Hersheypark July 19, 2002

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, July 20, 2002 9:01 AM

After hearing talking about how great Hersheypark was, I decided to visit and see for myself.

Roller Coasters:

- Lightning Racer

RATING: 10/10

This ride is everything that a wooden coaster should be. It was fast, gave great airtime, had lots of speed, and was incredibly smooth. I loved the high speed banked turns and airitme filled hills. Also, the entrance to the ride was very well decorated. Rode each side 2 times. Prefered Thunder side better.

- Great Bear

RATING: 5/10

After riding Raptor and Alpengeist the Great Bear just didn't compare. The helix at the beginning was nice and the Zero-G Roll was nice too, but after that it didn't do that much. Not a lot of speed and not very long. If the que line was covered, had water misters, or if the ride would of had a fresh coat of paint on it (like Mantis at CP needs), I would of have given it a 6 or a 7. Rode it 4 times.

WildCat

RATING: 7/10

Great airtime and good speed but very, very, bumpy. Not as smooth as Lightning Racer, but what is? It had a very nice layout with all the banked turns and drops, but the que was like a mile long. It never ended! The outside of the station was nicely done with banners. Rode it 3 times. The back seat provided a better ride than the middle.

Comet

RATING: 6/10

For being a dinky old roller coaster, the Comet was very fun! Even though the lift hill was crooked and my brains got rattled out, the Comet gave a lot of airtime. Rode it 2 times, both in the back.

Sooperdooperlooper

RATING: 4/10

Only highlight of the ride was the loop and the helix finale. Enough said. Rode it 2 times.

Wild Mouse

RATING: 4/10

After hearing that Hershey's wild mouse was the best, I was let down. There's nothing very special about this ride. Not better than Ricochett, but better than others. Rode it 1 time.

Trailblazer

RATING: 3/10

Not as good as CP's mine ride, because it was too short. Rode it 1 time.

Sidewinder - Broke down

Roller Soaker - Didn't get to ride because of rain.

LIKES:

- Lightning Racer, Great Bear, WildCat

- Midway America was nicely themed.

- Shops in Tudor Square (Poor man's BGW)

- ZooAmerica

- Clean, but not BGW clean

DISLIKES:

- Not enough people directing traffic in the parking lot.

- Have to take the tram or walk into the abyss to get into the park.

- Not enough water misters.

- No shade. Could have more trees like Kennywood or BGW.

- Area's of the park were not well kept. They needed painted or refurbished. Ex: Sooperdooper, Comet Hollow, Great Bear.

- Too hard to find attractions. There was no clear marking as to were things were. We walked around more trying to find a ride then riding it! The directional signs gave you the general direction to the area.

- While driving, there was not a single sign pointing the way to Hersheypark.

- Ride and food op's were not that friendly as mentioned on CoasterBuzz. Efficent and quick but could've been friendlier.

- The que lines were a mile long for all major coasters.

- The food prices were ridiculous.

Let me mention that the temperature was 190 degrees and it rained off and on which could of dampened my view of things. There must've been a million people in the park, or so it seemed. I must've seen 500 different clubs or associations having there picnics there. But for all the people there the lines did move faster than *gasp* CP.

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Saturday, July 20, 2002 5:47 PM

You said the lines were about a mile long... Are you referring to the amount of people there? (Or the queues themselves? )

Nice TR, by the way.

*** This post was edited by I-Nar on 7/20/2002. ***

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Saturday, July 20, 2002 6:04 PM

How does Great Bear need a fresh coat of paint? This is only its 5th season! And also, how is Ricochet better than HP's wild mouse? Are you referring to PKD's Ricochet? How can you say that! And the Comet isn't a "dinky" old roller coaster--and how did you manage all that airtime? That brake on the second turnaround kills most, if not all, airtime for the second part.

Ben

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Saturday, July 20, 2002 6:30 PM
Raptorfan02 Nice TR. I'm sorry you didn't get to experience the wild mouse last year. I've been very disappointed every ride this year it. Last year it ran much faster with almost no trims used at all. This year the trims(every set of them) are on heavy. It's a shame. I used to be thrown up into the lapbar on those bunny hops, now i barely lift off the seat.
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Saturday, July 20, 2002 7:46 PM

I-Nar,

I mean the actual que itself. Not the amount of people.

Ben Ashley,

It looks like the rails on Great Bear are ready to fall off!

Also, yes I am referring to PKD's Ricochett.

For the Comet, all I did was not buckle my seatbelt very tight :).

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Enjoy your voyage to the sun on the wings of Apollo's Chariot!

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Saturday, July 20, 2002 7:52 PM
Nice TR. Good to see you had a blast.

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The former CPJunkie. CB Club Member. 120 coasters :)

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Sunday, July 21, 2002 3:09 PM
Cool TR! I love Hershey.

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Sean

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Sunday, July 21, 2002 3:59 PM
Nice TR. Sorry you didnt like Hershey very much.. And I really cant understand how you think that Great Bear needs a coat of paint. I think it looks fine! Yeah, wildcat is bumpy in some seats but if you ride it in the front... WOW! Its my number 1 coaster.
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Sunday, July 21, 2002 7:21 PM
Because I'm a pessimist, I'll only deal with the bad stuff.

raptorfan02 said:
DISLIKES:
- Not enough people directing traffic in the parking lot.

Here, here! My biggest beef with the park. They dont line up the cars as they are coming in, so you can end up parking further than you have too. And leaving at the end of the night is just south of East Hell!

- Have to take the tram or walk into the abyss to get into the park.
But since the trams come frequently, this isnt a big deal to me.

- Not enough water misters.
I'm not convinced these things make more than a psychological difference anyway, but to each his own. BTW: not enough by *whose* standards?

- No shade. Could have more trees like Kennywood or BGW.
Have to respectfully dissent here, except Midway America where the trees have not had sufficient time to grow in yet, the other areas had more than enough places to find shade in my book.

- Area's of the park were not well kept. They needed painted or refurbished. Ex: Sooperdooper, Comet Hollow, Great Bear.
First time I've EVER heard that complaint. Perpaps looper could use a coat of paint, but admittedly, faded paint doesnt bother me (not even on Mantis). Chipping paint OTOH especially on white painted woodies pisses me off. BTW: What needed to be refurbished and what was wrong with Comet Hollow?

- Too hard to find attractions. There was no clear marking as to were things were. We walked around more trying to find a ride then riding it! The directional signs gave you the general direction to the area.
Possibly because I had a guide during my first trip I had no problem finding my way. Furthermore (and dont take this as *too* much of a slam) maps are given out at the entrance to the park. They are VERY detailed and, IMO, easy to comprehend (even my directionally challed girlfriend could figure it out). My personal feeling is that if you cant figure out the map, that's a YP (Your Problem )

- While driving, there was not a single sign pointing the way to Hersheypark.
Which direction did you come from? When coming up from Harrisburg, there seem to be signs all over the place. OTOH coming West as if coming from Dorney, even I felt half lost as I didnt see but one sign until I reached HersheyPark Drive!

- Ride and food op's were not that friendly as mentioned on CoasterBuzz. Efficent and quick but could've been friendlier.
Who said friendly? Personally, I like the effciency. That being said, did you ask a question? I've found them to be mostly businesslike (good thing) when everything is running smoothly, but you see the 'niceness' when you require some "special attention"

- The que lines were a mile long for all major coasters.
I've seen Great Bear use the entire queue, Sidewinder a great deal, and Wildcat a nice portion. But I've only seen the line for Lightning Racer back up to the entrance when there was a breakdown.

- The food prices were ridiculous.
Show me a park that aint? Still, my first trip there I paid 30 bucks for the three of us to eat at Pippins (were we all got full). Compare that to the 30 bucks I just paid in B-more's Inner Harbor for food that IMO was lesser in quality. But I go to parks in "vacation" mode and dont really get caught up in price (a luxury afforded by an engineer's salary)

But for all the people there the lines did move faster than *gasp* CP.
WOW! I'm glad *you* said that not me
jeremy aka 2Hershey

EDIT: Fixed tags...

*** This post was edited by 2Hostyl on 7/22/2002. ***

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Monday, July 22, 2002 5:00 AM

Just a few comments...

1) Parts of the park needing refurbished (Comet Hollow as an example): Keep in mind, this is one of the oldest areas in the park. While not exactly modern, it is not exactly falling apart either.

2) No shade: As 2Hostyl pointed out, with the exception of Midway America, I think there is ample shade. The trees in Midway America are new. The oldest part of this section (around Wildcat) is 7 seasons old... the newest part (around Roller Soaker) is in its first season. Give them time to mature. I can think of other parks (SF Darien Lake, Lakemont) that are really barren of trees, and others (SF America, Dorney Park) with newer areas that are also devoid of trees.

3) I can't remember anyone referring to Comet as a "dinky old coaster" before. While not as big as some, and not as fast as some, I would hardly call it dinky.

4) Comparison of Great Bear to other inverts: Okay, I will give you that it is a short ride, but no speed? What about that screaming run through Comet Hollow (after the loop and between the Immelman)? Much of the queue line is covered and unless that paint faded greatly from this past April when I visited last (or even two weeks ago when I drove past), I would hate to see what you call a really faded ride. Besides, since when does the queue and paint job make or break a ride? (One of the dangers of people who have been "brought up" on theme parks and theme park mentality)

5) Something I noticed... Lots of comparrison's to other parks... most of which were negative... "not as good as CP's mine ride"... not "BGW clean"... "a poor man's BGW". While I will admit that Hershey is one of my favorite parks (second only to BGW actually), I am objective enough to give other parks their due and not so jaded as to think everything is second to my two favorites. As for the "Poorman's BGW" comment... I would describe it as "not quite on the grand scale of BGW," but not a "poorman's BGW". And note, not sure of the exact dates, but BGW and Hersheypark's Tudor Square and Rhineland opened at about the same time as BGW... perhaps even a year earlier.

6) Directional signs: Okay, I take these for granted... I could find my way there in my sleep (40+ hockey games a year plus multiple park visits). However, I believe that there are adequate signs once you get to the Hershey area. Are you going to find signs directing you in from miles away? No. For that you need to consult something called a map. But once you get to Hershey, as they say, "all roads lead to Rome," (or in this case the park) and it is well marked.

7) Problem finding things in the park: Like finding my way to Hersheypark, I could probably find my way around it in my sleep. However, again like 2Hostyl pointed out, maps are given out at the entrance and everything is basically on one of the main midways. You compared HP (unfavorably) to BGW, so I will make a comparrison between the two. BGW, while being an easy park to make your way around, can be a bit confusing to find some ride entrances... I have never seen a ride as well "hidden" as Wild Maus (and even to a certain degree LeScoot Flume) and those maps are a little distorted. While I haven't used a Hershey map in years, I have seen them and find them to be relatively easy to figure out and not distorted as far as distances go.

I think that is about it.

Granted, every trip report I give is not a glowing review. However, when I do find things to "complain about". However, I judge a park, good or bad, on its own merits, not how it compares to my two favorites.

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Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/22/2002. ***

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Monday, July 22, 2002 3:36 PM

Why I compared everything to BGW or CP is because they are two of my favorite parks. They were the basis of my analysis of every other park I go to.

2Hostyl said: - Not enough water misters.
I'm not convinced these things make more than a psychological difference anyway, but to each his own. BTW: not enough by *whose* standards?

- By my standards. I saw one, ONE, water mister the entire day. If you go to (yes I know another park comparison) CP they are everywhere.

- No shade. Could have more trees like Kennywood or BGW.
Have to respectfully dissent here, except Midway America where the trees have not had sufficient time to grow in yet, the other areas had more than enough places to find shade in my book.

- I'm sorry I didn't make this clear. Midway America was one of the only places they didn't have shade. I forgot to edit my TR.

- BTW: What needed to be refurbished and what was wrong with Comet Hollow?

- Comet Hollow looked like a sewer. The buildings going towards the Great Bear needed repainted.

- Too hard to find attractions. There was no clear marking as to were things were. We walked around more trying to find a ride then riding it! The directional signs gave you the general direction to the area.
Possibly because I had a guide during my first trip I had no problem finding my way. Furthermore (and dont take this as *too* much of a slam) maps are given out at the entrance to the park. They are VERY detailed and, IMO, easy to comprehend (even my directionally challed girlfriend could figure it out). My personal feeling is that if you cant figure out the map, that's a YP (Your Problem )

- I know they gave out maps at the beginning of the park and I didn't see the detail you saw 2Hostyl and I can figure out the map.

- Ride and food op's were not that friendly as mentioned on CoasterBuzz. Efficent and quick but could've been friendlier.
Who said friendly? Personally, I like the effciency. That being said, did you ask a question? I've found them to be mostly businesslike (good thing) when everything is running smoothly, but you see the 'niceness' when you require some "special attention"

- What I meant by that statement was the ride op's didn't say "How was your ride?" whenever you got back to the station, they didn't make comments to the people waiting in the line, they didn't do much. One ride op hugged and taked to another ride op whenever a train was stacked for about 5 minutes on the track!

- The food prices were ridiculous.
Show me a park that aint? Still, my first trip there I paid 30 bucks for the three of us to eat at Pippins (were we all got full). Compare that to the 30 bucks I just paid in B-more's Inner Harbor for food that IMO was lesser in quality. But I go to parks in "vacation" mode and dont really get caught up in price (a luxury afforded by an engineer's salary)

- $6.19 for a Philly steak and cheese. Enough said.

SLFAKE:

3) I just meant it was an old coaster. Actually, The Comet is one of my alltime favorite woodies.

4) "Screaming run through Comet Hollow." I didn't think it went that fast. And the faded paint doesn't make or break the ride. I would've just liked it to of been more well kept.

6) If you read my TR, I said that MapQuest gave me terrible directions.

7) The Wilde Maus was hidden?

I don't blame Hershey for this but, the heat was unbearable. That might of made me less likely to like the park.

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Enjoy your voyage to the sun on the wings of Apollo's Chariot!

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Monday, July 22, 2002 3:50 PM
I thought the Hershey Park map was one of the most detailed and well-drawn maps I have ever seen. I was able to find every ride & its entrance easily, and I haven't been there in 20 years! I also thought the park was very clean and well kept.

You mentioned Roller Soaker was closed due to rain... how ironic. A coaster that is built with the sole intent of soaking its riders cannot operate in the rain!

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Monday, July 22, 2002 5:47 PM

Heat and crowds can skew an otherwise good day at a park... also the state of mind you are in.

In 2000 when my wife and I visited Kennywood for the first time, we came away less than impressed. It probably was because of a) getting pretty well beat up by Steel Phantom early on b) high heat c) long lines of lots and lots of teens and pre teens (I swear every school in the greater Pittsburgh metro area was there that time). This past year our experience was MUCH more pleasant (low heat, low crowds, no more battering by Steel Phantom, may it rest in pieces). After an hour wait in the sun, we came away with a bad opinion of Thunderbolt in 2000. After our last trip, we got 6 rides on the thing and now put it up there with our favorites.

Same with SFA. Didn't think much of it last year... high heat, large crowds, slow lines, S:RoS was and my wife got sick after riding Jokers Jinx and was pretty uncomfortable the rest of the day. Ranked it pretty low. This year... low lines, quick lines, much more well behaved crowd, and 5 rides on S:RoS. You would be surprised how much it jumped up on the "list".

As for BGW and Wild Maus being hidden. Maybe the coaster is not hidden if you know it is there... but if you rely on the map it is hard to find.

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Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".

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Monday, July 22, 2002 6:37 PM

Soggy,

I realize that's why Roller Soaker was closed. I was just stating why I didn't rate it.

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Enjoy your voyage to the sun on the wings of Apollo's Chariot!

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Monday, July 22, 2002 10:44 PM
raptorfan02, if you compare every other park to Cedar Point you're probably going to leave one sad pup at every park.

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Excalibur Team Lead 2002

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Tuesday, July 23, 2002 12:14 AM
And if every park were like Cedar Point, I'D be one sad pup. I like the variety, even if it isn't as good as my favorite.

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2002 6:35 AM

I realize that not every park is going to be CP. I don't want every park to be like CP either. IMO Herhseypark was just not one of my favorite amusement parks. It didn't matter if I compared it to Idewild, I was expecting too much and got let down.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2002 8:49 AM
Hersheypark does have one thing that a lot of other parks do not, a reasonable amount of wooden roller coasters. BGW doesn't have one single wooden coaster. Granted, the wooden coasters might not be all that massive like The Mean Streak or GhostRider but Hershey has less land. All in all, Hershey is probably the best all around park on the east coast. PKD may have more coasters but I find it to be a bit dirty and unkept.
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