Dorney Park TR
After our day with Mike (beastmaster) at Knoebles we stayed the night in Allentown and visited Dorney on Sunday. We arrived at the park at 10:30 for early entry. Once again I called the park before we left home, but when we got to the park, there was no early entry. It turns out we wouldn't need it, because the park was dead. Everything was a walk on and all coasters and flats were up and running. The weather was perfect and we ended up with a spectacular day.
We ran to Talon first and grabbed front row. I sat in a middle seat and they couldn't get me buckled in. I moved to the seat right next me, front row outside seat, and buckled the restraint myself. They told me the outside seats have belts that are an inch longer. At least the ride ops knew the belts were different sizes. Most ride ops will argue that all belts are the exact same length. Talon is my favorite coaster at Dorney and was running great as usual. We ended up with 6 rides, most were in the front seat. They will not let you poach, you must walk all the way around on Talon.
Next we headed for Hydra. We ended up with 5 rides, most of which were in the front row. I've always liked Hydra, but on this visit it was running very shaky and slow. Even in the back seat there was no air time on the lone bunny hop. I thought it may be a product of a cold morning, but we rode it again in the heat of the day. It still was really pathetic. The good thing about Hydra is they will let you poach.
Next we headed to Stinger. Being that our last visit to Dorney was in 2011, this was a new credit for all of us. In fact this was son's 200th different coaster. Being that we rode Invertigo last month at Kings Island, I can clearly say that Stinger is slower and more rough. The ride looks great, but I much rather have Laser back. This ended up being our only ride on Stinger.
We headed next door to Possessed. It was down during our last visit, but I have ridden it at Geauga Lake. It was a new credit for my kids. The ride ops suggested that I take back seat. The back seat has an additional buckle designed for big guys like me. I had no trouble buckling in myself. Now my daughter loves Intiman Inverted Shuttles, but did not like Possessed. She said it was rough. To me it was just like I remembered it. The kids didn't want to ride again, so this was our only ride.
Next we went over to Steel Force. I never been a fan of Steel Force, but it was running pretty good on this visit. The return bunny hops provided some good air time, which was a surprise. We rode it 4 times and were able to poach. We rode in various seats, but our back seat was the best. I was really glad we finally caught Steel Force on a good day. I know some people rave about this coaster. I now can slightly understand.
Next we grabbed a ride on Thunderhawk. My kids grabbed the front and I sat in the 2nd seat. On our last visit this classic woodie was running great. On this visit is was very bumpy. That one ride is all we cared for.
Wild Mouse was the last coaster to conquer and the only thing we didn't walk on. We had a 7 minute wait. They have changed their loading process, which results in more 2 person trains. It's a standard Mack Wild Mouse, so 1 ride is all we wanted.
My daughter would not ride drop towers until our day with Mike at Knoebles. We all rode the new Stratosphere together. Now she was willing to try Demon Drop. I loved this ride when it was at Cedar Point. The first time I rode it I waited a hour. I'm so glad this ride was transported to Dorney. We rode it 3 times. My kids loved it as much as I do. My daughter said it was more like a rollercoaster than a drop tower. One of the first drop towers is still one of the best. Air time all the way down. Just an awesome ride.
We rode just about every adult flat. Meteor is far superior to Kennywood's Aero 360. It's faster and a longer cycle. They have a need a partner rule on Scrambler and the ride ops weren't very friendly about it. My only complaint on this visit. Sea Dragon is a Chance swinging Pirate ship. I love these rides. You will receive some air time if you ride in back. We didn't ride the Zepher train, but did ride their classic whip and got a great ride.
All in all we had a great weekend. We had fun on both days. This was most likely our last family outing of 2013. I still plan on hitting Silver Dollar City after my meetings for work next week. I'm at 297 coasters. Hopefully I'll get 300 at SLD. We've had an incredible year. I'm sure we will remember 2013 for the rest of our lives.
Thanks for reading,
Surprised they let you do any poaching. Most of the time, they would rather cycle the trains nearly or, in the case of my near end of the night Talon ride, COMPLETELY empty than let any one have a reride. I did get lucky enough to marathon Steel Force for an hour without leaving the station until they switched positions and the new ops immediately told me I had to walk around, despite the still empty station. My only annoyance with Dorney. (I would be bothered by the asinine way they load the Wild Mouse, but it is not even a good mouse, so I don't care to ride it again. Even if the line is only 7 mins long!!)
Talon's belts are a potluck. Not only are they different in each row, but train 1 has longer belts than train 2.
Hydra is a really good looking coaster on paper, but is an all around weak ride for what it looks like it could be. While I don't miss Hercules, I certainly enjoyed its prelift run to Hydra's agonizing Jo-jo roll. I did ride it 8 straight times when I was there in August, but was never offered the opportunity to stay on or poach (station was empty, of course)
Demon Drop is an amazing drop ride for the size. I would much rather ride it than either side of the S&S Dominator.
Stinger felt exactly like Two Face to me. It lumbered through the initial run, but the positive G-forces were very strong on the return run. I didn't get to ride it this year since it got stuck on lift 2 when I got there and did not reopen until the end of the night (and they closed the line early when I left Steel Force to try to ride before closing.)
Possessed does nothing for me, but it does have a good launch. Ironically, the ops did not tell me about the larger seat until my 3rd ride (the other seats were VERY tight, but I could get a strong op to buckle it, unlike Wicked Twister which were about a half an inch shorter). It must be a new addition because I have tried to ride in the back years before and gotten denied, but fit fine in the middle last year. I wonder if Wicked Twister had the set up and the ops did not feel the need to share.