Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
Decided at the last minute to make a little trip to Pennsylvannia with my other half. The plan was to hit Hershey, Knoebels, Six Flags Great Adventure, then head our happy bahinds back to Florida.
So I flew into Harrisburg at 11....such a nice clean airport. Nothing like that dump in Miami....but I digress. Fifteen minutes later we were pulling into downtown Hershey.....so quick. Skyrush greeted us at the front. The lift hill truss structure has a lot of bolts. That must have been an assembly nightmare....especially with tolerance stack-ups and all. anyhow, we decided that itwould be our first ride. The line was not that long actually, but it was moving hella slow. I thought it was because they were running one train. But no, there were two. I thought it was because the crew was just sluggish that day.....but no....it wasn't that either. Turns out that you load and unload on the same side of the train. So you pretty much have to wait until the train in fully unloaded and everyone has cleared the platform before the gates open. Geee, that's a bright idea. Anyhow, we decided to wait the extra 15 hours for the front of the train. The lift was so fast....I'd say at least 25 miles per hour. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will be quick to correct me. The ride is just a ball of amazingness from beginning to end. It reminds me of a much more tall and intense Kawasemi (Tobu Zoo. That over-banked turn was definitely an "oh excrement" moment. The restraints didn't bother my legs at all....then again I heard they were recently changed. The last camel-back at the end had some serious air. This is definitely a top 5 steel for me. 10/10
Our next ride was SooperDooperLooper....one of my first Anton classics. They were running one train so the line crawled. Still waited for it though ... :-) The loop still packs a little punch.... even after all these years. 7/10
Since we were in the area we decided to hit Comet. I may get tarred and feathered for this, but Comet is definitely my favorite wooden coaster at Hershey. With the exception of Wodan, I'm not a big fan of GCI's.....but my review of Hershey's two will come later. Comet was just smooth and fun, with little pops of air sprinkled throughout. 7.5/10
After Comet I was starvin' link Marvin, So I had to get a Pretzel before we hit Great Bear. I can be bribed to do anything if given a pretzel with mustard :-) After snarfing that down we followed the roar towards Great Bear. Still on of my favorite inverts. I love the dive over the lake (after the zero-g) I just wish the did more after the corkscrew....like a gnarly helix or something 8/10.
Our next ride was Storm Runner. The first time I rode this, I was not really impressed. Now that I know how to ride these intamins with the funky shoulder restraints.....it was *amazing* It was so good we had to circle round and ride it again. The launch was intense..the top hat thinger......awesome. My favorite part though......was that dive after the slow inline twist. It needs some paint though...Jeez Louise! 9/10
We decided to eat at Panini grille for lucnh. After giving my right testicle for a vegetarian panini (which was just the panini bread, some velveeta and two slices of tomato), we hit Sidewinder. The new trains were purrrrty. It was still just a Boomerang though. 6/10
Our next ride was Trailblazer. It was (snore........) Sorry I fell asleep! 5/10,
By this time it was pretty hot out. I didn't feel like waiting in the sun for Fahrenheit. Side note.....not for the love of God will Hershey invest in some shade for their queues. Anyhow, we decided to hit Wildcat. What a piece of crap! Like Gwazi, the new trains did nothing to help. I think some re-tracking may help...but I really can't think of a standout moment along the entire course. 5/10.
Next up was Lightning Racer. Well this GCI was a lot better. Actually its currently my favorite dual tracked wooden coaster (sorry Stampida). I loved the way the track interacted with each other. There were some airtime surprises as well (in the tunnel) Amazing that Wildcat is just four years older than LR and in so much worse shape. 7.5/10
Our next ride was the infamous Wild Mouse. I heard stories that this was the most intense mouse...and boy did it deliver. The thing was pretty much unbraked...until the end. LOVED it!!! 8/10
The sun was going down so we gave Fahrenheit a run. What a slowwww line. Didn't help that one car was roped off for the flash-pass (or whatever they call it) people. But this ride is just amazing. The airtime going into the pretzel was a pleasant surprise. This is what Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit wished it could be. The last hill towards the end took me by surprise. 8/10
By this time it started to get dark....and we wanted to take one last ride on the awesomeness that is Skyrush......We waited about 45 minutes.....then were were of again. OMG....this ride is just all kinds of amazing in the*semi* dark.
Another really fun day at Hershey. This is definitely the Knotts Berry Farm of the east. 8.5/10Last edited by delan, Saturday, July 28, 2012 10:25 AM
Sooperdooperlooper was also running on my trip on July 19th. Not only that, but the one train that did run that day wasn't ready until the afternoon. As a huge Schwarzkopf fan, it was really disappointing to only be able to ride it once this trip.
Really makes you wonder what's going on here. This shouldn't be happening with brand new trains. Anyone have any insight?
Good trip report, delan! I really really REALLY gotta get out to ride Skyrush now that they changed the restraints. I rode it three times, and only one of them wasn't unbearable. I can easily see where it is a 10/10 coaster if the restraints are better because Skyrush definitely has potential for greatness.
I still don't like the loading station there either, but that does not explain how slow loading Skyrush is. Hershey's really gotta get it together with their ride ops. They're all notoriously slow. Especially Fahrenheit and Skyrush, which makes no sense to me (wouldn't they want their best people on the most popular rides?).
SooperDooperLooper is riding better than it has in years with those new trains, and it looks great. I enjoyed my last ride on it very much.
Great Bear is a great coaster for the first half, then it does peter out a little at the end, but I have great memories from Great Bear (really, Hershey in general). Glad to see you enjoy it. The helix at the beginning is an awesome start.
I still think Trailblazer is a wonderful junior coaster. It lasts a pretty long time, the scenery is pretty, and it's not too rough (grrr stupid Runaway Mine Train at GrAdv). It is not the best junior coaster I've ridden, but it is up there.
I am also a fan of Storm Runner. It is a short but very intense ride.
I'm so sorry you had to ride that POS that is Wildcat. I don't understand why it is so rough compared to Lightning Racer, especially considering what you said about the relatively similar age to LR. I rode it with both types of trains and noticed a very minimal difference. Wildcat just hurts to ride. I wish it didn't because I loved it in its first year.
I LOVE LR. It is the only GCI coaster I have ridden that has not become unbearably rough over the years. The tracks ARE cool in the way they interact, and I highly recommend this ride to people visiting Hershey, especially at night when that twisted track is all lit up and just gorgeous.
I haven't ridden the Wild Mouse since they got it. I'm not a fan of Mice. That being said, I'd like to ride this one again some time. It is nearly always a ridiculous line (especially for a Mouse) or it is broken. Without fail.
Fahrenheit is a great little coaster. For me, it is never going to make me super excited to ride it, and it is distinctly overshadowed by Maverick at Cedar Point, but it still is a lot of fun.
In closing, I too could be talked into almost anything for a soft pretzel if it is a good one. How did you enjoy yours? The one I recently had at Universal was a little too salty.
Okay, I've hijacked your trip report. Was just so excited to see another Hershey trip report, I got a little over enthused. I hope you enjoyed your trip very much! :)
Well, Wildcat was '96 and LR was 2000, but perhaps more importantly, Wildcat was the first GCI ever built.
Andy, you are such a wealth of coaster knowledge. I was not aware of that fact! I find it interesting that after all the rehab, Wildcat is still so damn rough...and Gwazi is apparently just as rough even with rehabbing as well...how does Gwazi relate in the GCI timeline? I am very curious to ride a recent GCI and see how I like it since I do love Lightning Racer so much. I know they have a lot of fans, so they've gotta be doing more right than wrong (although by this logic, Vekoma would be out of business, but they're not).
Never even realized one could sort stuff by "opened" date on RCDB. Shoulda known. It IS THE source for coaster geek knowledge, after all.
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