My family and I are planning to go to Hershey PA on August 11-13th. We've been there once before, and now I'm 16, but the last time I was there I was about 5 or 6.
My dad took a week off not knowing that I have Driver's Ed. on Wednesday so the plan is that we leave Syracuse on Thursday morning as early as possible, drive the 4 hour drive to Hershey, go the the Chocolate Factory as soon as we get there, and then enjoy the park the rest of thursday and all of Friday. We plan on driving back on Saturday morning so we'd be staying two nights.
As of now this is the basic plan. My Grandma isn't doing well and needs my mom to be by there at her house twice a day, and my aunt has a very busy job so it's hard coordinating it so I'm hoping we can even go. My mom already missed our trip to Cedar Point back in June was too bad because she really enjoys it there.
Anyway, we are planning to stay at a Hampton Inn that's 8 miles away. We already spent our $250 a night on the Lighthouse Point Cottages at CP for 3 nights so we're trying to save a little money. That Hampton Inn is $106 a night which isn't too bad. Do any of you know any other good hotels that are close to Hershey and relatively inexpensive?
As far as the park goes, are there any tips as to where to head first in the morning? How long are the lines for rides like Storm Runner, Great Bear, and Lightning Racer? Are we talking like over an hour for Storm Runner or is it more reliable than Dragster? Any other tips about navigating the park?
I am going to Hershey tomorrow night. Lines usually aren't that bad,even on weekends. I believe that the most you will wait for Storm Runner on the weekend is probably 1/2 hour. I would definitely do SR as soon as you get to the park, just so that you don't have to wait. Don't quote me on any of that, but that is what I would summarize, based upon trip reports. I haven't been there for a while.
There is also already a thread about tips for Hershey.
*** Edited 7/27/2005 1:13:36 AM UTC by coasterniece***
I'll be taking JD there on the 15th. One thing to do when planning a trip to Hersheypark is to go to their site and look to see if any events are scheduled during your visit. If The Rolling Stones, for example, are playing in Hershey while you are there, you will have to wait in line for the coasters with all of the fans.
Have fun. Hershey, is very comparable to CP when talking about staff, cleanliness, and quality, imho.
Richie Reflux said: If you stay at Hershey Resort, what are the rides that open early for resort guests? The website is a bit vague.
Only the front part of the park (Comet Hollow) is open early for resort guests, so you can get the Comet and Super Dooper Looper out of the way first. They have staff posted to prevent you from going any further into the park.
With the early entry, you can be first at the roped off portion of the park near the merry-go-round, so you can then sprint to Storm Runner and be first in line!
The Milton Motel further down Chocolate Ave from the Hampton is about $60 a night and it's nice and comfortable and clean. I also HIGHLY recommend the restaurant next to this place, Duke's sports bar. Great food!
Wouldn't a 4-hour drive to Hershey qualify as "driver-ed?" (I think it should.)
ROS, I know there are a few Comfort and Quality Inns in the Harrisburg/Hershey area ( www.choicehotels.com ). I never really checked out the prices there, since I don't have to. :) But I'm sure with the park open, all the hotels in the area will be in their summer pricing mode.
Enjoy your trip! Can’t help with hotel accommodations…expedia or orbitz is where I’d point you there. Stayed in a Comfort Suites in Grantville several years ago. $105/night with indoor pool. Indoor pool that was over-chlorinated and caused eyes to burn for entire night. RE: coasters, I think you’ve got to head to SR first. Line will likely be longest of the coasters you mentioned once the day gets going. ½ hr. seems like a short wait for the marquee ride in the park, esp. during a mid-August visit. I enjoyed a 5-minute wait in early June. (I also had a 10-minute wait to the platform on July 15--only to be turned away by a mechanical issue. The train stopped short of the house. After 20 minutes of waiting next in line for the stuck train, I bailed.) In August, though, HP really hops and you may find a longer wait as the day goes on. From SR, (maybe ride 2x if the lines aren’t bad at opening) I’d suggest you head over to GB. Sort of in the back of the park, so those not going directly to SR will likely get tied up on flat rides or the Comet. GB is a fine invert, and worth more than one ride. After that you might want to stay in Minetown for CoalCracker, head down to SDL, take in a couple flat rides and make your way through the other areas of the park on the way to Midway America. If it’s hot (Aug 11 in Hershey is likely going to be), the water rides will be swamped. Longest line I’ve experienced this season (5 trips) by far was for Roller Soaker. My latest experiences with LR (July 17) have been no more than a 5-minute wait, during the peak riding time. I’ve been perplexed by the short lines that I’ve seen for LR on repeated visits. Especially because it’s an incredible woodie. That part of the park is a haul from the entrance, and with four trains running, LR is able to accommodate a lot of riders. Plan to get more than a couple of rides on both Thunder and Lightening. Wouldn't worry about the concerts. Park's going to be busy busy busy independent of BackStreetBoys or the Rolling Stones or whomever. Again, enjoy!
When I went, we went straight to SR and it was closed, but there was a short line forming. It opened pretty quick and we got a couple rides in with minimal waits. Later we came back, and with some pretty good capacity it was still just station waiting. It seemed pretty reliable to me.
I recommend lots of rides on Wildcat in all the seats.
The one beef I had with the park was with one train operations on several coasters. They actually had signs warning people that there was long waits due to just one train running. I was so mad.
Thanks guys for all the comments and ideas, keep them coming.
As far as hotels go, taking Impulsive's advice, we are looking at staying at the Milton. Any decent hotel in the area seems to be $150+ so we're just going to have to deal with it. Our other option is a Holiday in 7 miles away, but the Milton Motel seems nice.
At Hershey, there isn't actually a water park right? Just a bunch of water rides like Roller Soaker and Coal Cracker? I remember going on Coal Cracker like 10 years ago and I think I went on Trailblazer too. The place looks like its changed a ton.
Canyon River Rapids, Tidal Force (shoot the chutes type of ride), and Rollersoaker are all in one section of the park (between Pioneer Frontier and Midway America). Bathing suits are permitted in this area. There are at least two buildings where you can change. Not sure on the shoes policy. A few years ago I was turned away from Tidal Force because I left my shoes in a locker near Cayon River Rapids... but I don't recall if they even permitted bathing suits to be worn at that time... that may have been new with Roller Soaker.
The "water slides" are nearby as well. However, these are not the traditional water park type of slides... rather a raft type that doesn't get you extremely wet. Not sure if they are even in the "bathing suit zone".
Coal Cracker flume is on the otherside of the park (Minetown area). Shoes / Shirts are required on this.
I think bathing suits are permitted up to the edge of Canyon River-- where the paths split heading toward the Claw and Storm Runner (near Rodeo). On the other end it's roughly where you start going uphill toward Midway America, once you pass the splash zone for Tidal Force.
If you look at the park map on the website, it looks like they show a different shading along the paths where bathing suits are permitted. All the water rides except for the Coalcracker flume are in one area.
I just got back from a trip (went to dorney and hershey park), at Hershey the lines were VERY short. I can't really tell you how hot it's going to be when you're going though (i have a feeling that the reason the lines were short was because the heat index was around 105). My dad and I got on Storm Runner 3 times in like... 15 minutes, it was basically a walk on. Same for all of the other rides yesterday, the longest line we waited in was for Storm Runner when we came back at around 9 (people were rushing to get one more ride in). I can't guarentee that the lines will be that short when you go only because alot of people seemed to be leaving (it was uncomfortably hot, my shirt was soaked even BEFORE we stood by the observation area of Tidal Force.
It just depends. With the Backstreet Boys a normally slower day will turn into a busier day. If you hit the park that day go after 7pm, and the lines should be pretty short by then.
Friday and Saturdays are always busy. As a Hershey regular(I live 15 minutes away) I find the evenings are always the best time to visit. Even on the weekends. A lot of people are leaving by that time because they have been at the park since opening.
Just like any other park tuesday, wednesday, and thursday are the best days. Hershey always has something going on that brings the crowds in whether it be a concert, car show, or whatever they know how to get the crowds in town and to get them to visit the park.
If you are there at opening I suggest this route. Hit Storm Runner first. You can get a few laps in before there is really a line. I suggest 2 laps in the back of the train(left side is the best for the inline twist, and snake dive) then wait for the front on your 3rd lap. You would have 3 laps in and a line is just barely starting to form.
Head to Midway America next. Ride Lightning Racer, Wildcat, and the Wild Mouse. You should have to wait long at all. All the GP start at the front, and head toward the Comet. Avoid those long lines. Save them for later(after dark is the best for shortest lines)Reride all coasters in Midway America until the crowds start to show up.
By that time it will be hot, and you'll want to hit Rollersoaker before there is a really long wait. That ride has horrible capacity. Once you ride that and get wet you may as well ride all the other water rides. Canyon River Rapids(intamin), and Tidal Force(OD Hopkins) are both really good rides.
By that time it will be mid day, and very hot. You may want to reride the water rides to keep cool, or hit up some of the flat rides. Usually I leave the park, and grab a bite to eat. Depending on where you are staying at you may want to head back to your hotel, and swim in their pool to get throught the hot weather we have been having here.
Come back to the park after dinner, and head straight to the Great Bear. If that has a long line you can hit the Sooperdooperlooper with little or no wait. Hit the flats in that area of park, and then head to the Comet. The lines should be shorter by that time.
The Comet is a good, classic coaster, but nowhere near the quality of those GCI's in Midway America. If the mid course friction brakes didn't hit so hard it would be a great ride on the last half, but instead it just make you wonder what it could have been without the brakes. If it didn't have those it might have airtime to the rival the other Schmeck that isn't too far at Knoebels. I guess I am just dreaming.
Hershey is a great park, and I consider myself very luck to have it as my homepark. Have a good time.