Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

P. 953: Hersheypark teasing 2019 addition!
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby jwil » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:29 am

Made it to Hershey yesterday for the first time in probably 14 years, so a lot has changed from the way I last remember it. The only ride I had been on before was the SDL, and again that was as a kid so I hardly remembered how the ride would go before yesterday. The lines weren't too bad but still a tad long for a Wednesday, I thought. I talked to another guy from Philly who felt the lines were considerably worse than Great Adventure during the week and he was disappointed with his experience. Unfortunately I haven't been to GAdv in about four years so I cannot compare myself, but I think the problem lies in the ride efficiency--both operator and design.

The longest wait was Fahrenheit around noon, and of course it broke down temporarily while we were in line so that added an extra 30 minutes+ to the wait, but even without that it was still close to an hour. Since these were my first rides on all of the coasters, I'll detail my "virgin" experiences below (front seat for all rides, for reference):

Lightning Racer - First ride of the day and before 11 AM it was a walk-on as most patrons had not made it to this section of the park yet. Rode the Thunder train only and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The track was fast and smooth, definitely one of the best woodies I have ridden. The plan was to come back later and ride Lightning but we really ran out of time. El Toro is still the best woodie I've ridden but this one takes #2 for now.

Wildcat - Oh boy...hit this one second on the way back toward the main part of the park. It was rough, to say the least. Equal to, if not worse than, Hercules in its heyday, but I still enjoyed Hercules much more. I honestly can't say I enjoyed any part of this ride and would probably not ride it again. And people say the MF trains helped...I would hate to have ridden it before.

Fahrenheit - Probably my second favorite ride of the day. Going up in the vertical position is rather intimidating, and just like Maverick at CP, I love that greater-than-vertical first drop. While I do find Maverick to be the better ride still, Fahrenheit is not at all far behind. The first element off the drop and the double corkscrews are my favorite parts. Unfortunately the longest wait of the day, as I previously mentioned, and it broke down temporarily (not sure of the issue).

*After lunch at Subway we hit Coal Cracker, which is a pretty standard flume ride equivalent, I'd say, to any other. The only water ride we got on despite the heat. I wish they had a raft ride at the park but after doing research I see they removed it to allow for expansion of the small waterpark which sort of segregates Midway America from the rest of the park. It is unfortunate because the other closest park to my "home" address (GAdv) has a pretty awful raft ride.

Great Bear - This was my favorite ride of the day. Ended up getting a second ride at night, as well, which felt even faster. Out of all the B&M inverts I'd say this is definitely right up near the top, but it does lose some points for being too short (a point about the park in whole I'll expand on later). I really like the last barrel roll where you start to turn one way but the element flips you in the opposite direction.

SooperDooperLooper - The only ride I had ridden before and it was definitely more intense when I was a kid. Honestly it was very tame, I thought, with not much going on once you're through the loop. I felt like there should have been more after the tunnel to surprise you, but there isn't.

Skyrush - Hershey's newest Intamin toy was undoubtedly my most anticipated ride of the day. The unfortunate part is I don't know how to rate it. I sat in the front-left wing seat. The ride up the hill is FAST, to say the least, and you get some air just cresting the drop hill. The curve at the bottom of the drop was necessary to avoid running into local roads, and it really throws you in your seat. The rest of the ride is basically just the ejector sensation over and over. This does everything it can to throw you off the ride. On one of the last turns I definitely thought I was going to fall out, but of course the restraint saved me.

"Aggressive" is surely the perfect adjective for this ride. Luckily I didn't have the thigh problems like others have--honestly no pain at all. Still, I really felt awful immediately afterwards, and that is why I don't know how to rate it. It was fun and probably the most intense coaster experience I've had, but not all that intensity was good, I thought. I never walked away from a coaster feeling like I had been through a meat grinder before--perhaps I just wasn't prepared for the mix of strong positive and negative Gs, I don't know. After some more rides I'd know how to rate it, but for now I am undecided.

Comet - A classic old woodie which I found pleasantly surprising. It was smooth, in fact I experienced very little rattling, and I like the good mix of drops on the ride. It wasn't anything extreme but for it being nearly 70 years old, I think it has aged very well. I consider this one better than Wildcat.

*Another break here for dinner and healing from some lingering Skyrush effects.

Trailblazer - A very mild mine-train ride, excellent for kids getting on their first coaster. It gains some good speed around the final helix, but the biggest drop is probably 10 ft. Very calm and smooth.

Storm Runner - I was really looking forward to this ride, largely because I knew very little about it. It is an older Intamin launcher (being the first ever with inversions) and I'm not so sure it shows its age all that well. The loading is very slow despite the duel station design (it would work better with four trains, but there is nowhere to put them). Still the line was pretty short when we got on. The launch was certainly the best part and it caught me a bit by surprise. For whatever reason I found the restraints pretty uncomfortable around some of the inversions, and I have marks on my shoulders where they rubbed my skin painfully so. The last element was extremely painful for me and banged me around a good bit. Since I've been on both TTD and Kingda Ka, this ride felt like a miniature version of those with some added elements like a Fahrenheit or Maverick--an odd hybrid launch ride that doesn't really have an identity.

Sidewinder - Somehow I had never been on a boomerang coaster until this ride. Minus the couple of times my head got banged backed into the headrest, this was a decent ride for what it was. Getting pulled up backward staring down was one of the highlights for me, and going backward through the inversions is very disorienting. Overall not bad considering what it was, and the restraints were very comfortable.

There were a couple other flat rides in there and some arcade time, but at least we hit 95% of our goal for the day. I had wished the lines would be a tad shorter, especially later in the day, but it is what it is.

My overall satisfaction and rating of the park is a mixed bag, I'd say. I felt like there was a theme in terms of the coasters in the park, both good and bad. On the positive side, the rides do a very good job of mixing in with each other and interacting with other rides and the midways, which allow for ample viewing areas. There is also a nice collection of coasters here to keep you busy, and the flat collection is diverse, but I don't find they have a marquee flat and they are missing some of the staples (which were previously removed).

On the negative side, I felt just about every coaster was short and underwhelmingly so. With some rides I know what I'm getting into, like a Kingda Ka or the like, but to me it seemed the rides here should have (and could have) been longer to make them more satisfying. Outside of Intamin launchers, Skyrush is easily the shortest hyper-coaster I've ever been on (although I do understand why). The short ride problem leads to efficiency problems, meaning trains have to run the full circuit before another train can be sent off, and it also means only two trains per ride is possible (except for Fahrenheit which I did see running three trains before one was removed).

Overall I was pleased with my day at Hershey. I think the odd collection of Intamin's is unique, but to me it could be a lot better. My guess is 2016 will be the next addition. I'd like to see a river rapids return (unlikely), and some more marquee flats added (like a giant frisbee). Honestly I think Wildcat can go and be replaced with an El Toro-esque woodie (which is, of course, an Intamin creation). Perhaps a hyper-woodie in 2016? Other than that I'm not sure what other coaster style they could use other than more B&M designs. Maybe a floorless coaster style of some sort, or even a giga coaster, but I do realize space seems to be at a premium for the park preventing a good bit of outward expansion (although that robust parking lot could serve as much-needed room).

My final ride ratings are:
Great Bear - 8.8
Fahrenheit - 8.6
Lightning Racer - 8.0
Storm Runner - 7.4
Sidewinder - 7.2
Comet - 6.0
SDL - 5.0
Trailblazer - 4.0
Wildcat - 3.0
Skyrush - ???
Last edited by jwil on Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:56 am.

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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby TheAmazingCP » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:48 am

It is an older Intamin launcher (being the first ever) and I'm not so sure it shows its age all that well.


Erm, Xcelerator was the first Intamin launcher :|

I haven't gotten to Hershey since the new padding was added. I did get to ride on June 4, 10 days after it opened. I was there on a class trip and I couldn't believe how many people were complaining. I was uncomfortable, but that was because we sat on the brakes for 5 minutes because the ride ops were ridiculously awful. I didn't really feel pain. I just really hope they don't trim this down because of the stupid GP who can't handle a little intensity.
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterfreak101 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:50 am

Wildcat was better with the Flyers for a year or two, but it's torn itself up again and is almost as bad all over again. Oh, and Storm Runner wasn't the first Intamin hydraulic launch - Xcelerator was. Storm Runner was the first with inversions, though.

Glad to hear you loved Great Bear, though. One of the most terribly underrated rides in the country, in my opinion.
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby UrbanLegend » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:52 am

Many pages ago it was said that Hershey does not want to trim the ride, and will instead work on fixing the lapbars.
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby Sir Clinksalot » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:48 am

I didn't find the restraints as uncomfortable as the rest of my group but I think we would have ridden it more if they had been a bit more comfortable.

I'd even be willing to say that the restraints on I305 would be the best alternative, and if they had those restraints it may actually be a better ride than I305.

I really did enjoy the ride, it's my #2 steel behind I305 and it was the only ride that I actually have felt was actively trying to throw me from the train. Crazy fun.

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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby jwil » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:55 am

TheAmazingCP wrote:
It is an older Intamin launcher (being the first ever) and I'm not so sure it shows its age all that well.


Erm, Xcelerator was the first Intamin launcher :|

I haven't gotten to Hershey since the new padding was added. I did get to ride on June 4, 10 days after it opened. I was there on a class trip and I couldn't believe how many people were complaining. I was uncomfortable, but that was because we sat on the brakes for 5 minutes because the ride ops were ridiculously awful. I didn't really feel pain. I just really hope they don't trim this down because of the stupid GP who can't handle a little intensity.


Err yeah my mistake, I was going by this photo and failed to realize they qualified it with a "...featuring inversions!"

We also sat on the brakes for a good bit and that was when I finally realized how open my seat was. That was one positive for me, definitely--those winged seats are nifty. I also noticed on one of the airtime hills that my shirt almost flew over my head! Luckily it was held down by the lapbar, but it was completely up my back once we rolled into the brakes. As has already been said, OTSR would probably take some of the flying feeling away that the ride is meant to induce.

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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby vdejarnette » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:57 am

Unlike I305 which needs the seatbelt harnesses for the quick change of directions and has few really strong airtime moments (its my #2 all time but not because of the airtime), SkyRush's airtime and the feeling of freedom would be destroyed by those restraints... and you would still have people complaining about the shoulder straps digging into them, I guarantee it.

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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby UrbanLegend » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:59 am

jwil wrote:I also noticed on one of the airtime hills that my shirt almost flew over my head! Luckily it was held down by the lapbar, but it was completely up my back once we rolled into the brakes.


That happened to me too! Well, on the third time I rode it; oddly enough it didn't happen my first two rides. Also oddly enough that's never happened on any other ride - not even El Toro.

jwil wrote: As has already been said, OTSR would probably take some of the flying feeling away that the ride is meant to induce.


I really hope they don't go with OTSRs. You know that Hershey's gonna be working their A$$ off in the offseason to improve the restraints as much as possible while keeping them lapbars.
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby Homeboy23 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:18 pm

Sir Clinksalot wrote:I'd even be willing to say that the restraints on I305 would be the best alternative, and if they had those restraints it may actually be a better ride than I305.


I would have said that on my first visit, but this last visit after their little modification I sure hope they won't do this. The pure insanity (^^^My shirt was coming off too!) of this ride would go down if you are enclosed in OTSR. I didn't feel any pain on Monday, it did feel a little tight but I feel that anytime an operator staples me in other restraints.

If they make more modifications over the offseaon I sure wish they will stick with the openness of these restraints that are on there right now.
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Re: Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

Postby Sir Clinksalot » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:42 pm

I also had the shirt flying off thing. Was pretty amazing.

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