PA Vacation Part 1 - Hersheypark (Day 1)

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Monday, September 6, 2004 12:57 PM
Well, from 8/29 to 9/4 was my family's only real vacation of the year, and we were taking it in Hershey PA. My wife had been there before a long time ago, but I'd never been. We have a 5 month old son, so we brought my wife Sarah's sister Grace along with us to help with the kid.

Of course, no trip to Hershey would be complete without a trip to Hersheypark, and with the addition of Storm Runner this year, it just seemed like the perfect year to go. We ended up using the Preview feature, to gain admission to the park for the last 2 and a half hours of the day, before going for the full day the next day. So, after a nice day seeing the sights in Hershey, we went to Hersheypark for the evening of 8/30.

There were a decent number of people arriving for the preview time, but even with them, the crowds were very light that night. The day was very hot and humid, and no doubt many people had left already from exhaustion. From being in the area all day, I had noticed Storm Runner wasn't running much. When we arrived back at the coaster after entering the park, it was down again. However, we waited nearby, and after about 5 minutes, the ride opened again.

My wife and I got the first ride on SR, while Grace stayed back with Ian (our baby). We would have had less than a five minute wait had we gone for a seat other than the front, but since we waited for the front, it was closer to 15-20 minutes. Still, not bad at all. I really liked the setup of the station, utilizing the two sides to speed up capacity. I can already tell this TR is going to be on the long side, so I'll quickly try to go through things.

Our first ride on Storm Runner left both Sarah and I quite excited. It was a great ride, with plenty of air despite the tightness of the restraints. The inversions were great, and the way the ride interacted with the other parts of the park were a plus as well. It sure looked like you might collide with the monorail at that one point! The fun factor on the ride is amazing. Despite being big CP fans, and really liking TTD, all three of us that rode the ride preferred Storm Runner to the higher and faster Intamin Rocket. SR is moving quite fast itself, and that completely straight drop is much preferable to Dragster's twist in my opinion. Grace and I rode SR immediately after that first ride, and she loved it as well.

While we were in the area, we rode the flat ride The Claw. My wife loves those kind of rides, as I do, and The Claw was no exception. Great fun, though not quite as good as Delirium at PKI. Sarah rode it a second time with her sister.

Next, we headed over to Great Bear, the B&M Invert at the park. It was walk-on everywhere but the front, but my wife and I waited for the front, which is definitely the best spot on the Inverts. One train operation, but still only about a 10 min wait. Grace and I walked on the back row my second ride. We all loved the unique features on this ride, like the helix prior to the first drop, and the way the coaster interacts with the area around it. While it may not be the highest, fastest, or most intense Invert, it was quite fun. Once again, all three of us liked it better than it's CP counterpart, Raptor. It ended up being our second favorite coaster at HP. It didn't hurt that it was dusk at the time of our rides either.

That was it for our preview day, but we had already had a great time in just a couple of hours. Two rides on Storm Runner, two rides on Great Bear, and a good time on The Claw as well. I have to run for now, but will post the second day of our Hersheypark trip, as well as thoughts about the park in general, as soon as I can! :) *** Edited 9/6/2004 5:00:52 PM UTC by DILinator***

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Monday, September 6, 2004 1:04 PM
Good TR. Great Bear better than Raptor, can't say i've ever heard anyone say that before. To each his own.
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Monday, September 6, 2004 7:35 PM
Yea, your crazy for thinking Great Bear beats Raptor. But I totally agree, SR is simply more fun overall than Dragster.
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Monday, September 6, 2004 9:51 PM

stljason1 said:
Yea, your crazy for thinking Great Bear beats Raptor.

I know it may seem crazy, but my wife and her sister all felt the same way as well. We just liked the features "other" than the intensity of the ride. Raptor has it beat in the intensity department, that's for sure. But hey, we just had a blast on Great Bear, what can I say! :)

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Tuesday, September 7, 2004 5:58 PM
Count me in as one who prefers Great Bear to Raptor.

Then again, Raptor would rank as my #7 of the seven inverts I've tried. Raptor NEVER fails to beat me around the head in the most nasty way. Doesn't matter where I sit, BANG!

If I never ride it again fine with me. Give me Montu and Talon any day.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2004 8:15 AM
Good TR. I will have to differ with you on a couple of points; I find the back seat to be a better ride on inverts. The visuals are great in the front, but ride quality is all about the back seat.

And I was not that impressed with Storm Runner. The restraints were a bit painful on my shoulders, and where the seats wrap around your lower back leave no place to rest your arms comfortably. My wife ended up with bruises on the back of her arms after a few rides. For referance we rode it's big brother the next night at CP, and there is no comparison between the two in my mind. TTD is in a completely different league than both of the other rockets.

Once again, thanks for the TR!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2004 9:11 AM
Well having just gone to Hershey on Sunday for the 1st time since i was a kid, I have to agree about Great Bear! What i think makes it wonderful is that it is the smoothest inverted coaster we had ever been on! Good TR, great park!
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