HersheyPark 7/1/04 and 7/2/04 (Part 2 of 3 part trip)

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, July 7, 2004 6:39 PM
Made the trip from Western Pittsburgh to our Harrisburg hotel on the PA turnpike. Construction made the trip about an hour longer than it should have taken, but we still arrived at the Baymount in Harrisburg at about 4:10, which still left us a little time before we had to leave to catch the evening passes at Hershey, which start at 5. This was my frist trip to Hershey since I was just a little kid, basically a whole new park to me, I was very pumped. Got in the park right at 5 and did Comet first. Had about a 15 minute wait. I liked Comet quite a bit actually. Nothing thats going to blow you away, but not half bad either. Next we wound our way up to Great Bear, which is an interesting invert. Had about a 10 minute wait. I like that helix way up there before the first drop, and I liked the ride overall. There are better inverts out there, but I think I liked it as much as Raptor or any of the Batman clones. Sadly superdooperlooper was closed, so we hit Trailblazer. Pretty much your standard mine train. They all seem pretty much the same, except for the one at PKI, which is better than most. Storm runner was running, and it beckond me, so it had to be next. The line was just inside the main queue part, but man, does this line move. I was on the ride within 40 minutes. The dual loading station works GREAT, no doubt about it. I also like the new OTSR restraints, for the most part. One minor problem though: They dont all retract all the way up when people are getting off. This means that people will sometimes push them down, using them as suppourt while boarding the train on their way in, which causes some problems. But they are much more free than others, and youve gotta love that. As for the ride itself, WOW. Looking at videos, the pacing of it seemd a bit slow, but it sure wasnt. The launch was GREAT, nice and smooth and quick, the top hat was glorious, with airtime abound from any seat. The immelman is probably the more boring of the main elements, but still a nice experience. But than hearline cobra roll, or whatever you want to call it, that was amazing. Your but leaves your seat right from the begining and it dosent come back down, not until the bottom of the drop. And that strange S curve thing at the end was neat as well. The more I rode it, the more I knew it was a top 5 coaster in my book. Absolutley amazing, Id rather wait for this than Dragster any day.

Wild mouse was pretty standard, but pretty high up as well, those turns are sharp and fast and a little scary actually. Managed to get on the 2 big woodies as well that night. First was Wildcat. I loved this thing. The airtime was great, especially from the back, and it keeps up its pacing all the way through, nice and fast for sure. Defanitley one of the better Woodies ive ridden. Lightning Racer looked awsome, and it was. The capacity on this thing is insane. They had several rows roped off on both trains, and there was never any wait, at all. 2 guys that looked like they might have been enthusiasts were getting people pumped in the station, chanting things like "here we go Thunder here we go." As for the ride itself, probably the smoothest Woody ive ever been on. A sweet ride as well, and the races were always close, and seemed totally random. As soon as I thought I had some sort of order figured out, it would mess it up again. I especially like the dive into the Tunnel. Another class A ride, Great Coasters International quickly became one of my favorite designers. Ended the night with 2 rides on Storm Runner, with a 30 minute wait and a 10 minute wait. Night rides are amazing on this thing, not to knock day rides on it though. Any ride on it is amazing.

No point in boring you with every little detail of the Next day, but I'll outline the main things. Got plenty of rerides on everything, except Superdooperlooper, which was still closed, sadly. Crowds were light. Actually, the midways seemed crowded enough, but the lines for everything were short. My dad and my brother got splattered with some spit by someone who spit on Wildcat. If I wouldve heard about the incident earlier I would have gave whoever did it a peice of my mind. I also saw some kid spit for the on ride photo on Lighting racer, but sadly I couldnt find him either. Absolutley disgusting, your not cool, and your most definatley not funny. I really wish I couldve given these kids a peice of my mind. The main thing notable on Friday was the Jessica Simpson concert, and the troubles with Storm Runner. Seemed they were having problem several times with this throughout the day, and I happened to be in line for 2 of them. They announced over the loudspeaker that they are experiencing techinal problem, mechanics are working on the problem, blah blah blah. It was down for about 20 minutes or so the first time. I heard that the problem had something to do with the train getting moved onto the launch track, then for some reason, the computer didnt recognize it as being ready to launch, or didnt recognize it there at all. Anyways if it wasnt for that delay, the wait wouldve probably been less than 20 minutes, and this is in the middle of the day, on the best ride in the park. Not bad I think. Later on that night I was actually just boarding it, got latched in and everything, and it happened again. I saw a somewhat shocked/ amused look on one of the ride ops faces. I later heard her say to another op "I dont see why they dont just close it and be done with it" This tells me that they have obviously fought this problem several times before, weather it all started on Friday or not, I have no idea, maybe someone else can clear that up. I told some people in line not to worry too much, that this happened earlier and it was only about 20 minutes. It ended up being 30 minutes this time, but Ive gotta hand it to all the ops(except for the one I mentioned) and mechanics. They really worked their butts off to get it back up and running.

Other notable rides I were on were The Claw,which was very fun, if you were lucky enough to get on a side that was up higher on most of the turns. Sidewinder was standard, a little rough, but not that bad. I also liked Flying Falcons, almost like calmer version of the Scrambler, only about 70 feet in the air. Overall, I was very impressed with Hershey in nearly every aspect. Their prices are reasonable, their ops seemed friendly and did their job well, and the rides were all great. One of my new favorite parks. I hope I manage to get back in the Not too distant future

Look for Part 3 (Cedar Point) of my 3 part trip, coming soon. If you havent read Part 1 yet, please check it out http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=38688

And Cedar Point is now up as well: http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=38756

*** Edited 7/7/2004 10:40:14 PM UTC by stljason1*** *** Edited 7/7/2004 10:47:45 PM UTC by stljason1*** *** Edited 7/10/2004 10:24:32 PM UTC by stljason1***

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Wednesday, July 7, 2004 8:46 PM
Great TR. SR also had troubles like that when I was there in May. I think it's an Intamin thing as it happens on TTD a lot too. Someone said that people leaning on the air gates too hard when a train is moving into or out af the station will cause problems and stop the ride also.

I also loved Wildcat and Lightning Racer. Great rides and well maintained.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2004 8:56 PM
Hersheypark is a great park. I am happy to have it as my home park. "Hersheypark Happy! Hersheypark Glad! So many things to see and do! Good times to be had!" I still can't get that song out of my head. ;)
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Thursday, July 8, 2004 4:56 PM
Add another 30 ft. onto Flying Falcon and you've got it right. It's like a mix of a Troika and a Scrambler.
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Friday, July 9, 2004 2:56 AM
Having visited Hershey almost every year from the early '90's to '02, we skipped it last year as we made the trip to CP and KW. I was planning to skip it this year also as I expected huge crowds due to the new ride, and instead hit some parks we haven't been to in awhile (KD, BGW) or ever (SFA). Already been to SFA (see trip report) but you have whet my appetite for Hershey anyway!! Who knows...maybe I'll hit all four...and...welcome to our nieghborhood!
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