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SonofBaconator

Dorney Park?

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Am I the only one that thinks Cedar Fair should invest more into Dorney Park? I understand that they have to keep feeding the top 5 and build up CGA, but I believe Dorney has a lot of potential for success. They have a cool coaster lineup but are still inferior to Hershey Park which is just an hour away. Kanonen looks cool, (if Dorney is indeed the recipient), but I was hoping the park would get a GCI or something that isn't a hand-me-down. Dorney has the potential to be Pennsylvania's premier amusement park but they keep falling short. Thoughts?

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I agree 100%. It is my home park but it's to the point where I rarely visit other than when Wildwater Kingdom is open because I am burnt out from riding the same coasters over and over again. I'd much rather drive the extra 80 minutes round trip to Hershey or further to Great Adventure since both parks continue to add major attractions almost every year.

The GCI rumors started over 10 years ago and I have been hoping the park will still get it but after the used rides additions of Possessed, Demon Drop and Stinger and so few additions overall recently, I'm not expecting much. 2 out of the last 3 years, no new rides have been added and in that time more has been removed than the 2 flat rides added last year (Stinger, Screamin Swing, Chance Carousel, Hang Time). I also would have expected maybe a new water park addition since that is where most of the crowds are but even that has been 4 years since anything was added.

There are other small things I feel like Cedar Fair could have done to improve the park besides rides. Rather than add lots of new standard Coke dispensers that attract bees over the last 2 years and don't have many flavor choices, they could have added at least a few Freestyle machines that other Cedar Fair parks have. They could also not open so late into the season when their competition opens in March, they aren't opening until May 4th (and both Hershey and Great Adventure are open until the beginning of January). It is also other minor things like their being 3 season pass preview days on the calendar this year, one before opening day and 2 for the water park the weekend before Memorial Day. One by one, all 3 were removed. I know it's not the worst thing but it just adds to the frustration to look forward to those days and see them removed in addition to everything else.

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It always seemed weird to me that CF would invest in such big rides like Steel Force, Talon, and Hydra in somewhat even intervals in terms of the time span, and then just stop altogether with anything substantial aside from 3 re-locations, one of which is currently getting recycled.   

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Well, it's also strange because, as weird as some of Six Flags' practices are, they still throw their small parks some bones a bit more often then Cedar Fair does for parks like Dorney, WOF, Valleyfair, and MIA.   Heck, SIX is even starting to pay attention more to La Ronde and SFM now.   Great Escape even got a new flat this year. 

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17 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Well, it's also strange because, as weird as some of Six Flags' practices are, they still throw their small parks some bones a bit more often then Cedar Fair does for parks like Dorney, WOF, Valleyfair, and MIA.   Heck, SIX is even starting to pay attention more to La Ronde and SFM now.   Great Escape even got a new flat this year. 

I'm sure Dorney park fans would love a 4d free spin or even a larson loop at this point. What say you @VekomaRulz?

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I think a Larson Loop is too similar to Meteor (Zamperla Hawk). I wouldn't want a Free Spin because I don't like the ride itself (it makes me dizzy and disoriented) but since they are popular, many visitors would probably like it. If not a GCI or Kanonen, my next choice would be a small RMC wooden or hybrid coaster or the RMC Raptor. The low capacity would be ok at a park like Dorney for a Raptor.

I haven't seen guards in the queue lines for years but most of the time, they aren't needed with lines not much past the coaster stations many days.

 

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I still think that Dorney should get some work done in attempt to capture some of the eastern market. I'm no analyst, and I'm sure Cedar Fair has done their homework, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't potential for growth for that park- even as a regional park. It's one of two Cedar Fair parks in the east, and with its "close" proximity to Six Flags properties, it would be an awesome opportunity to really show the Cedar Fair brand in that region of the country- even if growth means more hand-me-down rides. 

If it was up to me, I'd focus on theming parts of the park to Pennsylvania, focusing more on Philadelphia given its hour proximity to the city. 

Things I think the park should get in order to grow

  • A new wooden coaster from GCI
  • An expansion in the western section of the park
  • Re-theming in certain parts to reflect upon local heritage

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Last time I was at Dorney Park was 2006.  I love Talon.  Hydra and Steel Force are decent but I rather go to Hershey, SFGAd, or Knoebels before I go to Dorney.  Unfortunately, Dorney is surrounded by parks that have great coasters such as El Toro, Phoenix and Skyrush.  What they need is a stand out coaster from these places but I doubt CF will invest in Dorney Park when their focus is else where such as Kings Island, Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point and Carowinds.

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I have often wanted to travel to PA to visit Hersheypark and Dorney. Still haven't made it, but Dorney looks pretty good for a smaller scale park. It does seem to be the step-child of the chain. At least Mia gets water park additions somewhat regularly. I also agree that they should take a step forward with Dorney in making their presence known in the PA area. 

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To me, Dorney is a very niche park.  It is sightly cheaper than Hersheypark and NJFTP and has a more modern ride collection than Knoebels.  I found it one of the more relaxing parks I've been to, even over HP, so its not like they're completely irrelevant.  Its the kind of park where if you're in the area, have some extra time and a Platinum Pass, go and indulge, but its also slightly forgettable for those reasons as well.  

I do side with most Dorney fans in that they should get a GCI next in the space once occupied by Laser.  Any sort of attention to the area around Steel Force would be welcome.  Most of the crowds stayed near the front.  After you got passed Dominator, they dropped of exponentially.   For example, Talon and Hydra had decent waits while Possessed and Steel Force were walk ons.  

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Philadelphians can get to Six Flags Great Adventure in about an hour which is around the same time they can get to Dorney Park.  It makes me wonder if Cedar Fair is wondering what to do with this park in terms of investments. They're competing with Hershey Park and Great Adventure which I'm sure is hurting their attendance. With Kings Dominion competing with BGW, it makes me wonder if Cedar Fair has a good market in the eastern US. The company's main dominance lies in the Midwest, Canada, the Southeast, with the West Coast showing promise. I wonder if Cedar Fair will try to compete in the eastern market in the future or cut their losses and continue to focus more on their other markets.  

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I don`t think that they will be cutting their losses.  It is likely similar to Michigan`s Adventure.  I am sure they are getting a return on their capital with those parks, and likely getting a nice operating profit.  Just because they have not been expanding those parks does not mean they are not profitable.

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