My flight was scheduled to leave from EWR, my airport of choice (I say that like I’ve done it multiple times) when headed to Six Flags Great Adventure, at 7pm or so which gave me essentially a full day to do something (read: go to another park) in the area. I had already done my homework and it looked like Dorney Park was the perfect one to go to that gave me the best chance of getting everything done and not having to come back and distance from both my hotel and EWR. After staying up late for Riding of the Bull @ SFGAdv the night before I slept in too late and finally got out the door at my hotel at around 10:45 with the park openeing at 11. I wasn’t too worried since I’d heard Dorney never has lines. I finally rolled into the parking lot at around 11:45am, scanned my trusty Platinum Pass, put my bag in a locker and walked over to Wild Mouse which I’d heard was the only ride that got any line of note. Well, sure enough, it was out to the midway so instead I headed to Hydra: The Revenge instead.
Hydra: The Revenge - 45/100
This was definitely my most anticipated ride here. I love the paint scheme they have on the ride and think the idea of Hydra finally taking revenge on Hercules is really interesting. So I headed into a basically empty station and walked on the front row (which would be a theme of my day at Dorney). So first, the good: the JoJo roll is the most interesting and cool portion of the ride and is also the best part. The hangtime is so much fun and is such a weird feeling. It’s kinda like at the top of the Skyrocket IIs but maybe a little longer (or at least that’s what it felt like). The layout is also really interesting with plenty of varied inversions along with a great view over the cliff where you can still see Hercules’ footers down at the river. But there was one aspect of this ride that made it rate so low for me: the rattling. To be fair, I had slept extremely poorly and was dehydrated during the previous few days so there’s a real chance that it was me that was the issue rather than the ride but either way, from the first drop all the way to the end, the track had a painful rattling that was worse than any other steel coaster I think I’ve ever been on. I’m not entirely sure what the solution is or if there even is one but please take care of Hydra, Dorney, it’s such a cool ride and deserves to not be really painful to riders!
Possessed - 63/100
So this is my last North American impulse coaster I needed to ride! Unfortunately I saved probably the most generic impulse for last. Whereas most of the other ones have something unique about them (V2 at SFDK has the werid reverse spike, Steel Venom has the holding brake and Wicked Twister has double twists) Possessed is just a generic impulse. And that’s not a bad thing per se, these rides are still so much fun! And Possessed was no different than that. I had a back row ride and was taken so much further up the reverse tower than I remember that I actually got a little nervous about what if it heads over the top (do I lose enthusiast points for mentioning that even though I know it’s perfectly safe?). The launch is fun and powerful as always and I love the sound that the ide makes when it comes into the station. The sound always reminds me of The Winner by The Crystal Method which, fun fact, is the song that plays on Wicked Twister. The weirdest part was for sure the massive amount of beetles that were all over the station and surrounding areas. The people at the park took great pleasure in stepping on as many as they could. Maybe that’s a common sight out here? Because I sure didn’t know what kind they were!
Steel Force - 67/100
And continuing the theme of finishing up groups of rides, this coaster was the last one of the Cedar Fair Morgan hyper trio I needed. I don’t remember a ton about Mamba at Worlds of Fun other than that it was just generally alright and I was fairly disappointed with Wild One since I didn’t think there was any airtime to note and the helixes didn’t really provide any forces either (but do you think if Cedar Fair treated its parks like it does nowadays that Worlds of Fun, Valleyfair and Dorney would’ve gotten any major ride, much less a trio of legit hypers??). So my expectations going into Steel Force were super low. And it blew them away! After walking into the station, I boarded a row in the middle of the train and was pleasantly surprised by the entire package. The drop was a lot of fun, definitely not El Toro, but pretty awesome nevertheless and the airtime was actually pretty great. The ride is also really long and provides a great view of the rest of the park (which is in a gorgeous location by the way). And the logo is super cool which always helps! Overall I really enjoyed this ride and think it was definitely the best coaster at the park.
Thunderhawk - 55/100
I hadn’t heard much about this ride except for the fact that it was old and now I see why. I’m typing this report up on the Wednesday after I went to the park and already don’t remember anything about this ride except for what I typed in my notes which is “decent wooden coaster, nothing terribly special”. To be fair, I did just ride one of the best wooden coasters in the world the day before so that might shape my opinion a little but at the end of the day this coaster was just alright. The one really cool thing about it is that since it is so old, my dad probably rode it when he used to come to Dorney as a kid!
Woodstock Express - 30/100
🤷♂ It’s a kiddy coaster! I felt a little strange waiting in a line with a bunch of small children for a small roller coaster but doesn’t matter, I got the credit!
Talon - 58/100
I feel a little conflicted about B&M inverts. On one hand I think they’re some of the best, most intense coasters out there but on the other hand, they’re usually not something I ride every time because I’m kind of soft when it comes to intense rides (explains why pre-trims I305 doesn’t even exist in the same zip code as my top 10 coasters - maybe my top 50 or 100?). But I can also recognize a good invert when I see one and Talon is definitely a good one. The paint scheme and location at the front of the park feels right and the layout is a top notch one. Even the one weakness that I noticed in the layout, a quick meandering section, was immediately resolved when it became apparent that it was just setting up to dive in between the lift and other track. Although this isn’t my favorite invert, I think this is a criminally underrated ride (underrated is also how I feel about Dorney as a whole).
Wild Mouse - 53/100
So after trying to do anything except stand in this line, I bit the bullet and stood in the line. It ended up being about a 30 minute wait which is infinitely longer than I waited for any other ride at Dorney (minus the kiddy coaster - this is a weird park) due to low capacity and a weird rule where only two adults could ride in a car at a time. That meant half empty trains were being dispatched on a regular basis (including mine that had just me in it). The ride itself was fine, nothing to write home about. It’s a standard wild mouse.
At this point, I had about an hour or so before I had to leave to get to EWR in time for my flight which gave me some time to walk around, take in the park, shop, get the pictures you’re seeing and ride my last ride, maybe the most important one at the park (to me at least).
Demon Drop - 6/10
This ride means a lot to me since I’ve went to Cedar Point every year with my family since I was a little kid. I was always too scared to ride the big rides until 2007 when I finally rode everything, including Demon Drop. I remember getting on the ride and having the crack behind the seats filled with the coins that had fallen out of people’s pockets as the ride went horizontal. It was the first ride I remember taking pictures of in 2009 when I finally saved up money all year to buy my first SLR (if past me could see current me now with a camera that costs 5x as much!!). And I was definitely sad when it got moved away. Well, I was finally getting a chance to ride it! And… I can definitely see now that my nostalgia clouded my memory. Although I love the elevator lift system and the drop was much more intense than Zumanjaro that I’d ridden the day before but the pull out into the drop was rough and not very much fun. I’m really glad I rode it though and I’m glad a favorite old ride has a new home where it’ll hopefully continue to thrill people for a long time!
So at this point I was done with riding. I took a quick lap around the park taking pictures of the rides and really coelscing my opinion of this place. And my opinion is that this is my second favorite Cedar Fair park. Now I’ll grant you that their selection of coasters isn’t even in the top half of CF parks (although it’s a pretty solid lineup, I don’t think there are really any holes in it except for maybe a GCI) but the atmosphere just feels like home to me. There;s plenty of shade in the back of the park and I love that the little creek flows through the middle of the park. It also just feels like a Cedar Fair park with familiar names like White Water Landing and Coasters throughout the park. Cedar Point is and continues to feel like home to me but this is pretty close and deifnitely a park I’m hoping to come back to one day!
And finally, some more of my favorite shots that I took at Dorney!