This time of year is especially pretty at Dorney (and most other parks) as the landscaping has fully grown in, crowds are light, and the Summer's heat has disappeared.
This photo is a nice example of all of those! Today was a picture perfect day to be visiting a park, and while there aren't many folks in this photo, the park had a nice crowd - mostly local families taking advantage of the day.
The park is deep into its transformation for the upcoming Haunt. Here we see Psycho Circus decked out in its craziest. Anyone with a fear of clowns, beware.
A new Haunt this year is a scare zone named Cut Throat Island. This replaces the Pirate Passage that cut through Camp Snoopy - which wouldn't fit well with the all-new Planet Snoopy. I had heard the park had some cool props out for this new Haunt, but I had no idea how intense they were!
The Hydra plaza has a gigantic pirate ship, wrecked into three pieces, as well as full building facades in the area. This takes prop building for Haunt to an entire new level at the park!
The ship was so big I had a hard time fitting the whole thing into one shot - here's the first two segments. Use the people walking in front of it for scale - this thing is just massive! There's lots of little hiding spots carved out in between the pieces, which should make for some great scares.
There was definitely no skimping on the details of the ship, either. I've been continually impressed with the park's Haunt creations over the years, but this is by far their crowning achievement, at least in my opinion.
Perhaps the ship's goal is to blast Hydra out of the water? Ready, aim, fire!
Two returning Haunts are also up and ready to go - on the top we see Terror Square, an Old West themed attraction that stretches out under Steel Force's helix, on the path of the go-karts. Below is the massive skull entrance to Death Trap, one of the park's goriest mazes which features the wrath of an escaped serial killer.
The Age of Darkness is another new/transformed scare zone, replacing The Gauntlet. Age of Darkness will start next to the park's Scrambler, and stretch to the start of the path under Thunderhawk, which was the Gauntlet's former home.
The Gauntlet was a little light on props, and while the thin walkway would seem to help, it actually hurt the chances for a good scare.
All of those problems have been fixed by moving the Haunt a bit, and there's already tons of new props lining the area's path. Here we see what was one of the park's restrooms, with a huge castle facade built right over the side of it! Another amazing job done by the park. Can't wait to see how this one turns out.
The third attraction for this year is Grave Walkers, which is in an open field next to Steel Force's station and behind Revolution. The park has added fences that block the view into the area, but you can see into the entrance, which looks like it's already primed with one of the living dead.
Finally some movement on Monster Watch 2011 - we've got some progress!
Moving on to Stinger construction - the signs and concept art from the ride's announcement have been added to the construction wall.
Looking into the work area, we can see that we have many completed footers at this point - nicely matching the work schedule that was mentioned at the announcement. The finished footers in this photo will be for the right-hand side of the cobra roll, with the pathway back to the Asylum on the right.
This shot - also showing rows of completed footers, was taken next to Possessed's spiral tower. If I am correct I think that the footings seen here will be for the ride's station, and back where the bulldozers are will eventually be the large support for the tallest part of the ride's towers.
I didn't look too hard, but I still have not seen any track or supports on the park's property. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated as the fall progresses!