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The Master

Season passholder preview night at Dorney Park.

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Went to the season pass night at Dorney tonight. I was disappointed at how crowded it was. They were sending cars into the overflow lot. Talon was broken down, surprisingly all the water rides were running. The ride ops were slower than normal which is to be expected on opening day. Their new catering pavilion is huge and they even took out the siding for the Cannonball train to fit it in. They are also already advertising a new mystery attraction for Haunt replacing Mansion House Hotel. Even the Whip and Zepher had very long lines. Managed to get on Steel Force twice near closing. I could have gotten on 3 times except somebody got sick on one of the trains right at closing time. Also the park has setup new metal detector booths in front of the ticket booths and front gate, similar to GADV.

 

So far I have been disappointed with how crowded the local parks have been. Every trip I have taken to GADV has been crowded and now Dorney too. This may turn out to be a very busy and crowded season for local parks. Seems both SF and CF are making good use of cheap season passes and expensive upcharges to bring in the crowds.

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I'm really surprised it was so crowded with the limited hours, maybe a lot of people had to process their passes? I would have never expected to hear they were using the overflow lot on a Friday night in April.

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I'd like to get back to Dorney at some point, but I'm not sure I want to pay additional money for passes there. I'm going back to GA tomorrow for my fourth trip of the season, and will be visiting SF New England on the way home from a wedding in early June.

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I like that Dorney now has metal detectors at the entrance. I think every park needs them.

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I'm really surprised it was so crowded with the limited hours, maybe a lot of people had to process their passes? I would have never expected to hear they were using the overflow lot on a Friday night in April.

Looking at their website, besides only being open for SP holders, it seems they could get 15% discount on food and merchandise that one night instead of the usually 10%. That and the unusually nice weather were some factors. Also looking around, it seems Dorney really promoted preview night through emails, facebook, and twitter which probably greatly help bring people as they are very effective marketing channels anymore. GADV and other parks probably do the same promoting through social media.

 

I was expecting the park to be less busy than usually and instead was one of the most crowded times I have seen Dorney. Especially for so early in the year. Hershey is supposed to open next Friday but I wonder if I should wait for Sunday instead of Friday?

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Amazing how GA opens so much earlier than the other parks. I wonder if that helps or hurts staff recruitment?

During spring months most employees are still in school. However Great Adventure typically hires foreign exchange students to work there until the end of June.

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During spring months most employees are still in school. However Great Adventure typically hires foreign exchange students to work there until the end of June.

Exactly - which is why I wonder whether GA gets a leg up on hiring foreigners because they open up earlier.

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Don't know if this also affected Friday night, but both today (Saturday) and Sunday are bring a friend days. I know bring a friend days are very crowded at GADV.

 

Sadly many of the exchange students GADV hires seem to have a poor understanding of English which is problematic.

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I'm considering going tomorrow. I don't think it will be that crowded with the cooler weather and cloudy all day even with the $19 bring a friend admission. I hope Talon is open since without it, Steel Force is the only other coaster I really care about riding multiple times each trip to the park.


I was expecting the park to be less busy than usually and instead was one of the most crowded times I have seen Dorney. Especially for so early in the year. Hershey is supposed to open next Friday but I wonder if I should wait for Sunday instead of Friday?

Fridays in May can be bad at Hershey (and I guess Dorney too). I went to Hershey on the 3rd Friday in May last year and it was really bad. Trailblazer 30 minutes, Fahrenheit 90 minutes and other long wait times. There are a lot of school groups from Music In The Parks. For some reason it doesn't seem to effect Great Adventure as much since in past years those same Fridays in May at Great Adventure are low crowds even with Music In The Parks there as well.

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Hopefully the other Fridays in May won't be so bad for Dorney as last night was. This Sunday Allentown is supposed to be warmer than Jackson which is unusual.

Edited by The Master

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