Dorney Park (7/27/2001)

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Monday, July 30, 2001 6:56 AM
This was my second visit to Dorney Park, but since the first came in 1980 and the park has changed so much since then, it may as well have been my first.

Driving from Dover (Just north of York, PA), it took us almost 2 hours to get to Allentown. The first surprise we had was finding a parking space three rows back from the front gate of the park! The crowd appeared that it would be light, and we also noticed large number of people exiting the park and heading toward the mass of busses in the lot. Entering the park at 3:45 we knew that many of those busses would be pulling out soon (this arrival time was NOT an accident for us!).

Upon entering, I noticed what so many have said about Dorney… not many trees around. We headed straight for Talon and after a very short wait, had a seat in the middle of the train. I was expecting a lot from this coaster, what with all of the positive reviews and all, and it lived up to all my expectations, even then some! Some nice intense moments, some great pacing, some incredible visuals even from the middle of the train (especially that helix a few feet off the ground)… it all adds up to one incredible coaster. It bumped Montu out of my number 1 inverted spot).

After Talon it was on to Wild Mouse. This was the only "mistake" we made all day. We waited in line quite a while for what turned out to be a lack luster ride. Its okay, but not quite as wild as the Mouse at Hersheypark. But anyway, one more for the count.

From Wild Mouse we proceeded down hill toward Hercules and a walk on 2nd row seat. In a bizarre sort of way, this coaster, while not one of my favorites, may be a sentimental favorite. I feel sorry for it. It has gotten such a bad reputation because of its roughness… and rough it is. If this coaster would be re tracked (and perhaps a bit of reprofiling to cut some of the speed after that first drop, and this could be a really good coaster. I even liked the last part of the ride that so many say is "lack luster". The only thing I did not like is the way it beat us up.

Then it was down past Camp Snoopy (looks like a great place if you are a kid) to Thunderhawk. Again, sentimentality comes into it… this is a Herb Schmeck coaster, so naturally I was a bit biased in its favor. I rode it once in 1980, but forgot most of it (the station seems to have been changed greatly from then). It was a walk on and I sat in the last seat, and my wife sat this one out after roughed up by Hercules a few minutes earlier. I learned quickly that if you ride alone, sit on the right side of the train… that diving turn really shakes you around and throws you to the right.

Then it was time for Steel Force. This monster sat in the back of the park and enticed us toward it with its really huge first hill and not quite as huge second hill. Loading time was quick… and again it was a back row seat for us. The wildest sensation at the top of the lift as we got quickly whipped over the crest of the hill and down the first drop through the tunnel. The speed on this thing only let up on the mid course breaks before the bunny hops home (they must have really big "bunnies" in Allentown judging by the size of their hops). After exiting, we got right back on for a front seat ride. As great as getting pulled over the crest of the lift hill at full speed was, the visual sensation of hanging at the top of the hill, looking down, and waiting for the rest of the train was even better. We loved the front seat on this one! One smooth and great coaster!!!!!!

Laser was up next. The jury is out on this one for me. It was fun, but I am not sure if I really liked it. Perhaps we were getting hungry. With that in mind, we went off in search of food (and passing Sky Scraper and both saying "No way"). As we walked toward the "Shrimp and Chicken" food stand, we took in a ride on the Whip, and I got one on each side of Diminator (the green side where you are dropped, I liked better than the red side where you are shot up ward).

A quick rest to eat followed. Just across the way was Thunder Creek Mountain log flume. It was a walk on. My wife was reminding me that I was the one who wanted to leave the back pack that contained a change of clothes in the car the whole way up the lift hill. This was a fun flume as it followed the lay of the land being built on a hill side and all. Then we saw it… the water fall that we had to pass directly under. Again my wife "reminded" me that SHE wanted to bring a change of dry clothes and a poncho. We both broke up laughing as we got to the waterfall and it stopped, letting us pass "undrenched". The drop was fun too, with not too much spray.

From here we made our way up to Talon again. One more middle train ride for us and then I waited in line for the front seat. The visuals up there were insane!!! I love this ride!!!!

Down the hill again, and I grabbed night ride on Hercules (still rough, but more fun in the dark), and Thunderhawk (fun in the dark too, and I sat in the 3rd seat and was almost ejected a few times from the air time). And then, as planned, back to Steel Force to finish up the night. We grabbed another front seat ride. Incredible in the dark, and a wild visual as the fireworks from the laser show was going off to our right. After this ride, we ran around again and got right back on. We decided not to wait for the front seat and walked on to the 3rd. This (what turned out to be our last right of the night) was a "hands up" ride from the crest of the lift hill to the station breaks!!! We were out of our seats most of the last half of the ride form the air time. We ran around to take another ride, but they had just closed off the line as it was 10pm.

A quick stop at the "Drop Shop" for a Talon and a Steel Force T-shirt, and we headed out.

Our longest wait of the day came after we left… we were stopped on I-78 between Allentown and Harrisburg for 2 hours in traffic from an accident up ahead.

All in all it was a very fun day, and I was pleasantly surprised by Dorney Park. The Hill section is a bit sparse of trees, but the valley along the creek is nice and shaded and has an "old time" feel to it. This was my favorite area of the park. We were lucky with nice weather and light crowds and short lines. We did not do the rapids or White Water Landing (we will get those on our next visit).

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."
Monday, July 30, 2001 12:57 PM
Glad you liked Talon. Everything about the coaster just amazes me. The front seat is simply incredible. I also found that the front of Steel Force to be the best seat.
Monday, July 30, 2001 1:07 PM
"Everyone" has been giving it good reviews, I wish I could ride it.

Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Incredible Hulk, The
Monday, July 30, 2001 9:44 PM
Cant wait to ride Talon Grip OF Fear I will be going to Dorney Park August 19-26th during the trip I will also be visiting Hershey Park, Lakemont Park and Knoebles Park for my final trip of 2001!

Always the #1 Viking Fan!

Tuesday, July 31, 2001 8:50 AM
Nice report, don't you love it when the crowds are light!
I agree with your assessments of the coasters.
I visited Dorney on June 29 this year (also July 1999), and if I wrote a TR about it, we would sound very much alike.
That log flume waterfall is a nice fakeout, and did you notice its drop is not as steep as others but has more length. And you don't get very wet.
Dorney's river rapids is among the best around, be sure to try it next time.
The White Water Landing? Nothing special (I believe all coaster lovers would agree) unless you are very hot and need that cool-down.
One last thing, try Talon in the back left. I think it's the best seat in the house!

*** This post was edited by MABrider on 7/31/2001. ***

*** This post was edited by MABrider on 7/31/2001. *** *** This post was edited by MABrider on 7/31/2001. ***
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 9:03 AM

MABrider said:
One last thing, try Talon in the back left. I think it's the best seat in the house!

Wow, I definitely agree with that!. Talon may not be the most intense in my eyes, but it had re-rideable feeling that was undescribeable. Its a great ride.

Nice TR btw, SLFAKE.

Dayuum, Your HOT!
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 1:43 PM
Good TR, I also think the best seat on Talon is the back left, it gives you a good ride, including a little of the airtime feeling.

Steel Force+ me= floating airtime!
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 5:50 PM
Great TR! I am hoping to go to Dorney Park sometime soon and I hope to have as good of a time as you did.
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 10:29 PM
I know how hunger or the like can sometimes effect how much you enjoy a ride such as I learned with Batwing (now my #3 coaster!), but Laser is one PERFECT Schwarzkopf (RIP :() coaster! It holds my #5 spot of all time! It is truely the only ride I have ever experienced from a back seat which was just as incredible as a front! It, IMO, packs the largest punch ever for any ride of it's size! PS, can't wait to get back to Dorney, hopefully next year, to experience Talon!

Blast Coaster - - COASTERnet IV!

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