July 4th

Share the experiences of your latest trip to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

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July 4th

Postby Hooky965 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:47 pm

Went to the park today with my 12 year old son. He and I usually take the park in on what we term "Pro Day" once per season. What that means is basically, we approach the thing as a no-BS outing....no games, no flats, just the big stuff, and done in as rapid a pace as we can muster as we try to get in as much as we can. My son (and I for that matter) are much more into rides than waterparks, and that's a good thing because when we entered the park at 10, we were greeted by walk-up queues, and that continued for the better part of our time there. We planned on working back to front, but SF wasn't ready right away. Instead we hit Rev, Possessed, THawk, and Dominator to start. By that time SF was operational. Not completely sure what the reason was (perhaps because they were determined to keep three trains running during relatively light traffic), but the ride op was one of the most authoritative and demonstrative that I've ever heard. I also heard her giving what appeared to be timing updates at one point..5.....10.....15....etc. before we dispatched. I assumed that this was the time past optimum for departure and she was communicating it to the other ops on the platform.

All in all, we hit all the majors 2x before the day caught up to us and we bagged out at 3:30. Interestingly, I found that having light traffic was actually detrimental to my stamina over the course of the day. When able to ride three major rides within 20 minutes, you don't really get a chance to recover. I'm 42 now, and I found that it was starting to affect me, as I (for the first time) was trying to find a way to slow things down a bit between rides. Of course, my 12 year old didn't seem like he wanted to slow the pace, so we kept it up. In an attempt to "take it easy", we wound up going on the Sea Dragon. That's a ride that I've gone on countless times before without incident, but this time, I really REALLY was regretting the choice. Turns out that my son began feeling what I was experiencing at the same time and asked me, "Dad, how long does this ride go.....?" Thankfully, it was ramping down a bit at that point, and we both took the opportunity to catch our breath afterward....yes, I actually relented and told him to play a game.

We also decided to go back down and ride TCM, figuring that it would be a good break as the line had grown a bit since the first ride. This was a great call, as it gave both of us the time to gather ourselves and hit Hydra and Talon in succession for the finale.

A couple more observations:
I lost my sunglasses on Thunder Canyon. They were flushed overboard when we hit the second series of waterfalls and it hit our side of the raft. No biggie, they were $20 specs, and three years old...got my money out of 'em. What makes this funny is that the last time I was on the ride, I lost my phone, as I didn't protect it adequately. That was OK too, as I was due for an upgrade and I really REALLY hated the phone anyway.

Lower looks really barren without the kiddie "DEET-DEETS" (a name I gave them due to their horn sounds), the construction, and the lack of Monster. I know this is a temporary thing, but it was really apparent that this section of the park is rather dead at the moment.

Comment from my son: "This park really needs bumper cars". Nuff said.

Didn't like the fact that lockers have replaced the cubby holes up at TC. I'm not sure when this change happened, but the take that I had ( and those on the ride around me who remembered them) was that this was strictly a cash grab move, and not appreciated.

Don't want to end on a negative note, so I'll also offer the fact that the park operation as a whole was very smooth and seemed up to the task of handling the larger crowds anticipated today. Loved seeing SF with it's new paint job, and hoped that TH was going to be next in line for this treatment.

Finally, strange to see name tags on the DPP guys. When I was with them, we never had our names (or employee badges) visible, and were told that was by design. We were told to identify ourselves only by badge number to anyone who asked. Not sure what the change was about, but I noticed. Also good to see those guys around, and they were visible, presumably away from the main action of the day (the waterpark gets most of the attention during the day in summer).

Anyway, It was great to spend the 4th at DP, and both my son and I had a terrific time.
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Re: July 4th

Postby Yoshi » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:40 pm

Not only were the cubbies removed, either for 2010 or 2009 they raised the locker prices from $1.50 to $3.00 (and I think in 2008 they were raised to $1.50 from $1.00). It seems like everyone just leaves their stuff on the ground in front of the lockers now.
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