1st Trip Back to HersheyPark in 3 Years (6/10)

Associated parks:

Hey coaster fans! Sorry, I'm kinda late posting this TR, but there aren't too many about HersheyPark so I'll post now anyway. Last time I was at HersheyPark was in 2000 and a lot has happened since then. I pre-purchased my tickets so the TR includes the free 2½ hr preview from the night before. Here's my report in the order of the first time I got on each ride:

1) Comet--Rides: 2--Wait times: 0 mins 1st time, 2 mins 2nd time--Rating: 8

I love this out-and-back wooden coaster, especially when it goes through the bunny hills in the back. Still not that rough for being so old, but beginning to be eclipsed by the newer woodies like the Wildcat and Lightning Racer. Got lucky with no waits either time so couldn't resist hopping on twice.

2) Tilt-A-Whirl--Rides: 2--Wait times: 5 mins 1st time, 2 mins 2nd time--Rating: 8

Being a husky guy, I get some nice spin on this ride, lol. I love fast, spinny rides so being able to hop right on this was a joy. Always a fun way to get dizzy!

3) Coal Cracker--Rides: 2--Wait times: 0 mins both times--Rating: 9

I guess there was no one at HersheyPark on the 9th and 10th, lol. I've never before walked on this ride, let alone twice. I love log flumes but this is one of my favorites because of the speed it picks up after the first "drop." Great ride that gets you just wet enough without drenching you. Love to see the on-ride photos at the exit too.

4) Great Bear--Rides: 2--Wait times: 5 mins both times--Rating: 8

Pretty good inverted coaster. But is it just me or does its placement make Comet Hollow look really congested? Not really a fan of the way it twists you around after the first lift instead of dropping you either. But I do love inverteds and couldn't rate one bad even if I wanted to. A must ride.

5) Flying Falcon--Rides: 2--Wait times: 0 mins 1st time, 2 mins 2nd time--Rating: 9

The only Condor ride I've been on. Not sure which other parks have them. But I love it because of the speed it has when it brings you waaay up and the way it tilts you on your side. This ride always thrills and scares me a little (but in a good way) when it restarts its spinning at the top right before it begins its descent. One of my favorite non-coaster rides.

6) Trailblazer--Rides: 1--Wait time: 0 mins--Rating: 4

I don't like mine train coasters. Though to its credit, its seats and restraints are not quite as uncomfortable as those of other mine trains. I think this ride is boring though. Just spiraling down from the top of the lift hill. Worth going on once but that's about it.

7) The Claw--Rides: 3--Wait times: 5 mins 1st time, 30 mins 2nd time, 20 mins 3rd time--Rating: 10

One of the new ones since I've been to HP last. This could very well be my new favorite ride. I don't know why that is: maybe it's the fact that I walked off shaking every time, maybe it's just a new type of ride that I've never experienced, maybe it's the fun of being able to look at riders across from you panicking, lol. Swings you like a boat swing alllllmost taking you upside down but not quite. 8 partitions of 4 seats that spin a bit as the ride makes its swing. When you get to the top of the swing you feel incredible hangtime. The last 3 or 4 swings either leave you looking far down at the ground or up at the sky and partially upside down. I had to close my eyes at one point on my 3rd ride because on the last swing I felt all my weight on the harness. A warning though: there are signs posted on the line that no one over 6'2" and 225 lbs should ride. I come very close to that limit but had no problems. They did make one man get off the ride for that though after he had waited in line. But otherwise, RIDE IT!!!

8) Chaos--Rides: 2--Wait times: 0 mins 1st time, 5 mins 2nd time--Rating: 9

I love Chaos! I've gone into detail before on why I love it in my CP TR, but I'll just say it's very deceptive. Looks tame but it flips you every which way possible. Just make sure you have nothing in your pockets or chances are that you'll lose them. Great disorienting experience, don't miss it!

9) Lightning Racer--Rides: 2--Wait times: 0 mins both times--Rating: 8

The second ride that I went on that wasn't here when I last visited. Good ride. Nice twists and turns, and I like how the two coasters go over and under each other in different spots. I don't wanna sound like a party pooper, but I think the dueling aspect is kinda lame. Pulling into the station and hearing the attendant say "Sorry we lost, I tried my best" caused me to glare at him. Plus I don't like to interact with other members of a ride so maybe my issues were just brought out on here, lol. But it's a fun wooden coaster that's a good addition to the park, glad I rode it.

10) Pirate--Rides: 1--Wait time: 2 mins--Rating: 7

Typical boat swing. Didn't this ride used to be called the Pirat? It's ok, nothing really to remark about it. I did like that there were no scream competitions on board though.

11) Rodeo--Rides: 1--Wait time: 0 mins--Rating: 6

A trabant. Eh, it's ok. I used to love these things, this ride in particular, when I was little, but I guess I've grown out of them. Brings you up and down as it travels around slowly, first forwards then backwards. Maybe I didn't enjoy it as much because my friend went on it with me and squashed me mercilessly toward the outside of the ride, lol. I'd imagine this ride would be next on the chopping block...more on that at the end of my report.

12) Wild Mouse--Rides: 1--Waiting time: 10 mins--Rating: 6

I like wild mouse coasters, but I have to say this is my least favorite of them. Granted the only other ones I've been on are Wilde Maus at BGW and Wildcat at CP. This one isn't so bad through the hairpins, but things start getting painful when you get to the drops. Your midsection takes a beating at the hands of the lapbar, and OMG what's with the super brakes at the end of the ride?! I went out of my seat and almost got whiplash. As I was exiting the ride, a guy and girl riding together just arrived at that part and the guy yelped in pain. Go easy on the brakes HP.

13) Ferris Wheel--Rides: 1--Wait time: 30 mins--Rating: 5

Well, it's a Ferris Wheel. Not much of interest here. I thought the wait was a bit much but I wanted to get on it. There's a definite lack of view on this, lol. It doesn't go all that high so you can only see the Midway America section immediately around you. It looks pretty at night though. That counts for something, right??

14) Music Express--Rides: 1--Wait time: 5 mins--Rating: 6

Your Himalaya type ride. I remember that HersheyPark used to have one of these in the past, if I remember right it was on the left side of Carousel Circle. This ride is fast and kinda fun, but I hate crushing and being crushed by my ride partner. I wish there were a way to keep up the speed and just not bank the turns so much. Maybe seatbelts? But oh well, it was fun for a quick spin.

15) Whip--Rides: 1--Wait time: 2 mins--Rating: 7

Your classic...well...whip! I loved this ride when I was little, I think they just removed that kiddie Wells Cargo. The adult version is fun. Being a thrillseeker though, I just wish there were more whip in it. Fun ride.

16) Wildcat--Rides: 1--Wait time: 2 mins--Rating: 8

Wow, a 2-min wait for Wildcat? Gone are the days of waiting an hour for this ride??? Well, I like it. I love the first drop that makes a U-turn. Nice speed for a woodie and some good pops of airtime. And that neat drop that brings you to the left quick by the station. And it still has those signature squeaks as you come back to the station. Ah, memories.

17) Sidewinder--Rides: 1--Wait time: 0 mins--Rating: 3

Wow, no wait for the Sidewinder?! This should be great! Wrong. File this under biggest disappointment of my return trip. This shuttle looper has gotten very rough. It always has been a little jerky, but I walked off in pain this time. Going backwards through the half-loops HURT! I guess this coaster has served its time. Now when I walk up that huge hill into Pioneer Frontier and see it standing tall in front of me, I cower in pain instead of watching it impressively.

18) Twin Turnpike--Rides: 1--Wait time: 5 mins--Rating: 7

The cars. They're situated in an isolated-enough spot to make this ride kinda enjoyable. I chose the antique cars over the sports cars so I could sit more comfortably and have more room. Not a bad ride for a break.

19) SooperDooperLooper--Rides: 1--Wait time: 0 mins--Rating: 5

It's a classic coaster so naturally it's going to be less thrilling as newer rides pop up. It's alright, it serves its purpose. To get you through a loop (with only a lapbar to hold you in, making it more enjoyable) and tour a semi-isolated area of the park a bit. Fun to hop on but nothing to write home about.

20) Wave Swinger--Rides: 1--Wait time: 0 mins--Rating: 7

The swings! I find the ride relaxing and enjoyable. Being able to see the Great Bear, Comet, and SooperDooperLooper as you spin around is kinda neat. Fun, quick ride.

21) Scrambler--Rides: 1--Wait time: 2 mins--Rating: 7

Classic scrambler. Nice speed and spin. Good ride to quickly hop on as you proceed to the exit.

22) Carousel--Rides: 1--Wait time: 5 mins--Rating: 5

It's a beautiful carousel and positioned very smartly in a circle, so you get a great view as it spins. But it IS a carousel, and doesn't do much for me. Great for little ones, though.

23) Giant Wheel--Rides: 1--Wait time: 2 mins--Rating: 7

I like this ride, an interesting twist on a classic and much better than the Ferris Wheel IMO. As one branch of the ride is (un)loading, the other gets a beautiful view of the entire park and beyond from the entrance. Caged in so you don't feel too afraid of heights and the car doesn't shake. Also, you can change your point of view with the rotating wheel in the middle. Or if you're desperately looking for a thrill, you can spin the car really fast in a circle a la Tea Cups, hehe. Great closing ride for me.

Rides I Didn't Go On:

Roller Soaker--Yes, I know it's a new ride for me, but upon watching it quite a bit it doesn't look like it does much besides get people wet. I HATE getting wet. Walking around a park drenched is not my idea of fun. Seeing two guys leave the line completely drenched without getting on the ride cemented my decision to not go on it.

Tidal Force--I hate getting wet. Very high for your big-boat river falls type ride. Been on this once in the past and remember getting off soaked. Yuk.

Canyon River Rapids--I still hate getting wet, lol. Ride name says it all.

Western Chute Out--Not Frontier Chute Out anymore? See above three....

Kissing Tower--Waste of time IMO. Prefer to ride the Giant Wheel to see a view of the park. Would've ridden it maybe if it were really hot outside to get into some AC.

Blue Cross Monorail, Dry Gulch Railroad, Skyview--Boring sightseeing rides. I remember in the past I went on Skyview and was transported into a thicket with a lot of bugs. Wonder if they've taken care of that....

Fender Bender--Bumper cars. I usually stay away from them. Seems like a confrontation-provoking ride if there ever was one. Not thrilling, not relaxing, no point.

Frontier Flyers--Another new ride. Goes in a circle and you have some control over its spin. I've seen this ride appear and disappear twice in PKD. First time, I think, they were called Parrot Troopers; second time, Scream Weaver. Boring.

I went on the Chocolate World Tour too, just for old times' sake. It's not so bad. I'm quite upset though because they took away my two favorite flat rides: Cyclops (an Enterprise) and Conestoga (a Huss Rainbow). I miss the Huss Rainbows so much. The only thing like them that still exists in parks that I've been to is Da Vinci's Cradle in BGW, though I think that's a Huss 1001 Nights. The replacement for Cyclops was The Claw, which is a worthy replacement. The replacement for Conestoga is some wild west 3D theater. Horrible. My bet is Rodeo is the next to go, following the line of rides that just bit the dust. Maybe they'll build an animated tumbleweed or something, lol. Thanks for reading about my trip, sorry if it was kinda long-winded.
*** This post was edited by AK21 6/25/2003 3:54:23 PM ***
*** This post was edited by AK21 6/25/2003 3:56:01 PM ***

Monday's at HP must be a good day. I was there on the night of the 16th and it was very empty.

Observations and comments:

the Claw... take those signs seriously. I'm a big guy, but not so big that I have to use the "big boy" seats on B&M inverted coasters. I fit quite nicely into B&M inverts, Vekoma SLC's, and every other coaster I have ever ridden. Have no problems on Chaos or any flat ride with OTSR's or any other type of restraints either. HOWEVER... the Claw is the exception. The op could not get the OTSR's closed and I was one of those that was turned away. I don't feel too bad because of the two ride cycles that I stood in line for, I saw 4 people turned away... one rather rotund man, one rather tall man, and two women who were rather "gifted" in the chest area. The difference in the OTSR's on the Claw as opposed to B&M inverts and Vekoma SLC's... they are not contoured to the body... they are straight and people who are tall or with wide shoulders or chests can not get them closed. Last few years I rode Wild Claw at the York Fair (a portable version) and the op didn't mind stapling me in... I mean I could not exhale. Even though I couldn't breath, I loved this ride. I had hoped Hershey's Claw had different restraints, but it doesn't. Oh well.

Trailblazer Did I read correctly in another thread that it has new trains this season?

Wild Mouse I have not ridden it this year, but watching it from Wildcat station, I did notice that the breaks were working overtime. Two years ago they ran it practically unbreaked making it one of the wildest mice around.

Comet and Wildcat Wait times are low if the park is not that busy... but on a busy day, the old 45 minute to an hour waits are still there

Twin Turnpike Unless you are a petite person (or a child), you need to be a contortionist (sp?) to fit comfortably in the sports cars, that's why I always chose the classic cars. Notice this year that they are all convertables? Their roofs have been removed. I assume it is for the on ride photo (I dont' think this was here in previous years).

Frontier Flyers I got in a little trouble when I rode them. There is a warning given at the start of the ride not to move the sail in a quick or jerky method. I didn't. However, when I turned it once, I did manage a small "snap"... hardly a snap at all really... nothing by Knoebels standards... and the ride op almost had a fit. Only the second time in my life that I was "reminded of the rules" by a ride op (the first time coming a few weeks ago on, of all things, the Flying Eagles (flyers) at PKD). Hershey's and PKD's may be kind of on the boring side... but if they would let you fly them the way they could be flown (like at Knoebels), flyers can be very fun. As a matter of fact, While Hershey and PKD have a "no snapping" policy, you could just feel that these birds wanted to take off... their design seems like they would be easier to snap than Knoebels.

LightningRacer If you are riding this coaster solo, or if the person/people you are with are in the same seat and/or car as you, then the dueling aspect is not that much. However, if you know people on the other train and if they are sitting in the same seat (just opposite train) as you, then the dueling can be fun. Kind of neat to look over at them as the trains roar through the course... especially while in "SideSwipe Alley". Still, individually, this (these) is still (are still) a great coaster (coasters).

Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 6/26/2003 3:07:27 PM ***
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 6/26/2003 3:10:03 PM ***

TrailBlazer has not put on its new trains yet :(

Also AK21 did you notice anymore construction at the park? When I went last month there was some stuff going on over by TrailBlazer and Sidwinder.

Matt Rydzik

That's right about the Antique Cars, I forgot they used to be covered and now they're not. Fortunately, it wasn't raining lol. And yeah I was looking for the construction site. I had read before my trip that there was something going on between the Trailblazer and the Sidewinder but nothing jumped out at me. I guess I wasn't looking that carefully though, sorry... :(
You don't like to interact with other riders? Curious, but why?


I don't know really. I go to the parks basically to satisfy the thrillseeker in me. I find that a great deal of other riders are obnoxious teenagers and I don't really want to deal with them. It sounds a little selfish but to each his own I guess right? I'm not saying I won't chat with a rider if they sit next to me but I prefer to enjoy the ride and block everyone else out once it begins, even if I'm riding with a friend. There's time to talk after it's over I figure.
AK21 said:
I'm not saying I won't chat with a rider if they sit next to me but I prefer to enjoy the ride and block everyone else out once it begins, even if I'm riding with a friend. There's time to talk after it's over I figure.

I'm the same way don't worry.

"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."

If I am riding with someone I know, I have no problem "interacting" (i.e. talking, laughing, etc) with them, but with strangers I very rarely interact. My wife is very selective about the coasters she goes on (equilibrium problems knock out many steel coaters with inversions, neck problems knock out many wooden coasters), so often times, even when I am at a park with her, I am a solo rider. I don't mind riding with others on a 4 acros B&M, but I don't even like riding with others that much on 2 seater coasters.

Reminds me of a Steven Wright routine...

"I was on the ski lift and the person sitting next to me didn't talk to me. Half way up the mountain he looked at me and said that he hadn't been skiing in years because he was in jail. He asked me if I wanted to know why, I said 'Not really' and then I said, 'Okay, I guess you had better tell me.' He said 'I pushed a total stranger off the top of a ferris wheel', I said 'yeah, I remember you.'"
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 6/27/2003 9:48:51 AM ***

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