Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom comprises of a water and amusement park operated and owned by Cedar Fair and situated outside of Allentown, PA. The park contains 8 roller coasters, other children’s and adult rides, and waterpark referred to as Wildwater Kingdom.
It contains some of the globe’s best roller coasters, which include Steel Force, the 9th longest steel coaster within the world and 2nd longest on the United States East Coast.

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This park is accessible from the Interstate 78, United States Route 222 (Hamilton Boulevard) as well as Cedar Crest Blvd. The area is served by Lehigh Valley Int’l Airport, around 16 km (10 miles) e. of Dorney Park. Bieber Tourways features a bus terminal nearby at the previous Charcoal Drive-In (junction of United States Route 222 and Hamilton Blvd.), with day-to-day service from and to Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal, NYC’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, and additional locations in the region.


Dorney Park will trace its history to 1860, as Solomon Dorney constructed a trout hatchery and summertime resort upon his estate outside Allentown. In the year 1870, he made a decision to convert his estate to a public attraction. At first, the center contained playground-style rides, games, picnic groves, refreshment stands, restaurant and a hotel. Dorney, by the 1880s added gardens, a small zoo, and numerous mechanical rides, which marked the company’s start as an amusement park.
As the Allentown-Kutztown Traction Co. finished its trolley line from Allentown over to Kutztown in the year 1899, they added a stop in Dorney’s park. The traction company, 2 years later, bought the park, and operated it until the year 1923. During that time, it was sold to R. Plarr and two additional partners. Soon afterward, Plarr bought his partners out and oiperated Dorney Park until his 1966 death. Then, ownership passed to Stephen, Plarr’s son, who passed away within one year. Plarr’s son-in-law, Robert Ott, took over as the owner in the year 1967. Ott sold Dorney Park in 1985 to Harris Weinstein. Harris owned the part until 1992, when he sold it to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.

Ride History

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Rides come and go at Dorney Park, like the PA Toboggan Coaster’s Grande Carousel that debuted in 1932 at Dorney from Shellpot Park inside Wilmington, Delaware, yet was destroyed within a fire in September of 1983. Bucket O’ Blood (at one time referred to as Pirates Cove) dark ride burned within that same fire. Thankfully, the incident happened after it was shut down for the season. One other earlier ride included the Whip, where riders spun around a small track inside a pavilion. Today, the Whip still operates and is its oldest ride.
Also, Dorney Park contained a pool from 1900 until 1963. At that point, its filters became damaged beyond repair, and the swimming pool closed to swimmers, yet was repurposed. A part of the previous pool contained live fish and seals, whereby the other part was utilized for Whale Boats, motorized boats that sat two individuals each. Close to the park’s lower entrance contained the dark ride named Tunnel of Love that later on was rethemed as Journey to the Center of the Earth. This ride was Bill Tracy’s mill chute. The ride was a boat ride that went through a dark tunnel that had frightening scenery behind glass, and lift and drop at its end. After the 1992 season, it was razed after Cedar Fair, LP took over the park. The Journey to The Center Of The Earth was situated close to the park’s original roller coaster that opened in the year 1923. It simply was referred to as “the yellow rollercoaster” or the Coaster until the year 1989 as it was renamed Thunderhawk. Today, it still is in operation.
In addition, close to the swimming pool was Mill Chute, constructed in 1927 yet shut down in 1960 to be Journey to the Center of the Earth as previously described. Philadelphia Toboggan constructed a Cuddle-Up park ride in the 1940s; it’d be heavily air-conditioned and enclosed within the 1970s as The Iceberg that featured loud music and strobe lights. At the end of the 1980s it was painted black and then retitled Meteorite and removed following the 1993 season.