Dorney Park 8/24/11...fantastic!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 5:38 PM

I picked up my younger nephew this morning to get to the park at around 10:30. I was immediately relieved by the cheaper parking than the plain old rip off that is Great Adventure (12 versus 30 dollars). You know you are used to price gouging when 12 bucks to park sounds like chump change. Anyway, it was a lovely day, nice and cool in the morning with a great breeze and almost no clouds. I already knew this day was gonna be good.

I'm so not used to waiting in line for Dorney's gate. I don't like it. I'm gettin a pass next year again for sure. The lines are so slow. We waited for over a half an hour to get in the park, and the line wasn't even that long.

My nephew had originally wanted to go to Great Adventure, but he is new to coasters and still chickens out a fair amount, so I figured if he could do more stuff at Dorney, we'd hit GA next season or later this year. Oddly enough, he loves Steel Force, but I was concerned about dropping hundreds of dollars when he is afraid of going upside down....but he IS totally ready to do GrAdv now.

As usual though, I digress. We tried to get on the Wild Mouse first, but the line was, and remained throughout the day, very long. Then we went to get on Hydra, but my nephew chickened out. I was a bit concerned that we were gonna go through this the whole day, so I told my nephew once he got in line from this point forward, he had to ride. He agreed and said he wanted to work his way up to the loopers. I said sure.

Our first ride of the day was Thunderhawk, which was running beautifully. We both had a blast on it, and I was shocked at how smooth it was. Walk on for this coaster. Then we went to Steel Force. My nephew loved this ride on his last trip to DP, so he was really excited, but as we went up the hill, he started getting scared and hid his head in my arm. I again was worried that he was gonna be traumatized, but once we got down the first hill, he was laughing and yelling and smiling, and we immediately ran around to another walk on to the third seat from the front. SF was running flawlessly today as well, and I could have power ridden if we didn't have other things to do.

Nephew wanted to eat, so we ate at the Monster Grille, right by the now defunct and torn down Monster. I was so bummed out about that!! Most of that ride was lame, but there was one car that always spun non-stop and I loved that ride experience when I could get it.

Food at the Monster Grill was not horrible. Chicken fingers were good, the cheese fries were hot and nicely salted and not too stale, and with a souvenir mug and food for two, it was 30 bucks. Yes, expensive, but not more so than going to the movies or anything.

Then it was off to Apollo. We actually wanted to ride it again, but the line got super long. In fact, the coasters were all nearly empty all day, but the flats were almost all unwaitable lines because we didn't have all day due to some pressing engagements.

My nephew got his courage by this point, and he said he wanted to do Talon. He got in line, stayed in line, and hopped right into a seat in the near front of the train. He turned really pale and I thought he passed out in the first loop, but we got off Talon and he said with a very serious face: "that. Was. Awesome. We're doing it again." we rode three more times, all short lines. Talon also was running in excellent form, and the ride operators were very efficient. We also rode Hydra three times, did Steel Force another time, and then Thunderhawk. Second time on Thunderhawk from the same seat was horrible. I don't know if it was because the train was a different one or if the increased heat made the wood shift a little (which I know can play a part), but it hurt so bad. SO bad. I wish this ride was consistently horrible or good so I would know whether or not to ride it, but my nephew and I both agreed we would not be riding this again, especially since everything else was running so well.

My nephew was originally petrified of Possessed, but he wanted to ride it after all, but it remained closed for the entire day. Grrrr....

By this time, we were pretty pooped, and nephew chickened out of Dominator, so we just went home.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. I did get an opportunity to speak to a young man who had a Diamondback shirt on, and he was doing a coasting vacay and was really impressed by both the rides and the atmosphere of dorney. He did like Great Adventure and swore Toro ran circles around Voyage, but he said Dorney was cleaner, prettier, and more diverse in its rides. It was nice to speak in person to a fellow enthusiast based in Ohio to get a feel for the other parks out that way, and I was pleased that he liked my little home park. Though I was still super envious of his Diamondback credit. Hehe...

So ride count:

Talon 4
Hydra 3
Apollo 1
Thunderhawk 2
Steel force 3

Not bad for a five hour trip. Can't do that too many places. It was so great to watch my nephew testing the waters as well and learning about the awesomeness that is coasting. Today was pretty close to perfection, and I did NOT get injured or have to call EMT peeps for a single soul!! Can't beat that!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:48 PM

Sounds much better than last Wednesday, the crowds were so unbearable that we left after 3 hours. It took over 30 minutes from turning onto Hamilton Blvd to park. The coasters and flats all had lines and the water park had 45+ minute waits for the slides by 12:30.

The Monster is not leaving, they were doing major repairs on it. It was supposed to open by the end of summer but that may not happen.

I agree about the wait to get into the park, they don't open the turnstyles until after the park opens, sometimes a few minutes after 10:00 and usually don't have enough entrances open. Last month I got there at opening on a not so crowded day and didn't enter the park until close to 10:15.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 11:45 AM

Yeah, and it seems like their people have some sort of really slow system they have to go through. I understand that at least half my wait was every single person in every group seemed to be debating exactly what kind of admission they wanted to buy, so they held up the lines instead of letting other people go ahead of them, but the other half was just plain slow operations at the booths. I am not going to bother with the GP lines anymore because next year I will have a plat pass again, but it was really a slow system, and I wonder if it is that slow at other CF parks (I don't remember). Also, opening the lines when the park open doesn't bother me because then you don't have the massive crowd growing inside the gates who all sprint to the attractions when they're open (ahem, six flags), but I noticed at kings dominion when I went that they opened only sections of the park at 10 am. I don't understand why, and I am glad dorney doesn't do it.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 11:59 AM

bunky666 said:
but I noticed at kings dominion when I went that they opened only sections of the park at 10 am. I don't understand why, and I am glad dorney doesn't do it.

I kinda like the way KD does it. On my last coupla visits, I got 3-4 rides on Dominator, my 2nd favorite ride in the park, before the crowds arrived for the posted 10:30 opening. Also making it easy is that there's a rope drop right next to Dominator, so I don't have to walk back near the main gate to enter.

Problem with GAdv is that 4/5 of visitors go to the Boardwalk/carousel rope drop at opening, since the 4 most popular rides (for now) are on that side.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 4:54 PM

How is the construction area where the recycled vekoma is going? Did you see any footers up yet? When I was down there a few months back, steel first was gone and the dragon coaster was also gone. Did you notice if that is still the case? I don't know if they will be back or not (ie maybe dorney is storing them someplace)

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Friday, August 26, 2011 8:21 PM

All the Tot Spot rides are gone and aren't coming back, they were for sale as of last year after the season ended except Dragon Coaster that went to Valleyfair.

In 2008 they were advertising 10 coasters, now they have 7 and Dragon Coaster was fun for a kiddie coaster.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Friday, August 26, 2011 8:22 PM
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Saturday, September 3, 2011 1:43 AM

Dragon coaster was one of my first coasters, along with Thunderhawk, and I was sad to see it go. I did NOT see any rooters up, but they have the whole area boarded up, so it was hard to see anything. They seem to really be going all out for Halloween this year though, which should be interesting.

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