Hersheypark 7/11 & Great Adventure 7/12

Associated parks:

This was my first HP visit and I totally dug this park!! While it was big, for me it still felt like a small park with charm, sort of like Holiday World! Adding to the charm was the clientele of mostly young families whose kids were surprisingly not that annoying!

As for general park observations, the entrance absolutely sucks!! It's tiny, meandering, uphill, and both the gate entrance and front pathways are tiny as well!! The Boardwalk didn't look too out of place for me at all...yes, LR and Wildcat are opposite of it, but so what? All parks have different sections that are split up. I could maybe see next year it getting more out of place when it takes over the rapids spot (probably ruining that nice little walkway to SR in the process), but after that they'll probably get rid of Roller Soaker like Carowinds and start building more north.

As for the notable rides, Fahrenheit was a little disappointing. The lift was cool, but nothing at all intimidating for me. The 97 degree drop not as good as Maverick's (even in the back seat) due to not having the speed, and the rest of the ride was very enjoyable, but just doesn't have that punch like with Maverick. Don't get me wrong, I actually think Fahrenheit is MORE re-rideable than Maverick since it's not as intense, but without question I would ride Maverick anytime over Fahrenheit (and I'm definitely no CP fanboy!!).

Also, as someone who believes most people are too knee-jerk over coaster roughness, Fahrenheit definitely has some vibration issues during and after the cobra roll...usually when my girlfriend reports vibrations, I'm like "Nahh...I don't think so" (even when I do feel a little), but this time I couldn't deny it!! Also, unless they change the policy (which I doubt due to the tiny platform), the seat-assigning is pretty iron-clad! :( You can get a back row with line jockeying; however, the attendant doesn't always let exactly 6 rows worth of people in every time since sometimes the row gates are disproportioned to a full train for whatever reason. But when six rows are being let through, then maneuvering to get a back row is easy.

Last Fahrenheit rant, the un-shaded queue is bullsh*t!! I thought Cedar Fair was bad, but this is just sadistic and mean on a hot, sunny day like last Friday was!! Also, while the single rider line was tiny compared to the main queue, it's definitely VERY slow!! Unfortunately, due to the sun and un-shaded queue my girlfriend sat out my last ride, and so I went single rider line and the wait was about the same as standing in the regular queue (30 minutes-ish), and while I would have rather waited in the main queue in hopes of jockeying for a front or back row, I at least was shaded in the single rider line so it was sort of worth it.

Otherwise, Storm Runner was awesome and the waits very minimal for a fairly busy day. It wasn't nearly as tall as I was expecting, but the Flying Snake Dive is incredible, especially with a very loose OTSR, which is how I like to ride!! Probably the best Intamin rocket in the US for me as the fun factor edges out the rush of TTD or KK. Great Bear was pleasantly surprising too as I really dug the pre-drop helix and didn't think it was too short at all as others have purported.

As for Lightning Racer, while not thrilling at all, if you focus on the racing aspect and just have fun with it, it's a really enjoyable, smooth, and relaxing ride especially considering the MF trains. (Btw, I only rode the Lightning train every time) I don't know how busy HP was last Friday compared to the un-Godly busy times I've read about before, but I found none of the waits that long (all under 45 mins, including Fahrenheit), but the Canyon River Rapids line was long, which is understandable given that it's gone in like a week!

Bottom line is I totally dug HP and more importantly my girlfriend loved the "charm" even more, and I definitely want to go back again and for more than 1 day to do the Boardwalk and move at a much slower pace. Lastly, Chocolate World or whatever was a freakin zoo and I didn't really see any rare candy at all like I've heard about!! Nothing like the gold mine that was Canada's Wonderland, anyway!!

Just to quickly touch on Great Adventure, despite it being super busy (a security guard told me attendance last Saturday was over 45,000!!), it was definitely awesome!! I mean, the GAdv haters need to shut up because despite the large attendance, I saw security everywhere (despite the same guard telling me there were only 80 guards during the day), no line-jumpers from what I saw (granted I didn't wait in line much), only one illegit smoker exiting from Superman, and no unruly behavior from anyone.

Also, the new Flash Pass with the reservation making is a million times better than last year's!! And despite my cost-cutting of two individual gold's, getting one two-person gold was just as good despite this busy day. The season pass discounts on drinks made prices a little better too, and for what it's worth a Vitamin Water is a dollar cheaper at Six Flags than any Cedar Fair park!

To briefly hit on rides, Dark Knight is not worth the wait and the Flash Pass queue is un-shaded and can still be a lengthy wait to get into the pre-show. While still very fun, Nitro is almost boring now compared to Behemoth. Despite the reported late openings, we rode Medusa BEFORE 11:30 am! For the first time ever in all my six trips to GAdv, Kingda Ka had periods of downtime!! :( Also, I didn't bother with either green trains (I wish Gonch wouldn't have ridden these so his experience was better!!), and while the dark blue was disappointingly rough, the orange train was glass smooth and awesome! (bunky, ONLY ride this train!)

Unfortunately, El Toro...was just ok!! :( Pretty much I try to only ride with restraints that are not tight, and last year I was under 200 lbs. for all my El Toro rides which had loose U-bars and were fantastic. This year I'm sadly above 200, and only my last ride of the night had a loose U-bar and was great. The other rides were not loose-enough and not as good. My girlfriend weighs like 110 and had feet of space compared to me, which I was envious of...so bottom line if you want the best ride, be under 200 lbs!! Oh yeah, the ET ride op, Bruna, is totally hot!!

But overall, two great trips with both parks getting super high marks in my book, despite being busy!

but the Canyon River Rapids line was long, which is understandable given that it's gone in like a week!

That's just it... even if it wasn't gone soon, on hot days the line was always long. It was very popular. It's not going away because of its popularity... it's being sacraficed because of a badly planned "water park".

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
^WHOA, what happened to the officialy closure date of August 17th-ish!!! Do I need to get my Hershey trip in this week in order to get a last ride on the Canyon !?!

Number of rafts:18Riders per raft :6Ride duration:4 minutesCapacity:1000 riders per hourDesigners:Intamin, Zurich, SwitzerlandYear installed:1987

As many of these rapids rides get older I've noticed some parks have not kept up on maintaining the rafts, resulting in reduced capacity - even poor operations staff who can't get the boats filled in time at some places (incident at Great Escape comes to mind) can further reduce this capacity, but this is a great family ride for that park so It sounds like it may just be really popular at Hersheypark. Hopefully they'll keep the hardware and just rebuild an alternate layout in or near zoo america

Oh, I see what you mean about El Toro being not as good now. With being shoehorned into the car, I guess you really can't get all that ejector air. I miss my Toro....I'm not that far from 200 pounds, but I guess that little bit makes a big difference.

So you climbed the chocolate hills of death? LOL Yeah, it's like a mile to get out to Lightning Racer and some of the other rides on that end of the park. I also don't feel the disconnect of Lightning Racer versus the Boardwalk, and I actually feel that the Boardwalk kind of gives the Lightning Racer an even more nostalgic feel to it. However, if they continue expanding, I can see where the nostalgic feel will turn into a traipse through pant-soaking ridiculousness and may equal trouble in terms of layout.

Yeah, the vibration on Fahrenheit is downright obnoxious at times, and from the back car, it seems especially bad. I wonder what that is all about.

I'm unfortunately going to have to ride the Dark Knight for the credit if I'm to get closer to my 50 credits by 30 goal. However, I may buy a FlashPass next time I go to make the waiting much easier. I don't know though because my coaster tour is coming up and I don't really have the money for this. I'm envious of wealthy park-goers at this time.

I'm going to TRY to get the orange train for Kingda Ka. However, roughness really is least of my concerns on this particular ride when I finally grow a set and ride that ride (Friday this will happen unless it rains).

More later.

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

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