HersheyPark or Dorney Park? Need advice

Monday, June 30, 2003 8:03 AM
I have a day free on a trip to E. Pennsylvania and would like to take the opportunity to experience Hersheypark or Dorney Park for the first time.

I see HP as having: Comet, Great Bear, Lightning Racer, Sidewinder, sooperdooperlooper (talk about a unique name ;) ), and Wildcat as the highlights.

Dorney Park's stars appear to be Hercules, Laser, Steel Force, Talon, and Thunderhawk.

I have a CF season pass, but would be willing to buy a ticket if HP is highly recommended over DP. I'll be a single rider whichever park I go to (not bringing the family this time).

Given that I'm probably going to hit just coasters for around 6-9 hours, what park (and specific coasters) would you suggest? Any tips on what to ride first, or general tips for the parks? How bad are the crowds on a typical Friday (in this case, July 11th)?

(Please limit your suggestions to positive feedback about your preference... I really don't intend this to devolve into a competition or flamewar between the parks).

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Monday, June 30, 2003 8:15 AM
Honestly, after reading your post, the first thought was "Go to Hershey". But then I read the word "family" again....and I changed my mind.....go to Dorney this time with your CF pass, then experience the magc of HersheyPark when you come east WITH the family....HP is THAT good...:)

Just my opinion, and if you don't see a return trip anytime in the future, do NOT miss HersheyPark...but it IS the better place for families IMO...
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It seems today, that all you see, are violins in movies, and sax on TV....

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Monday, June 30, 2003 8:23 AM
The question you have to ask is this... Do you like wood or steel? IF the answer is wood... head for Hershey. While I like Thunderhawk and (even) Hercules, the combinaiton of Comet, Wildcat and Lightning Racer out shines those two. If the answer is steel... I would say Dorney with their Talon, Steel Force and Laser lineup. That being said... either one would be a good pick.

Rollergator is right... if you make a return trip to PA with the family, Hershey is a must visit.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Monday, June 30, 2003 8:37 AM
Living close to both parks, I will honestly admit that both are good quality parks and both have alot to offer. Here is some quick pointers about each: Dorny is more corporate and sterile, while Hershey is definintely more family-oriented, Bush Gardens-like, and homey. Lots of trees and shade in the park with quaint, intimate areas that divide the park such as Comet Hollow and Minetown. IMO, my view towards the hershey/dorney debate is hershey takes the quantity over quality approach, while dorney has fewer coasters that are more of quality. None of Hershey's coasters except Lightning Racer really stick out for me. At Dorney, you'll also be blessed with little to no wait time for the rollercoasters if its a really scorching hot day because everyone will be at Wildwater Kingdom. Pick and choose from there, I'd recommend both.

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"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."

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Monday, June 30, 2003 8:40 AM
SLFAKE makes some good points. We just did the Dorney / Hershey loop and had a blast. If you have a CF pass you get into Dorney for free PLUS you just show your CF pass (not the parking pass, just the season pass) and you can park for free in the passholder's lot up front. You could do Dorney totally free.

Hershey is an awesome park, when we went Bear, Comet, Trailblazer, and Sooper were closed due to heavy rains. FYI: Hershey sells rain ponchos for $3 and they are CLEAR plastic - so we would pull the hoods down over our faces to block the rain and yet we could still see our ride!

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Monday, June 30, 2003 8:52 AM
I'll second the notion of doing Dorney this time and saving Hershey for when you can bring the family.

mOOSH

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Flatulence [n.] - the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you're run over by a steamroller.

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Monday, June 30, 2003 11:33 AM
Yikes, someone considers Hercules to be a "star" ride.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:02 PM
Such a fresh, uninspired remark. I have never heard a remark quite like that before intamin fan.

*dante in complete and utter amazement at how old some remarks get yet still amazed at so many people who keep insisting on making those comments trying to be humorous.

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"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."

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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:05 PM
Thanks for the descriptions so far :) I think I'm leaning towards Dorney Park for the visit, with hopefully a visit to HP next year with the family. I enjoy both wooden and steel, but I prefer smooth rides. Hopefully the temp will be up when I go so the crowds will be in the water park.

Intamin Fan: I haven't had a chance for Hercules so far, so I can't say. All I know is that it was one of the full size coasters listed and has been mentioned on other enthusiast sites... hard to believe Dinn made a bad coaster, so I want to see for myself. ;)

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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:11 PM
I'm sure Hercules was a "star" ride and made quite an impression with the world's longest wooden drop when it debuted in 1989. That alone gives it a level of significance.

Who was to know how those S&D woodies would act up and need "tamed" over the years? It's easy to dismiss a ride in hindsight, but it makes you wonder what rides we ooh and ahhh over now will be looked upon this way 10 or 15 years from now.

Hercules still surprises me every once in a while with a decent ride. They're few and far between and still only a shell of the potential, but the 9 bads ones are worth it to me to get that 10th good one :)

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 10

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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:13 PM
I'll third Bill and Moosh, but my choice would be Hershey, family or not. I highly recommend doing Dorney's waterpark if you go there since we were done with the coasters in 2 hours and a half with several rerides on Steel Force (a solid hyper) and Talon (one of my favorite coasters overall). Your longest line will probably be for Wild Mouse. They have 9 coasters here, but 3 of them are kiddie, so don't miss the two you'll be able to ride (Dragon Coaster and Woodstock) if you want something for your track record.

Hershey is *so* much more than the coasters, which they have 9 of. If you like spectacular shows and atmosphere, this park is dripping with it. I believe they have around 60 rides too (many of them family-oriented), so bring the family next time and experience the whole park allowing plenty of time. They may even have a new coaster next season... I hope this helps.

-Danny
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Coaster Insomniacs

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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:21 PM
i went to Dorney in may and had a Blast. I was suprised at how nice and beautiful the park was.the rollercoasters were fun and they have some great thrill rides(meteor)....the park was empty and i got alot of re-rides on talon which is my #1 inverted coaster. i hope that helps.....ive never been to hershey..so i can help you with that..sorry
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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:25 PM
Hershey - Kids or no kids.

It's simply one of the best all-around amusement experiences (IMO).

I felt Dorney was 'ok.' The rides were pretty good, but the park seemed to be lacking in 'soul.'
*** This post was edited by chris 6/30/2003 4:25:37 PM ***

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Monday, June 30, 2003 12:59 PM
I will agree with that last comment. When my wife and I visited Dorney two years ago, there was something missing that we could not put our finger on. For lack of a better expression, we said "lacked personality" but "lacks soul" may be a better way to put it. That being said, I am still trying time in my tight schedule to get back there this year. While the "personlaity/soul" may be lacking, I still liked the park.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

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Monday, June 30, 2003 1:32 PM
My opinion only, but....

The stars of Hershey are Wildcat [the only GCI I've ridden with any oomph!] Great Bear [even with the weak ending] and their Mouse, which is the best-run mouse in the states [virtually brake-free].

Lightning Racer is a fun but forceless ride that left me wanting more; Comet is overbraked and therefore a total letdown; SuperDooperLooper is boring and overbraked after the loop; Trailblazer is the worst mine train I've experienced; Roller Soaker was....just kinda there, and Sidewinder is your basic semi-rough Boomerang.

On the other hand at Dorney the only duds are Hercules and the mouse [polar opposite of Hershey's mouse, with every possible brake on hard]. Lazer, Steel Force, Talon, and Thunderhawk [even with the trims] are all great.

Every visit I've made to Hershey has been a 1/2 day at best...I find myself getting bored easily and frustrated that their wonderful Schmeck woodie has been castrated.

My vote still goes for Dorney, soul or not.

YMMV.

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Flatulence [n.] - the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you're run over by a steamroller.

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Monday, June 30, 2003 1:38 PM
Quothe the moosh:

'frustrated that their wonderful Schmeck woodie has been castrated. '

It really is a shame. I would kill for a ride on Comet without that trim. What a waste.

I dunno, though. I just really liked HP a bunch when I was there.

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Monday, June 30, 2003 4:45 PM
If you have the full 9 hours go to both. Hit Hershey early and you can ride all the coasters in a few hours. With rerides you can get out of there in 4 hours. Then drive a little over an hour to Dorney, and ride their coasters. You can ride all their coaster pretty quick. I'd say under 2 hours. Everytime I am there the longest line is the Wild Mouse because the capacity is horrible.

I have season passes to both. They are both good parks, and have good coasters. I prefer The Great Bear to Talon. Laser to Sooperdooperlooper, and Hershey's collection of woodies. Steel Force is great. Hercules sucks, but Thunderhawk more than makes up for it. It's all a matter of preference.

I'd definately suggest trying to go to both.

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Monday, June 30, 2003 7:10 PM
skip them both and go to Knoebels instead ;)

Anyways, I would say also to save Hershey for the whole family, the park is built around being a family park. Not only does it have some great rides and shows, but it also has a zoo that is free with admission. The kids will love it.

But by yourself, go to Dorney and hit all the thrill rides they have. If you get there early you will have no trouble getting in all of the coasterage you can handle, as most people go for the water park early.

Either way, enjoy Pennsylvania and have a good time.

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"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

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Monday, June 30, 2003 7:25 PM
Hershey also has a pretty bad set of flyers, but flyers none the less.

I prefered Dorney, just because Talon is such a unique invert (with the mix of air and inversions), and for some reason night rides on Steel Force have a special place in my heart.

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Monday, June 30, 2003 7:48 PM
Since you already have the CP pass, you might as well do Dorney, since it's free. My motto is "If it's for free, it's for me!"

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Eastcoaster Field of 64

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