Hydra - First Time at Dorney (5/22)

Associated parks:
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 8:29 PM
I only live about 1.5 hours away from Dorney Park yet had never went until today. I got season passes this year because I plan to use them at Cedar Point and Geauga Lake. I’m glad I finally went can’t wait to come back!

Here is a short TR of my trip. It is only a list of rides/attractions (including Hydra) and what I thought of them. They are in the order that I rode them in for the first time.

I must say the park was extremely empty. Every coaster was a walk-on, except for the wild mouse (more on that later). I rode all of these rides below in the short time I was there (I left around 3:00).

Season Pass Processing: Okay, maybe this isn’t an attraction, but I have to mention it. Dorney has no idea how to process season passes. I’m used to the quickness of SFGAdv. At Dorney, the line was long and slow moving. There were only 3 people working there, and they only have 4 cameras.

Hydra [3 rides in rows 5, 7, and 8]: I know Hydra did not meet the many people’s expectations. I, however, think it rocks! It is much better than the other two floorless coasters I’ve ridden, Medusa at SFGAdv and B:tDK. The jojo roll really starts it off with a bang. It is one of my favorite elements on any coaster. Even though it is really small, the first drop still can pack a punch because of how steep it seems. Riding in the back seat can produce some nice air on the way down. The ride actually doesn’t seem that slow to me until the last helix.

Thunderhawk [1 ride in 1-2]: Overall a pretty good wooden coaster. It has a few nice head choppers and some airtime. The ride could be greatly improved by removing that trim on that bunny hill though.

Steel Force [3 rides in 3-1, 4-2, and 6-2]: I don’t think the name Steel Forceless fits it very well. Sure it isn’t nearly as intense as S:RoS at SFNE, but it is still very fun. I did get pretty good air in the back car.

Revolution [1 ride]: One of my favorite flat rides. I noticed that the seating ring (if that’s what you call it) comes to a stop much sooner at the end of the ride than it does on Hershey’s Claw. Does Revolution have an improved braking system, or was the Claw not working like it’s supposed to when I was there?

Laser [1 ride in 2-1]: Very forceful Schwarzkopf, however, I don’t like it as much as Scorpion or Sooperdooperlooper.

Dragon Coaster [1 ride in the front row]: Surprisingly intense laterals for a kiddie ride. The forces actually pushed me into the seatbelt causing it to come undone. I know this isn’t a problem for someone my size, but this could be a safety hazard to little kids.

Whip [1 ride]: I just couldn’t pass a classic whip without riding.

Apollo 2000 [1 ride]: My first Huss Swing Around. It isn’t too wild, but I did feel sort of dizzy afterward.

Sea Dragon [1 ride in the last row]: I think Chance makes the best rides of this type. They are the only ones that give me floater air at the tops of the swings. I wish this one at Dorney had a longer ride cycle.

Food at Coasters Drive-In: I had an outrageously priced burger and some steak fries. The burger was not too good, but I did enjoy the fries. I wanted a slice of pizza, but they only sell by the pie, which seems quite stupid.

Wild Mouse [1 ride in the second row]: The Maurer Söhne layout looks the exact same as the Mack layout. Fun ride but not worth the 40 minute wait. I blame the park since almost every car only had 2 people in it. The ops should have forced people to fill cars to their highest capacity.

Talon [3 rides in rows 2, 4, and 8]: Excellent, smooth B&M invert. The first drop is great in the back row. I like it almost as much as Hydra. Definitely one of my top 3 favorite inverts. *** Edited 5/23/2005 12:32:59 AM UTC by person***

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Sunday, May 22, 2005 8:37 PM
You ate at Coasters and passed on the milk shake? For shame!

Actually, I think the trim that kills Thunderhawk is the one on the large hill before the turn around.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:13 PM
I didn't even notice a trim on the large hill before the turn around, whoops! Something to note with the reason that many cars may have only had 2 was that, I'm sure you noticed, only 2 adults are allowed per car.... At any rate, I'm glad you liked the park -- I love it and always have a great time there!
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:20 PM
I actually think the speed going through the figure eight turns is great. I think you only really notice the trim from the back seats, I remember it not feeling as abrubt from the front.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:37 PM
The only trim I noticed on Thunderhawk was on that little hill at the end. I kinda liked it because if you are in the front it forces you forward and gives a little air at the top of the hill.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:57 PM
I am going to have to agree with you about Hydra. I was there for the first time on Saturday for CoasterbuzzCon and thought Hydra was great. It was really a great ride overall, and I really had a great experience at Dorney. Especially since we got ERT at night and I got eight rides on Hydra and five rides on Talon. Great coaster collection, great park.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 11:35 PM
You missed the sign on the Wild Mouse that says "2 adults to a car". I was thinking the same thing as well, until I got into the station. Even late at night when a lot of the kids had left, it still took quite a while to get on. I'm not sure the reason behind it, unless its some kind of balance thing (perhaps Danoman [I hope I have your screen name right] you know?). I rode with a father and his daughter and we had a pretty good, mostly brakeless ride. I agree that the layout is either a) the same or b) very similar to the Mack version at Hershey

I wasn't feeling Hydra much as the kids would say. It was actually kind of rough the first time I rode it around 12:30pm. I also hit my head twice too. To me, it came off as rather "safe". The JoJo roll, while being completely pointless, nevertheless was making all of us laugh during the ERT. It reminded me quite a bit of the hanging twists on Volcano the Blast Coater. I'm not sure if laughter is what they were aiming for, but so be it.

I thought the beginning was fun, and it was slightly disorientating with the two major twisting elements counter to each other. Unfortunately, I remember watching the computer animation and saying "There's not much else that happens after the cobra roll". Sadly, I was right. You want the little bunny hop to throw you up pretty hard, and then yank you down just as hard, but it doesn't. It just seems to peter out after the little bunny hop. There's no grand finale, which seems odd for a B&M. I took advantage to ride in the front seat last night, and it felt like we were waiting for the rest of the train to catch up with us throughout most of the course. The back seemed much better for the three or so rides I took back there. Don't get me wrong, I'd take one at Six Flags America in a heartbeat, but I'd rather have something more like Talon since that's where I spent the rest of the ERT.

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Monday, May 23, 2005 4:54 PM
I did notice that sign near the station of the Wild Mouse. It is a very odd rule.

Also, in relation to Intamin Fan's post above, I love those heartline rolls. Believe it or not, Volcano is actually my second favorite steel coaster.

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Monday, May 23, 2005 5:04 PM
I love the heartline rolls as well on Volcano (that's how I got my screen name), but they're taken at a much faster speed. The double picture is certainly interesting–one taken upside down in the jojo roll, and the other right side up before the cobra roll.
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Monday, May 23, 2005 5:22 PM
Volcano's rolls don't feel that much faster than Hydra's jojo to me. Compared to Storm Runner's heartline roll / snake dive, Volcano crawls though the inversions. *** Edited 5/23/2005 9:29:19 PM UTC by person***
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