Wild Water Kingdom3830 Dorney Park Road Allentown, PA 18104 visit site> 90 minutes from Philadelphia
The boys and I go on a lot of adventures and it has been a long time since I have had a really good stress free- meltdown free one in a while. Recently I came back high off my experience at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom. And Yes, I agree that is a bizarre sentence. When I go into an amusement park like that with two potentially fussy kids I always pray for the best and get my fake smile ready for when they hand me their worst. It is kinda of a thing we have going. I even planned in advance to have drinks with a friend later that night to decompress. I don’t mess around.
So I was super surprised when my visit to Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom went off without a hitch. The first thing I am going to call out is the price. Even with the boys cost of admission being free it was a $150 trip (2 adult on-line tickets + promo code discounts + $18 parking + 2 $5 tickets for Dinosaurs Alive!). That to me is pretty steep. I also decided to spring for a double stroller because I knew the boys would think it was more exotic then their regular stroller and actually want to ride in it…that gamble cost me $18 and totally paid off…making it priceless.
There is a new exhibit called Dinosaurs Alive! that I really wanted Henry to see. This cost an extra $5 with the cost of park admission for anyone 3 and up. Dinosaurs Alive! is a separate little park with a winding path and along the path there are giant mechanical dinosaurs that move and make noises.If you like to watch Dino Dan it is very much like that. It was actually pretty cool. The dinosaurs are giant and realistic and they even have speakers in the woods so it sounds like they are moving all around you. Ollie was scared (20 months old) but Henry (3) loved it. The exhibit is really well done. I will tell you that it is a major hike from the main entrance so just be prepared for that.
Next we moved on to Planet Snoopy. This is the special toddler area in Dorney Park. There are a few rides that kids have to be 42″-54″ tall to ride alone but the majority allow children under 42″ to ride with an adult. For me this meant that Both Ollie and Henry could go on almost all the rides. Which was awesome. This area is actually really great and there was plenty for the boys to do. Since we went on a Tuesday in the afternoon there were also no lines so the boys could go on their favorites as many times as they wanted. The boys loved this area and this was the first time Ollie really got to go on rides. I give this area a thumbs up. It is easy, well planned out and great for toddlers. There is even a restaurant in that section if you need one.
Next we decided to cool off and scoot over to Wild Water Kingdom. There is actually plenty to keep toddlers cool and busy in Wild Water Kingdom. They label the toddler friendly sections green or “low thrill.” I decided to skip the wave pool and instead we headed right for Kid’s Cove and Lollipop Lagoon. Kid’s Cove has this octopus slide that occupied Henry (3) for at least 45 minutes. The stairs up can get a bit crowded but nothing crazy. Ollie (20 months) was too small to climb the stairs and do the slide but the pool and sprinklers around the octopus slide kept him busy.
When the boys got bored we headed to the adjacent toddler area called Lollipop Lagoon. Henry and Ollie are super comfortable with the water but if your child is not you might find the water a touch deep. It is still shallow but you just might have to be on them a bit more. In the center of Lollipop Lagoon is a “rock” formation with multiple slides. The only reason I bring it up is because the slides are not long but as you scooch down, all the sudden you hit the middle of the slide and you just take off. I might have accidentally took out a few toddlers and Ollie ended up coming down fast and horizontal behind me. Super fun but you have been warned.
I found that there was plenty of convenient and available seating in both Kid’s Cove and Lollipop Lagoon. Both sections are also right next to each other which is really helpful.
Throughout the water park there are little sprayground with seats. This is perfect for crawlers or timid toddlers since they are zero depth.
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* #1: Dorney Park does not permit outside food. HOWEVER there was no one checking bags unlike Dutch Wonderland. A small bag of animal crackers could have really come in handy and next time I will be “packing” if you know what I mean.
*Amusement Park Stroller Rental: I thought the boys would actually think this was exotic and ride in this and I was right. Totally worth the $18. (I know, I know but it came in handy so many times). If you return it at the end of the day (and don’t just leave it randomly by the exit) they give you $5. Stroller rental is directly to the left when you come through the entrance in Good Time Gifts. Just go to the register and ask for a single or double.
* Look for discount tickets at Dunkin Donuts and I found a promo code on RetailMeNot.com. Do book your tickets on-line and save $10 and time at the gate. Do try to plan your visit more than two days in advance and you can save even more money with their Pick-A-Day ticket option.
* If you go during the week and in the afternoon you should get a pretty decent parking spot in the General Parking area and should not fork over $25 for preferred parking. Go all the way to the front and see what you can find. I bet your can score a good one. Do purchase parking on-line when you do your tickets. It is the exact same price.
*The food options are better in Wild Water Kingdom and there are Philadelphia Pretzel Company stands everywhere. two pretzels are just under $8. but they are big, kept the boys busy and I swear extended our trip by 60 minutes. Again sneak your own food in.
*Entrance: I turned around three times until I finally found the right one. My iPhone lead me down Hamilton Blvd to the service entrance. Then I went in the first area I found marked ENTRANCE and that was for buses. Finally I continued down the road and found the right entrance. I would do Mapquest if I was you and check out the directions page on the site.