Sunday, December 8, 2013

From The Vault: Undated 1960s Dorney Park Brochure

It is not every day, but certainly a happy one, when a park actually sends me a brochure to feature in this column!

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom are gearing up for their 130th anniversary in 2014, and along those lines they've been doing a bit of digging in the archives.  This gem is one of many they've come across, and they were kind enough to send it to me for use in the From The Vault series.  It's so wonderful to see a park actively celebrating their history - I look forward to seeing what they come up with for next summer!

This brochure is undated, but from the style and photos I would wager a guess that it is from the mid 1960s.  The park's tag-line for that period was "The Natural Spot," a motto that reflected the origins of the park as a gathering place along the creek for picnics.  I love the aerial shot that is included on this page - you can see so many different rides such as The Coaster (now Thunderhawk), Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Skyride, Scooters, and the Rocket Swings.

We're accustomed to seeing many big coasters at Dorney these days, but during this time The Coaster was the biggest thrill offered.  The ride wasn't named Thunderhawk until 1989 when Hercules came along, and suddenly the two rides needed to be better differentiated.

Also featured on this page are the sea lions that were a part of Zoorama, an animal area that was located out beyond where Stinger is today.  Many local children's first experience seeing different animals was at Zoorama and the sea lions were especially popular.

Here we see many of the flat rides that were at Dorney once upon a time - well some of them are still there (or more modern versions at least).  The Tilt-a-Whirl is still whirling (new model), the Scrambler scrambling, and the Whip whipping, for instance.  Gone are the Calypso, Showboat, Giant Slide, Paratrooper, Trabant, Cuddle-Up (later Iceberg and Meteorite) and the Whacky Shack.  There's some great attractions in that last list there, but nothing lasts forever!

If you really zoom in on the park map that is included on this last page, there's just tons to see.  The park's racetrack was located in the upper left, and below it down the hill was Castle Gardens and the deer preserve.  Dorney Park road still ran literally through the middle of the park - cutting it in half and requiring a crossing guard!  So much has changed yet you can spot many items that are still in the same place.

Many thanks to Dorney Park for sharing this brochure with us, we hope you all enjoy.  It's terrific to have the park invested not only in their future, but also their past!