Dorney Park 7/26, 7/27, 7/28, 7/30

Associated parks:
None

Friday, August 1, 2008 4:10 PM
Yes, four days, different time frames. First off, some observations, keep in mind YMMV:

There are no food reviews. We always bring our own to any park we go to except Knoebels. Unless you want to count the Turkey Hill ice cream, which was good.

There are no reviews of Talon, Hydra or VooDoo, all of which were running at all times we were there but I did not ride them.

The public picnic pavilion is gone after this year. There are paint markings on the ground and signs posted stating that "This space will be unavailable for 2009."

Shirt, Shoes and Shorts must be worn in Dorney Park is only partly true. If you are female you don't need a shirt, just a bikini top. This was prevalent all four days we were there.

If English is your primary language you are in the minority at DP both employee and park patrons. The bulk of the staff appeared to be Columbian from their name tags, I saw one Ecuadorian and 1 poor girl working the chance carousel from Slovakia. I have no problem with this other than the fact that it is nearly impossible to understand the pre and post ride messages that they read from their paper, and on the patron side they apparently have no concept of personal space. I was bumped and jostled in line on a regular basis.

Line jumping IS A SPORT at DP, contrary to the incredible amount of signage posted at every ride in every queue. If you are in a line, you will be pushed passed or rail jumped, period, no exceptions, it will happen. I have NEVER experienced line jumping to the degree that I did at DP. Road Rally, Scrambler, Laser, Thunder Creek Mountain, Apollo, Wild Mouse, Musik Express, Sea Dragon, Ferris Wheel and Tilt-a-Whirl on the ride side and Aqua Racer and Patriots Plunge on the WWK side were the rides were were jumped on almost every time we rode.

Lines for most rides were generally short, but ride wait times were ridiculous for some rides with short lines. Wait times for Road Rally were nuts, on Monster it took 25 minutes from the time we entered the line for our ride to the time we unloaded, and we entered the line just as it was loading the last group for the current ride and we were second in line to get on, and they were ONLY loading 4 out of 6 arms. Apollo was a one ride wait all four days and the operator seemed to move in slow motion every time.

Ok, the days:

Saturday July 26th:

The girls(wife and daughter) stayed in the hotel room to watch the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana on TV. The boys, my 5 year old son and I, went to McDonalds for some nuggets then hit DP for 2 hours from 8:00 to 10:00. This was just to get him out of the room. Both kids were bouncing off the walls, this was the midpoint of our two week vacation, the first week being spent in Ocean City, MD. When we arrived we had no trouble getting in with our Cedar Fair Platinum Passes bought from Cedar Point, but I could see that it had been a busy day because all the parking lots had cars and grass parking areas were full as well. Basically it was a straight shot down the hill to the back corner for some rides on Little Laser, Dragon and the Silly Shack. We did hit Apollo and experienced our first ridiculous one ride wait time of the trip. We also rode The Whip, which was painful, and finished the evening off with a soaking trip down Thunder Creek Mountain.

Sunday July 27th:

Picked up a friend who came down from NYC on the bus at the Charcoal Diner right across from DP at about 11:00AM and proceeded into the park. Found a spot in the fourth row from the front and wheeled our food into the picnic pavilion and still got a good table. Also discovered the signage stating that the pavilion is a gonner after this year.

We started out at Wildwater Kingdom. We spent a few minutes in the wave pool by the entrance and made it over to the kiddie play area when the clouds rolled in. It started to spit so I took the five of us down the hill to seek shelter by the hot dog concession stand. Good call, a nasty thunderstorm rolled through and kept us there for almost an hour. By this time the temperature had dropped from 79 down to 65, so the water park was done. We proceeded to eat our lunch then partake of the ride side. I won't bore you with the gory details of each ride but the ride side was not as packed as WWK was, even after the rain. My daughter was able to get her first ever ride on Laser(I see now that it was sold that the ride we took on the 30th would be our last ever) and she even went on Steel Force, her first 200 foot coaster. You might recall my Memorial Day weekend report that had my wife not allowing her on Magnum, apparently something changed in two months because my daughter was allowed to ride Meteor and Dominator as well.

Speaking of Dominator, we had an incident that had me flashing back to SFKK from last year, only this time it wasn't a case of "things like this happen to other people" it was MY daughter. She and my wife were seated on the drop side of Dominator. Everyone was buckled in and I'm standing off to the side to take a picture, all of a sudden my wife is yelling for them to stop the ride. The ride-op in the immediate vicinity was smiling with her thumb up and yapping to a co-worker. My wife starts screaming and HOLDING UP MY DAUGHTERS SEATBELT which is not connected. The ride is now moving up getting ready for it's big ride up the tower. People in the line start yelling and I start yelling. The girl finally notices everyone is yelling at her and hits the e-stop. Everyone unloaded safely and the drop side was down for two hours. Who was at fault? My 7 year old daughter. She for some unknown reason was playing around with the metal flap of the belt and unbuckled herself after she had been checked. My wife was unable to shove it back in and neither was my daughter. I really can't blame the operator except for the fact that she had a thumb up and was not actually watching the riders. Needless to say this shook everyone up, my daughter had a massive crying session. How'd this all turn out? She sucked it up and rode the blast off side 5 more times with me over the next 3 days! :) Took my one and only ride on Thunderhawk. It seemed to be better than last year, but that trim right before the bunny hops is annoying. My wife, daughter, and friend from NYC got a re-ride in the back seats!! As always, the final ride was on Thunder Creek Mountain. Soaked for the trip back to the hotel but happy.

Monday July 28th:

Spent much more time in WWK today. Got there at park opening, found some chairs under one of the big umbrellas, and hit the lazy river to start. I decided to see if I could get my son on Aqua Racer. He is over 42" in shoes but I wasn't sure how it would be barefoot. We entered the line and the girl from Columbia NEVER CHECKED HIS HEIGHT! She just handed us the mats and off we went. My son LOVED this ride, unfortunately it was his only one. The next time we tried it was a different girl and she checked his height. He didn't put his feet together and stand straight and the things just slid on his hair, she said no. He was a little upset but took it in stride. After a successful stay in WWK we hit the rides at about 3:00. More of the same stuff but I made a discovery about Steel Force. My daughter and I rode the back seat on Sunday and just like Magnum I have to be careful on the bunny hops because it can be painful for a male. This time we rode the front seat. Um, I not only had no pain I received some nice floater airtime!! I missed the memo on that and can't remember the last time I rode Magnum in the front seat but I would assume it is the same. At the end of the day it was Thunder Creek Mountain, and my son was happy again.

Wednesday July 30th:

We came here for about 4 hours after spending most of the day at the Crayola museum in Easton. Park was nearly empty and wait times were almost nonexistant except for Laser and Road Rally. We finished up with Thunder Creek Mountain again. My son loves log flumes and he could ride this one all day and he'd be happy. That's why he loves Knoebels and Kennywood. Both parks have flumes AND big boats and he can ride them there, plus KW has Raging Rapids as well. He's nuts but that's just fine- with me.

Hope you're all still awake, thanks for reading,

Tom

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Friday, August 1, 2008 10:34 PM
Road Rally has been running 3 and 4 cars all season. That makes the line ridiculously long. On days when Voodoo is going out with a half empty train, Road Rally is still 15 - 20 minutes. They should be running at least double the amount of cars they are running.
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Sunday, August 3, 2008 1:33 PM
Line jumping at Dorney should be an Olympic event. I too have never seen it so blatantly at any other park. When it's not crowded, I don't care too much (so typically I don't care), but I've heard that when this park gets crowded, it still happens with a vengeance. The signs don't help, the attendants don't do a thing....it's a park patron's nightmare on a busy day.

Monster and the Road Rally are always like that. I don't quite understand it, but for all the years they have had those rides, they're slow loading.

I don't like Steel Force from the backseat. It's painful for a woman too. The uterus just gets thrust into the spine. LOL Front few cars are the way to go.

I'm glad your wife is letting your daughter get on more rides. :) Hey, how many kids do you have? It sounded like four???

I'm so sorry that you had the seatbelt issue. I've NEVER experienced a ride at Dorney where the ride ops were less than super vigilant. Jesus that's got to be scary. But, in all fairness, at least your daughter learned a VERY important lesson about ride safety AND she wasn't harmed from it or emotionally scarred from riding the Dominator.

Sounds like Dorney wasn't really doing it for you this visit. Sorry to hear it...I've heard a lot of love from Dorney goers on this site, but I haven't been out there since the beginning/middle of July. It seems to get less pleasant closer to the end of the season, I have noticed.

No Voodoo, Talon, or Hydra?? That's a bummer! Well, maybe not so much in Hydra's case as most of the floorless coasters that B&M have created are all better than Hydra, but Talon is an excellent inverted, and Voodoo is a really different sensation. Of course, if you've ridden Wicked Twister, you don't really need to ride Voodoo except for credit (I would imagine), but I still really like it. Next time you visit, check it out (if it's running).

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Sunday, August 3, 2008 1:44 PM

bunky666 said:


I'm glad your wife is letting your daughter get on more rides. Hey, how many kids do you have? It sounded like four???


LOL! Only two. My daughter turns 8 next month and my son turned 5 back in May. We had a 5th person there Sunday and Monday. She was a friend of ours from college who now lives in New York City.


bunky666 said:

Sounds like Dorney wasn't really doing it for you this visit. Sorry to hear it...I've heard a lot of love from Dorney goers on this site, but I haven't been out there since the beginning/middle of July. It seems to get less pleasant closer to the end of the season, I have noticed.


Actually we did have a very good time. I was just pointing out some of the things that drove me nuts, but the two days we spent all day there the crowds were light so the line jumping wasn't a major factor, it just blew my mind how rampant it was and how little disregard people have for others.


bunky666 said:

No Voodoo, Talon, or Hydra?? That's a bummer! Well, maybe not so much in Hydra's case as most of the floorless coasters that B&M have created are all better than Hydra, but Talon is an excellent inverted, and Voodoo is a really different sensation. Of course, if you've ridden Wicked Twister, you don't really need to ride Voodoo except for credit (I would imagine), but I still really like it. Next time you visit, check it out (if it's running).


I rode both Talon and Hydra last year. I'm currently sitting at 99 coasters ridden and on this trip I could have hit 100 but I really didn't want the Looping Star at Jolly Roger in Ocean City, MD or Toboggan at Trimpers rides to be number 100, and VooDoo wasn't an attractive option either. I know which one I want and am praying they get it running by Labor day. Same state as VooDoo, different park. :)

Tom

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Sunday, August 3, 2008 10:57 PM
Oooh, what coaster? Flying Turns? LOL I hope that's not the one you're aiming for. What other coasters in PA are opening that haven't opened yet? What am I missing???
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Monday, August 4, 2008 10:29 AM
Flying Turns is correct. I haven't been to Knoebels yet this year but it looks like Labor Day weekend will be my only trip. I'm sure I have one or two CP trips left and I haven't ridden TTD or Maverick yet but my daughter isn't at 52" yet and I'm not about to leave the family for 1-2 hours to stand in line so it's either Flying Turns this year or next.

Tom

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Monday, August 4, 2008 1:03 PM
Do you have a CP pass? If so, go on your own to Cedar Point. That's what I'm doing in a week or two. LOL I'm just kidding...it's harder when you have a family.

Flying Turns isn't open. Next year, I've heard now. :( That thing looks...well, interesting. It will be interesting to see how it works.

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