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Quick Thoughts on an Evening Dorney Park Visit - August 2014

drachen drachen Profile

Posted:
8/14/14 at
1:35:27 PM

I stopped briefly at Dorney Park early last season to process my Platinum Pass. Before that, I hadn't been since 2010. So, in actuality, before last evening, it had been about 4 years since I last enjoyed the park - one that I really like. Here are my quick thoughts on the evening.

- With the fantastic deal on tickets, I brought my 48" daughter with me. You can't beat $13 for admission. She hasn't been to the park since she was 1 year old. After last night, she's a huge Dorney Park fan.

- We arrived at 7pm, and enjoyed 3 hours in the park - perfect evening weather with minimal crowds. I'm sure I'll get there at least once more for another evening trip before the season is over.

- We ate at Chickie's and Pete's - got a chicken cheesesteak and fries of course. It's expensive, but I love the fries more and more each time I get them.

- In the past, Dorney has been about the big rides for me, and I do enjoy their coaster collection. But last night, I was able to enjoy the rest of the park - which is terribly underrated.

- Dorney has a fantastic collection of old rides, including the carousel, Whip, Monster, Scrambler, cars, Zephyr, Apollo, and Enterprise, among others.

- And despite the significant change in elevation, they have one of my favorite park layouts, with some of the best ride placement I've come across. Dorney is very photogenic.

- We rode the following rides, in this order: Carousel, Thunder Creek Mountain, Demon Drop, Apollo, Dominator - Space Shot, Steel Force (2), Thunderhawk, Zephyr, and Dominator - Turbo Drop (2).

- I appreciate that the Antique Carousel uses a real organ. But the woodworking needs some... well, work. Many of the horses' paint was rubbing completely off. I admire parks for putting up with these old rides. As old and as valuable as they are, they sure take a lot of abuse from a general public that just doesn't understand how valuable they are.

- I'll say it again, Thunder Creek Mountain has the best drop on any flume I've ridden. It's so long and really unnerving. One of my favorites.

- I love Demon Drop for several reasons. I appreciate that Dorney took it off of Cedar Point's hands. It's the last of its kind, at least in the U.S., and it's so fun. My kid loved it too - proud dad moment #1.

- After my first visit to Cedar Point in 1997, it started to notice all of the ways Dorney reminds me of the mother-ship. Demon Drop helps with that - so does Steel Force, Dominator, and Hydra, among other things.

- I was excited to ride Apollo again for the first time in at least 15 years - especially after riding Knoebels' Downdraft the day before. While I prefer the latter, I like the former very much too.

- Proud dad moment #2. We rode Dominator. Fresh off Demon Drop and Knoebels' Atmosfear the day before, I thought I'd introduce my daughter to the Space Shot ride. She loved it, and impressed me by saying "It's like a big Frog Hopper". An astute observation from a 6 year-old.

- Proud dad moment #4 - Steel Force. My arm was being squeezed very tightly as we crested and descended the first hill, Upon exiting the tunnel, she let go and threw her arms in the air like a champ - not bad for someone who got on by just a hair. Upon hitting the brakes, she looked at me and said, "Again!". So, we did.

- Proud dad moment #3. On the way to Steel Force (via the Possessed midway), my daughter says "They have a wooden roller coaster, Daddy? Can we ride it?" That's my girl.

- After Steel Force we get a front seat, empty train ride on Thunderhawk, making sure her seat belt was TIGHT. The pop of air on the first incline wasn't as pronounced last night - probably due to the empty train. The second pop of air was certainly there, as were all of the great head chopping turns.

- I had to take a ride on the Zephyr. Again, we were the only ones on the train, as we rode in the back. The ride is great at night, especially along the creek. I hope they park develops the area behind Stinger a little more over the next few years, as rolling through Halloween storage isn't the the most scenic thing. Still, the Zephyr is a must ride for me - always has been.

- We had 5 minutes until 10pm, and I asked my girl, which would be her last ride. She said the drop ride, so we walked to Dominator - Turbo Drop this time. I love the view from that ride - so much to see in any direction. The ride op let us ride again too, as it was the last ride of the night.

- Disappointed to see so many food stands and shops closed as we headed toward the exit. We were looking to spend some money, and there weren't many places to take it (I'm talking to you, Philly Pretzel stand). The restrooms next door were closed too. I guess I understand that logic.

- All in all, it was nice to be back to Dorney. I think I prefer it to any of the other parks in PA outside of Knoebels and Kennywood.

- It's still hard for me to look past removing the classic Laser coaster in favor of the maintenance nightmare that has been Stinger. But they are one wooden coaster way from having a pretty much perfect coaster line-up.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Quick Thoughts on an Evening Dorney Park Visit - August 2014 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/15/14 8:48:18 AM
Thanks for the TR. Sounds like you and your daughter had a nice evening at Dorney. Heartwarming 'proud dad moments' :) I agree that Stinger is a maintenance nightmare; It was the only coaster down during all of my July park trips.
Re: Quick Thoughts on an Evening Dorney Park Visit - August 2014 by drachen drachen Profile at 8/16/14 11:25:14 AM
Overbanked said:

Thanks for the TR. Sounds like you and your daughter had a nice evening at Dorney. Heartwarming 'proud dad moments' :) I agree that Stinger is a maintenance nightmare; It was the only coaster down during all of my July park trips.

Thanks OB. It was a very nice evening.

I actually enjoy the Vekoma Inverted Boomerangs. They are very smooth and pretty fun to ride - similar by different to the regular ones.

In addition, Stinger really looks sharp where it's located, and I'm sure it will be part of a growing park area moving forward.

It ran pretty consistently last year. Something major must have happened this year, as it's been down since late May/early June.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Quick Thoughts on an Evening Dorney Park Visit - August 2014 by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 8/18/14 11:42:16 AM
That was one of my favorite TR's to read to date. Felt like I was there and it just makes me want to have kids someday even more.

Thanks for sharing, and now I need to get to Dorney before it's too late! haha

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv