Sean: The third park on our 10-park tour was the Cedar Fair property with three inverted coasters! (Sadly Possessed was closed all day). This regional amusement park was nothing to write home about… but it DOES have a very fun collection of rides we hold very dear, including Stinger and Demon Drop! Let’s find out what else makes this park so unique!
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WE ARE HERE! I am presenting you with my “Cedar Fair Parks are usually awesome” pose. Even though Dorney Park was about to show me that it had some unknown flaws. Also it was humid. Humid + me + shitty operations + lots of summer camp kids = well… you know.
Anyways! The real reason we were so excited to be at Dorney Park was the fact that we got to ride California’s Great America’s Invertigo in its new home… with an amazing color scheme and new name: Stinger! And what better way to be welcomed to the ride that now calls Pennsylvania its home, than Amish dudes riding the front row?!
Now Stinger has had quite some operational downtime since it was moved to PA. So we honestly were expecting more issues with Stinger than the Intamin Impulse coaster next to it, Possessed. Which did not open at all during our visit. Was I very upset? Actually, not really! BECAUSE STINGER RAN ALL DAY!
Alex had ridden Invertigo at our beloved California’s Great America, right around the time it opened. I missed it by a hair and was so excited to finally be able to ride it. It doesn’t only look clean and beautiful, it also runs incredibly well. It is smooth, the lift hills are flawless, and like regular Vekoma Boomerangs, Stinger is a powerful ride. This must be your priority when visiting Dorney Park, trust me!
Next up: STEEL FORCE! This ride overwhelmingly dominates the park’s skyline, and stretches from one far point of the park to the other. This Morgan hyper coaster offers some awesome views of the park, and in its turnaround shows off the beautiful lake below, as well as Hydra and the log ride. Unfortunately the ride lacks intensity that my favorite Morgan (Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio) has. Nonetheless, front row is by far the best and delivers some quality airtime on top of the major airtime hill, as well as every small hill following the MCBR!
Steel Force opened in May of 1997 and is 200 feet tall. Thanks to several well placed tunnels along the ride, and at the bottom of the first drop, the first drop is slightly taller at 205 feet. The airtime on the first drop isn’t spectacular, but does the trick. I rode Skyrush later that night, which was more my style. Nonetheless, the airtime on the second half of Steel Force is wonderful!
From the Steel Force station and lift hill you get to take a good look at Thunderhawk. The park’s only wooden coaster, with a particularly interesting layout and color scheme.
Thunderhawk was refurbished last season with a complete retrack and new PTC trains. Unfortunately the ride runs sluggish, rough, and the layout is just incredibly dull. With one first drop, an airtime hill, three messily-banked turns, and trimmed airtime hills back, this ride is just very underwhelming.
The ride looks great with surrounding trees and classic look, but in the end everything it could’ve possibly done right has been ruined by bad breaking. Other than that the ride really is just dull. It’s the Grizzly (California’s Great America) of Pennsylvania. A state with amazing wooden coaster, and one terrible one: Thunderhawk.
New this year is another Cedar Fair flatride refurbishment <3 Kaleidoscope! We love these Troikas and this installation was refurbished particularly well!
The colors are on point, and so is the above logo!
In the same corner of the park we also find Wild Mouse. Which is your standard installation of a Maurer wild mouse. Unfortunately lines and operations were horrendous. But once we got on, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the ride is not all that trimmed and has some good classic Wild Mouse forces. The Dodgem is also new this year and is located in between Wild Mouse and Talon. The sign for Dodgem is one of our favorites!
One thing we did really appreciate about Dorney Park was the sheer amount of flat rides, both of the modern and classic varieties. They are all well maintained and for someone who lives a few minutes from Six Flags Magic Mountain it is always great to see a large collection of flat rides.
One of my favorite flat rides is a Zamperla Hawk 48. For those who live in California, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo has one, named Hammerhead Shark! <3 Dorney Park’s version seemed very popular during our visit, and is named Meteor.
Right next to Meteor we find one of the world’s funkiest B&M Floorless coasters… HYDRA: THE REVENGE!
The ride is famous for it’s odd-ball layout and inversions, and is usually either adored or detested by enthusiasts. I am on #TeamAdore because this ride is just lovely! You may recognize its most prominent feature, the JoJo-roll out of the station!
The rest of the ride is unique in ways that Hydra is a terrain coaster, features a straight down drop, rather than the usual curved B&M drops, Inclined Dive Loop and a tiny little Zero-G-Roll as seen below!
Hydra also features a very small and curvy Cobra Roll, which is one of the highlight elements on the ride. This is followed by two moments of airtime, a corkscrew, and a final helix. Overall this is a quirky B&M coaster with a fun mix of forces, a great break from the usual B&M elements you find on other floorless coasters!
Something that always makes us happy? LOG FLUMES! Dorney Park’s Thunder Creek Mountain has several shallow declines that get you surprisingly wet, and a wonderful long drop down the side of the hill!
This corner of the park, along with Hydra and Demon Drop is the best spot to be! Well landscaped, and some solid attractions very unique to Dorney Park!
DEMON DROP! The ride we have wanted to ride for years! After this first generation Intamin drop tower was announced to depart from Cedar Point it was going to be relocated to Knott’s Berry Farm. It then ended up at Dorney Park where it is beautifully maintained and landscaped!
This was my first time writing one personally, Alex had been on a few before. The ride’s motion of the elevator shaft up, and then track down is a bit nerve-wrecking the first time. But it turned out to be wonderfully smooth, intense, and as amazing as I wanted it to be!
Thank you Dorney Park for your great operations on Demon Drop, and for taking such good care of this classic ride!
The two airtime machines in the park: Steel Force and Demon Drop!
The park has a limited variety of kiddie coasters. In fact they have just one, which is Woodstock’s Express, a Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster.
Another highlight coaster at Dorney Park is Talon! Which is located on the highest part of the park’s hilly layout, and towers over the park. Not only does it have an amazing color scheme, it also has a very impressive layout.
Talon may feature some usual elements we find on B&M Inverted Coasters, but with several drops, quick quirky turns, and a good set of larger elements, it’s like combining Carowinds’ Afterburn with Flight Deck at California’s Great America. It is definitely one of the park’s best coasters.
Let’s finish this look around Dorney Park with a minimalist shot of Talon‘s Immelman inversion! We headed to Hershey Park later that evening, so stay tuned for that report, soon!
Thank you for following along with California Coaster Kings & Cabin Crew Coaster Kings‘ latest adventure: An American Northeast trip through Maryland, East Pennsylvania, Up-state New York, and Ontario, Canada!
Here’s the park’s we’ve visited and will launch reports for! The names will become links as soon as they are live!
- Adventure Park USA – Part 1
- Knoebels – Part 2
- Dorney Park – Part 3
- Hershey Park – Part 4
- Dutch Wonderland – Part 5
- Seabreeze Amusement Park – Part 6
- Darien Lake – Part 7
- Fantasy Island – Part 8
- Canada’s Wonderland – Part 9
- Marineland Canada – Part 10
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2 Replies to “Dorney Park – CCK & CCCK Take the Northeast – Pt. 3”
Dorney used to be a great small park in the 80s and early 90s. The loading station for Thunderhawk (formerly known as “roller coaster” or “coaster” for short) used to be incorporated into a large old building that housed other attractions. Thunderhawk station was inside the building and the train traveled under the building to the lift hill. There was also one of the last standing Traver Circle swings and a magnificently cheesy and historic water/chute ride themed to Journey to the Center of the Earth. Dorney has always had lots of flat rides, and used to have a PTC cuddle up themed as an Iceberg. There were also some great walk-through dark attractions. I like Steel Force, Hydra, and Talon, but Dorney has completely lost the character it had not long ago.
I forgot to mention, you can see some 1980s scenes of Dorney, including Rikki Lake riding Thunderhawk, at the end of John Water’s 1988 movie Hairspray.