We finally complete our look back at the first twenty years of Cedar Fair's ownership of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom today, on the actual 20th anniversary of the purchase of the park. If you've missed the first three parts in the series, start here with Part 1.
|The first sign of Voodoo|
Voodoo was the first in what would become a series of transplanted rides being added to Dorney Park. Voodoo had a former life at another Cedar Fair park, the now shuttered Geauga Lake, where it was known Superman Ultimate Escape.
When the decision was being made to close that park several of its major rides were moved out, one of which was Superman. Before long parts of the coaster started to arrive at Dorney Park, where they could be seen in the back of the park, beyond Steel Force's station.
|Voodoo track, old and the new|
Voodoo took up home in the large empty area that was left after the Skyscraper thrill ride was removed several years before. It was to stretch along a good portion of the midway, ending near the Laser roller coaster.
|Refurbishing Voodoo's track pieces|
|One of Dorney Park's official construction photos|
|Voodoo going up!|
While we've detailed the story of Voodoo at the park, we haven't really covered the ride itself.
Voodoo is one of Intamin AG's Twisted Impulse Coasters, standing 184 feet in height. Riders board the train and fill one of 28 seats, after which the linear induction motors kick in and launch them out of the station.
The train continues to be launched through the station, both forward and backwards, hitting a top speed of 70 miles per hour. One spike features a twisted helix, while the other has a holding brake that briefly stops the train in the air.
|Press photo of Voodoo in operation|
If you happen to visit the park currently, you may notice that there is no ride named Voodoo there.
|A slight modification to the sign and Voodoo becomes Possessed|
The Fall season saw the debut of a brand new level of scary at the park, with the first official year of Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park.
|The Haunt logo|
During the day the park still offered family friendly attractions during Boo! Blast, such as Trick or Treat Street and a Hay Bale Maze.
Live entertainment was also created especially for Halloween Haunt, including Dead Awakening and General Jack's Side Show Bizarro.
2008 also marked the start of Jason McClure as the park's General Manager after Jim Yeager retired. As of this writing, Mr. McClure is still the park's leader.
The start of Dorney Park's 2009 season was marked by the removal of one of the park's roller coasters, the Laser.
|Laser's removal from the park was quick|
The aging ride required a significant amount of maintenance and was put on the market in 2008. It was made to be portable, after all.
While it was sad for fans to see the ride go, it did not mean the end for Laser, which now operates in Germany as Teststrecke.
The 2009 season was also a big milestone for the park, marking its 125th anniversary. That's quite an accomplishment for any amusement park, and Dorney is proud to have one of the longest histories around.
To celebrate the park's big year a total of $6 million was invested in the park's live entertainment offerings with the addition of the Good Time Theatre.
In order for the theater to fit into the existing park, the large blue and white stripe tent that was an outside picnic area was removed.
|Under heavy construction|
Once final approval were granted, which took a bit longer than planned, the theater went up in just twelve weeks, as it was constructed of large prefabricated concrete pieces.
When completed, the Good Time Theatre was 18,000 square feet in size, and is capable of seating 603 guests per show.
|The completed Good Time Theatre|
|Snoopy Rocks! On Ice|
The show featured a cast of over a dozen skaters and many scenes from everyone's favorite Snoopy moments such as his fight with the Red Baron and Charlie Brown's kite-flying troubles.
With Laser now removed from the park, the junior coaster that was called Little Laser for decades needed a new name. A contest was held for a new name, and Steel First won.
Although the Halloween Haunt has just premiered the previous season, it had such a tremendous response from guests that it was expanded again in 2009.
|Lots of new haunted attractions|
Dorney Park's 2010 season featured the addition of a new thrill ride, but one that was only new to Dorney Park.
During the winter before the park opened it was announced that Demon Drop, an original Intamin free fall ride, would be removed from sister park Cedar Point.
|Building Demon Drop at Dorney Park|
Regardless of how the decisions for where the ride would go were made, the rest is history and Demon Drop was Dorney Park's new for 2010 ride.
According to the park's press release, "the ride simulates a free-fall drop from a 10-story building, and will be the first true free-fall ride experience at Dorney park."
|An official Dorney Park image|
In order to make room for the footprint of Demon Drop, which is very thin but rather long, the park's Krazy Kars had to be removed. The Krazy Kars were gasoline powered bumper cars that had been at the park for some time.
With the ride shifting homes during the winter months, and then receiving a complete refurbishment before construction started, the ride opened well into the park's 2010 season.
The ride stands a total of 131 feet tall and is the only ride of its kind operating in the United States, and only one of five still open in the world.
|Ready, set, drop!|
|The park had a sense of humor about the ride|
Demon Drop originally opened at Cedar Point in 1983.
Utilizing the park's big addition the previous year, the Good Time Theatre, the park also featured the Rock Band, Live summer tour.
An effort between Cedar Fair and MTV Games, the Rock Band, Live! tour visited almost all the parks in the chain, starting with Dorney Park over Memorial Day weekend.
|Rock Band, Live at the Good Time Theatre|
|The spooky Mansion House Hotel|
2011 was another season that was dedicated to the world's most famous beagle, Snoopy.
|Concept art for Planet Snoopy|
|Demolition of Camp Snoopy|
The original Berenstain Bear Country part of Camp Snoopy saw the most heavy renovations during the transformation. All remnants of the original Bear themed area were removed, and in their place went in a selection of new rides that kids and parents could enjoy together.
|A new Planet Snoopy ride under construction|
The Bear's Tree was torn down, and all of the play activities were removed. The only attractions that stayed on that half of the land was the children's roller coaster and the old Camp Snoopy Outfitters building, along with the decorative rock waterfall.
Paths through the area were changed to have less entrances and exits to Planet Snoopy in order to make it a bit more self contained. Brick pavers were used throughout the area along with bright colors and plenty of Peanuts themed signage.
The 'newer' part of Camp Snoopy was retained, but all the rides received new paint, theming, and names, or some combination of the three. All of the "camp" theming, such as the rustic ride entrances, were removed as well.
|The crowds quickly embraced Planet Snoopy|
|One of the seven new rides added in Planet Snoopy|
To keep with the Snoopy theme that 2011 had, the park's Good Time Theatre also premiered a new ice show, titled Snoopy's Big Bow-Wow.
Other changes around the park included the addition of Chickie's and Pete's, a food location near the Sea Dragon. The lower Possessed midway saw the removal of all the kiddie rides, including Steel First and the Dragon Coaster, and the park was closed to guests beyond Laser's old entrance.
Cut Throat Island featured pirates that were most definitely crazy and had one of the largest props I've ever seen created for an outdoor haunt.
Age of Darkness took over the Gauntlet and featured all new theming and a total makeover of characters and scares.
Grave Walkers utilized the empty field behind Revolution to create a cemetery that guests could freely wander around, but with a narrow crypt as the only way out.
As in prior years new live entertainment was featured during Halloween Haunt as well, including a new show at the Ghoul Time Theatre called Eternal Jamnation.
Dorney Park celebrated their 2012 season by adding two different attractions to the property. During most of the previous year rumors swirled that the park would be receiving a new roller coaster, to be removed from sister park California's Great America.
|Parts for the 2012 coaster in Allentown, PA|
When it came time for the big reveal, Dorney Park announced that Stinger would be the park's new for 2012 ride, part of an overall $10 million expansion. The coaster had already been removed from California's Great America, and was being shipped across the country.
|Stinger under construction|
Construction began while the park was still open in the Fall of 2011, with much of the ride completed before the park closed for the year.
Lightly themed as a scorpion's tail ready to strike, Stinger stands 138 feet at its tallest point.
The train seats passengers so that they face the next row of riders, putting them face to face during the experience. After the train is hauled up the first lift it is released to head down through 1,014 feet of track at 55 miles per hour.
|Stinger open for operation at Dorney Park|
Well after the announcement of Stinger news also broke that Dorney Park would join several other Cedar Fair parks in building a Dinosaurs Alive! attractions in 2012.
The attraction features a 2,100 foot long walking trail that is lined with over 30 animatronic dinosaurs.
|The dinosaurs have invaded Dorney Park|
After paying an additional fee of $5, guests are able to wander around the path at their own pace, and discover several different scenes along the way. There's plenty of educational components as well, and the visit ends with a trip through the Dino Store, where tons of themed merchandise is available.
Plenty of other smaller changes took place in 2012 around the park, especially with various food offerings. The Philadelphia Pretzel Factory moved in, Starbucks coffee is now offered, and the Turkey Hill Ice Cream Factory took over Sweet Temptations.
|Haunt's 5th anniversary logo|
Phew, we made it to the end! That was quite a twenty year journey for the park. With all that investment in the park things have changed quite a bit over time, but the progress that has been made is pretty radical all things considered.
Here's to the next twenty years!