Hersheypark, VERY nice.

Associated parks:
None

Friday, August 24, 2001 11:23 PM
8/21-22. Our first trip to Hershey has made me realize how low our standards have become with other parks, especially with PKI being the closest. Thus the comparisons to PKI.

It's amazing how a huge park with such a huge attendance like on the 2 days we were there is so clean, and how well behaved the crowd was. This park does not seem to attract a lot of the trash element customers as PKI and Six Flags do. In 2 days of waiting in very quick moving lines, only one person was seen breaking the no smoking rule. The line queues and grounds are not polluted with litter at Hershey, and they are constantly emptying the many trash cans throughout the midways. Even looking down at the ground from the line queue ramps, hardly a speck of litter was to be found.

Hershey seems to attract families, well behaved families. Pricing is fair compared to other theme parks, and the park is filled with maintained rides instead of upcharge attractions. Its nice to see a park keep their rides instead of ripping them out because they need maintenance as PKI has done. Everything is maintained at hershey, new paint everywhere.

Hershey is definitely one of the most beautiful them parks. Trees abound everywhere except the Midway America area, and a wonderful clear creek runs throught the middle ofthe park, with flowers and landscaping throughout.

Tudor Square and Rhineland, shopping areas themed to england and germany.

Carrousel Circle-some PA dutch theming, Carrousel, Giant Wheel intamin or huss? 2 armed ferris wheel (the last one i know of in the US), scrambler and kiddie rides.

Comet Hollow-no theme here but could easily be boardwalk theme. Comet out and back wood coaster, classic schwarzkopf sooperdooperLooper, wave swinger and tilt a whirl, Paddleboats, the only upcharge attraction i noted.

Minetown-coal mining theme. Great Bear B and M inverted coaster, Coal Cracker hydroflume, Kissing Tower skytower with kiss shaped windows, Twin turnpike roadway, Flying Falcon Huss condor, and kiddie rides.


Zooamerica-zoo area with several sections. Cool albino alligator on display this year. Favorite animal there--the prarie dogs, they arent shy.

Music Box Way-no theme here, but could be 50s with some changes. Monorail, Dry Gulch Railroad, Huss pirat, Starship America hydraulic jets, Cyclops enterprise, Fender Bender bumper cars and kiddie rides.

Pioneer Frontier--frontier theme. Trailblazer arrow mine train, Sidewinder vekoma boomerang, Conestoga Huss rainbow, Rodeo trabant, kiddie rides, Canyon River rapids, Tidal Force giant shoot the chute. The area around the water rides features brick buildings and seems like a colonial theming was in mind....

Midway America-county fair section. Best part of the park for rides. GCI Lightning Racer dueling wood coaster and Widcat twister wood coaster. Mack Wild Mouse. Chaos, Whip, Musik Express, giant ferris wheel and kiddie rides. Theming is excellent with great looking coaster stations and buldings, and the midway type food concession trailers add to the feeling. Is the restroom in a trailer part of the theming too lol?

Hershey has a great collection of coasters that are fun, thrilling and do not beat you up.

sooperdooperLooper-straight into a climb over the creek, quarter turn and into the loop. back around threading the loop, through a tunnel, and along the terrain on the other side of the creek into a nice helix. lap bars only. great smooth ride,

Comet-t shape out and back. you can feel how old this ride is, but it looks new with all the obvious maintenance that hershey does. nice ride, lots of small hills at the end.

Great Bear-short but excellent inverted. best inverted i have ridden. Absolutely no headbanging, Very cool helix in the sky before the first drop. Huge loop and then immelman--the best part of the ride, zero roll follows, then crosses and follows the creek a bit before the final zero roll. good pacing between the elements. This ride is built over the sooperdooperLooper and the Coal Craker.

Trailblazer-short arrow mine train with 2 good helixes, a single and a double. This ride needs a second lift.

Sidewinder-boomerang, not much headbanging in the ride, but stops with a sudden jerk. The inital climb on this ride is the best element, being lifted backwards watching the ground go away from you.

Wild Mouse-standard mack wild mouse, really wild, very little breaking, smooth ride, great over the edge sensation. Cars do not stop when loading, they move slowly. Seems a little dangerous since the floor is not moving with the car like a continuous loading dark ride, flume etc.

Wildcat--a new wooden top coaster. GCI has only made 5 so far, but this is rollercoaster art. These coasters ride as beautiful as they look. Hardly a piece of straight track. The first drop is mindbending, as it turns completely around as you drop. Takes your through a figure 8 into another figue 8. Great laterals in the helix finale. Wildcat keeps its speed throughout the ride with no brakiing until the end. Love the small hills in the intial turn around before the cliimb that GCI coasters feature. This coaster was longest wait of the trip, but only about 30 mintues.

Lightning Racer--Hersheys best, one of my top 5, and best racing coaster i have ridden because they actually RACE! Much effort is put into the racing aspect of this ride, from the drag strip signal lights startiing your off, the syncronised release by one operator, the light that signals the winner and the announcement in the station of who won. This is what a racing coaster should be like. The trains stay together throughout the entire ride and always finish feet apart. And the ride itself is outstanding. Great steep twisting intial drop, very fast paced ride with no braking, The syphon turn is as awesome as it looks, keeps the speed of the coaster while turning. 2 head on duelling turns and crisscrossing hills really give the feel of the other coaster in the duelling aspect. This coaster is a capacity eater. Max 15 mintue wait on a very busy day. Riding this ride really makes neglected racers like Racer at PKI and American Eagle seem sad.

The only major flaw with the park is the layout. The entrance is a one end, not the center. So most ofthe crowd seems to follow a pattern throughout the day, making the front part of the park crowded in the morning, and the back at night. A gate in midway america woud solve that problem.

Hershey is definitely about quality and family experience. There is a lot to do for eveyone, the park justified our 2 days there. A hypercoaster would be nice in their lineup, but it may not attract the right type of customers, which would equally take away from the hershey experience. We were so impressed by the park, we upgraded our tickets to 2002 season passes.

*** This post was edited by super7 on 8/25/2001. ***

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Saturday, August 25, 2001 9:36 PM
I work in the Carrousel section of the park and to answer your question, the Giant Wheel is an Intamin. 
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Saturday, August 25, 2001 9:59 PM
Super7, I just came back from Hershey Park during the week of Aug 19-26th. What did you think of Lightning Racer I thought it was a very smooth coaster its defently in my top ten woodies. I do see a steel or a giga of either 230 or 300 foot coaster for them sometime in the future. Do you think they will add a hyper it seems like every year or two they always seem to add something just because the way they are developing  the park. Do you think it  will happen? (Read my trip report)
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Sunday, August 26, 2001 8:01 AM
I agree with what was said above about Hersheypark.  It truly is "the sweetest place on earth."  We go once a year, and each time we are pleased.  SusieSmurfHP is correct, the "Giant Wheel" is an Intamin product, however to the best of my knowlege the model is discontinued.  I also like Hersheypark because they have a good collection of HUSS attractions (a personal favorite).  I love the Chance Ferris Wheel in the rear of the park. The custom lighting package is awesome.  For their 2002 season they're getting a water coaster from Setpoint Inc.   I did hear a rumor a long time ago that they plan on putting in a B&M stand up coaster (they still have to buy one more B&M coaster because of the contract ) sometime within the next five years, along with replacing the Superdooperlooper with another ride similar to it. I didn't hear anything about a giga or hyper in the works.  But that's just a rumor, and we all know how they sometimes turn out.   But Hersheypark is really a great place, and I highly recomend it.    

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You gotta love the signs "HUSS Maschinenfabrik, BREMEN, W. Germany" and "Made By Zamperla"

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Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:02 PM
I agree a second entrance, or something like that would be a good addition to the park. As it is, it's a long walk back to Lightning Racer. Speaking of, it seems like not that many people ride LR. I guess that's one advantage of the ride being at the back corner of the park. Did they still have four rows closed off on each train?

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Batwing-Bow Down

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Tuesday, August 28, 2001 10:15 PM
Hershey Park is a great park with a wonderful atmosphere and a great selection of rides. I agree, a hyper would be a great addition, but the park is getting a setpoint swing thing like Super Saturator at PCW.

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Let the world know your Top 10 Coasters at http://www.coastergrotto.zzn.com

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Wednesday, August 29, 2001 6:20 AM
When the "new" entrance was introduced back in the early 1970's (or was it the late 1960's?) its location made sense. The park extended to where the Kissing Tower now stands in one corner, to where the Trail Blazer now is located in the other corner, and then back to where the Dry Gulch RR and Monorail Station are located and then along the back side of the Arena and back to the entrance. The area where Canyon River Rapids and Tidal Force and Midway America (including Wildcat and LR) were nothing but open fields. As a matter of fact, before the Dry Gulch was re-routed, a road connected Rt.743 to the are infront of the arena, running basically right through where Sidewinder is located. So, before the park expansion began out toward what is now Midway America, the location of the gate made sense. (before it was moved, the entrance was very close to the Monorail Station near Box Office 1 of the Arena... YEARS ago the entrance used to be near where the entrance to Zoo America now is... but I mean DECADES ago).

With the way the park has expanded (based mainly on available land) it does seem like the locatio of the previous entrance near the Monorail Station would be more geographically sound (it would be much more centralized.

The only problem that I could see with that is that you would then isolate all of Tudor Square and Rhineland as well as Carrousel Circle. As it is now, the first thing you hit is the classic PTC carrousel and the rest of the park just seems to expand out from there. To move the entrance would be to isolate these areas. With the arena where it is, the only way to Carrousel Circle from the rest of the park is through the bottle neck between the Arena and the station and #2 turn of the Comet. (and for the record, being a hockey fan, I hope the Arena does remain standing even after the new Giant Center is completed... too much history in that "barn" to tear it down.)

An alternative might be to create a second entrance in a more centralized location that could be used by people with prepaid passes or season passes. Not trying to sound elitist (as I don't even have a season pass, but I do get 6 1-day passes as part of my season hockey ticket package), but this would do two things... help reduce some of the heavy traffic in that bottle neck of Rhineland and Carrousel Circle, and put the people who visit the park several times a season right in the heart of the park upon entering.

Another alternative to a new entrance would be possibly a new exit. During Christmas Candy Lane with the free entry and pay per ride policy, they do have a fence section removed near the monorail station. Most people do enter through the main enterance, but I know many (my self included) who take advangate of this second "entrance" when exiting. Again, if you are in the "Midway America" area of the park and you wish to exit, you would not have to walk back through basically the entire park to leave.

Just my 2cents (or 25 cents as the case may be)

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 6:35 AM
Thanks for the info SFLAKE.  Thats interesting to know.  Knowing the pattern of the crowd, next time we plan on hitting midway america first and then work backward.  Then back to midway america for the finale, cause the best rides are there.

 

No rows were closed on any coaster.  In fact, the only ride we saw closed during both days was a kiddie spinning tub ride. 

 

By the way, Lightning Racer is one of the few coasters i find perfect.  You don't get off it thinking " i wish it...."  It does it all, nice drops, fast, and fun.  You really can feel the other train the whole distance of the ride.

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 7:26 AM
I never got to go in the park, but I went to Chocolate world and bought a 5 pound chocolate bar.
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Monday, September 3, 2001 5:45 AM
Yesterday, Great Bear was closed for most of the day. You could see workers on a lift halfway up the immelman. When they came down, you could see a nice shiny soldered (or welded) patch on the track and 2 hours later they opened it. The 1 hour line was well worth it though. Especially since we waited only 15-25 min for everything else with the exception of the Wildcat at 45 min. My wife was really bummed that the Bear was down, then after riding it claimed it was better than Alpengiest to which I disagreed. ;-) My favorite part was the helix right after the lift hill.


I noticed the entrance gate problem mostly at closing when everyone left the laser show (which is truely amazing) as there was a huge stream of people from midway to the gate, a 15 minute walk. One thing I found odd is there were still rides running as we left even though it was almost 11pm.

Wildcat was the first modern wood I've ridden and I really liked the track layout and curves. This was the first "big" coaster for my 8 year old son and it seems as if we've passed our addiction down to him.

We all enjoyed Lightening Racer more than Wildcat. The line attendant seemed to always say "35-45" minute wait which might be true if all the switchbacks were open, we never waited more than 15 minutes. I am not a wood fan, but I really liked this ride. The train carried a lot of speed through the whole ride, not just near the beginning, and the layout was a blast. We all agreed though, Thunder (left track-Green train) was the better ride.

d3 `-{>

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