Dorney Park & Six Flags Great Adventure Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:36 PM

It was now day two of my coaster trip. Today I visited Dorney Park and Six Flags New Jersey. After leaving Knoebels the night before I stayed at a hotel in the city of Danville, PA. It was a Red Roof Inn. It is the fourth different Red Roof Inn I have stayed in the last couple of times to amusement parks and I haven’t had a bad stay at any of them. They are decent hotels for the price. I woke up, checked out, and left Danville, PA around 8:15am headed towards Allentown. I actually managed to get 8 hours of solid sleep which was great. I really needed it after my long drive the night before and minimal sleep in the car.

I arrived at Dorney Park around 10am. I went in and somehow managed to walk right in with huge lines on the right hand side. It might have been because I didn’t have a bag to be checked. I headed to the back of the park where Steel Force is located. I got a ride in on Possessed while there was nobody in line. It’s a decent ride. Not one of my favorites but I do enjoy the launches.

From there I decided I would ride Steel Force. It had no line so I got to ride in the front car. I was very impressed. It was a lot smoother than I thought it would be and the trains were nice. I really enjoyed the tall lift hill and following hills. I especially enjoyed the helix turnaround. It was a cool feeling taking it so fast. I ended up riding two more times once in the back and once towards the front again. It was a smooth ride in all seats I rode in.

I wanted to ride Stinger but for some reason it wasn’t open. Unfortunately it never opened in the 2.5 hours I was there. Oh well. I went and rode Thunderhawk next. It was ok but kind of rough and I didn’t particularly care for the layout. Maybe if I had got a few more rides in on it I would feel differently. They only had one train going on it so I didn’t get back in the forming line.

I rode Hydra next back to back with next to no wait. I really enjoyed this ride. The initial upside down corkscrew element out of the station was a surprise and very fun. I also enjoyed the airtime hill in the middle of the ride. It was the second best floorless coaster I rode on the trip after Dominator. I went and checked the Wild Mouse line and it looked long so I skipped it.

I rode Talon instead. Pretty much 10 minute waits the first two rides I rode and then no waits the last two. I was very impressed with this ride. It may be one of the smoothest B&M Inverts I’ve ever ridden with next to no hard vibrations. I enjoyed the upside down elements and the flyover the brake run into drop where the on-ride photo camera is located.

It was a little after 12:30 and I decided I had better leave so I could get to Six Flags Great Adventure by 2:30. I enjoyed Dorney for the small amount of time I was there. I was glad I got in 5 different coasters with 11 total rides in just over 2 hours.
Next up was the drive to Six Flags Great Adventure. I had to stop and get gas and lunch along the way. Luckily I found a gas station right next to a Chic-Fil-A so that worked in my favor. I ate Wendy’s the night before so I didn’t want another cheeseburger. If I had more time I would have loved to have hit up some local food places but I just couldn’t work it in.

I wanted to get to SFGA by 2pm however I was late leaving Dorney and I hit traffic on back roads so I arrived a little after 3pm.
I was impressed with the overall size of the park. I knew it had to be huge considering they have the animal safari, 13 roller coasters, and service such a highly populated area. It took me a while to walk from where I parked and then into the park. I went back towards El Toro and saw there was a line so I opted for Rolling Thunder first. I was not impressed. It was very rough and wasn’t very fun. It was now a little after 3:30pm.

I decided I had to ride El Toro now. It was one of the go to coasters on my trip and it lived up to the hype. Wow, what a ride! The drop was amazing with so much airtime and speed. The following hills were wonderful and very forceful in a good way. Tons of airtime followed. I enjoyed the turnaround and following hills. The last big hill before the back and forth sections of track was a nice surprise as it delivered an incredible amount of airtime. The last portion of the ride was very out of control and fun. Phew, El Toro blew me away. What a phenomenal ride. I rode in the very back and it was a stellar seat. I rode it two more times before I walked over to Kingda Ka.

I went and rode Kingda Ka next. I rode in the middle of the train and waited for the launch. The launch wasn’t as good as Top Thrill Dragster in my opinion. It seemed more forced and just not as fast. The lift is when the ride really took a turn for the worst. The rattling and shaking was bad along with the vibrations. The view at the top was great but that was about it. This was one of the rides I was most disappointed with on my visit. I rode it again in hopes I was just on a bad train but it was still the same.

After Ka, I went and rode Green Lantern. I rode it when it was Chang back in its first year of operation (1997). Boy has the ride changed for the worst since then. It seemed very rough to me and I just didn’t enjoy it. Next up was Superman. I actually enjoyed this ride. I thought it was better than the one at Six Flags over Georgia. The flyout elements from one side to the next were neat along with the inversion at the end of the ride before the break run. Next up was Blackbeards. It was pretty fun for a kiddie ride. Then I went to Skull Mountain and rode it back to back. It was a fun dark ride and I really enjoyed it. I think it could have used a little more theming inside the building but it was still fun. Batman was up next and it was ok. I am not a big fan of the Batman clone rides though.

Finally I got my ride on Nitro. I have heard great things about this ride and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was fast, smooth, and had abundant amounts of airtime. I love the location coasting towards the river. I loved the drop into the smaller bunny hills at the end as well. When we returned to the station they let us ride again because our train was screaming so loud. They actually did this a couple times while I was waiting in line. Then we did the wave on the coaster train as the ride operator said this was tradition when they allowed people a second ride in a row. It was fine by me. I’ll do the wave all day if I can get back to back rides on coasters like Nitro. I rode the ride one more time after that.

From here I went and rode Dark Knight which was alright. It was a little rough for my liking. Then I walked all the way over and took some pictures of El Toro across the pond area. What an amazing looking ride from this location. I rode the Mine Train ride and was very disappointed. It was pretty rough and I didn’t really enjoy it. Bizarro was next and I thought it was pretty good. Not my favorite floorless coaster on the trip but not bad. I ended the day with 5 straight rides on El Toro in about an hour. Again, this ride was incredible. It made my trip to Six Flags Great Adventure worth it.

Overall I enjoyed the park. El Toro and Nitro are the parks two best rides in my opinion. Those are rides I could ride over and over and over again and enjoy them every time.

Ride Count: 4x Talon, 3x Steel Force, 2x Hydra, Possessed, and Thunderhawk

8x El Toro, 3x Nitro, 2x Kingda Ka, 2x Skull Mountain, Rolling Thunder, Green Lantern, Superman, Blackbeards, Batman, Bizarro, Dark Knight, and Mine Train

11x rides @ Dorney + 23 rides Six Flags Great Adventure = 34 rides total

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013 9:50 PM

Stinger was probably closed because it got stuck with riders again on June 17th for around 90 minutes. You didn't miss much by skipping Wild Mouse at Dorney. They normally only run 4 cars and with no more than 2 adults per car, the line barely moves and the ride itself has really strong brakes making it painful.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 3:20 AM

Nice trip report, Collin.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:17 AM

Nice TR. Just how long was the line for Nitro? Why would they make the wait time longer by allowing full trains of people to ride again because they did something as mundane as scream loudly. Sounds pretty unprofessional. Unless, of course, the wait times were very minimal for the ride at the time. Maybe that would be okay.

I still have to get my butt up there and ride El Toro. I do not like SFGAdv, but I haven't been there in years.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:08 AM

The line for Nitro was probably less than 10 minutes. It was down the stairs. They might have let every 1 out of 10 trains go a second time and that was depending on how loud that train was when it entered the station. Maybe this is something they just do for Nitro at SFGA when the lines aren't very long? But I agree LK I didn't like it at first but I realized it didn't really hinder the line since it wasn't very long.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:15 AM

Sorry, GAdv's my home park, and I've never seen that on any ride. I've seen it where we were told we could stay on with an empty station or no one waiting for your row. But not that.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:07 PM

I think on slower days, getting the guests pumped and screaming and giving rerides is the very definition of awesome customer service.

Never heard of that in my life. Brilliant really.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:17 PM

I've heard them joke about re-rides on Nitro for "loudest train." I figured it was NJ, so fuggedaboutit...apparently not. And yes, it IS really sweet.

The only place where I've seen re-rides given as what seems to be *the policy* - Carowinds' Flying Skooters...but only if you're the "highest flyer" - their term, not mine.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:19 PM

We are sometimes so different, Gonch. In this case, great customer service was only given to those who already got to experience the ride once, at the expense of those who are still waiting. They could probably get people to cheer and act like happy idiots without offering a re-ride.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:24 PM

Right? Because going to the park has nothing to do with vibe, fun, mood and sense of togetherness.

It's all about the cold, hard number of rides.

Ugh.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:06 PM

I'm just surprised Six Flags didn't charge everyone on the train an extra buck because they were giving double laps.

Travis, I'm kinda in agreement with both you AND Gonch on this one. I think it IS great customer service to get the riders pumped and having fun. It creates more atmosphere and gets everyone else psyched. Where I agree with YOU is that I'm not sure it is really appropriate to let riders re-ride when there are other people in line. The riders on the train had not purchased Flashpass, they were not part of an event, and that creates a fun experience for the already seated riders while ticking other patrons off. However, if the lines were not long (which it sounds like they really weren't), it doesn't seem as bad...I mean, if you tried to ride a B&M hyper coaster, you got in line and waited five whole minutes, do you really care about one train going twice? I don't.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 3:20 PM

Carowinds has done the same thing for Afterburn night rides. I got three in a row.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 3:32 PM

Tyler Boes: the pop-up ad of the Coasterbuzz community.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 4:27 PM

Doesn't that mean he should go away since I'm a club member?

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 4:33 PM

Last year when I was at the park, at Kingda Ka when the line was less than 15 minutes they said they were randomly going to choose trains to be the lucky train and everyone on that train got a re-ride.

I was also at the park last Thursday and was there when they were offering re-rides for Nitro for the loudest train. Earlier in the day when I was first at Nitro and the line was a little longer, they weren't offering the re-rides. I waited less than 10 minutes for my 2nd ride at Nitro when they were offering it. In all my trips to the park, it was the first time I saw this happen at Nitro. 3 trains were running too so it really didn't make the wait much longer. If it was a Saturday in October when the ride had a 2 hour wait with an overflowing queue, I could see it being annoying

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Thursday, June 27, 2013 2:28 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

Right? Because going to the park has nothing to do with vibe, fun, mood and sense of togetherness.

It's all about the cold, hard number of rides.

Ugh.

Can't it be about both? Why do parks try to get a good capacity each day if they are just going to let some of the trains with the pretty girls re-ride while everyone stands there and wonders why they can't take their turn?

Maybe we are alike in many ways too, Gonch. We both like to take it easy.

And I can't really ride over and over from ride to ride like I used to be able to anyways. I just want my precious time at an amusement park to be respected, that's all.

Travisland would not allow re-rides unless the line was nonexistent. My park would value the time of everyone.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013 3:05 AM

In general, I think you're MUCH more sensitive to the whole /time/line/capacity thing than 99% of the people walking through the gate of any given park on any given day.

It wouldn't faze me one bit if this happened while I'm in line for a ride. If anything, it'd make me happy. I like being in the prescence of people enjoying the moment. It'd be fun to watch each train come in trying to score a reride, it'd be fun anticipating possibly getting one of my own. It'd be great seeing park employees having fun with their jobs. The mood on the platform that day had to be terrific. Short lines, rerides, hootin' and hollerin' - what kind of stick in the mud gets worked up over that?

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Thursday, June 27, 2013 5:23 AM

Yeah, I agree that it's awesome that they're doing this if it's a slow day at the park. I love seeing employees break out of their cold, robotic state and actually care about making people happy.

I was on the last train of the season for Maverick a couple years ago, and it had to be one of the most enthusiastic trains I'd ever been on. As we rolled into the station, everyone was loudly chanting "One more ride!"

The employee said, "Alright, you guys can have one more ride....(and people started to cheer)....next season." It was funny and expected, but I couldn't help but think if I was the team leader, I would have shocked everyone and given in. It would have been such a happy / exciting moment for everyone to end the season that way.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013 5:36 PM

The only park I have ever been at where we got re-rides on a coaster was at Michigan's Adventure on the Wildcat. Every time we came back to the station there was nobody waiting, so they sent us through 3 times! When we came back the 3rd time , they asked if we wanted another ride! And, my brother and I were in the front car going!! NO!!!! Along with a few other people. So, they let us off, but told anyone who wanted to stay on the train, they could ride again.

I think this was before they put in the automatic gates. I think I also got a re-ride an Mean Streak at Cedar Point, but only because the train didn't stop correctly in the station, and the front of the train was past the loading platform. So, they sent us out again. I think the line at that point was only 5 minutes. I don't think they were running all three trains that day. But, this was also during a time when Mean Streak wasn't total Crap.

I think I have may have had some re-rides on blue streak as well, as it was a walk on, and just got to stay in my seat, for a few rides. The park was pretty slow that day too. I think there was no wait for Mean Streak, Gemini, Corkscrew, and Iron Dragon. The only rides that had a long line was M-force, and Mantis. One of the visits where Top Thrill dragster was closed.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Thursday, June 27, 2013 5:38 PM
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Thursday, June 27, 2013 6:15 PM

My gut feeling is to agree with Travis. I have a hard time convincing myself that unless everyone on the platform was REALLY into it and cheering the "winning" train on its ok. And it's odd, I don't see myself as a staunch rule follower either.

I can hear it : "oh, man, we had such a good time at Six Flags last night- we went on Nitro and the dude let us go twice without getting off!"

And then there's : "oh man, we went on Nitro last night and everyone got to go twice but us. Sucks."
Or : "oh man, we had to wait twice as long for Nitro as we should have and the damn bus left without me"

Sounds like a front gate p.r. girl's potential nightmare. People will complain about anything. Hopefully the majority of guests will be feeling the togetherness, and not the bitter, crippling feeling of having to wait.

Hold on, I just convinced myself.

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