Recently, my children and I decided it was time for a day trip. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom was our destination, because it seemed to have everything: water rides, dry rides, kid rides, thrill rides, shows, and more. Plus, being a little more than a two hour’s drive from Westchester, the distance was perfect. So off we went to Allentown, PA.
The day we chose for our adventure was hot, but storms threatened. So when we arrived (at opening) it was relatively empty. Parking costs were $20, but for $5 more you can park in the front row, right at the entrance. Spending the extra $5 may have been the best choice I made. At the end of the day, on our way out, it eliminated extra meltdowns by allowing us to not have to walk to the far corners of the earth. As a little bonus, we were there in time for their flag ceremony which was simple and nice with a singing of the national anthem.
Camp Snoopy – A Kid’s Paradise
Once inside we headed right to Camp Snoopy. There my children were delighted to see many rides that were tamer and geared just for them. I was excited by the fact that most of the rides there had no height limit. Parents or older siblings could ride many of the rides right alongside their little ones. (I even saw some adults riding by themselves!).
The Charlie Brown theme was very well done and the best part was that it was so clean. In fact, overall, I will say Dorney was close to immaculate. It was a lovely change of pace from the normal “yuck” factor that you can find at some amusement parks. There were about a dozen rides to choose and my children rode them all!
Tip: If you choose to eat at Dorney, Camp Snoopy has a child friendly food stand with kids meals, apple sauces, and milks. My children loved “The Kite Eating Tree” ride the best, but the highlight of their day was being the first kids at Dorney that day to meet Charlie Brown and his faithful friend Snoopy. If you have children under 10 you definitely could spend your whole day in Camp Snoopy and have a great time.
Dorney’s Dry Thrill Rides
After exhausting the kid’s camp, we ventured out to the main part of Dorney Park. Everywhere you looked there was a ride, one better than the next. They had everything you could want to go on from roller coasters like, The Wild Mouse, to the antique carousel, and the log flume. Tip: Wear your bathing suit on the flume, or expect to be insanely soggy for the rest of the day. Lines were to be expected but moved fast.
I was pleased to also see many safety precautions taken. The staff took the time to check seat belts and heights, etc. Outside of each ride was a sign with height and weight restrictions as well as other important information. The big roller coasters even had sample seats by the entrance to their lines. I thought that was ingenious! If you weren’t sure how you’d fit in the buckles, you could try it out and save yourself the wait on line if it wasn’t for you.
Wild Water Kingdom
With the summer heat beating down on us, we finally gave in and crossed over to Wild Water Kingdom, Dorney’s water park. The parks are in the same location and admission into Dorney gives you access to the water park too. Once inside, we found lockers that were easy to use as well as multiple changing rooms for our convenience. Tip: If you’re going to spend the whole day at the parks, get a locker early and stash your bag in it from the beginning, it’s a quick walk to get to and you won’t have to carry your swim stuff around all day!
My daughters’ eyes grew wide as they spotted one of the two huge wave pools. Everyone could find a fun way to cool off with water slides galore, a lazy river, and a kids splash area. Life jackets were available for anyone who might need them, which was a great touch, although many people had their own. Tip: Bring water shoes! Many people had their flip flops on and just tossed them by the side of the ride they were going on, but that left you standing on line with your feet roasting.
My children loved the wave pool, but complained that the lazy river had a lot of dead bugs inside (they were right!) and it was crowded in there. It was after the lazy river that we also took a visit to first aid. My daughter bumped her head on the ride and needed ice. It was of no fault to Dorney Park at all, someone larger than her bumped her tube and she hit the rock wall. I only mention this part of the trip because they were excellent. They took care of my daughter right away and filled out an accident report. They were thorough and kind. The person attending to us even offered us some literature about head injuries for me to look over later if I needed it. So while hopefully you do not have to visit First Aid, rest assured, you will be in good hands should you have to.
Eats and Treats
Our day concluded with a late lunch and trip back to Camp Snoopy to visit their shop. My daughters were enthralled by all the different Dorney and Snoopy themed merchandise they could choose from, and prices were comparable to other amusement and theme park shops. For lunch we chose normal theme park fair (chicken tenders and fries) but I did notice that the shops had lots of choices. They sold everything from burgers to crab legs.
For the sweet tooth they had cotton candy and Cinnabons as well as the biggest funnel cakes you could imagine. They were topped and loaded with everything from whipped cream to chocolate sauce and were absolutely decadent. They also had a really cool looking section with carnival and arcade type games for kids of all ages.
This day was a total win and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun day trip. There is literally something for everyone. Check their website before you go for all the important information like hours and to check for ticket sales! My kids are already planning a return trip!
Read more about another mom blog mama’s adventure at Dorney Park here.