Dorney Park: Crowds and Rain

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I decided to write a TR about my trip to Dorney yesterday because it was such an unbelievable day. I have been going to Dorney Park my entire life might I add (I'm 21) and I have never seen that park so crowded in my entire life. I never typically go on a Saturday either so that could be why. I based the rollercoasters on a scale from 1-10. 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest. Let me start at the beginning, I left my apt with my friend Yen and got to the park at noon. First sight we see is a packed parking lot. The weather wasn't all that great, a little bit of sun with some clouds. We weren't expecting crowds at all and hoped to have little to no wait times for the rides due to the weather. Boy were we wrong! Let me first add that amusement parks have, well, such a nice diverse crowd at them (to say the least) I'll leave that up to you to read between the lines. And what the heck is up with all the basketballs?

First thing we head towards when we get into the park is Talon. We take one look at the queue and turn around. The entire queue was filled to capacity. We turned around and headed over to Hercules. Hercules was running two trains today. We got right up on the platform and sat directly in the back. You have to sit in the back on this ride; its the only place to ride it. Hercules is alot smoother than previous years and seems to be running faster this season. The hangtime from the trim on the first drop is the only negative I give the ride. Great run to the lift, incredible drop, insane lake turn, small pops of air going under the station and after the first tunraround. I LOOOVE that last drop, it's the best pop of air on the ride. I give the ride a 9/10.

After Hercules we decide to head down to the lower part of the park hoping that the crowds hadn't filtered down there yet. We were slightly right. We headed for the Laser and two of the switchbacks were full. They were also running two trains on the Laser. Got a near back seat after waiting about 10 minutes in line. What can I say? Schwartzkopf, you were a genius and definately a legend before your time. Forceful, fast, and intense. Great ride. 8/10. Next we walked over the bridge to Steel Force. The line didn't even come outta the station. Two train operation also for Steel Force today. We waited about 5 minutes for a back seat ride. I love the pull you get over the first drop when you sit in the back. Steel Force is your run-of-the-mill hyper. It's fast, intense, forceful. The MCBR seemed to be on really hard today. Got some fun pops of air on the bunny hops though and made sure to smile for the camera. I give the Force a 9/10. Out the exit ramp and under the nice shady pathway under Thunderhawk we walked. We headed towards Thuderhawk which was also running two trains. The line came outta the station and down the stairs. We waited about 15 for a 1-3 seat. I love the old school PTC's and the buzz lap bars. Thunderhawk seems rougher than what I remember, but still delivers a solid woodie ride. I love this classic Schmeck ride. "I hate Cedar Fair," I screamed as we coasted over the 2nd bunny hop greatly halted by a trim break killing what could be incredible air. I like how they give you a small taste of the airtime on the 1st bunny hill and then kill the airtime going over the second. Pure evil I tell ya. 8/10 for this Schmeck classic.

We considered going over to Wildwater Kingdom but decided against that because it looked as though the clouds were gonna open up any minute and pour down on us. We took the long walk up the hilly Dorney terrain to Talon. Hoping to see a shorter queue we eagerly neared the entrance. Talon was also running two trains today. The queue was still packed to capacity. We got in line anyway and began the adventure. To put a long story short, halfway through the queue the skies indeed did open up and it poured and thundered like heck. I, outta probably 500 or more people standing in that queue was one of about 3 people who actually had an unmbrella. Talon closed, along with many of the rides. About 1/4 of the queue stayed in line and waited the storm out. Everyone around me was trying to crouch under my tiny umbrella and the other awnings they have placed sparatically throughout the queue. Good news is half the line left and we were now at the steps going into the station. Talon opened to cheers after it rained for about half an hour. Got a 2nd to last back seat ride on the far left. Simply amazing this ride is. Nothing more to say. 10/10.

Fatigue set in so we decided to eat. Taco Bell is what we really wanted but I didn't want a soft shell taco that bad. The line was moving like molasses. We headed down to the Chicken and Shrimp place. I love this area of the park. This line was moving even slower. What, did they have to kill the dang chicken or something?! Good lord. Dorney needs to work on faster food service. We chowed down on the mediocre food under the Burger Barn pavilion. My friend wanted her caricature done, so she got one done. More hill climbing. I grabbed a nice orange flower from among the foliage in the park and put it in her ear before the guy started the drawing. She looked too cute. These guys are really talented, I'm so jealous, the drawing turned out really neat. We went on the enterprise following the caricature. We waited about 10 minutes. I love forces that push you back in your on this fun ride. My friend wanted to go on the swan boats so we headed down to the lake. This is an interesting part of the park (fairly new) that I don't get down to that often. It has a great view of Hercule's drop also. The swan boats are a nice, relaxing boat ride. Man, was I tired after all that pedaling! After the swan boats we once again climbed the hills up to the Joker. We were turned away by a ride op who said the ride was closing due to weather. We headed up to Hercules again when it started to REALLY rain. Not letting anyone else up on the platform everyone ducked for cover finding any shelter they could. I'm sitting here still laughing at the people we say trying to find shelter under the tiny awning of the Dippin Dots stall. We crouched down off to the side of Hercules station with my small umbrella and towels. It rained again for about 20 minutes then cleared up and it actually got really nice and sunny out. We got in the line for Hercules and saw that two of the switchbacks were full ( I was even amazed at this one). I don't think I have seen this for 10 years. Anywho, we waited about 20 minutes and got the back seat again. After dispatching we got stopped to a hault by a block brake coming outta the station. Apparently the 2 trains were too close to eachother on the coasters circuit and the ride shut down. Chilling for about 15 minutes on the tracks we had to wait until a mechanic came up and fixed the shut down. After waiting and being entertained by the Snoopy Theater the break let go and we headed down the hill. Got another great ride.

After Hercules we decided to endure the hour long wait for another great ride on Talon. Mmmmm, simply the best. By this time, the queues were really filling up due to the fact that Wildwater Kingdom was closed and all the Twilight people were coming into the park. We waited 20 minutes for another ride on Laser and about twenty-five minutes for another ride on Steel Force (both ride's queues were nearly filled to capacity). Last ride of the day was Hercules AGAIN. My friend was annoyed with me this time but went on again. What are the odds of getting stuck on a ride twice in one day? Um, well we did! This time after coming into the final break run we were haulted and didn't move into the station. Again the ride shut down. Why do the ride ops come back and ask if everyone is ok? I found this odd. They did this both times. Anyway, the ride op who came back told us that someone apparanetly stepped too far over the yellow line and near the track and it shut the ride down. Hmm, ok. After about a 10 minute wait we were set free.

It was time to head home. All in all, I had a fun and very intersting day at the park. I was slightly mad that we didn't get over to the waterpark, but god bless all those die hard people we saw over there in the rain. Oh yeah, remind me to never go to Dorney again on a Saturday.

Edit: broke it into paragraphs for easier reading.

"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."
*** This post was edited by DorneyDante 8/17/2003 8:07:52 PM ***

Yea, I was there too (see my TR just posted) that day and noticed the uh, rather un-diverse crowd. I felt very much in the minority, but I figured this was a usual thing. Thought the same about the crowds - so that was an especially heavy day? Odd since there was so much rain and so much forecasted. Enjoyed your homepark though, Talon rocks!

Give me launched or give me ... uh ... more launched!!

You were there that day? Wish I would have known, we could have met and I coulda showed you around (especially since you went alone). Yeah that day was really not the norm for Dorney. But maybe it is I dunno, I don't really ever go on Saturdays, particulary in the summer. That's why I wrote a TR about it because it was such an unusual day at the park and I personally have never seen the park like that and I go many times a season. Glad you had fun though.

"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."
*** This post was edited by DorneyDante 8/19/2003 11:40:04 AM ***

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