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Fans say Dorney Park's new coaster will be a 70-mph U-shaped ride

Allentown Morning Call

Original Article »

April 24, 2007

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is getting a new roller coaster for the 2008 season, and amusement-park fans think they know which one it is.

Last week, the South Whitehall park got township approval for minor zoning changes that will allow it to build a coaster.

The ride would be 184 feet tall and would be powered by a linear induction motor, a type of motor used in rapid-transit trains and conveyor belts as well as amusement rides.

By comparison, Dorney's Dominator free-fall thrill ride is 200 feet tall.

Representatives of Dorney and Dorney's parent company, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., declined to comment today.

Cedar Fair does not plan to release 2008 capital spending plans for Dorney until October at the earliest, spokeswoman Stacy Frole said.

But coaster buffs believe they already know the scoop.

A theory making the rounds of fan-operated Web sites such as Screamscape.com and DorneyOnline.com says Cedar Fair is going to move a coaster called Steel Venom to Dorney from Geauga Lake, a Cleveland-area park.

Cedar Fair bought Geauga Lake from rival park operator Six Flags in 2004.

Steel Venom is a U-shaped ride in which riders go up and down "spikes," or tall towers, on each side.

One of the spikes stands straight up, while the other corkscrews. Riders sit strapped into open seats, not closed cars.

The ride reaches a top speed of 70 miles per hour, according to online roller coaster databases.

Cedar Fair officials have confirmed Steel Venom is leaving Geauga Lake for another park.

They have not said where it will go or when it will reopen.

But materials Cedar Fair filed with township commissioners suggest Dorney is either getting Steel Venom or an identical ride.

The photo Cedar Fair used to illustrate the planned coaster shows a U-shaped ride with one straight spike and one twisted spike -- just like Steel Venom.

Steel Venom draws its power from a linear induction motor, just like the new Dorney ride.

Steel Venom's listed height of 180 feet roughly matches that of the ride proposed here.

And Steel Venom carries 28 riders, the same number Cedar Fair says would be carried on Dorney's new attraction.


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