Hersheypark Improvements for 2005

Sunday, October 31, 2004 9:55 PM
I got to talk with a park employee during the long walk from Midway America at park closing on Saturday night. I asked about the upcoming improvements to Carousel Circle. I was told that on Monday (Nov 1) dismantling of the Giant Wheel begins.

I asked what other changes are going to be made and the employee told me from what he had heard Carousel Cones is also slated to be removed, and a kiddie ride is supposed to be added. He didn't know if the ride was being located in that same spot, or if a lot of things were going to be moved around with the refurbishing of that whole area.

So, within 5 minutes of this post, the Giant Wheel at Hershey will be giving its final ride.

Sunday, October 31, 2004 10:39 PM
Is there word if it has been sold? Or is it going to the scrap heap? (the Giant Wheel I mean)
Sunday, October 31, 2004 11:08 PM
I heard also that the Giant Wheel would run its last course tonight. 10/31. Lucky I got to ride it tonight. Trip report a little later tonight or tomorrow.
Sunday, October 31, 2004 11:09 PM
I know that it's unlikely, but I wonder if Hershey has considered moving the Giant Wheel to Dutch Wonderland? I think it would be a great fit there, if it were feasible. Unfortunately, I think it is being removed because of its age and availability of parts. Sad to see it go, but really looking forward to Turbulence when it opens in the spring! *** Edited 11/1/2004 4:10:16 AM UTC by Brother Dave***
Sunday, October 31, 2004 11:31 PM
Does anyone know the rider capacity per hour on Turbulence?

I enjoyed my ride on Giant Wheel. They have room to put it else were in the park? Also has that Dolphin Show always been there?

Monday, November 1, 2004 1:21 AM
The reason they are removing the Giant Wheel is due to the fact that there were too many people smoking reefer up there during the ride cycle. ;)

A quick glance at Hershey's website shows the capacity at 960 pph. That isn't too bad.


*** Edited 11/1/2004 6:22:11 AM UTC by Coasterfantom2***

Monday, November 1, 2004 11:03 AM
Man, it would have been removed a LONG time ago if for that reason.

Reefer wasn't invented yesterday yah know! ;)

Monday, November 1, 2004 6:44 PM
As of 3:00 pm today, all of the cars had been removed from the G-Wheel as well as the arms from the East (or Crafts Barn) side. The ride was sold as scrap to Aycock Company, a steel rigging and dismantling outfit. They were the ones that set the steel for the Storm Runner. Tomorrow the West side arms should be gone.

After that, it's one piece at a time until all that's left is memories. The dismantling should be complete by the early next week. At that point, the only thing left to remember this gentle Giant will be a few of the cars which were saved by concerned individuals.

May she rest in peace.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 8:13 AM
The giant wheel is a dying breed, I believe the company that makes it, or the parts for it stopped making the parts probably more than a decade ago, and all the parts were made on an as needed basis, which is extremely expensive.

its the same company that built the sky rides that have been removed from many parks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 9:02 AM
Well, the company is Intamin.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 9:08 AM
Intamin was just a broker, it was done by Waagner Buro.


Tuesday, November 2, 2004 10:22 AM
This was the last ride of its kind in the US. Already removed were variations at Astroworld and Magic Mt, an exact duplicate at Kings Island and the triple wheels at Great Americas.

It is very sad to see it go. It was one of the most pleasant experiences that any park ride can produce. Long ride, minimal lines because of capacity, excellent view, spectacular presence.

It amazes me that parks prefer to operate the very inefficient traditional large ferris wheels instead of a ride like this. This ride does involve more expense with the hydraulics, but it is one of the most efficient loading ride designs possible.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 11:46 AM
I made it a point to get to Hersheypark before Sunday's hockey game at GIANT Center for one last ride on Giant Wheel (as well as 5 end of season rides on Comet...of course).

I noticed a few things that I had not paid attention to before.

- The ride time is incredibly long, and constant movement compared to a traditional ferriswheel.

- While you are high in the air, for what ever reason the view does not seem all that spectacular... I don't know why. I didn't remember those buckets being so "cramped" feeling.

- Best view of the Comet you can imagine... especially turn #2, Lift Hill, and dog legged return section.

- I didn'nt realize just how bad of shape the old Hersheypark Arena was in. Either the "old barn" was in worse condition than I had thought, or else they really let it go since the Bears moved to GIANT Center. Got a good view of the old Arena from Giant Wheel.

While I only rode the Giant Wheel twice in the last 5 or so years (I am not really fond of ferris wheels of any type... its a height thing), what I will miss is, as someone said, its simple presence there. It was "always" a land mark / icon of the park... one of the first symbols of the park's transformation from very "traditional" amusement park to a modern "amusement / theme park" back in the early 1970's. As a wee lad, I believe I had been to the park before its installation, but I don't have any real memory of that. To me, it has always been there.

It even made an appearance on the commemorative AHL All Star game pucks from 1996. (the Hersheypark Arena with the "skyline" of Hershey behind it, including Giant Wheel, Kissing tower and the twin stacks of Hershey Chocolate). *** Edited 11/2/2004 4:47:23 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 12:55 PM
Since this has turned into a Giant Wheel love thread, I will add my two cents (which really isn't worth that much).

I too was very fond of this ride. As other have said, it was just a great concept..high capacity, long ride time and generally speaking, a better view than "traditional" ferris wheels.

But what I really loved about this ride was that it was a great way to relax after going from coaster to coaster all morning. You could quickly hop on the Giant Wheel mid-day (when all other lines were hours long) and relax up there and enjoy the view of everything...the Arena, the factory, the old high school, the town of Hershey, and especially of the park below. Until today, I never visited HP without a ride on the Giant Wheel. This ride was easily my favorite non-coaster ride at HP and likely will be for years to come, but only in memory. RIP!


Friday, November 5, 2004 7:52 PM
As of 2:30 p.m. today (Friday) all that's left standing is the tower. The beam was cut up and removed over the last two days. By the end of next week it will be entirely gone. Seeing as how it was cut into bite sized pieces, that should answer the questions as to what will happen to it. Perhaps one day you'll be driving a piece of it....
Saturday, November 6, 2004 10:04 PM
Comet Rider, are you an employee of HP or do you drive by the park alot to know what's going on. Can you provide us with some pics. of GW's dismantling???
Sunday, November 7, 2004 2:55 AM
It wasn't ONLY good for smoking reefer, LOL....it also made for some *fantastic* picture opportunities...

Sorry to hear about its demise, but I'd imagine getting parts for it woulda been quite a pain.

Along the lines of *improvements*, Turbulence does seem an apt name for the new ride. 960pph sounds more like a theoretical max than *operational capacity*, time will tell...depends a LOT on the restraints...;)

Sunday, November 7, 2004 4:43 PM
Actually, the ride has been very little trouble over the last few years, and as far as parts, Hershey has a rather complete stock, including spare pumps, motors and cylinders. The decision was made to remove it, and that's how it is. In fact, no one can remember a maintenance call on shift to the old gal this year.

There is a website with pics of the dismantling, I have to find the address. I have a complete series of pics, but don't have the time or energy to put them up somewhere. I'll post the address when I find it.

Sunday, November 7, 2004 10:16 PM
There was a short on ABC27 news last month and they interviewed Kathy Burrows, the Public Relations person for HP. She said the main reason that they wanted to retire GW was because the co. (Intamin) could no longer supply the parts for the ride. I highly doubt that HP would just want to trash it and get rid of it for no reason. I think, from what I heard, that parts was the main isssue, not because they didn't care about the ride or it probably would still be there today. That's how I understand and heard about the situation.
Monday, November 8, 2004 11:06 AM
Remember, not matter how many parts you have, if there is one part that you don't have and can't get then you're stuck.

This is often the case with older machinery. You've got a lot of parts, but there are one or two that are no longer available or ridiculously expnsive and long delivery.


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