Hersheypark: 97 degrees and a 97 degree plunge!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008 12:27 AM
Today was my last day of mini-vacay, so I was rather bored. I knew it was a beautiful day out, but I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do. I thought about heading over to Dorney, but with all the ride downtime on Voodoo and my sudden boredom with Steel Force, I just couldn't be bothered. Instead, after checking to make sure Hersheypark was open until 10, I hopped in the car and made the trek to Hershey.

Little sidenote here: At one point on my way to Hershey, I looked down at my car's temperature reading gauge, and it said 97 degrees. I thought that was so perfectly fitting because I was going to ride Fahrenheit!!!

I got to Hersheypark at 5:05 pm and made the long loop around the parking lot to get to my spot. The parking attendant was exceptionally friendly and wished me a "sweet" day. I knew I WOULD. :) By the time I made it to the gates to purchase my ticket, I was drenched in sweat. It doesn't help that I'm a pretty fluffy (see FAT in the dictionary) girl, so I always wear jeans to the parks. Not smart. I need to suck it up and buy shorts.

Anyway, I digress. I walked straight to Fahrenheit and saw that they had a single rider line. I thought that seemed smart, but let me tell you, it's not. I waited just as long in the single rider line of 15-20 people as the hundreds in the queue line waited. As I waited (and waited and waited), I talked to a gentleman who had been on Fahrenheit already earlier in the day. He was a fighter pilot for the Army, and he said Fahrenheit was probably the craziest, best roller coaster he'd ever been on. I didn't know whether that scared me or made me more excited to ride.

After waiting for 45 minutes, I boarded Fahrenheit in the second seat. The Intamin seats were fine for me, and from what I'd heard about airtime on this ride, I was actually glad for the snugness. We left the cathedral-like station and began our ascent to the top of the hill. I REALLY started to freak out when we hit that 90 degree angle with only the sky above us. I didn't have time to worry about it for long because the lift takes very little time before cresting the hill. Then we hit that drop and...wow! I bought a picture keychain for this ride because the only way I can do justice to that drop is for people to see my face. I was practically STANDING up with how steep that drop was. The Norwegian loop was huge and sweeping, but I really didn't have time to register that on my first ride of Fahrenheit because I had no idea what the hell was going on. I didn't even register when we hit the cobra roll because the train was whipping us around so fast. After the last corkscrew-like inversion, we swung around close to the people waiting in line and then I was seemingly flung out of my seat with airtime for a great bunny hop and one more spiral before the station brakes. Then, after a few seconds of dumbfounded silence, I burst into hysterical giggles that didn't stop until we hit the station. My fellow passenger in my car was laughing at me.

I exited the station thinking I should go get on Lightning Racer since I've never been on it, but then I turned around and went on Fahrenheit one more time to see if I could discern more of what happened. I waited in the regular passenger line this time and rode in the fourth seat, and my wait was still 45 minutes. They were running three trains all this time, so the time passed quickly. Plus, lovely men and women from Hershey food service were selling lemonade in line. I drank two. The only other place I've seen people selling refreshments in line was Great Adventure, so I was very thankful for the change in Hershey's service. As I neared the mulched/landscaped part of the queue though, I noticed people had thrown their lemons and cups and straw paper in the landscaping. Disgusting. Ignorant. Probably very likely that Hershey will stop doing this if people keep being so retarded.

On my second ride of Fahrenheit, I was determined to appreciate its elements more and decide if I really actually cared about this ride. I did enjoy the huge sweep of the first few elements coupled with the increasingly tight features of this twisted mass of track. I did experience massive headbanging on both of my rides, but I really didn't care. My take on Fahrenheit: If you're looking for hardcore thrills, Fahrenheit honestly isn't for you. If you're looking for fun with a little edge, you'll love Fahrenheit.

I headed to Lightning Racer next, actually excited to ride a wooden coaster due to all the positive buzz I had received about this particular ride. As I walked by, it looked like the trains were stuck at the brakes before the station, and I noticed a ride attendant talking to the people on the trains, but I thought maybe they were just experiencing some slow loading or something. Not so. Lightning Racer was shut down for the rest of the night. Ticked off was I. I headed to Wildcat instead to ride the new Flyer cars. By the time I got to the line, I was huffing and puffing, and sweat was pouring down my face in embarrassing rivulets. Yummy. I actually sat down for a little bit to relax because I was a little dizzy with heat exhaustion.

I boarded Wildcat in the back seat as recommended by most wooden coaster buffs and we quickly left the station. I remembered this ride being wonderful the first year it was up, and then two years ago I rode it and hated it for its roughness. I am apparently spoiled by B&M engineering. I loved this ride again after my journey. I forgot how many surprise drops and twists there are in it, and I actually was able to appreciate how pretty it was with all the small trees and green grass surrounding and interspersed with the structure. Loads of airtime on this as well, and a smooth brake run back to the station. I love, love, loved it.

Then I heard the bad news just as I was stepping out of my car and retrieving my purse: Wildcat was closing. Then I heard that ALL the rides were closing due to a lightning strike 20 or 30 miles away. I wanted to yell "BITE ME", but I decided that would not be very polite. I sat down and smoked a cigarette and then walked to StormRunner after chugging a huge Mountain Dew. People were exiting StormRunner left and right because they didn't want to wait any longer. I was smart and hovered right by the admission gate. After about 15 minutes, I was probably the sixth person added to the line, the coaster started back up, and everyone cheered with psychotic glee.

I've never been in the front car for SR, so I decided today would be the day to try it. I waited for a LOOONG time due more to the fact that this ride takes forever to load. I only had a three train wait, but it took over 20 minutes to get into the front seat. Probably closer to 45 minutes, actually, and I only had three or four couples ahead of me. I know a lot of people don't like launchers, but I love them. This ride on Storm Runner was great as usual, and I debated another ride before deciding I had more rides to do in very little time (it was very crowded at the park, and I knew I would only be able to ride two or three more coasters before they kicked us all out).

I rode Great Bear next. I waited approximately 30 to 45 minutes to get on a row 3 seat, but I didn't care because I was talking to two petrified girls and eating Boardwalk Fries loaded with vinegar (yum. Dorney needs a Boardwalk Fries). I have a love-hate relationship with Great Bear because while I feel Talon pulls more G's and has a much more gut-gurgling drop, I love Bear's spiral before the main drop, and I love the barrel rolls that make up two of the inversions. I really need to ride some more B&M inverts to see if there's something I like better. (Insert longing sigh for Alpie here). Finally, the last ride of the night was the Comet. I waited for the back seat this time. Going up the hill, I could actually FEEL the wheels rolling around under the seat, creating an undulating, really rickety, creepy feel. I thought I was imagining it, but my co-rider said it was there. Time for some new trains on Comet? We plunged down that first drop, and I couldn't even utter an expletive because that drop was so wicked and intense. Tons of pretty scenery on this ride were about the only thing I liked about it though because it was extremely painful and rough, and even the airtime wasn't enough to save it. Although, I must say, I flew SO far out of my seat one time that I stood up almost completely. Is that what ejector air means? I rounded the station to see if I could fit in one more ride to this chiropractor-adjustment on wheels, but the line was closed.

When I left the park, even though I was parked fairly closely, I just felt like I couldn't walk another inch, so I got in line for the tram. I had been plagued with multiple cases of line jumping, so when I got cut in front of by four girls who wanted to ride with each other, I muttered, "Well, that's just FANTASTIC". The tram hostess was LOVELY, saying, "It's okay, we'll GET you on this tram. We'll get you a seat." She walked me past all the envious people unable to catch this tram, and actually enlisted the other host's assistance. After some re-arranging, not to mention a downright lie on the host's part (this lady already has her stroller loaded on this tram", I was off to my parking spot. I stayed for the short, dull-except-for-the-finale fireworks, and drove home without having to wait ridiculous amounts of time to exit the park.

All in all, Hershey's a great park, but if you're going when it's hot, be prepared to walk HUGE hills and get ticked off because you're lost. Wear shorts and sunscreen. And don't forget: HAVE A SWEET DAY!!! :) *** Edited 6/8/2008 5:06:38 AM UTC by bunky666***

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Sunday, June 8, 2008 6:32 AM
Sounds like you had a good time.....on a side note does the Army even have fighter pilots. I guess he could have been a helicopter pilot that flys an Apache or something like that but I cant think of anything else.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008 12:49 PM
Army, Navy, whatever...I can't remember because I was kind of nervous....I could have heard him wrong.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008 1:28 PM
Great TR!

I'm very excited to get to Hershey this summer! Sad to hear of people taking advantage of Hershey's services...

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Sunday, June 8, 2008 3:53 PM
"My take on Fahrenheit: If you're looking for hardcore thrills, Fahrenheit honestly isn't for you. If you're looking for fun with a little edge, you'll love Fahrenheit."

I would say your summary is pretty accurate. I for one, really enjoyed it.

When you say you had a 20 minute, 3 train wait for Storm Runner, were you accounting for the loading on both sides? A 3 train wait on one side would actually be a 6 train wait altogether. And that would make the 20 minutes fairly reasonable. I have never experienced slow dispatching for that coaster.

But I'm glad you waited for the front as that is the best way to ride Storm Runner. :)

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Sunday, June 8, 2008 11:12 PM
It sounds like Comet is running better than it used to. I never noticed any airtime to get excited about, and it wasn't any rougher than any other wooden coaster. (Quite a bit less so, actually.) It got to the point where between the unnecessary brakes, the long line, and the inefficient operations, I don't even bother to ride it anymore. I hope I can catch it with a short line sometime so I can see if they've let up on the brakes, but I don't see it happening anytime soon since Fahrenheit will have to be my first priority when I get into the park.

It's a shame you missed out on Lightning Racer. You would've probably loved it because it's a lot smoother than the other two woodies, yet the bizarre layout keeps it interesting.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 12:05 AM
Jim, since I have declared this my Summer of Coaster Lovin', I'm sure I'll head back to Hershey just for LR at some point this summer. However, all is well because tomorrow is SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE!!! I'm gonna wear shorts...ehehehehe.

Carrie, yeah, it was approximately a six train wait, and it took longer than 20 minutes...I just lost track after 20 minutes. I'm glad I waited, but watching the spikes sink into the rails kind of ruined the surprise on SR's launch. However, I just love that ride. I don't know what it is, but it's just the perfect coaster for me. Had I been on the right train instead of the left, I would have waited slightly less time because they were dispatching quicker, but it would have been miniscule. VERY slow loading on my side.

I also didn't notice ANY braking on the Comet, but I was too busy holding on for dear life because I was truly afraid I was going to fly out. Looking back at it, I'm amused, but Comet hurt just as bad as Thunderhawk at Dorney, and I will least likely ride this coaster again over all the others at Hershey in future visits. It's not worth the wait.

Anyone have advice on how to ride the most rides at Six Flags Great Adventure without buying a Flashpass?

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Monday, June 9, 2008 12:48 PM
Hey bunky, if you get a chance I sent you a PM about a question that I had. Thanks!
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Monday, June 9, 2008 1:26 PM
It sounds like the single rider line doesn't work too well. I guess it's because the trains only seat 12 riders. It also sounds like it was much more crowded than I would have thought.
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Monday, June 9, 2008 2:40 PM
I didn't pay much attention to how the single rider line works. I know when I rode, there were 3 of us, so someone from the single rider line came in the row with me. But I don't know if they regularly put 2 riders from the single line on each train, or only take someone when there's an odd number from the regular line. If there are groups of 2 in the regular line, do they fill the train with them and the single rider line has to wait? I don't know.

Another thing that happened on opening day-- a lot of people got impatient waiting in the regular line, so they left the line and went into the single rider line. It worked for some people, but in only a few minutes, that line got very crowded too.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:24 PM
When I attended the park I rode twice from the single rider line. The first time they were filling the back cars from the single rider line, so the line moved quickly. The second time they only filled in from the single rider line when there was a single rider in the regular line. This made the wait was just as long, if not longer, than the regular line.

And it is true that both times there were many "pairs" waiting in the single rider line in the hopes they would get to ride faster.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:32 PM
Seems to me that a single rider line wouldn't be very efficient on a ride that only seats two across - just for the very reason that it would take a single rider to leave a seat open for the single-rider line to be needed and that initial single rider would probably be in the single rider line in the first place.

Following that?

In other words, you need a single rider in the regular line in order for them to take a rider from the single rider line, but wouldn't that single rider probably be in the single rider line and not the regular line in the first place?

It's this reason that I never really understood the point of the single rider line.

It would only really work in cases like RGB describes where a larger group has an odd number (3, 5, 7, etc) and how often does that happen?

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:44 PM
Exactly. From the park's perspective it makes a lot of sense, because they don't want to send any cars with an empty seat. So rather than have the cluster-mess that occurs when a single rider appears at the station, (like what happens on the Thunderbolt at Kennywood), they created a separate line from which they can pull riders easily to fill seats. But it doesn't work to the advantage of the riders, contrary to what they may think.
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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:44 PM
I was there on saturday and rode it a few times using the single rider line and i never waited more than 5 mins. It worked well for me and i liked it better than Mavericks single rider line that you have to wait till you get to it before you can use it. As far as the ride it self, I thought it was alot smoother and less head banging than Maverick. I also waited for it once in the regular line and even with a full que it was only an hour and 20 min wait.
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Monday, June 9, 2008 4:50 PM

Lord Gonchar said:It would only really work in cases like RGB describes where a larger group has an odd number (3, 5, 7, etc) and how often does that happen?


Based on my experiences with "The Yeti", quite a bit actually. The SR line for EE's two-across seating moves at QUITE a brisk pace...unless you have either an inattentive pair of groupers (yes, they staff two), or the pople in the SR line aren't paying attention. Honestly, you'd probably be surprised at the number of "ones" in the regular queue... ;)

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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:29 PM
EE's trains carry what?...twice as many riders as F-Hite's 12-passenger trains, right. Of course the single ride line will move faster.
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Monday, June 9, 2008 7:26 PM
^True enough...but I was more referring to the idea that there are quite a few groups with odd numbers...
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Monday, June 9, 2008 7:57 PM
More often than not, I am with an odd (numbered) group. ;)
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Monday, June 9, 2008 8:11 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
It would only really work in cases like RGB describes where a larger group has an odd number (3, 5, 7, etc) and how often does that happen?

All the time. Why would even numbered groups be inherently more common than odd numbered groups?

2 across or 4 across I don't really see why it would matter when it comes to single rider lines. It's essentially the same thing, just arranged differently as long as train capacity is the same but that's not really what we're talking about unless I'm missing something.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 8:34 PM
They were only fillling every other train with single riders, and only if there was a single rider spot. It was ridiculously slow for a single rider lane.
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