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August 10, 2023

Dorney Park has plans for new roller coaster inspired by Lehigh Valley's steel mill history

When it opens in 2024, the Iron Menace will be a first of its kind amusement ride in northeastern United States, park officials say

Recreation Amusement Parks
Dorney Park's Iron Menance rollercoaster DORNEY PARK/FACEBOOK

The Iron Menace, a new roller coaster set to open at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in 2024, is said to be the first dive coaster of its kind in the northeastern United States.

Dorney Park may still be in the the midst of its 2023 summer season, but the Allentown amusement park already has big plans for next year. Iron Menace, a newly announced 160-foot-tall roller coaster, will be ready and operational when guests arrive at Dorney Park in May 2024, the park announced Thursday. 

The Iron Menace will be what is known as a dive roller coaster, and it will be the first its kind at any amusement park in the northeastern United States. Computer-generated animations shared with with 6ABC show its cars climbing 160 feet before being suspended for a few seconds at the top of the 95-degree vertical drop. Until now, the closest dive roller coaster to the region thrill-seekers has been the Valravn, a 223-foot-tall coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

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Dorney Park's Iron Menace draws inspiration from the industrial history of the Lehigh Valley region. The conceptual theme of the roller coaster is based on a backstory involving a steel baron and the so-called "iron beast" contraption designed to quickly dump iron ore into a blast furnace, a mechanism that the ride's vertical drop is meant to emulate.  

Computer-generated renditions show the orange coaster zipping across its tracks amidst fictional imagery – like smokestacks in the background and molten steel at the bottom of the drop – recalling the steel mills for which Allentown and surrounding towns like Bethlehem are known. 

The Iron Menace will reach speeds as fast as 64 mph. Dorney Park, together with its sister park Wildwater Kingdom, currently boast more than 100 rides. The Iron Menace will be the park's ninth roller coaster. 

This year, Dorney Park will remain open every day through the end of August, before switching to a weekend-only schedule in September and October. The park – complete with its newest roller coaster – is scheduled to reopen for the 2024 season next May.