6/19/10

Share the experiences of your latest trip to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

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6/19/10

Postby phillydude » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:22 pm

Got to the parking lot around 11am... more crowded than last week, but still manageable. My younger son wore running shoes, and a stop at Ride Services gave him the 54" wristband so he could do everything in the parks. Since it was so hot, the boys wanted to go to the wave pool right away, so we made the right inside the gates, and once I got a lounge chair (under an umbrella) and applied their sunscreen, they were off to splash around for a half-hour while I went to get the tickets for the Backyard BBQ and to pick up one of those Snoopy refillable bottles (which I took right back to the car, not wanting to haul around two mugs all day long). I met back up with them and convinced them to wait in line for the lazy river with me. Took about 20 minutes to get on, but since the ride can take 10-15 minutes to complete, I considered it a fair trade-off. The lines for all the slides were very long, however, so we ducked out and back into the park for some ride time.

First up was Hydra, my younger son's first time (and as always, a walk-on). He didn't like the first corkscrew coming out of the station but the rest was fine. After that, we headed back towards Steel Force to placate my older son (that's his favorite ride, even though I don't care for the lift hill). While he was riding the coaster, my younger son and I rode Revolution. It took a LONG time to load because there was a woman who barely fit into the seat, and it required three tries to get her overhead restraint to fasten (each time it didn't, the entire safety check process had to be restarted). By the time we got underway, my older son was back from SF, so we waited while he got a ride in. We skipped Thunderhawk and Possessed this trip, and Monster was not running at that time, so we headed up to grab a quick snack at Just Tacos, splitting an order of nachos since we were planning on a big dinner.

My older son and I then rode Meteor for the first time... which was a lot of fun. On a day when the park is less crowded, we're definitely going to power-ride that and try to get some first row action. As it was, we sat across from each other in the middle and laughed the whole time at the faces we were making. By this point, we were getting hot again, and seeing that the crowds were starting to head into DP, we went back through WWK (lines were still long for everything except the Speed Slide, so the boys took a turn on that) and then we went to the wave pool in the back corner. I'm not a big fan of the wave pools as I am convinced we're swimming in a puddle of pee, but it was hot enough that I didn't care and got in with them for a few minutes. But the wave cycle shut off within a few minutes of starting, so we were out and working our way over to Thunder Canyon pretty quickly. Surprisingly there was no line, and we were a walk-on for that (a first) and got sufficiently drenched to make us happy.

On the way from there, we stopped off at Talon, and I was impressed (as always) at the efficiency of the ride crew there... even though there was a bit of a line, it kept moving, we were boarded, crosschecked, and dispatched in a brisk manner. My younger son is planning to ride that next time we go. At this point, it was about 3pm, and we had a few hours to kill before dinner, so we decided to ride the "carnival"-type rides in the middle of the park and play a few games. Musik Express, Tilt-A-Whirl, Enterprise, Sea Dragon, Apollo, and Monster took the better part of an hour to complete, with usually only a one cycle wait to get a seat. We did run into a few line-jumpers at that part of the park, however, and despite my notification of the ride attendant in each case, and in one instance specifically asking for them to call security (when I spoke to the person who was moving past us to catch up with their group, they replied with foul language), I got no response from anyone in authority about my complaints.

My older son wanted a Domo, and based on someone's DPO post, we decided to play Raging Waters to try and win one. By waiting patiently until we got in a game with the right number of people, we were able to win twice in a row at the XL level, and traded up to get the "choice" size (which is not the largest Domo in the park... you have to win something like the milk cans to get the really big one). That's one kid down, one to go (he wants a set of smurfs) for the prizes this year. We were getting really hungry, and with a half hour before dinner, we decided to head up to the Good Time Grove early, and it was a good thing as there were probably 100 people already in line. I was dreading the scene which I anticipated would come when they started serving the food, but I was amazed that the park handled it very well... no delays once the gates opened, and the food was plentiful and ready to go. I guess DP has enough experience feeding large groups at specific times to make it go smoothly... but I bet it didn't hurt that there was a guy who definitely had the look and demeanor of a senior manager making sure that all was well.

I tell you... for $9.99, you can really load up on the food at the Backyard BBQ. I made myself a quadruple cheeseburger as an "appetizer" and then served myself an eight-piece fried chicken dinner with macaroni salad as a entree. Followed that up with a couple ice cream sandwiches and of course, a diet soda. The kids contentedly ate chicken drumsticks, hot dogs and hamburgers, and plenty of ice cream. To top it off, someone was having a birthday party, and in addition to an appearance by Snoopy himself (never saw him around the park before) they family was kind enough to offer everyone in attendance a piece of cake (yes, it was a big cake!). All in all... the Backyard BBQ is a tremendous value, and from the crowd, it seems like it's catching on. I'd love to set up a "competitive eating"-type event there... I know my buddies could do some serious damage at a buffet like that.

Fully stuffed, we decided to delay any "thrill" rides (lest we have a digestive malfunction) and ride the Ferris Wheel, which was a first for all of us. With my fear of heights, I wasn't looking forward to it, but the gondola cars were better than the tradition bench seats in that at least my feet were on solid ground. After that, we went over to show, which was called "Rush" if I recall correctly, featuring the Dorney Park Singers and Dancers. A short review: Not bad, but not great. Highly predictable at points, and surprising in others. Break dancers were very good, two of the three guys were decent performers (my older son blurted out "Epic Fail" when they tried to do a Green Day number in a jazz-rock style, and my younger son wanted to know why they changed the lyrics to American Idiot to take out the "F" word), and the ladies ranged from very good to highly questionable in terms of looks and talent. Spoiler alert: the show ends with a Michael Jackson tribute medley (insert your opinion here).

As darkness fell, we decided to ride Hydra once more and called it a night. We were out of the park by 9pm and on our way, even though there were still people coming in (???). I definitely noticed that the park was much more crowded than last week, and the crowd was a little rougher and disorderly than last week, but still it was tolerable and we got a lot done in our day. Next trip will be Monday 6/28, when we're planning to take full advantage of the weekday (we hope the crowds will be light) to power-ride the slides at WWK, and to do some new things... the ice show is supposed to be open, and we're hoping for Demon Drop (we've never ridden Dominator, so we're going to try and do all of the towers). We realized we've still never ridden the old log flume either, so both the splash rides will also be on the agenda. Good times.
How would you feel if you had a plate of fresh hand-cut french fries and wanted ketchup but instead I threw a dog turd on top of them and said, "It's better than nothing?" - modernphoenixv2

People have to eat. - Dick Kinzel
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby MozzMarr86 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:41 pm

You should have just published this and made money off of it!
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby PepsiFan01 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:48 pm

Sounds like you had a great time! Yes, people still come in at 9 sometimes. They tend to stand there for a bit debating if it is worth it and they always pay in the end, haha. Off topic, when the Park closes at 7:30 (or 8 now I believe it is) in August those last two weeks, you should see the crowds that show up right at closing, not realizing the Park is closing early, and thinking they have several hours left!
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby dorneydude » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:12 am

Yea, who'd expect a park to close at 8pm mid August!
---the ORIGINAL DorneyDude
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby dorneydude » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:17 am

Re:
We did run into a few line-jumpers at that part of the park, however, and despite my notification of the ride attendant in each case, and in one instance specifically asking for them to call security (when I spoke to the person who was moving past us to catch up with their group, they replied with foul language), I got no response from anyone in authority about my complaints.


Based on your comments on the buffet, I assume you are a pretty big and intimidating guy. The fact that they line jumped you AND cursed you out makes you wonder what kind of nuts they let in the park. I am not surprise the attendants refused to call security. I expereinced that many times at WWK. I think they are too intimidated themselves or as I had been told in the past, security won't come anyway and in reality they are not kicking anyone on a buss out of the park. I'd love to know the stats on how many are 'removed' each day.

Yoshi, how does the behavior at DP rate against GA? I already know HP is waaaaaaaaaay more laid back, less vulgar etc etc.
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby dp45879 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:39 am

Hershey is loads better than dorney. I almost never hear a curse word at Hershey, but when I'm at dorney, I'm sure to hear at least a few 'F bombs' dropped.
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:07 pm

Great Adventure has a slightly rougher crowd, early in the season it isn't bad but I guess summer weekends like Dorney are when the worst crowds show up and Saturdays and maybe Sundays during Frightfest. I don't go to the park much in July and August.

As much as I hate wwk's shorter hours (I am going to miss the 8:00 weekday closings) and earlier closings in August it is still bad at Great Adventure. For the 2nd week in a row they cut back hours to 8:00 closings and also decided not to open the waterpark this week despite it being scheduled to be open. They also were only open until 6 for May and part of June when on the same days Dorney was open, they were open until 8.
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby N_Dub04Gli » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:01 pm

dp45879 wrote:Hershey is loads better than dorney. I almost never hear a curse word at Hershey, but when I'm at dorney, I'm sure to hear at least a few 'F bombs' dropped.


Isn't this the truth. I wish we could convert the DP crowd to these type of people. I love Hershey... I wish it were less than 45 minutes from home too!
2015... My year off from Dorney. C'mon Cedar Fair, you are losing me...
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Re: 6/19/10

Postby Yoshi » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:52 pm

If it was less than an hour from me I would have a season pass to Hershey. It takes about an hour and 45 minutes so it's a once a year trip for me.
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