Quick Stop for a Good Drop--Dorney Park 6/5/08

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Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:49 PM
Well, I would have probably been at Dorney Park a lot sooner today had I not just been to a DMB concert and slept all day long. I had fully intended to go early so I could ride Voodoo many times if I liked it, but I just wasn't up to the early-rising task. Before I made the 10 minute drive to Dorney, I tried to check the website to make sure Voodoo was running again, but there was no phone number to call for ride information. I also noticed that the park would only be open until 7:30 pm, and while I was mystified that the park would be closing so early now that we're in June, I hauled ass to Dorney at 6:10 pm and noted with pleasure that the season pass parking lot, bus area, and general public areas of the parking lot were all nearly empty.

I strode with purpose towards Voodoo, noting for the first time in all my years of Dorney attendance that there was a second path to the left that cut down on my walking time by a good 5 minutes or so, not to mention how much prettier it was with all the trees cradling souveneir and snack shops.

I was scared to death of Voodoo by the time it was time for me to get on the ride due to the screeching noise the train made as it took its sequential launches through the station (I think this noise was made on purpose in the design to give a sense of someone screaming in horror from being cursed or something, but it could just be crappy engineering. Not sure). My first ride on Voodoo was in the middle so I could experience approximately equal forward and backward drops. The first launch was kind of weak, but it still took my breath away a little bit. Then the actual forward spike ascent REALLY threw me for a loop. The combination of twisting and the pressure beating on you as you climb the spike is an intensely odd feeling. Then the weightlessness kicked in as the train plummeted backwards. The backward spike was sheer holy terror, and I screamed like an ecstatic banshee. Forward spike again: looks like you're going to fly right off the top. Intense!! Then the second run up the straight spike: NOT FUN. The holding brake was just as brutal as I was warned about, causing me not only to press against my harness (I do NOT enjoy that feeling), but my legs to slip forward and down, giving me the definite feeling of being able to slide right out the bottom of my restraint. One more forward twist-spike, and we very gently braked to a halt. I immediately ran around for a second ride, much to the ride hostess's amusement ("back for more, huh?").

I went to Steel Force then and was irritated by some line jumpers and musical coaster chairs by the group in front of me (the ride attendant saw them and did NOTHING), but Steel Force was great as usual. There was a mood-setting mist hovering towards the second half of the incline, and it was quite refreshing before our plunge. I did have a problem with the helix that I've never had before where I could not totally keep my head up or open my eyes completely. I didn't feel faint or dizzy or sick, but I just couldn't tolerate the G's this time. Weird.

I decided to head back for one more ride of Voodoo before leaving the park, but it shut down while I was strapped in. They kept us in the seats for about 10 minutes, and my legs and butt hurt so much that I slid like jelly out of the seat when they finally released us to do test runs of the coaster.

I got some food at Monster Grille, and honestly, it was pretty tasty, and my small drink was quite generous. I had chicken bites, and while two were burned to a crisp, the others were well-seasoned and only a tad dry. Plus, my servers were two perfectly friendly and nice girls who didn't seem to mind that I was ordering food ten minutes before the park closed.

I saw Voodoo was running again, so I went to get on the front car. After being invaded by line jumpers again, I finally made it to the front car in about three trains. Then, just as I rrrreeeeeaaacccchhhheeeedddd for the restraint to lift it up, I heard, "Please return to your places in line. We must perform additional test runs of Voodoo". Grrrrrrr! I waited for another test run, then hopped on the front car. Was still impressed by all the weightlessness on the first spike, was NOT a fan of the holding brake on the straight spike. I can't wait to ride Wicked Twister to see if it is better.

All in all, Dorney Park remains a definite must-see for those who are coaster enthusiasts and don't have a lot of time to wait in lines. In less than an hour and half, I rode coasters four times and got a snack. What other reputable park can say the same? Good times!

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Friday, June 6, 2008 6:07 PM
So you broke down and bought some of that CF food this time, eh? Nice TR, but what's up with the line jumping in an almost empty park?
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Friday, June 6, 2008 8:08 PM
Yeah, had to do it, was starving. I'm actually glad I did. It was a nice experience.

Yeah, you know with the line jumping thing, not only did they line jump in an almost empty park for Steel Force, but then I got pushed out of the way by two girls entering the Voodoo queue, and then a third girl who had originally chickened out of riding Voodoo came running up right at the station and cut me off. Ride attendant did nothing that time either. Dorney's usually so good about being vigilant about line jumpers...maybe they just didn't care BECAUSE it was so empty. Still, I'm a little perturbed. If someone just was considerate enough to ASK, I'd probably let them go ahead of me if the line wasn't hours long and I was risking getting my arse handed to me.

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Friday, June 6, 2008 11:47 PM
Interesting it cleared out later in the day and nice to see Voodoo finally opened. I thought it would be closed all day.
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