Hersheypark 6/25/08

Associated parks:

Well, I guess I'm just gonna have to VERY slowly work towards my goal of 50 coasters because these drives to amusement parks and the actual fees and stuff are killing my cashflow.

Who cares, right? Onto trip report:

I got to Hershey DETERMINED to ride Lightning Racer first just in case it broke down again. I headed over there first, but I couldn't resist a detour for Fahrenheit. Clouds were starting to roll in by the masses, and I questioned my decision to wait in line for half an hour for a ride I've already been on, but I did it anyway. The girl at the front of the station told me that I couldn't wait for the front because they have to assign seats, but since I was the first person in line for that group of people, I could ride in the front anyway. This is definitely not one of those coasters that benefits more from front to back in terms of ride. To expand, when you ride in the front, you can see the lift hill, but you REALLY get the sensation of dangling over a precipice when the train tops the lift hill. Truly disorienting. However, in the rest of the cars, you can't see the track going up the hill, making it more suspenseful UNTIL the opening drop. Other than that, no difference in ride that I could tell. Anyway, Fahrenheit was fun, still not super thrilling for me, but I am quite fond of it.

I headed over to Lightning Racer straight after that and rode the back car of the Lightning train. It was so much fun to talk smack to the other cars, saying, "YOU'RE GOING DOWN! NO, YOU'RE GOING DOWN...TECHNICALLY SPEAKING, WE'RE ALL GOING DOWN..." So, we get to the top of the hill and away we went. Man do those trains fly! This ride was a little rough like a traditional woodie should be, but I wasn't at all jarred like I thought I would be (in the lightning train, anyway). Our group of riders kept mocking the thunder train the whole ride, and we'd wave when we'd separate and then come back around to meet again. This is a really great coaster. Long, fairly smooth for a woodie, and it feels super fast. Plus, there's a tunnel that is pitch black at night, and cameras blink like strobes when you're riding at night as well. I would definitely say this is a fantastic ride day or night. We won that race.

I decided to ride the green train next (Thunder Train). Oddly enough, with the pretty much "same" layout from train to train, I noticed huge differences in roughness on the green train. I didn't like it at all. How weird is that? Plus, I swear the layout wasn't as good on the green train. I know that's likely impossible, but I stick by it. Only rode the Thunder train once and swore never again. Only Lightning from now on.

I headed over to Storm Runner next and only waited approximately four trains (two on each side) to get on the very back seat. I still love this ride, but it was running exceptionally roughly today. Maybe because it wasn't hot outside? I don't know. I ran back around for another ride, this time in the third seat and was still treated to some hardcore head and neck banging. Ouch!

After Storm Runner, I had this lovely calm feeling sweep over me, and I decided to ride TrailBlazer after a leisurely stroll down one of Hershey's monster hills. I love the atmosphere of this area of the park. Not to many people walk down that way, and there are wildflowers and weeping willow trees everywhere. It's fairly quiet, and no one's running around. It didn't even feel like I was in an amusement park for a second or two. And Trailblazer? Great Adventure should take notes for a junior mine coaster. It's smooth, fairly fast, and loaded with atmosphere. The only downside was that people kept reaching out their hands to touch the grass and the pine tree branches on the helixes. What part of keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times do these morons not get? I saw someone get THIS close to getting an arm lopped off. On a kiddie ride. Wag of the finger to the special people on Trailblazer!

Then I did something stupid. I went on Flying Falcon. I don't know why. I hate that ride. It's boring, yet somehow supremely nauseating. Every time I get off that thing, I can't walk straight for an hour. This time was no exception.

Totally off topic: I didn't know Hershey had Flyers!

Anyway, I headed over to Great Bear and waited two trains for the back seat. Great Bear IS a ride that benefits from a back seat ride, and I went back to thinking THIS is my favorite B&M inverted. I flip flop so much on this. I really think Great Bear is it though.

It was getting late, so I headed back to Storm Runner and rode that one more time before hitting Fahrenheit again (and I only waited 20 minutes for Fahrenheit, IF that!). Then I went BACK to Lightning Racer, rode it three more times in the dark (it's SO cool in the dark with all the lights and that twisted track), then ran BACK to Storm Runner for the final ride of the night.

One bad thing happened on my way to Storm Runner: my dumb ass tripped and fell right out of my shoes. I mean, I FELL. I rolled. I ripped off half my big toenail and shredded my second toe as well, not to mention bruising my knees and ripping my hands open. Not one person stopped to help me or to check on me, which really turned me off. I know park people saw me fall cuz I did it right in front of a few, but not a soul helped. Oh well...

Anyway, I got my "last ride" on Storm Runner in the dark (that gives that coaster a complete "next level" fright factor), but they weren't closing the line yet! I rode again. Line still not closed. I rode AGAIN. The last time I was going to ride, people were blocked off in the front car aisle, and the attendants made all the people waiting in front car get out of line and take other seats. They were ticked off, and I don't blame them. They could have gotten three or more rides in the time they were waiting, AND no one told them not to get in the front car line due to the park closing. Anyone would probably think "well, I guess it's okay then". Or you close the line to the front before they get IN the line, not AFTER. It was handled poorly, I think. Still, I rode last train of the night on Storm Runner. Never rode last train before. Pretty cool.

Oh yeah, and I forgot something: I got a Nathan's hot dog. Not impressed for 4.30-something. You heard right: One hot dog. Nearly five dollars. I can go to Yocco's down the street and get a better hot dog for a third of the price. Don't do it, man.

So the grand tally in four hours:

Storm Runner: 6
Lightning Racer: 6
Fahrenheit: 2
Trailblazer: 1
Great Bear: 1
Flying Falcon (bleh): 1

Then, I went back to my SWEET parking spot right by Hersheypark Arena and made it home within an hour and 15 minutes. Not bad! It was a great trip except for the trip (heh), and for Hershey, the place was dead. I'm never doing a weekend again! *** Edited 6/26/2008 4:29:05 AM UTC by bunky666*** *** Edited 6/26/2008 4:31:14 AM UTC by bunky666***

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Kick The Sky's avatar
It sucks to hear that Thunder was rough. I remember liking that side more for some reason.

I definitely would have killed for intense Storm Runner time at the end of night like you got. I loved Storm Runner. Definitely the best of the Intiman rocket coasters. Good training for you for when you finally get to ride Ka. Just think Storm Runner double the size of the first top hat and it's also over faster. You'll have no problem with that Ka ride.

As for Nathans, yeah, they charge way too much for a Nathan's hot dog in a park. Do not, however, let it discourage you from hitting Nathans when you make your trip to Coney. The hot dogs are nothing to write home about, but it is a bit nostalgic.

Certain victory.

KTS, I was totally thinking that I'm over Storm Runner and that I must do Ka on my next Gadv trip. Hehehehe...it scares the bejesus out of me just to think about that ride, but I think I'll handle it just fine. It's only 26 seconds long. If not, as I always say, I can punch my friend who got me on it in the head and then swear it off forever. Hehehehehehe....

I'll definitely still hit Nathan's when I go to Coney. That trip's actually probably coming up very soon, so I'll eat another one. It's not that it wasn't GOOD, but it was just way too much money for one single serving of food, even for an amusement park.

Well, as you know, coaster riding is such a subjective experience for the most part. Thunder may have been the better ride for you and everyone else and just not for me.

Oh, that reminds me: If you get on the Lightning and the Thunder trains, does that count as two coasters? They're under the same named coaster, but technically speaking, the layouts ARE different. Controversy?

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Hey Bunky, sounds like an awesome trip and I'm definitely envious of all those short waits!! Since you mentioned people touching trees on the mine ride and are familiar with GAdv, last year on Medusa on the part between the loop and cobra roll I stuck out my hand to touch one of the trees and OUCH!!! I hit some branch and cut the top of my right hand pretty hard causing about a 2 inch gash with a lot of bleeding and bruising....lesson learned for sure after that!!

Also, as for the headbanging on SR, are you riding defensively at all or just letting your head get thrown around like a rag doll? *WHEN* you do ride Ka, just remember to avoid the green and teal trains to minimize roughness!!

Sorry to hear about your fall and toe. But if people don't stop to help a hit-and-run victim crossing the street, then it's no surprise no one checked on you, but hopefully park personnel would have if they were around.

Hershey does have flyers but they don't allow snapping and they are really hard to snap anyway. I tried last Christmas Candylane and came close but they are no where like Knoebels in snapability.

I have noticed a spot on Thunder the past two seasons that it seems to just hit a rut in the track and slow down drastically.

It look like my season resumes this weekend. I'm thinking Saturday at Gadv and Sunday at Hershey. I feel so bad that I have only been to two parks this season when last year I had almost 20 park visits in by this time.

Watch the tram car please....
Kick The Sky's avatar

bunky666 said:
Oh, that reminds me: If you get on the Lightning and the Thunder trains, does that count as two coasters? They're under the same named coaster, but technically speaking, the layouts ARE different. Controversy?

I count them twice, but in order to do it on the track record on this site I had to add the ride twice, so CBuzz I guess counts it as one. It's all subjective on how you count your rides. I thought the two sides were different enough to count, where I don't count two for Racer at KI or American Eagle at SFGAm (although the two sides are kind of different...). I also figured that because both sides were named differently that they counted separate. Do what you feel you need to, though.

Certain victory.

It's two then! Bwahahahahaha!!!

Yeah, I noticed that nearly every time the Lightning train won, so I'm thinking that the Thunder train is either not as logistically laid out for speed, or the train itself is just having some problems with wheels or something. I only saw Thunder win twice out of all the rides I witnessed OR rode (two trains each side, usually waited for a train as well, rode six times...at least twelve times out of around 14 that the Lightning train won).

I definitely ride ALL coasters defensively. I hold on where I'm supposed to hold on, I try to hold my head steady, I keep my head back, and I brace myself for different aspects of the ride. On Storm Runner, it just wasn't working. Although, in defense of Storm Runner, at the top hat, every time gave me STROOONG ejector air. I mean, my shoulders were SLAMMED on the restraint if I didn't hold on good enough. That part made me shriek with glee every time.

The Flyers looked different, like they had different cables, and the cables didn't look to be nearly as long. I can see where they'd be difficult to snap. Mind you, I've never BEEN on Flyers, so I don't know for sure, but my next trip to Knoebels may be snaptastic if I can figure out how to do it.

Another great Carlin quote for tribute:

"Scratch any cynic and you'll find a disappointed idealist."

It's not funny, but it's just such a great quote I had to include it. *** Edited 6/26/2008 5:32:11 PM UTC by bunky666***

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Lord Gonchar's avatar

bunky666 said:
I keep my head back

I know people might not agree with this, but my definsive riding position is to lean into the restraints.

My shoulders against the OTSR brace me and my head is far enough forward to avoid serious banging.

^^My defensive strategy on the Intamin OTSR's is to hold onto them with my hands like I would if I was snapping suspenders or something...

This way, my head and shoulders are being stabilized by my arms...I get very little headbanging on Maverick as a result.

DantheCoasterman's avatar
Great TR!

I'm SO excited about visiting Hershey in a month; you have no idea!

But I've never experienced any type of roughness/headbanging on a newer Intamin...

I've never had excessive headbanging on an Intamin either. My GF thinks that Stormrunner's rolls are rough though. Maybe that falls under expected headbanging rather than excessive headbanging, but I never really noticed any there myself.

Every time I've been on Lightning Racer, Thunder has hardly ever won. People keep telling me it's not always like that, but I'll believe it when I see it.

The flyers at Knoebels are the original model, from Bisch-Rocco. You can't get them anymore. The ones at Hershey are fairly new and from a completely different manufacturer, Larson. They're still in production. There is a third model these days that looks almost exactly like the original, but I think it's by Premiere. I don't know how the dynamics compare.

You know, I put my hands sort of underhanded on the restraints for the sudden stop of the brakes at the end of Storm Runner, and that helped ALOT. Never occurred to me to push against the restraint in the same fashion for the rest of the ride. I'll check that out. Fahrenheit has some headbanging too, but I noticed if I maintained my head flat against the headrest, the banging was nearly eliminated.

So it's not just my imagination that something is not as great with the Thunder train? I noticed more people riding the Lightning train most of the night too. Perhaps that's why Lightning won because of more weight...and maybe Thunder was originally better and more people rode THAT one and thus the problem. Not sure...

Glad you liked the TR, DantheCoasterman! I hope you enjoy Hersheypark as much as I did. I have so many fond memories tied to that park, almost as many as I do to Dorney (and Dorney's my home park).

Can parks not get the original Bisch-Rocco Flyers because they are not a company anymore or because they don't make Flyers anymore? You'd think that if the company was still around that if the rides are as fantastic as people have been saying, BR would still make them.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Kick The Sky's avatar

bunky666 said:
Can parks not get the original Bisch-Rocco Flyers because they are not a company anymore or because they don't make Flyers anymore? You'd think that if the company was still around that if the rides are as fantastic as people have been saying, BR would still make them.

I do not think the company is around, so not only is it hard to find the ride, but if you do, it's gotta be hard to find the parts for it as well. That said, I think that the snapping, while fun, is probably not part of the original design parameters for the ride, thus the manufacture of flyers today that are nearly impossible to snap. Most parks that do have snappable flyers also have policies against snapping. Knoebels is one of the rare exceptions and even some of their operators don't tolerate it.

Certain victory.

eightdotthree's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:I know people might not agree with this, but my definsive riding position is to lean into the restraints.

My shoulders against the OTSR brace me and my head is far enough forward to avoid serious banging.

I sort of do the same, only on an Intamin looper I hold my hands up near the top of the restraint and it seems to center my weight and limits the neck banging I get.

DantheCoasterman's avatar
Why are you instructed not to hold your hands up on Intamin loopers?

Does bracing yourself (pressing against the shoulder restraints) not ruin the airtime?

eightdotthree's avatar
No more than having a seat belt and otsr holding you in does. Your body still feels it just because your butt doesn't come out of the seat.

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Great TR, Bunky!

I was at Hershey yesterday and absolutely LUSTED Fahrenheit! It was very "me." ;)

The "Boardwalk" area was a big surprise. Very nice, especially the "water playground." I had no idea! I want one in my backyard. ;) I spent a good 15 minutes just staring at it wishing I would of brought my bathing suit. :)

I personally thought Wildcat's new Flyer trains improved that POS 1000% but I know a lot of people disagree. ;) To each his own. :)

Anyway, glad you had a great time, Bunky! Sorry about your spill. :( I definitely want to go back before the end of the season since I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted yesterday. *** Edited 6/28/2008 2:21:27 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Coasterqueen, Wildcat's trains have definitely improved the ride. The first year that coaster was out, it was a lovely, smooth ride for a woodie. Then it proceeded to get so rough that I couldn't stand it. I really enjoyed Wildcat this year for the first time in a while.

I think the Boardwalk has a definite nostalgic feel, and the water playground DOES look very cool. I've never been in it, but it looks like fun.

Did you get to ride a bunch of stuff before the thunderstorm? I was drooling over Lightning Racer and Fahrenheit while tailgating for DMB, but we were glad we didn't pay to go to the park when that storm hit! I hope you get to go back too! :) Hershey's such a great park. I'm planning on one more trip before summer's end, but I'm kinda broke right now, so we'll see.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
I actually didn't ride that much but I rode what I wanted to. :) There were a few other things I wish I would of hit like the Reese's Cup Extreme Challenge thing (or whatever it is called) but there is always a next time. :) For some reason the heat was just KILLING me that day, even though I was constantly drinking liquids, shaved ice, etc. ;)

Wildcat was the BOMB! ;)

I hit that storm about 20 minutes after I left on I-81 South. It was HORRIBLE! I heard a few employees at one of the gift shops mentioning something about a "storm coming in" but I didn't know it was going to be that bad. I ran into another one on I-79 past Morgantown which may have been the same storm. I don't know. ;)

I agree that the Boardwalk did have a "nostalgic" feel to it. I didn't realize there was so much to that area it until I wandered around (after riding Lighting Racer.) I definitely want to go back and spend at least two days at Hershey. I could spend a whole day in the Boardwalk area alone! :)

I noticed a lot of DMB tailgaters while I was leaving. :) I am not a huge fan but I bet that was an awesome show, especially with the Black Crowes. :)


*** Edited 6/29/2008 7:57:07 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Black Crowes did NOT play Hard to Handle, so I was a little salty about that. However, Dave played an AMAZING show. Much better than the Camden one earlier this year. Don't get me started because I'll never stop raving about how much I love him.

Anyway, I've never been on the Reese's thing either. I would really like to, but I just am always determined to hit the coasters because I have such limited time.

Boardwalk is huge. I never realized it either until this past visit. I got lost in it every time I went through it. I never entered or exited from the same point twice. I would love to check it out more and play some of the carnival-style games and stuff. I want to go in the water part as well, but NO ONE wants to see me in a bathing suit. LOL I really hope you get to check it out further before the summer's end. Gotta do a trip report though, ok? :)

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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