Dorney, PPP, SFGAdv - the Phoenix Phall Phreeze!

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, October 10, 2001 10:21 PM
My first cb TR (and a long one), hard to believe considering how much time I spend on coaster trips and on the buzz.  Since it's a PPP trip, I'll start with our first park on the trip...DORNEY!  Friday night, got there about six.  Admission was CHEAP - a great start.  Went to Talon, it was testing but the line wasn't open, so on to a couple flats before Hercules.  Since most Summers-Dinn rides have been considerably tamed over the years, I expected the same of Herc.  A back ride confirmed my suspicion, but still a fun ride with a nice turn over the water.  The flume provided some fun and relief from the surprisingly warm weather.  On to ThunderHawk, and THAT was some great airtime on the first few rows - gotta love Schmecks.  Steel  Force, our FIRST Morgan coaster, looked like an airtime machine, but proved that looks can be a little deceiving.  Still a good ride, and a great view of the park, but stayed in my seat more than I had hoped (or expected). Wanted to re-ride closer to the front, but single-training and a short visit preempted a second ride - besides, there was almost no line back on ThunderHawk, so we gave it another spin.  Slick track, warm damp weather, yummy!   Across the midway to Laser, a great Schwarzkopf ride, similar to Scorpion at BGT (my home park), only with a second vertical loop - a BIG plus.  Is it me, or are steelie lifthills slower in PA?  Anyway, the walk-on line demanded another ride.  Walked down to Dragon Coaster (stop laughing, I LOVE the cool-looking trains), and the mechanic said he was almost done - surprisingly friendly!  Past Little Laser with the two fantastic loops, too big to ride.  Dominator, the S&S turbo-shot, was thrilling as always...I know there's a turbo-drop too, but come on, those upward launches are just TOO good.  Then the Dragon Coaster was up and running, so a ride on that, then back for another trip on Laser...Intense!  Over toward the looming Talon (now running), I grabbed a ride on Woodstock Express.  The ride was wilder than I expected, and it's always fun to have a ride with the kids.  Jill just laughs and points out to the "other adults" what a big kid I am!  Another couple flats, including the Mangels' Whip - LOVE those old-time rides!  On to Talon, which I had heard was more like an SLC than other B&M's.  This was FALSE, and I loved the ride!  I thought it was befitting the next-generation improvement to the Batman:the Ride series, a compact inverted full of thrills and intensity - Kudos to B&M and Dorney.  The Wild Mouse ran faster than most, giving high laterals and a real "tipsy" feeling.  We skipped the Halloween shows, etc. in favor of coasters, figuring Knoebel's would provide the Phull Phall Phun the following day.  Grabbed some souvenirs and some food, then on to Elysburg.  Arriving late, we met up with our Knoebel's-host, Coastin' Steve (of RRC and Dorney's SkyScraper fame).  We took a walk around the park - NO FENCES, got in a little trouble with a security guy, not too much ;~)!  Little did we know that touching the North Pole was a bad omen for the future of PA weather.  Up for breakfast the next day, it rained acorns 'til dawn, then actual rain for an hour or so, bringing the COLD with it.  Initial warm up ride (after eating some excellent Camp grub) was on the Phoenix.  Then onto the Flyers - with some training and a phortunate wind, you can get some great air on those things!  A more relaxed atmosphere I have never felt at a park outside of  Kennywood, Holiday World, or possibly Knott's. Walking through the park and enjoying the beauty of the fall in the hills of Pennsylvania,  the leaves all colors from green and yellow to orange, red, and brown, there was no rush to do anything.  We rode plenty of flat-rides during the day, enjoying the best of the new (Power Surge, Downdraft), and certainly the VERY best of the older rides, Roll-O-Plane, Antique cars, their own Mangels' Whip, and the Classic carousel where you can still "grab the brass ring".  The bumper cars are touted as "world's best", and that's NOT bluster.  Collisions were fast and frequent! A ride on the Phoenix, front-row, provided AIRTIME in the extreme, and got more intense as the ride went on.  The last run into the brakes, the hills continuously bouncing you up and down...WOW!  On to the Whirlwind, a smooth Vekoma with two corkscrews and no banging.  The ride-op asked if we wanted another ride (which I'm told is not uncommon) so we took another spin.  Some more flat rides - Knoebel's collection is impressive, then a ride on the Hi-Speed Thrill Coaster.  This coaster may look unimpressive, but just ride it.  A variable-speed lift plummets the train into a drop left and then several speed hills.  You WILL be thrown about inside the car, up and down, repeatedly.  Enjoy!  The PPP also has a coaster-memorabilia trading post, and patches, shirts, etc. were readily available (maybe too much so...:~)!  More flat rides, some lunch and a trip through the Covered Bridge Festival to our camp for a short rest allowed us to "gear up" for the MAIN EVENT - the Phoenix Phall Phun Phest! Begin with two huge slices of Pizza and a birch beer- my recommendation.  Costumes were Phantastic and in abundance:  The Ghosts of coaster-designers past, the Coaster-Cons,  the Coaster Chicks of New England, the Three Blind Mice (Mad, Wild and Crazy, get it?), the husband-and-wife team of the WildCat  and the WildMouse, the Knoebel's Cowboys, the 75 year-old man (Knoebels' 75th Anniversary), the pregnant drag queen, grim reapers, and SO many more.  Ride crews were moving trains in and out like a blur, and no waits exceeded 10 minutes.  Four hours of this, I couldn't have been prepared for!  The Phoenix grew wilder and even more out of control as the night wore on, EXTREME stand-up airtime in any of the front few rows!  Perhaps my all time favorite out-n-back woodie.  Some more flat rides, the spooky-dark Pioneer train ride through the woods, and on to the Twister - Fetterman's twisted take-off from Elitch's original Mr. Twister.  The first hill provides real air, especially up front.  After that, Twister rides somewhat like a Roar on steroids.  Right, then left, up and down, then into a phurious helix, almost two full counterclockwise circles with a nice change in elevation.  Bank to the right, catch some air, turn right again, and dive underground.  Pop up on another air hill, then jump again onto the brake run.  As good as, or even better, than you can imagine (a fantastic wooden twister, and easily one of my top-5 woodies).  The event ended officially at ten, but the crew kept us late for extra rides...what a shame!  I felt guilty only paying $12 for ALL the food and fun you could fit into almost five hours. Back to camp for great coaster conversation with lots of friends from CB and URC, including the RideMan himself!  Took Sunday off for visiting family, then on to SFGAdv Monday.  Rode on Nitro - what a blast, LOL!  Met up with Jason Pytka (sp?), New England ACE rep and a great guy - quite funny.  Spent the day enjoying the park with him.  Nitro definitely ranks with Goliath and S:RoS among my top hypers (sorry MF fans).  On to Skull Mountain, a great dark coaster, themed a little for Halloween.  Then back to Nitro!  Medusa was still a great ride, very fun. Their abundant collection of flats sat idle most of the day, as did the Chiller, so we didn't get to ride the "new and vastly improved" Robin.  Wanted to get Blackbeard's Treasure Train since it's the only coaster there we haven't ridden, but it was also closed.  Rolling Thunder was rough and screechy, definitely screaming for a little trackwork (and a LOT of grease);~)!  One last trip on Nitro - the most explosive coaster on the planet, then to Philly for the flight home, where at least it's warm...
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Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

*** This post was edited by gatorwoodie on 10/11/2001. ***

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Thursday, October 11, 2001 4:32 PM
Glad you liked Nitro.....it is also one of my favs. You didn't mention Batman....was it closed??
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Thursday, October 11, 2001 4:48 PM
To bad you never got to ride the Chiller it was great with OTSR but it is smooth as glass and simply amazing with lap bars.
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Thursday, October 11, 2001 6:40 PM
Batman WAS open (should have ridden all three B&M's, but didn't.) - I've ridden SFGAdv's Batman, and several others, but Nitro was new to me (as would have been BTT and R:TC), but only had about 3 1/2 hours...Guess we'll have to head back there next year for Blackbeard;~)!
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Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
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