If I were to make a list of underrated parks, Dorney Park would be somewhere near the top of that list. Located in an area chock-full of top notch amusement parks, including Hersheypark and Great Adventure, it is often overlooked because of its lack of themed areas and lower quantity of rides. However, all of its roller coasters (save one) are smooth as ice. It contains two Beemers, one Morgan hypercoaster, an Intamin impulse, a split-your-spine woodie, and a few kiddie coasters. While Hydra is extremely smooth and graceful, at least in my opinion it pales in comparison to Bizarro at Great Adventure, whose ride is much more action-packed and exciting. However, its inverted coaster Talon is almost the best B&M invert I’ve ever ridden in my life.
Normally, I’m not a fan of bright-colored non-themed rides. Talon, whose full name is “Talon – The Grip of Fear”, obviously has a bird-theme. I wish there was some way they could enhance this theme, but in the grand Cedar Fair tradition they left Talon without any theme, just generic bright colors and a generic station. It reminds me of Raptor at Cedar Point… at least Great Adventure gave Batman some pretty good theming. However, Talon’s good ride makes up for any theming left out of the ride.
Talon starts out with the chainlift being attached to the station. I’ve noticed that all the B&M inverts I’ve ridden have gone right to the chainlift from the station, which shows some lack of originality but at the same time cuts right to the chase. After cresting the top of the chainlift, the coaster has the same curving drop as most B&Ms, which is more of a lack of originality but it’s quite alright with me. The first loop is nice, it’s nice as forceful as Arrow loops but it’s forceful enough to keep the ride enjoyable. The ride’s second inversion is a Zero-G roll, which is taken gracefully and smoothly, offering no discomfort for riders in any seat. After diving underground (a roofless-tunnel, always good for inverted coasters), comes an Immelman loop, which was also very graceful. The train then goes through some very graceful turns, the climax of which zooms right past the entry plaza of the park. Looking at it from on the plaza, it seems like that might be painful, but it’s so beautifully smooth that it leaves you wanting a re-ride. After this comes a corkscrew, which I’d say is even smoother than Alpengeist’s first corkscrew. This might not be saying much, since a lot of people criticize Alpengeist’s corkscrew, but I found it alright as a corkscrew but Talon’s just outdid it. Then, the car hits the final brake run.
What makes this coaster great is that the energy just never lets down. There is no mid-course brake so it never slows down too much. The ride is relentless, unlike Hydra which is taken more slowly. My first time visiting Dorney, for whatever reason I missed Talon and Hydra was my favorite coaster in the park. However, on my second visit I hit Talon and realized that it outdoes any other coaster in the park. I cannot wait to return to Dorney this coming summer, especially to get a ride on Demon Drop.
Many times, people are forced to make the decision whether to visit Hersheypark or Dorney Park on their visit to this area. My first time visiting, I chose Dorney over Hershey because to me, Dorney looked better from the websites. (Forgive me; it was before I was much of a coaster enthusiast). Honestly, I’d have to pick Hershey over Dorney if I had to make the decision once more, but don’t forget to drop by. This park was cursed with its proximity to Hershey, but it really deserves a visit, and Talon really deserves a ride.