Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
I was deciding between going to Knoebels, Hershey or Dorney on Saturday. Knoebels had buy a handstamp and get a free handstamp next May so I thought it might be crowded and Hershey is usually crowded on Saturdays and the wait time app showed 90 minutes for Trailblazer at one point.
I got to the park at around 3:30 and for a 75 degree day on a Saturday during Haunt, the lot wasn't that crowded. Starting in the middle of July, Dorney was selling All Season Fast Lane Plus for $99 (I think Dorney and Valleyfair were the only 2 parks in the chain to offer it). Even though it isn't needed on the dry rides except for Wild Mouse, it was very helpful for Thunder Canyon and the water slides in Wildwater Kingdom. Being able to skip a 50 minute Aquablast line, ride all six Snake Pit slides in under 30 minutes total when the each slide was 20 - 30 minutes or walk right onto Thunder Canyon when the line was 45 minutes was very nice and I'll buy it again if it is offered next year and isn't too expensive.
Talon was first with no wait for the last row. Even after riding other B&M inverts, this is still my 4th favorite after Banshee, Raptor and Montu. It has just the right amount of intensity for me, a little forceful but not so much that I can only ride the coaster once per trip like Batman the Ride at Great Adventure. 2 trains were running with fast dispatches.
Wild Mouse had around a 25 minute wait, station wait with Fast Lane. It always amazes me how the line can be just out of the station and down the ramp and the wait can be 20 - 25 minutes when the same line at The Dark Knight at Great Adventure would take just over 5 minutes with Dorney's mouse only allowing 2 adults per car and 4 cars running. Some of the brakes are also strong, especially the final brakes at the end of the ride.
Thunder Canyon was running and I don't think I have the ride running this late in the season in many years. I only saw 1 raft with riders. If Dorney were to run the ride without waterfalls early and late in the season I think there would be more riders because with the waterfalls on, you get completely soaked which is good in the summer but not so great on a cooler day.
Hydra had no wait except for the front. This is probably my least favorite B&M coaster. Even though it has some unique elements like the roll right out of the station and inclined dive loop, the coaster rattles almost the entire time and is kind of tame. It almost feels like you are gliding around rather than on a coaster. 2 trains were running.
Thunder Creek Mountain was also running which was nice to see. There was no wait and I avoided the back of the log to avoid getting soaked on the small drop at the top of the ride.
Dominator had what looked like a 2 cycle wait. S&S Towers are fun but I would rather be riding Zumanjaro.
Thunderhawk had a line on the stairs. It was a little rough even in a non wheel seat. I miss the buzz bars although the new trains do look nice. 1 train was running.
Cedar Creek Flyers actually had people in line compared to most of my trips to the park in the summer when the ride operator was waiting for riders. Flying Scooters are always fun but these move very slow and not nearly as fun as the ones at Knoebels.
Steel Force had a half full station, another fun coaster but not even comparable to an Intamin or B&M hyper. 2 trains were running.
Possessed also had no wait for the last row. I usually go to one of the last few rows as I'm not a fan of the twisted spike. Having the holding brake on is nice compared to some other parks that no longer user it.
Whip is usually a must ride for me at the park. For Haunt they had strobes running even before it was dark out. I just wish the cycle was a little longer at just over 80 seconds.
Dominator had a slightly longer wait this time. They were not giving people a numbered space to go to both times I was at the ride and this caused people to enter the ride area having to find an open seat and some groups not being able to sit together. This is the first time I have ever seen that except when the ride has no line and lots of empty seats.
On the way out of the park, I went to Talon and Hydra again. The park was getting more crowded and the Haunt attractions had some lines but the coasters still were 10 minutes or less except for Wild Mouse. New this year is Blackout being open to everyone and not just Fright Lane users.
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