Old Dorney Dark Rides

General talk about Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom including the latest news and rumors.

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Re: Gold Mine

Postby DorneyDante » Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:24 pm

rwk wrote:Why couldn't they open the Gold Mine during the summer? Are the crowds a lot worse now than in the 1980's? Is that why there's no dark rides, and why the old ones were removed, because of the 'wrong' crowds? like a lot of inner city youths, etc. that would be likely candidates to vandalize a dark ride. also, zuckuss1 are all the tunnels still in there intact, and the suspension bridge and rotating tunnel and jail room? And, zuckuss1 did you ride the Bucket O' Blood in early 80's, and if you did can you describe the interior a bit in more detail, I kind of forgot some of it after 20 years. I do remember the rotating tunnel in the beginning. Parks like Knoebels and Playland, Rye, NY keep their dark rides, but Dorney loses all of theirs. What does Cedar Fair have against permanent dark rides? They even got rid of the Pirate Ride at Cedar Point and Haunted Shack at Knott's in California.

You have a tendency to repeat the same ideas/points over and over again in different threads. Most of us here get the point by now, just giving you a heads up that you don't need to constantly repeat the same stuff.

Also, from what I can remember, when they changed it to the meteorite they painted the exterior all black to resemble moon rocks or something of that sort from space. They also had fluorescent strobe lights like ones you'd see at a club flashing while the ride operated. I also remember them playing music too. The theming from the original Iceberg like the cold air and the polar bears and penguins that decoarted the facade and the scene they had of arctic life (i think it was polar bears with icebergs in the background) near the queue were all taken away when they changed it to the meteorite. I know lots of people who don't remember the meteorite because it only operated as the meteorite for a season or 2 b4 it was finally taken away. Finally, to comment on the dark ride thing and why CF doesn't like them. I think it has more to do with safety and insurnace and being able to safely watch guests at all times. What sparked this thought for me was the musik express. I remember the musik express used to be semi enclosed. Today, it sits totally open. There is only one reason why they took that back wall down and that is so they can see all the guests. Thus, my opinion on why CF doesn't like dark rides. Its a logical suggestion.
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Postby dptalon135 » Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:35 pm

I also agree with DorneyDante, that Cedar Fair, and most parks in general, stay away from the dark rides, and especially walk through haunted houses because of safety. There are a lot of various, bad things guests could do in attraction of that type. However, I would be very interested in seeing the inside of Gold Mine. It's really odd every time I walk by there now, wondering about what once was down there, and what still is there that we have no idea about.
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Postby rwk » Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:07 pm

Thanks for clearing that up for me, I get the point now why dark rides disappeared, I saw a show on TV called Fun House and its all about dark rides and fun houses, they show the Kennywood ones, and Knoebels and Bushkill Park Haunted Pretzel. The fun house basically disappeared because of insurance reasons, people are more sue-happy today than in the 1920's to 1950's. And dark rides are a fire hazard with the wooden construction and electric rail on the floor, I'm suprised Knoebel's Haunted Mansion lasted this long. George who runs the Zephyr told me why they removed the Thunderhawk building, fire hazard. But, what happened to the Skooters? Bumper cars. They were Lusse like Knoebel's. Are they in storage? I know why there's security guards all over the haunted houses at HalloWeekends, safety and security. There's always troublemakers around, and they don't want to take a chance. I read on another forum that dark rides are a big vandalism problem, people, usually teens would get out of the cars or vandalize props. That's why Cedar Point closed their old dark ride, Pirate Ride and put an arcade there. I was at Cedar Point several years ago and rode the Pirate Ride. I'm glad I did, since it was removed. Of all the Eastern PA parks currently operating, only Hershey and Dorney lack dark rides, but they used to have them, Hershey's were all gone by the mid-70's, whereas Dorney's lasted into the 90's before being removed. Here is the Hershey dark ride article. http://www.laffinthedark.com/articles/h ... ershey.htm Paramount Parks has the Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion at some of it's parks, maybe they're more tolerant of dark rides.

Walkthrough Mine

Postby JtotheMurphy » Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:42 pm

I was lucky enough to be able to walk through the old remnants of the Haunted Mine or whatever its name was, about four years ago I was a Group Lead in Wildwater Kingdom and in charge of stands like Mariner's Munchies and Typhoon Treats. Before Wildwater Kingdom was opened we started some shifts in the Cheesesteak and Chicken and Shrimp stands that are currently occupying the building formerly used for the dark ride. The manager took me off to the side (mostly because we were red shirts and has the ability to waste time) and told me there was something interesting they wanted me to see. She took me along this long corridor that connects the two food stands and turned left right before approaching the enterance to the Cheesesteak portion of the building. There before us was a white door. When she opened it I was struck with a bitter cold and looked deep into the emptiness before me. At this point, I got all excited because I remembered exactly what I was about to see. One of us had a lighter and we walked through some of the passageways. Along the way we noticed (actually I did, considering she had seen the props on numerous occasions) skeletons, the tunnel, chains, and other props. Scenes are left nearly intact at portions of the walkthrough. Due to the lighter only allowing so much light, we hurried back out after starting to get a little scared. Basically, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Oh yeah, I don't really want to get into it, but supposively there are serveral accounts of ghosts being seen in this building since the 70's. I remember seeing a discussion at one point on a website that is now closed down.

Postby rwk » Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:16 pm

If you ever get down to Ocean City, MD there's a ride through haunted house on the boardwalk, it's a classic, built in the 1960's. It's quite long, too about 15-20 min ride. Also there's a walk through like the Gold Mine called Pirate's Cove, yes that is what the Dorney pretzel dark ride was called in the 1960's before it was known as Bucket O' Blood in the 70's/80's. It has the pirate on top. It has dark corridors, the rotating tunnel, various creepy scenes, a tilted room, a jail room with strobe light. All those dark rides at Dorney and Ocean City were built or revamped by Bill Tracy of Amusement Display Associates of Cape May, NJ. He also did dark rides in Wildwood, NJ in the 60's but most are gone except carnival types. Here is a page that explains the origins of the dark rides at Dorney Park and the demise of them. http://www.ot.com/skew/ten/btracy.html Bill Tracy died in the early 70's and his company went defunct so any 1960's dark rides by him are priceless and irreplaceable. http://www.laffinthedark.com has articles about existing Bill Tracy dark rides like Whacky Shack ride through and Pirate's Cove walk through at Waldameer Park, Erie, PA. Now that's a park that knows how to preserve dark rides. But, 300 miles from Allentown? Quite a long drive. Knoebels is a lot closer, 70 miles. And Bushkill is even closer. Another park, Williams Grove has a dark ride and fun house and wooden coaster, it's a nice traditional park. It's 20 miles sw of Harrisburg. I read somewhere there are 5 traditional pretzel type dark rides left in PA. The ones you ride through in carts crashing into double doors on an electric rail. The Pretzel Dark Ride Company of Bridgeton, NJ closed in 1979. They were the ones who originally made most of the permanent dark rides. So, how can other parks like Knoebels, Kennywood, Waldameer, etc. tolerate and preserve dark rides but CF eliminates them? Is it that family run parks are not as strict as corporate run parks and will permit dark rides at their parks? I'd give an arm for Dorney to have a dark ride like this http://community.webshots.com/photo/406 ... 7821yBIpgX (1970 Bill Tracy) or this http://community.webshots.com/photo/944 ... 8740rxEvcB (Sally dark ride) but I know it will never happen with CF in charge. CF is too much into 'big' rides.

Postby rwk » Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:32 am

Here is a page discussing defunct dark rides link They mention Dorney's

**Edited by dptalon135: link format fixed**

Postby rwk » Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:59 am

All right, here is one more post.

Parks with/without dark rides in PA

Bushkill Park, Easton YES
Dorney Park NO
Hershey Park NO
Knoebel's YES
Williams Grove YES
Kennywood YES
Waldameer YES

Why is it that all those other parks still have dark rides but Dorney and Hershey got rid of their classic dark rides. Hershey did have dark rides, an old mill like Journey that was destroyed in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes, and a pretzel dark ride that was removed in 1975. Is the management at a park like Knoebel's or Waldameer different than the management at a park like Dorney and Hershey? What's the difference between corporate companies like Cedar Fair and family owners like Dick Knoebel? When Dorney was family owned, it was more like Knoebel's. Now, under Cedar Fair it's more like Cedar Point or Six Flags. Oh, Six Flags in NJ has dark rides, Skull Mountain, and Houdini's House. They're probably up to code, and have plenty of fire extinguishers and employees inside to keep guests in line with all the rough crowds Six Flags gets. Oh, anyone remember the Haunted Castle fire at Six Flags Great Adventure in May 1984? That event basically killed a lot of dark rides along Jersey Shore, some were shut down like a couple walk throughs in Seaside and Wildwood. Wildwood had it's own share of dark ride fires and removals, in fall 1984 2 dark rides and a fun house burned down on a pier, and in 2002 Castle Dracula walk through and boat ride burned down due to vandalism, break in, two teen males lighting matches for 'kicks'. The Six Flags fire killed 8 kids, not good. The building and fire codes for enclosed attractions like dark rides and haunted houses got a lot stricter after that. Dorney's pretzel dark ride Bucket O' Blood burned down before Six Flags did in Sept 1983. That was an accident related to the carousel fire, it started in a Mexican food stand in front of the carousel, apparently a stove was left on because the park was closed for the season. The original antique carousel that burned was located in the Dominator area.
This is the last post about this, promise.
Last edited by rwk on Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Postby DorneyDante » Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:46 am

*le sigh
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Postby DrNickRiviera995 » Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:24 pm



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