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Hydra at Dorney Park - Allentown, PA (about 1.5 hours from NYC by car)
As an Ohioan who attended Penn State, a typical day in college involved convincing the natives that Cedar Point provided more cherished childhood memories than Dorney Park. Seeing as a road trip from Brooklyn to "the roller coaster capital of the world, thank you very much" in northern Ohio would call for an overnight stay, my hat goes off to Dorney. It's stocked with eight coasters, including the inverted Talon and the feet-dangling Hydra, the first-ever coaster to flip riders upside down as the train leaves the station, before it even hits the hill. Might as well get the party started.