Hersheypark (Reunion Style) - 8/22/2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009 6:36 PM

My best friends from college came to visit me this weekend. We decided to hit up Hersheypark for the day on Saturday. Not only is that just a really fun thing to do, but the three of us hadn't been to the park together since the summer of '94. And neither of them had been there at all since. Obviously, a lot has changed since then so we figured it would be a blast.

I was a little anxious about going on a Saturday due to crowds. Then we heard the forecast and I got really worried. They were calling for thunderstorms for most of the afternoon. I only had one more "Bring a Friend" coupon with my season pass, so we had to head over to Giant for a second ticket. Even a discounted day at Hershey, though, is expensive if it was going to be a washout. We decided to go for it, anyway, and hope the forecast was wrong, but just right enough to keep the crowds away.

We got to the park at about 11 and if the parking lot was going to be any indication, then at least part of our "plan" was working and the crowds weren't going to be bad. Laura and Erica are pretty much slightly-varied versions of myself, so we were already having an awesome time. They really aren't coaster enthusiasts and were a bit anxious about some of the coasters they saw. (Again, things are much different than the offerings in 1994.)

We eased into things with a spin on Reese's Xtreme Cup Challenge. We giggled about the pre-ride video, but once inside it all made sense and the spirit of competition took over. I'm happy to announce that we were victorious on behalf of Chocolate Lovers everywhere!

After that I wanted to see us get Storm Runner in before any bad weather could hit. They were nervous, but up for it so we headed over. We were met with one-train operation which ended up being the case all day. That made for a longer wait obviously, but we didn't wait more than a 1/2 hour fortunately. I LOVE taking people on Storm Runner for the first time! Their faces on the launch were priceless (though I wasn't allowed to purchase the proof!) and I don't think they kept their eyes open at all. But they had fun and were glad to have ridden it.

We headed over to Lightning Racer next. I'm kind of bummed that you can no longer cut across to the boardwalk from that path outside of Storm Runner. Not only is it longer to walk around, but I think it makes the midway around Stormy a bit more crowded. No big deal, though.

We decided to ride Lightning and my friends couldn't believe I wasn't kidding when I said these coasters are always a walk-on. They enjoyed it and were surprised to see just how long it was from the lift hill. Their frame of reference, though, is Kennywood's Racer. I'm glad to report we were again victorious...not that any of us are competitive. ;)

After that we settled in for some Fried Veggies, people watching, and more catching up with each other. The Fried Veggies are pretty good, except for the onion rings which have little more than onion skins in them. The operation at that stand was terrible, though. The employees were disinterested in serving customers and it showed. But still, we enjoyed taking a few minutes to soak up the atmosphere and of course chat.

By this point we were feeling better about the weather situation. It was still cloudy, but there was no rain yet and the temperature was decent. Plus, the crowds remained light.

We headed back over to the other side of the park and took a spin on the bumper cars on our way past as I hadn't ridden them at Hershey before. I was a little disappointed to see they are the kind that just go in a circle, but we still had fun.

Next it was time for Laura and Erica's first inverted coaster experience. The line for Great Bear was longer than I would have liked, but dispatching was excellent yesterday as they were moving the trains quickly. We rode in the back and they loved it! They both declared it their favorite in the park, a well deserved recognition in my opinion.

We walked onto Sooper Dooper Looper next and then hit up the Tilt-A-Whirl. Thanks to some leaning action on our part we induced a spin that just wouldn't let up. Between the spin and the laughing I think I created a Tilt-A-Whirl high that carried me for the next 1/2 hour at least!

It was time for some Boardwalk fries coupled with people watching and of course more chatting. We spent a good 45 minutes chilling out and enjoying all three.

Then we hit up Trailblazer which was a one train wait. There we saw a woman, who decided to stand on the yellow line at the queue, get her legs trapped in the gate. It sounds worse than it was and pretty much everyone but the ride ops found it funny, especially her friends. Seriously, people, take one step back, eh?

After this, it started to sprinkle. We rode Pirate, another flat I hadn't ridden at Hershey yet, and enjoyed it as much as the others I've ridden like it. But we knew we only had a little more time left with the rain coming, so we high-tailed it over to the Wild Mouse. Laura's 6-year old son loves the one at Idlewild and she wanted to be able to tell him she rode this one. This ride created more of the high-inducing laughter we had earlier in the day. So that was cool.

We carried that over to Wildcat where we met a family of 5 having a meltdown about who would have to ride alone. We offered to ride with one of them since we had 3. Yeah, we're cool like that. :) By this point the sprinkling had become a little harder and the track showed it. It was one of my best rides on Wildcat. I'm still amazed at how hit or miss my experiences are on this coaster, but yesterday it was definitely a hit!

At this point we were pretty much finished. We grabbed a ride on the train and stopped by the "build your own slushie" stand. I highly recommend the Strawberry Twizzlers flavor if you are interested.

A stop at Chocolate World on our way out gave us our singing cow fix (something we all appreciate and have fun with.) Then we we were dumped out into the retail hell portion of Chocolate World where my friends were able to pick some things up for their families.

All in all, we had an awesome time. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun at an amusement park. I'm so lucky to have such great friends and am glad we chose to have our annual reunion get together at Hersheypark.

Monday, August 24, 2009 11:53 AM

That sounded like a really fun trip. No pressure to ride this and this, and taking time just to hang out and chat with friends, not just in a ride queue.
Seems you did a lot of criss-crossing though. You must have put in some major mileage.

Monday, August 24, 2009 12:36 PM

This is how touring parks has gotten for me. The days of go, go, go seem to have passed and now I enjoy soaking it all in. Of course living in the same area as Carrie when you have visited parks more than a couple of times it's easier to find that pace. I would imagine my sense of urgency to see more and do more would increase at a park I had never visited before.

Monday, August 24, 2009 12:53 PM

Yep, it was definitely a fun day without any pressure. I wondered if anyone would pick up on the unconventional path we took, RGB. :) With the weather so iffy early on, we didn't take things as we saw them like we probably would have otherwise. It did make for some extra mileage, but that's not a bad thing.

This was really the type of park day I prefer these days.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:16 AM

Sounds like a good time. Was Farenheit not running or did you just opt not to ride it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:24 PM

Nah, it was running. My friends didn't want to ride it and I had no interest in persuading them. That coaster is very passable to me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:31 PM

Darn you and your enticing Hershey Park Trip report Carrie...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:46 PM

I am indeed a master at the subtle art of persuasion. ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:27 PM

You may be a "master" because I just realized that it was after I read your TR that I got the idea to go up next Tues. (hoping all the kids are in school!) and own the park. The idea was to really soak up the Boardwalk since it's usually a zoo but now the temps. look like they may be in the mid 70's.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:37 PM

Hooray! :)

Mid-70's isn't too bad, especially if it's humid. Have a great time!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:47 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Boardwalk has already cut back hours this week, and the park moves its closing up a few hours next week. Just so you don't get caught short.

Thursday, August 27, 2009 5:33 AM

Thanks kids. I already gave the hours the once over and park closing at 8 would be plenty of time in the park. Of course plenty could change between now and then, like did I get enough sleep. Hey, when did that become more important than fun?

Thursday, August 27, 2009 3:27 PM

Boardwalk closes at 6, so your soaking will be somewhat compressed.

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:34 PM

You need anymore season pass bring a friend coupons let me know.. We got 4 passes. We don't have that many friends interested to go. ;)

Monday, August 31, 2009 10:26 PM

Oh wow. Thanks. I have a few friends coming to town this weekend, too, so I may take you up on that. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009 10:31 PM

Carrie sat at the popular table in high school.. I just know it! ;)

Monday, August 31, 2009 10:43 PM

Not even close, which is probably why I have friends today. ;)

Btw, shall I order a ticket for you and the Mrs? Hmmmmm?

Monday, August 31, 2009 10:50 PM

lol.. I will know our (read: hers) September schedule after the BBW hub-bubb passes.

Still weighing the option of leaving her :)

Monday, August 31, 2009 10:55 PM

ridemcoaster said:

Still weighing the option of leaving her :)

Don't tempt the fates by typing that out loud three times, buddy. There's no telling the consequences! :)


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