Although I did not get over to the North Side for the Celtic Classic this weekend I did finally get to go to Dorney Park in Allentown, PA. My friend Kendall and I have wanted to go to Dorney Park together since our sophomore year, but could never rally anyone else to join us. The perfect opportunity presented itself when we were informed that our sorority’s fall sisterhood retreat was going to be held at Dorney.
Each semester my chapter plans an event that is optional for all members to attend with the intention of creating a bonding experience for all. In the past our sisterhood retreats have included apple picking at Grim’s Orchard, painting pottery at Color Me Mine, going laser tagging at Lehigh Valley Laser Tag, and bouncing around at Rebounderz in New Jersey. Going to Dorney Park for this retreat was an ideal situation because it meant that we wouldn’t have to do any of the planning for the excursion and it would be free!
On Sunday morning we drove to our chapter house to pick up our tickets and parking pass, divided up the groups for each car, and hit the road. It was a relatively short drive to the park – for some reason I had been expecting it to be further away. We easily found a parking space and, because we already had our tickets, entry was a breeze. In total, about 25 girls attended this event, so once inside the park we split up into smaller groups based on people’s ride preferences.
I grew up going to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA every summer and I think that it was those vacations that instilled my love for amusement parks. As a kid it took me a while to work up the courage to go on my first roller coaster, but once I did there was no going back. Kendall and I were happy to find that our friend Cassie shared the same enthusiasm for roller coasters as we did.
Dorney Park has eight roller coasters and we rode four of them. One of the thrill rides unfortunately was not running on Sunday and the other three were geared more towards children. Each of the four roller coasters that we rode were unique, especially the Stinger. I had never seen a roller coaster’s seats positioned in such a way that you are facing the person sitting across from you and honestly I don’t think that I liked it. The ride itself would have been much more enjoyable without the awkwardness of being face-to-face with a friend – imagine if you were sitting across from a stranger! My favorite ride was Talon. It was the
first ride that we went on when we got there and we went straight for the front row. Talon is described as a “high-powered scream machine” that has ski-lift style seating, so your feet are hanging and the track is above you instead of below. In addition to roller coasters, Dorney has many classic amusement park rides such as the Swings, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Scrambler and many more. The best part about all of the rides at Dorney was that there were no lines. I think that the longest line we encountered was for the Tilt-a-Whirl solely because there were so many little kids ahead of us.
The park contains 20+ food options, but they are mostly fast food and burger joints. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good burger, but my friends and I were not too amused by the steep prices of the meals. We decided that instead of wasting our money purchasing snacks inside the park we would make a pit stop at the Promenade Shops on our way back to Lehigh. This way there was a wider variety of options and each of us could decide what type of food we wanted without dealing with the unreasonable prices of the concession stands.
Having never previously been to Dorney it probably would have been helpful to have grabbed a map near the entryway. Although the park is not very big in comparison to other amusement parks that I have been to, the layout was a bit tricky. All in all, the day ran very smoothly and I would highly recommend large groups planning trips to Dorney. It was particularly nice this time of year because the weather was perfect, and there were no other groups as I’m sure there would have been throughout the summer months.