Dorney Park 7/27/02 and 7/28/02

Associated parks:
None

Friday, August 23, 2002 6:16 PM
From 7/21/02 to 7/29/02, I decided to do a coaster invasion of some northeastern states. My stops were:

7/21 Fly in
7/22 Morey’s Piers
7/23 Six Flags Great Adventure
7/24 Six Flags America
7/25 Hersheypark
7/26 Knoebel’s
7/27 Dorney Park and a party at a friend's house
7/28 Dorney Park
7/29 Fly out

July 27 and 28 were visits to Dorney Park. The main reason why I visited was that I got in free. My Cedar Point season pass gives me free admission to any Cedar Fair park. I also wanted to ride Talon, but the main draw was getting in free. After being soaked by Six Flags, I felt it was my time to exploit something.

People had said that Dorney Park was really a one-day park, but I decided to do two days. Why? On July 27, I had a party in the afternoon. Several party attendees expressed interest in going to Dorney Park. I wanted to spend the 27th doing the things that I wanted to do. If it was anything like the Cedar Point meet in May, I expected most people to do the flat rides. I wanted to at least ride all the coasters once on Saturday and follow the group on Sunday.

There’s a rule of thumb when doing amusement and theme parks: never on a Saturday. It was oh so true at Dorney Park. I arrived at opening on Saturday (July 27) and managed to do all the coasters one time in two hours. At noon, the park was pretty packed. Talon had a 30-minute wait. Hercules had about the same wait. Wild Mouse had about an hour wait! The water park was packed too. The park was pretty quiet on Sunday. Even at 1 pm, the longest wait was with Talon at 10-15 minutes. The rest of the rides were pretty much walk-ons.

Even though the park accepts Cedar Point season passes, they couldn’t scan it. I had to go to Guest Services to get a complimentary ticket and then go through the regular ticket line. Weird! Six Flags usually just scans in your season pass, regardless if it was from that park or another one.

On Sunday, a few friends -- John, Sarah, Nancy, and the Other Barry -- came along to Dorney Park. We arrived at 1 pm and they had left around 4 pm. John and Sarah had to head back to Ohio. Nancy was getting a heatstroke and we tried to find cold A/C to hang out in. Unfortunately, this wasn’t Florida with central air, so cold A/C was hard to find. They went back to the hotel to cool off. I hope Nancy felt better later in the day. We rode five rides: Talon, Thunderhawk, Steel Force, Lazer, and Dragon.

Here are my impressions of the coasters…

TALON

This was a B&M inverted coaster. I had waited a maximum of 15 minutes for this one. They were running two trains. It was another good B&M, but Dueling Dragons and Montu are so much better. The ride was fairly smooth. Like nearly every B&M, there is nothing bone jarring about it. There are some neat signs as you go up the lift hill. As you start, a sign below your feet says, “Going up.” Then in the middle, the sign says, “Almost there.” When you’re about to go over the lift hill, it says, “Goodbye.” I rode it once on Saturday and four times on Sunday.

WILD MOUSE

This was a wild mouse coaster (duh!). I waited 15 minutes for this one. It wasn’t a bad mouse. The “S” curves threw me around a lot. Not a bad ride for the credit. I rode it once on Saturday and once on Sunday. Like any mouse, several cars were running at once.

HERCULES

This was an out and back coaster, I think. I didn’t really pay attention because the ride was very rough. It was not as rough as Cedar Point’s Mean Streak, but it was close! I couldn’t enjoy the ride because it beat me up too much. I rode it on Saturday with a few minutes wait. They were running one train.

THUNDERHAWK

This was an out and back coaster with a figure 8. The coaster gave some good airtime and was relatively smooth, but had some violent laterals as it made some turns. If the turns weren’t so violent, I’d like this ride more. I had a few minutes wait for it on Saturday. I rode it twice on Sunday with a short wait. They had Thunderhawk on a one-train operation on both days.

STEEL FORCE

This was a mega-coaster. It was a very smooth ride, but it didn’t give much in the way of airtime. It tried hard to give me airtime, but my butt would not leave the seat. I like Nitro and Millennium Force much, much better. They were running two trains on both days. The wait was a few minutes. I rode it once on Saturday and two times on Sunday.

LAZER

This was a Schwartzkopf looping coaster, like the Scorpion at Busch Gardens Tampa. It was very smooth and a nice ride. The lift hill, however, was very slow and it took forever to get to the top. I rode it once on Saturday and Sunday. The wait was a few minutes. The neat thing about the ride was at the exit. There’s an observation platform that’s really close to the tracks. You could stand there and get a photo of your Uncle Harold as he screams on the coaster.

THE DRAGON

I’m shameless, I know. I rode it for the credit. I wanted to ride the Little Lazer, but I was too tall for it. Bummer! Yeah, man, it was so much better than the Incredible Hulk Coaster, Millennium Force, Montu, and Dueling Dragons combined – NOT! What do you expect from a kiddie coaster? On Sunday, we all rode it except for John. I had him film us in our coaster-riding glory. Perhaps we can send it to “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” We waited a few minutes for this ride.

I also saw a show called Shout in the Hercules Plaza stage. The performers sang tunes from the ‘50’s. I watched it for a few minutes and left. Yuck! I also saw a show at the main stage where they sang hits from the past decades. It was pretty good and the performers were pretty talented.

Both days, I ate at Coaster’s. The better meal was on Saturday. I had a Coaster Classic and onion pellets. The Coaster Classic was a bacon hamburger with lettuce and tomato. The onion pellets were the best! They were like onion rings, but they were shaped like mini chicken nuggets. They were so good! The burger was good too. Sunday’s meal was a hamburger, which was a meat patty with two pieces of bread. They didn’t even add lettuce and tomato. The fries were OK.

The ride ops used an odd sign to signify that the coasters were ready. They held one finger up. No, not the middle finger! They held their index finger up. What’s wrong with the thumbs up signal?

I must say that Dorney Park was the least favorite park on my trip. Nothing really stood out. Talon is probably the best ride in the park, but it wasn’t a ride that made me jump for joy. I like rides that make me jump for joy. That means I like the park and want to visit again. Not too much would incline me to visit Dorney Park again. To the park’s credit, it was clean and the employees were fairly friendly, but I need at least one knock-down, slam-bang ride to make me want to come back.

On Saturday, I took a few hours to shoot video of the park in the afternoon and then headed to a friend's party. It was a fun day seeing old friends. A fun time was had by all!

I stayed at a Comfort Inn in Pottstown for two nights. A friend said that this was the only good hotel in the area. It better have been, for I paid $76 a night on an AAA discount! Actually, it was a very nice hotel. I was put into a smoking room, but it didn’t smell like an ashtray. That’s why I didn’t ask for another room. I stayed there for two nights and was the nicest place that I stayed in my entire trip.

Tomorrow was a flight home from Philadelphia. I didn’t want to go home and I had a hard time crawling back to work!

Until next year…whatever it brings!


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Saturday, August 24, 2002 6:59 AM

Barry H said:
"HERCULES

This was an out and back coaster, I think. I didn’t really pay attention because the ride was very rough. It was not as rough as Cedar Point’s Mean Streak, but it was close! I couldn’t enjoy the ride because it beat me up too much.

(SNIPPAGE)

To the park’s credit, it was clean and the employees were fairly friendly, but I need at least one knock-down, slam-bang ride to make me want to come back."



So, wait min, I guess you'll be back to Dorney huh?
lata,
jeremy
--"If you dont get it, laugh now, then figure the **** out when you get home" ;)
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Saturday, August 24, 2002 12:07 PM
I know what you mean about the Lazer slow lift. I thought it would never make it all the way to the top.

-----------------
-Sean

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Saturday, August 24, 2002 12:11 PM

Hey Jeremy,

If I want pain, I will ride Mean Streak. :) I may be back at Dorney, but not anytime soon.

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Saturday, August 24, 2002 7:51 PM

I rode Talon twice after it was shut down because of lightning and rain and when they opened it back up it still was wet so the ride felt real fast. I thought it was intense and fun but I didn't get to ride the rest of the coasters cause I was at W.W.K and when I came to the ride side the rides started to close because of "inclement weather" so we sticked around and played games so when the storm passed and the park was ready to close they opened the rides for a while and we was close to Talon so we rode that and hangtime than left. I liked it better than Medusa.

Oh yea on the top of the Talon lift it say "No turning back"

*** This post was edited by jay_rider on 8/24/2002. ***

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