Dorney Park 2009

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June 19, 2009
Allentown PA

I’d been planning a huge summer coaster trip since the end of 2008. My original plans were too ambitious. Then there were issues with work. Then there were issues with pets. But eventually everything worked out and instead of 10 days up north for coasters and more, my trip was cut down to a more manageable 5 days with three large amusement parks and 2 days spent in 2 different cities. I had a plan, a place to stay, and a mission, to finally hit 200 coasters.

Friday, June 19, 2009 was West Virginia Day and as a state employee I always had the day off with pay, so I left the nite before and headed out to my brother’s place, which was roughly half the distance to my first destination: Dorney Park in Allentown, PA. I had been told that Dorney was not an all day park. I was meeting up with friends on Friday evening at the park, so I didn’t want to arrive too early. Unfortunately, on Friday morning I woke up at about 6:30 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. I decided I’d go ahead and head out.

The drive from Moorefield to Dorney Park was not bad, even if I did take the scenic route. I arrived at the park around 10:00 AM, parked, and headed to the main gate. My first impression after going thru the gate at Dorney was of a mini Cedar Point. The front midway was very reminiscent, and even though Talon was on the right, its right up front like Raptor. And since Talon is right up front, that was my first coaster.

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Kennywood 2005

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Kennywood | Photos | Videos


June 22, 2005
Pittsburg PA

Kennywood is one of my favorite parks. It has one of my favorite coasters, good food, and was reasonably close to where I lived in West Virginia in 2005. But my only prior visit had been in October of 2003 and only for 3 hours, meaning I only had a chance to ride the coasters once and nothing else. I’d been wanting to get back ever since. Because of West Virginia Day, I would be off for 4 days in a row, so I took the chance to head to Kennywood.

I worked Sunday nite, got home just after 7 AM, and tried to take a nap. My brother and sister had sent their kids to stay with us for the week, which was another bonus reason for me to leave. Since they were coming down here, I went up to where they live to visit.  So I left that evening and headed to my grandmother’s home in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, where I’d lived for quite some time. I arrived around 10 PM, tired and ready to settle in.

The next morning I woke up early, went for breakfast and to visit some friends, then to visit more friends at a restaurant where I used to work, then back for a nap. That evening, among other things, we met up with friends of ours for basketball and tennis. I wanted to sleep till 7 AM the next morning but because my sleeping schedule was out of whack I was up at 6 AM instead, so I decided to go ahead and leave, getting out of town around 7. The trip to Kennywood was around 3 hours. My morning didn’t go so well.  There were some issues with my ATM card and I had only limited cash on me. Then it stormed the entire way to Morgantown. I almost had an accident at an intersection as well.

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Kennywood 2003

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Kennywood | Photos | Videos


For a 6 month period in 2003 I picked up a new home park. But alas, due to work and cash restraints I wasn’t able to visit during the regular season. That is why I’m glad Kennywood had Phantom Fright Nights as an option in October or I wouldn’t have had a chance to go to the park for the first time, and have a final coaster trip for 2003. I’d had a rough day. Prior to Kennywood, I had spent a few days with my parents, but got a late start from their house to where I was living, a 3 hour trip. Then I got stuck in traffic because of Bridge Day, a large festival in WV.  It took an extra hour to get home, so I was really late picking my roommate Jon up.

I had to get directions to Kennywood from their web site, because I hadn’t been to Pittsburgh in over 20 years and don’t remember a thing about it as I was a toddler. But the trip from Fairmont, WV to Kennywood was an easy and fairly quick drive . Though we got a bit lost between Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, we stopped for directions, and easily found the park once we were pointed in the right direction.

After parking we paid for our ticket and headed in. The park (what I could see of it in such darkness) looked really nice. I do wish it had been light up a bit more, though, as I didn’t know my way around. The first thing we headed to was Phantom’s Revenge.

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