Hersheypark; 8/14/09

Saturday, August 15, 2009 2:36 AM

I took my nephew to Hersheypark today. The original plan was to go to Busch Gardens and hit Kings Dominion on the way back home, but it just wasn't happening. Hershey's much closer, so we figured it would be the better choice.

We got to the park at approximately 11:15, and by this time, they were parking people all the way out by the Giant Center, and trams were completely full every time even with a constant flow of the vehicles. Not a good sign, but I figured maybe it would get cloudy enough out that people would become discouraged. Yeah, that did not happen. Crowds were absolutely insane through the whole day and even into the 9:30 pm time. The park was actually open until 11 pm, but neither I nor my nephew felt like staying that late in the heat and all the people.

Anthony wanted to go on Fahrenheit first. The attendant at the front told us it would be an hour and a half wait. I didn't want to wait that long, but seeing as I had already ridden it but Anthony had not, I said we could wait in line for it. The wait ended up being closer to three hours. Hershey has wisely opened up a new queue area that travels back into the coaster all the way to the end of the first drop and heading towards the Norwegian loop. They have also posted multiple misting spritzers throughout the whole line. Still, I managed to have yet ANOTHER encounter with someone nearly passing out. I thought everything was basically okay because the girl was being assisted by her sister and security had already called the medics, but then the girl's legs started to buckle. I was worried she would fall and hit her head or something, so I went to help her sister walk her out of the queue. Medical response time in Hershey is fantastic compared to Great Adventure and protocol seems much smoother. This girl had medical attention in under five minutes, and security told me I could go back to my place in line. Some people griped, but I wasn't about to let my 11-year-old nephew wait in line by himself, and I wasn't going to wait three more hours to ride Fahrenheit. I went back to Anthony and waited for the rest of our time. The sick girl's sister came back in line as well, she thanked me profusely (really nice kids), and we eventually got on our ride. Anthony liked Fahrenheit a lot, but he is on about the same page as me--not NEARLY worth the wait.

Lightning Racer on the Lightning side was as great as ever from the back seat. I'm really impressed with how well this ride runs even after all the years it has been at the park. I mean, it's not super old, but neither is Wildcat, and look how much that thing stinks. Anthony thought it was rough at first, but he's so used to B&M coasters and Toro's prefab smoothness that I don't think he quite got the idea right away that a wooden coaster is supposed to be kinda rough (as long as your spine stays intact). He ended up really enjoying it by the end though.

We did the Musik Express next...crappiest ME ever. Small, ugly, really rough, not that fast. No thanks.

Anthony wanted to ride Wildcat, but the line was all the way down to the last row of switchbacks! I couldn't believe it! I've NEVER EVER EVER seen Wildcat that crowded. Even the year it opened, I never saw it filled like that. I told him absolutely not. Then he tried to talk me into going on the Ferris wheel. I asked him if he had 1000 bucks. He said no. I said, well then, I guess we're not going on the Ferris wheel. That cracked him up, and I told him that if we came back that way at night, I would attempt to get on it (I'm petrified of Ferris wheels).

We attempted to get him wet in the splash zone by Tidal Force (or whatever it's called), but he wasn't having any luck. Finally, I let him sneak onto the bridge for an excellent drenching, and don't you know, he barely got hit! What's up with that? Still, he got nice and cooled off. I couldn't go with him because I just got my first tat and can't get chlorinated water like that on the tattoo. I was jealous.

Next we did the Flyers. I love this ride. I know it's not the Knoebels flyers, but I just like the Flyers in general.

Storm Runner was busier than I had seen it in years as well, but dispatches were also faster than I've seen in years, so it pretty much evened itself out to a 20 minute or so wait. Really not bad. The train running on the right side from the stairs was running super smooth. I don't know if it was a new train or one they don't use as much or what, but it was a stellar experience once again. No pain, lots of airtime, powerful launch, no vibration. Our second ride hours later was on the left side and was horrendously rough. We got a great picture from our first ride where we both look absolutely ridiculous.

Taco stand: Not bad. However, the guy told us the large soda was the one in the refillable cup, so we ordered small drinks. Turned out that the smalls were these little cups that weren't even on display as an available size. Meh...whatever. I was too hungry and thirsty to care. Beef burrito was yummy, but was a little cold. Melted cheese and a warmer temperature would have made it the best food I've had for under 3 bucks at an amusement park.

Howler was next. An entire FAMILY cut in front of us in line. Six people in all. I was going to rat them out but then forgot by the time we got on this ride. I love Howler. It's simple fun. Anthony couldn't stop laughing, and the two other kids we rode with were little drill sargeants (sp?). Every time I'd stop spinning the car, the one kid would go KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING. So I kept going. And I'll wonder when I wake up tomorrow why my shoulders are frozen. LOL Much fun.

Trailblazer: Still so pretty, still so cooling and relaxing. A little rougher than I remember, but nothing like GrAdv's mine train JC. Anyone know off hand who made GAdv's and Hershey's JC's? Same company? Different?

Anthony wanted to ride the Flying Falcon. I agreed to do it, and he took special delight in tormenting me as I moaned for someone to please make it stop. I was hamming it up a little, but I really do hate that ride. I don't know what it is, but that ride effs me up. I can spin for days on most rides, but 30 seconds on FF and I want to projectile vomit. Couldn't walk straight for 5-10 minutes after that. We took a drink break. LOL Felt much better then, so we continued onward.

Anthony wanted Comet next, but then we got to the Comet and he said it looked rough and beat up and the line was too long. I told him we could wait in line for it anyway and that we had all night yet, but he didn't want to bother. Fine by me.

So we hiked BACK up to Great Bear. The line was into the third row of the entrance switchbacks, so I thought we'd be waiting forever (since GB dispatches are notoriously slow). Actually, it went very quick, and dispatches were excellent. We rode back seat within half an hour or so. Great Bear seemed a little wobbly today, but it was still great fun, and as with all my friends before, the helix BEFORE the drop confused and shocked Anthony. I love that part of BG. The meandering finish and godawful camera placement on the final brakes are still annoying, but GB's still an old standby for a good time.

I FINALLY got to do the Reese's Cup ride. I usually don't have time or my friends don't want to do it, but we both wanted to ride something a little tamer and something indoors, so we did this. Parts of this ride are really shabby, and the whole station was a little cheap-looking and cheesy, but the rest of the ride is very clean and bright and cheerful. Our guns were not very good and we couldn't hit anything without the gun shutting down every five seconds, but it was still a nice distraction. It's no MIB, but what else could be? MIB was amazingly done (I gave it a somewhat harsh review before, but I think I just felt stupid that I was a grown woman shooting at aliens by myself. Special effects on that ride were awesome). I digress--again--so I will just say Reese's Cup is really a great ride for families. I would ride this anytime, with anyone. It's adorable.

Finally, we headed back to Storm Runner for one more round (the aforementioned rough run), and then we went on the starjets towards the entrance/exit of the park. I've actually been afraid of these for forever (I have no idea why), so this was my first time on them. Actually, they're awesome too. Maybe I was just in a good mood because Anthony is a great ride partner to have, but I was like a little kid, yelling, "I wanna do it again!" The line, however, was waaaay longer than we rode it the first time, and we decided to forego (sp?) the repeat.

I really thought this was going to be a crummy trip because of the crowds, but it ended up being most excellent. Park staff was WONDERFULLY friendly and helpful, the temps weren't too godawful, the rides were running great...it was just one of the better visits I've had to a park this summer. Or, it was one of the most PLEASANT visits I've had this summer. I'm really glad I went coasting at least once during my vacation, and I'm happy that I made it to Hershey at least once this year. Sweet day? Yes it was! :)

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Saturday, August 15, 2009 1:25 PM

Was there anything particularly wrong going on at Fahrenheit that it was a 3-hour wait? I've never waited longer than an hour and a half (and I absolutely wouldn't), but every time I've been in line it seems like there are periods when for no apparent reason they just aren't dispatching trains very fast.

Last edited by Jim S., Saturday, August 15, 2009 1:26 PM
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Saturday, August 15, 2009 10:08 PM

Jim, not that I'm aware of. Actually Fahrenheit ran very nicely, and our dispatch didn't take too long. They WERE waiting for each coaster to get on the brake run before dispatching the next train, so maybe that's what took so long...also, I noticed on every train, there were empty seats. They weren't filling the trains, so I'm sure that didn't help.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 12:09 AM

Boo to the idiots who would gripe about you going back to your place in line. Didn't they see or know what was going on? You probably had to walk by most, if not all of them.

I'm surprised about the line for Wildcat too. I don't remember the line being that long since they put Lightning Racer in. The park really must have been crowded last night for that to happen. Good for Hershey though.

BTW, no mention of SDL. Weren't you interested in riding it? Or did that have a really long line too?

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 12:59 AM

I actually forgot to mention that: SDL was down for the beginning of the day, opened up while we were at the other end of the park, and then by the time we saw it was running, it was just the people who had been stuck on the lift hill for 10 minutes finally finishing their run. They shut it down off and on for the rest of the night, and we kept coming to it just as someone would rope it off again. We gave up!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:45 AM

bunky666 said:
Jim, not that I'm aware of. Actually Fahrenheit ran very nicely, and our dispatch didn't take too long. They WERE waiting for each coaster to get on the brake run before dispatching the next train, so maybe that's what took so long...also, I noticed on every train, there were empty seats. They weren't filling the trains, so I'm sure that didn't help.

Lots of good it did putting in a single-rider line then!

I'm also not sure what they thought they were going to gain by having three trains. Maybe they changed their mind after the first one got stuck.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:15 PM

I'm sure they're being cautious after the valleying, yet I noticed that last year they would at least dispatch the train to the lift hill as the other train was heading back towards the brake run. Were there any other instances of the train getting stuck during its run since the original problem?

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Monday, August 17, 2009 6:13 PM

I swear i would need you in a park if i ever went ill or passed out. Is this not like the second time you helped assist someone who was in need of medical attention. You are a very kind person indeed. Most people would be afraid to help.

Kudos to you and the staff of the park for a great response to the problem and then letting you get back in line.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:03 AM

Magnun, this is like the fourth or fifth time I've had to help out! LOL Plus, in the cases of Great Adventure, I don't know what the state rules are in helping someone if you are licensed to do so. In PA, I think you can get in trouble if you are found to be present during an incident and DON'T help. I don't take the chance, and in the case of the guy who was really bad after riding El Toro 15 times, I was really worried he was gonna die. I HAD to help him. Good thing I stuck around though. He was gonna try to drive! He didn't think he was that bad off (sheesh). I don't mind helping out. I've seen some really stupid decisions made by people trying to help their family member/friend/significant other, and I always worry that they'll do more harm than good (example: the friends who were trying to get an unconscious girl to drink water...um, if you're not conscious, you can't swallow, and you can pour the water directly into someone's lungs). I'm not really all that nice. LOL It's just kind of...normal for me as a nurse to offer whatever help I can when someone is ill. I usually don't do anything more than get help from park staff, check a person's pulse, maybe get them to get as close to the ground as possible so they don't hurt themselves, and stay with them until EMS gets there. Plus, I've had so many concussions in my life that I don't want anyone else to get one cuz concussions suck. LOL But if you're in trouble at a park and you're in the Tri-State area, I'm sure I'll be there if you pass out or something. LMAO

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:30 AM

I'll keep that in mind, generally i dont need much help or assistance. Only if i was at octoberfest at geauga lake then were talking drunken nights and maybe falling over.

How i miss those days.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:38 AM

Sounds like my old days at Penn State Artsfest. LMAO I'd probably be drunk right along with you, so I'd be no help. Bwahahahaha...

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