Hersheypark's Roller Soaker to be replaced with "sprayground"

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Hersheypark is removing the popular Roller Soaker in the Boardwalk section to make way for a 5,000-square-foot sprayground.

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Vater's avatar

The name conjures an image of a dog marking its territory.

I thought essentially the same thing, with kids in the area replacing dogs.

"Sorry, Mister! I couldn't hold it anymore!"

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist


1. Remove roller coaster
2. Keep water guns and cannons that used to go with coaster
3. Promote as new attraction
4. Profit!

I read somewhere that the water guns, etc., that went with the coaster are also being removed.

rollergator's avatar

If memory serves (Iron Chef)....the ride was put up for sale prematurely, and then taken off the list when Hershey found out (?). Did the ride go back on the "for sale" list? Because if so, the water guns would almost certainly be part of the ride "package"...

P.S. The price *was* 800K, right? Even with horrendous capacity, I'd be sorely tempted if I owned a waterpark....or even Schlitterbahn (aka, "THE" waterpark)....

Hershey has the giant rain fortress.. why do they need to remove a coster to basically put another one there? On a side note I never got to ride roller soaker because it was always a 2hr wait even on some weekdays...

Your not the only one who is CRAZY!
-Will Gallagher

I'm sorry to see it go, but it'd definitely be a better fit in a park where horrible capacity is less of an issue.

The guns and ground level water elements were never part of the package. Yes, Rides for U prematurely took it upon themsleves to list the ride before any final decisions were made. Hersheypark is NOT adding another water fortress, funhouse, or whatever structure thats thought up.

Just like it says. Seats and more seats.

Not that I hate to see Roller Soaker go (won't miss it, only ever rode it once), but I still think that it was a mistake to cram the Boardwalk into the park. So far two major rides have been / are being removed (Canyon Rive Rapids and now Roller Soaker) for water attractions. What is next? Wild Mouse? Lightning Racer? Ferriswheel? Sidewinder?

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
bjames's avatar

I fear for Lightning Racer's life; poor planning and land use are going to remain as problems for Hersheypark....

LostKause's avatar

That fear is justifiable. LR isn't known for it's long lines, or even full trains of riders, as far as I know anyways, but some of that has to do with the awesome capacity. I wonder how popular the ride is compared to other coasters at the park. It should be the most popular coaster in the entire State of Pennsylvania, in my opinion.

DejaVuNitro's avatar

I miss the Hersheypark pre-boardwalk as apparently many others do on this forum. It feels the same way Kings Dominion's Waterpark feels- out of place and squeezed in. At least the Boardwalk was built in an empty field while Dominion's was built by filling in the majority of a beautiful lake with concrete...

I'm sheriff of this here rollercoaster.

I agree with you guys about Hershey's water park. I took my first trip to Hershey this past summer and loved the park overall. But, that water park felt like such a contrived after-thought. And then there was poor Lightning Racer, stuck in the midst of all the confusion.

I was there on a moderately crowded weekday. The Intamin's were a 1-2 hour wait, and Lightning Racer, one of the best rides in the park, couldn't even fill 25% of its trains. But, while its location certainly didn't help, I think it being wooden hurt its ridership the most.

I've had a theory for awhile that traditional wooden coasters are generally a risky bet for large parks filled with steel coasters. It seems today that people view them as old, rough, and something low on the ride priority list (or something to skip).

I constantly see so much about how Cedar Point needs to tear down MS and build a great wooden coaster in its place. While I understand that sentiment, I think it'd be a poor investment for the park. Imagine MS being torn down and Lightning Racer installed in its place... After a couple years, I'd predict the same walk-on lines as MS (or Lightning Racer at Hershey).

I also agree with everyone about the Boardwalk. It was poorly planned and I have been there twice and both trips it was horrible. The first time was Labor Day 2007. The park wasn't crowded but all the slides had long lines, even the ones in Eastcoast Waterworks and standing in line while getting hit with water every few seconds is not fun.

The other time was in 2009, a weekday that also wasn't crowded and the lazy river had a 60 minute wait, the wavepool had a 45 minute wait (we skipped both attractions). I have never been to a waterpark with a queue setup for a wavepool, usually you just walk in and stay as long as you want. That same day, the lines just to get a tube for the tornado and bowl slide were supposedly over 30 minutes each then you had to wait in the slide line once you got the tube.

I don't care what they add next, as long as the Boardwalk is crammed in this spot I won't be going back and will just go on the dry rides and will save the waterpark for when I go to Dorney which can still get crowded but has enough slides plus 2 wavepools and lazy rivers to help spread out crowds so lines aren't as bad.

Maverick00's avatar

Jeph said:
I've had a theory for awhile that traditional wooden coasters are generally a risky bet for large parks filled with steel coasters. It seems today that people view them as old, rough, and something low on the ride priority list (or something to skip).

I feel the same way. I've found that a lot of people don't even know wooden roller coasters are built anymore.

Cedar Point will always be The Roller Coaster Capital of the World, regardless of the number of coasters they have.

When Lightning Racers were being built, I was surprised they were building the first drop(s) in the same direction as Wildcat - right twisting drops. They all "look the same" to most park goers (but not coaster fans like us).

There has got to be a way to get more people back in the LR area.

I'm wondering if putting some sort of thrill ride with a small footprint back there (like a large drop tower - I don't think they have one now(?)) to bring more people back there. (Lemme guess - if they needed a drop tower wedged in back there, it would already be there? Or Maverick?)

bjames said:
I fear for Lightning Racer's life; poor planning and land use are going to remain as problems for Hersheypark....

While I agree that Lightning Racer was put in a bad section of the park, if they ever did something that heinous, I would honestly consider NOT going to Hershey anymore out of sheer irritation...it would likely border on fury. *laugh*

I don't believe that would ever happen though...I think LR is seriously a work of art. Not that I've ridden a lot of wood coasters, but it easily cracks my top 3 wooden coasters, only behind Toro and Phoenix.

Last edited by bunky666,

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

rollergator's avatar

Lightning Racer's ridership is almost totally the result of poor planning and a bad location. If it were in Comet Hollow, there would be 30-minute lines even with its high throughput. It is by no means the most intense wooden coaster, but it's main features are its unbelievable smoothness and the racing aspect (which is pure perfection, IMO). It is one of the most FUN rides in the country...and fun should be the ultimate guidepost.

A big new attraction up near LR would draw many more people up into that area of the park...unfortunately, it seems that the only new attractions in that general area will be water rides. LR wasn't put into the wrong spot, the Boardwalk was...

The problem I have with entirely blaming LR's location as the reason for its low ridership is that if they had installed Fahrenheit, a B&M Wing Rider, or some other thrilling steel coaster in its place, I'd be willing to bet it'd still have consistently high ridership.

If the ride is enticing enough, people will be there to ride it. Maverick is located on the back edge of CP, yet people are there in droves to ride it within minutes of the park opening. It has been this way for 6 years now.

While I personally love a good wooden coaster, I think they have a poor reputation for being rough, rickety, and painful to most people these days. While LR does not fit this stereotype at all, it is going to be profiled by many regardless. I had a very difficult time convincing some guests to ride Gemini at CP a couple years ago simply because it had a wooden structure! They kept telling me how much they hated wooden coasters even after I explained the track was smooth steel.

Then, I was riding Beast And Racer at KI this past season, and I thought they were both running as smoothly as I ever remember. Yet I heard plenty of roughness complaints when riders were exiting, especially from the youngest generation. I'm guessing that since Diamondback emerged, riders' expectations for a smooth, comfortable ride increased and their tolerance for roughness decreased.

I think this is why you can usually count on little to no wait for traditional wooden coasters in parks dominated by thrilling steel coasters. It'll be interesting to see if new-age attempts at wooden coasters like SDC's Outlaw Run can stop this trend.

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