Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
Over the years I have posted several reports from our annual Music in the Parks Trips. Always at this time of the year.
Most of my comments this year are exactly as they appeared in the past.
The "spin" is that we took a few more staff members who like parks, but who are not enthusiasts.
Weather: Sunny, Warm - high in the mid to high 80s.
Staff reports to school at 4:15 AM. Kids and parents at 4:30. We left at 4:45 on beautiful coach buses.
Thanks to our early departure we left Long Island and made it through the George Washington Bridge without any traffic. (One year we hit a massive 2-hour delay) We arrived at the Saucon Valley School complex and were the first group to perform. (The staff at Saucon Valley were professional and their facility is very impressive. Always has been.)
The Orchestra, Band and Jazz Band performed for the judges and we drove to another school in the complex for our chorus. (The kids did a great job!)
Then on to Dorney.
The park was crowded, but not as bad as in other years. 99 percent of the attendees were part of a school group - (Elementary, middle and or high school.)
The lines for the coasters were about 30 minutes each...but my staff-group opted to purchase Fast Lane wristbands. (The basic...not the upper tier for the water rides.)
Most of the rides were well run and I like the sliding lockers at the front of the platforms.
At one point I found myself standing next to a security guard. This was our impromptu conversation...
"You guys must love days like this when the park is crowded, but the kids are well supervised."
"Yeah we love these events. Very nice crowds."
"Have you ever had an issue with Music in the Parks or similar events?"
"No actually...they always run things very well."
"Well, I hope the entire season goes as smoothly for you."
"Thank you, have a great day,"
That was kind of positive tone of the entire day from most of the employees we encountered.
A few comments about the rides:
1) I never rode it in the past. But the space where Hangtime used to be is....well...just a space. It looks like something is missing."
2) The new flyers were not well ridden. No long line at all...just the three of us and not too much swing. (I don't know how to snap like the people at Knoebels do.) It was a little tame.
3) Stinger was open and I liked it. Smooth for the type of ride it is and no special seat was needed for me to fit.
4) Possessed and Steel Force went down frequently. (Steel force most of the day)
5) Thunder Canyon is a LOT of fun. Great ride of its type.
I still love the pretzel sticks that are sold. Very good and fresh.
I still do not care for Chickie and Pete’s sit down restaurant. Some of our crowd was ok with it. It just isn't worth what you pay for...but that’s just my opinion. (There was also a hard bone-like morsel in my burger that almost chipped one of my teeth.) Side story…I was not wearing my glasses and for a second I entered the ladies bathroom misreading "Chickie" as "Chucky."
Everyone who was judged for music performances at our school complex gathered for the award ceremony at the picnic grove. Every school gets rated "Superior" "Excellent" "Good" or "Participant.” Nobody in our group got less than Excellent and all of our schools ensemble’s rated Superior. There would be 2 or 3 such ceremonies.
During dinner, we were talking about the rides that we had enjoyed and some of the non-enthusiasts didn’t even remember their experiences. Here we talk about names, themes, elements, etc. forever and some of the folks in my party only referred to rides as “The spinney one” (Scrambler) or the “Green coaster.” (Hydra) I am not making fun of my non-enthusiast friends at all. I am (In an unusual way) perhaps pointing out that perhaps we might be the ones who don’t get it. Here we say, “This train, this row, this seat is the best because……” Is it possible that maybe we care too much to have an influence? Perhaps more people refer to their rides as “The green coaster” than those of us who read and post here. Maybe parks catering to the general public have something. By the way…the group that went on the rides had a great time and truly enjoyed their day. So did I. Another part of our group decided to rest and hang out by the wave pool for the day. They too enjoyed their day.
In any case, without Music in the Parks there are many days on the calendar where the parks would be closed. Get there early…prepare for a crowded midday to early evening…and power ride the night away.
Here is the website for Music in the parks: http://www.musicintheparks.com/
Thank you as always for reading this.
Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!
Wow...a Dorney Report that doesn't mention Talon or Thunderhawk? Thunder Canyon remains the best ride of its type for me, because I define "best" as wettest, soaking-est, choose your term. I'll be there Sunday for CFK, my first visit since last year's event. I was supposed to go in October but my health issues/surgery took care of that. And i Dislike Chickie and Petes as well.
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
Nice report. I like Dorney's setup with Thunder Canyon and White Water Landing right next to the water park so you can walk from the Wildwater Kingdom to those rides and then not have to walk around soaked the rest of the day.
I also don't like Chickie and Petes. I have never been to a park location but have been to their regular locations a few times and didn't think it was anything that great for the prices (and I'm sure the prices are a lot worse in a park).
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