Short But Sweet - Hersheypark 8/25

Monday, August 27, 2012 10:34 PM

First ever trip report...(and post, for that matter!)

Despite spending my first 18 years less than 45 minutes from Hersheypark, I barely ever visited. When I did, I just watched my friends ride all the rides, as I was terrified of coasters and the like. The only Hershey coaster I would get on was the Trailblazer.

When my wife and I moved to Columbus, OH, six years ago, I got her a VIP Tour of Cedar Point for her birthday, and decided to give coasters a try. Well, a day of riding Millie, TTD, Maverick, and Raptor had me hooked.

Anyways, enough boring exposition. My wife and I visited Hershey with our friends and their three young kids on Saturday. I can't say enough good things about my former backyard park.

First impressions, it's a beautiful park. I haven't been to a ton of parks, but have hit the two Ohio parks, Kennywood, Disney, Busch Gardens Tampa, and SFGA. Hershey really impressed me. I love CP and KI, but it's a cut above in presentation - which, given the ticket prices and chocolate empire supporting it, is not a surprise.

We hit the gates shortly after opening, and made haste to SkyRush. My wife and my buddy's wife rode while he waited with the kids. We lucked out with a 20 minute wait on what became a busy day in the park. The station is gorgeous, but I echo some of the complaints about the loading - in fact, loading/unloading seems to really be the thorn in Hershey's side overall. Grabbed an outside seat near the back and got stapled in by the op even before we ascended the lift hill. I was complaining to my wife, but once we hit that drop, I was glad to be stuck to my seat. I put the hands up as we crested the hill, but soon after couldn't help but hang on. That ride is CRAZY! Ejector air is an understatement - and I absolutely loved it. I was floored by how unbelievable the forces were. I rarely feel like I'm in danger on a coaster anymore, but this one had me thinking, "If this restraint was at all loose, I'd be smooshed in the parking lot!" I only got that one ride, but I'll remember it for a long time, I didn't even care that I couldn't feel my feet at the end of it. Definitely a personal Top 5 coaster!

We then hit the Super Dooper Looper. The "I Survived The Super Dooper Looper" shirts I remembered from my few visits were still there. My friend's 6 year old daughter took her first ride with us. I expected a rather ragged riding coaster, but instead was pleasantly surprised with a very smooth and fun ride. She loved it, which only made it more fun. It's definitely not the most thrilling coaster anymore, but what a great coaster to introduce younger riders to the thrills of an inversion!

We then strolled around the park and the kids got a huge kick out of watching Storm Runner launches. We were shocked to see the line was barely out of the station, so the SkyRush trio jumped in for a quick lap. It's not TTD speed, and it's admittedly short, but it was an enjoyable ride, and I did like the high roll and dive element. Another solid coaster in Hershey's collection.

After lunch and some smaller endeavors (including my old pal Trailblazer), my friend's 8 year old son wanted a lap on Lightning Racer. I have seen the Golden Ticket awards, and heard good things, so I was excited to give it a try. He and I went Thunder ("It always wins," he told me), and his mom and my wife went Lightning with a wagered early bedtime for him if we lost. First of all, the trains are so comfortable. As we hit the lift, I figured I was going to be faced with a typical rough, but fun wooden coaster. I couldn't believe how smooth that thing ran! And the sensation of speed with the tight layout was fantastic! It deserves all the accolades it receives. I was so thrilled, it might even crack my Top 10! My co-rider was loving it, too, and despite the photo finish loss, he avoided his early bedtime.

We did more strolling and eating, and ended up in Chocolate World for a nostalgic kick (although updated from my last visit 20+ years ago), before heading home. It wasn't a typical day for me - trying to hit as many of the coasters as possible, but hanging with my wife, our friends, and their kids in such a really wonderful park made for a great day. I walked away thoroughly satisfied, and can't wait to head back to Hershey someday to get another lap on SkyRush!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:07 AM

Great TR! I was there yesterday, Sunday, and I can validate all your thoughts. The lines were pretty much nonexistent. But being in this park for the first time in 24 years I really enjoyed it. And it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first park I have been to in 7 years due to a "you're too fat to ride" incident at IOA. And, btw, was able to ride everything at 5'5 and 270 lbs! :)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:34 PM

Excellent trip report!

I get so excited for people when they say they have ridden Lightning Racer. Not only is it smooth and lengthy in duration, but it really gives me this feeling of nostalgia for an honestly undefinable reason. It definitely cracks my top 20, but if I really think about it, it is probably in my top 10. I haven't ridden that many coasters, so I can't always guarantee it one of the top spots, but for now, it is definitely a coaster that holds a special place in my heart and my number two wooden coaster (on the Lightning side especially) overall.

I am also glad to see you enjoyed your ride on Skyrush regardless of the lack of blood flow to your lower extremities. It is definitely the most wicked airtime machine I've ever ridden, although I can't say I've ever had a pleasant ride due to the pain included with the ride.

Trailblazer is by far my favorite junior coaster. It ran a little rough last time I was there, but it is in a beautiful area and is more aggressive than many of its type.

SooperDooperLooper is fantastic with the new trains. It looks great and is running amazingly well. Glad I got to ride it again this year.

I am in the minority that really likes Storm Runner. That ride has a TON of memories associated with it, so maybe I'm biased, but I ride Storm Runner like it is closing down for good every time I visit Hershey. Have closed out my night many a time power riding SR.

Some time if you have small kids, check out the Reese's cup challenge. It is a little cheesy, but it is fun with kids.

I love Chocolate World!! I go there at least once a year just to hang out and ride the chocolate making ride. Yet again, lots of nostalgia there, but can't help it. I just adore it.

What about Wildcat? Did you experience the torture? How about Fahrenheit? Great Bear? Sounds like you have many more coasters in your near future. Enjoy!

Last edited by bunky666, Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:35 PM
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:30 PM

One of the few who likes Storm Runner? I can't recall ever seeing a bad review about it. I always liked the radical departure that it was from its rocket predecessors. Definitely the best coaster in the park behind SkyRush.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:39 AM

Storm Runner isn't even the third best coaster in the park--and that's not even counting Fahrenheit, which I haven't had the chance to ride yet.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:36 AM

Blasphemy!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:39 AM

StormRunner is my fav steelie there other than SDL...

But nothing touches Lightning Racer... :~P

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:15 AM

Shane,

What did you mean by "VIP tour of Cedar Point"? Did you mean a behind-the-scenes tour? If so, how did you go about doing that?

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:19 AM

http://www.cedarpoint.com/plan-a-visit/v-i-p-tours

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 1:38 PM

Storm Runner is the best coaster at the park.

I was under the impression that everyone knew that.

(note: haven't been there this season since SkyRush was added)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:43 PM

Huh...I thought everyone thought Storm Runner was meh and crappy. Well, good to know it still has fans.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:20 PM

Lightning Racer rules Storm Runner droolz. LOL ROTF !!!eleven!2

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:29 PM

bunky666 said:

Huh...I thought everyone thought Storm Runner was meh and crappy.

You've been lied to. Systematically and maliciously lied to.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:27 PM

Nothing beats Storm Runner's last inversion. I swear it has had me fooled many times as to which end was up. It always takes a few seconds for my equilibrium to catch up with my axis in that segment of the ride.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:54 PM

It's my favorite coaster that doesn't have a lift hill.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:02 PM

I write to Storm Runner regularly with missives from my heart about how much it is missed.

Best coaster in the park. But, admittedly, I may have been the one lying to folks about that over time as I smiled each time I passed Fahrenheit and saw the long lines of people not in line for Storm Runner...

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Thursday, August 30, 2012 1:12 PM

Bakeman - I think Raven probably got you the right info on CP VIP (didn't do the due diligence on the link) but it's the program where you splurge to have an employee take you around all day and get instant access. No behind the scenes type access. I know, such programs are rather controversial, although at least this one is much more limited in number and you can't marathon.

It was the wife's 30th birthday and our trip for that summer. It was pretty rapid fire, so I had no time to let my fears talk me out of getting on the next ride - although I did balk at Wicked Twister on that trip.

Jonnyecks - Glad to hear you had a good visit as well. I'm already trying to plot another visit.

Bunky - I did not get a loop on Wildcat, but after reading the stuff in the forums, I'm not disappointed I missed out. With my buddy's three kiddos along, we didn't want to spend too much time going coaster crazy, so I missed out on Farenheit, Great Bear, Comet, WildCat, Sidewinder. You're right, though, it gives me somethign to look forward to next visit! I totally agree with you on Trailblazer - a top notch junior coaster! I think Hershey has the best collection of coasters as far as building future enthusiasts is concerned that I've seen (i.e., coasters that are a bit more intense than the "my first coaster" types, but not mega/giga/invert/launchers)!

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Sunday, September 9, 2012 1:59 AM

sirloindude said:

One of the few who likes Storm Runner? I can't recall ever seeing a bad review about it. I always liked the radical departure that it was from its rocket predecessors. Definitely the best coaster in the park behind SkyRush.

Everybody knows that Storm Runner is not behind Skyrush. It's part ways up and a little bit to the left of Skyrush.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012 1:05 PM

Nice TR. I absolutely love Storm Runner. Fahrenheit was meh. I really want to try Sky Rush.

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Monday, September 10, 2012 8:59 PM

Storm Runner is still the best coaster in the park for me. SkyRush could easily claim that title if I didn't feel like it was trying to amputate my legs.

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