The following paragraphs are spoilers for the new Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge. You have been warned.
Let me tell you about the new ride. Hersheypark and Sally Corp did a great job of, well, doing the same thing that Chocolate World has done so well since the 70's: advertise a product. It's a dark ride, much like the Chocolate World tour, but classification is where the similarities end. When you first come to the queue, you'll notice that there is a group line and a single-rider lane. Being alone for this visit, I chose the latter and ended up waiting for about three minutes for a car. I shared it with a mother and her two young daughters.
Each car holds four riders, but they travel in two-car segments (totaling eight riders). The two cars are pitted against each other for points, which you earn by hitting targets throughout the ride. At least three times during the ride, you are given some commentary by well-sculpted two animatronic commentators. It's a shame the rest of the ride is brought down by generic cutout characters who are participating in various extreme sports.
I have to admit, I was more impressed by the range of motion the track and ride vehicles were capable of. Spinning, going up inclines, and the end bunny hop add to what could have been a simple flat tracked ride with standard dark ride doors. My hat's off to Hersheypark for providing something thrilling, different, and worthwhile.
There were some other aspects of the ride that impressed me. Showing the scores behind the commentators is just brilliant, since you can't actually see how well the other car is doing. The station is nicely themed, and it leans toward the "real world" part of the ride, and not toward the cartoony extreme sports segments. There are HD TV's you can watch while in line for the ride, but I don't know what they have on them since I didn't spend much time in line. You also get free candy at the end of the ride, so no one will complain about that.
Of course the big question, is the ride worth making a trip to Hersheypark this year? The truth is, maybe not on it's own. But the addition of TWO dark rides (even if it's just a refreshed one, open year-round, and free to the public), and the solid coasters that the park is known for (Lightning Racer, Storm Runner, Great Bear, Wildcat) could be very appealing.
After that experience, I decided to walk over to Storm Runner. The line was closed, and maintenance was up in the operator's booth, so I kept on walking. I could have gone back to Extreme Cup Challenge, but I decided that I would come back some time later with friends to ride it. I bought a soft pretzel, and headed back out to the car to finnish the day's errands.
- Ryan - http://www.tideblue.com/painter/
2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona
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