5/12/13 Photo TR

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

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5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby Yoshi » Wed May 15, 2013 9:29 pm

I wasn't expecting to go to Dorney Sunday but since I happened to be in Allentown, I went over to the park for 2 hours.

The first change I saw was there is now a bag check at the entrance before the turnstyles to enter the park. Hopefully when it is busier, they have multiple tables for the back check set up since there was only 1 table when I was there which was fine for the low crowds.

None of the rides in the park had any wait except Wild Mouse at around 15 minutes and Road Rally also at around 15 minutes. That same Wild Mouse wait at The Dark Knight would have been less than 5 minutes. Talon, Hydra and Steel Force all had 2 trains running.

Talon was first, it's still my favorite coaster at the park. I really like that drop in the middle of the ride that goes to the really banked turn before the corkscrew and then the almost 90 degree helix after that.

I didn't feel like riding Hydra so went to the Turbo Drop side of Dominator which is probably my favorite non coaster ride in the park. I walked past Demon Drop that I haven't ridden since 2010 since I didn't feel like dealing with how painful the ride is and went to Possessed.

I wasn't sure about Stinger which is probably the scariest coaster I have ridden but for the wrong reasons. I find it scary knowing you are taking a chance every time you ride the coaster if it will get stuck on the lift hill for hours, or miss the catch car on the second lift and valley. I also saw a scissors lift under the second lift which I can't remember if it was there last year or not and wonder if it is used to when they have to evacuate the riders from the lift hill or for maintenance. I went for 1 ride in the last row and it wasn't as rough as I remembered from last year but 1 ride was enough.

Steel Force was next, although I'd take Nitro over Steel Force any day, it's still a fun ride. From Steel Force I saw the Go Karts were covered with tarps.

Thunderhawk had a mostly empty station so I went to the last car, middle row so I could get a non wheel seat. After riding Rolling Thunder also in a non wheel seat 3 days before this, I actually think Rolling Thunder was slightly smoother. The slam into the final brakes on Thunderhawk wasn't good either. It will probably be a coaster that I skip on a lot of visits to the park this season.

Hydra still has the rattling the entire ride. Like the Thunderhawk vs. Rolling Thunder comparison, Bizarro is way better than Hydra in every way.

I finished the trip with 2 more rides at Talon.

Without WWK open, I find it difficult to spend more than a few hours there especially since other than Talon and Steel Force, there aren't any coasters I really care about riding more than once per trip.

On the way out, I saw a kid crying because they were too short for the Wild Mouse. After Dorney has added 2 coasters with a 54" height requirement, and then 2 with a 52" height requirement I think they need a coaster with a lower height requirement like 42" since anyone under 44" only can ride Woodstock's Express.

For some reason the pictures aren't displaying properly here, they are only showing half the picture in some cases. To see the pictures that I originally had in this post, you can see them in the same report I posted on Great Adventure History:
http://www.greatadventurehistory.com/Fo ... topic=3626
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby djw44 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:57 am

Nice photo report. They really need to repaint the supports on White Water Landing. They should paint them brown like they did Snake River Falls at Cedar Point. It makes the ride look so much better.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby Yoshi » Thu May 16, 2013 11:18 pm

Thanks

I looked up a picture of Snake River Falls and it does look nice with that paint.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby rotlex » Sat May 18, 2013 7:49 am

Yoshi wrote:On the way out, I saw a kid crying because they were too short for the Wild Mouse. After Dorney has added 2 coasters with a 54" height requirement, and then 2 with a 52" height requirement I think they need a coaster with a lower height requirement like 42" since anyone under 44" only can ride Woodstock's Express.


This is going to be very difficult for us this year. We were there last night, and my son, now 44", was able to ride the wild mouse. While he really enjoyed it, he was very upset he couldn't ride even Thunderhawk, or Steel Force. Probably due to our recent Spring in the Park trip to Hershey where he could not only ride the Trailbazer, but the Comet and the Sooper Dooper Looper as well.

Dorney needs to either lower height requirements on a few things, or add something someone between 44 and 48 can ride.

Nice photo report by the way! I also enjoyed the link to the Great Adventure History site. Never even knew the site existed and I spent quite a bit of time reading and looking at photos that brought back some very good memories. (Particularly from the 70's, that, while I was much younger, still remember well)!
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby Yoshi » Sat May 18, 2013 12:18 pm

Thanks and I agree about adding a ride with a lower height requirement. The problem is that even if they got a ride like a mine train, it would probably still be a 48" height requirement even though other parks have a 36" to 44" height requirement for the same type of ride. Cedar Fair parks seem to be really strict about that. When they bought the Paramount parks the mine train at Carowinds had been a 36" height requirement for years (maybe since the ride opened). The next year Cedar Fair raised it to 48". I heard both parents and kids who could now no longer ride the coaster were not happy.

There is no reason Thunderhawk can't be 44" considering Comet and Rolling Thunder both use the same trains and restraints and have 42" and 44" height requirements.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby dptalon135 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:50 pm

You have to consider the dynamics of the ride as well. Thunderhawk is quite a bit more aggressive than Comet and Rolling Thunder.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby djw44 » Sun May 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Cedar Fair does not do lower than 48 on their major rides. Phoenix is 42 inches I believe with no seatbelts. I would argue and say Thunderhawk is about the same dynamics wise as Comet and Phoenix and the height requirement should be lower.

The Great Adventure history page is excellent and so thorough. Probably one of the most comprehensive pages out there. A great research source.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby coasterluver » Mon May 20, 2013 3:22 pm

Yoshi wrote:Thanks and I agree about adding a ride with a lower height requirement. The problem is that even if they got a ride like a mine train, it would probably still be a 48" height requirement even though other parks have a 36" to 44" height requirement for the same type of ride. Cedar Fair parks seem to be really strict about that. When they bought the Paramount parks the mine train at Carowinds had been a 36" height requirement for years (maybe since the ride opened). The next year Cedar Fair raised it to 48". I heard both parents and kids who could now no longer ride the coaster were not happy.

There is no reason Thunderhawk can't be 44" considering Comet and Rolling Thunder both use the same trains and restraints and have 42" and 44" height requirements.


I think it really comes down to insurance. Dorney Park must be insured by someone that requires them to have the maximum height restriction. This would explain why the mine train at Carowinds changed right after being purchased by Cedar Fair. Although I feel it is a bit extreme, I don't see it changing anytime soon.
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Re: 5/12/13 Photo TR

Postby Hooky965 » Mon May 20, 2013 11:19 pm

That makes a lot of sense. I always thought that Dorney's height requirements were very much erring on the side of caution, especially when considering rides at Hershey were somewhat lenient by comparison. I hear what DTP is saying in regard to Comet vs. T-hawk, but I'm not completely convinced that ride dynamics are the prime mover in this thing. Note: I took my oldest (who is now 16) on Comet when he was 4. It wasn't pretty. It took him a good 3 years to get on a real roller coaster again. I guess I didn't learn my lesson because I did the same thing to his brother (who is now 14). Much different reaction....he was ready to do it again immediately, and he pretty much hasn't stopped since.

In all, I guess I think that perhaps the ride restrictions at Hershey may be a little too loose, and those at Dorney may be a little too tight. I have a feeling that the reasoning behind it all might just be (as suggested) that the policies of their respective parks overall have a lot to do with the insurance policies that each have secured. As a one-off park, I guess that Hershey is able to do this with a bit more leeway.
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