Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
I decided to go to Dorney Park not only because it was somewhere different (my usual hangout is SFGA) but because someone who’s been following my roller coaster blog and exchanging emails with me for over a year recently wrote “the Possessed coaster is a big !???! to me, it looks very different and strange to me. I don't believe my wife will go on it. Let's make a deal, I will try it if you try the Revolution ride next time you are at Dorney!” He and his wife are French Canadians who do one roller coaster trip in the USA each year; last year it was SFGA and this year they decided on Dorney.
Well, Possessed was a question mark for me as well and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to riding it but thought that I should if for no other reason than to give an advance scouting report. I arrived at Dorney at about noon and headed straight for Possessed; better to get it over with. It was an experience and not a bad one. This coaster wasn’t nearly as scary as it looks. The only thing that I found unnerving was being way up on the straight spike with the holding brake on. I ended up riding it 3 times and then moved on to Steel Force. The 200-ft. drop on that coaster doesn’t feel nearly as intense to me as comparable drops on other coasters but there is still good airtime if you’re riding in the back and I love the helix. I was looking at how much leg room there is and thinking that unlike the cars on the streamlined coasters I’m accustomed to riding, these are so boxy and deep that you could easily put a couple of small suitcases in them! BTW, a woman who was sitting next to me later on Talon said that this would be the last year for Steel Force because it was sinking into the ground. From what I later read on the web, I don’t think that this is true and I certainly hope not.
As Steel Force, Possessed and Revolution are all in the same general area, I decided to tackle Revolution next. I don’t usually ride anything other than coasters and going round in circles isn’t something that appeals to me because I’m prone to motion sickness, but a deal is a deal. I thought that Revolution was actually pretty entertaining despite the fact that it made me dizzy and slightly nauseated. It gave me a sense of disorientation, and I’m not exactly sure why. Anyway, I didn’t do the other coaster in that area – Stinger – because I don’t do boomerangs, having had a torturous experience on two of them at two other parks.
From there I went to Thunderhawk. This coaster holds some sentimental value for me because it was one of the first coasters I had ever ridden, with my late Aunt Agnes who was crippled with polio and wore a brace on one leg but loved roller coasters. This would have been back in 1963, lol. Man, does that bring back fond memories! Anyway, the coaster has been well maintained considering its age, and while it’s somewhat rough, there’s good rough and bad rough, and this one is good rough.
I decided to take a break from coasters and ride something relaxing so got in line for Thunder Creek Mountain. This was the only ride that had any waiting time to get on. After waiting about 25 minutes and finally getting into a boat, I ended up going nowhere, as the ride was shut down at that point because one of the other boats was stuck somewhere. (One of the ride ops said that this happens about twice a day.) So much for that. .
Next up was Hydra. I found this ride quite entertaining, especially being flipped over before even reaching the lift hill. I rode only once, however, seeking out greener pastures. Given a choice between Hydra and Talon, I would take Talon any day. Talon is unquestionably one of the best inverted coasters I have ever ridden. The elements flow nicely and the points at which you’re riding close to the ground blow me away, as does the overbanked turn before the corkscrew. Although I’m not one who usually throws money away on on-ride photographs, when I saw how well my front row photograph on Talon came out, I purchased it. You have no idea what your facial expressions are when you’re riding a roller coaster until you see a photographic record. I should add that on-ride photographs at Dorney are reasonably priced compared to other parks. A photograph is only $8.00 and you can get a full-size photograph plus key chain with photograph for $12.00.
It was a good day at the park and the weather (thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon) held up nicely. Despite the number of people in attendance, I managed to get in 15 rides – 4 on Steel Force, 4 on Talon, 3 on Possessed, 2 on Revolution, 1 on Thunderhawk, and 1 on Hydra – without having to resort to Fastlane or other extraordinary measures. This is a fun park and I hope to be able to meet up with the Canadians when they go there at the end of August.
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