That Trip in 97 I still consider my best trip to Dorney as the park had all the charm of a small park. Motorboats in the creek, Paratrooper on the hillside and lots of old flats along with Herc. SF and Lazer.
2001 Me and Rob decided to make a stop on our trip home from SFGADV and only spent about three hours in the park. What we found was a park decimated of charm, replaced with Camp Snoopy a crappy run mouse and Talon. I liked Talon at the time but felt it lacking something (Noise) But it was just so, so to me. SF and Lazer were stellar as usual.
FF to 2008. My Brother, His wife and I arrived about 10:30am. Used our Platinum Pass for Parking and entry and headed straight for Talon. Surpise. I liked it much more. The fact that waits were non existant was good but the forces on the ride were great and not as I had remembered. It's got good elements and layout and is pretty much a complete ride for a small layout invert.
Next up was Hydra. To be honest, I never seen a vid, pic or anything of it other than a few reviews, mostly underwhelming of it.
Hydra is a floorless (As most of you know) however it was built on the hillside that used to house Hercules. I've liked ever floorless I've ever ridden and this was no exception. I REALLY LIKED HYDRA although I think it's a stupid name. The Jo-Jo is Jo'ing and the rest of the elements are far from the norm of most beemers. Oh most of them are there but in different sequence and the Cobra being down in the valley is quite interesting. Much different like the Cobra on Kumba. The 0'g roll looks weir compared to most but works well and the snap rolls and even a airtime hill or two work well too. I liked Hydra, Was also suprised I could fit in a normal seat on it and it was only my second front seat ride on any floorless the first being Medusa NJ in 2001.
Now the visit starts to get a little dissapointing but redeems itself later in the day.
Im a smoker, Don't mind using smoking areas but CF could care frickin less, Go a half mile that way a block off the beaten path and you can smoke there but the ashtrays are stuffed, smoldering and stink. Ok,I find it, Have a puff or two and rejoin Rob and Debbie and we go down into the old section. Was the Log flume shortened when Hydra was built? I thought I remembered several small drops before the end drop????
Still the longest single drop I've been on, on any log flume except maybe IOA's.
Bumper cars were a blast. I decided to go backwards full speed and Rob decided to come at me full speed. (These are the ground version of bumper boats with the tube around them and stick steering)
The result was me doing about a three feet high wheelie as he hit me. we got one more before the ride ended, Talk about neat!
We noticed the Zepher train and never rode it and walked back to thunderhawk. Thunderhawk has recieved some love recently. The first time I rode it in 97 I was thouroughly impressed as it was unbraked. Lacking a station but the ride was fantastic. In 2001 the darn thing was stopped in the first turn around and barely crawed the rest of the course and to add insult to it, the brake on the second bunny killed anything left.
2008 finds thunderhawk running well. Dishing out some of it's forces including a good latteral slam exiting the final turn around and the first bunny delivers only to be hampered by the brake on the second. Still much better than I was expecting. The new station is OK at best it's like sticking fiberglass on a model A ford. Just out of place but still better than nothing.
Steel Force, Rode four times durring the day. Got some major air on the return in back, nice floatage up front. Im much more a floatage person as I don't like to be slammed vertically either into the bar or back into the seat.
Next two dissapointments. Voodoo down with promisses of up by the end of day. *It did test a few times* Lazer down for parts :( Lazer is one of my favorite loopers.
Day picks back up. Go out to car and grill in parking lot LOL. Get swim gear and head back in. 15 dollar locker rental and five dollar deposit?? Your fricking kidding me. It's not bad between three people though.
We go do the Raft ride. I still consider this one of the best out there. Tons of waterfalls. No chance of staying dry. Go back in and do lazy river and wave pool. Go out and ride the chute the chutes and change back to street cloths about 6pm.
Take swim gear back to car and re enter and notice the one smoking area in the waterpark which is over a thousand feet away. It's ashtray was burning as we left and It was ungodly smelling even at the park entrance. Like I said 1000 ft away!
Oh well, we lapped the park again. hitting the whip the major coasters and way over braked mouse again. Having generally a good time. The follaige at the park has grown a bit but we noticed the Lazer area station missing from the zepher train and that end of the park just totally dead. We did get a ride on that dragon coaster. Little lazer is off limits but I got that in 97. Also rode Dominator Thrust up side.
It was a good day at Dorney. The rides are pretty good. The parks looking nicer but the park still seems stuck between what it wants to be and what it used to be and in places is just plain dead.
Do I have desire to go back? Yeah. which is more than I could say from our 2001 visit.
Chuck, next up Hershey Park finally!
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