Dorney Park, 10/28 and 10/29

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, November 1, 2006 3:57 PM
The weather wasn't looking good for this past weekend. Rain and high winds were on par for the 3 days. I didn't care and knew I had to get back to the park 1 last time this year.

I was going to go Friday night but with the rain starting right after I left my house, I decided to hold off.

I got to the park at around 2:00 on Saturday and it was dead. I don't think there were more than 500 cars in the lot. Walk ons for everything except Wild Mouse had a 10 minute wait (only running 4 cars). I even got another solo ride on Dominator. Talon and Hydra were on and off all day but I managed to get 3 Talon rides when I got to the park and another later in the day. I also got 1 Hydra ride later (line was too long for me at about 15 minutes) to get more than 1 ride. This was around 5:00 when the weather got better and lots of people were starting to come into the park. Dominator when from having no one in line earlier to the green side having 2 switchbacks full.

I finished off the night with a ride on the Cedar Freak Cannonball. They were only loading the 2 back cars so the wait was about 25 minutes which was longer than I expected (it looked to be about 45 minutes by the time I got off the ride). It was fun but not that scary, partially because they didn't have as much fog on as normal (my first time on the ride but I had seen more fog in the area in past visits).

Sunday was scheduled to have very high winds so I called the park at around 2:00 and found out Talon and Hydra had yet to open for the day and Steel Force, Laser and Thunderhawk were running on and off all day and that Dominator was running. Since I had nothing better to do than study accounting ;) , I figured why not spend closing day at the park. When I got to the park, I saw the lot was a typical Sunday Halloweekends crowd, probably a few thousand people at most.

The top part of the park was dead mainly because all the major rides were closed. I went down to the bottom part of the park and went to Laser which was open. I wanted to ride Steel Force but the line was out of the station and had 4 or 5 switchbacks full. I figured it would be a 20 minute wait or so until I saw they were running 1 train. I heard someone say it was a 45 minute wait which I believed due to the 1 train operation and that it was the only major coaster open right now (I consider Steel Force, Talon and Hydra the major coasters). No way I was going to wait 45 minutes when I waited 0 - 3 minutes yesterday and went to Thunderhawk.

Dominator was empty so I took a bunch of rides mostly on green as the red side is starting to get kind of boring. From Dominator, I saw Hydra was testing and there was a line forming so I ran from Dominator to Talon which was running. Line about 10 feet past the stairs but Talon was also running 1 train so the wait was 20 minutes. Talon was going through the circuit a lot slower than normal, to the point where when I was in the station, the station greeter/controller actually used the phone to call the control booth to tell them the ride was running slow after the immelman in the helix and before the drop that comes before the corkscrew. I was worried they were going to close the ride again but they didn't and it ran for the rest of the night.

Hydra's line was down the stairs and had almost the first switchback full. Knowing with 2 train operation that is close to a 20 minute wait, I figured it would be at least 40 minutes with 1 train so skipped it and went back to Steel Force which now was barely out of the station and a 10 minute wait. Later on Hydra had a 15 minute wait and Talon had a 2 - 3 train wait and eventually was a walk on which is where I finished the season. I have never seen Talon, Hydra and Steel Force run 1 train before but with the high winds I understand why they had to. While on the Whip, the operator who was running Dominator the day before asked me if I was at the park yesterday (Saturday) and kept going on Dominator over and over. I replied saying I was there yesterday and I love the ride. She jokingly said, "Well I could have figured that out." I guess I am going to the park too much if employees are starting to recgonize me :)

Overall it was a great way to finish the season even if the weather wasn't cooperative. *** Edited 11/1/2006 8:58:34 PM UTC by YoshiFan***

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006 4:58 PM
I'm glad they were able to salvage part of the weekend at least. Sorry I didn't get to ride Talon this year-- it was closed on my one visit.

Dorney definitely needs to start marketing more in the central/northern NJ and NY metro markets, as an alternative to waiting in 2-3 hour long lines at GAdv. The short lines are great for us as enthusiasts, but you still need that revenue stream coming in.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006 6:17 PM
^ And a decent wooden coaster to make them come back...

Look it up, Cedar Fair honchos... "Re-Schmeckification"... :)

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006 10:14 PM
^ I like that word, Gator :)

Actually, though, their Schmeck runs pretty good in the "Schmeck seat". There is some crazy air to be had there. Wish they would remove that trim near the end, though--it could be even better.

But as it is, the ride gives some good pops in the front car, while Hershey's Comet could definitely use some of that "Re-Schmeckification" :)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 8:58 PM
I think Dorney is doing ok, as Saturday nights during Halloweekends are supposedly packed. I heard on the 21st, the line for Screamworks was all the way to Laser and on the weekends during the summer, the parking lot closed a few times due to being full (and my one Sunday trip in August the overflow lot was being used and almost full). I'll be curious to see what the attendance numbers are for 2006.

Thunderhawk does have a lot of air time. I was in car 2, row 1 on Saturday and I got so much air after the first turn around that my knee went right into the side of the restraint and it still hurts, even today. I'll only be setting on the left side of the train in that row from now on. *** Edited 11/4/2006 1:59:09 AM UTC by YoshiFan***

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