Hersheypark's 100th

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 9:45 PM
Check it out on Windows Local Live or Google Earth. You can get a good aerial view of Midway America, down to 70 yds on Local Live.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006 9:57 PM
They have enough space for two towers, so if they decide to go all Huricane Mountain on them they could conciviably fit 12 slides in there.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:27 AM
Maybe it's just me but it seems as though this waterpark is a knee-jerk response to the fact that Hershey doesn't have a waterpark. The area in Midway America isn't very big and I'm sure the waterslides are going to ruin the traditional atmosphere that Hershey worked into that area of the park over the last decade. They've gone this long without a waterpark- why not do it right and expand into the golf course in another year or two?

Then again, it's Hershey and I can't say they've made many mistakes in the past so this could turn out better than I'm expecting...

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:33 AM

Maybe it's just me but it seems as though this waterpark is a knee-jerk response to the fact that Hershey doesn't have a waterpark.

Exactly, exactly.

Other's on this board probably have better info than I...an uninformed observer with no inside info what so ever (not even knowing the name of the dippin' dots guy)... but putting a lot of things together, this is my opinion too...

They should have waited a year or two (or a few) and built a water park proper.

They say the golf course is at this point in time to be only used for parking concerns, with much of it "off limits" to construction because of environmental concerns surrounding the creek and becuase of it being in a flood plain. The Hershey Museum is also being relocated in the near future. The old Hersheypark Arena has fallen into disrepair over the past few years now that it has, for the most part, been left obsolete by GIANT Center. Add all of this together and I believe that in the next few years we could possibly see the Arena / Museum structures come down... and the parking lots surrounding them relocated to the usable areas of the old golf course.

That would let this area open for expansion... A nice flat area for a water park with easy access to the parking lots so you do not have to trounce the entire way through the park to get there.

Another possibility (especially for the nostalgic) is to place it by the "light house" (across the road from the entrance to the park) where the now legendary swimming pool was located. (of cousre, the flooding issue and enviromnental impact of being so near the creek could prevent this).

A third possibility could be a separate gated park not with in the park bondaries.

Why put the water attractions in the supposedly "traditional" Midway America? Because in the grand plan they want to keep them with their current wet attractions of Roller Soaker, Tidal Force, the slides and Canyon River rapids? If so, it makes sense... sort of. Or because they just want a water park in the worst way and they want it NOW, and the only place to put it is here? If so, a very short sighted plan that will 1) not give the best water park possibilities because of size and 2) junk up the look and feel of Midway America.

But what do I know. I'm only guessing and could be WAY off the mark with possibilities and reasoning. *** Edited 5/18/2006 3:34:13 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:40 AM
I see the genius of putting water attractions near the existing water attractions. I've always maintained that a ride like Roller Soaker belongs in a waterpark more than it belongs in an amusement park. But considering how much land there is (and it isn't much, according to Google Earth) and how this will forever change the feel of Midway America, I don't see this being the best possible solution. I agree that either a waterpark elsewhere on the property or even located away from the park would be a better long-term solution.

I'm not sure how I feel about the probably demolition of the old arena and museum. I love old structures and hate to see them removed but considering how Hershey will need space for expansion in the future, I think that might be the best solution.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 2:09 PM
Maybe not so much genius as pragmatism. They already have water supply and drain lines in that area, so it's certainly less expensive to branch off of them rather than extend all new lines.

As far as a flood plain goes, a parking lot is one of the few things you can put in without risking property damage either on-site or downstream. If another storm like Ivan comes through, nobody's going to be parked there anyway. Plus if designed properly (and I'm sure Derry Twp. and PA DEP will insist it is), a parking lot could actually act like a storage area for backwater, alleviating floodwaters down below.

I don't see this necessarily ruining the feel of Midway America. I could be wrong, but I'm seeing the entrance facing Soaker and Tidal Force not the Ferris Wheel. If only to keep the "bathing suits allowed" area connected. Sure you'll be able to see much of it from the Midway, but I don't see the two areas mixing traffic-wise. Adjust a few walkways and it can be done.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 2:11 PM
But are they looking for the best solution, or the easiest solution?

As for the old Arena... I hate to think about the thing being torn down. From 1982 to the move to GIANT Center in 2001, I probably saw close to 750 hockey games in that building, with my butt in seat G-9 Section 24 for nearly every game from Oct 1983 on.

However, since the opening of GIANT Center, they say that the maintenance to the old building has been drastically cut back. Down stairs is not bad they say, but up stairs is in pretty bad shape. During some event (not sure if it was Bears practice, a LVC hockey game, or something else) a few months back some of the tiles started falling from the ceiling.

Like it or not, the days are numbered... and that number got shorter now that the Museum is moving.

Someone correct me if I am wrong... but unlike Hersheypark Arena, HERCO does not own GIANT Center... they simply are the primary tennant and also manage the building. Derry Township I believe owns the building. HOWEVER... there was talk that in "x" number of years, ownership would transfer to HERCO(?). Can anyone confirm or deny this?

IF that is true, and IF Hersheypark Arena is still standing when that occurs, the old building will be lucky to be standing 6 months after that.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 2:17 PM

RatherGoodBear said:


If another storm like Ivan comes through, nobody's going to be parked there anyway.


Ivan would be bad... but another storm like 1972's Agnes would be devastating... still could be. That was the storm that basically whiped out the old "Lost River" ride, Turnpike, and sealed the fate of the old zoo. The carrousel had escaped damage / destruction only because a year or two (or three?) earlier it was moved to its present location from its old Carrousel House along the creek.

(On the other hand... a cheap way of getting a water park... build walk ways into the flood plain of the creek and actually wait for a storm like Ivan to come along again. Quite alot of water thrills that way.)

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:08 PM
I think they are looking for the easiest solution, which sort of makes sense except for the fact that a better solution seems to lurk around the corner. I don't understand the rush to build a waterpark NOW when it would have made sense at any point during the past decade.

I'm not saying I condone the demolition of the old arena-I'm beside myself at the thought of the Yankees building a new Yankees Stadium- but in both those cases I can see the reasons why so-called progress has to be made. The Hershey arena is outdated just as the current Yankees Stadium is outdated and both need to be replaced for it to make financial sense to the owners. That's not to say I'm backing off my usual "preservation" stance, I'm just saying there are times when I understand.

Now, ask me to understand why Clementon would build Tsunami/J2 and demolish Jack Rabbit and I can't. That's a situation where the two don't go hand-in-hand.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:36 PM

Rob Ascough said:


Now, ask me to understand why Clementon would build Tsunami/J2 and demolish Jack Rabbit and I can't. That's a situation where the two don't go hand-in-hand.


Has Jack Rabbit been taken down at this point? I haven't visited Clementon since near the end of the 2004 season. (For what ever it is worth, I'm glad that I got to ride Tsunami before it was renamed.

Jack Rabbit was SBNO for a year I believe. How much would it have cost to get it up and running? How expensive would it have been to maintain? If the answer to one or both of these is "A LOT", then I can sort of see the logic. While Tsnami probably cost more to build than Jack Rabbit would have cost to repair, what long run costs could have been saved by building the new coaster compared to the old coaster. Also... this gave Clementon a signature new ride to hopefully pull in a larger attendance... though I don't know if this happened or not.

I'm just glad that, once they decided to "replace" Jack Rabbit, they took the time to replace it with a unique coaster rather than going the cheap way of putting in a wild mouse or a spinning mouse (though that might have gone a bit better with Clementon's less than thrill seeking clientel).

IF Jack Rabbit is still there and has not yet met the wrecking ball... is it likely that somethime in the future we could see it brought back to life the same way Leap-the-Dips was given a second chance?

Now linking this back to Hershey.

Just as Clementon decided it was time to end Jack Rabbit's career in favor of the newer Tsunami, what prognosis is there for Hershey's rides? Their old signature / unique rides have been replaced by newer signature and unique rides... and many of those older signature rides are now between 30 and 40 years old... with the oldest, the Comet, being 61.

Any idea of which of these could meet the "Jack Rabbit" fate? Well... not exactly the Jack Rabbit fate as Heshey would not let one set SBNO... they would tear it down in stead.

Coal Cracker? 30+ years. Are flumes what they once were? Besides, now all the water attractions are across the park.

sooperdooperlooper? 30 years. Inovative and revolutionary in its day, but lack luster by most accounts now... and not all that popular.

Kissing Tower? 30 years. What maintenance issues are there? How popular are towers now days?

Monorail? 35 years. Maintenance situation? how popular is this?

Trial Blazer? 30+ years. Still popular though.

Sky View? nearly 40 years. Was a big deal when it was put in... but dwarfed now by the taller rides around it.

Comet? 61 years. While the oldest, still very popular, and considered more of a land mark than the others.

Flying Falcon? 20+ years. Seems to break down a good bit.

Pirate? 25+ years. Conestoga and Cyclops are gone... how long will this stay?

Hershey has proven that it is not afraid to take out big, even land mark rides that are not very popular and are not very maintenance friendly (Sky Ride in the early 1990's, Giant Wheel two years ago)... Any guesses on the long range prognosis of the above mentioned rides?

Good news for some of them... With the exception of the ailing Wild Cat being being replaced by the Comet between the 1945 and 1946 seasons, Hershey doesn't have a history of removing coasters... they tend to work around what is already there with creative designs. Bad news for others possibly... removal of the Giant Wheel says that when it comes to maintenance and expense issues, if gets too costly to maintain, it comes out, regardless if it is a "land mark" or not.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:46 PM
I am fairly certain that Jack Rabbit still stands. Last thing I heard was that the coaster was available- for free- to any interested party, provided they were properly insured.

I heard many reasons why the Jack Rabbit was closed, many of them focused on the deterioration of the structure and the costs associated with rehabbing it. And I'm sure those costs were high- but I still think the coaster was replaced with the "wrong" coaster.

Clementon is pretty much a family park and J2 is too intense for the people that frequent the park. The coaster would be a better fit if there were a smaller, more family-friendly ride to act as a "stepping stone" coaster. The Jack Rabbit is obviously that coaster, and since the park needs a family coaster, why not spend a million or so to rebuild the Jack Rabbit instead of blowing three or four times that amount on a new ride? It just seems to me that the park has a gaping hole in the arsenal of rides and the solution is right before their eyes.

Anyway, I heard a number of parks had expressed mild interest in the Jack Rabbit but obviously none were very serious. At least not yet. I still think there may be a chance for the coaster to be saved, but I really can't get into what park might be on the receiving end of that deal.

Getting back to Hershey, I see them as a park that does everything they can to save an old attraction. Sure they took out the sky ride and the Giant Wheel but the sky ride was removed when MANY sjy rides were removed and I honestly believe the Giant Wheel had to be removed because of parts availability. Besides, they did have the foresight to build another Ferris wheel in Midway America.

I think Hershey has had many opportunities to take down old rides and build new ones in their place (sooperdooperlooper for Great Bear, Trailblazer for Storm Runner) but have gone out of their way to keep the old while installing the new. Also, Hershey seems pretty good at taking out old attractions and bringing them back a few years later. Didn't the Kasper Klaus ride disappear a few years ago, only to resurface in 2005? And what about those rumors that the cuddle-up is still in storage? Wouldn't they have junked that if they didn't feel there might be a use for it later on?

Just things to think about...

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:18 PM
I've heard various things about the Cuddle Up (aka. "Coal Shaker"). Still In Storage... In storage for a while then sold... In storage for a while then scrapped... Not sure of its fate.

I also heard various reasons for its removal... maintenance... it was loud and the noise interfered with shows in ampitheater.

IF it were still in storage, what I thought would be good would be to reintroduce it as part of the "traditional" Midway America (with the cars undergoing a face lift to more "traditional" cuddle up cars as opposed to lumps of coal) For that matter, somehow make them look like Hershey Kisses, some in "silver foil" some in "gold foil" and call it "Hugs and Kisses" instead of the more traditional "Cuddle Up".

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:24 PM
Hugs and Kisses... I like that idea... a lot! And it would fit right in since pretty much everything Hershey does involves candy in some way (like the new darkride). I forgot that the cars were themes as lumps of coal!

Makes sense if the ride was removed because of noise- that thing was LOUD! I hope it's still in storage because it would make a great addition to Midway America, or even a new section of the park. If PTC is still willing to build cuddle-ups, I can't see parts being too hard to come by.

Speaking of cuddle-ups, does anyone know what the story with Twin Grove park is?

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:26 PM
I would have rather seen a seperate waterpark away from Midway America. It doesn't sound like there will be that many attractions so the lines will probably be horrible given how popular the other water attractions are.


SLFAKE said:


sooperdooperlooper? 30 years. Inovative and revolutionary in its day, but lack luster by most accounts now... and not all that popular.

Kissing Tower? 30 years. What maintenance issues are there? How popular are towers now days?

Monorail? 35 years. Maintenance situation? how popular is this?


Maybe Spring Time In The Park isn't the best indicator of popularity (because everything had longer than normal lines) but when I was there in April, the monorail had a completely full queue and Kissing Tower's line was out into the midway (only half the queue was used but it was still a huge line).

I agree SDL isn't that popular anymore but I'd hate to see it removed. It's probably the first looping coater for a lot of people and it seems there are very few looping coasters left with only 1 or 2 inversions so I think it's a very important ride. I figured I would try it the first time because I knew if I didn't like the loop, since there was only 1, that would be it and I wouldn't have to go through more inversions. I don't know if anyone else thinks like that though. *** Edited 5/18/2006 8:27:47 PM UTC by YoshiFan***

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:30 PM
I almost always see a line for the monorail. It doesn't extend down the ramp like it used to but I usually see some people waiting for it. Too bad the monorail is just a ride- they should extend it and reroute it and turn it into actual park transportation. Seeing as how the park has a weird layout that forces a lot of walking, I could see it being something more than it is.

sooperdooperlooper never has a line but the trains rarely leave the station with empty seats so it's still a popular ride, and that's with two trains operating. I think part of the problem is that the coaster is hidden beneath Great Bear and the dark blue coaster gets "lost".

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:34 PM
I wasn't there for Spring Time in the Park, but I was at GIANT Center and saw that he lot was very full.

It always does seem to be crowded for this event, especially if it is nice weather.

Why? Lower Price? People enthusiastic about the season? Everyone who wants to go there has to go there over a span of the same three days? All of the above?

Lines used to move slow because they would get everyone secured, and THEN check for tickets and wrist bands... but this was not an issue this year since it was strictly POP.

And I don't want to see the looper go either. Great for re-rides on most vists.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:00 PM
I dont think SDL is coming down anytime soon, for one thing I was at the park last Sunday (which was dead) but SDL managed to continously send out full trains when the Trailblazer wasnt doing anything near that. I love the SDL, its a great ride, the thing is squeezed in there (think about it where are you going to put the construction equipment to take down the ride without disrupting either Great Bear or the Comet) and has a small footprint. The park has space (parking lot) why would they destroy one of their classic coasters? Just hope the day doesnt come when the park decides its more affordable to buy a new fleet of trains with OTSRs to run on the SDL then to continue refurbishing those lovely lap bar trains.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:28 PM
I'm still not overly excited if this project is the only thing they're doing for a 100th birthday celebration. They have enough water rides already. If they want water attractions so bad, then build an entirely separate park. Not everyone wants to get soaked. Look at CP. They're actually removing water rides for expansion.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:56 PM
Superstew, what would you add? Lets face it, waterparks are the rage right now and in a year when all the GP are in line for the things, the lines for Storm Runner, Lighting Racer and Great Bear will be much shorter (trust me you should have seen the difference at SFGAm.)
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Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:57 PM

Rob Ascough said:
sooperdooperlooper never has a line but the trains rarely leave the station with empty seats so it's still a popular ride, and that's with two trains operating. I think part of the problem is that the coaster is hidden beneath Great Bear and the dark blue coaster gets "lost".

It's one of the most-ridden coasters in the park, and can actually handle the crowds that get thrown at it. Plus, hey, at least they keep an OTSR-free Schwarzkopf in the park. Not the most thrilling coaster, but it's one of the rides that was considered a thrill ride at one point in it's life, and is now considered a family coaster.

I am fairly certain that Great Bear's layout prevents SDL from being anything but SBNO. Really, they can take it out, but with Great Bear in there, I don't see anything being able to replace it (I'm not the most familiar with the park, but it looks like the same circumstance with Magic Mountain and Revolution).

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