Hersheypark, 8/15/08

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Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:29 PM
With the Canyon River Rapids closing on Sunday, my sister really wanted to take a trip to Hersheypark before it closed. The forecast called for thunderstorms all day but we decided to take the chance anyway and go because it was our last chance to get to the park before the ride closed.

I expected the park to be dead with the forecast, but it had more cars than I was expecting. Of course as soon as we get out of the car, it starts to rain. The plan was to go into the park, ride the rapids and if it stormed, leave and go to the shopping outlets and hope it stops raining. Thankfully it only rained for about 15 minutes and wasn't more than a drizzle.

We went to the rapids first. It was just into the 1st switchbacks, a 15 minute wait. They weren't running at full capacity and no one was making sure rafts went out full. My sister and I were the only ones in our raft, despite there being 4 more seats open. It is easily the best rapids ride I have been on with the wave like movements thanks to some rollers. There are waterfalls but waterfall after waterfall like Thunder Canyon at Dorney. It was a very fun ride and we will miss it a lot.

I of course wanted to ride Fahrenheit so I went to that while the rest of my family went to Dry Gulch Railroad and Fender Bender. This was my first of many bad operations throughout the day. Only 2 out of 3 trains were running and the single rider line was closed. It was a 75 minute wait and it was very fusturating to see as many as 2 seats going out empty on a train when it only seats 12 to begin with. I got the front row and the lift was very different going up the lift completely vertical. The first drop also was strange but cool being tilted forward. I liked the Norwegian loop but the Cobra Roll had a rattle to it which was surprising considering how its only been open around 3 months. The air time hill at the end surprised me. Everyone seemed to enjoy the ride. I thought it was very good but not excellent. I wouldn't wait more than 30 - 45 minutes for it again.

We went to the Boardwalk next, skipping all the waterslides and they weren't worth the waits when we can go to WWK at Dorney anytime. The line to get into East Coast Waterworks looked to be about 25 people but they are set up for a lot more people waiting than that. I can't imagine waiting to get into that area as I hated it last year. Rollersoaker had a line down the ramp with no switchbacks being used in the station. Again operations were slow. It took forever to dispatch the trains and it was an hour wait. I couldn't believe how many people were surprised you got drenched on the ride, I mean you go right through waterfalls/waterwalls. The water was also very cold. Not worth it but my sister really likes the coaster so we waited.

Wild Mouse appeared to be 15 minutes, Wildcat around 20 minutes. I have ridden The Dark Knight 7 times this season so I saw no reason to wait, I don't like Wildcat that much so I skipped it. I expected Lightning Racers to have 1 train running on each side but they had 2 trains on each side with all rows open. 1 train wait, of course Lightning won, I never have seen Thunder win.

We went to the Whip, way too tame compared to Dorney's

Sidewinder was a 15 minute wait, I kept my head back against the headrest and it wasn't that rough. Storm Runner was also running 1 train. The entrance guy said it was a 70 minute wait. No way was I waiting that long when I already have the credit so I skipped it for now.

Trailblazer was closed all day. Great Bear's line was just out to the switchbacks, 30 minute wait. It's crazy how long the line for the front row is (probably at least an extra 20 - 30 minutes) when Talon and Batman The Ride (Great Adventure) usually have at most a 3 train extra wait for the front. Dispatches weren't as fast as Talon but the crew was faster than I had heard they were this season with a little stacking.

From the Kissing Tower, the lot appeared to be around 60% full which seemed like a lot for a Friday with questionable weather.

We went back to the Canyon River Rapids to get a final ride in, it was more crowded this time, about a 30 minute wait.

Sooperdooperlooper was also running 1 train and was a 25 minute wait. I was hoping for 2 trains so I could marathon ride but that wasn't going to happen today. Comet had 3 swtichbacks full close to a 30 minute wait. These are still my 2 favorite coasters in the park.

We went to Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge. We destroyed the other team, around 140,000 to 65,000.

My family decided to ride the carousel and go to Choclate World while I tried Stormrunner again. The wait was down to 45 minutes. I was glad to try the ride a 2nd time after my first ride last year and I expected to like it more than Fahrenheit but it seemed like it was way too short. Plus the restraints hurt my shoulders during the inversions.

Overall it was an ok trip. I'm glad we got to ride the Canyon River Rapids before it closed and I also am glad I was able to ride Fahrenheit but the operations made the lines longer than they should have been which is a shame. It really says something when you think Great Adventure has better operations than Hershey (at least in terms of running multiple trains)

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:37 AM
I was there as well. I was disappointed to see the 1 train on SDL and Storm Runner. I also waited about 75 minutes for Fahrenheit, which was an 'ok' ride. Too similar to Storm Runner, and I wish they had saved their money for a B&M Hyper or Intamin Mega-Lite. I gotta disagree with the third train though. I can see why they only run 2 out of 3. They would be stacking otherwise, and would not add to the capacity. Also, I bet it breaks down more often when a 3rd train is on the course. Speaking of break downs, we didn't see a single one. They were sending out trains very fast, usually the 2nd train didn't even sit on the brake run for a second. However, I was also pissed to see the numerous empty seats on almost every train. I don't know why, but the front row wasn't a longer wait, in fact, it mighta been a shorter wait. My front seat ride, I rank a 6/10. I'd rather ride any of the woodies or Great Bear, over this waste of money called Fahrenheit.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008 9:27 PM

SFGAdv lover said:
I don't know why, but the front row wasn't a longer wait, in fact, it mighta been a shorter wait.

Because they assign the effin' seats!! Which I get cuz the station's tiny, but frankly, Fahrenheit's been this season's biggest new ride turkey by far!! :(

Oh yeah, the single rider line is equally worthless! No surprise it was closed....

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 10:33 PM
^I got 3 walk-ons in a row using the single-rider-line in late July...
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Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:10 PM
^^

tigellinus, they weren't assigning seats at all. It was a free for all, and seemed to be that way all day.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:12 PM
I dobut I would have gotten walk ons with the single rider line with the line the way it was but I'm sure it would have been less than half the wait. That is awesome that you were able to get walk ons with it.

I also would have rather seen a B&M hyper as well. With 3 trains running, it would have the greatest capacity of all the rides in the park (but knowing Hershey it would probably only run 2 trains at most). I am always impressed with how fast Nitro's line moves with 3 trains. On my last trip the wait was at the 60 minute sign which I know isn't accurate but I was boarding the last row in 20 minutes.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:14 PM
Are you guys saying there's a bad seat on Fahrenheit? I rode the front once and the middle once and I couldn't tell the difference.

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Monday, August 18, 2008 7:22 AM
I thought Hershey used to get high marks for their operations, or a least a solid decent rating. What's happened to get trip reports of this nature?
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Monday, August 18, 2008 12:32 PM
I was at the park from around 3:30-11 (I had thought the 11 PM closings were only on Saturdays.) I was disappointed in the single train operation on SDL too. When it takes you nearly as long to wait for SDL as Fahrenheit (35 vs. 50 minutes), you have to wonder.

The only reason we bothered to wait so long for SDL was because we decided to "trick" my cousin's 9 year old son into riding it because he was never on an "upside-down" roller coaster before. Yes we all lied and told him it didn't and all the loops he saw were part of Great Bear. It was dark so we could get away with it. BTW, he thought the ride was awesome.

After that, we ran to Comet thinking they were about to cut off the line if they hadn't already, only to find the park wasn't closing for another hour. I was chatting with a woman behind me in line and I mentioned about the single trains. She told me the park was short-staffed because a lot of college kids had already left.

Of course, that doesn't explain why SDL only has 1 train running, but it could be part of the reason why Fahrenheit had nobody on the platform assigning seats and had the single rider queue closed. It could also explain why the Monorail and Dry Gulch RR also only had one train running.

The only other explanation I have is they thought the weather might have been worse and didn't anticipate such a large crowd. Also, it was a little cooler than normal (upper 70s) so maybe the Boardwalk wasn't quite so crowded. I don't know-- my group never made it that far back because we had a few older folk who didn't want to navigate every hill in the park, plus we included a few more family friendly rides like the Monorail, Pirate ship and Kissing Tower.

Comet is just a mess. People have the worst time figuring out how to buckle and unbuckle seat belts. A few times, the train was back in the brake run before people from the previous train were out, let alone before the train would fill and dispatch. They need a whole new restraint system.

The one very bright spot was that by sundown, the Coalcracker was a walkon, well a run-on, and run back around.

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Monday, August 18, 2008 12:53 PM
Dry Gulch was running 2 trains earlier. If it really was staffing that was the issue, I don't see why they couldn't bring people who were scheduled to work at Trailblazer and have them work at Storm Runner or SDL so they could run 2 trains. I got the idea that the ops work multiple rides as I saw someone working at Sidewinder and later at Storm Runner.

The monorail looked to be at least a 45 minute line, since when I walked by it, it was almost a full queue and with the ride circuit so long, it probably moved very slowly.

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Monday, August 18, 2008 1:34 PM
We had a 3-train wait for the Monorail. The line was just to the bottom of the first ramp where it turns. It was probably half an hour wait or so. You figure it's a 6-7 minute ride, with a good 4-5 minutes to unload and load.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 5:27 PM
The Hersheypark is a really good entertainment park, where you can have a nice time with your family and friends, because they have diverse shows and entertainment for people to have fun and enjoy that they would never forget.

Candy
Outsourcing In Call Centre

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:52 PM
^O...kay miss candyland...hope you're a real being and not some computer-generated marketing output automated to detect anti-hershpark forums and spew out irrelevant counterpoints
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:05 PM
Wow, no assigned seating for Fahrenheit! I'm shocked.

Tig, Fahrenheit's not a waste of money! Or...not really anyway. Ok, maybe a little. I liked it okay, but the waits are just ridiculous for the ride that it IS. Maverick, yes. Fahrenheit NO. Still, for an insanely steep drop and way more inversions than Maverick, this ride manages to be a family coaster (or, it felt like that to me). Maverick is more hardcore. I think people were expecting another Maverick and when they didn't get it, they were ticked. I for one am definitely glad I rode Fahrenheit first because then I was all the more thrilled with the superior Maverick.

What IS up with Hersheypark lately? This is the second trip report I've read that makes me glad I didn't buy an HP season pass.

Rye.D.Ziner: ^^ ehehehehehe....

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Friday, August 22, 2008 12:21 AM
bunky, you know that those 2 bad reports are from the same day, right?
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Friday, August 22, 2008 1:35 AM
I just read on another site that this past Sunday Fahrenheit also only had 2 trains running and the single rider line was closed again. The wait time? 2 hours and 15 minutes. They also said the rapids had a 90 minute line (I bet they weren't making sure all the boats went out full). It's bad enough on a Friday to have those issues but on a summer weekend?! I hope the next Hersheypark TR I read is better or else I am going to have to reconsider how much I want to go to the park.
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Friday, August 22, 2008 11:40 AM
For what it's worth, I happened to go with my brother, sister and cousin on Fri and Sat and while Friday was admittedly not very good, Saturday was more like what I experienced last year with 2 trains on Storm Runner and warm enough weather to actually be able to enjoy the Boardwalk and Canyon River Rapids.

We noticed workers working on the motor at Trailblazer (top of the second lift hill) both days, so it was a pretty bad problem that I can't fault the park for. Storm Runner was in better shape on Sat, and the lines moved quickly.

Farenheit seemed to have 2 hour waits both days, so I'm glad I got in early Fri and got on after 20 mins, though we weren't as impressed with it as we hoped. The restraint almost made it seem like the 97 degree drop was no different than a very steep drop (probably because of the lapbars keeping your legs tight to the seat the entire trip). Good hills and twists, but didn't feel special enough. Count us as bigger SR fans.

Wildcat was still good, though that last turn is still really rough (and why can't they oil those brakes? The squeaking was really bad like it was last year!). Great Bear ran great all weekend and Lightning Racers made even a long line disappear quickly. Almost as good as Gemini's throughput.

We also remain rather unimpressed with most of the non-music entertainment, though. The two shows in the Chevy center....well, let's move on.... The traveling bands and musicians throughout the park, especially the Milkmen and the band near the Founder's Circle, are absolute gems.

Overall, I think we did better on Sat than Fri.

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Friday, August 22, 2008 12:00 PM
B- assigned seating conveniently ends just as schools are starting back!! It'll be back next year... :(
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Friday, August 22, 2008 1:03 PM
I have yet to post my trip report from mid-July, and while it wasn't as bad as the last few reports have been, my time at the park wasn't that great either...
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