The Grip of Fear take over Allentown: Part 16 of our Inverted Coaster series

When Cedar Fair purchased Dorney Park in 1992, the park entrance and parking facilities were insufficient for the vision that the new owners had in mind.  The park already had a waterpark that was serviced by its own waterpark and entrance facilities (Wildwater Kingdom) and the amusement park used a small parking lot built on a hill near the Thunderhawk Roller Coaster.  Until 1980, Dorney Park Rd. served as the park access road and it amazingly went through the middle of the park.  There were railroad crossings for the Zephyr train and guests had to check for cars when they went from one side of the park to the other.


By closing the road, the park could fence itself in and go to a Pay One Price model and when Cedar Fair bought the park, they eyed land previously acquired by Harris Weinstein, the ex-owner.  In 1985, he had purchased the neighboring Nascar track and demolished it to build Wildwater Kingdom, but leaving a stretch of land between the old Dorney Park and his new Water Park. The Hercules roller coaster occupied a small park of that land when it opened in 1989, but most of it was left empty.  Dorney Park started filling that land in 1993 when they introduced an Arrow Shoot the Chute attraction followed by various other attractions, but a large plot of land was left empty for a major ride.

Talon Dorney Park (20)

The new combined park entrance.

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The park went to an all new architecture with this entrance.

Dorney Park Meteor

Meteor (Zamperla Hawk 48) and White Water Landing in the background are two of the rides that filled up the land between the two parks.

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The standard Cedar Fair Coasters Drive-In restaurant was also constructed.

The selected ride was Talon:  The Grip of Fear.  For the 2001 season,  B&M designed a custom 135 feet tall Inverted Coaster with four inversions and close turns to the ground.  Given the park attendance, 3 train’s operation was not required and they went with a 3110 feet long course with no mid-course brakes.  The ride starts with a 135 feet tall lift hill and after the small dip at the top, drops 120 feet to the right.  The train goes through a 98 feet tall lift hill and is followed by a tall Zero G Roll over the queue.  The train then goes below grade in a cement trench where a trim brake was installed, but is not in use.  We are then flipped around in an Immelmann.

Talon Dorney Park (1)

Welcome to Talon The Grip of Fear!


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The 135 feet tall lift hill and drop.

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A train going up the lift hill.

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The train going through the Vertical Loop.

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A rather unique view of the Vertical Loop.

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The train at the bottom of the Vertical Loop.  Between the lift and loop is the ride second big drop.

Talon Dorney Park (19)

The train flying through the Zero-G-Roll.

Talon Dorney Park (3)

The Immelmann.

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The Immelmann from the other side.

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The bottom of the Immelmann goes below grade in a trench.

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The trim brake.


We exit in a 360° spiral and we catch a breather as we fly briefly high in the air before dropping to the left to the ground.  We go through a stretched Flat Spin and the ride concludes with another spiral that hugs the ground.  The very high final brakes follow and what is interesting is that due to the available land, the transfer track and transfer table were placed there.  A long 180° turn bring the train back toward the station and into the ready brakes.

Talon Dorney Park (2)

The post Immelmann spiral.

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The large drop after the Spiral.

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The final Spiral and the small hill that concludes the ride.

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A view at the long waiting line and the rise into the final brakes.


The ride was the first B&M coaster to have 3 color tones.  The supports were painted royal blue, the crossties and bottom of the box yellow and the top of the track box orange.  The station was a modern building that was clearly inspired by Raptor.

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Talon station building.

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The staircase in the front of the picture is used for Fast Lane access and the one on the right for the regular queue.

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One of the ride train.

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