Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
I always try to make it up to Hersheypark at least once a year. I grew up with this park more or less, so I'll always have a spot for it. But in its own right, it's a nice park that's scenic (the front half anyways) and has a great coaster collection. Speaking of which....
I was excited to try Skyrush again this year, after hearing about the restraint changes. The lap restraints are now made of that semi-spongy stuff instead of being hard plastic. My first ride in the morning was good. Rides later in the day....the thigh pain returned, in both the front and back of the train, although the back was (surprisingly) slightly less painful. Not as bad as last year, but definitely enough to prevent enjoyment of this beast. I envy those that can ride Skyrush without pain. But for me, most of my rides were spent bracing myself and being jealous of riders on the nearby Comet, which I also rode later. Running well for its age. Hooray for buzz bars.
Sooperdooperlooper is another classic and glad to see it's taken care of. Great Bear is a tamer B&M invert but still fun, the pre-drop helix is cool. Ever since Sidewinder got a new train a couple years ago, it's the most tolerable Boomerang I've ridden.
Storm Runner is excellent, a short ride but lots of fun. Launching then dropping down towards Spring Creek in the front....awesome. Wild Mouse is a great ride for its type, still no trims on the upper half. Wildcat was OK but seemed a bit rougher than I recall. As for my favorite ride in the park, the winner is....
Lightning! Where do I start? Incredibly smooth, trains are comfortable, plenty of sustained airtime (and a couple pops too), the dueling elements work beautifully. Lightning Racer is one my favorite woodies and a gem, IMO. Also, it's a people eater....only 1-2 train waits even at 2 PM on a Saturday afternoon. Finished my night here too, mostly on the Lightning side. Race record for the day: 12-5.
Hope to make it this year to ride Skyrush and Fahrenheit. What was the wait like for Skyrush?
Skyrush was a 30-40 minute wait in the morning. By late afternoon it was down to 15-20 minutes. I should've hit Fahrenheit first. Ah well.
Another interesting note: On Skyrush, they consistently released the lapbars immediately after the train stopped/stacked on the brake run....without waiting until it pulled into the station.
I heard from a friend that recently they were still reserving seats on StormRunner and other rides and wouldn't let non-Fastpass riders ride in those seats? Did you notice this to be true?
Yeah, it's true. They have 2 rows roped off (1 on Great Bear) for Fastpass users. Some ride ops were better than others about getting non-Fastpass users to fill in those rows if empty. I didn't see many people using it at all, at Hershey it's a "walk up the exit ramp" implementation.
The only coaster I saw without rows roped off was (obviously) Wild Mouse. I don't think Trailblazer uses it either.
I'm one of those that likes Great Bear, and loves Hershey...yet I have to admit the operations on that ride are particularly atrocious in terms of throughput. I seem to recall them having a weird restraint-check system that added to dispatch time, but not anything specific. Is Hershey aware of B&M's safety record, or am I particularly picky? Or both?
Would like to ride it more than once or twice per visit...but LR generally prevails.
Looks like you had very good crowds for a Saturday. I will be at the park a week from Wednesday for the first time. I hope the lines aren't too terribly long that day.
Lines shouldn't be bad at all on a Wednesday. What I have noticed about Hershey is that weekends are not that bad in May and June. As the season progresses it gets more crowded, July is bad and a Saturday in August is downright unbearable.
The park really is a gem, the only real problem there is the lackluster operations as noted above. I hope you have a great time!
Comet is a very underrated ride, make sure not to miss it. Also ZooAmerica (included with admission) and the Aquatheater are great places to take a break in the afternoon.
I like to throw in a mention for the monorail, too. It's a nice way to take a breather and you can get a bird's eye view into ZooAmerica and the animals.
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