Dorney Park was gracious enough to take time out of their schedule to host another off-season tour for fans, and with a major new coaster, family attraction and more debuting in 2012 they're quite busy!
Our host, the ever helpful Charles Hutchison, park Manager of Public Relations, started by showing off one of the new dinosaurs that has arrived at the park. This little guy will be used for promotional activities by the park. The bigger dinos have yet to arrive, it seems.
Dinosaurs Alive will actually start in the Steel Force plaza - this will be the entrance area, to the right of Revolution. The attraction will have a new retail location built, filled with tons of dino merchandise. The attraction will be a $5 up-charge, but once guests enter they are free to explore as long as they like.
But how about that brand new roller coaster? Stinger's construction was completed some time ago, and the park has taken full advantage of a rather mild winter to complete the ride's station, queue, and adjacent walkways.
The photo above shows the ride's entrance, the ride marquee will be located just on the right in the planter.
The midway that winds along the ride is dramatically different than what was there in the fall, slightly thinner and curving along the side of Stinger. This has left a nice open area where the kiddie rides used to be located.
The park has also created a large, almost huge, open plaza just beyond the ride. This year it'll be used occasionally for special events and the like, but the fact that it just screams place-a-new-ride-here can't be ignored! The plaza connects to the area in front of the Asylum, one of the park's Haunt attractions and is circular in shape.
Here is a closer shot of the ride's station. Everything from the air gates to the control booth look completed, though the train has not be placed on the track yet.
One last artsy shot of the ride. This really shows off the colors of the ride, true to how it looks in person. Aside from any unforeseen problems, the coaster should be ready when the park opens.
The park has plenty of other smaller projects going on as well. Major upgrades to the park's technology systems are underway, including a new point of sale system for all outlets - something that is a very substantial undertaking.
Above is one of many small pads that have been poured around the park - they will be home to dinos that will serve as a sort of advertising for Dinosaurs Alive.
Other rides are receiving refurbishments and upgrades, here we see White Water Landing's new exit bridge, a large investment that's all for guest comfort. Talon's track will be painted before the park opens, to match its supports which were painted a year or two ago. The park will also have new entertainment options on the main midway in the form of a new stage near the Coasters restaurant, and expanded dining plan options, Fast Lane during the regular season, and extended park hours.
Here we see Thunderhawk receiving its annual maintenance, sure it is only missing handrails but work is being done on several portions of the ride.
Dorney will also debut a new website in the coming weeks, similar to the park's other new sites.
Thanks to Dorney for having the tour, and we look forward to checking out the park when it opens for the 2012 season on April 28th.