Dorney Park PA

Dorney Park 2011The adventure with our Dorney Park trip began around 2:30 AM while heading to the campground. We found the road blocked by a large tree branch. Fortunately I was able to remove it without much fanfare and continue on.

Dorney Park 2011

We stayed at the Allentown KOA.  The facilities were fair and the staff wasn’t real helpful.

Dorney Park 2011

We headed out to Dorney Park early that morning after a few hours of sleep.  With Hurricane Irene approaching, it didn’t put a damper on our spirits even with the occasional burst of light rain.

Dorney Park 2011Dorney Park is nestled in the rolling hills of Eastern PA and has been a destination for amusement park lovers and thrill seekers since it first opened in 1884. 

Dorney Park 2011One ride clearly visible from the main gate that is sure to catch the attention of coaster lovers is the Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M) inverted coaster, Talon. Like other B & M inverted coasters, this doesn’t fail to deliver on an exceptional and smooth ride. One thing missing is the usual roar that you hear from B & M coasters. The tracks are filled with sand to help reduce the noise but doesn’t take away from the ride experience.  

Dorney Park 2011Across the midway is Wild Mouse, a standard mouse ride that is a good family coaster and sure to be a hit. For some reason, we waited longer to ride this than any other ride – about 10-15 minutes.

Dorney Park 2011There is a lot of character that can be seen around the park, from the arcade…

Dorney Park 2011

…to the classic drive-in…

Dorney Park 2011

…and everything in between.

Dorney Park 2011

The 1921 Dentzel Carousel is another classic and holds a key position at the entrance to the park that greets you and lets you know it’s going to be a great day.

Dorney Park 2011Dorney Park is well maintained and in a great location. While walking through the park you come across beautifully maintained areas when you least expect it.

Dorney Park 2011

Even the ducks and geese enjoy the natural environment that has been maintained over time.

Dorney Park 2011While some parks often remove older rides, thankfully Dorney Park has kept some of the classic rides including the Whip, a ride that has thrilled patrons since 1920.

Dorney Park 2011

They also have modern rides to please even the biggest thrill seekers.

Dorney Park 2011The park has a unique layout so the guideposts are great to help you navigate the park.

Dorney Park 2011

In 1997, a new hypercoaster designed by D.H. Morgan was opened in the park named Steel Force. At over a mile long with speeds up to 75 mph, it is a great ride for the park and the first coaster in the Eastern U.S. to break the 200 foot height. Included in the ride are two tunnels and a nice set of camel backs on the return run.

Dorney Park 2011Located beside Steel Force is a classic 1923 Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) wooden coaster called Thunderhawk. I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth and unique ride with an unexpected ejector feature around the middle of the ride. Unfortunately due to time constraints I was unable to ride this more than once.

Dorney Park 2011Located near these two coasters is the Intamin twisted impulse coaster, Possessed. This is by far the best one of these models that I have ridden. 

Dorney Park 2011

It is cool to see Possessed sticking above the trees at various points through the park.

Dorney Park 2011

The next coaster we tackled was Hydra, a B & M floorless coaster. This coaster is unique with the heartline roll immediately after leaving the station and before the lift hill. The tracks on this coaster are also filled with sand resulting in a quiet ride. With Hurricane Irene getting closer, even front row seats were a walk-on. The design of this coaster is great as it makes good use of the terrain which adds to the thrill of the ride.

Dorney Park 2011

As mentioned, it appears that the looming hurricane kept attendance way down at the park. This was a usual sight at every single ride in the park.

Dorney Park 2011

Even the Peanuts show in Planet Snoopy benefits from the brightly colored flowers that adorn the park.

Dorney Park 2011

The recent renovations and introduction of Planet Snoopy bring a nice sized kid’s area and everything is well themed and landscaped.

Dorney Park 2011It was great to ride Demon Drop again and see that the thrill lives on. I rode it when it first opened at Cedar Point in the late 1980s, and while new technologies have come out for rides, it’s always nice to see some of our memories live on.

Dorney Park is a well maintained park with a great selection of rides and I recommend that you stop by next time you are in Eastern PA. We will certainly be planning a return visit to the park in the future.

Dorney Park PA was last modified on 06/13/2015 by Rick
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