Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
I know that I posted a million trip reports on Dorney Park before so I'm just going to try and give you some of the highlights.
The first thing that I noticed when we got to Dorney was that there were not a lot of cars in the parking lot. It looked pretty crowded, but not at all what I was expecting. However, we did arrive early so that could have been some of it, or it could have been that the weather looked very ominous. As we pulled into the parking lot I noticed that the price of parking has gone up to $15. I don't know if this is because of the Haunt, or if this is something Dorney is instituting year-round but I didn't like it. Luckily the season pass is still good for the Halloween haunt so I didn't have to worry about it. The parking lot where season pass members used to be able to park was blocked but they still had a bunch of spots available right outside of that that were not considered preferred parking, so I parked there, about five spaces from the gate. As always, good deal.
Something I noticed right away that I didn't notice the last time I went to Dorney for Halloween was the theming. The last time I went to Dorney for Halloween it was probably before I was married, so things have certainly changed. Before when I went there were just a few actors running around in costumes. There were few to no props, and there were no actual haunts. Now Dorney has many actors hiding, jumping out from behind trees, chasing people, and really making things interesting. The only problem I noticed was that Dorney states the haunt starts at five, but most of the actors don't arrive until after 7. However, once things really get going, it seems as if there is no place you can turn where there is not an actor in your face trying to scare the life out of you.
I don't recall the Zephyr train being so rickety and wobbly. Wow they do not have any actors trying to scare you while you're on the Zephyr train, the sheer age and condition of this ride makes it scary.
Some of the actors are very aggressive. I noticed one following a guy into the restroom. I also had an actor come up the exit of Steel Force and block me off from my riding partner. He was so in my face that I was laughing and I said, "Hey baby". He finally let me go but as I went down the exit ramp I noticed that he was chasing me. That made me jump, and I began to run down the ramp. I let out a scream, and he began to immediately start screeching himself. The safety nazi in me said that this was not a good thing, but I was amused as a normal park patron.
Steel Force had a huge line so I figured, well it looks like it's going to be crowded, and I bought a Fast Lane pass. However, I think the only reason that steel force had such a huge line was that everyone was waiting for the Asylum attraction to open. I did not see any big lines after Steel Force, except maybe Stinger. Also, I noticed that Dorney was selling passes to the different Halloween attractions. This irritated me because why not put all the attractions and rides on one pass? That is a huge expense for anyone to buy both passes for multiple family members. Plus, many of the haunted attractions had such long lines that if you did not have a pass, you were never going to see those attractions. At that rate, I would much rather go to HHN or another more reputable haunted attraction.
Oh, by the way, Steel Force was running magnificently. Also, I don't know whether they removed the light highlighting the helix for Halloween, or if they have decided to keep the helix light off now, but I was glad to see Steel Force totally in the dark again.
I am back to not liking the drop side of the Dominator ride again. Not so much that I will never ride it, but enough that I would prefer not to do so.
The funnel cake stand by Dominator has excellent funnel cake. It is huge, well sugared, and comes in a box instead of a flimsy paper plate. I love me some good funnel cake.
All in all, Dorney Park's Halloween haunt is a pretty good time. I would like to attend an actual Halloween attraction and stick to riding coasters while at amusement parks, but I had a blast. I would recommend that people do this at least once.
Surprised me about selling passes to individual Haunts. I wasn't aware of that. I do know they're selling Fright Lane passes, that enable you to skip the line on most, if not all, of the actual Haunts.
It sounds like there are more scare actors out this year. In past years if you stayed away from the Haunt attractions and scare zones, you were basically left alone.
Parking went from $12 to $15 earlier in the year. I guess with Great Adventure and other parks raising their parking prices, Dorney figures they can get away with it too. It is nice passholders get free parking though.
I worded it wrong: Dorney was selling Fright Lane passes separately from Fast Lane passes. I thought that was ridiculous.
I just learned, in keeping with the Haunt theme, that Dorney holds the Guinness Book record for most zombies on a roller coaster. Way to go, Dorney!!
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