Thursday, July 19, 2001 2:56 PM
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom
Day 3 of Pennsylvania Trip
I’m so glad it’s the last day, as I’m beat. We stayed at a Days Inn two exits away on Lehigh St. that had DP tickets for $23 a piece, if you pay in cash. Arriving around 12:30pm or so, we’re back in corporate park land again as we pay $6 to park my car. Matt’s worried that the park will be slammed, but judging by the small amount of cars on the lot, I told him not to worry. First stop is Talon. The ride is so beautiful in person, and it hardly sounds like it’s running. Sure the B&M roar can be too loud, but maybe Talon is too quiet. Climbing the stairs, we see something completely unexpected-no lines. Matt’s wondering what’s wrong with this picture. A brand new coaster and no lines. Certainly that can’t be good for the park’s return on investment. We waited one train to ride. Talon doesn’t have airgates, but rather gates that only unlock when the trains in the station. Weird. Going up the lift they have cute signs beneath your feet that say things like No Turning Back, Almost There, and Goodbye! It’s pretty funny. The ride is very smooth and a little disorientating, but lacking a little in the intensity area. I still prefer Great Bear at Hershey. I also experience something I’ve never experienced on a B&M invert before-headbanging. The first half of the ride is fine, but in the second half but ears tagged the earpads several times. Matt’s not having any problems since he’s a little taller than me, and his head is above the headrest. I’m 5’8 so I would imagine some other people might experience it also. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not shaky headbanging like on a SLC, but it is annoying and a little painful. I rode it once more and experienced the same thing. Next we rode Steel Force, which is quite a hike from Talon. We ride near the back and it’s good, but also very tame compared to an Intamin hypercoaster. The next time we wait for the front car and it makes a big difference. The ride is more intense up there. The coaster has aged very well, as it smooth as silk. They have three trains, but are only running two. Next we do Thunderhawk, the classic woody. Again, because lines are short, we wait for the front row. It’s a pretty intense ride with two very good pops of airtime. It’s no Phoenix mind you, but it’s still good. I have a feeling there would have been a third pop of airtime if they removed the trim brake in the bunny hops. They’re only running one train. The second middle-row ride wasn’t as intense. Next it was onto the Laser, a Schwartzkop double-looper. The lift hill is so slow. So slow in fact, that it lasts as long as most coasters whole rides! The ride however is so intense. On the first ride, I greyed-out three times, and only one of those moments was in a loop! Matt saw stars on the second trip. Laser is also only running one train, although I don’t know if it can run two. Matt eyes the Skyscaper upcharge attraction on our way from Laser and says we should ride. I said I’ll think about it. We ride both sides of Dominator next. The Space Shot is still as good as on Power Tower, but the attendant kind of gives away when we’re going to launch. It’s really funny to see all the attendants wearing hardhats too! Matt didn’t get to ride the Turbo Drop at CP, so we give that a go next. He finds it bland and so do I. I guess the extra 40ft. on PT made a difference for me. It’s time to cool off so we ride the excellent terrain logflume Thunder Creek Canyon. It really gets you soaked! Then we make the big mistake and ride Hercules twice. I cannot imagine a worse wood coaster, no make that any coaster, that is worse than Hercules (Matt says Grizzy at PGA is worse). It’s slow, it’s rough, and it hurts bad. After the 2nd trip, I’m in pain. It literally feels like someone has punched me in the chest repeatedly. Again they’re only running one train (That’s 3 for those of you playing at home). And you thought that only happened at Six Flags World of Adventure! We try the Wild Mouse, and unfortunately, it’s not wild at all. Good starter coaster I guess. Give the upper hand to Hershey for their Mack wild mouse. The last coaster we can ride is Woodstock Express. This is a clone of the kiddie coaster at SFA, so Matt and I are excited to ride, since they allow adults without kids onboard, and they don’t at SFA. The Zamperla ride isn’t as good as the Vekoma Woodstock Express at CP, but hey we rode it! Before we go to Wildwater Kingdom, we have one piece of business to get out of the way, and that’s the Skyscraper. This is an upcharge attraction, but at 21.95 for two people it’s a bargain, I guess. Before riding we are presented with a Tupperware container. Empty all belongings into here we are told. There are straps upon straps to secure you and I feel very safe. The first half is pretty good, but not particularly scary. I’m like is that it, while we’re 160ft. in the air. After they load the people below us, we start up again and all hell breaks loose. We’re being inverted head first while diving at the ground at extremely fast speeds and it’s great! We were both extremely satisfied customers. You must ride Skyscraper. We go to Wildwater Kingdom around 6 and it’s cleared out from before. This is the first time I’ve worn a swimsuit in public in a while, and I must say I feel strangely naked. We head back into DP to ride Whitewater Landing (a clone of Snake River Falls at CP) and Thunder Canyon. I still think TC is the most sadistic white water ride out there. Every turn seems to hide yet another waterfall. Going back into WK, we ride all the slides, but our favorite attraction was the two, yes two, lazy rivers. They are both long and have beautiful themeing and many waterfalls. After an hour or so, we head back to DP and we rideTalon again. I counted four times on my last ride on Talon that I hit the headrest. We ride Hang Time (Huss Topspin) next, and Matt and I agree that it has the best program going on a Topspin. We go and ride Steel Force in the front car again, and Matt is swallowing bugs going over the big pond. Then it was Thunderhawk again, and lastly we ride The Joker, a stadium-style flying carpet.
In conclusion, I couldn’t get over how much Dorney looks like Cedar Point now. The ticket booths, the carosuel by the front gate, the Coasters restaurant, Camp Snoopy. Heck, just substitute Talon for Raptor, except that’s it on the other side! After Knoebels though, it was hard getting used to high food prices again. I could tell we were getting closer to Great Adventure also, since the crowds were a little rougher. Employees were nice, and effecient, although I didn’t understand why 3 coasters had one-train operation. Oh well. We’ll definitely go back again.
Thursday, July 19, 2001 4:01 PM
Steel Force was made
to be ridden in the front =). The front is better in every single respect! Everything seems so much smoother up there.
Laser is a nice ride. Very compact. I'm pretty sure it can only ever run one train. With that lift, it seems like they should be able to run three.
Yes, Hercules still sucks. The only "good" part about it is imagining how awesome the drop/turnaround over the water would be if the ride was smooth - no, make that "rideable".
Talon gave me absolutely no headbanging at all. I'm your height (5'8"). Seems odd that such a new ride, especially a B&M, would give anyone trouble.
But what is all this about Talon not being intense. I guess we all have our own opinions, but... The sharp turn under the lift hill is great, roll right up into a tight corkscrew, and then bank into a great, low to the ground, helix. Not intense compared to Raptor, ok, I can buy that. Not as intense as Great Bear. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I can ride that thing in my sleep (not really, you get the idea).
Oh well, glad you had a good time!
Thursday, July 19, 2001 4:23 PM
It's hard to describe the headbanging. Like I said it wasn't Joker's Jinx/SLC headbanging, but I definitely tagged the grooves in the earpads several times. I don't know your body type, but I'm pretty thin. Don't get me wrong, I think Talon is a fine ride and would be a good addition at any park. By the way, I didn't think Raptor was that intense either. My favorite B&M invert would either be Alpengeist or Batman the Ride. If I remember correctly, when I rode Hercules in 1995 the first drop was so much better. When I rode again in 1997, I think that's when they "ruined" it.
Thursday, July 19, 2001 5:35 PM
I knew exactly what you were getting at when I read the subtitle "Are we at Cedar Point?" I said the same
I loved Talon. Absolutely loved it. Smooth; no headbanging, yet I felt it was very intense. A great ride. We saw the extremely short lines, too, and wondered what was wrong. The only thing we could come up with was a combination of a slow day at the park and the crowds flocking to the waterpark.
Nice TR. Sounds like you had a fun trip.
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
Thursday, July 19, 2001 5:50 PM
dorney park is almost never over-crowded. that is the good thing about having wildwater kingdom. on a typical hot summer day at dorney, the population between the 2 parks is very nicely distributed.
Thursday, July 19, 2001 6:11 PM
We just got back from 2 days at Dorney and if I was going to write a trip report it would be like yours almost verbatim. Talon is so quiet it is almost wierd. Good ride, but seemed to be missing something. I loved Steel Force, we were riding this thing with half empty cars over and over again. Hercules beat me and my neice up pretty bad we only did that once. Their river raft ride is by far the best I have been on. I really liked the park, could feel the Cedar Fair influence and will go back for sure. Even though the food was a little pricey I thought it was pretty good, even better than the CP. I'm wondering if they are having a really bad summer or it's that way all the time.
I thought the "Hazying" out was a joke, but going into the second loop of Laser it happened to me too.