Hersheypark 7/10 An excellent day

Associated parks:

My friend Shannon has been after me for quite some time about going to Hershey, as she’s only experienced the Chocolate Factory Tour. Unfortunately as fate would have had it, she had an uncle who passed away so she couldn’t go. Gowithgravity was also to go. Seeing as I didn’ know if I would have another free day, I said let’s go anyways. This turned out to be a wise move as the park was fairly empty due to the threat of rain, which didn’t materialize until we got into our car at the end of the night. Sure there was a heavy mist at times, but nothing annoying.

Getting to the parking lot is a trip now. You go down Hershey Drive, then take a right where a security guard hands you a sheet of paper with directions on it. Then you take a right and another right which brings you back out onto Herhsey Drive going the opposite direction. At the next traffic light you make a left turn, then bear right at a fork in the road, which passes behind the Giant Center arena. Finally, you reach the new toll booths. But wait, it’s not over yet. You then travel around back towards the parking lot practically where you started in the first place. To skip some of this mess, just take a right at the light after the arena.

Being the flatride junkie that I am, I tell Matt that we must do The Claw (Chance/Morgan Revolution) first, as I didn’t know how the lines would be later. This eight-armed Afterburner is awesome. To think I payed $5 each time for the traveling version three times at the York Fair in PA. For those who’ve ridden the KMG version, the program is identical, which I was happy about. The ride experience did seem to differer from ride to ride, however. Out of the five rides I took, sometimes I wouldn’t get any pops of air at the very top of the swing, and others I couldn’t stay in my seat. Matt metions that he no longer misses Cyclops (Enterprise), and now has a new favorite flatride.

We next changed into swimsuits so we could ride Roller Soaker. It was slightly chilly, but we were worried about long lines, which never materialized during the whole day. It was a two-train or less wait everytime. Since I had ridden Super Saturator at Carowinds, I could tell that RS moved slower. It didn’t seem to help me out a whole lot with aiming my tank of water though. I think I did manage to get some people wet during the day, but not enough to avenge the awful soaking I got on Saturator, both waiting for the ride, and off the ride. They didn’t have the water curtain at the top of the ride turned on for whatever reason. We stayed around for awhile to play with the waterguns so we could get people riding wet.

Neither of us had ridden the rapids ride, which has always had a full queue everytime we’d ever been there. Today it was a walk-on. The course is long, but we never really got wet, due to them turning off all the water curtains at the backside of the ride by Lightning Racer. Since they have cameras all along the ride course, you can buy a tape of your whole trip at the end. It was fun to watch, but also strange. Matt notices that he points at stuff a lot, and I noticed that I could still lose a little bit of my gut, even though I’m down to 160. We moved onto to the waterslides while we were in the same area and still in our swimsuits. The straight slides were fairly mundane, but the twisting slides were a lot more fun, and we got to race. Matt beat me by a landslide. We’re both coaster enthusiasts, and we found it funny that we had been in the park for about 2 hours, roughly, and we had ridden one hybrid coaster. Unfortunately, the wet ride we really wanted to get on, Tidal Force, never opened. They had a large crew of blue shirts looking at the ride and sandbags in the boats, but it was not to be. One of these days....

Changing back into dry clothes, we hit Lightning Racer. I just wasn’t digging the ride today, and I was wearing a LR shirt. I loathed the Millennium Flyer trains, and for one reason, those lapbars that kept digging down into my stomach. The first half was really good, but once it hits the turnaround by the station, it just seemed to loose so much momentum. Maybe it didn’t help that they had three rows closed on each train. Staying in Midway America, we next rode The Chaos. Normally working in tandem with Matt, we can get eight flips, but today we only managed four, Oh well. We next moved onto the most insane Wild Mouse I’ve ever ridden. Brakes? What brakes. Except for a lite tap here or there, it was just way out of control. If only Richochet at PKD ran like this.

We then moved onto the hilight of the day for both of us, and that was Wildcat. It was running much smoother than it had in the past. The back was still fairly rough, but nothing unmanageable. Leaving Midway America, we passed by one of those Cyber Sez interactive games that cost $5. We both wanted to shed a tear when we figured out that that was the former location of The Conestoga (Huss Rainbow). That ride had massive airtime. I’m glad to hear it did get a new home though.

Seeing that the line for The Sidewinder was entirely too long, we headed towards Great Bear instead. We briefly stopped in one of the arcades, which has to have one of the most thorough collection of games. You’ve got everything from the vintage machines like Millipede and Galaga to your modern games. They also have a kick-butt selection of pinball machines, again covering many periods in my life. Ah...the memories. Anyway, Great Bear was, well Great Bear. It didn’t seem to move me much today. We did have fun posing for the end of the ride photo everytime. Who puts a ride-photo at the brakes of the ride? Only at Hershey. Super Dooper Looper was, well, SDL. A fun little ride but a ride that I wouldn’t miss should they need more space. The new wood floor in the station looks awesome though, as do the freshly painted airgates. We finished this section with Comet, and it wasn’t running too bad today. It probably helped that we waited two trains for the front row.

We went to go ride Trailblazer, and they were only running one train. Usually, the line is intolerable with two trrains, so I’m not sure if I want to wait for the very short ride. After the second line of the queue, I decided “I’d much rather be on The Claw”, one of two times that I bailed on Matt to go ride it. After we met up at The Claw, we decided to check back on The Sidewinder, whose line had gone down significantly. It’s well, a boomerang. Enough said. I mentioned that I had never visited Zoo America on my many visits to the park over the years, and today seemed like a good day with the lite crowds. First though, we had to ride a classic Huss Ride, The Flying Falcon (Condor). I still love how it slows down at the top, and then speeds up again creating massive G’s.

Zoo America was actually quite impressive for a small zoo. There was a plethora of wild animals, from snakes to bears, to birds. Only once did it smell like a zoo, and I think that was the fault of a Bison who had dropped quite a large poo.

We then decided to exit the park and visit the infamous Chocolate Factory Tour, with its Epcot like design. It never gets old passing by parts of the ride that make you inhale chocolate fumes. After posing for the ride photo, hands up in the air of course, we then recieved our free candy bar. We decided to eat in the foodcourt across from the giftshop, which had slightly lower prices than the main park (and the main park is very expensive). The individual round pizza didn’t measure up to the Mama Illardo’s slices we had earlier in the day though. While Matt looked around the giftshop, I hear Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” playing on the PA. Do you really need anymore subminimal messages playing after you’ve been hit over the head all day by Hershey product placements? Matt shows me the 5 pound chocolate bar good for 50 servings! “It’s obscene”, I said. We passed on the 3D show, which didn’t seem to worth $5 to us. I did notice that several of the shows had sold out during the day, so somebody’s watching it. With its fake chocolate factory exterior, I figure it’s more “Buy some chocolate” messages, but in 3D.

Heading back to the main park, we noticed a large exodus of people. It was raining a little bit, but nothing worthy of a poncho. We stopped again at The Claw, whose line had gotten a little bit longer. It was about a two-cycle wait. Heading back to Midway America, we hopped back on our favorite GCI woodie, Wildcat, for several rides, as there was no one in line. It just sucked that we had to keep walking down the exit ramp, past the ride photo booth, and then back around to the enterance. We then hit the mouse from hell again. I then needed a bathroom break, which was conveniently over by Roller Soaker. We decided to ride in dry clothes this time, and still to our disbelief, the line was practically non-existant. We definitely were getting better with our aim for the people on the ground firing back. On the exit ramp of the ride, they have a yellow line painted indicating the path of the ride. Apparently, I was a little late in moving out of the way, as someone released their tank on me. We then joined the people on the ground and had fun blasting the cars going by.

I hit Lightning Racer one more time, and the lapbar didn’t bother me as bad as before, but I still wasn’t moved by the second half of the ride tonight. Matt wants to stay on and ride two more times, and also hit Wildcat one more time. Again I decided, I’d rather be on The Claw. I managed one ride before Matt showed up. The first ride was good, but the second ride I counted six times were my butt was off the seat. He was early, and noticed that I was at the top of the swing several times, hence the airtime. He tells me that Wildcat closed down at 9:30, so we ended the night off on Great Bear, which was a walk-on in pratically any row except for the front.

Matt tried to find a Wildcat shirt in one of Hershey’s 500 giftshops to no avail. He could’ve had a Tidal Force shirt though. Exiting back towards the parking lot, we realize we’re on the wrong side of an extremely long white fence, to keep people from walking in front of the tram mobiles. We finally saw a way out that said “300 feet to pedestrian crossing”. After a little bit of backtracking, we found my car, and just in time. Right after getting inside it started to pour. So overall, a really great day.

If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 7/11/2003 3:51:27 AM ***

Nice TR. Hershey is one of my favorite parks. Did you get a chance to ride the Frontier Flyers? Seems you came upon the same problem I have at that park, I can never find a Wildcat shirt.

Take a Virtual Ride:
Mike "Viper" Semtak

Awesome trip report. I'm glad you had such a good time at one of my favorite places. You reall should give the 3d movie a try. Sure it features Hershey product characters, but I thought it was very entertaining and up to Disney quality. The preshows were fun too even if they are like Hershey commercials. I'm not bothered by the commercial aspect of Chocolate World and Hersheypark because I go there knowing that's their business...to promote their product.

"Hershey's chocolate, Hershey's chocolate...It's a Hershey's chocolate world..." Come on. You know you want to sing it.

Maybe I am just so used to it, being the old home park and all... but I don't really see all that much "chocolate" connection in the park. True some of the shops are "chocolate" shops of sorts, the Kissing Tower has Kiss shaped windows, the height markers are based on products, The Hershey characters are around... but considering what COULD be done? I think the influence is mild. Chocolate World... that is a different story. Of course, since that is the entire purpose of Chocolate World... to basically promote Hershey's chocolate empire... it is both expected and forgiven.

Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

If your friend was looking for a Wildcat shirt, he should have looked in the front of the park. In the Rhineland area at the front, either the HERSHEYPARK Happenings or Hershey Souvenirs and Gifts has a Wildcat shirt.

G's! They're what's for dinner!

We didn't ride the Flyers, which is of course because I couldn't stay off The Claw long enough to wait for it. Yesterday probably would've been ideal to have ridden it with the short lines.

SLFLAKE, don't forget the height check for the rides, which is based on Hershey products. And yes, after the tour, I was singing "Hershey's Chocolate, Hershey's Chocolate" for about half an hour. Of course it's all forgiveable as we love the park. And yes, we bought chocolate!
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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