Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dorney Park 2017 Season Opening Update

This past weekend was Dorney Park's opening day, and with great weather it saw both excited crowds and eager guests ready to have some fun after a long winter.  Let's take a look at all that has changed for 2017, the park has added several attractions and more.

Up top are the new metal detectors that are located out front of the ticket booths in the main entrance plaza.  This is a great improvement to wanding and very fast.  Guests are asked to hold devices, keys, etc in their hands and raise them as they pass through, which is super fast.  This eliminates the empty-every-pocket-into-a-bucket process I've encountered elsewhere that takes time to then collect, etc.

Located along the main midway soon after entering the park is the first of two new rides at Dorney Park this year.  Kaleidoscope is a Huss Trokia that is looking great in its new home.

Just to give an idea of where the ride is located, it sits on the land that was once home to Screamin' Swing.  To the left of it is the Coasters restaurant, and to the right and behind it is the Wild Mouse.

While the ride wasn't ready for opening day, it will be withing a couple weeks - or sooner.  It arrived from its original home already totally refurbished and painted.  The above photo was taken from the dining area at Coasters - the queue for Kaleidoscope can be seen in the foreground.

As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many classic Huss flat rides at a park!  I'm looking forward to giving Kaleidoscope a spin when it opens.

A little further down the midway is the large games area, a part of which has been repurposed in 2017 into a Coke Refresh stand.  As all-day drink programs continue to gain popularity this helps with a big need of the park.

Another sign of the growing popularity of extra-benefit plans related to dining, beverage and Fast Lane is the addition of a Premium Services area at the park's entrance.  This is a great idea in my opinion, as many guests have questions and this will help eliminate them right at the start of the day.

The second new ride this year is Dodgem, the return of bumper cars at the park!  Located near the entrance to Talon and where Hang Time was, the ride adds a lot of activity and fun to what was a pretty quiet area the past couple seasons.

Dodgem looks great at night, as it has a classic light package that can be seen from far away - perfect to draw visitors in.

All of the cars (there are 20) have LED lights on the bottom of them which go on during the ride cycle.  Dodgem was pulling healthy lines on opening weekend but the wait was never too long - so plenty of happy visitors.

On to some other changes, the Snoopy Bounce is no longer at the park in Planet Snoopy.  Looks like some new grass has been planted on the spot where it was.

Not far away from where Snoopy Bounce was, a path that used to lead to the Joker flat ride has returned to grass and landscaping.  The path has led to nothing other than a nice view of Hydra's cobra roll for many years, so this makes sense to me.

Dorney Park is also featuring a renovated stand that now offers Auntie Anne's pretzels, at the perfect spot just outside one of the entrances to Planet Snoopy.

Another rather large addition for 2017 is the Parkside Pavilion, an expansive catering area that has gone up behind White Water Landing on land that was formerly used for maintenance and storage.  The entrance to the area is beyond Meteor along the side of Hydra.

Guests can see into the area and a secondary exit for it on the way to Thunder Canyon.  On opening weekend crews were still finishing up work on the addition.

There was a berm here with trees on it that used to hide the maintenance area beyond it, but it's now opened up with Parkside Pavilion.  You can see Blood on the Bayou in the back of this image, helping to give an idea of its location.

One last photo of Parkside Pavilion, I took this one from right at the entrance to Thunder Canyon to show how different the area looks.

Hard to believe, well at least it is for me, but Steel Force is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017.  Where oh where has the time gone!

The park has renamed the Monster Grille into the Chef's Grille, and it will now feature rotating meals throughout the year.  Much more on this and the food and beverage changes at the park in a story coming up real soon.

Not the most exciting change, I know, but Dominator got some fancy new graphics on the ride cars.  Hard to tell for sure, but the paint on the tubes inside the towers also looked pretty vibrant, so perhaps they were redone as well.

Looking forward to the fall and the popular Haunt, the park is already teasing about a new attraction for 2017.  This is the side of the former Mansion House Hotel haunt, which we can safely assume is now a part of history.  The park has painted the side of the building black with a giant teaser on it.

Here is a closer look at the sign that is posted as well.  There's some clues to the theme but I still haven't quite put my thumb on it.  This is also the 10th year of Haunt, which means the park will use that cool Haunt X logo!

Finally, the amusement park side still has one more addition for 2017, the opening of Cirque Imagine in the Good Time Theatre.  The highly anticipated show will open to guests starting on June 17th.

That's all for now, stay tuned for more updates soon!