Review: Talon at Dorney Park

Roller Coaster Reviews

Dorney Park is a smallish theme park located in Dorney, Pennsylvania. If you’re not from Eastern PA or New Jersey, you may not have heard of it. Part of the Cedar Fair chain of parks, it currently has a roster of 7 roller coasters with three real eye-catching standouts: a Morgan hyper coaster (Steel Force), a floorless B&M looper (Hydra: The Revenge), and a B&M inverted coaster (Talon).

Talon Roller Coaster - Dorney Park

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

If you’re a well-traveled coaster enthusiast or even if you’ve been to bigger parks in the region like Six Flags Great Adventure or Hersheypark, then Talon may not strike you as a jaw dropping thrill ride. It is on the smaller side of B&M inverted coasters; where riders are positioned below the track in four-across seating. But that fact does not tell the whole story. Thanks to a great design and a good choice by the theme park, Talon plays the perfect part in a lineup that already had its intense coaster boxes checked with Steel Force (and previously with Hercules).

Talon opens with the textbook B&M swooping first drop. After that, you’re treated with a succession of silky smooth inversions including a 98-foot tall vertical loop, a zero-g roll, an Immelmann, and a corkscrew. When you’re not being turned gracefully head-over-heels, you’re flying passed the ride’s brightly-colored track or staying close to the ground. Out of the inversions, my favorite is the zero-g roll, which can provide a brief moment of weightlessness, but thankfully all of the loops and turns are executed seamlessly. For me, one of the most memorable elements was a short, quick drop under the lift hill that really caught me you off guard. Inverted coasters aren’t known for their drops, but this drop was quite memorable.

By 2001, when Talon was built, the designers had clearly evolved since first introducing their inverted coasters with the half dozen Batman clones around the country. The pacing on this ride is ten fold better than say Batman at Six Flags Great Adventure where you feel like you were tossed in a dryer and put on tumble with one quick inversion after the other.

Talon Loops - Dorney Park

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Talon is an amazingly smooth coaster that while thrilling, is also an excellent first looper for kids and less experienced riders. It also has excellent re-rideability as evidenced by Bobbie’s 16 rides on Talon during a fundraiser. This is not an imposing giant inverted coaster like Alpengeist, but a more compact ride like Afterburn at Carowinds; which I rate Talon, just a hair below.

Final Rating – 8.5 (Great-Approaching Excellent)

Check out this front seat POV video of Talon at Dorney Park:

Also, see who comes out on top when Talon goes head-to-head with PA rival Great Bear at Hersheypark in this roller coaster showdown: Great Bear vs Talon

What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Talon at Dorney Park? What’d you think? Leave a comment below.

This was a part of our 12 Days of Coasters special! Every day from Christmas until January 5th, we gave away a roller coaster review for you to enjoy. You can check them all out here. We thank you for reading, hope you’ve had a merry holidays, and wish you a happy New Year!

Talon at Dorney Park
Experience Factors & Final Rating
Rideability8
Theming4
Uniqueness5
Intensity6
Positives
Very smooth ride
Several fun loops
Good ride capacity
Negatives
Very little theming
8.5
Great
My Take
Talon is an amazingly smooth coaster that while thrilling, is also an excellent first looper for kids and less experienced riders.
Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

7 Comments

  1. I must’ve ridden Talon on a slow day (to be fair, it was raining on-and-off), since I gave it a “really good, not exceptional” rating in my mind. That said, the horizontal helix was awesome and I did enjoy the pacing that was more relaxed than Batman, which is one relentless inversion after another.

    Once the storm passed Dorney, I took a terrific photo of this B&M invert with the yellow track spine really contrasting against the dark sky background. Great review, Joel! (p.s. I think we should do “best coaster photo” contest submissions and let the public decide)

    Reply
    • I like that idea Eric. I’m sure among us, we have some really good photos to showcase.

      Reply
  2. I’ve missed reading your reviews Joel. You should to it more often!

    Reply
    • Thanks Josh!

      Reply
  3. It’s funny that you mention Talon as a good first looper for kids, Joel, because it was my son’s first. He’d surprised me and his mother by riding Steel Force with us earlier in the day, but he was still pretty nervous about inversions. Fortunately, Talon has a test seat, and the huge, chunky B&M restraints made him feel safer. He enjoyed it so much, and it was a slow day, so we ended up marathoning it, so he could try front row, back row, left and right sides.

    Unrelated, I got stung by a bee while riding Talon, during that same trip. I was in the front row, and during that low helix, we swooped up a bee, which got caught under the restraint and stung me. Fortunately, I’m not allergic, so it was just kind of annoying, but it’s something to be wary of with that helix.

    Reply
    • I’m glad that your son enjoyed it. My youngest (8) is ready for a looper and has been curious, but Carowinds doesn’t have a smooth entry-level looper in my opinion. I wish we had a Talon here. Copperhead might be the one, if she’s not too intimidated by the launch. Might be a lot to bite off at once.

      And thankfully, I’ve never been stung on a roller coaster. I’ll file that under “Strangest Things that Happened on a Coaster”. Glad you were okay.

      Reply
  4. Nice review, Joel – and thanks for the nod. I have long been of the opinion that Talon is underrated. I too like the zero-g roll and always look forward to the point of the ride at which the train swoops close to the ground. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that the track is filled with sand to cut down on the noise. Noisy coasters certainly do have their place; it’s wonderful to hear old woodies clattering along the track, El Toro thundering overhead and Kumba roaring away but for this type of coaster model I think that noise would be more of a detraction than an enhancement.

    Reply

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