Dorney Park, located in Allentown Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Philadelphia, is one of the most popular amusement parks in the eastern United States. Here, visitors will find two parks combined into one area: the Dorney Amusement Park and the Wildwater Kingdom. While many amusement parks are simply an assortment of various rides, Dorney Park is a treasure of history and excitement for all ages. Planning a visit to Dorney is relatively easy—just check on the hours and pricing options before you go, and consider whether you're interested in attending any special events there. The array of hotels in Allentown ensures there are plenty of places to stay, as well as area restaurants. For more than 100 years, Dorney Park has entertained visitors with its thrilling rides and other attractions, and that tradition continues today.
Just outside of Allentown, Solomon Dorney established a summer resort on his estate in 1860; ten years later, his estate became a public attraction, featuring games, simple rides, vendors, refreshments, and picnic areas for guests. As the years progressed, Dorney added various attractions, including a petting zoo, gardens, and mechanized rides, revolutionizing his attraction into the Dorney Amusement Park. Since then, Dorney Park has changed hands many times and has undergone numerous improvements, including the addition of the Dorney Park Wildwater Kingdom. The oldest ride, still in operation today, is known as the Whip; it's similar to the Teacup rides often seen at carnivals.
Dorney's operating hours begin in early May; initially the amusement park is open on weekends alone, while the Wildwater Kingdom remains closed until the last week of May, when it opens for summer vacation. Varying throughout the season, the operating hours are generally from 10 am to 10 pm, with shorter hours during May, the first three weeks of June, and much of September. October offers operating hours over the weekends from noon to midnight as well as from 6 pm to midnight, celebrating the Halloween Haunt. The Dorney Park Wildwater Kingdom is open through the first week of September, with long operating hours during mid-season and shorter hours at the beginning and end of summer vacation.
While planning a trip to Dorney Park, visitors often consider whether they will need season passes or a day pass. Visitors can choose between a number of options for admission, including one-day admission; admission and a meal, which is offered on scheduled days; and season passes. There is also an option for Starlight admission. A one-day pass is for those who plan to spend only one day of vacation time enjoying the park, while admission and a meal, though available only on scheduled days, is a unique experience that allows visitors to spend the day at the park and take part in the buffet BBQ Backyard meal between 4 and 5:30 pm for four extra dollars. Starlight admission is reduced due to the limited amount of time available to experience the delights of the Dorney Amusement Park, but it's well worth attending if you can The Dorney Park Wildwater Kingdom Season Pass is for those who plan to visit the park at least four times during the entire season. Other considerations include rentals, from a private cabana to lockers to strollers and wheel chairs.
Whether you spend a day or a season at Dorney Park, the experience will surely be one to remember, whether you're drifting slowly along the Lazy River, speeding with dangling feet on the Hydra, or enjoying one of the theatrical performances offered at the park. The beautiful landscaping and amusement park atmosphere are sure to keep visitors of all ages entertained throughout the day; visiting the park is one of the best things to do in Pennsylvania.