Dor­ney Park dives into ma­jor up­grade

Sea­side Splash­works will have slides, wa­ter can­nons and a tip­ping bucket when it opens in 2020

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Jon Har­ris

Last month, Dor­ney Park & Wild­wa­ter King­dom Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager Michael Fehnel told South White­hall Town­ship of­fi­cials that it was time to re­new the park’s Is­land Wa­ter Works play­ground and splash pad.

Now, we know the de­tails of that re­fresh.

The amusement park on Thurs­day an­nounced that a new beach-themed, mul­ti­level play struc­ture called Sea­side Splash­works will de­but at that spot in 2020. The at­trac­tion will fea­ture more than 75 play el­e­ments, the park said, in­clud­ing six wa­ter slides to­tal­ing 430 feet in length; in­ter­ac­tive spray jets; oversized wa­ter can­nons; a 195foot net bridge trail where guests can test their climb­ing skills; a 317-gal­lon tip­ping bucket that soaks guests un­der­neath ev­ery three or four min­utes; and a splash zone for tod­dlers.

“I think we keep refreshing ar­eas of the park, and that was an area where it was time to make it big­ger and bet­ter,” Fehnel told The Morn­ing Call on Thurs­day, not­ing that Is­land Wa­ter Works dated to the late 1990s.

Fehnel de­clined to dis­close a price tag for the pro­ject, but the an­nounce­ment comes as com­pe­ti­tion for the en­ter­tain­ment

dol­lar gets ready to heat up across the re­gion in the com­ing years. Work is un­der­way on the mas­sive $350 mil­lion en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion called Po­cono Springs Vil­lage, ris­ing in Monroe County ad­ja­cent to Kala­hari. Then, Wind Creek Hos­pi­tal­ity is weigh­ing a $250 mil­lion plan to turn the sto­ried No. 2 Ma­chine Shop into a 300,000square-foot ad­ven­ture and wa­ter park, a de­vel­op­ment that would help Wind Creek Beth­le­hem di­ver­sify its of­fer­ings.

Fehnel didn’t put much stock in the idea that in­com­ing re­gional de­vel­op­ments prompted Sea­side Splash­works, rea­son­ing that there will al­ways be com­pe­ti­tion in ar­eas with sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion. Sea­side Splash­works will, how­ever, be the largest struc­ture in Dor­ney’s wa­ter park, fea­tur­ing six towers, 12 wa­ter can­nons and nine tip­ping cones.

“This is more about mak­ing our park the best it can be,” Fehnel said, adding that Sea­side Splash­works will pair well with the park’s Pre-K pass pro­gram, which al­lows free ad­mis­sion to kids aged 3 to 5.

Fehnel also noted the pro­ject fits into the park’s goal of of­fer­ing guests a di­verse ar­ray of en­ter­tain­ment, not­ing the re­cent Grand Car­ni­vale in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­val at the amusement park. The im­mer­sive at­trac­tion Mon­ster Jam Thunder Al­ley is com­ing to Dor­ney Park from Sept. 14 to Nov. 3.

At the South White­hall meet­ing last month, the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers granted Dor­ney Park’s re­quest to waive land de­vel­op­ment re­view requiremen­ts for re­plac­ing Is­land Wa­ter Works, which takes up 0.3 acres at the prop­erty. Dor­ney Park, owned by Cedar Fair En­ter­tain­ment Co. in San­dusky, Ohio, com­prises a to­tal of 210 acres — only 30 of which re­main un­de­vel­oped, ac­cord­ing to Cedar Fair’s an­nual re­port.

CON­TRIB­UTED/DOR­NEY PARK

A con­cept draw­ing for the new Sea­side Splash­works, a beach-themed, multi-level play struc­ture com­ing to Dor­ney Park in 2020.

CON­TRIB­UTED/DOR­NEY PARK

The ad­di­tion is likely to pair well with the Pre-K pass pro­gram.

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