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Photo TR: Hersheypark opening weekend

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Friday saw the official opening of Hersheypark for it's 100th Anniversary season. While the new Boardwalk area won't be opening until Memorial Day weekend, I decided to go check out the park on Friday after work, since my last visit there it was cold, snowing, and most of the better coasters were closed. With Heath now working in nearby Harrisburg, it didn't take too much coaxing to get him to accompany me. Our main goal was to try the Wildcat with it's new Millennium Flyer trains. Unfortunately, the ride broke down for the evening just as we approached the station. Luckily the crowds weren't too bad in the park, so we managed to ride lots of other rides. Onto the pics from Friday.


and multiply! Ahhhhh!


But beware! They can grow!!


Wait, he doesn't look that big close up


Oh no! It's the giant Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, ready to kick me if I stop


Hershey lets you know it's their 100th Anniversary; it's on every trashcan (although they don't have nearly as many trashcans throughout the park as any Cedar Fair park has in it's entrance midway)


An Immelmann at dusk, so pretty


Even Great Bear didn't have that bad of a wait, even less during the last 30 minutes the park was opened


Heath does his best Nicole impression of demonstrating what ride motions we'll be experiencing on the Flying Falcon, a Huss Condor


The kiddiest coaster in Hersheypark, Trailblazer


Even thru the trees!


Storm Runner is a very photogenic coaster...


Such a great element. All coasters should have a tophat


Unlike last time, Storm Runner is running today. Not a bad wait either, considering it was only running 1 train on Friday


The Boardwalk is even themed with sand. Hopefully it won't get too windy and blow the sand into people's eyes like on El Toro


Hooray for funnel slides!


A pretty cool looking slide in the play area


The world's largest water play area will be ready to soak in a few more weeks (when it'll be warmer in PA)


It would be in this position for most of the remainder of the evening


The new trains look sweet. Too bad we can't ride it yet, as it broke down just as we arrived


As nice as PTCs may be, Wildcat was brutally rough anywhere but the front row with them. Bring on the GCI Millennium Flyers!


One of the best additions for 2007 was new trains for the Wildcat


Cute little Hershey Kiss dude flies the plane


One of the entrances to the Boardwalk is located right next to the Canyon River Rapids


The weather is way different this time. Sunny and 70, that's like 40 degrees warmer than the last time I was here a month ago!


Heath has his map and is all ready to celebrate the 100th


and the first rocket coaster on the East Coast (and still the best one on this side of the country)


Pennsylvania's first B&M invert


A Joe friendly ride, the first on the East Coast


The first roller coaster, Joyride (later renamed Wildcat)


Lots of banners line the park entrance plaza with significant events in Hersheypark's history, like the opening of the park

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Saturday would see us returning to the park after seeing Spiderman 3 in IMAX and taking in some tasty beers at Selins Grove. Heath was celebrating 5 years of riding coasters, and seeing how he's ridden over 500 in 5 years, we figured stopping off to ride wouldn't be a bad thing. The park was a more typical crowd for a Spring Saturday evening, but even then the crowds weren't unbearable, and the waits were hardly bad. Best of all, we finally got to ride Wildcat. It's definitely rideable now in more than just the front row thanks to the Millennium Flyer trains. Still some rough spots, but nothing coma inducing. The trains make the ride feel more classic too!


Even the Kissing Tower advertises the 100th anniversary


Heath and Kim enjoy a ride on Pennsylvania's best mine train, the Trailblazer on Heath's 5th year anniversary as a coaster enthusiast


Hello Snake Drive Stout Dive, or whatever you're called


time for some more Storm Runner goodness


the Millennium Flyer trains articulate very well and can really handle the GCI curves


Still a really good wood coaster, but now you don't have to ride just in the front to save yourself from a headache


but hooray! Wildcat was running!


Today would see the other GCI broke, Lightning Racer went down shortly before our arrival, and would be down for the rest of the night. They even had to walk people off! (CRISIS!!)


Old boring wet/dry slides. Hershey, please replace these with a Balder. Thank you!


Ahhhh! These things just keep getting bigger and bigger!!


First stop was for Smores, a fairly new thing at Hershey that is a fantastic idea!


Back at the park again on Saturday, this time bringing Kim with to share our fun

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Nice pics...


You know those S'mores were there last October right? Not really that new, but good none the less.

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Sunday would have me returning to Hershey yet again, but this time to show Justin, Sandi, and the kids around the park. They've never been to the East Coast before, and chose Hershey as the first park they'd hit; mainly because of the 11 coasters they have, their 7 year old son can actually ride 9 of them! I don't know why, but this was one of the best day's I've ever had at the park, perfect weather (after the wind died down), no clouds, and yet, no people...meaning no waits! Throughout the day everything from Great Bear to Lightning Racer to Storm Runner had pretty much a 1 train wait, or like 3-4 trains if you wanted the front row. Even being their first time here, the 5 of us devoured the park, and I think they really enjoyed themselves at Hershey.


The only wait for Great Bear was the front row, and even that wasn't bad


This PTR has gone too long without a pure unadulterated vertical loop shot


The Great Beer's final inversion. mmmm, great beer.


Great Bear may have an odd ending, but its setting is pretty nice


Comet may not be the most thrilling wooden coaster in this era, but it's still fun and smooth


and off in the distance, Lightning Racer and the new Boardwalk


Comet Hallow, from above


From the Kissing Tower you can get a great view of most of the park, like the entire layout of Storm Runner


Even Sandi rode the Flying Falcon, as much as she hates spinning rides


ah! That Reese's Cup keeps haunting me!


I'd say they enjoyed their ride


finally tall enough, Ellie enjoys her first inverted coaster with her mom, in the only place to experience an invert for the first time, the front row


Great Bear, between the trees!


with lots of coasters to add to his memory, Chad is pretty happy with Hersheypark


They all were pretty shocked by a barely braked Wild Mouse


Wildcat was really rideable everywhere, but Ellie didn't seem to like it too much, although she loves Tremors


The Oregoners enjoy their ride on the Trailblazer, not just for the cha-ching, but also because it has no line


Always fun for the whole family, Lightning Racer does what racing coasters are supposed to do, run both sides, and actually RACE!


Justin is a big GCI fan. Of course he loved Lightning Racer, who doesn't!?


One final day for the opening weekend at Hershey, this time with Justin, Sandi, and the kids

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To end our day at Hersheypark, we decided to ride some stuff again, and take in the neighboring zoo, free with park admission!


and you thought the 5lb Hershey bar was big!


And I shall leave you with one final shot of Great Bear's looping goodness


OMG, it's Bucky Covington and his brother!! He was playing at the ampitheater inside the park, and wanted to ride the rollie coasters during his break


This porcupine was all "um, please call the fire department, I seem to be stuck!"


Hey Nicole, how's it going


awwww, even the baby prairie dog came out to see what was going on


It was pretty cool to arrive when all the prairie dogs were out getting some grub, usually they're sleeping, or at least in their burrows


This guy was all like "yo, wuz happenin!"


and some Elissa friendly Prairie Dogs


and Road Runners beating up dead mice!


Where we can see tortoises


Onward to Zoo America!


Um, it looks like a crucial piece of Storm Runner fell off


Everyone but Ellie got their Sidewinder credit, and now I've ridden it twice this year, ouch


Still not warm enough for us to want to ride Tidal Force, but some people were dumb enough!


Everyone loves seeing if they'll be the winners in a Lightning Racer race


Hooray for Intamin Immelmanns


Way better than Kingda Ka, proving that size doesn't matter


Can't get enough pics of Storm Runner, can we?

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I can't wait to get out to Hershey this year! The park looks fantastic, although I still think Great Bear and Storm Runner need some new paint. Pretty soon Storm Runner will be pure pink! Anyways, great photos Derek, looks like you guys had an awesome time!

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Awesome pictures Derek! It was great hanging out with you on Sunday. We had a blast! No lines, awesome weather, lots of chocolate, and some serious GCI goodness. I still give a slight edge to Thunderhead, but Lightning Racer was very close and Wildcat was great too. Storm Runner was fantastic (although not quite as good as Xcelerator) Great Bear was a solid B&M invert, and Sooperdooperlooper was very fun also.


All in all, a very fun park that we will definately be visiting again, along with all the other great parks in PA. Hopefully I'll have my pics up in the next day or two.

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looked like you had a great first weekend up there! I've got a question for you, do you think big people can fit onto Storm Runner? I ask this because I'm planning on going there sometime in the next little while and i want to know if I'd have any problems getting onto that ride, please message me back.

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looked like you had a great first weekend up there! I've got a question for you, do you think big people can fit onto Storm Runner? I ask this because I'm planning on going there sometime in the next little while and i want to know if I'd have any problems getting onto that ride, please message me back.

Yeah, it's "big people friendly."

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Cool Photo TR I was up there saturday also didnt get the chance to get on wildcat lol didnt even realize they changed the trains and i go there all the time. I might post my pics later cuase i took some nice ones. Did you guys see that funky wave pool it was so tiny or is it just me.

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