I live in Erie, PA , and since I have season passes to both CP and PKI, I wanted to try something different.
Sunday, June 26th- HersheyPark
Left Erie at 5:00am and arived at Hershey at about 10:30am. First ride was StormRunner and it was a decent ride. Not as thrilling as going 120mph, but overall it is a better coaster than TTD dur to it's length and inversions- waited 20 min. Went on some kiddie rides for my 4 & 2 year olds and went to Rollersoaker while the wife and kids played in the "wet area". The line was longer than I expected, but due to the heat there was no reason that I should not have been surprised, I just could not see much of a line until I reached the platform. After being good and wet, we went over to the ferris wheel, and then hit both sides of Lightning racer. I thought this was a good ride, and both side were walk-ons. I considered lightning side to be a better ride. Headed over to WildCat after the kids were tired of being on some of "their size" rides. The line was only about 5 minutes long but, OUCH, does it inflict some pain. Not as bad as SoB, but without a doubt like MS. We decided to go and take a lunch break/ nap time for the kids and check into the hotel (Marriot Harrisburg- real nice hotel for $170).
We went back to the park after the girls were fed and napped about 5:30pm and went to Chocolate World and the zoo. The zoo was nothing spectacular, but it was nice. We went over to Great Bear which I really enjoyed, and the wait was only 15 min. Hit the SooperDooperLooper and I didn't expect much given that the ride is around 28 years old (It was my first "real" coaster back in '73- I was 3 1/2) so it has some history for me, but my 4 year old daughter was 1" too small- bummer. This section of the park reminded me of KennyWood, you can smell the cotton candy, candy apples etc, and with the lights on it was very pleasent.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hershey. It has been about 28 years since I was there last and I was not sure what to expect, but it was a VERY clean park, and the staff was great.
We traveled to Williamsburg on Monday and stayed at Marriot- Ford Colony, and WOW what a room! It has 2 bedrooms- both with King size beds (my buddy and his girlfriend were with us), a full kitchen- reg. size fridge, stove, dishwasher, and all the utensils you might need, dining room table, a pull-out couch for my girls, 3 TV's, one DVD player, whirlpool tub, stand-up shower (the 2nd bedroom had a reg. hotel bath, with a half kitchen (microwave & small fridge), and it had a screen enclosed balcony- all for $240 a night. I consider this a STEAL! It is on a golf course community with 18 hole course, tennis courts, shuffleboard, a large pool, playground etc. I suggest staying there, it is real close to BGW.
Tuesday June 28th- BGW
Got to the park at 10:15am and immediatly went to AC. I love this ride! Went on 3 times. Went to Roman Rapids, and my 4 year-old was able to get on- she loved it. BGW finally started to sell beer at 11:00am and bout some of those aluminum beer bottles- those are neat. Went on all the kids' rides in Italy and had lunch at the ampitheater. The food is not cheap, but it is really good. Walked to BBW after taking some pics of BBW and Nessie. Waited only 15 min for BBW and we hit some kids' rides in that area. Next was DarKastle. The line was 45 minutes- longest line of the trip (I was expecting a longer wait) and BGW let us take our beer in the line- I was shocked- there are not too many parks that allow that! I really enjoyed the ride- it is not as good as Spiderman at WoA, but it is a great ride. Due to the child swap program, I was able to ride it twice- along with most of the other rides during the trip. After that, the sky started to get dark, and the girls were hungry again, so we decided to get some food in Germany and go back to the truck to let the girls get a nap in, while the rest of us tailgated in the parking lot. As soon as we got back to the truck- bang- the rain started. It was so hot out, we just stood in the rain and got refreshed while the girls slept for an hour. After the rain/ nap we went back in and saw some of the animals the park had to offer and finally hit Alpengeist and rude ride operator. All day when we went on ride that required a parent swap card, I gave the card to a ride op, went down to the midway, took care of the kids and my wife and another in our party went on with her. Well this particular ride op told me that we were not following the correct procedure. My wife was supposed to wait right at the exit with my kids so the ride op could see her. I explained that the card clearly reads "The parent waiting can enjoy the surrounding attractions near the exit." So that is what we did, all day, until this particular ride op. She was very annoyed by my explaination and proceeded to tell me that the card was wrong and Customer Service was to make sure that I understood this "unwritten policy". I was quite upset with this, found my wife and my buddy's g/f and waited with them at the exit where the ride ops could see all 6 of us. This particular ride op let 10 trains go by w/o even looking at us, and when we tried to gain her attention, she called security on us. The security officers never approached us, but they were definatly staring us down. After waiting for about a half hour, I told my wife to just get in line. After she left, another ride op came over to me and asked what was going on. After explaining the details to her, she apologized profusely about what transpired and told me to call my wife (we have Motorola handhelds) so she didn't have to wait any longer. After she finally rode, the ride op at the entrance, who I believed to be a supervisor asked us what happened. She also apologized numerous times and gave us all passes to ride AC w/o waiting in line. Once the Alpengeist fiasco ended we went to Nessie for a few spins, more kids rides and AC for the last ride of the night. On our way out, I did stop by CS and explained what happened. The gentleman there told me that there have been complaints before about this ride op, and then gave us all free passes to come back, which is about as much as he can do, but since I live in Erie, a return trip to BGW is not in the plans for this year.
All-in-all I love BGW. It is the cleanest park I have been to (I don't count Disney against any other park), the rides are truly great rides, the food is excecptional (minus the prices), and it is a beautiful park.
Wednesday, June 29th- PKD
I was here back in 1999, and compared to PKI, PKD is sub-standard, and unfortunatly this trip was the same outcome. Most of the rides were walk-on (Volcano was about a half hour), and not the most enjoyable rides. H-XLC was not operating all day, the park was dirty, and the food was cafeteria- like. I like Volcano and Anaconda, but that is about it. I was surprised on how dead the park was for a prime summer day. Granted, it was the week before the 4th of July, but even BGW was twice as busy. We hit all the coasters and most of the kids' rides and left the park at 5:00pm, which is usually a great day for parks, but nobody was motivated to go on another ride twice. Going to PKI often (and remembering KI before Paramount took over) and going to PKD twice now- Paramount seems to be going in the Six Flags direction. I just hope PKI does not take a turn for the worse.
It was a great trip- 1400 miles- we ended up traveling to the National Zoo in DC on Thursday, and went to 2 Indians/ Orioles games in Camden Yards, and went to the Aquarium in Baltimore and had a terrific time there.
Sorry this was so long!
I'm hopefully heading to Hershey for the first time in about 10 years in a couple weeks if all goes smoothly.
BGW is a great park and even though you had an unfortunate experience with the worker, the way the supervisors handled the situation seemed to be good.
My friend Jay and I might be going to PKI and BGT in October. I haven't been in maybe 12 years.
Hersheypark is really fun. Even though Wildcat is rough, I still absolutely LOVE it with a passion.
Can I have those free tickets if you're not going to use them? ;) Please? :)
Normally we will pack a cooler with some sandwiches and drinks and eat at the car, but being BGW we wanted to eat in the park.
As far as StormRunner is concerned, I liked the back car myself.
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