Monday, September 8, 2014

Memories of Dorney Park's 130 Years - Part 5

We've finally made it to the last part of our series of historic Dorney Park photographs, posted in celebration of the amusement park's 130th anniversary.  If you missed the earlier segments, click here to start at the beginning.

Last time we looked at the park's dark rides, now we've got some assorted other rides to look at, spanning from gentle rides to thrilling coasters.  Also a few really old photos of the park, too.

Dorney Park has had a long history of Carousels, to the point where I can't say exactly which one this is a photo of.  It very well may be the park's original Dentzel, which celebrated many of the park's special anniversaries as well as the bicentennial in '76 - or perhaps a PTC model the park had later.  Dorney Park also had an interesting ride named the Chanticleer, which featured fun animals such as roosters instead of horses.

I know we looked at the Coaster building in great detail earlier, but I saw this additional photo and wanted to share it.  I like the wide angle of it, showing the entire structure - from the positioning of The Coaster's lift hill in the background those less familiar with the park can understand just where the building was.  It's also a clear look at the famous Alfundo clown - take a peek at the larger image and focus on Alfundo's hands... a bit claw like, no?

This is a very old postcard of the park, showing off its very first roller coaster.  It was called the Scenic Railway, as the gentle ride it gave really did allow for a scenic ride, not a thrilling or fast one.  The coaster used the hillside at the back of the park to give the train some mild hills to roll over.

This photo isn't of any ride, instead it shows off the "Boating Lake" that used to be just past the furthest turnaround of Thunderhawk.  The lake actually lasted until around the time when Steel Force was built, when the dam seen above gave way.  The lake drained, and was filled in - now serving as over flow parking.  If you looked at this same view today you would see Steel Force's station in the back left, at the base of the hillside.

Dorney Park did have a train ride before the Zephyr, though I hadn't seen it until this photo.  I can't tell where in the park this was, except for obviously along Cedar Creek.  Such a peaceful looking part of the park, though!

The Zephyr train ride is commonly credited with saving the park during the Great Depression, giving folks a reason to still come to the park.  This photo is from when the train was still new, take notice of the throngs of riders peeking out of the side - probably excited that their photo was going to be taken.  Also of note is the poster advertisement for the Great Allentown Fair on the building over on the right.

The Zephry has always run its course along Cedar Creek, among the tall trees and over several bridges.  The front of the train sports a sign that proclaims it the Zephyr Jr., as it was built as a smaller version of the large Zephyr trains that debuted in the 1930s.

This last photo shows the Zephyr during the 1970s, with the park looking much more like we are familiar with.  Granted the Sky Ride was still operating, and the groves seen in the background have since been replaced with the Road Rally cars.

This old photo is of Dorney Lake, which was the upper boating lake that we saw earlier in this post.  The reason I wanted to feature it was because if you look behind the treeline in the background you can see the hills of the Coaster before it had its layout changed.  You can't make out too much, but you an see some smaller hills that the trains would pop over on the return run.

While on the subject, here's a great old aerial photo showing off The Coaster before it was modified into its current layout.  The ride was a traditional out and back, with a turnaround that would be located around where Steel Force's final brakes are today.

The Rockets were a popular ride at Dorney Park for many years, offering a gentle swinging ride around the central tower.  In this image you can see how the tower was located elevated off the ground, with picnic tables located underneath.  No need to waste good space that could be utilized by park guests!

The Rockets, along with the Mill Chute, Coaster, and boat ride kept the lower midway full of action.  The creek is much higher than it is today, which is intentional.  The park removed a second dam that created the higher water level some years ago, allowing it to flow naturally again.

Long before the ride was thrilling riders on the Main Midway, there was another Wild Mouse on the property.  Seen here, the ride was designed by B. A. Schiff, a company that created many Wild Mouse roller coasters during the '50s and '60s.

While Dorney Park has been home to a handful of coasters in its history, I hadn't seen much on the Wild Mouse.  The individual cars raced around the track, with tight curves and small dips along the way.

Some aspects of roller coasters have really stood the test of time, regardless of new advancements in technology.  It's neat to see a coaster like this Wild Mouse as a popular ride at the park some six decades ago, and know that there's a newer version there right now that's just as popular.

Here is one last panoramic view of the park, in much more recent times - probably 1994 or so.  It was taken from a slide tower in the water park, looking at the newly filled in parking lot that would connected Dorney to Wildwater Kingdom.  The park's new entrance appears to be under construction in the back left, and the original layout of the upper train can be seen.  Just knowing how much has been built out in this area (a whole midway, Talon, etc) made this one worth sharing.

Well, that's it!  Many thank to the park for sharing so many of the photos they dug up - I'm very happy to have been able to share them with the public and fans of the park. 

All photos © Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom