8.29.2016

Dorney with Dads (and Moms): August 28th, 2016




 
While I do love their Haunt event, I had absolutely no plans to visit Dorney this year but my buddy Ed had an extra ticket for this thing his work does there at the end of every summer. He couldn't get rid of the ticket and it included free lunch and beer (!!) at the picnic pavilion from 12-2. I was up early AF had to take a Septa regional rail to get out to where Ed lives in Doylestown where he, his wife, 5 year old son and newborn in tow, scooped me up and we made the quick 30 minute drive up to the park, arriving right around 10:30am. 


We were also meeting Ed's friend Mike (who also brought along the wife and kids). I had a little panic over the possibility that we'd spend a bunch of time in Planet Snoopy but I was quickly relieved once we entered the park and the moms headed right in that direction while more or less shooing us dudes off in the direction of the big boy rides.


So down the hill we headed for an early morning burst of Intamin sweetness. They were loading a cycle as we walked up and we walked right on. Love this ride so much. Back seat back seat back seat.  





Yall can compare it all you want to other impulse coasters but it's the only one I have nearby and I seriously love everything about it - the false countdowns, the launch itself, the brain rattling Gs getting launched up the back spike, the insane stupidly awesome holding break and the airtime all the way down the spike. What a way to wake up. 


While I certainly could have kept riding Possessed all day we decided to take advantage of the fact that we were literally the only people in this area we kept it moving. Oh look Stinger is running and there's people on it. Like three whole people. Let's ride. This coaster always turns out to better than I expect, it's probably one of my favorite local Vekomas. Really smooth, zero headbanging. Some nice heavy force going through the backwards loop and it crawls over the 2nd half of the cobra roll going backwards resulting in some nice hangtime for a second. Out of my 4 trips to the park since 2014 it's been down for 2.75 of them. It's a shame it's always broken, it's definitely not a bad ride. 


Skipping over the dumbest flyers ever we stopped at Revolution since they were loading a handful of people. We loaded and of course my fat A$$ had to be stapled in quite uncomfortably. I was excited for my first ever ride on this thanks to my newfound love for Moreys "IT" claw ride, which is similar but just has lapbars and runs a by far exceptional, much longer batsh*t insane program. I swear on Revolution we got two full swings when it came to a sudden and disappointing stop. Dud of the day. 



Moving on we worked our way to the world's largest mine train arriving to an empty station with a train being dispatched and a couple waiting for the front. Ed and I jumped in behind them and Mike waited for us in row 2.  


I have to say it was running quite well with some fantastic air over the bunny hops. Nice to get the front without having to wait at all. 




For some reason I took a lot of pictures of Steel Force and Dominator all day. Strolling under Thunderhawk we decided it would be imprudent to skip it considering all the positive hype for the removal of those terrible old pesky buzzbars for shiny new ratchet bars and a cozy new seat divider. The new trains look really nice and the paint job the ride got is great.  





Also maybe I've just never noticed it before but all of the landscaping around the ride seemed spruced up, it all looks really nice. I just wish they'd get rid of that dumb trim at the end. Those bunnyhops could be marvelous. I was lucky to not get stapled so as mentioned I got a few great pops of air at the tops of each turnaround. 






 

The main goal of the day was to get my buddy on both sides of Dominator and of course Demon Drop. He absolute loathes drop rides and usually won't go near them but agreed after lunch and some free beers in his system he'd give one of them a shot.



On our way up to Planet Snoop to meet back up with the wives we took a little detour on Thunder Creek Mountain since it was now starting to get HOT and there was literally no wait at all for it. Believe it or not this was my TCM cherry pop. I sat in the front and what an awesome flume. I really love the sections up top underneath Hydra and Steel Force and like a dumb A$$ was trying to take some photos when I got yelled at over the loudspeaker and immediately after (just after I put my phone back in my pocket) all three of us managed to get drenched down some stupid little drop up there. Then down the drop - tsunami action. Soaked head to tow, amazed my phone survived as the pocket it was in was drenched. I didn't mind being that wet really as it was hot AF. Great ride, probably one of my favorite flumes.



We needed to dry off a bit so we climbed up and around to Hydra and I have to admit with all of my sh*t talking on this ride I actually enjoyed it today (other than that ridiculous jo-jo roll). 






One train wait for the last row and I got really nice air down the drop, some nice yank through the first half of the course and for the first time ever got really nice floater air over the hill next to the station. I've never denied that the ride is beautiful, love the colors and the funky layout is super photogenic. Just wish the ride blew me away as much as looking at it does. 







It was just about time for free lunch so we met the moms and babies and down to the picnic pavilion we went - the food was standard fair, similar to what we had at Coasting For Kids - burgers, fried chicken, chips, mac and cheese, salads, fruit, and the most deliciously soft baked chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. Seriously I ate like 5 of them. Oh and free beer. Sam Adams Octoberfest x4. Pretty sure I kicked the keg. 




After imbibing for a good while we got Ed's beer balls firmly secured, Mike and I dragged him to Dominator... but got side tracked by the Whip! 


Amazingly we only had a one cycle wait (I feel like this is one of those rides that always has a wait here) but I feel like the cycle is so damn short. Dorney has a great Whip though. 








Finally to Dominator, us three dudes hopped on while the ladies and kiddies watched. Ed hated it but admitted it wasn't as bad as he had expected it to be. 




So naturally I forced him to go around and ride the shoot up side. He liked it a lot better. I love both of them, a sucker for S&S towers. I love the sadistic hissing sounds you can hear from all over the park and they have some really nice airtime on both the drop and shot sides.








Since its right next door we kept the drops coming with the craziest of all them all! Demon Drop - absolutely no wait at all we were loaded and ascending in a flash - enjoying the horrifying clanks and bangs of this old yet still amazing Intamin creation. like a good friend I warned them to lift their heads up before the infamous ker-chunk! After Dominator Ed didnt seem to mind DD as much. I'm breaking him in. My next challenge w/ him is Zumanjaro. 






Since we were back in the area it was even hotter than balls at this point decided another ride on Thunder Creek Mountain was a good idea so we all hopped in line, which it actually had. Longest wait of the day at about 25 minutes. Worth the wait in the heat since once again I got soaked. Like fresh out of the shower in my clothes soaked. Felt great tho.  




Smart to put my phone in my back pocket since my A$$ was the only thing that did not get drenched. I will definitely ride this everytime I go to the park. 



 

After this we wound up in the games area near Sea Dragon/Chickies and I kidnapped Ed for a quick spin on Apollo. I think they fed that thing meth cause it was one of the craziest rides I've had on it. Cranked up to 11. So much fun, I love this ride, I just giggle the entire time.

 


Did a little shopping and picked up more fridge magnets (as always - actually bought hydra magnet finally in honor of having an enjoyable lap on it!) and checked out some of the food trucks down the main midway which were part of a Food Truck Fest the park was having. Lots of good looking selections but were were stuffed from all the food we had earlier. Until I came across the cheesecake truck.  


Cheesecake is my not-so-secret addiction. I cannot say no. So of course I had to try cheesecake shoved into a fucking Canoli - which just so happens to my other favorite desert. Seriously WTF. I also got one of the most amazing limeaids Ive had in my life.


At this point we had thing left on our must do list: and that was to get gripped by fear. Lucky for us the lines were completely nonexistent so we were able to quick hop right into the back seat as they were loading the next train. Back left - amazing.  


Got a good look of the waterpark and I seriously don't know how they can fit that many people in a wavepool comfortably. The rest of the park was mobbed in every direction. We enjoyed kicking the sky and decided to walk right around for a one train wait for the front and it was ever better.


I get when people say that Talon is the standout at Dorney because so many of the other coasters are mediocre but it goes beyond that for me. Talon has a perfect flow, a balance of fun and forcefulness, and I just want to ride it over and over. I love inverts but I cant ride them repeatedly. Not the case with this piece of perfection. Glad we made this our last ride of the day, nice bookend to our early morning Possessed ride.

It was after 5 and Mike and his wife and kids hit the road while Ed and his clan wanted to get a quick bite before we bounced so we stopped at Chickies for some crab fries and a summer shandy. Delicious. 


Overall we had a really nice day. I've said it before - I like Dorney for what it is and I'm a fan. Its a very well kept park with decent operations, some really good (and a few exceptional) rides. I like that its nearby and I can usually stop in and more often than not have a day like we did yesterday. Free admission, lunch and beer sure was nice too! To me enthusiasts seem to focus on and prefer extreme intensity insanity, and Dorney falls pretty short on that outside of Demon Drop, Possessed and Talon but it I'm OK with that and it doesn't mean fun can't be had at this park. Call me a Dorney fan. I like that it exists and I'll go back again for sure.


Ride count:
Possessed x1
Stinger x1
Revolution x1
Steel Force x1
Thunderhawk x1
Hydra x1
Apollo x1
Thunder Creek Mountain x2
The Whip x1
Demon Drop x1
Dominator x2 (both sides)
Talon x2

8.21.2016

Breakfast In The Sky: Aug 20th, 2016




After a few years of talking about doing it, earlier this year I bit the bullet on tickets for Moreys "Breakfast In The Sky" experience on their Giant Wheel, which if you are unfamiliar, is described on their website "a picnic in the sky complete with white linens and china with culinary delights created by our Executive Chef, Wally Jurusz".


I spotted tickets during an annual Easter sale and managed to save about 30%. Once I received the vouchers in the mail I was to call the piers and reserve a date and time, as they only have the experience on weekend mornings before the piers open for operation, and only during mid-July to mid-August. One stipulation - surely to ensure timely boardings and gondola turnovers was that we had to choose our entrees when we reserved our date/time, which was weird because how do you know what what you're going to want to eat for breakfast three months out? We wound up choosing what we thought might be "safer" items we felt we typically enjoy. I got the Steak & Egg Scramble while my better half ordered the Jersey Tomato BLT with Fried Egg.


Our reserved day was finally upon us this past weekend. We lucked out with perfect weather and headed down from Philly to the Jersey Shore bright and early on Saturday to arrive by our 9am reservation time, strolling onto Mariners Pier to the early morning sights and sounds of workers firing up kiddie rides for testing.  Upon approaching the back of the pier we spotted a check in table surrounded by benches occupied by other hungry guests. We were immediately greeted, asked if we needed one last bathroom break (they warn you when you reserve you can't get on/off during the 45-60 minutes you'll be on the Wheel) and were seated in our gondola within 5 minutes of arriving.



And this is when the amazement of just how well of a well oiled machine this entire operation is. They have really thought of just about everything. You are seated first and they quickly fold out and snap into place your table, and cover it with a white linen table cloth. From there, one by one workers stop past each with something different: a bucket of bottled water/juice on ice, a bread basket overflowing with different types of toast and croissants, butter and jam, a condiment basket with salt/pepper/ketchup/hot sauce/honey/faux flowers, a small glass candle holder-turned-trash bin, and of course to offer us some coffee (one cup each or an entire carafe?). 





We were also asked if we wanted our photo taken with one of our phones (of course we do!)


Finally our covered entrees came out and at that point the head manager of the whole operation stopped by to ask if we had everything we needed, and to offer us a card with her cell phone number in case of any emergency and joked she's prefer if we didn't throw anything off of The Wheel in effort to get their attention.  


She also explained we wouldn't be moving the entire time, that as they loaded other guests we would stop at three points on the wheel before we would return to unload. And with that she motioned to the operator booth and he dispatched us - immediately right to the very top!



So, the food. We both thought everything was absolutely excellent. Completely exceeded our expectations. Of course when you are eating breakfast at 156 feet in the air its hard not to take 1000 pictures of everything around you, but we did manage to put our phones down long enough to scarf down almost everything on the table.  






As mentioned we got to check out the morning awakening of Mariners Pier, with workers testing rides & the waterpark coming alive with the lifeguards' morning roll call and the first few guests arriving and populating the park. We actually wished we had brought bathing suits with us to go right into the waterpark after - its been a while and it just looked so enticing!









A few afterthoughts: We were on the wheel just under an hour, and felt the experience was over so fast! We joked with the workers while unloading that we would happily go back up for a couple more hours. They laughed and informed us they only had two open slots the rest of the weekend. 



We did agree that while they advertise that they can accommodate up to 4 people per gondola that it may not have been comfortable with four people since the table takes up so much space. We also thought it would have been nice if they allowed BYOB but I understand why they wouldn't. We did joke about bringing along a flask with some vodka to mix with our juice but we couldn't be bothered and were happy we didn't since we probably would have slept all day. Its a completely unique experience and totally worth the cost. We will absolutely do this at least once a summer. Next time we're doing the waterpark right after.




After our awesome breakfast we poked around on the boardwalk near Mariners and shopped a bit before heading to my moms for some afternoon beers and relaxation before returning to the boardwalk in the evening for some dinner (Macks Pizza, duh), cleaning out some cranes @ Gateway 26, pounding some stiff Oranges Crushes at my new favorite bar in WW Joe's Fish Co (we also tried their crab dip - WTF so good) and to hit a couple rides: IT, Zoom Phloom, The Great White, and Screamin' Swing.




I stopped in the KONG shop below the ride and grabbed a really awesome The Great White t-shirt I've had my eye on for a while. Totally nerdy with all the rides stats on it.


The rides were all running awesome - IT is easily my favorite ride in Wildwood at the moment, we got grouped with two hilarious teenage girls on the Zoom Phloom and got SOAKED, and The Great White was running like an absolute bat out of hell late Saturday night. Seriously WTF are they feeding that thing.


 

As always, fantastic day in Wildwood, Morey's never disappoints. Can't wait to get back down and definitely can't wait to have Breakfast in the Sky again next summer!!!

Ride counts:

IT x1
Zoom Phloom x1

The Great White x1
Screamin Swing x1