Dorney Park, 7/2/01 (semi long)

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Tuesday, July 3, 2001 1:34 PM
Trip Report: First trip [ever] to Dorney Park, 7/2/01

My family and I had stayed at my Grandma's the night before so we only had about a 30 minute drive to Dorney. I had wanted to leave at 9:00, but we didn't end up actually pulling out of the drive way until around 9:15. We arrived at the main gate at 9:45. I went to guest services and got my free ticket and then it was straight to Talon. A line had formed in front of the queue. We only had about 100 people in front of us. At 10:05, an empty train went up the lift hill and at 10:10am, the queue was opened. Ever since I saw pictures of this rollercoaster on the 'net, I loved the color scheme. Talon is even more beautiful in person. Dorney did an excellent job of landscaping, as well as making the queue somewhat creative.

Talon - 10 minute wait, front seat
Because the line was quite short, we decided to wait for the front seat. The first drop, loop, and zero-g roll were all pretty standard, but after that, wow. This ride rocks. The pass through the trench up into the immelman is great, the dip below the lift hill is awesome, and the helix right after the corkscrew is unbelievably good. This is my new favorite invert -- easily beating Great Bear(my #2), but just barely edging out Raptor.
Rating: 9/10

Steel Force - no wait, back seat
Almost everybody else was on or in line for Talon, so we were able to walk right on to Steel Force. This was my first Morgan hyper, so I was pretty excited. The seats are very comfy and have a good amount of leg room. I loved the retractable seat belts. The cars do feel a bit confining, but it's not bad. The ride itself was great. It takes about a minute to get to the top of the lift hill (I timed it, it's 58 seconds). The drop into the tunnel is fabulous. The helix turnaround is "ok", but it's not that exciting. The bunny hops into the station are lots of fun, but felt a bit "jerky" in the back. Overall, a great hyper -- much smoother transitions than a certain hyper in Ohio, imo.
Rating: 8/10

Laser - 5 minute wait, middle seat
From Steel Force, we headed to Laser. There was no line, but the train takes a long time to get to the top of the lift hill. Once it had come back, it was our turn. When we got to the top of the hill, the train made sqeauking noises like it was trying to brake or something. The drop is good, and the loops are much smoother than I thought they would be. The ride goes quickly after that, but it has nice transitions and intense turns. Overall, a good ride, but not worth longer than maybe a 15 minute wait.
Rating: 5/10

Thunderhawk - 2 minutes, front seat
Thunderhawk was up next. Again, we had, virtually, no wait. We could've walked right on, but my sister wanted to wait for the front, so we had to wait a train. I enjoyed the small starting drop before the lift hill. The first drop was nothing great, nor was the first turnaround, but after that, as the train came up the hill, I got thrown into my lap bar. The airtime on this thing is insane, especially considering how small it really is. This is definitly a fun ride.
Rating: 6.75/10

Next up was Hercules, but we passed Dominator on the way. When I had my first trip to Cedar Point last summer, I was looking forward to riding "Power Tower". Unfortunately, it had a 2 hour wait and I didn't feel like waiting for it when Millennium Force had half of a line. I was determined to get on Dominator. I opted to go for the Space Shot side -- get it over with quickly. This was my first time on an S&S vertical tower. I hopped into the seat, pulled the harness down as far as it would go, buckled the seat belt, and held on as tightly as I could. We moved up about a foot -- and stopped. At this point, I was incredibly nervous. We moved down about 3 inches........up another foot....and.... WHOOOSSHH!! We were 175 feet in the air. Wow! What a rush. Besides Talon, this was the highlight of my trip.

Hercules - 30 minutes, middle seat
I was going to ride Hercules, despite all the negative comments about it. I had ridden Mean Streak at CP, and I had actually enjoyed it. The line for Hercules looked like it was going to be about 15 minutes long. It would've been, but they were only running one train. We finally got on. Looking down the hill at the first drop's turnaround is the only good part of this ride. The turnaround looks like it's only about 4 feet above the water. After the drop, the ride goes to heck -- in a bad way. This is easily one of my least favorite rides. It's so incredibly rough that it sucks any and all enjoyment out of this ride. If this ride was smoother, it would be one of the coolest around, right now it's just terrible.
Rating: 1/10, +2 for having such a cool looking turnaround over water, 3/10

At this point, we headed back to the car for some pretzels and snapple. Yummy. After that, we headed down towards Dominator (I wanted to ride again), but ended up at Steel Force instead. We sat towards the front for this ride. It seemed to be more smooth over the bunny hops. After a good ride, it was back to Dominator for another great space shot.

It was about 3:00 and Wild Mouse had just opened up after being broken down for the beginning part of the day.

Wild Mouse - 30 minutes, back seat
The front is the best seat, but my sister and cousin had never ridden a wild mouse coaster at all, so I let them have it. This Wildmouse has the EXACT same layout as the one in Hersheypark. However, it must have about 1/2 th capacity because of the incredibly stupid way Dorneypark loads. They stop the cars instead of having them slowly moving through the station. Sure, it's nicer for some of the guests, but it butchers the capacity. Oh well... it was a fun ride, but the breaks were on pretty hard compared to the one at Hersheypark.
Rating: 4/10

My mom and one sister left the park at this time, so my cousin, other sister and I waited out by the carrousel for my OTHER cousin to arrive. We grabbed some tacos and sodas at Taco Bell and then headed back to the carrousel. He still hadn't arrived. We took a spin on the Antique Carrousel. It's nice, but it really needs to be restored, like the one at Hersheypark. Still, no cousin. Finally, we gave up and just did this:
Ride Talon -- wait 10 minutes for cousin -- ride Talon, etc...

We got about 6 laps on Talon (the last was a front seat ride) before my mom picked my sister and I up at 8:00pm. All in all, I had a blast at Dorney. The food was less expensive than at Hershey, the park was clean, the Ride ops were friendly and (for the most part) efficient, and Talon made the trip completely worth it. Dorney Park impressed me more than I thought it would.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 5:18 PM
Nice TR. I agree with most everything you say (especially your comments regarding Hercules).
But...the wild mouse is not like Hershey's. It is smaller. Hershey's has more to it. Once you get "going" (after the top turns/turns/turns are done) there is one more back and forth section than on Dorney's; the entire footprint of the ride is wider as a result. It also has less braking and is smoother. And, yes, the loading is very quick on it. I was at both parks last week so both mice are fresh in my mind.

I know you rider Gonna miss me when I'm gone

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