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Dutch Wonderland: Preparing for a new Season
Amusement Park to open mid May
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
At Dutch Wonderland theme park, the family favorite is using the winter months in the Lancaster, PA area to prepare for a new season, tentatively scheduled to open on May 15, 2021. According to director of marketing Jeffrey Eisenberg, “Our park is full of fan favorites, and different age groups tend to gravitate towards different sets of rides. For instance, our youngest riders, typically a few years old, love rides like Panda Party, Leapin' Frogs, and Duke's Dozers. Some older riders looking for more of a thrill enjoy the Kingdom Coaster and Merlin's Mayhem, the two largest rides in our park. Across the board, though, the Wonderland Special train ride tends to be a favorite. Since it's located at the front of the park, families often like taking a ride when they arrive and again before they leave for the evening.”

This year the park is looking at sparklingly refurbished rides and a new place to stay as big draws for guests. “We are currently working on winter overhaul and general refurbishment of some of our rides. The Trapeze, a YoYo model from Chance Rides, is being refreshed with all new seats, and the Kingdom Coaster is looking better than ever after just receiving a complete re-paint last year,” he reports. And as to the new accommodations, Eisenberg explains “Next door to Dutch Wonderland, we just opened the world's first Cartoon Network Hotel last year. It features 155 themed guest rooms and 4 Dream Suites, plus fun amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, an arcade, virtual reality games, a Cartoon Network store, restaurant, café, interactive Toon Room play area, outdoor show screenings and more. It's been a thrill to partner with Cartoon Network on this project and guests are loving the property so far.”

Naturally, the pandemic has caused some changes to park operations at Dutch Wonderland. “Like our colleagues throughout the industry, we prioritize guest health and safety above all else and have made modifications to our operations due to COVID-19,” he says. “We require all team members and guests ages 2 and over to wear a mask at all times inside the park - except while eating or while playing in our Duke's Lagoon water area and require temperature checks before entry to the park. We are following local and state capacity guidelines and have limited in-park capacity to 50%; as a result, we also required all guests to make reservations prior to their visit.”
And once inside the park, Eisenberg notes “Our team members are going above and beyond to ensure that rides, stands, and common areas are cleansed throughout the day. We also have installed many sanitization stations throughout the park.”

The park is also showing their ongoing commitment to passholders: “Since we had a significantly abbreviated season in 2020, we have offered complimentary extension for all 2020 season passholders to use those passes in the 2021 season as well. They will receive the same benefits this year as they did last year, regardless of if they used their pass in 2020 or not,” he notes. Season passes start at $59.99 for summer season admission.

Eisenberg stresses that the park is devoted to a full range of family visitors with a wide variety of attractions. “People generally think of Dutch Wonderland as a park geared for young children, and while that's true, what we're really all about is providing a great experience for the whole family. That's why you'll find so many rides that the whole family can enjoy together. The Wonderland Special train, Sky Ride, Monorail, Gondola Cruise, Joust roller coaster, Duke's Lagoon, and many more – these attractions are made for young and old alike, so a visit to Dutch Wonderland is truly a shared experience.”
The park has changed over the years since its founding in 1963 by Earl Clark, with what was then just a “handful of rides,” Eisenberg says. “In the almost six decades since, the park has expanded significantly in terms of size, scope of operations, number of rides and more. We now have more than 35 rides, shows and attractions, plus Old Mill Stream Campground and the Cartoon Network Hotel, two great lodging experiences both located directly adjacent to the park. As the park grows into the future, we'll stay true to our mission of being ‘A Kingdom for Kids' and ensuring that all our experiences can be enjoyed together by families.”
Entertainment and special events have by necessity been scaled back to some degree due to the pandemic, but things are expanding even in this year for the new season ahead, Eisenberg relates. “We had to scale back some of our shows due to COVID, but we are continually evaluating new and exciting special events to offer our guests unique experiences. Our seasonal holiday events, Happy Hauntings and Dutch Winter Wonderland, are always fan favorites. This past December, we also introduced our first-ever drive-through event, Holiday Lights, and it was very positively received.”

The latter, he describes as “the perfect event to stay safe and socially distant in the midst of the pandemic.” Running December 2nd through 31st, the event comprised a 1.5 miles drive through a whimsical holiday exhibition at the Old Mill Campground. Along with thousands of holiday lights, park-goers drove past seasonal settings; guests could also choose to stop at the Dutch Wonderland castle for holiday shopping, and take a masked, socially distanced ride on the park's well-known Wonderland Special Train and make a visit to Santa.

This year, the park is ready to offer whatever events and activities are COVID-19 safe and is using these chilly winter months to prepare for seasonal family fun.
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