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Bobbie Butterfield

'Coasting for Kids' at Dorney Park

Published: June 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM

The 6th annual Coasting for Kids event to benefit Give Kids The World Village took place over the weekend at almost eleven parks owned by Cedar Fair: California’s Great America, Canada’s Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Knott’s Berry Farm, Michigan’s Adventure, Valleyfair and Worlds of Fun. I say almost eleven because the water main break at Cedar Point on Saturday forced the park to remain closed on Sunday. Give Kids The World Village, for those unfamiliar with it, is a 70-acre resort in Kissimmee, FL which provides free
weeklong fantasy vacations for kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In order to participate, coaster enthusiasts – or not – were required to pay a $25 registration fee and raise a minimum of $75.

The agenda at Dorney Park included three coasters: Steel Force in the morning and Talon after lunch, followed by Hydra. Whereas the event had previously been a true coaster-riding marathon, this year the rules were changed purportedly for safety reasons to limit participants to two consecutive rides before taking a break. (The
break involved waiting out the ride for two trains so that it wasn’t a very long break.) The day began with participants checking in and being given their Coasting For Kids T-shirts. Our group was then shepherded to Possessed for a warmup by our very able and affable tour guide, Buddy Rumble, ride efficiency supervisor, before taking on Steel Force. The park had set things up in such a way that one train was dedicated to the Coasting For Kids group, as was the case with the other coasters.

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Lunch was catered by the park and after the lunch break came the awards ceremony, emceed by the delightful Carrie Basta, communications manager. The president of Give Kids The World Village, Pamela Landwirth, also graced us with her presence. I don’t remember the exact figure, but the participants at Dorney raised more for this nonprofit organization than all but those at one other park, coming in second to Kings Dominion. One participant managed to raise over $5,000!

Talon is a seriously underrated coaster and one of the best inverts I’ve ridden so it was coaster nirvana to be able to get 16 rides on it. I can’t say the same for Hydra. After 8 rides I was beginning to feel dizzy so decided to pack it in. 36 laps in one day among the three coasters was enough.

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The staff at Dorney was awesome and I cannot say enough about how good our guardian angel Buddy was. He was largely instrumental in making certain that everything went off without a hitch and had a smile for everyone. He even joined us for several rides on Hydra.

All in all, it was a very good day. I met some nice people, got to ride coasters until I was ridden out, and am proud to be part of this group that was dedicated to raising funds to fulfill the wishes of kids who need all the help they can get.

Replies (1)

Dan Glynn

Published: June 11, 2014 at 3:02 AM

That is so cool, and what a good cause!! I'd love to participate if a similar event was ever organised at one of our Australian parks. We don't have as many coasters, but I'm sure it could still work. Well done to all involved!!

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