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Remember: Journey to The Center Of The Earth

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Journey to The Center Of The Earth


My mother was tricked in the same manner I was. My grandfather told her there was no hill on the ride. It was just a little boat trip to see Pinocchio and other cartoon characters. She saw the light at the end of ride and what appeared to be a rising track. Mom asked my grandfather what it was. My grandfather said “Hold on”, and laughed.

My dad told me the same thing. By this time, Journey to the Center of The Earth had become an epic journey of the mythic underworld below our feet. There were red eyed beasts and trolls and whatever other freaks were bound to thrive at the center of the earth. To a kid, those animatronics were pretty scary. I figured I could handle them, after all it wasn’t like there was a drop at the end. My dad laughed when I realized what was coming, I think I peed a little.

Journey, was a classic dark ride and a mill chute to boot. I’m writing about it today because it seems that Dorney Park is now 125 years old and the Morning Call has been providing an excellent pictorial on its website. The oily and acrid smell inside that ride is as easily remembered as the black water your little boat bobbed on.

For the record, last summer I managed to get myself on to The Hydra at Dorney Park. Those who have seen the picture of me on the ride know how that went. I will say only that I turned the color of the track and loudly screamed for them to make it stop. I'm 25 so it was a real stellar moment for me.

What was your first Dorney Park experience? Or, when were you first tricked onto a ride?

I’m looking forward to reading your Dorney Stories.


Here is a brief youtube video of what looks like a PBS special that features Journey To The Center of The Earth:

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12 Comments:

Blogger Katie Bee said...

Ha, the same girl that locked me in my closet and read my diary out loud convinced me to ride Talon with her in seventh grade. I use "convince" in a kind of liberal sense of the word, since I think she ridiculed my fear and then made fun of my shirt. At any rate, Kasha and I had a good time, but I really only like the steel coasters, and only when there's no lines.

May 3, 2009 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

And I only like the wooden coasters, and only when there is no line. I will try Steel Force this summer. I do not like the upside down crap.

May 3, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

My best memory of the park occurred while I was in the 8th grade. A few friends and I decided going to the park was a good idea. We also thought Wildwater Kingdom was the place to be. We got in and headed to the wave pool. For some reason, my friends managed to dive in the water before me. I stood and watched a three year old child vomit into the pool. As this happened, my friends saw it and ran from the pool. Good times

May 3, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous capri said...

my proudest moment at Dorney was when I was there on the JCC camp field trip and I puked after going on... wait for it.... the DRAGON. You know, the one where you just swing back and forth on a gigantic dragon?

May 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...

I am writing from the SF cable car museum to say that I approve of this post 100%. It smells exactly like JttCotE in here.

May 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous capri said...

I'm Marc. I live in California. LA LA LA. There are no seasonal allergies here. So special!

May 3, 2009 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Capri, dude just rolls around in tank tops all day long and chills in the back of his jeep.

May 3, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Andrew,
The comment system you are using is incompatible with certain browsers. So, the comment below was e-mailed to me by Michael Molovinsky and I am reproducing it in full for him.

dorney park of my teen years was quite an experience. there was no
admission (you bought ride tickets), and a hugh dance hall, Castle
Rock, long gone. There was an incredible arcade, with machines from
the turn of the century right through the present, then the early 60's.
in the ride you mention, then called something else, we would get out
of the boat inside the tunnel, and then jump in a later boat, scaring
the occupants much more than any autotron on display.

May 4, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Monkey Momma said...

My kids and I go to Dorney every summer - we love the inevitable trauma it brings. The best was when both kids disappeared on me while visiting Lollipop Lagoon. After the "guard" made some incomprehensible grunt at my request for help, I let loose with the biggest meltdown a mom probably ever pitched at Dorney. My tears and wails brought 6 or 7 moms immediately out to help, and the kids were found in about 5 excrutiating minutes. I learned that having a panic attack in public has its advantages. (And if you've never gone to Dorney with 2 toddlers, don't bash my inattentive parenting.)

Anyways, when my girlfriends and I get babysitters and go to Dorney on our own, we LOVE Steel Force and the Talon. Hydra's too slow, but the Revolution kinda kicks ass. I love Dorney in the Fall the best, but nothing beats a summer stroll down the lazy river. Thank god for chlorine.

May 4, 2009 at 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Sarina said...

Journey to the Center of the Earth was my favorite ride at Dorney! I was said when they got rid of it. It was so unusual and creepy and had that quick little hill at the end.

Other than that, I'm a big fan of the Tilt-A-Whirl. I love spinning and spinning and laughing like a lunatic. That's my hands-down favorite at any amusement park or carnival.

May 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Katiebear said...

Journey to the Center of the Earth was by far my favorite ride at Dorney! Could be because my dad put the sound effects in for that ride and for other things around the park!!! I was sad when they got rid of it!

January 10, 2010 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Katiebear,

That is awesome.

January 10, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

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