Hershey's Hundredth

Thursday, January 18, 2007 6:00 PM
Just checking out the calendar for this year @ HP, and saw that they'll be open Saturdays all the way through September this year, and Sundays through the 23rd. In previous years, the last weekend or two of September would be buyouts.

In the Dark is only two weekends, I guess because Halloween falls in the middle of the week. The calendar also notes fireworks every Saturday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007 6:20 PM
That's a shame there is only two weekends for Hersheypark In the Dark. That has become one of my favorite times of year to go to the park with the cheaper admission and shorter lines.
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Friday, January 19, 2007 12:04 AM
I think that Hershey is making some bad decisions for their 100th anniversary.

1) They are making 3 year olds pay for junior admission(24.95 a day or $120 for a season pass)when they were free last year. Most other parks are 3 and under are free.

2) They should have made the waterpark a separate gated attraction away from the amusement park. They could have made a much bigger and elaborate waterpark if they had done so.

There are better additions for the park that they could have put in the their 100th, and doesn't necessarily have to be a coaster.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 12:14 AM
What is in the dark guys?
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Friday, January 19, 2007 8:13 AM
^Hershey's "Halloween" event.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 8:25 AM
I think what Hershey did is perfect. If you've been to the park in the heat of July and August. The most crowded area is the area where the rapids ride (it's name is slipping my mind), Tidal Force, and Roller Soaker are. So slap a Water Park right in the area between them makes perfect sense. Why?

1) Water Parks are very popular.

2) Hershey doesn't have a true waterpark just some slides.

3) Who is Herhey's main competition (amusement park wise)? Dorney which includes their water park in admission so if Hershey were to charge seperate gate it better be waterpark that blows Dorney's away.

4) What ride other than a new big coaster would be big enough to say 100th aniversary? Dark ride? Sorry did it last year. Whole water park...ummmmmm that says big addition! *** Edited 1/19/2007 1:26:41 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***

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Friday, January 19, 2007 9:12 AM

RatherGoodBear said:
Just checking out the calendar for this year @ HP, and saw that they'll be open Saturdays all the way through September this year, and Sundays through the 23rd. In previous years, the last weekend or two of September would be buyouts.

In the Dark is only two weekends, I guess because Halloween falls in the middle of the week. The calendar also notes fireworks every Saturday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.


Last year they were open until Sept 24.

As for HP in the dark, I couldn't find it on the calendar. I only saw the 2006 hrs on the calendar.

If it is only two weekends, are they still only open Fri, Sat and Sun OR Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun as they were a few years ago when they only ran two weekends.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 10:38 AM
^^^ Dorney charges for 3 year olds too... as well as countless other parks, so I don't see this as being an issue with Hershey changing their policy.
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Friday, January 19, 2007 11:48 AM
I think that the waterpark will be very suitable for their 100th. Like an earlier post said, a new coaster would have been the only other real option. And they really don't need that right now. The collection there is top notch.

Judging by how the lines get for the water rides during the summer, the waterpark should be well received.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 12:35 PM
SLFAKE, if you go to their website and click on the "hours" pulldown, you can click on any of the seasons (Spring, Summer, Halloween, Christmas) to get a calendar for 2007. HP in the Dark is only 6 days this year-- Fri-Sun 2 weekends.

I remember a few years ago, we went the day after Ivan smacked PA-- I think it was 2004. And that Sunday was the last day of the summer season that year. That's why I thought they closed more toward mid-September-- to the public at least.

I don't have a problem with the Boardwalk at all. Like frost said, it puts all the water attractions together. And also allows for one large "bathing suits allowed" area. To have two separate areas with a no bathing suit area in between would be a hassle for both guests and staff.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 1:34 PM
I agree, the placement of the Boardwalk is perfect for the park for now, but the only problem I see with it is: 1) the place will be VERY crowded (if you've ever walked back there on a busy July day, you know what I'm talking about), and 2) there's not many places to expand.

As for HP in the Dark, the park just puts up some light sculptures and the trick-or-treat trail, and that's it. It's nothing like Dorney, SFGadv, or Knoebels has, and that's where I usually end up going for Halloween attractions (Knoebels in particular... Phoenix in the dark, and the antique cars with scenery and actors).

Actually, the last two years, we drove up to SFNE and Lake Compounce for Halloween weekend. That's a good combination. *** Edited 1/19/2007 6:35:44 PM UTC by Arson***

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Friday, January 19, 2007 1:52 PM
^^ Then I must be doing something wrong, because the only pull down I see for Halloween in Hershey has the 2006 schedule.

I do see Summer 2007 and April 2007, but I only see October 2006.

They used to close on or about Sept 17. Last year they extended it to the 24th. This year they appear to have moved it up to the end of the month. Could explain why shortened Halloween hours.

I alwaya liked HP in the dark. Not so much for the Halloween aspect of it (as Arson stated, they don't do much), but for the fact that I can get some last rides in for the year... and I like visiting the park on cool crisp autumn nights. It was great a few years ago when they used to be open on Thursday nights. I would leave work early and my wife and I would arrive at the park at their 5pm opening. You could ride more on a Thursday night than you could during an entire day during "the season". Down side, back then, they didn't open Midway America so Wildcat, Wild Mouse and Lightning Racer remained closed. I suppose the reason why it was so great (light crowds) is the reason why they don't open on Thurs nights anymore.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 2:03 PM
RatherGoodBear
Can the scheduled times for this years events be subject to change or are they permenant?
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Friday, January 19, 2007 3:30 PM

dragonoffrost said:


3) Who is Herhey's main competition (amusement park wise)? Dorney which includes their water park in admission so if Hershey were to charge seperate gate it better be waterpark that blows Dorney's away.


As someone who doesn't do water rides (other than a tamer flume like Knoebels that doesn't soak you), I would prefer if parks would give a price break for people who don't want to go into the waterpark. Take a look at Dorney's summer price vs. their May price and see if you wouldn't rather pay the cheaper price all summer long just to ride coasters.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 3:58 PM
I still think that the boardwalk is a quick & easy way to get some water attractions into the park while they plan for a larger dedicated waterpark in the future. The space is really tight and there is no place for them to expand so it will undoubtedly be very limited.
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Friday, January 19, 2007 5:31 PM
SLFAKE, I agree. You MUST be doing something wrong. :) I just tried again and got hours for 2007 for Halloween and Christmas.

Discern, I'm sure anything is subject to change. But as far as the seasonal events go at HP, Springtime in the Park is usually Good Friday-Easter Sunday (don't know if they do that when Easter falls in March), Halloween is mid to late October. I'm sure they need some time to get the park ready since they usually have buyouts the first weekend of October. Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, and I guess they're not interesting in doing anything the weekend afterwards. But then they open Christmas Candylane the weekend before Thanksgiving, and that they need a lot of time to prepare for.

As far as the waterpark goes, I have to believe HERC has a plan and haven't painted themselves into any corners. Since they bought the golf course for future parking, I think eventually they could expand into the existing parking lot behind Wildcat and toward the Service Building. Move the Fair Tent, Fun Slide, and the Rest Rooms (which don't look all that permanent anyway), Wildcat catering area, and they could expand the "wet area" and put a walkway back to Midway America with a few more attractions in what is now a parking area. Not saying that's what they'd do, but it's possible if they wanted to go that route.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 5:48 PM

Jim S. said:

As someone who doesn't do water rides (other than a tamer flume like Knoebels that doesn't soak you), I would prefer if parks would give a price break for people who don't want to go into the waterpark. Take a look at Dorney's summer price vs. their May price and see if you wouldn't rather pay the cheaper price all summer long just to ride coasters.


When Dorney offers those non waterpark rates which I think was $24.99 last year, there are no further discounts on top of that but during the summer you can get an admission ticket for $26.99 (at Acme Markets) for only $2 more than the price when the water park is closed. I think the idea is good though to offer a lower ticket price and season pass for those that don't want to go to the waterpark. If it was even $20 less for a season pass for just the amusement side, I think I would get that.

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Friday, January 19, 2007 6:17 PM
It's not a bad idea, but think of the expenses that would arise from enforcing it. You'd have to have some sort of gate or checkpoint between the park and waterpark, as well as some additional employees, to check and see if people have a ticket/pass that includes the waterpark or not. The park would stand only to lose money on a venture like that, and I'm not aware of too many parks who are out to lose money. I highly doubt they'd attract too many new people with that policy.
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Friday, January 19, 2007 10:49 PM
Where HERCO missed the boat was investing $20mill in partial season attractions rather than putting it toward an indoor waterpark/hotel complex that will draw folks 12 months out of a year. Sure, the water attractions will extend the stay of some guests by a day, perhaps, during peak operating season, even though in recent years, I've been floored by the high mid-week attendance. Is this when they need to add visitors? How about luring folks for a second day in November and December, when they're paying a modest $9.95 at the HP gate for limited attractions during Christmas Candylane?


RatherGoodBear said:
As far as the waterpark goes, I have to believe HERC has a plan and haven't painted themselves into any corners. Since they bought the golf course for future parking, I think eventually they could expand into the existing parking lot behind Wildcat and toward the Service Building. Move the Fair Tent, Fun Slide, and the Rest Rooms (which don't look all that permanent anyway), Wildcat catering area, and they could expand the "wet area" and put a walkway back to Midway America with a few more attractions in what is now a parking area. Not saying that's what they'd do, but it's possible if they wanted to go that route.

The expansion suggested above makes sense, but I can't see it happening anytime soon. 5, 6, 10 years? In the meantime, Midway America will be a bit of an orphan. Even if the Boardwalk attractions help with park capacity, I'll have to dust off my old football rushing moves to get through the throngs in front of Tidal Force and surrounding area to make it back to LR (and WC if in fact they'll be running new trains).

Seems like the a better plan with greater potential for long-term ROI was trumped by a good plan to enter the 100th year of operation with a big, well, splash.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007 1:22 AM

RatherGoodBear said:
SLFAKE, I agree. You MUST be doing something wrong. I just tried again and got hours for 2007 for Halloween and Christmas.

It's my work PC. I just tried it here at home and had no problem.... got the 2007 hours. At work, I don't even get the pull down menu. I had to go to the Hours link on the bottom of the page. Following that link will only get you the 2006 hours for HP in the dark.

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