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Talon


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Talon Specs
Operating Since:
May 5, 2001
Manufacturer:
Bollinger & Mabillard
Cost:
$13,000,000
B&M Steel Inverted
Length:
3110 ft
Height:
135 ft
Largest Drop:
120 ft
Angle of Descent:
50 degrees
Speed:
58 mph
Inversions:
4
Trains:
2 trains
8 cars per train
4 riders per car
(4 across seating)
Ride Duration:
2:33
Ride Capacity:
1200 riders per hour
Dorney Park added its first B&M coaster in 2001. Talon is an excellent ride, twisted and packed into a small space. Although it includes several "standard" B&M elements, a unique arrangement plus several new features make this anything but a "copycat" coaster.

The lift hill is followed by a 180 degree turn which drops trains into a 98 foot tall vertical loop. A zero-G camelback follows, bringing riders high over the boarding station. The following Immelman dive delivers the trains into the first of two helixes, an inclined version of the spiral riding high above the entrance to the ride queue. The Immelman and inclined helix provide a spectacular visual element for those about to get in line for the ride.

The helix is followed by a highly banked S-curve, with a nice airtime "dip" at the end which brings trains into a corkscrew, the last of four inversions. The corkscrew swoops trains into the final helix, travelling virtually perpendicular and very near the ground. This helix is located near the main entrance concourse of the park, immediately announcing the presence of this new coaster to all who enter.

After the helix, trains quickly rise up into the final brake run, leaving riders dangling high above the ground (as does the Nor' Easter at Wildwood) before they turn to glide back into the boarding station.

Because the course of Talon is so tightly compacted, the experience from the front seat is visually quite different than that of other, more expansive B&M coasters. Much of the ride is spent on drops that dive deep into the bright blue support structure, creating a feeling of confinement and danger. The orange and blue color scheme comes into play more so than on other coasters because of this. Of course, none of the thrills of the B&M layout are sacrificed in the process.

Although Talon boasts a track length longer than any other inverted coaster, its twisted nature allows only for two train operation, which eliminates the need for a mid-course brake run (which is required to isolate "circuits" on three-train coasters in order to eliminate the possibility of collisions). 186 columns support the structure and provide a tight course through which trains dive and slalom during the course of the ride. Sand filled tracks eliminate much of the B&M trademark "roar" but unlike in the case of Alpengeist, this does not seem to diminish from the ride experience.

As with sister park Cedar Point, Dorney Park seems intent on regularly adding new rollercoasters to provide variety in thrill and style rather than to merely increase their coaster count. Talon is not the biggest nor the baddest nor the best of existing steel inverted coasters, but it is an appropriate addition to the park, and offers great fun and thrills that make it worth a visit.


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