The 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.
We stayed at the Allentown KOA. The facilities were fair and the staff wasn’t real helpful.
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.
One 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.
…to the classic drive-in…
…and everything in between.
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.
Even the ducks and geese enjoy the natural environment that has been maintained over time.
They also have modern rides to please even the biggest thrill seekers.
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.
Located 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.
It is cool to see Possessed sticking above the trees at various points through the park.
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.
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.
Even the Peanuts show in Planet Snoopy benefits from the brightly colored flowers that adorn the park.
The recent renovations and introduction of Planet Snoopy bring a nice sized kid’s area and everything is well themed and landscaped.
It 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.