Dorney 6-21 1st timer (long)

Associated parks:
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Thursday, June 22, 2006 7:43 PM
What an adventurous trip this turned out to be and was expected to be.
It all start off on Tuesday afternoon. You see I work for an airline and one of my benefits includes all the free flying I can handle. I love to take advantage of that so I fly somewhere every week on my days off. This week's plans were not certain-maybe San Diego, maybe Boston, maybe Portland...none of those options worked out- but my friend, who also works for the same airline as I do, and I were determined to go somewhere (it's an addiction). Before this summer season kicked off I was doing some research on amusement parks across the country- I recall looking into Dorney and seeing that their Season Pass included admission to all the Cedar Fair Parks, something that the other parks could not offer.
Well as I was trying to think where we should go I started to get that Coaster/Summer Fever. I was thinking of a Six Flags I could go to with my Season Pass- nothing seemed logical. Then a crazy thought entered my mind ( remember this is Wednesday afternoon and we had to be back Thursday night so my friend could get back to work on Friday morning). We would fly into Cincinatti on the last flight from Salt Lake City, then sleep in the airport and take the first flight into Allentown in the morning, take the bus to Dorney, get our Season Passes and spend a few hours there, then we would take the bus back to the airport fly back to Cinicinatti and take the last flight back to Salt Lake City. It was crazy, but I had to do it, if only I could talk my friend into it. She's very easily persuaded and I did a good job, we were going. So we got ready and left for the airport. The trip started off good by both of us getting first class and 2 free Mojitos.
We didn't sleep in the airport (apparently I was talking all night and the floor was not the softest thing in world). It didn't matter, I was excited about Dorney. We took the morning flight to Allentown and we both passed out on th plane. When we got to Allentown we noticed that the last bus to Dorney left before we got there and they didn't start their route to Dorney again until 3pm-the same time we would have to leave the park to make our flight. We had to get there much sooner- so we took a $20 taxi ride (not too bad).
After waiting a while in the Season Pass photo line and stuffing our backpacks and my mummy bag in a locker it was finally time to ride.
I'm not going to go into a play by play of my day at the park, I'll just do an overall report.
The Park- it reminded me alot of what my hometown Park (Lagoon) could be if they would expand and build some bigger and better rollercoasters. Basically it was Cedar Point mixed with Lagoon, minus the lines and the few bad rollercoasters at CP. I loved this park- great atmosphere, incredible rollercoasters, good staff, no lines, and an overall great selection of rides. We didn't ride any of the flats ( I guess our stomachs weren't up to it after the 1-2 hours of sleep), but it was obvious that they had a decent selection of them. We were there from 11 to 3 and got on everything we wanted to 3 or 4 times. Now onto the rollercoasters.
Talon- WOW!!! this was intense- it really sped through the course and never let up- I love the layout. I still have not decided if I like it better than Montu, but the fact that it has no midcourse brakes may give it the edge.
Hydra- definately the most unique floorless and maybe most unique B&M I've riden. I'm in love with the ride beginning off going through an inline twist. The first drop was straight- which I liked and the layout was fantastic- I especially loved the first inversion and the back to back barrel rolls. This ride was much more intense than I expected. I loved the twists and the compactness of the ride. The only downside is the part before the finale it kind of let up and didn't do much for me, but it redeemed itself with that last corkscrew and finale.
Steel Force- I remember watching the rollercoaster shows off of the Discover Channel since the late 90s and seeing Steel Force featured in many of those shows, now about 7-8 years later I could finally ride it.I loved it just as much, if not more, than the other 2 at the park. The only hypers I've ridden before this were Nitro, Goliath, Magnum, Desperado, and Milly (although it's technically a giga). I thought this was going to be much like Magnum- but for me it was much better, the front seat airtime was insane, and the ride definately delivered, nothing to complain about. I've never had more airtime on a rollercoaster than this one. I especially like the restraint system. I think this is tied with Nitro as my favorite hyper (Nitro may have been better, but the only times are rode it have been in the rain, therefore my head was kind of turned and eyes closed throughout most of the ride).
Thunderhawk- It was ok, but for me a woodie should either be great or shouldn't be built. The ones that aren't great (Ghost Rider, Roar, etc.) do almost nothing for me. I was dissapointed how towards the end we finally started getting some airtime then on one of the camelbacks there was a hard trim brake, it ruined the end of the ride which also ruined the impression of the ride.
Laser- We have one almost exactly like it at Lagoon, but since I haven't been to Lagoon for 4 years and no plans to go this year, we decided to ride this. It seemed much more intense than Collosus at Lagoon, but again that could go back to our 5 hours of flying and 1-2 hours of sleep from the previous night. You really can't go wrong with a Scwartzkopf (I know I spelled that wrong), unless a park decides to ruin it AKA Revolution at SFMM.
After we hit everything a few times it was time to go and we had to do all the flying over again. We almost didn't get on our last flight home from Cincinatti since they changed to a smaller aircraft at the last moment and we fly standby so none of the gate agents knew how many seats were empty. They just had us go on and find an empty one, if there were any. Luckily we found some- that was my first time experiencing that with my 85,000 standby miles.
Afterall these years this trip is proof to myself of my passion and love for rollercoasters.
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Thursday, June 22, 2006 11:41 PM

encinosteve said:

Thunderhawk- It was ok, but for me a woodie should either be great or shouldn't be built. The ones that aren't great (Ghost Rider, Roar, etc.) do almost nothing for me. I was dissapointed how towards the end we finally started getting some airtime then on one of the camelbacks there was a hard trim brake, it ruined the end of the ride which also ruined the impression of the ride.

Great ones should be the only roller coasters left that are wood. Im not so sure that every roller coaster is great. So should they be torn down. I mean i have been on thunderhawk, and it was pretty rough but it shouldnt be torn down. Someones trash could be someone elses treasure, and also that has a long history its like tearing down the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Im glad you liked the park, its a good little park.

To be honest Hydra is rather dull to me after the jo-jo roll, i absolutely hate the pacing of that ride. Steel Force i agree stands out over the rest of the crowd just like talon being good as well. Too bad you missed some of the flats, because they have some decent ones, such as the whip, dominator, meteor, and that really good log flume.


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Friday, June 23, 2006 1:14 AM
I'm not talking about the roughness, in fact I think woodies should have some roughness to them. I like them fast and out of control with good airtime, otherwise they are forceless.
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Friday, June 23, 2006 7:16 AM
Steel Force tied with Nitro....I hear Gonchar's ears perking up to break the tie!

Glad you enjoyed the park. I was there early in the season and missed out on Steel Force since it was down due to the broken chain.

I was amazed how clean the park was--I actually saw employees wiping down the garbage cans!

Did you try Meteor? I'm glad I rode it since KW's Aero seems to be down for an extended time this season...

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Friday, June 23, 2006 9:28 AM
Glad you had a good time, Dorney is one of my "home parks" and I always have a great time there. It is very clean and I don't mind the "mini-cp" feeling, hehe.

I just got back from FL, and can actually see your Montu/Talon comparason. I agree Talon is pretty intense, and Montu has the inversions so it's hard for me to pick one.

Hydra is definitly very unique, but having just ridden Kraken I agree it suffers with some pacing problems. It has an interesting layout and some suprising air on the first drop and on that "hump" after the cobra roll, but Kraken just gave me a much better impression of a floorless. I know it sounds wierd but I actually "missed" a vertical loop haha.

Perhaps next time you could grab some flats and maybe some water rides as well (I could understand skipping those if you had to fly and all), but for a first time you at least got to ride all the coasters and you picked a good day to go. *** Edited 6/23/2006 1:30:48 PM UTC by P18***

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Friday, June 23, 2006 11:09 AM
^Thats not odd because even though its "old school" a vetical loop is definatly up there for my favorite inversion because of the range of gs it offers. There is a reason that this inversion is found on 95% of all loopers out there
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Friday, June 23, 2006 11:24 AM
I know everyone has their own opinions, and that's fine. Personally, I find Dorney to be a very nice, clean, decently run park.

I don't think Thunderhawk is bad; it's actually on my top ten. If you sit in the front car, you should get 3 good pops of air in the turnaround section, as well as 1 or 2 on the bunny hops. I agree that the brake kills some, but it's still a good ride if you ride in the front car.

Maybe I'm in the minority for the coaster enthusiasts, but I just don't like Hydra. It's the only B&M non-standup that I've ridden that I don't care for a whole lot. The JoJo roll actually ruins the ride for me--I just don't like hanging there like that. If they had the same element taken at a good speed, then I think I'd like it. It is a unique ride, and much better than the one it replaced, but one of my least fav B&Ms. Talon, OTOH, is a great ride and one of my favs. Never met a B&M invert I didn't like :)

Steel Force is a good ride, but it doesn't have enough "force" to me. I want more air on my hypers, and SF just doesn't deliver enough. The air it does have is weak and just doesn't compare to the likes of Nitro, AC, & SROS. It's a more family-friendly hyper, if you will--it's kinda like a toned-down Magnum.

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Friday, June 23, 2006 11:56 AM

SpecialEd said:
Steel Force tied with Nitro....I hear Gonchar's ears perking up to break the tie!

Did someone say NyQuil!?

Nah, Nitro won me over a bit with my last visit to SFGAdv. I think I may have started to 'get' it 4 years after my first ride.

I do think Steel Force in general is underrated and that Nitro in general is overrated, but I'm starting to see the light.

Other than than I'm surprised at the positive attitude toward Dorney in this thread. I love Dorney and it's "Mini-CP" vibe. Talon is the best invert out there, IMHO. Thunderhawk is a great woodie with huge pops of air in the front of the train and would be a stellar woodie if the ending weren't neutered. Laser is Schwarzkopf positive G goodness.

I could go on and on...

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Friday, June 23, 2006 12:08 PM
Just to clear things up- I never said thunderhawk was a bad ride, I said it was ok. I think the reason why we didn't get the airtime I anticipate on a woodie is because we were on the middle of the train. For me woodies all fit into one.... well, ok maybe two categories, and I just think there's much better woodies out there than Thunderhawk, but again it's not bad. Also I forgot to mention that we did get on the Log ride and I enjoyed myself, except for the fact that we decided to go on it right before we had to leave the park (our brains were not with us at all on this day). In result I just tried to avoid getting wet the whole time. I do want to come back to the park though.
I think the reason why Steel Force tied with Nitro for me was because the incredible smoothness of Nitro. Don't get me wrong, I fell in love with Nitro after I rode it 3 times a couple weeks ago, but sometimes if a coaster is too smoothe than it takes away something. Or maybe it was just because my friend and I enjoyed SF so much riding in the front seat, it felt more like a rollercoaster should feel I guess.
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Saturday, June 24, 2006 12:23 AM
Nice TR, n-c-no. Glad you had a good time visiting one of our PA parks. It's always nice to hear what a visitor thinks-- for better or for worse.

Come back again sometime when you have more time to spend. Although it does sound like you made the most of your time and had fun doing it, even when things didn't go exactly as planned. Gteat attitude, practically guarantees a fun time.

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