Dorney Park and bad weather question

Friday, October 1, 2004 9:45 AM
I've been to a few parks on bad weather days and found the following:

Carowinds: Light to Moderate (even borderline heavy) rain and they keep running their coasters.

Knoebels: Same as Carowinds... rain doesn't stop their coasters (but lightning of course does).

Wild Adventures: HEAVY rain will stop their coasters, but not light to moderate.

Hersheypark: anything more than a drizzle or light shower will bring their coasters to a halt.

So... there is no one formula that the parks follow.

I was considering doing a stop at Dorney tomorrow. Weather reports are calling for "some afternoon showers with a possible thundershower". I realize that lightning will cause most parks to stop their coasters (and well it should), but anyone have any idea on what types of weather Dorney will operate their costers in?

Are they like Carowinds and Knoebels... running them in the rain (short of down pours)? Or are they like Hershey... suspending operations at anything more than a few scattered drops?

Friday, October 1, 2004 10:33 AM
I've only been to the park twice and it's rained both times! The first time it was pretty intense rain, but no lightning, but Steel Force and Talon shut down when the rain was heaviest. When it trailed off, they immediately started running again.

Last time I was there (this summer) it rained a little late in the day, and nothing shut down at all. But, the rain this day was about the same intensity as when they started the rides back up on my previous visit.

I think you'll be ok as long as there's no lightning or it's raining so hard that you really wouldn't want to ride anyway.

Friday, October 1, 2004 12:09 PM
Rule of thumb that I have found to be true for bad weather at parks.

1. If there is rain in the forecast for the entire day than the rides will go unless there is lightning.

2. Som rides can not be run in the rain. These are usually your Rocket coasters, wild mouse like coasters, some loopers and even some invets because of rust, like raptor was a couple of years ago.

3. If it rains and the park knows that it will clear up more than likely the rides will be down.

I went to hershey this year and it rained, wait it poured the entire day, but almost all of the coasters were open. I rember riding the wildcat in a complete down pour.

Also On my only visit to dorney it poured the entire day, Talon, Thunderhawk, Steel Force, and wookstock express were the only coasters open.

4. It also depends on the park along with there operating schedule for the day.

This might not be 100% correct but at least this is what I discovered, over the past years!

Friday, October 1, 2004 12:26 PM
Years ago, (actually like two decades ago...) age is a bummer... I was at cedar point when a nasty wind came across the lake while i was on the sky buckets, gondola thingy...
Man, that scared the tar out of me... talk about swing... after they got everyone back to a station, they shut it down...
Geauga Lake will shut down some coasters if it gets too cold.
now when it was 6flags, if it rained more than one hour, they'd shut down early and the funny part is: They'd sell tickets right up to the time they closed...
Friday, October 1, 2004 1:24 PM
Of course, SFWoA gave complimentary return tickets whenever they shut down early, something Cedar Point does not do from my experience.


Friday, October 1, 2004 3:41 PM
The fact that you experienced an early shutdown at Cedar Point is the amazing thing, not that they didn't give out free passes.

I was working there two years ago when it was snowing/sleeting on a Saturday night and the park was still open. It must have been one wild day if they closed just for a summer rainstorm and stayed open for an early fall semi-blizzard.

Friday, October 1, 2004 3:49 PM
The only park I've been to that closed early was Carowinds. It rained on and off all day, the park was dead. Around 3pm the skies opened up and poured rain.

They announced over the speakers that thing would be running ASAP. The announced it three times. Around 4pm they annopunced they were closing for the day.

We left and got nothing.

I wouldn't (and didn't) expect it either. I don't know of many park tickets that don't include the standard weather disclaimers.

As far as Dorney's 4 "bigger" coasters - In rain, Laser will be the first down, followed closely by the mouse. Doesn't take much for them to close. Steel Force will close if it really gets raining. Talon tends to stay open until lightning in my experience.

No idea on the kiddies.

Friday, October 1, 2004 4:21 PM
True enough, 6flags gave tickets to come back.
Sad part is, they hassled so many of the maybe 200 people that were there for reciepts to show they paid to get in...
this one guy got so mad, he went to his car, pulled off his iowa license plate and showed to the Customer srvc rep......
Here's the funny part: me and my family didn't try to get tickets, we had season passes, and this mgr guy by the right side of the exit area, where they normally stamp your hand, was handing oout tickets to come back... he's like" here ya go..."
we said thanks and next week got friends in for free...
yeah, 6flags was good for freebies...
Friday, October 1, 2004 6:01 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

I wouldn't (and didn't) expect it either. I don't know of many park tickets that don't include the standard weather disclaimers.

I've had this argument (and don't wish to repeat it!), but I will say this: there's a difference between closing rides due to crappy weather and closing an entire park down. If park hours are cut short (for whatever reason), I think the park owes its guests for that.

Let's be honest here - the real reason they're closing is because the park isn't crowded and they're not making any money. (In fact, they're probably losing it). That's fine, I accept that, it's part of the business. However, I think that park owes the people they're kicking out because they didn't get what they paid for.

For the record, I've been to three parks that have closed early (SFWoA, Adventureland, and CP) and know the policies of at least one other Six Flags park. *All* of those parks give comp. tickets to return except for Cedar Point. It's just a good thing to do customer service-wise, and it also benefits the park by (1) increasing attendance and (2) increasing the chance of making money. That is, it's more profitable for those people who were kicked out to come back and spend money another day than to not come back at all.


Friday, October 1, 2004 7:03 PM
Nate -

If a park closes due to weather, I'd say 90% or more of the time, the weather that day is known ahead of time. This means that unless someone is coming in from a long way away on a flight or something that can't be changed, the only people in the park are those with season passes (so they don't have to worry about how much it's going to cost them on a day that it's not supposd to be nice) or those that are from a long distance away. The people that are just casual visitors once or twice a year would avoid the park on a day that crappy.

Therefore, what's the point of giving out free passes? You're giving free passes to season pass holders, people who live too far away to use the pass another day (probably), and yes, the occasional person/family that might return if they're given a return pass.

So they probably wouldn't gain anything from giving away free passes - they'd probably lose money. Season pass holders would use the return trips for their friends (loss of friend's gate normally paid) and most season pass holders don't spend as much in-park as regular people. Long-distance people would either sell their pass on Ebay, or just give it away, again they're losing an admission they'd probably get anyway, and might even give someone else a profit in the process!

I've also been at a SFWoA closing (twice) due to weather, and neither time got any offer of a return pass. I've been at Kennywood all kinds of times when they close early, and there's no refunds (says right on the ticket, no rainchecks!). As I said, never seen CP close completely for weather, but again, when the weather's supposed to be that bad, I avoid the park!

Friday, October 1, 2004 7:10 PM
Yeah but what happens if the park closes from something other than weather( unexpected). I was at CP on August 14th 2003. The day of the huge blackout. at 4pm the park was open for 6 hours we had 7 hours left. Got no refund. Park just shuts down.
Friday, October 1, 2004 7:21 PM
Weather can - and is - unpredictable. To assume everyone in a park on a rainy day has a season pass is quite an assumption to make, I think. There are also days that start out great and go bad quickly. If weather is that predictable that everyone without a season pass stays away, then why do parks bother opening at all? Additionally, parks close early for any number of reasons. Parks close early not just due to rain, but due to cold or a general lack of crowds as well. I've seen parks close early on perfectly decent days because they're just not crowded.

Your point about season pass holders is also flawed, I think. I don't know what Cedar Point does for its season pass holders, but Six Flags passholders usually get a number of "bring a friend free" tickets. Obviously they're not worried about losing money on these. Why? Because there's still a huge potential for earnings off those people who got in for free.

Generally, parks that are concerned about giving season passholders free tickets due to unexpected closures require proof of paid admission.

I'm not surprised Kennywood doesn't offer complimentary tickets due to closings because they don't have any set closing times. I am surprised to hear about your experiences at SFWoA, however, as I have heard (and personally experienced) several occurrences to the contrary.


Friday, October 1, 2004 11:07 PM
Contrary to FlyingScooter's experience at Geauga Lake, the one time I was at SFA that they closed early due to weather, they handed everyone a free pass as they left. Extra nice since I was there on my season pass anyway. I can't say that this is any sort of standard policy for them though

Friday, October 1, 2004 11:37 PM
I remember one time in the summer i was at Geauga Lake, and it was pouring so hard on and off throughout the day. I think when it was raining really hard they shut down everything except Texas Twister, and The Merry Oldies. But I had fun in the water park!
Saturday, October 2, 2004 1:51 AM
I have to go with Nate on this, if a park closes down early, I think they should give out comp tickets. Infact, I know Carowinds has been known to do this, as quite a few different friends of mine have had it happen, actually, so maybe they just didn't like you, Gonch;).

But yes, if the entire park opens and then closes early, give em comps. If the park stays open with rides down, that is somewhat different, as there are indoor attractions and shows to go see, AFAIC.

Sunday, October 3, 2004 11:55 AM
I went to PKI one time and a huge strom moved in around 6p. They shut down all the rides and attractions, of course. It did stop raining around 9p, but the park desided to keep everything closed for the night. At this point I just left, on the way out the gate, they gave me a comp. ticket. I did have to show I paid to get in. It was a very crowded day, and it was still crowded when the rain stopped, quess PKI felt it wasn't worth it to fire up the rides again that day.

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