Dorney Park 5/31/08

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phoenixphan :-)'s avatar
We arrived at Dorney an hour before the starlight admission, and after paying $10 to park our car we decided just to take pictures and relax until they would let us in for the $19.50. We noticed quite a few busses, but not a lot of cars, which I assumed was due to the forecast of severe storms.

Right about 4:45 pm they allowed us to purchase our tickets. Not sure if it was just because we got the starlight admission, but our tickets were just printed on register tape. We headed through the gate, and headed right away to the reason for our trip - Voodoo. When we approached the ride I was shocked to see that the line was barely under the back spike. There were a group of girls arguing that the line was too long; we just laughed since we figured the wait would be at least an hour or more for such a new attraction. Right away we noticed the new line jumping signs, and while a kid commented that they were dumb because it showed someone jumping over the guests in line I commented back - "Well it got your attention, didn't it?" The following is a ride by ride summary, to keep this as short as possible.

Voodoo - Fun ride, longest wait was for the front, about 4 cycles or 20 minutes. Was expecting the initial launch to be more forceful, but after riding Hypersonic and Storm Runner I think we have gotten more used to the launch feeling. The first row and the last row are definitely the best, as you get the most out of traveling up the spikes. The holding brake was neat, and I screamed each time as I was truly freaked out. Not the most extreme ride, but very re-rideable, as we did row 3, row 1 and row 14. Fits Dorney perfectly and I am glad to have it so close.

Steel Force - Walk on anywhere but the front. We rode second car third row. I don't remember there being much of any forces on this ride, but I am getting older... lol. I definitely felt the positive G's in the helix/turnaround. Light braking on the mid-course meant for some decent air on the return bunny hops.

Thunderhawk - The more I ride this coaster the more I like it. The only issue I have is Dorney, PLEASE REMOVE THE TRIM BRAKE! This ride could really deliver air on the return run, but with the hard brake on the second bunny hop it barely makes it back to the station. Here is hoping we get a GCI twister to fill in the dead space at the ends of the Laser and Steel Force midways. Ride was not too rough, but only rode it in the front. We did walk the midway under the ride and saw something that was odd for a Cedar Fair park - trees and atmosphere. In fact I commented that if I were to have a small park right there is the feel I would want to it!

Hydra the Revenge - Really still disappointed. No queue as always. Never through I would say I miss Hercules... but at least that ride had some forces, even if it was pain! We rode in the back, that is the only place where you get to really have fun in my opinion. When you crest the lift there is some awesome air getting whipped down, but after that the ride was so rough I left asking if this was built by Arrow??

Talon the Grip of Fear - Usually Talon is my favorite ride at Dorney, and much of the reason for visiting. This time though, that would change. We decided to ride in the back, as there was no wait. The first drop was great, but pulling out of the vertical loop my ears very forcibly popped, and I felt a painful pop in the chest/abdomen. Scared the other half as I looked rather lifeless for the rest of the ride. Not sure what happened, but was just extremely disoriented after the ride, and had to be helped down the stairs. Did recover after a bit, but will not be riding the back least for a while.

Dominator - I rode solo, both towers. There was a small queue, but still walk on for green/down. Still freak out at the top, as you can see nothing under you but the park. Complete walk on for red/up. This side really does more for me, and I got severely laughed at by spectators as I went screaming up the tower! Lots of fun.

To wrap it up attempted to ride Laser, but with a wait of about 20 minutes due to one train dispatching every 5 minutes we passed. I hope to get one last ride as it appears Dorney may be looking to remove it in the next couple of seasons. Noticed that the food was not a bad priced as we expected, a cheeseburger, fries, and small soda was $7.75. We opted to stop at McDonalds on the way home and hit the dollar menu, and spent around the same. As we were exiting the park we wanted to ride Talon one last time in the front, but we felt a couple rain drops. This soon turned into one of the worst storms so far this season. Still, we got to do all that we wanted to and left right at 9 pm. Looking forward to our next stop - Hersheypark for Fahrenheit!

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
I feel the same way about Hydra. It's the best Arrow coaster that B&M ever built.
I don't think Voodoo will ever get an hour wait except maybe Saturday night during Haunt or maybe some summer Saturday's. Funny to hear people say the line was too long, I see that all the time at Dorney. I was getting in line for Talon once and I saw tons of people entering and then leaving the line. I figured it must be a 30+ minute wait, the line was just down the stairs, a little over 10 minutes.

It's a shame about the slow dispatches on Laser. I noticed the same thing on Tuesday. Slow dispatches cause a huge line. Since it's listed for sale, I want to ride Laser a few times each trip to Dorney but that is difficult especially when Talon, Hydra, Steel Force and Thunderhawk are all walk ons.

^^I'll never forget my first trip to Dorney....yeah, last year, I admit!! (thanks MaxxPass!), but I was rounding the corner with my girlfriend heading to Talon (and this was in the middle of the summer!), and I was thinking to myself (about the wait) "Please be less than 1 hour!...please be less than 1 hour!!"

We enter the queue, walk past some railings, and then I see the the station's stairs!!!! I literally fell on the ground laughing so hard because it was just beyond comprehension that the line was so short and on a Saturday in July no less!?!

After a half-dozen CP trips earlier in the month with un-Godly long queue waits, I was in pure amazement at all the short waits for most of everything!! (except the Wildcat type coaster and Laser) Needless to say we were only there from like 1:00 pm to 8:00 and rode everything multiple, multiple times!! was a fun visit!

Nice TR, I was thinking of going to Dorney a day next week possibly for starlight admission. I can't wait to ride voodoo, and I'm happy to have an impulse so close now as well. =)
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar
Here is a link for our pics to go along with the TR!

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
That's the way Dorney always is if you go early in the season, a weekday during the summer on a Friday night or Sunday in the fall. Walk ons or maybe a few 5 minute waits. In the summer everyone's at the waterpark and the rest of the year they just don't get that many people through the gates even though admission is cheap.

I remember reading last year on closing day Great Adventure had 2 - 2 1/2 hour waits for the major coasters and at Dorney I had a 1 train wait for the front of Talon and walk ons - 10 minute waits for everything else except the Wild Mouse (which I rarely ride due to the horribly slow moving line thanks to the seatbelts and no more than 2 adults per car).

One of the best things about Dorney is that even for the new rides, save for Steel Force because that was a ridiculous line when it first came out, there's never a long line. It could be middle of the summer and there's no one there. I love walking on to rides like that.

I couldn't disagree more about Hydra. On my trip to Dorney last week, I walked on to the front car and sat in the left middle seat, and I was so impressed by the smoothness of the ride. If anything, I noticed a considerable roughing of the re-entrance to the station on Steel Force. I actually remember going, "Oh, that HURT."

Talon can be brutal no matter what car you sit in. I always ride the front, and occasionally I gray out heading up into the first loop after the drop. I hope you're ok!

Glad to know Voodoo is finally open again. I'm gonna try and get up early tomorrow and ride it before work (I only live about five minutesaway and I work evening shift).

When are you going to Hershey? I'm heading out there June 27th.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Is it just me or is Thunderhawk really rough too? I always ride it thinking I will like it more since people seem to love it so much, but I always get off of it with a killer headache.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

phoenixphan :-)'s avatar
I have had bad rides on Steel Force, usually due to a bad wheel. Once it sounded like it was going to fall apart, and felt like riding a bike down a dirt road.

As for Hydra, I am just shocked at the amount of "shuffle" and vibration. I love Batman:Whatever its Called at Six Flags New England, found it to be one of the smoothest coasters I have ridden. Buy Hydra just feels odd.

Not sure when Hershey is going to happen. We need to save a few extra pennies to pay for admission there!

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
matt.'s avatar
Agreed that the lack of lines at Dorney is nice, I'm just still waiting for that one ride that really puts it over the top for me - a GCI woodie being the top contender for me, probably. I could easily ignore some of the stuff I don't like about the park if there was that *one* ride that I could really love and ride consistently with short waits. Otherwise there's just so much else in the area I'd rather be riding so much more. Someday.
Very cool pics, btw, phph! Particularly the ones of Voodoo. I got a kick out of the Knoebels ones from last weekend too. I was there the same day, but late in the afternoon/evening.
*sigh* I need to make it to Knoebels soon everyone's beat me to it already...
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar
Well, my theory is that the GCI is coming. Once Laser is gone that would be the perfect location for the queue and station... with the field out in back of Steel Force being the turnaround point. As long as it is something at par with Thunderhead at Dollywood I will definatley be visiting Dorney a few times a month!

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
What is GCI?

I think there might be problems with getting a wooden coaster at Dorney due to the fact that they had a HUGE wooden coaster in Hercules and tore it down to build a floorless B&M. Hercules may have been brutal (don't know, wasn't doing coasters that big when I started riding, and then they tore it down when I finally WAS going to ride it) but it was still the park's second wooden coaster. I can't imagine them spending the money to put up a wooden coaster after just recently tearing one down. Plus, have you ever noticed that with the exception of Steel Force, Dorney tends to take on the tamer, smaller rides. Even the coasters by B&M are smaller versions of coasters that shine in other parks (Hydra vs. Medusa, Talon vs. Alpengeist, etc). My money's on another steel coaster, possibly some sort of regular track launch coaster or a standup, or even an "old-fashioned" regular seated looper.

We're still on the fence on whether or not we want to go to Hersheypark on the day of the Dave Matthews concert, but if we do, it is June 27th. We should get a gang of CoasterBuzzers and do Fahrenheit. *** Edited 6/3/2008 4:59:53 AM UTC by bunky666***

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

phoenixphan :-)'s avatar
GCI is Great Coasters International. Think Lightning Racer or Wildcat at Hersheypark. You do have a point about the demolition of Hercules, but I feel that is all the more reason that Dorney could use another wood coaster. If they were to build it out where Laser is, they could easily add at least one more flat ride and some sort of concession, not to mention another gift shop. Would love to see something like Renegade out on that land.

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
Well, I HAVE heard they're trying to sell the Laser, so I think you're definitely right about where the coaster would go, but we'll see about wood vs. steel. I wouldn't mind a wood coaster that is bigger and smoother than Thunderhawk, but...there are just so many varieties of steel that Dorney hasn't covered yet. I wonder if they'd consider getting a laminated wood compound coaster like ElToro. I've heard so many wonderful things about ET.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

^^Cedar Fair will never get a pre-fab as their too intense for their safety standards....unless you want to ride El Toro with OTSR's like Cedar Fair would have it!!
I don't know what happened to Hydra, but I wish they would fix it. Last year, I had no problem with riding the back row, as long as I didn't do it all day. This year, one ride at a time in the back row is enough, and I'll NEVER ride the front again unless I hear they've fixed it. (The front wasn't great last year, which was weird because usually it's my preferred spot to ride a shaky coaster, but it was a whole lot better than it is now. It's really unrideable.)

As for Thunderhawk, I'd love to see the airtime on the bunny hops without the trim brake, but as hard as you hit the final brakes sometimes WITH the trim brake, it would probably be disastrous without it. It needs skid brakes, or magnetic brakes, or just let everybody jump in and out as it coasts through the station :) (Hey, they need to do SOMETHING to improve the dispatch times...)

With how slow the load times are for Thunderhawk, there should be a way to let the coaster go through the bunny hops the first time without stopping at the station and then let everyone go around a second time. :)

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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