Dorney Park 5/12 - EMPTY!

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 3:07 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

It's was one of those days enthusiasts love to see. Raining, dreary morning, followed by a clearing (sort of) around noon. We checked the accuweather website and radar showed nothing in the way of rain heading our way even though it was very overcast. We decided to head out and hope for the best.

Upon pulling into the season pass parking area we realized it was the correct choice. If I hadn't been so anxious to ride, I could've easily stood there and counted the cars (or lack of) in the parking lot. The first Talon train we saw go up the lift hill as we entered the park had three (yes, that's 3!) riders on it. It was going to be a good day.

We headed straight to Talon and got three consecutive walk-on front seat rides. This was my first time on Talon and it's a great ride. Any invert which gives a little air is ok in my book. I think the compact layout adds a lot to the overall ride. Very enjoyable.

Then I took my daughter on the Wild Mouse. It is highly braked, but good as a family ride. If you want a more intense mouse ride, look elsewhere, but for my 4 year old it was perfect.

We followed the Wild Mouse with a run through Camp Snoopy. I swear to you that the front seat on Woodstock's Express offered a small pop of air at the top of the hill right after the drop. It was just that kind of day.

We made our way to the back of the park and I took a drop on Dominator and got the entire car to myself. All of the S&S tower rides are pretty much the same to me, the height becomes the only variable. Pretty nice views of the park and Allentown in general from the top. I never got around to doing the launched side today.

Next stop was Steel Force. I'd heard two decidedly different opinions on this coaster. Either people love it comparing it to Magnum or hate it saying it looks much better than it is. I rode in seat 1-3. I got some nice air all along the course and while I wouldn't call it the equal of Magnum, it certainly wasn't a bad ride. My wife rode later in the very back and didn't find the ride nearly as enjoyable as I did. So the opinions hold true, it seems to be a hit or miss thing, I guess.

Next stop was Laser for the adults and Little Laser for the kids. My daughter logged 14 consecutive laps without getting off today with brings her season total on the Little Laser to 56 laps. Is there some kind of marathon record for kids? We have to practically drag her off that ride. While she was riding the wife and I took turns on Laser.

I've never met a Schwarzkopf coaster that I didn't like. Laser was no exception. I'd compare it to Scorpion at BGT...except better. Double loop, lapbars, surprisingly smooth. Good forces both positive and negative - I liked it.

We started heading back and I took a run on Thunderhawk. Front seat, entire train to myself - whole new meaning to ERT! It felt like they were running it just for me! :)

Thunderhawk has the potential to be very good. I got a small pop of air on just about every hill and as I raced toward the last couple camel backs I thought to myself "This should be great". I hit the first one with nice speed and popped out of my seat and just as I anticipated the next one I felt the unthinkable...trims! :( Ugh. The train crawled though the last couple of camel backs and rolled slowly into the station. What a disappointment! If those trims weren't on it would have been a great ending and Thunderhawk would definitely be a great old woodie. Instead it is just lacking. A good ride overall but the potential for an outstanding ride is there.

It was now about 5pm and some very threatening dark clouds were moving in. I'd heard all the horror stories about Hercules but still had to see for myself. Geez! I finally found the coaster that makes me wish I was on Mean Streak at CP. This is just bad. It's rough, heavily braked and a big letdown. I really do think I see the inspiration in this coaster. It's really unique and I think I understand what the goal was but it's not even close to what it was meant to be. I probably won't be in any hurry to ride this one again, even with walk-ons like today. On the final turnaround before the station, I could've sworn we were going to stall. The train was just struggling, crawling around that turn, it was brutal. Not only does the whole thing feel slow, but it's rough as hell. What a horrible combo. Can I have a really rough, painful ride and go slow too? Gee, great! Bah.

A few sprinkles started falling and we took a quick ride on the newly installed Meteor. We'd been riding Kennywood's Aero 360 for years so there were no real surprises here. I do like the colors of this ride. It looks nice and really satnds out in that corner of the park.

As the rain began to fall we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and see if the rain would pass by or hit us hard. A chicken and shrimp combo with fries ran $7.65 - a tad steep. It was standard park fare, not bad, but nothing to write home about.

The ran began falling harder and soon we saw rides shutting down. We made a beeline to the exit and saw that the front gates were closed. It was only 6pm but the sky was now really dark and it was pouring.

We pulled away from the park with rain coming hard and agreed that it was a very good decision to head to Dorney on this day. Days like this are few and far between.


Sunday, May 12, 2002 3:22 PM
Am i the only one that loves Hercules?

"Take me with you. I want to climb the 208' of Superman, hurl through five inversions on Batman, and freefall 20 stories on Scream. I don't throw up....I can entertain in long lines!!"

Sunday, May 12, 2002 4:41 PM

Nice Dorney TR,

I for one would pick Steel Force over Magnum anytime. Granted, we've only been to Dorney Park one time, but our 15+ rides on Steel Force that day were pure bliss. As a woody fan primarilly, Steel Force is the only steel coaster I've riden that I'd put into my top tier of favorites.

Take it easy,


Sunday, May 12, 2002 4:52 PM
Steel Force is a great ride, but not better than Maggie. Hercules is very rough but still one of the best woodies out there IMO. Thunderhawk does get a little slow at the end, but if you're sitting in the back, it's hard to see where you're gonna turn next. Talon, IMO, is one of the best inverted coasters in the east, it's much better than B:TR, anyday.
Sunday, May 12, 2002 5:27 PM
I happened to go to dorney yesterday. Meteor was of course closed the entire time I was there. Hercules was much better then last season. It was much smoother compared to the rough ride given last year.
Sunday, May 12, 2002 6:55 PM
SKoS, yes, you're one of a select group of people who like Hercules. You all might want to try adjusting your medication. SFGAdv lover, you have Rolling Thunder, so I'll let you off the hook about that greatest wood coaster comment.
The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.
Monday, May 13, 2002 7:09 AM

A few comments:

Steel Force being hit or miss: You rode the front and found it enjoyable... your wife rode in back and found it not as enjoyable. In our visit, my wife and I found the same, and many others state this. This is a "front seat coaster".

Hercules: I'm one of the few. I don't hate this coaster. I don't exactly love it, but I don't hate it. It is rough... and it does have that break on the drop (imagine how rough it would be if it didn't). A little tlc and perhaps some re profiling... like raising the turn over the lake (I know... that turn is "fun" at "lake level", but to me the speed going into that turn is what makes it so painful), and it would be a good coaster.

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

Monday, May 13, 2002 8:39 AM
I was there yesterday and rode Hercules 4 times 3 in front row and 1 in the back row . The back row was the most painful ride i have ever had. Rode Talon 6 times!B&MRULES!!!!!!!
Monday, May 13, 2002 1:57 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Something else I forgot to mention. The 12th was Mother's day and no less than three employees wished my wife a happy mother's day - very impressive!


Sunday, July 21, 2002 1:25 PM
I'm in this elite group of hercules lovers. i like hercules and always have since 1989. wahooooooo! hurt me hercules, gimme love!
Sunday, July 21, 2002 1:35 PM

Intamin Fan said:
SKoS, yes, you're one of a select group of people who like Hercules. You all might want to try adjusting your medication. ------------

you need to adjust your menstrual medication there buddy. Wait, maybe its your arthritis medication because your sooooo DARN OLD! if you cant take the heat, why you in the freakin kitchen?

Monday, July 22, 2002 5:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Just for the record I've ridden Hercules a few more times since this original TR. It really is a hit or miss coaster. I've gotten good (not great) rides and I've gotten very ugly rides. Seat location doesn't seem to affect the ride much for me. Some days it just isn't as bad as others. When it's running decent, it's definitely worth a ride. When it's running poorly it's worth some firewood. It still feels too slow throughout the course and I haven't found any airtime on it yet, but I still keep trying.

Dorney Park visits in 2002: 14

Monday, July 22, 2002 5:51 PM

Dorney Dante, the guy isn't complaining about the roughness of the ride, which I didn't have a complaint about, and never really noticed to be honest with you. What I had a problem was that, after it comes back up fromt the main drop, it goes too slow.... Don't think he has a menstrual cycle for disliking the coaster, maybe you do for liking it...

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 11:09 AM
Nice TR!



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