Plot of Land

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

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Postby DorneyDante » Sat Oct 04, 2003 10:27 am

There were 2 fires at Dorney in the 80's? I didn't know that. Also, what was zoorama?
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Postby BigDorneyFan » Sat Oct 04, 2003 10:49 am

Zoorama was a zoo they had there. Where the Laser in now located. They also had seals that you could feed right outside of the zoo and whale boats that you could operate. The park had a lot of water running through the middle of the park but it mostly has been filled in except for the little creek that it there today. The grass parking lot next to Steel Force was a lake that had two seat paddle boats and they had a paddle boat ferry that held about twenty people that went out into the lake down near Hercules. It was a lot different back then. I miss it.
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Postby randydorney » Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:43 pm

The first time I came to Dorney Park was in 1991. I just came to Allentown from Johnstown, Pa and it was the summer time before I started to go to school. I remember the spring creek and the horses pen in the middle of the park where the old former location in 1992 (The year when Cedar Fair L.P. bought Dorney Park) Cedar Fair L.P. put in that year was "Bearstein Bear Country." And I remember the lake near the rear of Thunder Hawk. My dad's old company that he used to work at, rented a catered grove that year.(Sky Grove, & Red Grove) And now the former location of "STEEL FORCE." You wouldn't know how much Cedar Fair L.P. did to Dorney Park when it started in 1992!! In 1993, Whitewater Landing came in that year. WOW, the tallest, longest, and fastest waterstanding ride in the Northeast!! Officals said that Cedar Fair L.P. spend $90 Million on Dorney Park. And now, Dorney Park is the best rated amusment & water park in the Northeast of PA!!
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Ghost Blasters

Postby rwk » Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:25 am

What I'd like to see at Dorney to make up for the loss of the older dark rides is a Sally Ghost Blasters mansion. They still build them. I was thinking about sending a letter to corporate headquarters, even Richard Kinzel himself, about the possibility of a new permanent dark ride at Dorney. Halloweekends is good but I want my dark ride! I guess the older dark rides weren't up to Cedar Fair's 'standards', so they got the axe immediately. Cedar Fair obvoiusly has higher standards than the previous owners which explains all the park improvements, seat belts on almost every ride, very strict rules, emphasis on safety and security, and an intolerance for old rides that aren't up to snuff. Oh, Cedar Fair owns Knott's Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America, MN and they have a Ghost Blasters dark ride! Cedar Fair owns a Ghost Blasters! Now if we could only get CF to build them elsewhere, like at DP. I'd be in heaven if that happened.
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Postby sfnitro230 » Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:56 pm

We could start a petition using a site like this.
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Postby dptalon135 » Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:13 pm

To petition what? That would be totally pointless. Online petitions usually have absolutely no effect on the cause either.
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Postby DorneyDante » Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:42 pm

Not to be a wisea*s*s, but I can think of 100 things Dorney should add or improve other than getting a dark ride. Dark rides are not CF, they just aren't. Dark rides are for family parks and CF clearly doesnt advertise itself as a family park like Hersheypark does for example. Being owned by a chain that takes the bigger is better mentality and adds record breaking coasters every year clearly illustrates their approach. They are more concerned with being a thrill park. IMO, dark rides don't fit in a thrill park. I'm not saying they can't be at a mega/thrill park, I'm just saying I don't see CF running to the Sally Corp for their next project. Like I said, I can think of 100 other things Dorney needs or should improve upon other than adding a dark ride.
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Postby silverghost » Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:00 pm

Like what? I mean, there's not that many things that i see a problem with in the park. Too many trash cans for you? I mean yeah sure there is stuff that can be added, but a dark ride would really bring the families there. Just think of all the coaster enthusiasts that are stuck at home because the family won't go to a park because its not 'family enough.' Which is why i haven't been to SFGadv. . . :lol:

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Postby DorneyDante » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:41 pm

I never said theres problems with the park, not sure where you got that from. My point is I'd be happy if Dorney got a dark ride, but IMO they won't. Doesn't seem to fit in their approach on how CF wants to advertise them. I strongly believe that CF wants to advertise Dorney as a thrill park with an emphasis on steel and push it as far away from a Hershey category in order to appeal to a broader and different market than what Hershey does. Hershey is hometown, park with traditional woodies. Dorney is corporate thrill park with big steel coasters. That is why I dont see a dark ride in Dorney's future. It don't fit in where I see them moving. Its fair to suggest that Dorney is not a family park, simple as that.
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Postby rwk » Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:56 am

But, then what was the Dorney of the 70's and 80's it was definately more family park then, when they had dark rides, but they had 2 fires in the 80's that destroyed historical stuff (Bucket O' Blood, Carousel, Castle Garden roller rink). Those fires is what probably prompted Dorney to remove the Journey to the Center of the Earth and the original Coaster building with bumper cars (fire hazard with electric sparking bumper cars in wooden building, eyesore with trash, litter in the coaster building on top of the lockers by window, dirty smelly water in Journey) I guess a company too squeaky clean such as Cedar Fair will not tolerate anything in it's parks that don't meet its standards, if it can't be upgraded or fixed, or renovated, bye-bye it goes. I guess the previous owners before CF, Bob Ott 67-84 and Harris Weinstein 85-92 had much lower standards than CF so they tolerated the old dark rides through the 80's. But when CF bought the park I think they wanted to transform the park into a mini-Cedar Point, that was their goal, and remodel the park from top to bottom to make the park "presentable" for its guests. They didn't want the park looking run down, or have any run down rides. Cedar Fair must have pretty high standards. The Whip has seatbelts. They yell at people if they run across the gears or more than 2 people are in a whip car. Knoebel's doesn't do that. There are no seatbelts on the Whip at Knoebels. Knoebel's still has a ride-through Haunted Mansion. Dorney doesn't, and probably never will again since the 80's when they had permanent haunted rides. Knoebel's has 2 woodies, Dorney is losing one to progress. (more steel) Cedar Fair is different from family owned parks, which is what Dorrney used to be. And I bet most people in the tri-state area go to Dorney because of the deals they do, like discount coupons and amusement and water park for one price. (how many other parks in the area do that?) A majority of people I see at Dorney are wristbanders, that is one-time visitors. Most of them are from out of the area, such as NJ, NY or Philly. And not to be racist but it seems under CF ownership the park is attracting more 'inner city' people such as black, hispanic. I know some of you saw how bad the park was in the summer, July, August especially on the weekends in Wildwater with the crowd level. An article in the local paper says the park's primary demographics are teens, families with young children and seniors. No wonder all the girls I see in the park are under 20. Most of them look 13-18. If you see lots of girls with braces then they're teens. That's the type of people that prefers thrill rides and tall coasters, the teens which CF is marketing toward. And Camp Snoopy attracts the young families so that the under 10 set will have something to ride, there's also totspot but that's a farther walk. There are several parks in the northeast which have preserved a lot of their historical buildings, rides such as Knoebels, Williams Grove, Bushkill, Playland Rye, NY, Kennywood, Waldameer Erie, PA, Ocean City, MD boardwalk amusements. All of those parks have dark rides. Dorney unfortunately has moved away from traditionalism and toward soulless corporate thinking. (how much higher $ can we sell the food, how much higher $ can we sell admissions, how many snoopys can we sell, how can we market the park so people from all over the northeast will go to the park at the same time and crowd the park, making it unbearable with all the long lines and rude and sloppy people, how much of the old dorney can we destroy, how many more steel coasters can we build to drive up prices and attract more crowds) It just seems unfair to me that my local park had to be the one to lose all its dark rides and modernize, and all these other parks in PA and NJ, NY still have dark rides because Dorney is the only park I can visit all the time, the others I have to travel to such as on a week vacation with my family. At least Bushkill still has a dark ride but it's 15 miles away from Allentown and doesn't have much else to offer besides bumper cars (old style) whip, kiddie rides, there's also a permanent fun house. But, I'd rather go there than Dorney, if I lived 1 mile from it I'd be there all the time. The park has no coasters or extreme thrill rides, which is good for me because I hate coasters and very fast rides, I get queasy on them. Bushkill is old-school all the way, in fact the dark ride is one of the oldest (1927). Another dark ride was built by Pretzel at Dorney in 1927 which is the one that burned down in 1983, Bucket O' Blood.
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Postby DorneyDante » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:10 pm

I agree that alot of Dorney's crowds come from urban outlying areas of Allentown such as Philly, New York, and NJ but I think the majority of "that urban crowd" is coming from w/i the city of Allentown itself. Yes, the Dorney of yesterday is definately fading into amusement park history. It is sad for people like myself and you who have been life-long park goers to see this. Onwards and upwards though, change/evolution is inevitable and most importantly a natural process. The Dorney park that I knew and loved is long gone. I wish the park the best in the future as I know they will will succeed. I myself, especially after the recent Hercules news will definately not be going to the park as much as I used to, it doesn't tickle me the way it once did and the direction the park is moving in doesn't appeal to me. I know they have a strong crowd that they target to and I know they will be successful in the future though.
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Postby rwk » Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:35 am

Do different parks/owners have different standards? Because Kennywood has an old mill over 100 years old, and there's no sign of it being torn down. Rye Playland, NY has THREE dark rides, an old mill built in 1920 recently renovated, and two pretzel type dark rides 3 level and 1 level. What is different between Kennywood/Playland and Cedar Fair? Kennywood and Playland were designated Historical Landmarks in the 80's. Both have preserved most of their original rides. Cedar Fair, however seems hell-bent on extreme thrills and lots of kiddie rides, and not so much on historical preservation, they removed things from Cedar Point, too, like Pirate dark ride for arcade and Knott's Berry Farm like Haunted Shack for a SkyCoaster (notice now it's called Knott's Theme Park?) They would rather build all new buildings and tear down old, such as hot dog stand, games building, etc. What was Richard Kinzel thinking? "We need to renovate every park we acquire so it is up to our standards and add the same things to every park like Camp Snoopy and 200 ft tall coasters so that the park is reconizable as a Cedar Fair park" Only parks with dark rides in CF chain are Knott's (Mine Train, Kingdom of the Dinosaurs) Knott's Camp Snoopy, Mall of America, MN (Sally Corp. Ghost Blasters) and Cedar Point (Disaster Transport) but no more traditional dark rides, the Earthquake (now Camp Snoopy Shop) was removed in 85 and the Pirate (next to Blue Streak) in 97. Both rides came from a defunct park in Bronx NY in the 60's - Freedomland. Another Freedomland dark ride, the Tornado was removed from the Great Escape park in NY north of Albany because SIX FLAGS bought the park! They put a family steel mine coaster there and the Tornado building was torn down and the cars, track, props put into storage. I was never at the Great Escape. I just see a pattern going on with these giant corporates buying ma and pa parks and removing dark rides for thrill rides or nothing. I don't hate Dorney Park, just the direction it's going in. I treasure parks like Knoebels that are still family owned and preserve their old while adding new. Knoebels had better never get rid of the Haunted Mansion, or I'll be peed. Only problem with Knoebels is it's 70 frickin' miles from me whereas Dorney is only 2 miles. Bushkill Park in Easton is the closest dark ride park to me.
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Postby DorneyDante » Fri Oct 17, 2003 10:51 am

I highly doubt Knoebels would ever rid their dark ride.
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Postby DorneyMan88 » Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:55 pm

I'll tell ya what Dick Kinzel was thinking. Mini CP's. Haha, I know it sounds silly, but I have no problem with whatever Cedar Fair does (except for this latest dropping of Senior Citizen discounts). The main goal of Cedar Fair is to have some of the highest safety standards while increasing attendance and guest per capita spending. And with parks like DP, there is that big IF CF had not bought it, it might have gone under. But I'll let you decide that. If there is anything I know about myself, I am a huge Cedar Fair fan. I agree with everything that Cedar Fair has done to DP EXCEPT FOR
1. Taking down the old coaster building
2. Taking out Paratrooper, those things that were in Cedar Creek (not sure what they were called), and the Sky Ride.
3. Making Cedar Creek look like crap. I remember when it was beautiful to look down on when I was on the Sky Ride as a kid.

I know a lot of you miss Journey to the Center of the Earth, or whatever other things they removed. But, I trust Cedar Fair that if they removed it, it was for safety reasons or very hard to maintain. Although I am a corporate lover of Cedar Fair and steelies, I still love the old wooden classics. I do wish that one day CF would bring in a Sally and restore Thunderhawk to its former glory. (Though it's still great to ride today, especially at night!)

Now that I've touched on the historics side of the park, (and most of you probably think I'm crazy, haha) let's think of how this could be good. Think of it this way. DP continues to add thrill rides and predominitely still stays a thrill park. Honestly, what's wrong with becoming a better Six Flags? That is the way I see it. Great landscaping, better maintained rides, less downtime. I can tell that DP has really really grown in just the past 3 or 4 years. I see tons and tons of Talon and Steel Force shirts everytime I go to the park. (I love DP's merchandise selection!) And a side not for you Herc fans. I know some of you are looking for Herc merchandise, and I did find some. At first, I thought DP got rid of it all. There is a shirt (one I have never seen before) that has a pic of a Herc train going up its lift. It was in the Carousel Gifts Shop (the big building right by the entrance) and I think I might have seen another.

P.S. This might have been answered before, but I forgot. What year was Journey removed? I have this scene stuck in my head of DP when I was a kid and I think it might have been journey, though I'm not sure. Thanks.
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Postby DorneyDante » Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:01 pm

Yeah, they still have herc merchandise. They are selling some on the website still. Also, journey was removed in between 92-93 season.
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