Hersheypark (6/19/2006)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 4:03 PM
Where: Hersheypark

When: Monday, June 19, 2006. 11:30am - 4:00pm

Who: Myself, my wife, our 7 yr old niece

Weather: HOT, threat of afternoon thunderstorms

Crowd: Light to moderate

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Entering the park: Checked to see what height our niece was. She was a "Hershey's Bar". Employees were standing by each measuring station giving the kids a candy bar that matched the height group they belonged to.

Founder's Circle: With the exception that Balloon Race and Star Ship America replaced Giant Wheel, this area looks pretty much the same! The only noticable difference... "Throw back" style canopies replaced the 1970ish canopies that outlined the old Carrousel Circle. The new canopies say "1920's because we are themed that way." The old style said "1970's because we haven't been updated in decades." Had I not known they did a "renovation" of this area, I would have just said "Oh, new awnings" if I even took notice at all.

Comet: 1 ride. 15 min wait. 3rd seat from back. My niece's first "big" coaster ride. On the first drop, her eyes almost popped out of her head and her mouth opened in a silent scream. By the second turn she was laughing, though she didn't want to ride again. Comet is running great this year. The annoying break on the second term was on ver light if it was on at all and the train ran through the bunny hops on its dog leg finish very fast. This coaster is running better than it has in years!

Tilt-A-Whirl: 2 cycle wait. The three of us had this thing spinning like crazy! Our niece was relatively unaffected, but my wife and I had to hold on to railings, etc when we exited until the dizziness faded.

sooperdooperlooper: Walk on. Niece and I in front seat, my wife in second seat. Compared to the rattling and loud comet, our niece handled this one fine. While not as thrilling as today's steelies, this coaster is still a favorite of mine. It seemed to be really running fast with that trim break along the creek hardly catching, sending the train screaming into the helix finish.

Lunch: Paddle Boat Cafe Chicken and Fries. Never, I mean NEVER, will I eat a full order of chicken strips and fries on a hot day again! Felt sick for a few hours afterward.

Coal Cracker: 5-10min wait. I forgot how fast you moved in the section after the first lift, and being 30+ feet off the ground makes it even seem faster. Still a fun drop.

Flying Falcon: Didn't ride it... it was closed with the "cars" removed. Word has it that a recall by the manufacturer shut it down and Hershey is waiting for a part. Rumor has it that it should be open again by end of July. Only included this here to say that this was the only ride that appeared to be closed (for non weather related issues... as you will soon see.)

Storm Runner: 1 ride, 2nd seat, Walk on. My wife and niece sat this one out (while my niece ate her dip-n-dots). Surprised to find no line, even more surprised to find a walk on for the 2nd seat. Gotta sit in the first or second seats of the train for the wild visuals! Great ride, though the contour of the seats are... um... kind of painful on parts of the male anatomy (to put it politely).

Canyon River Rapids: Almost rode this. With the heat, longest line we encountered. We were in line for 20 or so minutes and I was watching the dark clouds gathering. I said that we would see a storm in the next half hour. I was 20 minutes off when 10 minutes later the clouds opened up. No lightning that we saw, just a down pour. At that point, all outside rides closed down. Maybe lightning detectors saw something... if not, why close the rapids in the rain (a ride you get soaked on anyway)? At this point our niece said she was tired and was ready to leave.

Reeses Xtreme Cup Challenge: In the rain this was one of the only rides still operating. Wait was about 25-30 minutes. Nice looking building. Once at the loading platform, we were directed to seat numbers on the floor. We would be sitting in the front car of the two car "train" (actually it is not a train... the two cars simply travel togther, but they both turn and maneuver the same way) and a kid from the single rider line joined us. This well done and fun ride. It's much more interesting than many other interactive dark rides I have experiences as the cars spin and move up and down, they don't simply follow a flat track. Great lighting and great sound. Targets are a bit hard to hit until you figure out how to use your "radar gun". I got the nack of how to use them first and told the rest. Had the highest score of our car, and our car out scored the second car by a margin of 2 to 1 (though I forget the actual score). Got a Reeses Carmel Peanut Butter cup when we exited. Only bad thing about this otherwise great ride... its a bit on the short side.

Ooops: After we left the park, our niece, who was so tired before and wanted to leave, said she wanted to go back and ride the Kissing Tower (which she was too scared to ride when we were in that area of the park. However, we had already left the park and we did not get our hand stamps. Oh well, my wife and I have season passes, so we will be making a return trip with our niece before summer's end (and who knows... at the rate she is growing, perhaps tall enough for Great Bear, Lightning Racer and Wild Cat by next season.)

Wrap up: A good day despite feeling sick from the heat (and to much chicken at lunch). Our niece enjoyed it too. We skipped last year, our last visit being in 2004, despite the park only being 40 min away. One thing I noticed... everything looked in very good condition, with new paint (at least not more than two season old) in lots of areas. Clean as always. The staff's attitude ranged anywhere from attentive to outright friendly. Was a lot of new landscaping done in the last two seasons? Or is the land scaping that was there just starting to "fill in" to give the park a really green look? I don't think the park has ever looked in better shape.

And what did we learn? 1) Always get your hand stamp even if you have no intention of returning (you never know if you might change your mind) and 2) NEVER eat too much chicken and fries for lunch on a hot day and then expect to get tossed around on all sorts of coasters and thrill rides. (I must be getting older... that stuff never bothered me before!)

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 5:18 PM
Good trip report. Hersheypark is still one of my favorite parks. I've been going there since I was at least 4 years old, when I rode the Sooperdooperlooper. This park is SO well-run and well-kept. It also has a decent coaster and ride selection. I consider it one of, if not my main home park, even though I live closest to SFA, which I have complained about so much :)
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 7:16 AM

SLFAKE said:


Tilt-A-Whirl: 2 cycle wait. The three of us had this thing spinning like crazy! Our niece was relatively unaffected, but my wife and I had to hold on to railings, etc when we exited until the dizziness faded.


I saw this show a couple of weeks ago, Brainiac (basically, the British version of MythBusters) and they said that little kids are pretty much incapable of getting dizzy/motion sick. It's something that only develops as we age. They took some 20somethings and an 8 yo and spinned them around on a playground merry-go-round and while the adults were feeling lousy (one even retched :)) the kid was giggiling the whole time. Fascinating really.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10:33 AM
^ Has to do with the tiny little hairs in the inner ear....their flexibility helps us to recover our balance in those circumstances (airplane spins, merry-go-rounds, etc.)...as we age, those hairs become brittle, and reduce our ability to regain our balance quickly....

Bottom line: Getting older stinks!


Nice TR, SLFAKE...I :)

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:35 PM
I will be going in a couple of days just a question though is the roller soaker even runing, and if it is how does it feel and do you get very wet.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 4:54 PM
Didn't ride it this time but...

1) Yes, it was running... though it seemed to be loading and dispatching very slowly

2) The ride itself is nothing special... just high off the ground on a track that meanders around... no drops, just a slight descending path so gravity keeps you moving.

3) When I rode it (two seasons ago), I got soaked. If all of the water jets are on, there is no way not to get soaked.

Bottom line... is it worth it?

If it is a hot day and you don't mind getting soaked and the line is short... yeah. If it is not extremely hot, or if you don't want to get soaked, or if the line is LONG (again... slow loading and dispatch times), then probably not worth it.

I rode it once (two years ago). I am in no hurry to ride it again. If I am with someone who desperately wants to ride it, I would... other than that, I can easily pass this one by.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 5:42 PM
Celebrating the Calder Cup, SLFAKE?

The Soaker is the only coaster I have yet to ride at HP. The few times I've tried, the lines were either way too long, or else there was a breakdown while I was waiting in line. It's a credit I'm not really going out of my way to get. If I get it, I get it... if not, oh well.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 11:23 PM
Definitely not a thrilling ride, by any means...

that being said, I enjoyed the ride, and got soaked. Especially enjoyed the well timed water drops by all 4 of us in the car, managed to soak the whole line under us. I doubt I would wait an hour again, but it's still worth doing at least once. The area itself is fun just to watch, it is like a warzone, water shooting all over the place.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 11:30 PM
^Hitting the line on a hot day=fun

Hitting a couple inbetween downpours in early May who werent paying attention to the fact someone was actually on the ride=priceless :).

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Thursday, June 22, 2006 1:23 AM
I've been on Rollersoaker on two visits. The first time was very cool, and we learned that riding facing backwards DOES keep you a little less wet....

The second visit, it was SO rainy the water effects would've been redundant...monsoon season. :)

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