Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, slightly over an hour from Philadelphia, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is the home of numerous flat rides, three water rides and eight roller coasters. Steel Force was the first roller coaster on the east coast to break the 200-foot barrier and Thunderhawk, built in 1923, is one of the oldest operating coasters in the USA. Talon the Grip of Fear is arguably one of the best inverted coasters to be found anywhere.
The water park is included in the main park and features White Water Landing, a real soaker for which guests familiar with the ride come prepared with swimsuits. Thunder Creek Mountain is a traditional log flume ride which breaks down a lot.
The park contains numerous rides suitable for families, including the Woodstock Express roller coaster. Many of the rides are classics, such as Tilt-a-Whirl and Scrambler. Demon Drop, a freefall ride which elevates and then drops riders, landing them flat on their backs, was imported from Cedar Point. This makes sense, as both Cedar Point and Dorney Park are owned by Cedar Fair. Dinosaurs Alive is a walk-through attraction involving a minimal upcharge ($5.00).
The park is nicely laid out and if you know where to go, you can stroll along a quiet path away from the crowds. One of the best paths is the one that can be accessed by making a left turn from the exit of Steel Force and walking along the side of Thunderhawk. The only real drawback in the layout of the park is the difficult in locating restrooms.
Dining options are plentiful and much as could be expected at a theme park. The park does have a Chickie’s and Pete’s sports bar.
The park offers Fast Lane access to rides for an upcharge but whether this would be cost-effective is debatable. When the author visited Dorney (twice), most rides were a walk-on, the exceptions being the water rides. The longest waits were for Talon and Hydra, and only ten or fifteen minutes at most. Although the park was heavily populated, it was possible to get in fourteen roller coaster rides in the space of four or five hours without having to resort to Fast Lane.
Dorney Park is a pleasant theme park with some good rides. None of them are blockbusters but they are more than adequate. 4 ½ out of 5 stars. For more information about Dorney, visit Photograph courtesy of www.coasterimage.com/