CBCon Trip - Part Three - Hersheypark

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, May 26, 2005 12:28 PM
HersheyPark Sunday, May 22

I almost begged off going to Hershey, having been whipped from two days of doing parks. I figured one of my main problems was not eatting enough and not staying hydrated enough, so I did both at Hershey and it turned out to be a wonderful day.

I arrived in Hershey, after a few mix ups, around noon. The park wasn't all that busy. I think the longest I waited for anything was Lightning Racer at 20 minutes (I cut that wait in half on my second ride and that was even front row)

Parking was a little confusing, and the huge auto show wasn't helping matters. It was cool to see hot rods going down Hersheypark Road during the day while going from ride to ride.

Anyways, I will start with the rides and give my impressions of the park afterwards.

  • Comet: Very fun wooden coaster. I was told that it was built in the 1940's. Fairly smooth for a woody with a few moments of airtime. Basically, a fun coaster.
  • Sooperdooperlooper: Funny name, serious coaster. I love my Antons and this one didn't disappoint. Strong G's in the loop and lots of fun helix fun afterwards.
  • Great Bear: Meh. Having had ridden Talon the day before at Dorney probably tainted my view on what really is more of a family invert. Seemed pretty forceless for the most part and the layout was pretty uninispired.
  • Trailblazer: Worst mine ride, ever. Pretty rough and boring layout. Next.
  • Storm Runner: Best rocket, ever. I've been pretty vocal on my dislike for TTD. Sure, the first ride is great when your heart is pounding and fear is gripping you, but after that it's up down and over. Boring. Xcelerator was nice because it at least had a little more after the launch, the launch was more powerful, and their was some decent air on the tophat. Then there's Storm Runner. Launch was pretty weak, but OMG, the airtime over that top hat! Then theres some decent hang time in the first inversion, but nothing could prepare me for the airtime/hangtime in the double roll into a half loop that followed. Pure bliss. Best thing was that lines were pretty short so I ended up riding this a ton of times from just about every seat. Not really a bad seat on the train. Front is great for visuals and back gives a slightly better ride.
  • Sidewinder: Typical boomerang, typical headbanging. Credit. Next.
  • Roller Soaker: I really didnt want to get wet but I didnt want to leave Pennsylvania with a credit that was available not being picked up. I decided to go get it over with and hopped into line while carefully avoiding getting a bucket of water dumped on my head. This turned out being one of the funnest rides of the day, next to Storm Runner. I rode solo so I got two shots of water! The first opportunity came as the car glided over the exit path where everyone that was on the previous set of cars was making their way off. I know this is a family ride, but kids must learn a lot of swear words when they dump their water on people. I heard a lot of the 's' word as I closed in on them and let it go. I got at least three of em, probably more. The next one was even better. Someone saw me coming and started running and again I heard the 's' word. With a devious grin I pulled the handle and nailed him. Sweet. After that it was into the gauntlet of people spraying me with water. I really didnt care at that point because I was still giddy with victory. I held up my arms in a defiant "let me have it" gesture and took my punishment. I really didnt get all that wet, even though all the guns were manned.
  • Lightning Racer: I know I will be branded a heretic, but I am not really a fan of GCI wooden coasters. I like them, I'm just not a fan. That said, I'm a big fan of Lighting Racer. What a wonderful pair of coasters. This was everything Gwazi should have been but wasn't. All of the dueling aspects of the ride were visually great from the head on pass towards the end of the ride to the trains criss-crossing each other several times. The race into the finish line made the ride even more fun. The ride itself was smooth and well paced. It really didn't have airtime, but had a wonderful out of control feel to it. Rode each side and lost both times, but still had a blast.
  • Wildcat: I was expecting good things with this coaster after riding Lighting Racer. In fact, because this coaster is featured in the Wooden Coaster Calendar, I was thinking it would be good. Best I can say is, it was okay. The layout really didn't do anything for me. Not really any air, but a lot of out of control like Lighting Racer. Maybe the racer is better because of the dueling. Who knows.
  • Wild Mouse: Pretty much like Dorney's mouse. Credit, Next!
  • Other Rides: The flyers were unsnappable but fun. I think if they slowed it down a bit, you could probably snap them. Other than that, I really didn't hit any other flat rides except the Kissing Tower. It looked like there were some nice flats there, just nothing all that intense.

Overall, the park was really clean and well themed. I could have done without the steep hills, but the park does a good job of marking them on the maps and also with park signage. It seemed like everything in the park was really packed together with a ton of things to do at every turn.

The employees were very friendly, something that seemed univeral on my trip out east. Ride operations were really good with the exception of the Lightning Racer crew that was only running one train to a side. Storm Runner crew was really cranking the trains out, though.

The food was VERY good, and reasonably priced. There is no shortage of other activities, although I didnt do any of them. There looked to be a zoo that was part of the park and there was a chocolate world and a museum of some sort. I also think there is some kind of tour of the factory, too. Anyone remember Willi Wonka? ;)

Definately, a park I will be returning to.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 1:27 PM
I was there on Sunday also and LOVED Hershey Park. I agree with just about everything that was said above. Storm Runner is definitely my favorite Rocket coaster!! I loved the front seat! That being said, the only other rocket coaster I've ridden is TTD and I'm not a big fan of it at all.
I really liked Lightning Racer, it is now one of my favorite wood coasters...but again, I haven't been to Holiday World yet and I'm sure that will change after I make the trip...whenever that is.
I thought Great Bear was a lot of fun. It wasn't nearly as forceful as Raptor or Talon but I really enjoyed my rides on it.
Overall I thought the park was awesome and I can't wait to go back in a few years.

I also had a great time at Dorney on Saturday for CbuzzCon. ERT was a blast!!

I wish I was able to stick to my original plan and hit Kennywood on Monday but with all the rain in the area I just went home. I figured Kennywood is close enough to me that I can go just about anytime this summer.

Now I get to start planning my big coaster trip for next summer. My plan is to start at PKD then go to BGW, then PCAR then over to Dollywood then SFKK and hopefully finish off at Holiday World.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:11 PM
WHAT? You didn't go to Chocolate World? Ahh man you missed the tour ride. That's what Hersheypark is all about...Darn, Now I need a Hershey bar.

Nice TR. I disagree about Wildcat not being a great coaster. A lot of people think the way you do, but it's one of my favorite rides.

I also disagree a little about GB. Uninspired it may be, but that predrop helix is freekin' scary if you don't remember it's there.

Hersheyparks Wild Mouse is like Dorneys? Every time I ride Hershey's, the brakes don't slow you down at all which makes for a very powerful ride.

Everything else I do agree with you about. Blissful is SR's double roll into a half loop.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:32 PM
You're not kidding about those hills. I've been to Hershey many, many times before, but never on a schedule like I did on Sunday (2 hours to cover every dry coaster, including two SR rides, both sides of LR, and two Claw rides). I had major shin splints the day after which have started to feel better today-Thursday. Unfortunately with the time table I was under I had no time to stretch anywhere. It's a good thing I didn't do the same at DP as it has its challenging sections also.

It's interesting the comment you made about the mouse. I was completely thrown off-guard at DP when they were running the mouse like they were at HP. That wasn't the case in 2001 when it was heavily braked and not very exciting. Out of the flats, The Claw is probably the most intense, followed by the Chaos.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:51 PM
I knew I was forgetting one decent flat ride there, the Chaos. I saw it but didnt ride it. When I saw it I was still trying to slam coasters down and get them finished. I never got back to that part of the park when I was reriding things and enjoying the park.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 6:03 PM
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I like GB (at least enough to adopt my screen name). In the scheme of things it doesn't have as many elements or inversions as Raptor and Talon. But I like the fact that it isn't a self-contained ride, and that it's intertwined with a few other rides.

I suppose it's more impressive to those of us who remember that part of the park without it. When you realize that everything else you see was already there and they fit this inverted coaster within it all, I guess I can just appreciate the engineering of it a bit more.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 7:17 PM
I like how Great Bear does a lot with a little. There's virtually no room for it to fit seemingly and yet for me it still delivers a good ride.

Lightning Racer really is where it's at. I've sampled some of what are supposed to be good wooden coasters, and have yet to find one that even compares ... well other than it's cousin across the midway, gotta disagree with you there. Wildcat wasn't as good as it could be on Sunday, but trust me, when it's kickin' it makes Lightning Racer look tame!

And of course, Storm Runner is one of my top 5ers, so gotta agree with you there! It's the one coaster that has it all - launch, loops, hills, steep drops, wild banking, airtime (ejector and floater), hangtime, and ends so quick that you're left wanting more! Can't beat it (well unless your in Agawam, Sandusky or Jackson and you're over 200' in the air! ;) )

ZooAmerica is very nice, I did it for the first time this trip, will definitely be going back. And you skipped the chocolate tour?!? Aww come on man! ;)

Hersheypark's one of my favorites, if not THE favorite park I've ever been to. As you said, there's something to do around every corner and the coaster collection gives great bang for the buck! Great TR.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 11:24 PM
Congradulations, Bob. You made ARN&R! ;)

Actually, nice TR. i woulda been at all 3 parks the same days as you, had I not had to cancel :(.

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Friday, May 27, 2005 8:22 AM
LOL, that was hilarious!!! Finally, I got lampooned!

I'd be able to make it up those hills if I didn't take so many trips to the gravy buffet. *** Edited 5/27/2005 1:48:49 PM UTC by Kick The Sky***

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 1:49 PM
Bob,

My buddy and I saw you on SR when we were walking by. Also, we were right behind you on the Mad Mouse at Dorney but didn't really say hi.

My only thing with Sooperdooperlooper was that the name to me sounded like tons of loops but am I missing something or is there only 1 loop, talk about an oxymoron.

Definitely missed out on the Chocolate Tour, that was pretty cool, I was disappointed though as I would have thought they might have had some kind of candy that I couldn't get here in DSM but alas it was all the same.

Lightning Racer kicked serious arse as did Storm Runner. I think the red side won everytime someone was riding (at least it was 3-4 times in a row when my buddy and I rode).

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 6:06 PM
c4c,

I'm sure it was Sooper back in 1977 when it first opened. Believe it or not, people waited for 2 hours to get on that back then too.

If you're lucky, sometimes when you do the Chocolate World Tour Ride, you might get a sample of some new variety they're just trying out. That happened to us when they were adding new miniatures and new varieties of kisses. (I think we got one kiss each--- sigh, I remember the days when you'd get a FULL SIZE candy bar.) Nothing like having a built in market survey.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 8:34 PM
I agree with you about Storm Runner being better in the back of the train. The front seat is nice, but the back is where it's at.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 9:02 PM

Talon has 4 inversions.Great bear has 4 inversions, with that said the forces are better on talon but the great bears is still a great ride as is talon. *** Edited 6/1/2005 1:10:14 AM UTC by nickpa610***

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005 11:22 AM
But it certainly doesn't have as many elements as Talon. Or at least as many good ones. :P
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