Hersheypark...can't remember date

Associated parks:
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Friday, July 11, 2008 4:51 AM
Debated going to Great Adventure, but Ivory hadn't ever BEEN to Hersheypark, and I wanted her to feel what a REAL launch coaster can do. Up until this day, her launches had been limited to Voodoo (which I feel has a pretty lame opening launch).

We got to the park at around 10:30, but I had forgotten to get cash for the parking lot. Made a side trip to Turkey Hill but the ATM was out of cash. Had to drive to the Sheetz up the road to tap MAC. Actually, I was glad I did that because there was no surcharge, and it was such a nice little ATM machine.

Anyway, we paid the parking fee and headed on into the parking lot. There were plenty of spaces closer to the park, but the traffic directors weren't letting anyone park closer, which I thought was a load of bull. Let people park where they please, please. We ended up parked out in the middle of nowhere.

We ran to catch the next tram, and unlike pretty much EVERY experience I have had with tram operators, the guy loading people off and on this tram was downright surly. I saw that the car had a "strollers only" row, so Ivory and I moved down to the next row. Apparently that wasn't good enough for Mr. Grumpypants, and he forcefully gave us a verbal "YOU CAN'T SIT HERE. TWO ROWS FOR FAMILIES AND STROLLERS. MOVE TO THE NEXT ROW!!" I had had about two hours of sleep, so I said, "FINE!! I'M MOVING! JESUS CHRIST!" Don't think he liked that, but he scurried off to be Tram Nazi at the next car, so whatever.

We arrived at the gates, and to my dismay, even with our discount tickets, admission was around 45 bucks. I don't remember it being so expensive on my last couple trips. I mean, I went during the Sunset admission times before, but I had even looked at the prices for regular one-day admits so I could know what to tell friends to bring cash/credit wise. Perhaps I was so used to the prices at Six Flags on my other admissions that it didn't seem so bad to me.

THE PARK WAS PACKED. You could barely move for all the throngs of people. There was no special event that day that we knew of, and the weather was ugly outside, so I didn't think it would be that bad, but it was the worst I think I have ever seen it. I told Ivory we had better head to Storm Runner first before anything because she was going to loooooove it.

We actually only had to wait about 4 trains for Storm Runner. I was surprised with the crowds, but I figured everyone was at Fahrenheit. Anyway, it is a beautiful thing to take an inexperienced coaster rider on ride types they've never been on. Ivory and I boarded our train and pulled out of the station, and I told her, "Put your head against the headrest." She said, "Why?" I said, "Well, if you don't do it, the ride will do it for you." She took one look at that hill after the launch and started going ohmigodohmigodohmigod. Then we took off, and she let out a sound that wasn't quite a yell but more of a squeak. I could hear her trying to scream for the whole ride, and when we got around to the end, I asked her how she liked it. She said, "hrmphf*ckiiidunnowhathappenedjustnowwhatthehell..." and just mumbled off into silence. It was great. We walked away after buying a ride photo keychain, and as we distanced ourselves from the launch area, she turned around, said "that mess was crazy...we gotta do it again!" Oh, and this ride on Storm Runner was MUCH smoother than my last trip.

Next, we did Fahrenheit. The line was about 45 minutes as per usual, and the Hershey people were BOOKIN. Trains were pumping out of that station as fast as humanly possible. Props to the ride ops! The ride itself was fun, but I noticed the vibration on this particular ride so much that I was actually scared. I couldn't see straight because we were shaking so much. What is up with that? We both still felt that Storm Runner was the much better ride. I begged her to do Lightning Racer next because I love that coaster, and she said that she needed ice cream first. We stopped at the Turkey Hill ice cream shop at the Boardwalk and paid 3-something for a large cone of soft serve. I thought that was sort of a ripoff until I saw the large. HUGE. THE THING HAD TO WEIGH AT LEAST A POUND. Ivory had to double fist it. You definitely could eat your weight in ice cream at Hershey's Turkey Hill stand. LOL

We did Lightning Racer right after that, and we absolutely stomped Thunder. Wasn't even close. This coaster is such a family-friendly beast of a ride. It could be terrifying, but what makes it so wonderful is the fact that it is NOT terrifying. It's lightning fast (bad pun I know), the drop is decent but not ridiculous, and the competing coaster lovers waving at each other and making thumbs downs at each other just give it that added something. This coaster is probably at this point in my top 5 behind El Toro, Nitro, Storm Runner, and Voodoo.

We decided to keep the wood vibe going and headed over to Wildcat. I told her that this ride was known for being exceptionally rough but that I had had a great ride on it just recently. I felt bad for the recommendation after we got off that blasted Cat. I actually FELT the top of my spinal cord drive into my skull, or at least, that's what it seemed. Thumbs down.

We got some beverages at a nearby stand, and I smoked a cigarette in the smoking area down the hill from Wildcat (and remarked out loud, "Does anyone else find it kind of amusing that the SMOKING area is made out of WOOD?") Next, we did Sidewinder. SOOO glad Hershey put headbanger cushions on the restraints. This thing is ROUGH, but I still like it. I love the plain loop going backwards. Feels like I imagine doing a HUGE back tuck would feel. We actually wanted to do it again, but Storm Runner beckoned to us. Our second ride on Storm Runner was rougher, but we were fully determined to do it AGAIN if the weather held out. It was getting uglier by the minute.

We did The Claw next. This version feels so much faster than Dorney's. I don't know if that's true or not, but after we got off the ride, Ivory was as pale as a brown-skinned Latina girl can get. No more Claw was to be had, which was probably a good thing because the line took forever. This ride has such a slow loading time.

We ate at the little cafeteria area by Great Bear next. I had tacos which were tasty but NOT worth 8 bucks, cilantro rice with NO cilantro in it (I was truly bummed....IMHO, there are not enough foods with cilantro in them), and an undercooked brownie (mmm...brownie batter...YUM). Was still hungry somehow, but I was running low on money and still needed dinner. Right after lunch, we went on Great Bear, back row. We got up to the top of the hill, did the helix part, and Ivory said, "Oh, that was crazy!" I said, "That wasn't even the drop!" She goes, "What the hell you mean that ain't the drop?" Then we pulled around the helix to the drop and her eyes just about bugged out of her skull. Again, if you really want a thrill, ride with someone who hasn't ridden a lot of coasters and watch what they do and say. It's such a treat.

I MADE her get on Trailblazer, and she was glad I did. It was such a pretty ride, fairly smooth as usual, and a refreshing change from our wilder rides.

Our last ride of the day was Comet. Ivory was getting a headache, and I told her that we didn't have to do it, but she said she wasn't leaving until she rode all the coasters. It started to rain pretty hard, not a downpour, but not a drizzle either, while we were in line, and I didn't think they'd let us on the ride, but they did. We sat in the back seat. By the time we got done the first hill and a few of the hammerhead-like elements, the rain was pelting us HARD. I was ducking my head, and Ivory was going, "don't like this ride don't like this ride really really don't like this ride". We got off and she said, "That was horrible!" I asked her if it was because of the rain and she said, "NO! That thing was really rough!" I guess it's not just me. However, I actually felt like it was less rough than last time I rode. Perhaps I felt that way because I was too distracted by the feeling of getting shot in the head repeatedly by a BB gun from all the rain.

We saw that Great Bear and Comet and SuperDooperLooper were still going, so we figured we'd go against the vacating crowd and get on Storm Runner again. Alas, Storm Runner was closed, and Ivory's headache was getting worse and worse. We left the park after that.

All in all, except for a surly tram loader, the employees were helpful and friendly, and we had a great day. Can't wait to do it again!

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Friday, July 11, 2008 9:38 AM
The reason for not allowing people to park closer to the park is that there probably was a concert at the stadium that night. They try to hold spots over by the stadium for concert goers.

I have found short lines at Hershey when the park is packed it seems that the park draws a lot of non riders who go just for the atmosphere while family members ride.

I also made a fun comment in the past to my smoking friends about the wood gazeboes that are smoking areas.

Some of the coasters do operate in the rain but I know Storm Runner closes even in the slightest drizzle or windy conditions.

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Friday, July 11, 2008 1:16 PM
Naw, no concerts, I swear! I had even looked up the date with the Giant Arena AND the Hersheypark Arena. I wonder if there was something going on the next day and they wanted to keep the area clean...? I just can't quite figure it out. I DID notice they were offering VIP parking for some more money, but that VIP parking lot, as far as I know, is all the way by the stadium by the gates. Maybe there was something going on at the park that I didn't know about.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008 11:19 PM
Admission has really gone up in the past 2 seasons because of the Boardwalk. Nothing like forcing people to pay extra for something they don't want (I find the Boardwalk a waste of time when I can go to WWK at Dorney). I wouldn't be surprised to see a $49.95 gate price next season with the wave pool and lazy river.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008 11:58 PM
I don't like paying for the Boardwalk either, but the high prices don't seem to be keeping people out though. I went to Hershey last August on a Wednesday when it was at least 90 degrees and unbearably humid, and the park was still packed. Storm Runner had 1-hour waits for any seat for most of the day, and Great Bear had 1-hour waits for the front seat, and not much shorter for other seats, most of the day.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:17 PM

bunky666 said:
Anyway, we paid the parking fee and headed on into the parking lot. There were plenty of spaces closer to the park, but the traffic directors weren't letting anyone park closer, which I thought was a load of bull. Let people park where they please, please. We ended up parked out in the middle of nowhere.

The parking lot right next to the park entrance is reserved for patrons with disabilities and for season pass holders. Next is the bus parking lot.

These lots are only blocked off, to my knowledge, when there is a concert at the stadium. I went to the park on Thursday and was forced out to the tram area. I found out later that Billy Joel was playing at the Stadium. When I realized that I was just glad to be able to park at all! ;)

I also noticed the vibrations on Fahrenheit seemed to be more prominent than when I rode during my last visit. Anyone else having that experience?

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Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:33 PM
Maybe the gate price is high, but shame on anybody-- especially anyone in here-- who pays full admission price to any park.

Buzzers freely dispense advice about how and where to get discounts on park tickets. In the case of Hersheypark, discount coupons are like the proverbial horses***, they're everywhere.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:27 PM
That was my point: I HAD discount tickets and it was still pretty darn expensive. For the crowds and lines and jacked up prices, I could have gone to Six Flags. LOL Especially now that they have that six day pass for 50 bucks.

I DID forget something about my trip: the Flyers. We couldn't get them to snap like I've seen people snap them at Knoebel's, but we got a few really good pops here and there. Such a fun and pleasant ride.

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Monday, July 14, 2008 4:40 PM
^^Bunky, what about the Giant discount tickets for $37?? Also, isn't the season pass still pretty cheap in price? I know before my trip I almost thought about getting one! (it was like 3 visits worth, I believe?)

Anyway, about Sidewinder, in addition to being rough I HATED the extra headbanging "pads"!! Of course, my girlfriend and I are taller, but these caused us headbanging and so one ride was enough while at Darien Lake a few weeks ago we rode their Boomerang over and over.

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Monday, July 14, 2008 6:55 PM
Has anyone noticed if Farenheit lines shorter at opening or closing of the park?

Also, I've read the waterpark is best to hit right at the park opens, but what about between the late hours (6 pm til closing at 8 pm) when most waterpark crowds typically trickle out for dinner ?

Ditto question for the horrible capacity roller soaker -is opening or closing better time to avoid lines on that thing?

Hershey crowds make my eyes tear in chocolate sorrow for ever setting foot in the park so I'm hoping these little bits of info can make it somewhat more tolerable

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:30 AM
The ONLY time I have ever seen RollerSoaker not completely packed is right at opening time, and I mean RIGHT at opening. Good luck! :)

As for the waterpark, I've always noted it to be crowded but not to the point where you can't move or anything remotely close. However, the lockers and changing rooms are another story. The lines are always ridiculous, so I'd get there early as well for those.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:20 PM
Roller Soaker gets less crowded in the evening as the sun starts setting. But then, it's getting cooler as well, so it's a matter of how long you want to walk around drenched.

You need to have some people in the water plaza (or whatever they call it) below when you ride. Without anyone to unload your water on, or have shooting up at you, Roller Soaker would be an extremely boring ride.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 7:10 PM
^&^^ Thanks for the roller soaker info - guess hitting it right before Farenheit makes more sense, unless lines on the new coaster get shorter right near closing?

The thing I'm trying to determine about Boardwalk section is not so much with the water play attractions - my concern is with so few actual slides, I fear those slide lines are unbearable (forty minute waits) so I'm trying to determine whether to hit those early a.m. or late evening when there tends to be a mass exodus from waterparks by many families with small kids

Searching for the perfect plan for maximizing Hersheypark time on a weekday from an expert since they don't make insight guides like they do for Disney parks (or do they?) and it's been almost ten years since last visit to that great park *** Edited 7/15/2008 11:11:34 PM UTC by Rye.D.Ziner***

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:17 PM
I went on Labor Day last year, the park was somewhat crowded but not jammed and the slides had close to an hour wait. That was also because the Western Chute Out Slides were closed that day and the 2 big slides in East Coast Waterworks were also closed. This was in the late afternoon.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:33 PM
This is from the Hershey website. Might generally answer some of your questions, Rye.

http://www.hersheypark.com/general/index.php

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:54 PM
I'm shocked at the amount of people that like Storm Runner over fahrenheit.

I wasnt fond of SR(im like the only one) but am totally jacked for fahrenheit. The layout looks SICK.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:54 PM
One of my girlfriends from work actually preferred Fahrenheit over Storm Runner also. I think it really depends on what you look for in a coaster. I like the more intense thrillls, and Fahrenheit really doesn't deliver in this capacity. Others who like a more fun, interestingly laid out coaster definitely would like Fahrenheit better. I can appreciate Fahrenheit, but Storm Runner packs more of a punch with a great launch, steep and tall drop, and a sick inversion towards the end. Fahrenheit is neat with its drop and all the inversions, not to mention STRONG airtime at the hidden bunny hop, but the drop is over way too quickly. You don't even really get a chance to scream because it swoops down so fast.
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