Monday, May 14, 2001 12:24 PM
Date: Sat, May 12, 2001
Weather: Partly Cloudy with 2 passing showers
This was not my "normal" day at the park. My wife had asked a friend of hers if she wanted to go there this weekend, so we met up with her, her boyfriend, and her 8 year old daughter and arrived at the park a few minutes before it opened.
The first stop we made was Chocolate World (I was not leading the day's expedition, my wife's friend and her daughter were calling most of the shots… I was merely following). With the ride, not much has changed. I believe one or two scenes may be a little different, but nothing that really jumped out at me. The new expanded lobby is still under construction.
We finally got into the park at around 10:30. Seeing the Carrousel, our friend's daughter wanted to ride this. There was no wait so we got on. I normally stay away from the "mild" rides, but if there is any that I will make an exception for, it is Hershey's Carrousel. Could be the history of this PTC ride, could be the beautifully carved horses, could be nostalgia. I will say this, if you have never ridden this one, hold on! For a carrousel it spins rather fast and is even more of a "dizzy enducer" than some coasters I have been on.
Next up was the sooperdooperlooper (5 minute wait). I like this ride, but its not one of my favorites. However there was a light rain falling when we rode this one. It could have been the temperature, or the rain hitting us, or the rain on the tracks, but for a change the old looper really screamed through its course. Even the mid course trim did not slow it down that much.
Then it was up to Mine Town and the Great Bear (35 min wait). I'm usually a front seat rider, but we did not feel like waiting for the front seat so when we got to the station itself, we filled in one of the middle rows. I was on the right, my wife next, then our friend's daughter, then our friend (her boyfriend is not a coaster person… he hung out in the arcade while we rode). After a trip to Florida and riding IOA's and BGT's inverts, I was wondering what I would think about my next ride on the Bear. Again, could have been temps or wet rails, but the Bear really roared through its paces. Again I was struck with the fact that this great coaster never really gets the respect it deserves. Being on the right side, I finally experienced that close encounter with the SDLooper near the final turn.
Still in Mine Town, they wanted to do the Twin Turnpike. Oh well… okay. In all my days of going to Hershey, I have ridden this ride about 4 times, and always on the Antique side. My wife and I did the Sports car side. Nothing special… but we did laugh at how silly we looked cramped in those little sports cars.
We were going to do the Kissing Tower, but our friend's daughter bumped her nose somehow and bloodied it. So, after taking care of that damage (and buying her a T-shirt to replace the "bloodied" one) we stopped into Mine Town Restaurant for lunch. Standard park food here. The one thing I want to mention is the one person we had to deal with. My wife and I each ordered a Coke to drink. It was terrible! We told the girl working behind the one counter. She smiled and said "The syrup must be out… which one did you get it from." We told her. She took ours and got us new ones. Then our friend's boyfriend also found the same thing, so we told her about this too and again it was replaced with a smile. THEN my wife asked if they had any Vinegar for on the French Fries. The employee smiled and went of and a few moments later came back with the vinegar. All the time she was smiling, pleasant and efficient, even though we were interrupting what she was trying to do. I'm just using this one little incident to show how top notch / above average the Hersheypark employees are.
After lunch, we headed off for Midway America but got detoured along the way by the Bumper Cars. Our friend's boyfriend said this was about as "exciting" of a ride as he could get, so we took a spin on them. My first time on these in years. Okay, so they don't go fast, and they don't hit that hard, but they were still fun. I was doing my normal routine of circling around, looking for someone who was being so careful NOT to get hit… and then diving in for the kill!
The next stop was Canyon River Rapids (half an hour wait). We were already wet from the rain that had begun falling while on the Bumper Cars, so we figured, why not. All 5 of us rode this one and all 5 of us got soaked! It had been years since I rode this ride, and at that time there were only 2 water falls. Now there are 3 more and there is no way to avoid them!
Finally it was on to Midway America. First ride in this area we got on was Wild Mouse (half an hour wait). Personally, I would have rather done Wildcat at that point (I don't mind waiting in line for a wooden coaster, but I usually skip the Wild Mouse if it is lined up), but I was over ruled. The Mouse is still as wild as ever, still throws you around like crazy.
Then on to Lightning Racer (10 minute wait). The wait on this coaster amazes me. While the rest of the park had moderate lines, this one was short. Of course, they were running two trains on each side (a total of 4 running) so around 100 people were riding this at once. Fast and fun as always.
After the Racer, our friend and her daughter rode "Music Express", while my wife and I got something to eat.
At long last it was time for Wildcat (45 minute wait). As good as Lightning Racer is, it still is missing something compared to Wildcat. I hooked the seat belt, but kept it as lose as possible, and I did not ratchet the lap bar to its last position. I had more are time on this ride than I ever did before on Wildcat. Great as always.
It was now nearing 6 pm. Our friend and her boyfriend were both getting pretty tired, and my wife and I had to go move our car from the inner lot to the preferred parking lot (we were going to the hockey game in the Arena that started at 7pm), so we decided to call it a day.
All in all it was a fun time, however had I been leading the way the strategy would have been a bit different, and I would have definitely tried to squeeze in a ride on Comet (my sentimental favorite). However, there will be more trips up there this summer and plenty of time for all of that.
I'm here for the Coasters. If I want themeing I go to the movies.
Tuesday, May 15, 2001 4:25 PM
Good report. Hershey park is one of my most "need to visit" parks, for many reasons. The biggest would have to be THREE seperate GCI tracks. I am so envious. Hope to make it out there someday!
great american hamburgers
Tuesday, May 15, 2001 4:42 PM
I went with my school chorus from ridgley middle school that day. we had to compete in this stupid competition.-------------
up with spongebob sqaurepants!
Thursday, May 17, 2001 6:56 PM
SLFAKE, the old carousels were originally built to operate at 5 to 6 1/2 rpm. I recall the PTC spins at 6 rpm. Many old machines have been downgraded to "kiddie" rides rotating as slow as 2 1/2 rpm (Cedar Point!) While new carousels are built for the "family" , the old machines were built with adults in mind. There are a number of carousels out there that still spin at the original factory speed,such as Hershey, Kennywood,Idlewild & Knoebels.
*** This post was edited by Dutchman on 5/17/2001. ***
Monday, May 21, 2001 9:53 AM
Over the weekend I was re-reading a section of the book "Hersheypark: The Sweetness of Success" (C.Jaques) and there was a quote in there from someone associated with the park in the 1970's. To paraphrase, they said "while the carrousell only rotated around 6 rpms, you swore it was going 40 miles per hour".
"Resistance is futile... you will be assimilated." The BORG's (and Six Flags') motto.
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 5/21/2001. ***