Hersheypark and Dorney Park 5/4/08

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Got to the parking lot at Hersheypark around 9:40am.. and headed to the gates, I'm not sure if I've ever been to Hershey before official park opening, but apparantly they don't open the gates until the park's official opening time. I just kind of assumed it would be like Dorney how they open the park a half hour ahead of time. Everyone that I heard chattering seemed to be set on heading to Storm Runner as soon as they opened the gates..which was fine by me, less people on the better coasters like the 3 woodies :)

At ten o' clock they opened the gates and I was off the Midway America like I normally do when I'm at Hershey early in the day...since it's the furthest corner of the park it's deserted for the first hour or two. I got up to Music Box way and they had a security baricade setup, I guess they were waiting for the rest of the park to clear of vehicles from the morning setup. From what the gaurd was telling people some of the major rides don't open until 10:30...so rather than chance walking all they way up there and nothing being open, I thought I'd try a flat or two on my way through Music Box....wanted to ride the Claw but the ride Op said I would need to wait for a minimum of ten riders....not sure if this is some wierd new manufacturer requirement or Hershey's ruling to save energy and not run the rides for only one or two riders....anyone that's in the know at Dorney, know if this is the case on Revolution this year or not? Just curious.

So since it looked like no one else was going to get in line, I decided to ride the Pirate. Hadn't been on Hershey's in a while...I think the Huss version is the best looking of the swinging ships, but the only 2 I've ever ridden (Hershey and CP) don't seem to have a good ride cycle at all. As usual, the ride didn't get very high, last very long or have any free swing period like the Chance Sea Dragons do. I guess this is something I'd be more up to riding with my son than alone as a thrill ride.

Then I made it to Midway America, first ride I did was the Wild Mouse at about 10:20 am. The entire area was a ghost town and I was able to sit on the ride for ten straight laps. It's nice of Hershey to allow you to re-ride if noone's waiting.

Well after 12,139 feet of WIld Mouse I headed for the Cat...they were sending trains with only 2-4 rider per train, I got in line for the front row and then the train out on the track stopped on the lift...rather than wait for it to reopen, I went to Lightning Racer....great ride as always, rode 3 times in a row on the red train.

Then satisfied with Midway America I headed to the center of the park, next I rode Sidewinder, walk on, waited one train for the front row. Great ride...it was running pretty smooth again today. I think that backwards verticle loop is the best inversion I've ever experienced. I did notice some sort of markings on the pavement right infront of the entrance to the ride, I hope it's not a construction marker for the Boardwalk expansion...my latest understanding was that the Rapids and Rodeo were going, but I hope the Sidewinder is safe, it's one of my favorite coasters at Hershey. I hope the marking was just something for utility lines or something.

Then I headed down by Trailblazer to Freeman's BBQ..my favorite food in the park and my favorite park food period, ouside of Knoebels of course. I usualy just get the beef sub sandwich, but today I got the platter with the roll and texas taters...surprisinly delicious, and I'm not usually a fan of potatoes at all. Great value for what I got. The clerk said he's had alot of season pass holders today...and said it seemed like a pretty good value (the 15% discount)...I just responded with a yeah, and told him a have passes for Six Flags and Dorney but Hershey's is the only one that gives you a food discount.

Then I went to my favorite flat ride the Flying Falcon, rode five times straight.

Then headed to SDL, rode four times and ran into one a former co-worker from the better years at Dorney...he was attending the train and said it's his fourth day at the park.

I was just about satisfied with what I came to ride, and it was only one o' clock, decided to head to the Comet and finish the day with a front row ride, only waited one train for the front. About as good a ride as usual, it's not the Phoenix, but it's a great classic out and back woodie, my favorite of this type next to Phoenix.

Overall great day, never saw the park that empty other than the first hour or so usually. It was still empty by the time I left around 1:30. Also of note Howler was open and looked pretty neat, didn't stop to ride, I rode a Tornado at Ocean City a few years ago and don't remember enjoying it much. Farienheiht was testing, looked intresting, but will have really bad capacity and looks too short.

Being that I planned to stay almost the whole night at Hershey, I had some extra time on my hands...I headed home and took care of a couple things then headed to Dorney around five.

I figured if Hershey was empty Dorney must be a ghost town. Certainly was, I headed down by Hydra first but it was closed, so I headed down the hill. Rode the Enterprise and Dominator Green...I'd been craving an S&S turbo drop for a while...too bad it's not as tall as Power Tower at CP. Wish Hershey would actualy put in a large one, a drop tower and hyper are all they're really missing.

Then I headed down the Laser midway to take a look at VooDoo and Laser, it's nice to see something other than the empty hole from where Skyscraper was. Laser didn't seem to have any activity going on, the trains weren't even on site yet. Hope Laser opens by the end of the month.

Next I rode Revolution, good ride and I was looking forward to it since I missed out on the Claw earlier.

Next I headed to Steel Force, waited 2 trains for the front row.

On the way up the hill I stopped to ride SeaDragon since I noticed they seemed to have fixed it.(last season the last half of the year it was running at about half the normal swing. Good ride, better than the Pirat at Hershey.

Hydra was next, walk on for the entire train, rode in the front row. I hadn't been on it in about 2 or 3 years...thought I'd give it another chance...and remembered why I don't ride it. Honestly felt like an Arrow mega looper. Never felt that much shaking and head banging on a B&M.

I was getting very hungry so decided I needed to head out...rode Wave Swinger and then finally Talon. Waited 2 trains for the front, noticed a little shaking, but nowhere near as bad as Hydra. Good ride. I stopped at the gift shops on the way out hoping to find some good new stuff. Picked up a Thunderhawk shot glass and a VooDoo pin.

Then it was off for some pizza outside the park. Good day, got in most of my favorite rides at both parks.

Ride count:

Pirat 1x
Wild Mouse 10x
Lightning Racer 3x
Sidewinder 1x
Flying Falcon 5x
SDL 4x
Comet 1x

Enterprise 1x
Dominator Green 1x
Revolution 1x
Steel Force 1x
Sea Dragon 1x
Hydra 1x
Wave Swinger 1x
Talon 1x

I've noticed the shaking problem on Hydra several times, but only when riding the front row. The back row doesn't bother me, and I've never rode any other rows because the back doesn't have any longer of a line than anything else but the front.

I rode in the back once, and didn't like that either, but I really don't like B&M's anywhere but the front because of the view...except the hypers...the back is a different story on a B&M hyer.
I don't like inverted B&M's anywhere except the front for obvious reasons, but on the floorless ones I think it's kind of cool to ride in the back and watch the train ahead of you twist through all the elements.

Boardwalk expansion...my latest understanding was that the Rapids and Rodeo were going

Perfect example of why the Boardwalk is in the wrong place. Two rides "on the block" to make way for expansion of the ill planned Boardwalk. Needless to say, I think the Rapids would be a great loss... and even the Rodeo going would still be yet ANOTHER non kiddie flat ride disappearing from Hersheypark.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Agreed, both are classics, and the Pioneer section is my favorite area of the park, I really don't want to see it get eaten up by the poorly placed waterpark.

I really think they should have put it off property somewhere with a seperate gate price. I don't see myself ever visiting the Boardwalk, if it were seperate fee though, the crowds would be much smaller and make it more enjoyable for everyone else. A park the size of Hershey really should have a seperate large waterpark...plus they really do need expansion room for the rest of the park. I would have loved to see Midway America mature and expand with more classic rides, how about a recreation of the Lost River, a new Dark Ride, Funhouse etc.

Does anyone know if any other park has a waterpark placed in the 'middle' of their amusement section like Hershey? I don't mind it being included in the admission but it makes Midway America seem like a hike to get to.
^SFKK's waterpark is kind of set up that way also.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

^^I have the bad feeling that any expansion of Midway America is doomed in favor of expansion of the Boardwalk.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"

MrZero said:
Does anyone know if any other park has a waterpark placed in the 'middle' of their amusement section like Hershey? I don't mind it being included in the admission but it makes Midway America seem like a hike to get to.

Midway America was always the same distance away from the rest of that park as it is now.

I guess I'm in the minority here that doesn't really mind the Boardwalk. Even though I'll probably never patronize it myself, I enjoy walking through the shop area. I like the theming they used.

I know CRR is a very popular attraction. If it is going to be removed, I wonder if insurance costs might be playing a part in that.

I also hate the boardwalk. Last year was horrible, even on a slow day it was packed and poorly organized (East Coast Waterworks). Losing the rapids for an expansion is horrible. Worst of all, it didn't seem to really have an effect on the coaster lines being shorter like at Dorney where everyone is in the water park and the amusement side is dead.

scraperguy99 said:Farienheiht was testing, looked intresting, but will have really bad capacity and looks too short.

I'm worried about that, it seems like a huge mistake to get a ride that only has an optimal capacity of 850 an hour at a park that is now getting close to 3,000,000 people a year. It will probably be one of those rides that if you don't run to it at opening, you are going to have a long wait *** Edited 5/7/2008 2:15:57 AM UTC by YoshiFan***

Yeah, a high capacity B&M hyper with a station in farienhiehts spot running throughout the park would have been ideal for the park. It's the one major thing they're missing. And for what I'm sure they paid for Fairenhieht they could have been well on the way to having the cash for a hyper.
[RatherGoodBear said:

Midway America was always the same distance away from the rest of that park as it is now.

I realize the global position of Midway America hasn't changed but having to bypass the Boardwalk to continue the amusement side of your day 'seems' like a hike.

I think they did a very nice job with the Boardwalk, it just needed to be bigger and placed elsewhere. I just don't really know where elsewhere would be. I guess they didn't either. Probably didn't go bigger until they saw the attendance could justify it. *** Edited 5/7/2008 4:17:02 AM UTC by MrZero***

^ "didnt go bigger" on the Boardwalk.

Question is, with Boardwalk "land locked" as it is, and the rumor that at least the Rapids are getting the axe for an expansion... my question is, what is next? What will be going the next time they want to expand this ill planned attraction?

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
I could see Sidewinder being removed and then the train removed too since it just goes in a circle and really isn't a transportation ride and expanding in that area.
eightdotthree's avatar
To me the real problem here is where they placed Lightning Racer. If it weren't for LR what would stop them from expanding all the way into that entire corner. Everything back there seems temporary to me anyway.

^ If upper management would think that expanding the waterpark into the area occupied by Lightning Racer would add profit to the bottom line, they would have the wrecking crew there tomorrow.

I know... just me being cynical...

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Perhaps that's the plan, especially if they tear down the arena. All those attractions back through there could easily be moved into the area created by the demolition of the arena. Of course, I think LR is already out of the way so what would it be like if that whole area was waterpark?
I would be upset if we lost all of Pioneer to The Waterpark that I will probably never visit. I love Sidewinder and the area with the train and Trailblazer...nicest area of the park IMO.

I always hoped they'd turn the arena into an indoor section of the park that could stay open year round. I've been inside though, have no idea how much space their would be in there though.

I would worry about the condition of the old arena. The building itself is 72 years old (the adjoining museum I believe is 89 years old) and they say that not much maintenance has been done to it in the past several years since the opening of GIANT Center.

I wonder what would be the costs to rehab and bring it up to current code? Would those costs be worth it?

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"

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