Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
|Slogan||Two Great Parks for the Price of One!
|Location||Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Owner||Cedar Fair Entertainment Company|
|General Manager||Jason McClure|
|Operating season||April through October|
|Area||200 acres (0.81 km2)|
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is an amusement and water park located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The park features eight roller coasters, other adult and children's rides, and a waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom.
The park is accessible from Interstate 78, U.S. Route 222 (Hamilton Blvd.) and Cedar Crest Boulevard. The region is served by Lehigh Valley International Airport, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Dorney Park. Bieber Tourways has a nearby bus terminal at the former Charcoal Drive-In (at junction of U.S. Route 222 and Hamilton Boulevard), with daily service to and from New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal and other regional locations.
Dorney Park traces its history to 1860, when Solomon Dorney built a trout hatchery and summer resort on his estate outside of Allentown. In 1870, Dorney decided to convert the estate into a public attraction. Initially, the facility featured games, playground-style rides, refreshment stands, picnic groves, a hotel, and a restaurant. By the 1880s, Dorney had added a small zoo, gardens, and a number of mechanical rides, marking the enterprise's beginning as an amusement park.
When the Allentown-Kutztown Traction Company completed its trolley line from Allentown to Kutztown in 1899, the company added a stop at Dorney's park. Two years later, the traction company purchased the park, operating it until 1923, when the park was sold to Robert Plarr and two partners. Plarr soon bought out his partners and ran Dorney Park until his death in 1966. Ownership then passed to Plarr's son, Stephen, who died within a year. Robert Ott, Plarr's son-in-law, took over as owner in 1967. In 1985, Ott sold Dorney Park to Harris Weinstein. Weinstein owned it until 1992, when he sold the park to Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.
Rides history 
Early years 
Rides have come and gone at Dorney Park, such as the Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters's Grande Carousel which debuted at Dorney in 1932 from Shellpot Park in Wilmington, Delaware, but was destroyed in a September 1983 fire. The Bucket O' Blood (once known as Pirates Cove) dark ride burned in the same fire. Luckily, the incident occurred after the park was closed for the season. Another early ride was the Whip, in which riders spun on a small track in a pavilion. The Whip is still in operation today and is the park's oldest ride.
Dorney Park also had a swimming pool from the early 1900s until 1963. Filters were damaged beyond economic repair at that point, and the pool was closed to swimmers but was repurposed. One side of the former pool had live seals and fish, while the other side was used for the Whale Boats, motorized boats seating two people each. Near the lower entrance to the park was the dark ride called Tunnel Of Love which later was rethemed as The Journey to the Center of the Earth. The ride was a Bill Tracy dark ride. It was a boat ride through a dark tunnel with scary scenes behind glass, and a lift and drop at the end. It was razed following the 1992 season, after Cedar Fair, LP acquired the park. Journey To The Center Of The Earth was located near the park's first roller coaster, which opened in 1923. It was simply known as the Coaster or "the yellow rollercoaster" until 1989 when it was renamed Thunderhawk. It still operates today.
Also near the pool was the Mill Chute, built in 1927 but closed in 1960 to become Journey to the Center of the Earth as described previously. The Iceberg was a cuddle-up ride which was cold inside and had strobe lights and loud music. It was painted black and retitled Meteorite at the end of the 1980s and removed after the 1993 season. The Gold Mine was a scary walk-through under the Solomon Dorney Mansion in the middle of the park near the Iceberg and PTC Carousel. The Gold Mine closed in the mid-1980s. The Flying Dutchman was a Pinfari compact steel coaster located where the Ferris Wheel is currently located. It was the largest of its kind. It was removed following the 1988 season due to mechanical problems.
For many years, a clown figure called "Alfundo" (the name was derived from a combination of the words ALlentown, FUN and DOrney Park) reigned supreme as the park's trademark, and was used as the decoration of the main entrance to the park (see photo).
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
In 1980, Dorney Park Road, a former two-lane state highway (US 222) which cut through the park, was closed to traffic and converted to a midway, and U.S. 222 was rerouted. Prior to that time, Dorney Park's narrow-gauge railroad crossed the road, which led to traffic stoppages every time the train was to cross Dorney Park Road. This railroad crossing also helped patrons cross Dorney Park Road.
The road closing led to the enclosure of the park by fence and the introduction of a single-price admission fee, which eliminated individual ride tickets. The park previously maintained groves for family picnics. While the groves remained outside the park a while longer, patrons were no longer allowed to bring food inside.
The park opened its log flume ride, Thunder Creek Mountain, in 1982, which still owns the record for longest drop on a log flume ride. In the fall of the next year, a major fire destroyed a large section of the park, including the Carousel, Bucket O' Blood, Flying Bobs, Skeeball and several food stands. The park replaced the rides in 1984, its 100th anniversary, with the addition of Enterprise, Musik Express, Ranger, and Apollo 2000. New skeeball alleys, gift shops, and food stands were added as well.
With the addition of the rides as well as the improvements to the park, the park's value was high enough to sell. It was sold mid-season to Harris Weinstein in 1985. He also bought the neighboring automobile racetrack which had been used once a year for NASCAR racing. At that point, the racetrack was razed. It was determined that there was a need for swimming to be brought back to Dorney Park. With the pool being razed 20 years before, the void was filled by a waterpark called Wildwater Kingdom in 1985. It had separate admission and included a wave pool, family water raft ride, several body slides, several tube slides, and a children's water play area. That year, season passes began to be offered.
That year it was also determined that the park needed a looping roller coaster, so in 1986, Laser, a Schwarzkopf-designed coaster with two loops was built, giving the park three adult coasters. This roller coaster was originally meant to be a ride that would be for fairs and carnivals, but Dorney Park kept it assembled. The coaster was named in a commercial tie-in with a local radio station, WAEB-FM, a then-Hot AC radio station known as Laser 104.1. Two years later, a kiddie coaster was added across from Laser called Little Laser. This kiddie coaster originally operated as a junior coaster (children and adults were at that time able to ride) from the early 1960s to 1981 near the coaster now called Thunderhawk. It was in storage from 1982 to 1988, and in 1989, it was moved next to and painted the same colors as the Laser and was renamed. As a kiddie coaster, adults cannot ride the Little Laser unless accompanied by a child. Laser was taken down in 2008 and Little Laser was renamed to Steel First.
The park further grew with debut of Hercules, a wooden terrain coaster in 1989. It was built on the top of the hill lining what was then the back of the park, near what was at that time Wildwater Kingdom's parking lot. This coaster was the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world until Cedar Point's Mean Streak debuted in 1991, which boasted a first drop only 4 feet (1.2 m) taller than Hercules. Hercules proved a big hit for Dorney in the coaster's first four seasons, but was soon known for its rough, often jarringly shaky ride, due in large part to significant modifications made to Hercules after the park was purchased by Cedar Fair in 1992. Hercules was removed in 2003 due to high maintenance costs and low ridership. Hydra The Revenge is now where Hercules once stood, which is why its slogan is "It's the Ride That Brought Down Hercules".
In 1991, Dorney Park added a few more flat rides and improved landscaping, preparing to once again sell it. Cedar Fair purchased the park in 1992. In 1993, the park added a flume ride that plunges riders in 20-passenger boats down an 80-foot (24 m) drop, creating a giant wave that not only soaks riders, but onlookers as well. It was known as the Pepsi Chute and today as White Water Landing. It was built next to Hercules and the Wildwater Kingdom parking lot.
In 1994, a new midway was built on the top of the hill near Hercules and White Water Landing. The parking lot for Wildwater Kingdom was doubled in size and converted to serve both Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. A new entrance was also built to Dorney Park. Some concession stands and a carousel was also added at this new midway. The old lot and entrance also continued to be used. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom were separately gated until the end of that season. The park now charged guests a then-small charge for parking.
In 1995, admission to both Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom was offered at a single price for the first time. The change was promoted under the slogan "Two Parks for The Price Of One." That year also saw the addition of Thunder Canyon, a river rapids ride consisting of eight-passenger rafts that plunge and rock along a 16,400-foot (5,000 m) path through an authentic looking canyon, propelled by approximately 1 million US gallons (3,800 m3) of water. The new ride was designed by Intamin.
In 1996, Dorney went "green" and transplanted 120 30-year-old trees to make shade. It also made the park look nicer. Construction began on a steel hypercoaster slightly over 200 feet (61 m) tall. It was designed by D.H. Morgan, a former employee of Arrow. Morgan helped design Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point in 1988. This coaster would have a similar out and back layout but would have a smoother braking system and be a more pleasant ride than Magnum. It opened in an area that was previously considered the front of the park taking up that entire stretch of land. This coaster is known as Steel Force and opened in the spring of 1997. This brought the park up to four adult coasters and a kiddie coaster. At that point, the former front entrance was restricted to employees and was now considered the back entrance. Over the years, the waterpark added some newer water slides as well as a second lazy river.
In 1998, Dorney Park added a top spin ride called "Hang Time". At the end of this year, the "Monster" was temporarily removed and eventually relocated within the park. This was also the last year for the "Sky Ride", it was removed at the end of the season. During the offseason, the Laser was repainted in a neon green and purple style, replacing the red and white theme it had since its introduction to the park.
In 1999, a 200-foot (61 m) tower called Dominator, featuring two gravity-defying rides, was added. One tower blasts riders straight up 15 stories before dropping them back to earth, while another tower slowly lifts riders to a staggering 170 feet (52 m), then thrusts them downward at faster-than-free-fall speeds.
The year 2000 saw the debut of Camp Snoopy, a themed children's play area. A junior coaster (managed like a kiddie coaster in that adults without children cannot ride) called Woodstock Express was added that year, bringing the coaster count to eight, including four adult coasters, a junior coaster, and three kiddie coasters. The Wild Mouse was also added this year.
In 2001, a Bolliger & Mabillard designed roller coaster called Talon was added near the now-front entrance of park. The ride was a steel inverted looping coaster with ski lift type seats, and approximately the size of the Raptor coaster at Cedar Point. The addition of the new adult coaster brought the park's roller coaster count to nine.
In 2002, the park added Meteor. Meteor is a flatride that was built by Zamperla in Italy. Meteor takes up to 24 riders each ride on 2 swing arms. The waterpark was also modified with a few waterslides
In 2003, Wildwater Kingdom was overhauled. Several older body slides were removed and replaced with four modern colored body slides, two of which were open and two of which were enclosed tube slides. Three inflated tube slides were also added. One of the slides is mostly open and straight down, another is winding and completely enclosed, and the third slide also winds but is partially open. A new children's water play area was also added.
In July 2003, the park announced that Hercules would close Labor Day and in 2005 be replaced by Hydra the Revenge, a $13 million, steel floorless Bolliger & Mabillard coaster. Hercules closed and would be replaced as a result of high maintenance costs, a rough ride, and low ridership. Soon after, it was demolished, reducing the coaster count to eight. Construction on Hydra began soon after razing Hercules and continued during the 2004 season. It opened on opening day for the 2005 season on May 7, 2005. The coaster is a half-mile in length and features a105-foot (32 m) drop. It is the first and only floorless roller coaster in Pennsylvania. The addition made the park home once again to nine adult and children's coasters.
On September 22, 2007, Dorney Park announced it would be opening its sixth adult roller coaster, a shuttle twisted impulse U-shaped coaster built by Intamin. The coaster, located at Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio, from 2000 to 2006, was originally known as Superman: Ultimate Escape, but was renamed Steel Venom when the park was bought by Cedar Fair from Six Flags in 2006. Steel Venom was removed from Geauga Lake in 2006 and unofficially opened as Voodoo at Dorney Park on May 17, 2008. Its grand opening was held six days later. The ride was renamed Possessed after the 2008 season to resolve a conflict with Six Flags, which held the rights to the name Voodoo.
In summer 2008, Dorney Park announced that Laser would be removed after the season ended to expand the park's opportunities, since it has been at Dorney Park since 1986. Laser took its final ride at Dorney Park on November 1, 2008. It now runs in Germany as Teststrecke and travels to different German Fairs.
In 2009, Dorney Park added "The Good Time Theater." This theater was announced in February 2009 and broke ground in April 2009. The theater was finished in spring of 2009.
In 2010, the park removed its bumper car ride called "Krazy Kars" to add the Demon Drop from Cedar Point. Rita's Italian Ice was also introduced as a new concession. Meanwhile, the park announced that "Planet Snoopy" would open for the 2011 season.
In 2011, Dorney Park introduces an 8 million dollar extensive overhaul to the former Camp Snoopy kid's park area. The new area is named Planet Snoopy with additions such as seven new rides, a new family care center offering services and amenities for parents and their young children, a new and larger outdoor amphitheater, and extensive new PEANUTS theme attributes being applied to differentiate the now 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) kid's park from the rest of Dorney Park. Theme attributes include a new bright color palette, large billboard like Planet Snoopy signage, arch entry ways, paver blocks on the midways instead of concrete, and a Snoopy sculpture as a center piece and kids photo op.
In 2012, Dorney Park added Stinger, formerly Invertigo from California's Great America, to its roller coaster collection. The park also added the new Fast Lane virtual queue system, similar to the other Cedar Fair parks. Also new for the 2012 season is the "Dinosaurs Alive!" section of the park, located behind the steel force entrance. For a nominal additional fee of $5.00, the whole family can enjoy lifelike dinosaurs that move and roar. Also within the attraction, there is a "dig site" for children to discover fossils, bones, etc... With the addition of "Dinosaurs Alive!", new automated moving and roaring dinosaurs have been added throughout the park, including a towering T-Rex at the main entrance.
Current attractions 
Roller coasters 
|Hydra the Revenge||2005||Bolliger & Mabillard||A steel floorless roller coaster. It is notable for having an inversion before the lift hill.||5|
|Possessed||2008||Intamin||A steel launched Inverted Impulse roller coaster. It was previously located at Geauga Lake as Steel Venom.||5|
|Steel Force||1997||Chance Morgan||A steel Hypercoaster. It is over a mile, the longest coaster on the East Coast of the United States.||5|
|Stinger||2012||Vekoma||A steel Invertigo roller coaster. It was previously located at California's Great America as Invertigo.||5|
|Talon||2001||Bolliger & Mabillard||A steel inverted roller coaster, with a vertical loop, a zero-g-roll, an immelmann, and a flat spin||5|
|Thunderhawk||1923||Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters||A wooden roller coaster. One of the oldest operating roller coasters in the world.||4|
|Wild Mouse||2000||Maurer Söhne||A steel wild mouse roller coaster||4|
|Woodstock Express||2000||Zamperla||A steel family roller coaster||3|
Thrill rides 
|Demon Drop||2010||Intamin||A 1st generation freefall ride. It was previously located at Cedar Point.||5|
|Dominator||1999||S&S Worldwide||A combo turbo drop and space shot tower.||5|
|Enterprise||1984||HUSS||A classic Enterprise ride||4|
|Hang Time||1998||HUSS||A Top Spin ride||5|
|Meteor||2002||Zamperla||Riders are suspended and seated face-to-face as Meteor thrill ride loops them forward and backward, giving the sensation of an inverted coaster loop.||5|
|Revolution||2004||Chance||A Revolution ride||5|
|Scream' Swing||2005||S&S Worldwide||A Screamin' Swing ride. An extra fee is required.||5|
|Thunder Creek Speedway||1998||A Go Karts attraction. An extra fee is required.||4|
Family rides 
|Antique Carousel||1995||A 1921 Dentzel carousel featuring a 66 piece menagerie of animals and two chariots. It opened at Cedar Point in 1972 and was relocated to Dorney Park in 1995.||1|
|Apollo||1984||A circular ride that rotates while alternately lifting and then dropping the cars relative to the center of the ride.||3|
|Cedar Creek Cannonball||1993||An old-fashioned replica steam engine train ride||1|
|Chance Carousel||1986||A carousel with thirty animals and two chariots. The animals move up and down as the ride spins in a circle.||1|
|Dinosaurs Alive!||2012||A walk through dinosaur attraction. An extra fee of $5 is required.|
|Ferris Wheel||1991||A classic ferris wheel ride||2|
|Monster||1995||A monster type ride||3|
|Musik Express||1984||A music express ride||3|
|Road Rally||1994||A car ride that features gasoline-powered vehicles that are modeled after classic sports cars.||3|
|Scrambler||1970||A twist type ride||3|
|Sea Dragon||1984||A pirate ship type ride||3|
|Tilt-A-Whirl||2002||A classic Tilt-A-Whirl ride||3|
|Wave Swinger||1985||A classic Zierer Corporation swing ride||3|
|Whip||1920||Riders travel in carts through an oval that "whips" them around 180-degree turns.||2|
|Zephyr||1935||A miniature train that takes riders on a scenic trip around the park. It is a one-of-a-kind train designed after the Burlington Zephyr—the first streamline train.||1|
Water rides 
|Thunder Canyon||1995||Barr Engineering||A river rafting water ride||5|
|Thunder Creek Mountain||1982||Barr Engineering||A classic log flume water ride||4|
|White Water Landing||1993||Arrow Dynamics||A shoot-the-chutes water ride||5|
Defunct roller coasters 
|Scenic Railway||Frederick Ingersoll||Wooden||Sit Down||1903–1920|
|Wild Mouse||Schiff||Steel||Sit Down||1964–1965|
|Flying Dutchman||Pinfari||Steel||Sit Down||1972–1988|
|Hercules||Dinn Corporation||Wooden||Sit Down||1989–2003|
|Laser||Anton Schwarzkopf||Steel||Sit Down||1986–2008|
|Steel First||Allan Herschell Company||Steel||Kiddie||1990–2010|
Wildwater Kingdom 
Wildwater Kingdom, located on the park grounds, is one of the largest water parks located within an amusement park (as opposed to stand-alone or separately gated waterparks) in the country, with over a dozen water rides and pools. It opened in 1985. It has become a major summer attraction and is especially popular with residents from the local Lehigh Valley, as well as Allentown's two closest major cities, New York City and Philadelphia. It is located in admission to Dorney Park.
Wildwater Kingdom has 22 water slides, three aquatic playlands for children, a water funhouse, two tubing rivers, two wave pools and other water rides. In the 2006 season, Wildwater Kingdom introduced an additional wave pool (called Wildwater Cove) to accommodate the immense popularity of the park's existing wave pool. The season pass lot was eliminated and now season pass holders must park in the regular lot at no additional cost. In 2007, a six-lane mat racing water slide called the Aqua Racer was added, sponsored by Capital BlueCross. Two enclosed tube slides (Torpedo Tubes) were dismantled at the end of 2006.
|Aqua Racer||Over 42"||Multi-lane mat racer||4|
|Aquablast||Over 46"||Multi person slide||5|
|Cascade||Under 48"||Double tube slide||4|
|Island Water Works||Over 46" or with adult||Kids area||1|
|Jumpin Jack Splash||Over 46"||One open air and two enclosed slides||4|
|Kids Cove||Under 54" or with child||Kids area||1|
|Lightning Falls||Under 48"||Two tube slides||5|
|Lily Pads||Over 48"||Walk on floating lily pads||2|
|Lollipop Lagoon||Under 54" or with child||Kids area||1|
|Patriot's Plunge||Over 48"||Three water slides||5|
|Riptide Run||No height requirement||Lazy River||4|
|Runaway River||Over 42" or with adult||Lazy River||2|
|Speed Slides||Over 48"||Two slides||3|
|Splash Landing||Under 54" or with child||Kids area||1|
|Wave Pool||Over 42" or with adult||Wave pool||4|
|Wildwater Cove||Over 42"||Wave pool||4|
|Wildwater Rapids||Over 46"||Two enclosed and two open air slides||4|
|Wildwater River||Under 54" or with child||Lazy River||2|
Fast Lane 
Fast Lane is Dorney Park's virtual queue system. For $50, visitors get a wrist band that enables them to get to the front of the line on the most popular attractions without queueing. But if you go on a Saturday, it's $5 more. Fast Lane includes the following attractions: Steel Force, Talon, Hydra, Possessed, Stinger, Wild Mouse, Thunderhawk, White Water Landing, Dominator, and Thunder Canyon. When rides on the Fast Lane lineup are closed, there is no price change.
Halloween Haunt 
Halloween Haunt was originally introduced in 1998 as Halloweekends, but was renamed Halloween Haunt in 2008. HAUNT 2012 was the park's 5th HAUNT. For 2012, a bigger event was created for the anniversary called Halloween Haunt V.
Current attractions 
Halloween Haunt currently features 11 attractions including eight mazes and three scare zones. For 2012, the Backwoods, Terror Square, and Club Blood have been retired. The 2013 attraction line up will be announced in summer 2013.
|Age of Darkness||Scare Zone||2011||Road Rally Midway|
|The Asylum||Maze||2009||Stinger Midway|
|Corn Stalkers||Maze||2008||Wildwater Kingdom|
|Cut Throat Island||Scare Zone||2011||Hydra Plaza|
|Desolation||Maze||2012||White Water Landing|
|Head Hunters||Scare Zone||2012||Possessed Midway|
|Mansion House Hotel||Maze||2010||Food Fest Groves|
|Psycho Circus||Maze||2009||Funzone Arcade|
Attraction history 
Terror Square (new)
Club Blood (new)
Headstone Hollow (new)
Doctor Of Doom (Renovated)
Magical House on Kill Hill
|2||2009||The Asylum (new)
Magical House on Kill Hill
Psycho Circus (Formally Doctor Of Doom)
Death Trap (new)
The Gauntlet (new)
Pirate Passage (new)
Mansion House Hotel (new)
Mansion House Hotel
Grave Walkers (new)
Age of Darkness (new- an improved Gauntlet)
Cut Throat Island (new- an improved Pirate Passage)
|5||2012||Age of Darkness
Head Hunters (new)
Mansion House Hotel
Cut Throat Island
Dorney Park in popular culture 
Also, the 1968 film, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows features scenes of Dorney Park including the old Alfundo entrance over the coaster (see photo above), the Pirate's Cove (Bucket O' Blood), Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Scrambler, the Coaster (Thunderhawk), and other Dorney Park scenes.
Stinger stopped on the lift hill three weeks after first opening for 90 minutes. There were no injuries.
- "History". Dorney Park official website. Archived from the original on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- Margolis, Liz; Duckett, Jodi (20 March 2009). "Dorney's Voodoo becomes Possessed". The Morning Call. p. D.1. ISSN 0884-5557. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Season pass information that reveals the Planet Snoopy opening. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- "Dorney Park News". Dorney Park. Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- Ratings assigned per Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom's own system, where "1" is the least intense and "5" is the most. See their "Guest Assistance Guide". Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. for more specific details.
- "Halloween Haunt attractions". Dorney Park. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Riders stuck on Dorney Park roller coaster for 90 minutes | Regional: Lehigh Valley - Home". Wfmz.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
Further reading 
- Futrell, Jim. Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Dorney Park|
- Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom Official website
- Dorney Park Photo Gallery
- Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom at the Roller Coaster DataBase
- "Journey To The Center of The Earth" On-Ride Footage from 1990
- New York Times review of Dorney Park