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7/28 Dorney Park

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While all the coaster fans were lining up to hear the announcement of Mystic Timbers I had to work.  As usual.  So Teterboro NJ, 10 am till noon the next day.  Hmmm, what's close I haven't been to?  Dorney Park, just 90 some odd miles down the road!  I changed in the plane and hit the ground running!


After a fun filled trip down the NJTP (cash only, please) and I-78 I arrived at the park at 12:30. I exited off I-78 at PA222 and immediately saw Stinger, Possessed and Steel Force to my left.      Scanning my pass/security/entering the park was a non event.  I might mention it was hot, 90 degrees plus so the far majority of patrons were at the waterpark, not the dry park.


I didn't really have any clue of where I was going upon entering so I went to the first coaster I saw, Talon.  Walking through the queue brought me to the station where I saw the ride was a walk on.  I got in line for the back seat and asked the attendant which side was better; he said the left, so I chose the left.  Neat B&M Invert.  Similiar, yet shorter than Silver Bullet.  Sitting on the left brought me very close to the ground in the final helix.  Good ride.


On the lift hill I spotted Hydra, The Revenge so I headed there next.  Hydra is a B & M Floorless with an unusual feature, Its first inversion (heartline roll) occurs right out of the station, prior to the lift hill.  It was a walk on as well.  I first rode in back then came back to wait one train for the front.    Hydra is a well paced invert that doesn't have the abruptness of Rougarou, Scream or Bizarro.  Probably my new favorite floorless.   On the way out I noticed Dorney has some really cool T-Shirts (Tie Dye) for their coasters.


I spotted Demon Drop and had to ride.  My wife had a bad experience with Demon Drop in high school when it was at CP so I had to ride and send texts to her.  She still doesn't like it after my ribbing.  I rode by myself and while I'm not fan of heights I found it pretty neat.  I remember thinking right before the drop (no warning), this really isn't too high!.  After the drop the elevator sort of crashes it way back to the lower level for loading/unloading; that was the most uncomfortable park of the ride. 


I then headed to Thunderhawk, a coaster first built in 1923 (as the Coaster).  As I walked up the queue I realized it was completely empty. At first I thought the ride was closed, but no, it was open but no one was riding.  I sat down in the front seat and someone else got in one of the back seats and off we went.  It was a pretty good woodie, not GCI or RMC level but still a good coaster.  Even though the queue only had 3 people in it when I got back they made me exit and re enter the queue to ride again.  Good, front or back!


Next up was Steel Force.  I'm not a fan of Magnum so when I saw the paint and the layout I was somewhat leery.  I walked on to the back seat.  The girl in front of me changed seats so her hair wouldn't be in my face.  Thanks. I appeciate that.   I can say I really liked this ride.  Morgan really improved on the design!.  The midcourse brake prior to the bunny hops make all the difference!


I elected to ride again in the front and was paired with a handicapped man who was a wealth of knowledge about Dorney Park and roller coasters in general.  He told me he prefers Hershey because its cheaper but he said Dorney's handicap policy was better. The ride attendants let me ride down the elevator with my new friend (a first for me) and we chatted for about 15 minutes after.  His goal was to get to Cedar Point and ride everything.  Tim, I hope you get your wish and I hope my pictures whetted your appetite even more!


Stinger was next.  Normally I skip clones of KI rides (kinda been there, done that) but there was no line, so what the hell. I ended up across from a boy who had a Gatekeeper shirt who also knew a ton about roller coasters.  Interestingly, on this ride they made me leave my sunglasses in the station during the ride.  The boy, who never told me his name, told me Stinger was smoother than Invertigo.  After riding I have to agree.  Much less head banging and it did seem smoother.  I took a bunch of pictures to try to compare the two.  It does seem in the Cobra Roll there is less track between the corkscrews on Stinger, so maybe that's it. Or additional bracing in the loop, who knows?   The boy did ask me why I wasn't at KI for the big announcement. (Grrrr!)  He seemed disappointed that Dorney rarely gets anything new but KI and CP are always getting something new.  I had to agree but we both were happy our home park isn't Worlds of Fun or Michigan Adventure! ( He did seem to think the wing coaster track at CSF is for Worlds of Fun, and launched at that. He knew a ton!)


Possessed was next and was a walk on as well.  I expected a similar ride to Wicked Twister and for the most part I was right.  The difference is the reverse spike is straight and on the third time up there is a brake that grabs you just for a split second before dropping you again. A sweet little surprise that really changes the ride experience.  I had to ride again just to experience it again.


I stopped at the Monster Cafe for lunch and being close to Philly, I figured a Philly cheese steak would be good.  Mmmm, not so much.  While the sandwich was huge it had no onions, peppers and only  a tiny bit of cheese and had no real flavor.  Fries were standard Cedar Fair, so not good.  Seriously considering dropping the meal plan for next year.  Food doesn't seem to be Cedar Fair's forte.


The Whip was recommended, so I headed there after lunch.  It is the same ride as Kings Island's whip, except its adult sized!  A neat classic flat ride.  Glad I took the time to ride.


I then rode the Apollo, a spinny flat which was a lot of fun.  


At that point the rain and lightning began.  I figured it was time to make my exit.  I stopped at a gift shop and bought a few t shirts and a couple other trinkets.  I chatted with the supervisor while I waited for the rain to let up.  He asked me what I thought the new KI ride would be (got CGI Woodie, but missed the name) and what I thought of Dorney. (Liked it a lot!)


A few observations about Dorney,  their ride signs are univerally excellent.  Everything had at least a 2D rendering of the name and logo, even the flats.  I liked the effort and it says something about the pride they have in their rides (even the hand me downs)   The logos were all distinctive and translated well onto mechandise. (Which I bought more than I planned).


Secondly the majority of the associates were foreigners.  It just surprised me but perhaps shouldn't have.  If I was coming to the US to work I would rather be 1 1/2 hours from the airport that takes me home rather that 1 1/2 from an airport that takes me to another airport to take me home.  All associates I encountered were very friendly and spoke English well. 


I highly recommend Dorney.  Its not a big park but its rides are impressive and its coasters distinctive. 



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