& Wildwater Kingdom
Allentown, PA (Abbreviation: DP)
Cedar Fair L.P.
Park News - (8/7/20) Dorney Park actually flooded earlier this week in the aftermath of the passing Tropical Storm. You can see an amazing video below of the floodwaters moving rapidly through the park’s lower sections. Fortunately the park was closed anyway on the day of the flooding and according to reports from the park there was no structural damage or injuries caused by the flooding. Work crews dug in hard and cleaned everything up in time to reopen the park to guests on Thursday.
(8/5/20) Dorney Park has announced that the park’s last day of 2020 will be Monday, Sept. 7th (Labor Day). After that the park will close for the rest of the year and not reopen for any of the previously planned special events like Halloween Haunt or WinterFest. From there the park is focused on reopening for a proper season in 2021.
(7/29/20) Behind the Thrills has posted a trip report from Dorney Park… but unfortunately it is not full of good news. So far we’ve heard pretty much all good news about the COVID-19 safety protocols in place to protect everyone at other Cedar Fair parks that have opened this summer, but not at Dorney Park. According to the report the park seemed crowded, mask enforcement was “near non-existent” along with troublesome wait times on rides as well as restaurants. The restaurants were said to be over-stressed because all the drink stands in the park where closed for some reason, so if you wanted a drink of anything, you had to wait in a huge restaurant line for 20-30 minutes. Surely it would be more efficient to run a few grab and go bottled drink stands, wouldn’t it?
They also report that Possessed, the park’s Intamin Impulse coaster, is also said to be down for the season. It is interesting to note that Cedar Point’s own Inpulse Coaster, Wicked Twister, has also not opened at all this season. I wonder if there is a connection.
(7/14/20) Dorney Park is the latest theme park to reopen and then quickly follow up with a reduction in the number of days the park will be open. The parks new schedule will now see Dorney Park stay closed on Mondays , Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and open only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This kind of trend makes me wonder if this is more of a crowd based thing, or a necessity due to low staffing levels, or a mixture of both. The park’s official calendar shows this schedule set through to the end of the summer, with the last posted day of operations being September 7th (Labor Day).
This is not the end of the season however, as the park notes that any planned Fall Hours as well as a schedule for Wildwater Kingdom will be posted at a later date.
(6/28/20) Good news for Dorney Park fans, the park has confirmed that they will now open for the 2020 season on July 8 for Passholders and then to the general public starting on July 11, 2020. Reservations will be required to visit through the website, and those will go online starting on June 30. Everyone will undergo a temperature screening before entering the property and face masks will be required by all throughout the day along with social distancing.
Since the park will be opening just after the Independence Day weekend they have also announced that they will host a “Drive-In Fireworks” event on the night of July 4. Just make a $10 donation per car (proceeds go to Lehigh Valley Health Network’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund), park in the lot and enjoy the show! The park won’t be open but they say there will be four food trucks on site and the show will go along with music broadcast by local radio station 95.1 FM.
(3/22/20) On Friday afternoon all Cedar Fair owned theme parks announced on their social media streams the same basic message, stating that the plan for them was now to hopefully “reopen all properties mid-May or as soon thereafter as possible.” For some parks this will be a reopening, for others their seasons will be delayed by several weeks, but for a few this is just a delay of a week or two. Check your local park’s website as the date get closer to see each park’s actual opening date once things have begun to settle down.
2020 - Seaside Splashworks - (3/15/20) Dorney Park has been making progress on their new Seaside Splashworks water fortress attraction. You can see a collection of photos of the project posted over at NewsPlusNotes this week.
(8/16/19) Dorney Park will add Seaside Splashworks to the Wildwater Kingdom in 2020, an all new multi-level splash fortress structure featuring over 75 play elements, six water slides, spray jets, water cannons, a 195 foot net bridge and a 317 gallon tipping bucket of water to soak everyone.
2021/2022 - Wooden Shuttle Coaster - Planning Phase - (5/3/20) A little good news about those proposed coaster plans for Dorney Park that were spotted a couple of weeks ago before being pulled down. A new update from NewsPlusNotes confirms that the park did share the plans with a different planning commission this week, but not the one they need to to get final permission. Since the park is still sharing the plans, it seems the project is still active. They also confirmed that the pulling of the previous plans from the South Whitehall Township was because the township asked for all plans to be pulled because they were having difficulties setting their new virtual meetings up and wanted to delay until they could get their end of things ready. So all said and done, Dorney will still need to showcase these plans before South Whitehall before they can build anything, but it is good news that they are still actively presenting the plans, which means the project has not been canceled.
(4/12/20) Weird happenings at Dorney Park this week. On Thursday we were sent a copy of a PDF file that Dorney Park had sent to the local planning commission about a future ride proposal. The proposal said that the plan would involve relocating a portion of the Zephyr train ride to make room and that the new attraction would be 106 feet tall and take up much of the location where Stinger (Vekoma Invertigo) used to sit.
I’ve overlayed the plans over an aerial of the park and you can make out a pretty clear layout of where where the track of a new wooden coaster would be placed, along with guest queue paths, and even the modification of the turn on the Zephyr that would be pushed out towards the back-road to make room for the coaster. The coaster itself has a rather interesting feature… it appears to have a spike on the end, which would make this a shuttle coaster. A wooden shuttle coaster, which immediately brings the Switchback at ZDT in Texas to mind, an ultra compact intense creation of the Gravity Group. Switchback is a lot smaller however, standing just 64 feet tall, but made to fit the compact space of a FEC location, rather than a full size theme park.
Take a look at the overlay images I put together below to show off the layout, going up the lift like a normal coaster, hitting the spike at the end, and then rolling backwards through the entire layout until stalling out a second time while going backwards up the first drop. It would then roll forwards into a set of brakes before a switch track that would activate to send the train back into the station. You can also see a POV of Switchback in action below as well.
One small note… sometime between late Friday and Saturday the PDF of the ride’s layout was removed from the planning board website, and a note added that all the proposals for the online meeting planned that day were cancelled. I can only hope that we’ll see this resurface at a later date, assuming the park doesn’t change their future plans due to budget cuts due to the virus.