Hershey Park Questions?

Monday, February 2, 2004 8:42 PM
Ok I'm still in the phase of trying to gather info on the parks that I'm going to and decided to do Hershey Park. I just want to know the typical stuff like queue times, rides to ride and ones to stay away from, food, if anyone knows of a cheap hotel around the park, and anything else that you can throw in that will be able to help me out.

Not a lot of people posted on my post about SFGAdv, and I need help for these parks I'm going to, so thanks to anybody who helps on this.

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Monday, February 2, 2004 9:01 PM
Been to Hershey a couple of times in mid summer, never had too much wait time (<30 min) they have a phenominal trio of GCIs there, including their first try Wildcat. Great Bear is a short but extremely different BM invert that is fun. Their Swartzkoph, Sooppordooperlooper is also good. Dont forget that they are putting up a rocket coaster this year, Storm Runner hopefully it will be running by the time your there (but dont count on it given this models history). Their mouse definatly puts the "wild" in wild mouse too expect to have some black and blues after that ride (but the good kind). I think their boomerang is above average for its kind, the Comet is a wooden coaster that would be increadble if not for the trims it has and their mine train is rather short and very much a "family ride".

They have a Setpoint Swing thing with water effects (pure fun), a huge itamin big boat flume ride and one of the better rapid rides Ive been on. I highly suggest trying out these water rides. It is a very clean park, with lots of shade but also lots of hills and you may get lost due to its layout a couple of times. Be sure to visit Hershey's Chocolate World (corperate "tour") because it has a free tram ride where you get "fresh" air piped in right from the factory and a free chocolate bar at the end (the fun size, ie 4 bricks variety).

I highly recomend going, and I suggest you get there around dinner time because after a certain hour the park lets you buy a full day pass for the next day that night and lets you in for free for the rest of night (approx 2 to 3 hours of prime night coaster riding time).


Hope that helps. But dont expect people to just come rushing to your need all the time when you need info on parks here, most posters here will just tell you to search the trip reports; you should definatly check that section out. *** Edited 2/3/2004 2:27:36 AM UTC by Touchdown***

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Monday, February 2, 2004 10:14 PM

Touchdown said:
A huge Itamin big boat flume ride

Actually it's an O.D. Hopkins ride.

Your longest waits will be for Comet and Trailblazer usually. There really aren't any rides to avoid at HP. You can ride several of the rides in your swimsuit, such as Roller Soaker, Tidal Force, Canyon River Rapids, and the waterslides, which are all in the same area (but you must wear shoes once past Roller Soaker). With your admission you can check out ZooAmerica for free also, which is attached to the main park. *** Edited 2/3/2004 3:20:05 AM UTC by Intamin Fan***

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Monday, February 2, 2004 11:37 PM
There aren't really any rides at Hershey to avoid, and as Intamin Fan said addmision to ZooAmerica is included and well worth seeing.

Waits usually aren't very long unless you go on a weekend. The longest waits I've seen are usually for the Wild Mouse and Roller Soaker because of the low capacity. I've never been on Roller Soaker, because I never felt like waiting, I didn't think it would be worth it.

The 3 woodies are great, especially Lightning Racer which is usually a very short wait, since they normally run 2 trains on each track. Great Bear is pretty good, but short. SooperDooperLooper is a great Swarzkopf looper.

The water rides are good too. And some of my favorite non-coaster rides, are the Flying Falcon, The Claw, Monorail, and Dry Gulch Railroad.

As far as food goes, I usually get Mama Ilardo's Pizza, which is good, and Boardwalk Fries. But the park pretty much has the standard park food.

It's a great well rounded park, and has alot of great coasters along with other great rides of all types, and zoo, and Chocolate World as well.

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Monday, February 2, 2004 11:38 PM
As far as an affordable hotel, you will find that hotels within the town of Hershey to be mostly on the expensive side. You can find more reasonable rates if you stay outside of Hershey and drive ten or fifteen minutes into town. Get a AAA Tourbook, and look up Grantville, Harrisburg, or other surrounding towns for more affordable hotels. Hampton Inn in Grantville is a nice hotel with a very good free breakfast. We have also stayed at the Quality Inn in Harrisburg (exit 72 off I-81), and it is pretty good and usually much less expensive.

Lines at Hersheypark are usually not too bad throughout the summer with the exception of Saturdays. Avoid Saturdays if at all possible. Otherwise lines will be reasonable except for the Comet, Trailblazer, and Canyan River Rapids which often have long lines except later in the evening.

Don't miss ZooAmerica which is included with admission. It is a lovely small park, and I like how it focuses on animals of North America which are often overshadowed by exotic animals at most zoos. Also, make time for some of the shows. The Amphitheatre has a varried schedule of guest performers throughout the summer evenings. They are often unknown groups but are always quite good. The laser light show is a fun to watch while sitting on the grass in the warm summer night air.

Aside from the obvious coasters, water rides, and other thrill rides, be sure to ride the unique double 'Giant Wheel', the last remaining one of its kind in the country, and the gorgeous antique carousel with its beautiful band organ pumping music into the air.

My best advice is don't rush. There is so much to do at Hersheypark, and it is worth getting a two or three day ticket and taking your time seeing and doing everything at a relaxing pace. It is one of my favorite parks, and I hope you enjoy and appreciate it too.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 12:12 AM
Good point about the Giant Wheel, it's a wonderfull and relaxing ride. The last of it's kind in the US, you also get a much longer ride than on the new Ferris Wheel in Midway America.

Also, the Comet and all the other rides at the front of the park usually have long lines at opening, and closing. My recomendation is to head to Midway America when you come in, if your starting your day at park opening. Just head past all the stuff at the front and the crowds and come back later in the day when the crowd thins out. *** Edited 2/3/2004 5:14:33 AM UTC by scraperguy99***

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 1:39 AM
Call ahead to see if they're having a concert or event at the venues outside of the gate on the day of your planned visit. If they are, expect the lines at the park to be somewhat longer. I try not to visit on Saturdays or on days that something like a concert is going on at the park.

One yummy treat that I always get at Hersheypark is the Shaved Ice at the stand that sits roughly across from the Arcade near the waterslides. Yumm yum. Is it still there? There was a lot going on in that area last year (and this year).

Be prepaired to be brainwashed into LOVEING Hersheys candy. It sounds like a bad thing, but after you visit the park, you will understand (lol)...

I remeber in a long lost thread someone here recomended a very inexpensive hotel very close to the park. I forget who or where.

Hersheypark has been aggressively adding attractions within the past ten or so years and I am starting to think that it is one of the best parks in the nation. There really is a lot to do there. It will fill up at least one whole day. It has a lot of charm and is also very clean and friendly.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 9:07 AM
The line times will all depend on when you go. I have always found Tuesdays or Wednesdays to be the best. Lines are ususally pretty good then. Personally, I avoid the park at all costs on Saturdays. While lines for Lightning Racer and sooperdooperlooper are never too long, on Saturdays and busy days lines for Great Bear, Wildcat and Comet can reach 45 minutes to over an hour. I've found Sunday evenings to be a good time to go. Again, to back up something said above, Roller Soaker lines can be very long even during a relative slow days for the rest of the park.

As stated, check to see if there is anything else going on in the imediate area. The park can get quite crowded on those days. *** Edited 2/3/2004 2:08:19 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 10:18 AM
Don't even think about it any longer.....Go! Hershey is a high quality park. Clean, friendly and tons of great rides and coasters. Definitely enough to do and ride for 2 full days. Day 1 to see it all and day 2 to do the best again.......

We usually stay at the Super 8 in Harrisburg, about 11 miles from Hershey. The rates can run from $50 to $70 or so depending on the time of year.

I agree with the Giant Wheel, its one of our favorite rides at the park......another classic is the Superdooperlooper that rides like its brand new.........Lightning Racer is probably the best racing roller coaster in the world, always in sync.

The prices are right also. I recommend Hershey to anyone who likes a quality theme park experience.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 11:18 AM
The Red Roof South in Harrisburg is usually one of the cheapest hotels near Hershey. It's a 2 diamond property(the least I'll stay at) in the AAA book. It's nothing fancy, but I've stayed there a couple times and never had any problems.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 3:32 PM
also if you are planning to be in that area for a little bit, definately visit Gettysburg. It is very cool, if your into that kind of stuff. It is about a 30 minute drive. *** Edited 2/3/2004 8:33:15 PM UTC by TOPTHRILLDUFF***
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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 3:45 PM
Let me start by backing what others have said:

A – Definitely check the concert schedule for the Star Pavilion (which is the stadium just outside the parks gates). I recall one day that Brooks and Dunn were playing the Pavilion, it took us an hour and a half to park and get to the park gates. Granted, that was before their new parking system…but from what I hear, the new system doesn’t help a lot on concert days. On top of that, the lines inside the park are extremely long on these days.
B – The Giant Wheel is a definite must ride. Sometimes I forget just how truly blessed I am to have this so close to me.
C – The Wild Maus is one of the best out there, but you will bruise.
D – I only go on weekends and the lines can be very long for some rides…namely Roller Soaker (Upon park opening, we went straight to RS and there was already an hour long line), Comet (Due to it’s high visibility location by the entrance, it gets long lines right from the gates opening), Great Bear, and the two large water rides (the shoot-the-chutes and the rapids ride). But don’t let those warnings scare you too much, they are all definitely worth riding…which brings me to my next point..
E – If this is a trip that you plan on taking once and probably won’t get back to HP in the near future, you definitely want to consider a multi-day trip. Everything at this park is worthy of riding and the shows (if you are into them) are better than most parks.
Some things that others haven’t mentioned…If you are thinking about going on a Sunday, check the Amphitheatre’s schedule. On Sundays, the Amphitheatre has more nationally known artists..some are old, but some are more current day artists. Some performers that have been there are Laura Branigan, Tracy Byrd, Clay Walker, etc… I don’t think they have released anything about this years schedule yet, but keep an eye out. (P.S. – Amphitheatre shows are free with park admission).

Generally speaking, the food is not bad here. I find it better than the average park fare. If you want to be safe, there is a Subway and a Boardwalk Fries. However, we usually eat at the Country Kitchen or the Freeman’s Texas BBQ right next door. Freeman’s is awesome, but a little pricey. Another good food option is Pippins (a full service restaurant) which is located right outside the parks gates.

Make sure to ride the Kiss Tower. It provides a beautiful panaromic view of both the park and the town of Hershey. I recommend a night ride if time permits. Seeing the park lit up at night is one of my favorite things to do at Hershey.

I can’t help you too much with hotels other than to say that the area immediately surrounding the park is generally pretty pricey, so I would highly recommend the 10-15 minute drive to one of the surrounding area hotels. Anything in the Harrisburg area is still a short distance from the park.

Definitely do the free Chocolate “Factory Tour”. It’s not actually a factory tour, but a tram ride that explains the entire process of making chocolate. You do get a free chocolate bar at the end…and if you really want the free chocolate, just keep riding..LOL. If you are really lucky, you will notice that the chocolate smell is not piped in from the factory, but is actually conjured right along the tour…See if you can find it 

That’s all that I can think of right now. Have fun.

If you do decide to go on a weekend, you may run into me there..My wife and I will be there early and often.

Sean

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 4:51 PM
I'll give you what I think from my personal experience. Definitely avoid the park on Saturdays and days when there is a concert at the Stadium. Lines will be so long you won't be able to stand it. Hit the park in the middle of the week, like a Tuesday or Wednesday.

As far as a game plan whenever you get to the park, go to Midway America first. People usually don't get to this part of the park for a while since they're preoccupied with the stuff at the front of the park, therefore making a short wait, if any, on the rides out there.

Whenever you do decide to go, I'll most likely be there.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2004 6:16 PM

scraperguy99 said:
Good point about the Giant Wheel, it's a wonderfull and relaxing ride. The last of it's kind in the US, you also get a much longer ride than on the new Ferris Wheel in Midway America.


Just as long as you don't have a maniac riding with you in the cabin spinning the thing like a mad man. We got a coin to stick to the wall of the cabin.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2004 11:12 PM
Here's a quick update about Storm Runner. I was by the park tonight coming home from the Bears game, and they are vertical. The tophat is up, but that's all I could really see.
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Thursday, February 5, 2004 9:20 AM
Is the track on the tophat, or just the supports? Went the "back way" to the game last Saturday and saw the supports but no track on it.
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Thursday, February 5, 2004 9:42 AM
They updated the construction photos:

http://www.hersheypa.com/attractions/hersheypark/new_attraction/gallery/index.html

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Thursday, February 5, 2004 1:22 PM
The track is on the tophat.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 7:13 PM
I love being within a four hour drive and a two and a half hour drive respectively, of the two best amusement parks in the world. Cedar Point and Hersheypark!
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