Hersheypark in 1h40m, 8/5/10

Saturday, August 7, 2010 7:13 PM

So while my mom watched our son, my wife and I took a mini-vacation to Wildwood for a few days.

While leisurely driving home, my wife mentions that she'd like to stop at an outlet mall if we see any along the way. She's asleep as we pass AC and King of Prussia. I'm not waking anyone up for friggin' outlets. Stop for lunch, and she's driving now. We pass Hershey and she gets the bright idea that it would be fun to go to Chocolate World and then stop at the outlets next to the park. I don't really care, so she makes the executive decision and we go.

Chocolate World was the busiest I've ever seen it. Huge lines everywhere. Line for the "factory" tour was the whole way down the ramp with the TV's. Choco-store was wall to wall. The 3-D whatever-the-hell it is shows sold out for hours.

This whole time, the park was taunting me. I could hear it saying "Ha ha you're so close. Now go shopping, stupid." What a dick.

Anywho, we're leaving and my wife gets a bright idea. (I had been thinking the same thing, but swallowed it down in the interest of "together time.") Why don't I go to the park while she's shopping. Her reasoning is that I can get in free to Hersheypark, so if I only get one or two rides it's no big loss. Also, if I go to the outlets, I'll get bored and therefore will start doing annoying things that I find insanely funny. (This, by the way, is the same reason that I'm not allowed to watch Lost.)

So we make a plan. It's now 4:40. We decide to meet back here at 6. Last minute, I change that to 6:30. 5 minutes in and 5 minutes out gives me 1:40.

I assume it will be hella-crowded. My plan is this: sit on a park bench and watch people, then see a show. Because that's what people do at amusement parks, dont'cha know.

No seriously though, when we brought my son here last year I didn't get the chance to ride Comet or Wildcat. I was going to try to ride those two and maybe get a lap on Lightning Racer if time permits. Half-an-hour per ride. That can be done, even on a busy day.

Headed to guest relations and scored my free ticket. Went straight for Comet and got there about 4:50. Expected the typical long, slow-moving line. To my surprise the line wasn't even on the ramp. Crew was really hustling. I walked right in to the station and got on the second train out in the second seat. WOW! This is the best that Comet has run since I started coming to Hershey in the early 90's. Really smooth, mid-course barely touching so much that if you weren't looking, you wouldn't know it was there. Amazing fun. Wished I had ridden it in back. I always thought this ride had unrealized potential. It's nice seeing it live up to what it can do. I can't say enough about how much fun this ride was. No, wait. On second thought, I can say enough and in fact just did.

From here I decided to deviate a bit since the lines looked shorter than expected. Stopped at Fahrenheit, my favorite steel coaster at HP. Asked the girl out front how long the line was. Without looking she said 45 minutes. Nope. Don't have that kind of time. Wish they had a single rider line, as every train I saw had at least one empty seat.

Headed to Wildcat. I LOVED this ride when it was new. Last few times, though, it did not please me at all. Still, like an old girlfriend that you know you no longer get along with but go back like a dumbass whenever you're drunk, I decided to see if there were any of those old fun times left in her. Also like an old girlfriend, I decided not to use the back seat in case it was too rough. Waited for the second seat. A 3-train wait, but the very first train out had a single rider in the front seat. Asked if he'd mind if I rode up front. He did not. I honestly forgot they got new trains on this and they do make a difference. It was mildly enjoyable again. Not great by any means, not as good as it once was, but not as horrid as it had become with the PTC's.

Lightning Racer was in the station as usual. Four trains running, four rows roped off per train. 2-train wait for the green side, then walked on the the back seat of the red side. Consistently my favorite ride since it opened, even as recently as last year, this one has hit a rough spot or two this year. It doesn't kill the ride, but it definitely needs some off-season TLC to smooth it out a bit... or maybe it's just because I rode El Toro 4 days earlier. I still like the red side more. I still don't remember what one that is.

Well, then. My plan is accomplished, and I have 50 minutes to spare as it's now 5:40. Fahrenheit's line is too long, so I decide to see what Storm Runner was like. Worst case scenario, if it was long I'd just go get another lap on Comet then leave.

The park map distinctly shows a path leading from the Roller Soaker to the boomerang. I could find no such path, but did discover where all the people were, as the waterpark was packed. Went around the wave pool, got distracted by a few hotties, and somehow ended up back at Fahrenheit. Screw it. I'm here, 45 minute line, and that's just how much time I have left.

Got in line for Fahrenheit and realized that the girl out front is full of crap. Three trains dispatching on cue meant that in 15 minutes, I was in line for the second seat. Again with the single rider in the front, again with the not minding if I rode next to him, and off I went. Still love this ride, especially the unexpected pop of air near the end.

So now it's 6pm. I see that path I always forget about that leads to Storm Runner, so I decide to risk it and check out the line. The line is (once again) in the station. One person (milf, btw) in line for the back seat in the right station. Get on with her, but not get "it" on with her, as her hubby was in front of me and much larger than me. Also, I'm married. Also, we were in an amusement park. Also, like I said, I don't have that much time. Solid ride as usual. Liked it better in the back than the only other time I rode it which was in front. Vertical up/down was insaner than the brain of the person whom the Cypress Hill song was written about.

Head down to the Trailblazer area and sneak down that little path behind the aquatic show. Didn't know it, but there's a bridge down there that puts you right in front of Comet. What the hell. The exit of the ride is up towards the entrance. I'd be stupid not to go on! Hopped in the back seat and got another great ride. Not as much air as I hoped for but super smooth and great sensations of speed. Trains were stacking this time because the ride op thought he was a friggin' comedian/guest services guru and was chatting up everyone on the mic. This dude is why auto-spiels were invented.

It was now 6:25, and I was a sweaty mess as I had worn a black Public Image Ltd shirt because I didn't expect to be running around an amusement park. Bought a fresh squeezed lemonade for $3.75 from a cart on the way out. Yummy, but not as sugary as the stuff at Morey's.

I was on the bench in front of Chocolate World at exactly 6:31. My wife didn't show until 6:36. I told her I was mad at her because I could have ridden the Scrambler on the way out. Appropriately, she was not amused. Shared the lemonade, so all was okay.

All in all, I got 2 laps each on Comet and Lightning Racer, and one each on Wildcat, Fahrenheit and Storm Runner. Not bad for 1 hour, 40 minutes, and a total of $3.75.

It was unexpected, and I'd never done a solo "power ride" (not sure if this counts, even) before. It was fun, but I wouldn't want to do it regularly.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 12:29 AM

Well, this entertained the snot out of me. Very amusing. Thanks.

The path that led from Roller Soaker to Storm Runner has been blocked since they put the lazy river in. I haven't looked to see if you can even get to it on the Boardwalk side, but when you walk over to it from Storm Runner, you see gates blocking it off.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 1:12 AM

kpjb said:
Wish they had a single rider line, as every train I saw had at least one empty seat.

Both in 2008 and 2009 when I went to the park the single rider line was closed. I was told a few days ago on another site they closed it due to complaints sometime I think in 2009 or this year. I guess because those people feel it is unfair that others get on faster if they are a single rider except they don't realize it makes everyone's wait shorter as a single rider is not taking a row with just them in it. With a train that only seats 12 people, even 1 or 2 empty seats really hurts capacity on such a low capacity ride to begin with so it's a shame they can't reopen it just because it upset some people.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Sunday, August 8, 2010 1:17 AM
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Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:57 AM

You should go to more parks and write more trip reports. This one was the tits, and not just because of your MILF commentary.

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Monday, August 9, 2010 1:44 AM

Because if there's one thing this site is missing, it's innuendo ;)

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Monday, August 9, 2010 6:45 AM

BBSpeed26 said:
Because if there's one thing this site is missing, it's innuendo ;)

HeHe.."in-you-end-o" HeHe...

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Monday, August 9, 2010 3:10 PM

What is a "MILF"...cause I'm 12 and really want to know ;)

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Monday, August 9, 2010 3:59 PM

MilF.

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Monday, August 9, 2010 4:07 PM

BBSpeed26 said:
Because if there's one thing this site is missing, it's innuendo ;)

This is totally different. It's hetero-innuendo.

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Monday, August 9, 2010 4:10 PM

^I'd ask "when did Toro get the new trains" - except someone WOULD take me seriously. ;)

As for "Public Image Ltd" - nice! :)

Great to hear Comet had a decent crew running the ride....at least the first time around. As for the second trip, and the auto-spiel....I always thought Comet was subjected to the employees that had previously "worked" at SFA. ;)

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Monday, August 9, 2010 4:54 PM

rollergator said:
^I'd ask "when did Toro get the new trains" - except someone WOULD take me seriously. ;)

Well, the gum wrapper is new....

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Monday, August 9, 2010 7:28 PM

Carrie M. said:
Well, this entertained the snot out of me. Very amusing. Thanks.

Ditto (sans snot) :)

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 7:14 PM

Carrie M. said:
Well, this entertained the snot out of me. Very amusing. Thanks.

The path that led from Roller Soaker to Storm Runner has been blocked since they put the lazy river in. I haven't looked to see if you can even get to it on the Boardwalk side, but when you walk over to it from Storm Runner, you see gates blocking it off.

If I remember rightly, as of last year, it's still marked on the ground (as the Roller Soaker escape route) but you suddenly come to the lazy river's fence.

The map could use a complete re-do, as it's had severe scale and perspective issues in the area of the boardwalk since the boardwalk was built, if not before.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 8:46 PM

Agreed.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 8:42 AM

kpjb said:
Anywho, we're leaving and my wife gets a bright idea. (I had been thinking the same thing, but swallowed it down in the interest of "together time.")

Great trip report, but this part cracked me up the most. I've been married 4 months and already sympathize.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 9:27 AM

There was innuendo? I thought it was pretty direct.

Best TR I've read in a long time.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 4:26 PM

Subtle innuendo. Or is that a contradiction?

Oh, and I dig your sig Vater :)

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:56 AM

You HAVE to ride Comet on the way out. It saves you the walk up that hill since the exit comes out next to that deli.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7:30 PM

Count me in as one who has ridden Comet just to avoid walking up the hill. LOL

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