We still love rock and roll....HersheyPark May 20th

Associated parks:
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Monday, May 21, 2007 10:36 AM
I didn’t go to Holiwood Nights this season and I hope all who went had a good time. After much weather watching due to rain possible, I decided to take the 2 hour drive to Hershey on Sunday for a day of coaster and 80’s music. I had looked at the schedule of acts playing in the Amphitheatre in the park and noticed that on Sunday May 20th, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts would be playing. Now always the sucker for a free show of someone who I listened to in high school I was thinking what better than a day of coasting and rocking.

I get to the park show my pass and head down to the amphitheatre to get my wristband for the show. This is when the weirdness starts for the day. They list the shows as 3 and 5 on the brochures but the sign is now saying that the shows will be 4:30 and 7. Ummmmmmmmmm the park closes at 8 so what is with a 7 o’clock show? Either these shows will be 1 hour long, that show is going to overrun or they are going to get a short show. Well I opt for the 4:30 and head off for some coasting.

Comet is right there so I decided to hit it up for an early lap as there was a no line. It was sluggish which I will attribute to the cold of the morning and the trim on the turnaround over the station. Please Hershey turn this thing either off or make it slow the train less as the train just slows to a point of BLAH through the rest of the ride that should be a fun air filled ride.

Next I headed over to Sooperdooperlooper. I love these old loopers with only a lapbar. Good lap but do the brakes at the end of the ride have to slam on. I heard many people say ouch as they kicked in. After that I wanted a comfortable fun ride so I head up the hill to Great Bear.

Great Bear is one of my favorite rides at Hershey for the visuals alone. I love the dives at the stream that goes through the park and the way it interacts with Sooperdooperlooper. As I walk up I find that the line is just opening and there isn’t but a two train wait. Ok is this park dead or did I just avoid the crowd. Bear didn’t disappoint so I walk around and after another 2 train wait I ride back row and get my full G force filled ride. G’s it’s what’s for breakfast. Two more short wait laps on Bear and I decided to find out if the place is this dead or if I just walked the right way for today.

I head cross park towards Storm Runner and see short lines for few flats and hit up the Claw and Pirate as I head cross park. Claw is one of my favorite flats. I must have picked the wrong seat though since I didn’t get a swing where I hit the highest point of any swing during my cycle. To my disappointment the Frontier Flyers were closed. Even with the no snapping rules I try to take a ride each time I am at the park.

On to Storm Runner and to my amazement the line doesn’t even leave the station with a three train wait on either side for loading except front row which was barely to the back of the queue for front line. WOW this park is dead! It is 11 so I figure I will keep riding either until the line grows or I decided I want to do something else. After 8 rides in and hour each in a different row I decide I have had my fun with Storm Runner for a while and head into the Midway America area.

Now I wanted to see if Wildcat was still Mildcat or if the trains are breaking in since I was last there 8 days ago. Well after my first ride I can say that the trains seem to be breaking in as the shake is back but it’s a good shake. Four laps in different rows and the ride seems to have got some of its intensity back but not the pain inducing kind of intensity it had last season for me. This is where I must have went brain dead from the number of rides in my first 2 and ½ hours as I walk right by Lightning Racer and head to get some food … if you call ice cream food.

Then I start to wander back cross park to Comet Hollow as I eat it. I also grabbed a hot dog during this walk and finished eating as I got over to Great Bear for 4 more great laps in less that a ½ an hour which put my brain at scramble and time to slow completely down I wandered the park checking out stores and such for the next hour and then headed over to the amphitheatre for the show.

I got to the amphitheatre at 3ish and found a line. The longest line I have seen all day. As I am standing around waiting they inform us that they will not be seating us until after the original 3:30 time we were told and that it probably wouldn’t be until 4. Fine by me I can just stand along the fence and people watch and talk with those around me while waiting for entrance time. I happened to be right where the gate was to let the performers into the backstage area was.

This turned out to be a great spot to be as comedy would insue as the band arrived. First off, people were standing two or three wide by the fence so when the band as about to be brought in the security guard in the area thought he would clear the whole area from the front of the line to the area of the gate. This guy must have been a genius cause where are you going to move 100 or so people in an orderly manner just to have that area cleared. So everyone just moved close as possible to the fence and made plenty of room for the cart to get through, or so we thought. When the lady drove up in the golf cart with the band, she started to make the turn into the spot behind the gate and SMACK she hit the fence/gate area. The band members then jumped out of the cart and got their stuff and walked into the back stage area fast. The lady took the cart back to the front to get Joan Jett and the people around me started to make jokes about how the band looked like they had a fun ride in from the area they came from. About 15 minutes later the cart comes back with a new driver and Joan Jett sitting in the second row. It was one of those long golf carts. Her driver smoothly navigated the area and she was in the backstage area in no time.

A few minutes later while we were out of the arena we got to hear the band go through a sound check of Cherry Bomb. Shortly after 4 we got in and at 4:30 the show started. She played all her hits and a few songs off her last album from about 2 years ago. A very good 1 and ¼ hour show including a two song encore.

After this I was starting to feel tired and knowing I had a two hour ride home I figured it would be good to head home since it was starting to look like rain again. I come to find out that the rain had past Hershey and was along my ride home.

*edited for spacing* *** Edited 5/21/2007 2:38:06 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***

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