Since both of my kids did very well in school this year, we decided to reward them for all of their hard work. I thought what better way to show them we appreciate their dedication to school than to take them to an amusement park, to celebrate the end of school year and summer vibes! My kids and I are BIG FANS of amusement parks and I knew they would be so happy when I gave them the news that we would be heading to Dorney Park in Pennsylvania! Dorney Park is one of the several amusement parks in our area that we have been planning to check out for years. Dorney Park first came onto our radar when we were driving through Pennsylvania for a vacation in Amish County. We passed it on the road and everyone in the car quickly turned their heads and said, “What is that?” We could see the signs from the road for Dorney Park and that is when my husband said, “Oh, that is where Dorney Park is.” It was like he was having an epiphany. He shared with all of us that he had always wanted to go to Dorney Park as a kid but his parents weren’t the amusement park type. Now many years later he would get his chance.
So on Friday the kids took a day off from school (not a biggie since they had both 100% attendance) we headed to our trip. The weather was amazing. Not super hot and mostly sunny.
I wanted to share our experience and some tips for enjoying Dorney Park.
Buy your entrance tickets ahead of time
You can find deals like $20 off on many coupon and deal sites. Also check your local Dunkin Donuts store. I have seen Dorney park coupons there for the last 7 years. Or get alerts from Dorney Park web site. They may run specials each week. (Scroll below to Lemonade Days to find out how to save $19 off during the month of June)
Dorney park opens at 10 AM. Be ahead
Because we usually like to get to amusement park early to beat the lines, we decided to drive to PA a day earlier and stay at a nearby hotel with the pool. The road trip from Queens, NYC to Dorney Park took us 3 hours. It is always extra hour spent in NYC traffic no matter where or when you go (sigh..)
I recommend to drive to Dorney Park a day earlier and rent an inexpensive hotel. The one we stayed at is Ramada Inn that included breakfast and the we paid $71 for a large room with 2 queen beds for 5 people. It had a room for my son to sleep on the floor. The hotel is only 10 minutes away.
The next morning we got to the park at 9:30. By the time you find a parking spot – (look for parking spots around trees), sort out your necessities, apply the sunscreen and proceed to the entrance it will already be 10 AM. I was very pleased to see not an overcrowded parking lot, but the buses already started popping early! I was like uh-oh… that is not a good sign because I hate when the park is overcrowded and I hate to wait for an hour for 40-50 second thrill ride.
Go against the flow
We proceeded to the park and got our tickets. I recommend to get a free park map (near the tickets booths) and start your park adventure from one area. According to statistics, most people start from the right of the main entrance, but I recommend you should go the opposite directions to beat the crowds. Well, I peaked at the right for their new popular thrill ride called Talon and I was right, the line had about 30 minutes wait time at 11 AM (vs. left area of the park where they have Posessed and Steel Force had no lines at all.
Get Fast Lane Pass
In case you come to the park on a weekend or if you see a long line you should consider upgrading to Fast Lane pass to bypass the regular lines. The cost of Fast Lane Pass is $45 per person and it can be purchased at many locations thru-out the park. The pass cuts waiting time completely. For each eligible ride there’s a Fast lane pass separate entrance and you get up to the coaster entrance. All you need to do is wait in line after people that have already formed the waiting line to go to their seats. I really loved the fast lane pass but to be honest, I was very surprised that the lines were not too big for all coasters. There was a big line to go to Talon and Hydra, but there was NO line to go to Demon Drop, Steel Force, or Possessed.
Wait few hours before you go on White Water Landing
The next thrill ride was kids choice water ride – White Water Landing. ( “It opened in 1992 – was the tallest, steepest, fastest and wettest waterfall plunge ride in the world”) And it definitely made us soaked. I would recommend this ride after spending few hours in the park, unless you want to get soaked immediately. Note, you WILL get soaked and your clothes will be wet! This is why I recommend to experience this ride in the middle of the day (before your lunch break), after you go on few rides, and need a fresh start. This ride will give you a fresh boost!
Bring a fresh set of clothes and rent a locker.
If you’re traveling with smaller kids or In case you’re planning to get soaked, it is always good to have a fresh set of clothes with you. Hourly and all day lockers are available throughout the park for storing souvenirs, ride photos and other items.
Experience Not so thrilling rides
Then my kids wanted to go on not too thrilling rides like brand new ride called Kaleidoscope, Wild Mouse, Apollo, The Whip, Tilt-a-Whirl and were checking out the Planet Snoopy (for little kids) while I was checking out Steel Force, Demon Drop and Possessed.
If you ask me what was my most favorite thrill ride out of the whole Dorney park – it is Steel Force. You don’t go upside down or side ways. You experience the longest coaster(at least I’ve ever been to) with two giant hills, two tunnels and plenty of airtime. It takes about one minute to get on top of the hill. See this amazing video in action
This year my kids were brave enough to go on Steel Force and Possessed. After they went once, they immediately wanted to go second time on Steel Force again. The Steel Force ride is seriously AMAZING!
Check out Planet Snoopy
Planet Snoopy is s theme park just for kids. Located in the middle of Dorney park. Bring the kids to Planet Snoopy for amazing peanut-themed kids rides and activities that will keep them entertained all day long.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dorney Park. All opinions are my own.
Overall we spend one fantastic day at Dorney park and we’re definitely coming back. Take a look at more photos and videos of some rides in action in my Google+ album