Dorney Park denied nightly fireworks by zoning board, appealing decision

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom website is still touting plans to light the sky with fireworks every night from June 29 to Aug. 5, but South Whitehall Township says the displays are too much and won't allow them. The park has appealed the ruling but no decision is imminent.

Read more from The Morning Call.

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I would put money on this not happening. The board has been notoriously strict with Dorney in the past, and I'm almost positive that the board will never permit such a thing to happen. Dorney had to fight tooth and nail to get rides above a certain height (like Steel Force), and Talon was filled with sand to avoid the B&M roar that was so distressing to the neighborhood. Unless the board suddenly starts eating pot brownies, nightly fireworks will never be allowed.

Last edited by bunky666,

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Jeff's avatar

It's 7 minutes, for a business that arguably sustains the local economy with money from out-of-towners. What kind of leadership is that when you kick the source of your revenue in the nuts like that? Stupid.

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I completely agree, but they are absurdly strict with Dorney. There's no love there. It's been kind of ugly for years.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

bjames's avatar

Yeah this is stupid all right. If they're putting the shows on before 10PM I don't see the issue. Midnight would be too late but the article doesn't say what time the shows would be.

Superstew's avatar

I take it that when they say, "too much," they're meaning that the fireworks themselves would be, in essence, 'overkill' - NOT too expensive ??

Yeah, take it from a guy who knows and loves fireworks ... This totally sucks and is completely pis poor all the way around !!

Last edited by Superstew,
Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions !

I was hoping to see the fireworks on June 29th (my birthday)... It would suck if the town board was really that adamant about not having fireworks. And on the topic of roller coaster height and visibility from the surrounding area, I think the roller coasters can be considered a much needed face lift to that town. After all the Allentown area doesn't exactly fit under the category of Beverly Hills or the Hamptons.

What is even sadder is from my memory, Dorney Park isn't exactly in the middle of a huge residential area like Kennywood or Waldameer. From my memory, it was right off the freeway and into the parking lot. Maybe there are areas I don't remember, but it certainly didn't seem to be in the midst of a residential neighborhood.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

No, it's pretty much surrounded by houses on 3 sides.

I'm always the odd one out, but in situations like these, I totally get why the residents are against the different additions and such. 7 minutes of fireworks every night doesn't sound like fun.

Kind of like our Ohio State Fair where they have nightly fireworks. The fairgrounds (like most) is in a neighborhood that couldn't be more run down, still there's complaints. And that little show is all of about 4.5 minutes, maybe.
Now, before I sound like a total ass, I suppose i'll concede that because there's low income surrounding doesn't mean they're not trying to get the kids to bed at a decent hour, and the fireworks are around 10 or 11. But I can't help but think the fireworks are masking the sounds of the gun shots, which would be more of a concern...
Sorry, I just think it's ridiculous. And we run all of 12 days.
And as far as parks go, i didnt realize poor Dorney had those kind of troubles with the neighbors. I knew of the long suffering Kennywood, Alton Towers, and even BGW has to be careful I've heard. But you'd think with Dorney being 1) there since the beginning of time and 2) having such success as a Cedar Fair park that the township would cut em some slack. It's entirely possible that, but for the grace of God, things might've turned out differently for Dorney, and they wouldnt be there at all today to provide taxes, jobs, and improvements to the hood. Oh well.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think it also stands to reason that the areas immediately around these parks are low rent areas because of the parks and the noise, traffic, (crime?) and such that they produce.

LostKause's avatar

I've kind of wonder why people wouldn't want a free nightly fireworks show in their own backyard every summer night. People go nuts for firework displays.

I was thinking the same thing Jeff posted. The park brings all kinds of money to the area. People shouldn't bite the hand that feed them. It's not like it's going to be every night of the year. It's only seven minutes a night for a couple of months.

Last edited by LostKause,
Vater's avatar

Yeah, but some parents have to endure a second, often longer fireworks show put on by their overtired kids who were just awakened by the initial 7 minute show. That's a happy summer...

rollergator's avatar

My first thought was the interstate traffic in the immediate vicinity of the park, as a highway safety idea. I've seen people distracted fireworks while driving, and at considerable speed. Fireworks are pretty, you can't help but look at them (unless you're some sort of soulless automaton).

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, I can think of probably a couple dozen reasons I might not want full-blown professional-grade fireworks going off in my neighborhood for 7 minutes late every night all summer long.

I think that what they have a problem with is the time at which the shows would be run, right before closing. Ten o'clock Sunday thru Friday and Midnight on Saturday, that would be a bit much. I would have a problem with that, especially the Saturday night show. Even Disneyland normally does their shows between 8:30 and 9:00 PM.

Superstew's avatar

Vater said:

Yeah, but some parents have to endure a second, often longer fireworks show put on by their overtired kids who were just awakened by the initial 7 minute show. That's a happy summer...

Perhaps Vater, but this seems like the classic case where that old adage comes into play telling us that when life serves you a lemon, then just make lemonade ...

As a parent, instead of worrying about a potential "2nd firework show," maybe they should use the first to their advantage; let the kids watch and enjoy it - then put them to bed.

Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions !
Vater's avatar

My kids are long in bed by 10.

They also sleep like the dead, so chances are it wouldn't be a problem. But for 7 minutes every night, I'd be on edge, waiting for an upset kid to come downstairs.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Keep in mind, Gonch is the kind of guy that watches "The View" and eats Bon Bons all day long. So naturally he hates anything that's fun.

In all seriousness, looking at the houses in the area I can see this being an issue, but where does it stop? The park as been at that location for a long time, well before the houses sitting there. I don't think its too much to ask for two months of fireworks at 7 minutes each night.

Where I live, I'm about 45 minutes away from Cleveland Hopkins Airport under the runway approach if they have planes land from the Southwest (not the airline). So about every two minutes on some days there are planes flying about 2500 ft over our house. Should we tell the airport to stop letting planes land from the southwest?

I think there should be some sort of compromise on this. You have a business pulling in what I'm guessing is the lion's share of the tax revenue. I think they should be able to have a little more say as long as its not out of control.


ApolloAndy's avatar

I'm with Gonch. Our kids go to bed at 7 - 7:30 and if they wake up after that, they're often inconsolable for 30 minutes. I would not want to put up with that every night of the summer.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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