Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
This is my first trip report, but I have loved reading all of them, so here it goes!
This was my second time at the park. The first time I went was last summer, and it was overall too crowded to really have much fun. Not the case today! We got to walk right on every ride.
Overall, there were a lot of things that could have easily been better. For one thing, when the park was so empty, the no re-ride rule was just silly. And still making us walk further around the ride to avoid the entrance for Fast Pass holders was absurd. The staff seemed mostly brain-dead by this time in the season, too, with the notable exception of the team on Possessed.
Our other biggest problem was the pricing--obviously you expect some gouging in a park, but I thought these were just over the top. $12 for a funnel cake? Ah well, it's part of the game, I guess.
We got to the park right around opening time and headed straight for Talon. This is a GREAT ride! The track is really smooth and it has some nice drops and twists without being too scary for the folks who aren't as into the thrills. We rode twice, once towards the back, and once front row, and they were both excellent seats.
Next we tried to get on Hydra, but it was closed.
We went to Steel Force, again a walk-on ride. For our first trip we took back row--another walk-on. I LOVED riding this coaster back row. Most of the train was empty, so we really felt like we were getting bounced around back there. Lots of air--not advisable if you have a sore or fragile back, but PERFECT for me! After that, we rode it again second row. It's a totally different ride, and still great.
The Stinger was closed, so we went to Possessed. Lots of fun, enthusiastic ride team. We rode it twice as well, on either end.
After the coasters, we went and did some of the smaller rides--the whip was a fun one, and we rode Apollo and the Tilt-a-Whirl. The log flume was nice (I don't remember the name of it), but I definitely underestimated how wet we'd get.
Hydra was open when we went back through, and that is a ride I will give a solid "meh." The best part was the first inversion right out of the gate.
We wanted to hit the arcade, but it was closed for their Halloween wax museum, so we decided to call it a day.
Overall--some nice coasters, but very overpriced for tickets and food in the park. Also, just a couple policy tweaks to cut down on walking could make up for the amount of walking you're already doing to get through the park. If you pack a lunch, not a bad way to spend a day.Last edited by AmandaT, Sunday, September 21, 2014 7:57 PM
Ah, yesssss....the pleasures of Steel Force's back seat.
Not bad at all for a first-time TR. I'll be getting there next month.
Nice trip report. I was also there on Sunday (a friend had asked me to go to Great Adventure but having been there about 20 times this year, I needed a change of scenery) and b/c, as you say, the rides were walk-ons, the no re-ride rule did seem silly. (About a 5-minute wait for Hydra initially, as they were running only one train until midafernoon.)It's why I ended up riding Hydra 4 times and Steel Force only twice; I like Steel Force a lot more than I like Hydra but have to go up a lot more steps to get on Steel Force and at my age this is an issue. Yay, Talon! This is seriously underrated and I rode it 6 times. As to the ride ops, for the first time since visiting Dorney I found them mostly indifferent. As much as people find fault with Great Adventure, I would have to say that the ride ops there are almost always pumped up and trying hard to offer an amazing experience. At Dorney they simply went through the paces, not even bothering to say enjoy your ride, and the one on Dominator was so bored and indifferent that it looked as if she wasn't even going to bother to check my restraint. The one on Talon in midafternoon wasn't much better. Only one ride op went out of his way to create a superior ride experience, and that was on Hang Time. He wanted to know who was ready to ride and really got the riders into it; he asked whether we were ready to go upside down and it was yes yes yes!
The only downside of my trip was my first - and probably last - ride on Meteor. I had asked a guy at the photo booth outside Steel Force - got a fabulous on-ride photograph, one of the best I've ever seen -about Meteor and he said that if I could handle Hang Time, Meteor would be a snap. Wrong! The first part of the ride wasn't bad but when the thing changed direction and started going backwards, I thought I was going to die. Apart from that it was a good trip, with 19 rides in the space of 4 hours. And I can't complain about the prices b/c as a senior I pay only $32.99 at the gate to get in and rarely buy anything other than a waffle cone. The folks at Guest Services were hospitable, letting me use their phone when the battery in mine went dead.
The no re-ride policy has been in effect for as long as I can remember. Although it is annoying to spend the time walking through the empty queues for multiple rides, I always think that I'd rather have to walk around for multiple rides on a coaster at Dorney where it's almost always a walk on or 5 minute wait than wait in a long line for a coaster somewhere else.
I wonder if Stinger is going to open again at all this year. If it doesn't, it might be a record for the shortest amount of a time a coaster operated in a single season. The coaster was open for about 6 hours on opening day and has been closed since then.Last edited by YoshiFan, Monday, September 22, 2014 8:59 PM
As far as the no-re-ride policy goes, it thankfully isn't enforced chain-wide, but I'm withholding the name of the park I know that doesn't enforce it to protect my future marathoning opportunities. ;)
This might be a stupid question, but I don't believe I've ever asked it, so I really don't know: why the no re-ride policy for empty days? Is it so they can more accurately count ridership? Is it considered some sort of safety issue I'm not thinking of? I understand why during busy days, a poacher can possibly steal a seat that someone was going to sit in, but on a day where trains are usually not even going out full...?
My first TR was way too jumbled up so good job
bunky, I think the no re-ride policy is two-fold.
First, making people walk around ensures that they're "fit enough" to ride again, they weren't injured or shaken in a way that would counter-indicate more riding (medical reason).
Second, and probably even more importantly, it prevents the kind of BS we experienced at Fun Spot last weekend. People were re-riding happily, and there were no issues...we even caught a triple in the back row....yummm. But then when people started coming up the ramp to ride, there was a bunch of "don't pick this row, mister, sit in one of those other rows." The general rule that should be followed is that anyone waiting to ride picks their row - if it's your row and there are no other open rows, you walk around. But not everyone knows or follows that, and it became a little bit of a PiA situation unnecessarily.
Thank you for the explanation. I'm kind of surprised by the fact that people were actually saying that they weren't moving for other patrons to ride in specific rows. Dick move. I guess that really could justify the no re-ride thing then! At its base logic, it increases customer satisfaction by preventing that situation.
I still like to sneak a lap here or there when I can though. *wink*
From what I understand, on Titan at SFoT, it's actually a medical issue because of the intense summer heat combined with the sustained high-g forces. Basically, they have to make sure you ride every other train instead of every train and give you a decent chance to consider whether you want to ride *again.*
I agree with Mr. Gator.
I've always thought Cedar Point had the no re-ride rule in place to prevent arguments, complaints, and hassles between staff and customers. Yes, on a slow day you might arrive back in the station and find nobody waiting for your seat. But CP wants and needs to ensure that no one at any time ever says, even as they are walking thru the queue, up the stairs, or in the station "hey, wait a minute! That seat shoulda been mine and now you're making me wait unduly and unfairly". -or- "hey, that dude just had three rides in a row, and you're making me get up? Not fair! I thought this was three-ride day! I want MY three rides"
Sounds silly, especially to ride hounds like us, but it's the only way they can make sure nobody accuses them of allowing anyone to violate their own line jumping policy.
Oh. Well,.... at least until FastLane was invented.
HEY, now... :-P
Once on S:RoS at SFA where it was one train operation at the end of the day, the second to last train pulled in and there was a lot of poaching and seat rearranging and reriding and when the dust settled there was still one couple who didn't have a seat. So they sent us around for what was supposed to be the last ride, the couple got into the front seat and the entire rest of the train got a bonus ride.
I'm sure this is a situation that the park wants to avoid in general.
Sure do wish I could have sat on MForce as it rode into the loading station on the cold wet morning in July. As it was, still not bad to get on the same train I'd just left, walk up to the front row, and sit down.
Was able to pull off the magic trick of a ride-thru on Fire Dragon once years back when it was dueling...Jill and I being the only ones on either train made that particular "rules violation" one that was easy to overlook.
You must be logged in to post