Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
I took my Mom to HP this past Saturday August 28, 2010. I had not been since a week and a half earlier with a couple of our coaster nerd friends. Come to think of it, I have been to HP alot this summer. My Mom had last been to HP when I was in high school so ... 2010 - 1992 (when I was a sophomore!) years ago. My Mom is 61 and I am 34. I figured she would probably be OK on most of the rides, even some of the more intense ones; she has a few back/shoulder/neck/nerves issues. This trip - more for enjoying the park than anything else. That was the goal.
Point by Point, and then the overall picture.
1. Chocolate World Tour Ride. Great as ever. In great shape. Hershey really takes care of its stuff. Kinda rare these days in terms of non-Disney parks. I'm pretty damaged by my last trip to SFA, to be honest. Holy Rusty-Roller-Coasters Batman!
2. Weather. For June in August, it was great. For August in June, a couple months back, glad we didn't come then.
3. Kiddie Rides. Hp has done a great job spreading its Kiddie Love throughout the park. Anywhere you go, you can find kiddie/family rides. And they all look fantastic. I am so excited for when we can bring my 2 year old little Man to the park (hopefully next year! This summer it had been Dutch Wonderland).
4. Comfort and Relaxation. trees aplenty through the park - so plenty of shade, especially in the food areas. We never had problems finding somewhere comfortable to sit IE not in the glaring blinding sun. Tables and seats were clean, no paint chipping or rust apparent. Just so well kept and tidy. Benches everywhere and anywhere. So much shade, i can't get over how wonderful that was, and lovely. Landscaping was just beautiful. None of the ride structures or fence boundaries seemed to stick out or get in the way of loveliness.
5. Comet. We didn't ride it - the line was too long for us. Always a long line for The Comet. lots of love for The Comet - as it deserves. So beautiful and majestic tucked in the Hollow.
6. the Great Bear. We loved how it roars through Comet Hollow! I used to feel uncomfy about how the hulking twisted black metal structure wound through Comet Hollow, but I adore it now, it seems to really belong. So fun to watch the ride zoom through! We went on it around 7:30 PM. It seemed to be riding faster than usual! Front row as always on the inverts. Mom said - That was fun!! What was that, 30 seconds?! i was impressed that she loved it so much. Mom had never been on an invert before - I guess no better intro than a B&M invert right? Great Bear running fabulously. Ride Op crew got snagged up a couple times.
There was a lady three rides in front of us - she was in the front row - had a smallish black purse with her, wouldn't put it in the baggage cubbies. She wedged it between her hip and the restraint. by the time she got back to the station, it had slipped out halfway. If it had slipped out completely, her restraint would not have been secured on her. This whole thing angered me. What price for safety? What disregard for the safety rules. You can replace a few credit cards and a drivers license if someone snatches your purse during the 1 minute you're on the ride. Who's going to replace you if you slip out of your restraints?!
7. Sky Ride. In such an intensive family park, why no sky rides? i know they've been out of there for several years, but they served a definite purpose and need. It isn't like expanding the park to be larger, and enticing more and more families into the park, made that need go away! HP should seriously consider reinstalling a sky ride transport system, with three or four stations. Besides, my Mom and I both have heel spurs and multiple foot/ankle issues, and man it would have been great.
8. Trailblazer. Yawn. nice breeze. *sniff* Hmmm that BBQ pit sure does smell good! Ya think maybe they have fans aimed to the Trailblazer course to tempt the riders to get their food at the BBQ pit?? Wouldn't be shocked. (We had supper there too.)
9. Flying Flacons. i get really nervous on rides that dangle at tall heights. Mom laughed at me from her own falcon as I shrieked every time my own personal falcon swung out gently to the side. White knuckles. My shrieks turned into chicken cackles :-) for her benefit. Love that ride, though - especially to watch it, especially at night! Beautiful, beautiful ride at night. Mom really digs the sin waves decorations - math teacher to the core.
10. Stormrunner. Mom and I both agreed it would probably be way too intense for her. i didn't miss it either, to be honest. Hadn't ridden it at all this summer. not a big loss for me. Fun to watch though! Mom got a kick out of the heart beat recording leading up to the launch.
11. Farenheit. Almost an hour wait. i wanted front row, but Mom got me to compromise for the second row in the first car. It did feel like it rode a bit rough at parts, though. Shocking since it's so new - it should ride like a table knife through warm butter. So should Stormrunner, for that matter, but not the case. Shame. So young and already roughness.
12. Crazy mouse. Ya know, I'm not crazy about the intense jerks from side to side and up and down on those abrupt hills. Mom and I agreed - nahh.
13. Sidewinder. Whenever I have ridden this coaster in the past, I get off the train and feel like my head has been the hot potato in a particularly viuolent game. Didn't ride. Pass.
14. Wildcat. Way too rough - it gives me a multi-hours long piercing headache - after I down a bunch of Tylenol getting off the ride from the first row. Any wooden coaster that gives me hours of head pain in the front row? No way. Don't know what the issue is with this coaster. I'm sure the wood is all pressure-treated. It could serve HP's wooden fence needs for decades to come.
15. Lightning Racer. Fun of course. Lightning was running markedly slower than Thunder all afternoon and into the evening. you could watch the two coasters and see it happened time after time after time. mechanical issue? I really hope not. IMO, this coaster is a true jewel and treasure. It can't have the same destiny as forgotten wooden racers wherein one side just doesn't run and the other is mediocre at best. The close racing is such as big draw for this ride, it's so integral to the character of this feature, HP needs to stay on top of LR and make sure it works superbly. Yeah, I'm sure this makes maintenance costs a bit higher than the typical woodie, but this is what they were asking for when they acquired a wooden pair of racing coasters. Keep it working the way they need to. I beg, beg, beg. I go on this ride in multiples of 2. We went on twice because we were concerned about Lightning. Felt -off. Obviously i care.
16. Ferris Wheel. mom: relaxed, chillin, laid back. Erin: WHITE KNUCKLES. Mom: Chuckles, pointing, laughter. Erin: Resigned sighs. nice ride, great views of the water park.
17. Water Park:
17a - Works area: So nice! So beautiful. love it so much. We both thought it's so fun how they have the honking before the buckets spill. Love how the one bucket spills white crashing water through a woman riding on a pony in the water. Don't think it's possible for anyone to determine any other way to throw water at people, than what is in the Water Works area! High crowd threshold and it works so well.
17b - Lazy River: Fabulous, fantastic, dreamy, perfect. Except for the adolescents running, racing, tackling and pushing through the course. Lifeguards should enforce the rules a bit better. Everything was in beautiful condition, not a single tile discolored. The cabanas look very inviting - have to look into them for the future! my husband is very much a water animal.
18. BBQ pit by Trailblazer. GREAT FOOD!
19. Chocolate World store:
Okay, what is the percentage statistic of diabetics within the general population? Chocolate World has an embarassingly tiny space allotted to displaying sugar free products. My Mom was looking for sugar free Twizzlers (her favorite); Mom is Diabetes Type 2 (developed in her fifities). They don't have sugar free Twizzlers in Chocolate World?! She can get it at her local Weis, but not Chcolate World store? It's totally nuts and shameful. how many of today's diabetics grew up loving Hersheys candies but can't handle the sugar so much anymore? Kinda feels like a betrayal, to folks like my Mom, who has spent hundreds of dollars in that store with her family over the many years. And please reserve judgment, if you feel it coming: diabetes is heavily inherited in my family. Blessing - it's not the juvenile diabetes.
There are big bulk boxes of regular product - diabetics get the benefit of little baggies of candies, as though diabetics cannot be trusted to handle the sheer quantities in the bulk boxes. This is the conveyed message. Diabetics are an after-thought to Hershey: that's the message. Hershey needs to sprint out of the earlies 1990's and get with the program in their Chocolate World store. Shameful, real shameful.
Beautiful. Great food. Very very family oriented. Water area is truly great. So engaging everywhere in the park. Hershey REALLY takes good care of their stuff They should provide travelling seminars for other amusement park management staff *cough*. Gleaming, solid, beautiful, lush, lovely, relaxing. Feels like it's truly worth your money to be there and spend in the park (I didn't mind $14 per meal for myself - seems reasonable for the quality). Rides and coasters ALL running superbly, NOTHING closed for the day (which actually is not uncommon). LOVE this park so much. Mom had a great great time - even though her feet killed her (HELLO sky ride?!) she was thoroughly glad she had spent the day walking all over the park. Hershey - Get with the program regarding diabetics and your Chocolate World store!!!! People like my Mom are not pariahs to receive the cold shoulder, eh? *Very critical* - Ride ops and Lifeguards need to be more attentive and better enforce the safety rules.
Thank you for your time re my lengthy trip report!
We had a blast at Hershey Park and finally found our car in the parking lot.
I agree with you on the kiddie rides. I think it's great how HP mixes kiddie, family and thrill rides in each themed area. Families can stay somewhat together while letting people of different age groups and preferences all go on rides they enjoy. Nothing worse than a tweener or even adults to be stuck in kiddieland for hours when you could be off riding somewhere else.
Good point! I remember when i was a kid, and Kings Dominion had the kiddie section, and then everything else. Better these days to have things mixed together. As you said - something for everyone, everywhere in the park.
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