Dorney Park 6/11/08...hmmmm....

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My best friend Ivory wanted to go to Dorney Park today, and since I had nothing better to do since I actually worked during the day for once and had the evening free, I said sure, let's go. I was hoping and praying it wasn't crowded (I know, Dorney crowded? It happens every now and then) because we only had an hour and a half to ride coasters, and she hadn't been on a coaster in approximately 10 years.

We got to Dorney and headed straight to Voodoo. It was actually running. Wooooowwwww....Ivory took one look at that coaster and turned a lovely shade of yellowish-white. She bravely hopped on her seat though, and soon we were flying up and down on the spikes. We were going to do Voodoo again, but she said she wanted to see what the other coasters were capable of, so we went on Steel Force next. I made her sit in the front car, and by the time we got on, she was shaking. The trains were running super light, with only approximately 6-8 people on the ride, and it seemed like Steel Force was having TONS of trouble getting up the lift hill. It was super slow, like twice as long as usual to get up, and hanging there over the precipice of the drop felt almost like we were actually stopping. I was relieved we didn't get stuck, especially after my recent experience with El Toro, but I was really disappointed with my ride on Steel Force. Seemed sluggish and jerky and a little shaky. I was actually nervous at times, and I remarked that Steel Force seemed like it was asking for a stall on the lift hill. Wouldn't you know the next coaster out of the station got stuck on the lift hill too? Craptacular ride.

I noticed this actually with ALL the coasters EXCEPT Voodoo. It's like they just can't run with such unweighted trains. I sat in the back seat of Hydra and definitely noticed vibration and sluggishness (four people total on the Hydra train). Dominator's upshot even felt rickety and slow. Talon wasn't too bad, but the G's that I usually praise were absent. Am I ruined to all other coasters now that I have witnessed Great Adventure, or do coasters seriously just run so bad or good at different times? Still, in an hour and a half, our rides were:

Steel Force-1

Dorney's gotta do something soon. I don't think there were more than 300 people in the entire park, including staff. I felt like I was at a private party or something! Not that that's bad, but....something creepy about riding in a ghost town in the middle of June.

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

eightdotthree's avatar
Their coasters are very "safe" compared to Great Adventure's.

Ah ha...well, I guess I'm going to have to stay away from Great Adventure for a little while, or my season pass to Dorney will seem like a waste of money. Not too hard to stay away from SF though because it's so expensive and much further away for me. I think this weekend I'll go to Knoebel's. Never been there, I hear it's lovely, and while I'll spend on gas, I won't spend a ton on the actual park.

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

bunky next time you jump on a hyper coaster, try the back row. I have yet to ride a hyper that does not give you the most air in the back.

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Ah ha, I rode Nitro in the back. :) Much better, but I did like the front of it too...I loved looking down at that hill and waiting for the sh** to hit the fan. Hehehehehe...I just wanted Iv to ride the front because she'd never done it, and I wanted to test her mettle. :)

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

Hydra is always shaky :( I was at Dorney with a friend the day before you and it was PACKED (obviously, a Saturday, starlight admission), and had a few great rides on Steel Force and Talon. I was attempting to pass on some coastergeekiness to my friend that day and when getting to B&Ms I explained Hydra as an exception to their usually consistent smoothness. Voodoo was awesome though. We managed to get a decent amount in for it being so packed though.

Hydra - 1
Talon - 2 (once in the very front and once near the back)
Steel Force - 2 (once in the second row and once in the very back)
Laser - 1
Thunderhawk - 1
Voodoo - 1
Dominator - 1
Thunder Canyon - 1
Cedar Creek Cannonball - 1

we also walked around quite a bit as hes never been there before.

Also, what did you notice about line jumping? i saw many signs, and even some employees patrolling some ride lines very well such as Talon and Steel Force, but i noticed ALOT of line jumping on other rides such as Dominator and Voodoo. It's really become a problem anymore and its VERY agrivating. It really sucks when you're in line at Voodoo.. its 10 PM, the park is about to close and for many this is the last ride and people STILL line jump, even right when you're at the station (when it gets to the station theres a gate before you go beside it and into it) and I saw people jumping over rails to get ahead and even going through that gate and nobody noticed!

It was very busy, and I did try to let some employees know but they seemed to be more in focus of getting people on the ride even when I tried to let them know.

*** Edited 6/12/2008 7:22:14 AM UTC by P18***

bunky666 go to Knoebels you will LOVE it! Good food at decent prices, the place sort of has a carnival feeling to it. Not to mention 2 very nice woodies.

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Wood coasters tend to vary a lot depending on weight, temperature, and, well pretty much everything :) Steel coasters, I've never really noticed any difference unless it's super-cold (Good Friday 2007 in Hershey, nothing was running right.)

When I was on Hydra a few weeks ago, it was pretty fully loaded but it still shook so bad that it was unrideable. I never saw it that bad before, I always used to be able to find a row that was tolerable.

Maybe, the kids aren't out of school yet in that area. I don't know?? That park is awesome. There is a lot of competition I think in PA (& states nearby), and I don't think all those parks will make it. The economy is slow right now, and it's just so many parks for that area nearby.

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bunky666 said:Am I ruined to all other coasters now that I have witnessed Great Adventure, or do coasters seriously just run so bad or good at different times?

Great Adventure has somewhat ruined Dorney for me. In 2006 I went to Dorney 18 times and 20 times in 2007 and really didn't get bored. I went to Great Adventure once last year (first visit since 2002). Since I got a Great Adventure SP this year and because they opened a month earlier than Dorney I went quite a few times before Dorney opened and have been going about once a week since then (8 times total this season).

Other than liking Talon more than BTR, when I am on Steel Force I am wishing I was on Nitro, when I am on Hydra I am wishing I was on Medusa, and just seem to be having more fun at Great Adventure. I think that's because I have had really good luck this year at the park and basically had no waits all season at Great Adventure. If I had to wait 15 - 20 minutes or more on average a ride, I probably wouldn't like it so much and it is nice to know at Dorney it's rare to get more than a 5 - 10 minute wait on a weekday.

This past ride on Hydra was the first one that I had ever noticed shakiness. Typically though I ride the front of it, and it's always been silky smooth on the front car, especially in the second to the left seat. Still, after riding Medusa, something DID feel off on Hydra when I thought about it...almost like it is too small for the type of ride it is or something. Like B&M just couldn't handle such a small ride. I don't know....

Yosh, I agree with you. I don't want to go to Great Adventure too much or I will just be absolutely unimpressed by Dorney. Of course, the only launcher at Great Adventure is Kingda Ka, and I don't DO Kingda Ka, so my next closest launcher is HersheyPark unless I go to Dorney and do Voodoo. This particular trip was SO empty though that there was no problem with line jumping because there was absolutely no NEED to line jump. Everything was walk-on. Plus, I have taken to walking through the lines with my hands extended to either side of me and brushing against the railing so no one gets past me. I've had enough, and I'm doing something passively proactive to stop it. Typically line jumping is a HUGE problem at Dorney.

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

There is no doubt in my mind that Great Adventure ruined Dorney for me. I grew up about 40 minutes from Dorney and have been going there regularly since I was a kid. We'd go to Gr Adv once every couple of years. Then last year I got my first SF season pass due to the ridiculously cheap season pass prices. I was always a SF critic but now I have to admit I'd much rather go to Gr Adv then Dorney. IMO nothing at Dorney can even come close to El Toro or Nitro.
Dorney ruined itself if that's your mentality, but it's not what I think. They put the cheaper 10 million Morgan over the probably 20 million Nitro. They bought Talon instead of the incredible Raptor, or Batman. They did it to themselves.

I really like Dorney Park, but if you don't like Dorney, it's because you just don't like it. I really like Hydra, and I really like Dominator (probably similar to Medusa). I want to ride both instead of just saying let me just go to Dominator, and that's it. They are not a clone. For Talon, and Batman, I wouldn't care if I ever got on Talon again because I think it's just an okay ride.

That park for me has other greats like Voodoo (I've been on V2, and Steel Venom, but not Voodoo yet.), Hydra, Revolution 32, Tilt-A-Whirl, Laser, Thunderhawk, Balloons (the fast version), mouse coaster, and the Dragon coaster (I don't care if it's a kiddie coaster because I really like it.).

It's an awesome park in my opinion. It also has a nice Musik Express, Whip, and they have that version of the Swing Around, but it's not called Swing Around. It also has a waterpark I never been to which looks really good.

Get Ready. Get Set. Spinout! Six Flags America: The Park that is Full of Disappointments
I still have a great time when I go to Dorney. It's just the coaster experience I prefer at Gr Adv. I don't like Hydra or Thunderhawk. I do love Talon. It's not that I don't like Dorney, I just go more to Gr Adv than I do Dorney because I generally prefer riding coasters rather than flats.
Don't get me wrong, there's something intrinsically GOOD about Dorney, and it's definitely cheaper. I think everyone loves their home park best. :) Sure, Six Flags has better coasters, but they feel a little impersonal and much more businesslike in their fun. I guess I just wish that Cedar Fair would ramp up production at Dorney and really give that park a fair effort. You know, give Six Flags something to worry about like Cedar Point. I know it takes time, but A-town needs some action other than a refurbished launcher! Bring on some new rides, Cedar Fair!!!

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

ApolloAndy's avatar
Geez. How long has Voodoo been open? And you're already calling for a new ride?

What did GAdv. get this year?

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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

ApolloAndy, naw, I know Voodoo just opened, but it's a refurbished coaster from Geuga (sp?) Lake. I'm saying we need some NEW new rides that really knock it out of the park for Dorney. Like a Maverick or a better wooden coaster or something. I think people are getting bored and are starting to head over to Hershey and Great Adventure more and more.

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

Plus with Laser likely leaving this season unless they keep it until it is sold, it's not like we are gaining a coaster.

Laser's always running when I'm there, so I think that they will keep it going until they sell it and pack it off. But you're right, since we're losing the Laser, it takes the tally down a notch. Not that I'm gonna miss the Laser all that much, but I remember when I was younger and that ride used to scare the bejesus out of me. :) The nostalgia is what makes it hard to see it go.

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

matt.'s avatar

Spinout said:
I really like Dorney Park, but if you don't like Dorney, it's because you just don't like it.

Wow. That is...deep.

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