Dorney Halloweekends - When to go?

Sunday, September 26, 2004 2:06 PM
Hi!

I just had a truly miserable day at Six Flags Great Adventure yesterday. It was Saturday, September 25 and the park was very crowded with many attractions closed (two of the flumes, ferris wheel, most of the few flats they have left, Viper, one side of Chiller, etc..) and others running at less then full capacity (Nitro was running two train despite a full queue that went OUT of the entrance all day). We got on a total of five rides in 8 hours, with long breaks in between rides due to not wanting to deal with the incredibly slow moving lines. I'm just mentioning this to point out that for my friends and I, a really packed day at an amusement park like Great Adventure isn't worth the gas money for us to get there, at least not at a Six Flags park.

k, moving on. We'd like to go to Dorney within the next month for a Halloweekend. We can go any of the 3 days open and any of the upcoming weekends. I visited Dorney at the beginning of my trip this season and think it's one of the top 10 parks in America. However, it was a school day so crowds were limited to school groups and we pretty much owned the park at the end of the day.

So, what's the best Halloweekend to go for crowds - Friday night, Saturday day/night, or Sunday day? I'm not interested at all in the fright stuff, just the four coasters I really love there (Laser, Talon, Steel Force and Thunderhawk).

Past that, a crowded day at Great Adventure is a truly miserable experience (IMHO). Valleyfair, as a contrast, we visited on a very crowded Saturday this season and it really wasn't that bad. The park is great at moving people quickly and keeping all rides open and running at full capacity.

With those two extremes in mind, how bad is Dorney if all three days are likely to be crowded? Basically, if all three days are crowded I'm trying to figure out if I want to bother going at all, or wait until next season.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 2:30 PM
Hello rcdreaming,

I grew up here in the allentown area and have been going to dorney park for many years. my family especially likes the halloweekend stuff, so i have a bti of experience with it.

First of all, the park isn't nearly as crowded in october as it is during the summer, probably because the waterpark is closed. beyond that, if you don't care about the halloweekend activities, you should avoid saturday (especially night) as that is when most people go. I think Sunday would probably be your best bet.

Also, as far as ride capacity goes, i know my family has always taken note that even in the end of the season, pretty much all of the rides are open all the time, especially the roller coasters. also, if the line is long, they have always had all the trains on coasters. i only tell you this because that's what we've seen in the past, and we really like our times at dorney.

i hope that helps answer your questions!

-danny

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 9:48 PM
Danny covered it pretty well. From my experience the crowds are pretty light. Even on a Saturday the waits aren't horrible. You'd get a lot more rides than you did at SFGr8 Adv.

At SF Gr8 Adv the only way you can get a lot of rides there on a weekend day is to pay the extra $ and get a gold Q-bot that cuts your wait times for rides. What I notice at the end of the season the park is understaffed, and that is the reason a lot of the flats aren't running. Of course even when they are staffed they usually aren't running. ;)

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 10:27 PM
Yep, avoid Saturday nights. The lines for the Halloween attractions can get rather long, but for most of the coasters, they are reasonable, especially during the day. It looks like they put quite a bit of effort into Scream Works - doesn't look like one of their typical seasonal attractions.
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:35 PM
Thanks very much for the advice. I'll do a Sunday. I'm looking forward to showing my friends how good an amusement park can be when it's not a Six Flags (Texas parks excluded).
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:45 PM
Weather probably plays a part in it too. A warmer day/ evening will attract larger crowds.

Last time I went, was on a Saturday afternoon with my brother and his family. There were a lot of other families there as well, so it seemed that Camp Snoopy and the trick-or-treating areas were the most crowded the whole day long. Lines for the coasters and other major rides didn't seem to be that long, even after dark. The longest line I remember was for the Zephyr.

Enjoy your visit.

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