Opening Day at Dorney Park! - Long

Associated parks:
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Monday, May 5, 2003 3:21 PM
I got to the park around 1:00. Coming off of the turnpike, I could tell it was going to be a good day. It was absolutely EMPTY!! The people in Allentown must have actually thought that the forecast of rain and 50's was correct. It was sunny all day and mid 70's! It was empty all day (the only people who were really there were local residents with season passes and some enthusiasts) until around 5:00. Most people probably decided to come out and get a starlight ticket by then.

Overall appearance: The park sure is looking awesome!! After about 4 years, all of the midways are finally concrete, and boy does it look nice. They added a good number of trees this year once again. I have heard that WWK has received much landscaping also. I never have to complain about shade again. I mean, they aren't gigantic trees, but they are nice sized. (Taller than 6 feet)

This is where I will tell my story of John Albino. The park was looking as clean as usual. While I was up by Meteor, (which was having problems all day as usual) I noticed a man walk past me. I almost immediately recoginized him as John Albino. I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk to him, but I decided not to. He stopped, bent down, and picked up a piece of trash. I thought that was nice of him. But I soon found out he intended on picking up every piece of trash he saw. We walked behind him for a little ways, and I swear he stoppped and picked up a piece of trash every 10-15 seconds. He even realined a trash can. (I wonder what would happen if all 70 million trash cans were out of place?) And he walked the entire park. I don't know if other park chains (and I say chains because I have heard the other CF general managers do this too) have managers do this. They should take a lesson from CF.

Rides of the day: All of the rides were running great. I was noticed by several employees because I was wearing a Millennium Force shirt. There were problems with several rides. One of Steel Force's trains stopped on the Mid-Course Brake Run. That was no problem, it was up and running again in no time. Thunder Creek Mountain was down when I got there and didn't open up. The water was drained out of it. Meteor had several problems throughout the day. It really is a shame to see a great ride have so much downtime. I have learned not to expect the best reliability from Zamperla. Steel Force seemed good this year, it seemed to me like I got some floater air better this season than last.

Biggest surprise of the day: Thunderhawk. Now I will do a little bit of a before and after comparison.

Before: There are only 2 rides on this earth that I have been on that I absolutely dread going into a certain part. The first being Phoenix (but I think I'm starting to love it) The other is Thunderhawk. It does this turn into and out of the figure 8. The first turn I am talking about is right after you go up the 3rd hill. I bang heads everytime with the person next to me. This time was very different.

After: I could hardly believe I wasn't hurting when I got off. I don't know what they did, but it sure improved the ride. Those turns were smooth enough to be enjoyable. The trim brake on the bunny hops wasn't on as bad as last season either. An absolutely awesome ride.

Overall: The capacity was pretty good. The employees were extremely friendly and polite. Even security was good. There was no line jumping at all where I went. The rides were running just as if it was mid-season. I blacked out on Lazer as usual, and even the loop on Talon!! I had one of my best visits to the park, and I plan on going back many more times this year. The construction in WWK is almost finished and boy, do those slides look great! It looks like it's going to be another awesome season.

Whew! That was a long one! If you've read this far, reward yourself by going to your homepark this weekend. (Or weekday, if you live in certain areas.) That's it for now.

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Enjoy the rest of your day at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

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Monday, May 5, 2003 4:17 PM
One question. Did Hurcules still have brakes?

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Save LeSourdesville Lake!!! It was the best park ever!!!

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Monday, May 5, 2003 4:56 PM
Sounds great, I might be heading up this Saturday, especially if Thunderhawk has improved. I love Talon's loop - probably the most intense one I've experienced. Hopefully the crowds will be just as empty when I manage to head up :)

By the way - how was Hercules?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 12:15 PM
I'm worried about Thunderhawk. Did they just do trackwork, or did they tame it? Because as of now it is on my top 10 list, and I would hate to see another wonderful coaster killed by Cedar Fair.

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I am not going back to Cedar Point until they throw Mean Streak's brakes into lake Erie. There should be a law against killing coasters like Cedar Fair does.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 12:22 PM
Opening day was dead. Sunday was even more empty. Talon was walkon for most of Sunday, and for the last 1 1/2 to 2 hours, trains were running with 2 or 3 empty rows each.

Not sure of the Thunderhawk "improvement" because it seems like the same great ride I discovered last season when we moved to the area. I saw nothing changed about the ride - including the stupid trim on the final bunny hops :(

Hercules still trims the drop.

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 2

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 12:31 PM
Hercules hasn't been changed a bit. When I was on it opening day, we went around the turn off the lift and I was kinda hoping the train would suddenly drop down that awesome drop, but BAM! The trims are still there, and the turn over the lake still rattles your bones. Thunderhawk has not been tamed, and I didn't notice much difference at all, just that it did seem a bit smoother, making it all the more enjoyable. I must say, I was totally blown away with the way Steel Force and Talon were running as well. Steel Force was giving some great airtime, especially on the first drop. For opening day, Talon was running great; just as intense as intense as it was before. Can't wait to get back there on Friday :)
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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 1:29 PM
I love Talon on the front row and how you get whipped out from the back seat.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 2:44 PM
My wife and I were there for a first time visit this past Sunday. We were extremely dissapointed in Hercules due to the fact that we could tell that the ride had been drastically neutered by trim brakes over the years and probably really cooked through it's course back in the day. We sat in the front (as we had heard that it was the least rough spot) and thought that the eventual drop and turn over the lake were the best part of the ride, as you get some tremendous speed during it. After that, the train just crawls through the rest of the course. We commented to each other that it felt like a mine train with a 150 foot drop. We enjoyed the rest of the park though, especially Talon and Steel Force. Can someone answer me one quick question though? What's up with the breaks at the top of Steel Force's hill. They just kind of hang you there before you drop. Is this intentional to help build up the anticipation of the drop or something else?

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G's! They're what's for dinner!

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