Getting too old? Dorney Park; 6/4/10

Sunday, June 6, 2010 2:46 AM

This was most likely the shortest visit I have ever had, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail. No need, really.

I got to the park immediately after five busses (buses?), so I was a bit concerned about the crowds. However, the season pass lot was empty save five or six cars, and I parked in the VERY closest spot to the entrance. Upon arrival, I saw what had to be thousands of kids in various matching T-shirts, and I groaned. Apparently it was a "Music in the Parks" day, and there were at least 10 youth groups there. Luckily, there was no line for season passes, so I thought I would have no problems with that, and I really didn't. Only thing? Dorney/Cedar Fair/whoever owns them now still doesn't have their act together with season passes. I went to Guest Services to get my pass, and they told me to go to the Processing Center for Season Passes. Fine. I ask Guest Services "Even if I didn't actually purchase my pass yet?" They said yes. So I went to the Processing Center. Processing Center sent me back to Guest Services. The very nice young gentleman behind the window let me into the room so I could just get my picture taken there instead of having to go BACK to Processing, which I thought was very cool of him. While I was waiting for him to do that though, he was absolutely bombarded with morons. I felt bad for him because the questions people were asking him were so idiotic and so OBVIOUSLY something he could do nothing about, and he worked with every single person to the very best of his ability without a single sigh or eye roll or anything. Wish I would have caught his name because he had said he was very new to the job and I regret not having said something to a manager or something about how awesome he was doing.

Anyway, got my pass, went into the park, and it was PACKED. Talon was a 20 minute wait--for Dorney, that's a long time--and I could barely move for all the people milling about. I've NEVER seen Dorney like that.

While I was waiting to get on Talon, I noticed it seemed even QUIETER than usual, and it appeared to be running extremely smoothly and quickly. You know how sometimes you can just TELL when a coaster is running good? Anyway, after my stint in line, I waited for a front car seat because there was only a one-train wait for the front after eight girls decided to play musical queues and leave their place in front. Off we went, and I was right. Talon was running super smooth and ridiculously fast. Of course, it was my first coaster of the season, so maybe I forgot how fast that M.F. is. LOL

Anyway, so I was super psyched after that, and hopped off to go do some more rides. As I headed down the stairs, however, my neck and right shoulder really hurt, like REALLY hurt. I looked at my pic at the picture station and then said "screw it, I live ten minutes away" and left. As I left, I noticed that the bus parking lot was COMPLETELY FULL. It took me 20-25 minutes to get out of the parking lot because more groups of kids were pouring in and walking straight through the parking lot in back of my car so I couldn't back out. I was grumbling a lot. Getting too old? LOL Oh well. Going again tomorrow and can't wait.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 12:40 PM

I didn't know they still had music in the park in June. I will be sure to avoid Fridays in May and June now. Thursday had a lot of class trips but the ride side was empty, walk ons for everything and the waterpark had short lines

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 7:43 PM

I was going to start my own thread about June 6, but I'll just post here...(Forgive me Bunky)

First of all, I have been a chaperone at this event for 3 years running - so my overall day at the park - when with the school - would be a bit redundant. Here are the particulars...

1) I would say that ten schools is an understatement. There were 3 seperate judging ceremonies with each one containing about ten to twelve schools.

2) If you go on a Music In The Parks Day, get there early (the kids are stopping off at local high schools and Kutztown College to sing and play). While they are performing and being "judged" go nuts in the park.

By 1 PM, expect mega crowds with VERY WELL BEHAVED children and thier chaperones. On a hot day, like it was on 6-4-2010, the waterpark is much more crowded than the rides...by late afternoon it shifts a little.

To me, and I am not a music teacher, the judging is questionable...they tend to give the better awards to the schools with the biggest amount of children. They also break down the categorys so much, that everyone wins a first or second place at something. (The awards ceremonies are held in the picnic grounds.

For example...Middle School - first place - jazz band...Elementary school - jazz band - Class a - High School Chorus - Class C...etc. It's like alomst everyone is in their own category. If not, there are separate judging ceremonies a half hour later.

Finally, something happend at the park that I need to bring up. Two of our students were fooling around while waiting for the ceremony to start. While being chaperoned by a parent who went for ice cream, a child was rolling down a hill with a large drop-off and was told to stop. Too late...he fell...hit his eye on a picnic table and then opened a gash near his eyelid. We applied gause and called in for first aid. He ended up needing 5 stiches at a local hospital. From what I hear, these paramedic folks at the park were first rate, professional and no nonsense. (The boy is fine). I'm bringing this up for two reasons...

1) These folks don't get the attention they deserve on these boards. (We respect them...they just don't come up much in conversation).

2) Chaperoning a school trip is a VERY difficult job to do.

Finally...the last judging ceremony is at 7, After that...the park empties out in a hurry!

Other Observations:

We had out annual chaperone dinner at Gameday Grille. The food was not that good, but the waitress was exceptional. We even had two latecomers who joined us mid-meal and she accomodated them with ease.

the older wave pool was not working that day...which is odd to me considering the size of the crowds and the hot weather.

Over the years...this event has GROWN substantially. It is getting harder and harder to get desirable performing times. It would not work to go to the park first...then re-group to perform (we were at the highschool and middle school complex for 4 hours for chorus, orchestra, band and jazz band) and then go back to the park. I would think in these troubled financial times, it would be difficult to raise the money - but I guess I'm wrong. The only reason for this is the HUGE amount of money the parks make.

Cost per child: about $104 including: The Park, Coach Bus, A T shirt and the judging.

I was lugging my camera and video gear around all day so I only went on the whip (feh) the train (tradition) and the Swings (too short).

Sorry again for the hi-jack Bunky.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010 2:28 AM

Hey, no, not at all, and I agree, the medics at the parks do not get enough mention. Hersheypark's are also excellent, with GREAT response time. Great Adventure's? Not so much, although they seemed like the most sophisticated group technologically. And you have the patience of a saint to handle all of that, BTW. I love other people's children, but in small doses and VERY small groups. LOL

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