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Dorney Park to get $8 million Planet Snoopy


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Eat your heart out, Pluto

Snoopy to get his own 'planet' in $8 million makeover at Dorney Park

By Devon Lash, OF THE MORNING CALL

 

8:12 p.m. EDT, August 6, 2010

 

 

Charlie Brown may be a good man, but Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom wants Snoopy out of the doghouse next spring and moving into more otherworldly digs.

 

Dorney is planning an $8 million top-to-bottom makeover of 10-year-old Camp Snoopy, the 3.5-acre children's area named after the too-cool beagle from Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" comic strip.

 

Planet Snoopy, as the section would be renamed, would feature six new rides, an amphitheater, souvenir store, "soda pop shop" featuring root beer floats and an inflatable astronaut Snoopy.

 

"It's almost a park within a park," said Jason McClure, Dorney's vice president and general manager.

 

55407993.jpg

This is a picture from an ice-skating show at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. Dorney Park will host a similar show (unknown, TMC / July 7, 2008)

 

Dorney, in South Whitehall Township, decided to invest in its kid-friendly area after adding the Demon Drop thrill ride earlier this year for older folks. To that end, Planet Snoopy would feature a new family-care facility with changing stations, feeding rooms and play-and-nap areas.

 

"It was the right time to go to families and kids," McClure said. "One of the reasons is the timelessness of 'Peanuts' — not only does it resonate with kids who all love Snoopy, but it resonates with parents who grew up with him as well."

 

Dorney Park is owned by Cedar Fair. Planet Snoopy is already operating at five other Cedar Fair parks: King's Dominion in Virginia, Cedar Point in Ohio, California's Great America, King's Island in Ohio and Canada's Wonderland.

 

Cedar Fair also unveiled plans for a Planet Snoopy at Valleyfair, an amusement park in Shakopee, Minn. The $9 million Valleyfair expansion will revamp a 7-acre area in the park, adding six rides.

 

Dorney's Planet Snoopy would feature the park's tallest children's ride, the 40-foot-tall Flying Ace Balloon Race. Also new would be Linus Launcher, where kids and their parents are strapped in face down to fly in a circle; Snoopy's Sky Ride, a 'Peanuts'-theme aerial monorail; the Peanuts 500 kids race down an "expressway;" Woodstock's Whirlwind, a twirling teacup ride; and Snoopy's Junction, a train ride.

 

Each is designed for kids and parents to ride together, McClure said.

 

Not only will the rides change in the kids area in the park's center, so will every detail, McClure said, down to the color of the walkways, shop buildings as well as the type of snacks that will be served. The existing play areas, photo tree, gazebo and other buildings will be demolished, according to the plan.

 

The new amphitheater would host shows already popular on the park's smaller stage, featuring Snoopy and other members of the "Peanuts" gang.

 

Cedar Fair, which owns 11 amusement parks and seven water parks, has continued to invest in its parks despite the sluggish economy. It recently said overall attendance is up over last year.

 

"Capital investment has always been integral to our business plan, and providing something new to our guests is a key part of our success," McClure said.

 

Dorney officials will appear before the South Whitehall Planning Commission on Aug. 19 to seek approval of their plan. Construction would begin after the Halloween season and be completed by opening day, April 30. Admission to Planet Snoopy would be included in the ticket price.

 

Jim Weber, acting manager of South Whitehall, said Dorney usually applies at least once a year for updates.

 

"People get tired of the same old rides," Weber said.

 

devon.lash@mcall.com

 

610-820-6613

 

Up, Up, Away!

 

New rides at Dorney Park's Planet Snoopy

 

•Flying Ace Balloon Race: A 40-foot-tall balloon ride with swinging gondolas.

 

•Linus Launcher: Riders strap in face down to fly in a circle.

 

•Snoopy's Sky Ride: A "Peanuts"-theme aerial monorail.

 

•Peanuts 500: Kids can drive pint-size cars on an "expressway."

 

•Woodstock's Whirlwind: A ride in twirling teacups.

 

•Snoopy's Junction: A four-minute train ride with Snoopy and Woodstock.

 

Source: Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

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Interesting April 30th is opening day since I can't remember the last time they opened in April.

 

I am guessing they are going to remove the playground areas from Camp Snoopy for the rides.

 

Flying Ace Balloon Race sounds like a Samba Tower like the Balloons in BBNP

Linus Launcher sounds like a Kite Flyer

Peanuts 500 sounds like a kiddie whip like the one that was in Bugs Bunny Land

Woodstock's Whirlwind sounds like the teacups in LTSP

 

I wonder if Snoopy's Junction will be a retheme of Cedar Creek Cannonball. I'm also curious about how the monorail will turn out.

Edited by Yoshi
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I never understood why they did that since Bernstain Bears are probably more familiar to kids than Peanuts with the Bernstain Bears having a cartoon shown everyday on PBS Sprout. I remember there weren't any rides back then either but Tot Spot had a lot more rides than the 6 or so rides it has now.

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  • 7 months later...

The area isn't even that big, it may have a ton of rides but I think Bugs Bunny Land was a larger area. And what makes it worse is 7 new rides might be added but 7 rides are also being removed including 2 coasters so it's more of a loss than anything (if the 2 coasters removed are considered more important than a regular kiddie ride).

 

Also the 22 water slides is kind of misleading, they are counting all 6 lanes of Aqua Racers as 6 slides!

Edited by Yoshi
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I suppose they have to stretch it this year... Dorney is already the smallest of the Tri-State-Three, and this year they have to compete with a new roller coaster where you.... (gasp) STAND UP!, and a full-fledged resort that has hotels, camping grounds, and a chocolate factory. Three separate parks, as misleading as it may be, sounds better than little-old Dorney.

 

Perhaps we should start advertising as 11 parks, one for each of our themed sections.... and Wild Safari, and Hurricane Harbor, and maybe the Parking Lot, too.

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And next year, Green Lantern will still be good for marketing and will bring people to Great Adventure, Hershey is going to have some kind of amazing coaster and Dorney has to market a faulty inverted boomerang. Should be interesting how they market it. Probably something like the only inverted coaster in PA to go upside down backwards.

 

Yeah they are really steching it. Of course with the water park they don't talk about their asinine no aqua sox rule for their slides.

 

If they mentioned every ridiculous rule/policy they have, there wouldn't be enough room. The no aqua sox rule you mentioned, no re-rides, no more than 2 teenagers or adults per car on the wild mouse, added seatbelts everywhere etc.

 

I like Dorney a lot, I am just very frustrated with the park in recent years, or I guess really CF who is the one making the decisions.

Edited by Yoshi
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While stretching it quite a bit advertising as 3 parks is a bit creative.

 

I'm just hoping the inverted Boomerang is a quick addition to show a new attraction while they work for a larger addition. Something that can come in a couple years not directly competing with Hershey and SFGAdv.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And next year, Green Lantern will still be good for marketing and will bring people to Great Adventure, Hershey is going to have some kind of amazing coaster and Dorney has to market a faulty inverted boomerang. Should be interesting how they market it. Probably something like the only inverted coaster in PA to go upside down backwards.

 

 

 

If they mentioned every ridiculous rule/policy they have, there wouldn't be enough room. The no aqua sox rule you mentioned, no re-rides, no more than 2 teenagers or adults per car on the wild mouse, added seatbelts everywhere etc.

 

I like Dorney a lot, I am just very frustrated with the park in recent years, or I guess really CF who is the one making the decisions.

 

The sad thing is, despite the no aqua sox rule their water park is still better ran than GAdv's HH. HH's river is pretty much an upcharge now and is very understaffed. Hershey's water park is just way too small and jammed in to tight, and there are fights over who is in line for which slide. Now Morey's knows how to run a water park right.

Edited by The Master
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