregLeg said:

Hercules: Sorry Jeremy -- I know you like this ride, but I REALLY don't. It's a shame, because it does look good, and may have had potential. The sweeping turn over the water looks so damn cool, for instance. But the implementation really just doesn't work for me. This was Lori's first ride, and we both decided that if we were going to ride it and submit ourselves to the pain, we may as well do it right and go for the back. Fortunately for us, the back two cars were roped off. I say fortunately, because even in a middle car, back row, our backs were subject to all sorts of horrible abuse. I really should have known better than to ride on an axle seat on this pile, but as it didn't bother me too much last time, I tried it. My back was sore for the rest of the day. Never again -- it's in my track record, but without major improvements, I doubt I'll ever get back on this ride. I'd sooner marathon Rolling Thunder.

So after riding Hurt-me-please, we found ourselves wandering by

-----------------
--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page



It must've been running really bad on Sunday. The back seat was open when we were there and Rich, who loves Hercules(don't ask me why), even said it was one of the most painful rides he's had on it. I wouldn't know--I was riding my usual bench outside of Hercules. :-) For him to say that, it must've been really bad since he's marathoned in the back seat of it during Coaster Madness.

So, when are you coming to marathon on RT with us, Greg? :-)

Sue

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 7:41 AM
I'm visiting PA next June, and am already solidifying my plans. I have a limited amount of time, and have been trying to decide which parks to hit, and which I'll have to skip. Now I may not have as much luck with the lack of crowds, but can Dorney and Knoebel's be done in the same day? Some of you folks make it sound like it's possible.
Mapquest says Elysburg and Allentown are approx 80 miles apart, but that driving time is close to 2 and a half hours. I don't know why. It seems a long drive for the distance.
Yahoo says the two are just over 77 miles apart, but travel time is 2hrs, 5 min. Are these estimates true? If not, what is a true rough est? Also, assuming I will squeeze the two into a single day, where to start? Or rather, which one is the park to visit at night?
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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 7:55 AM

Robocoaster said:
I'm visiting PA next June, and am already solidifying my plans. I have a limited amount of time, and have been trying to decide which parks to hit, and which I'll have to skip. Now I may not have as much luck with the lack of crowds, but can Dorney and Knoebel's be done in the same day? Some of you folks make it sound like it's possible.
Mapquest says Elysburg and Allentown are approx 80 miles apart, but that driving time is close to 2 and a half hours. I don't know why. It seems a long drive for the distance.
Yahoo says the two are just over 77 miles apart, but travel time is 2hrs, 5 min. Are these estimates true? If not, what is a true rough est? Also, assuming I will squeeze the two into a single day, where to start? Or rather, which one is the park to visit at night?


I think you could do them both in a day. It's about a 2 hour drive between them. I would recommend going to Dorney first where you should be able to get on everything you want in about 2-3 hours. Once Wildwater Kingdom closes, the rides get busy so it's definitely better to do Dorney first. Nothing at Dorney is really a must-ride at night, but Phoenix and Twister definitely get better as the day goes on. The Pioneer Train at Knoebels is also an excellent ride at night.

Sue

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 7:59 AM
Two hours is a fair estimate. It took just under 90 minutes to get from our hotel (Red Roof Inn Danville) to Dorney, but that's right by I-80, so the drive was all interstate. Knoebel's itself, however, is farther away from I-80, on twisty 35mph roads. (Coming back from Dorney we got off at Rt 487 and took it straight over to the park, although Rt 42 would also work. Either way, going all the way back to the Danville exit would have been too far on I-80...)

I'll second Sue's comment about taking Knoebel's over Dorney for the night rides.



Sue said:
So, when are you coming to marathon on RT with us, Greg? :-)

I knew you were going to pick up on that one. I'll get back to you ;)

-------------
--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 10/8/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 11:29 AM

I also I like the fact that Six Flags season passes get you in without going to guest relations, but its not entirely true with Paramount. My PKD pass got me into Canada's Wonderland without going to guest relations, but not into PKI. Go figure.

I'll be hitting Dorney for the last time this season this coming Sunday. Get in a few more rides, and take advantage of the low prices on the 2003 season pass.

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Jim Hansen
Number of coasters ridden: 225

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 11:33 AM
Thanks for the info! My first trip back East from OR now has 9 parks in 8 days. Whew!! But I'm a Coaster Nut, so what can I say?
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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 11:56 AM

Hercules is hit or miss to say the least. Saturday night (the night before you guys were there) I got my best ride this season. In fact most of Dorney's coasters seem to run smoother and faster at night (which is why I'd like to disagree with the "nothing is must ride at night" theory) - Talon runs ridiculously fast at the end of the day - almost a completely different experience from an early morning ride, Hercules becomes much more interesting in the dark - there's no lights anywhere, and even Steel Force seems to deliver more air after the sun goes down.

Just my finidings this season...

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park visits in 2002: 18

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 12:03 PM

CPLady said:
What, exactly, is Skyscraper? I checked the Dorney website and saw absolutely nothing about it.


Skyscraper is basically an overgrown windmill with only two arms, 80 feet from the center. On the end of each arm there is a pod with two seats that swings freely. One is loaded while the other sits at the top 160 feet above the ground. Once both are loaded, the arms rotate just like a windmill. I'll try to get pictures on my site this weekend.

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http://www.eastcoaster.com

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 12:19 PM
Greg: about that "ticket junk"; you have to get a ticket first when you present a Six Flags Property pass such as Great Escape. At least that's the way it is @ SFNE.

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SFNE Central- Your one stop web destination for Six Flags New England!
http://sfne.licensetothrill.net

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 12:37 PM

CPLady said:
What, exactly, is Skyscraper? I checked the Dorney website and saw absolutely nothing about it. Since you "flip", I assume it's not a Skycoaster (ala Ripcord), but flipping "150 times" (i realize this is an exageration) doesn't give any clue at all. Is this one of those bungee balls?

-----------------
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead



Check out the last picture on this page:

http://www.themeparkreview.com/dollywood/pf1.htm

Dorney's is basically like this, except that it has seats on both ends of the arm.

Sue

*** This post was edited by Sue on 10/8/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 1:29 PM

GregLeg said:
"Hercules: Sorry Jeremy -- I know you like this ride, but I REALLY don't. It's a shame, because it does look good, and may have had potential. The sweeping turn over the water looks so damn cool, for instance. But the implementation really just doesn't work for me. This was Lori's first ride, and we both decided that if we were going to ride it and submit ourselves to the pain, we may as well do it right and go for the back. Fortunately for us, the back two cars were roped off. I say fortunately, because even in a middle car, back row, our backs were subject to all sorts of horrible abuse. I really should have known better than to ride on an axle seat on this pile, but as it didn't bother me too much last time, I tried it. My back was sore for the rest of the day. Never again -- it's in my track record, but without major improvements, I doubt I'll ever get back on this ride. I'd sooner marathon Rolling Thunder."

You know, I have no problem with people not liking the coasters that I like as we are all different people. I can accept, for example, that some people do not think that Lightning Racer is one of the most all around fun coasters in the world. I can even tolerate when people say that Raging Bull is "ruined" because of the brakes (balderdash! but whatever...)

What really frosts my cookies though is when people complain about how "rough" a coaster is; or how "painful" a coaster is and then those very same people talk about how great Skooters are that cause them back pain for a week! That to me makes absolutely *no* sense. To not like Son of Beast because it has little airtime is understandable. But dont be bragging about "Frequent Flyer" bruises in one thread and crying about Mean Streak cramps in another. *THAT* is what pisses me off.

NOTE: Greg I am not specifically calling you and lori out here. Just using y'all's comments as a springboard to a general statement.

Specifically on Hercules though, I didnt find it to even be as "Physically Challenging" as, say, The Legend. Perhaps I *did* catch it on an extremely good day, but it was no rougher than a coaster like American Eagle. In fact, I'd daresay that CPs Blue Streak bottoms out harder than Herc. And, I've said it before, any coaster that can provide FOUR distinct moments of ejector air is "good enough" in my book.

But then again, if you look at all off my top woodies (The Legend, Lighting Racer, Son of Beast, Viper, Raven, Hercules, Texas Cyclone), they are all violent save Lightning Racer (Even *I* dont know how that got in there :))
lata,
jeremy
--who expects that KGs "Twister" would end up somewhere on that list....maybe next year :(

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 1:46 PM

I really didn't find Hercules to be 'rough,' as much as I found it to be boring.

Where is the ejector air, Jeremy? I only took two rides (both in the front), and really didn't feel a hint of air anywhere. And where is Viper violent? ;)

I will say this, though: Hercules is *great* from the station to the lift. I thought that section was just terrific.

Robocoaster - You can make it from Knoebel's to Dorney in under 1 and 1/2 hours. I did it on Saturday night, and I never even went over the speed limit.

-----------------
'If there's been a way to build it, there'll be a way to destroy it. Things are not all that out of control.' - Stereolab 'Crest'

*** This post was edited by chris on 10/8/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 2:34 PM
I will be hitting Dorney for the last time on Sunday. I can't wait to see how the coasters and everything else perform.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2002 4:04 PM
I hear where you are coming from Jeremy and I too find that I like the rough and tumble coasters moreso. Some of my favorites include Phoenix, Raven, Legend, Georgia Cyclone and Phantom's Revenge, all of which can be physically challenging. However, I didn't find one redeeming quality on Hercules. Sure it looks nice, and it's got a cool first drop but when it hits that turn, it's all crap from there. I sure as heck didn't experience any airtime. Maybe I caught on a bad day or maybe it was because it was early and hadn't warmed up yet or maybe it's just following in the foot steps of other Dinn coasters. All I know is that I had the worse ride on a roller coaster ever and will probably never step foot on it again. Not just because it was rough (my back didn't bother me afterwards ;) ), but it just wasn't fun. If you don't have a good time, what's the point? Just one less person in line in front you.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 3:01 PM
loriu said "I didn't find one redeeming quality on Hercules". I dont know why, but that particular line was the funniest thing I've read all day.

Chris, as for *where* the air was I couldnt really tell you as I dont know Herc's layout like that, but I will say that I only noticed *that* when sitting in the back seat. I think one of the moments was when the train passed by the station.

And lori, if you think Herc was bad, wait till you get to SFFT and ride Rattler or worse yet SFDL and Predator (worst woodie ever!) Predator was "T"s first (and until this year only) experience with wooden coasters. After riding that, I understood why she hated wooden coasters. (has since been changed with a trip to Hershey and Lighting Racer)
jeremy
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"To get into this head of mine, would take a monkey-wrench, and a lot of wine" Res How I Do

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