Dorney Park


Ever heard of a place called Allentown? Honestly, I didn’t. This city was on our itinerary during a USA trip, though. The view from our hotel room explains a lot, doesn’t it?


Allentown is home to Dorney Park, one of Cedar Fair’s East Coast amusement parks. Is this the destination I always dreamed of? No, certainly not. But since we’re the proud owners of a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass, there’s literally no reason to not visit the park.


Just like most Cedar Fair parks, Dorney Park is rather an amusement park than a theme park. The atmosphere at the entry plaza is nice, though.


Is there any Cedar Fair at all without a Coasters Drive-In?


School holidays have already ended in Pennsylvania, so the park is practically empty during our visit. That means no queueing for this old school flat ride…


… and no queueing for a thrilling ride on Talon.


In Europe, we’re used to a ride called Taron. And although Talon isn’t on the same level as that German coaster with almost the same name, it’s definitely a great ride.


Talon is smooth, fast and pretty intense. So the fact that the ride is walk-on during our visit, means that we will be making lots of rides.


We visit Dorney Park just before heading to Newark Airport. And although the weather is perfect, we definitely don’t want to get soaked right before boarding a plane. That’s why we skip the rapid river…


… and this ultra-wet experience.


The Wild Mouse did make it to our to-do list. Of course, the only reason for that is coaster-count.


Another must-visit place for credit hunters is Planet Snoopy, which is home to a very small kiddie coaster. You may think ‘Are there really grown-ups out there who want to ride kiddie coasters?!’ And yes, they definitely exist.


Planet Snoopy is nice area for Dorney Park’s youngest visitors. But personally, I still prefer a good B&M coaster over miniature carousels and Zamperla coasters.


Hydra – The Revenge is Dorney Park’s second B&M and it became quite famous thanks to it’s JoJo-roll. This inline twist is placed between the loading platform and the lifthill, so it guarantees a very bizarre start of the ride experience.


Hydra is more than its first inversion. It’s actually a fine B&M Floorless Coaster which benefits from its unusual lay-out and some powerful inversions. Not the best Floorless Coaster on Earth (you’ll have to travel to Madrid or Northern-California instead) but very decent.


Old-fashioned free fall towers are lots of fun. I’ve ridden this type in Nagashima Spa Land and Italy’s Movieland Studios and I enjoyed that a lot. Unfortunately, Dorney Park’s Demon Drop remains closed today…


Talking about old-school flat rides…


Dorney Park’s second oldest coaster is Steel Force, which opened in 1997. The oldest roller coaster is Thunderhawk, which opened more than 70 years earlier.


These are Dorney Park’s two oldest roller coasters in one single picture. Both rides are surprisingly smooth and great fun. Personally, I expected Thunderhawk to be a very rough and uncomfortable experience, but it definitely wasn’t.


Searching for Dorney’s longest, tallest and fastest ride? If you see this sign, you just found it. Steel Force has a length of 1.700 metres, the first drop is 62 metres and the trains reach speeds of up to 120 km/h.


Ehm… where is everyone?


This Morgan hyper coaster is everything but popular today, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun. Steel Force’s first drop, for example, is pretty intense and creates some good airtime in the back seats.


Steel Force is a very decent ride. The track length and the smoothness are remarkable and I’m amazed by the capacity. Although most of the seats remain empty, Steel Force is in a two-train operation today. And you know what that means: lots of rides!


Lots of rides on Steel Force, not a single ride on this beauty. Stinger may be rather unique and it may be better than a usual Boomerang, but I still hate everything which looks like a Boomerang.


Stinger’s neighbour is an Impulse Coaster called Possessed. The ride looks very similar to Wicked Twister at Cedar Point, but it’s a little less fun. Don’t get me wrong: I like this powerful coaster type a lot and Possessed is superb, but the twisted spikes at Cedar Point make it considerably more exciting.


Welcome to shuttle-coaster-land. Please keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times. And remember: you’ll see every piece of track at least twice.


Shuttle-coaster-land unfortunately ends our trip this summer. Honestly, Dorney Park is one of the least interesting parks we visited in the USA this year. The park has some good coasters and the atmosphere is nice, but I like most other Cedar Fair places better. It hasn’t got the charm of Knott’s Berry Farm, rides aren’t as good as in Carowinds and the park just isn’t as legendary as Cedar Point.


Dorney Park is one of those mediocre parks you should just visit for credit hunting. In my opinion, it’s not worth a day trip from New York, so please choose Six Flags Great Adventure or Hersheypark instead. However, if you plan to come here, you should be able to see the entire park in five or six hours, depending on crowds.

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