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Photo TR: HersheyPark in the Dark


natatomic
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This past Thursday my mom and I headed up to PA to eat chocolate, find some Amish, and - of course - ride some roller coasters.

 

We left early Thursday morning and took a short stop in Washington, D.C. mainly because I had never been there and also because we had plenty of time to do whatever. However, we don't like to meander and our parking meter only went up to an hour, so we did the entire capital of the U.S. in less than 60 minutes. Let's just say there was a lot of power walking involved. And we skipped over the things we couldn't name. You could say we're your average Americans.

 

Anyway, we stayed our first night at the Hershey Lodge (the other nights were booked - and a lot more expensive) and just browsed around town that Thursday, including getting to the Hershey Pantry for dinner - yummmmmm.

 

The next day we did the Chocolate World tour and the Hershey Museum to kill time before the park opened. With an 80% chance of rain and a lot of local football games going on, most of the locals stayed away from the park, and EVERY ride (included Storm Runner, at least when I was there) was either a walk-on or a one train wait. Luckily, most of the rain stayed away for the first 4 or 5 hours. After that, the dam in the sky broke loose and we practically had to swim back to the car.

 

But on to the pictures for the first night. I'll post the Day 2 tomorrow.

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Okay, goodnight Hershey - we'll try again tomorrow!

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So we run for the nearest gift shop, get some gift bags for our heads, and run for the exit. And since we were by LR, we had a LOOOONG way to go. (P.S. Dang, we're hot!)

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And here comes the rain. We waited for about 15 minutes hoping it would let up, but it never did...

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Oh, can't forget Wildcat

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View from Comet

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But no Sooperdooperlooper. :(

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Now for some Great Bear, which was an AWESOME ride. It was a lot smoother than I remember (and even smoother than some younger B&M inverts I've been)

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We rode the Xtreme Cup Challenge only for the free chocolate at the end, but we were sorely disappointed. No chocolate = broken hearts.

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Some Wild Mouse

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Hi!

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My camera sometimes has a drug problem.

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Like I said, the park was EMPTY.

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Dang, I love this ride...

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On to Lightning Racer. Btw - does thunder EVER win?

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Forget my cheesy look - the guy next to me looks CREEPY. Unless he's reading this, then uh...hubba hubba?

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First things first - Storm Runner.

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But on to the park (I left my good camera in the car, so not-as-great photos here)

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Mmm, another dessert. We got the Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake in the lower-left corner.

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Eh, real or not, you still get free candy at the end!

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The "factory" tour.

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To some people, and in some cults, it's also known as Paradise.

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Day 2 - I didn't want the sign to blow away. And yeah, I'm *that* strong.

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Then dessert at the Hershey Pantry. Mmmmmm....

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And we wandered around the Hershey Hotel. We just like to look...

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So, welcome to the Hershey Lodge. Or more specifically, the actual LODGE of the Hershey Lodge.

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Didn't you hear? Walter quit the coaster biz. He's all about homes now. Rumor has it that he's working on a floorless model.

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I know I was far away, but I thought the White House would have been a bit bigger...but enough government. Let's talk chocolate and roller coasters.

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Nope...we're not going here. But hi anyway, PKD!

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Nice TR, even though it rained atleast you got in plenty of rides!

 

I was there on Saturday and it was packed! There were a lot of little kids though, so the lines for the coasters weren't terrible, most being ~45 minutes.

 

Also, I never saw Thunder win either

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Nice! I was hoping you would do some trip report'age.

 

Looks like you had fun! I wish I didn't literally work ALL weekend! I'll make sure I ask off in May though.. that would suck!

 

My good friend is a front desk manager at the Hershey Lodge! I could have had you get hooked up!

 

It's been a few years since I've been to Hershey's Halloween event. Do they just rename the coasters? It's kind of depressing the SooperBoo-perLooper was closed!

 

I'll wait until you post the next update before I start asking a lot of questions

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Hershey always closes off rows especially on Lightning Racer. It's just laziness so they have less rows to check and also to prevent people from reriding.

 

They're not the only ones though. Dorney frequently runs 1/2 a train on Thunderhawk with the entire back half of the train chained off. People who have worked that ride in the past even admit it's due to the laziness of the crew and has nothing to do with the operation of the ride.

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^ I agree that's probably the reasoning. I don't see why they don't want you to re-ride at Hershey. It's a waste of time to walk through an empty queue and it's annoying for a ride that has a lot of steps. At Dorney I am used to it already since it's CF policy.

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Hershey has a strange rule on re-rides. From what we were told, it's all up to the lead operator as to whether it's allowed or not. That's like saying they can let their buddies reride, but tell everyone else no. It should either be you can re-ride or you can't.

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yeah i too was at the park saturday and wow was it crowded! The lot was nearly full and it took 30 minutes to get to the gate! But, still had a great day:

 

Wildcat: 2

Lightning Racer: 1

Storm Runner: 1

Great Bear: 1

Sidewinder: 1

 

Longest wait, if you can believe it, was Sidewinder which was an hour (I was with friends who REALLY wanted to do it, so I waited it out). Wildcat runs amazing with new Millennium Flyers, not so rough anymore! LR was amazing, SR was amazing, and Great Bear flew, we were on third to last train in the front and boy was it fast and smooth, so underrated!

 

Love this park and can't wait for Fahrenheit, but I'll be back for Christmas too!

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I was there friday night and we stayed at Hershey High Meadow Campground. So my friends and I were absolutely soaked lol. But, why does Hershey block rows off on some of the coasters? Great TR so far btw...

 

They did that for the front rows for SR when I went. I guess it has to do with how many people in line for the front row; they maybe trying to even out the lines.

 

Yes, Thunder does win.... sometimes. One time I rode the Lightning side and won and then rode Thunder and that side won so..... I must be fat. lol

 

 

Hershey has a strange rule on re-rides. From what we were told, it's all up to the lead operator as to whether it's allowed or not. That's like saying they can let their buddies reride, but tell everyone else no. It should either be you can re-ride or you can't.

 

It has to be with keeping track of how many people ride that certain ride on that day. Those turnstiles do that.

 

Great TR so far.

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Hershey always closes off rows especially on Lightning Racer. It's just laziness so they have less rows to check and also to prevent people from reriding.

I disagree with the "laziness" statement.

 

Here's what I think is going on:

 

When they close off rows, it's typically when there wouldn't be enough riders to fill a train anyway. They close off the least-popular (middle) rows so that all (or most) of the seats in service are filled.

 

If they allowed people to just scatter about the train, they would end up spending much more time re-fastening loose seatbelts in all the empty seats. Closing off rows minimizes the need for that and allows dispatches to go faster.

 

They generally are fairly quick to open up the rows once they notice the line start to back up.

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^I like your optimism, and agree with you in the case of Hershey. I know in the past parks like Dorney shut off the back of the train on rides like Hercules on slow days, and as slowly as that thing went with a full train through the 2nd half the course, I'd actually believe it was due to the possibility of valleying. On our visit to Hershey on Sunday, crowds were fairly lite, and upon our riding of the GCIs, we found all the middle rows chained off. However, on Wildcat, once the crowd got large enough, they opened those middle rows. It really makes sense in this day and age of insurance and needing seatbelts to rope off certain seats during slower times to benefit not only the crew who has to buckle all the seatbelts, but also the riders who have to wait while the ops do this.

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At HPITD, I've never had a problem with re-riding as long as there was nobody waiting for the seat. And sometimes, I was simply allowed to choose another seat that wasn't occupied. Last year, I got re-rides on SDL, LR, and they were giving them on GB toward the end of the night.

 

A few years ago, when they were open on Saturdays till midnight, there were about 10-12 people power-riding Lightning Racer one night. There was hardly anybody waiting in the queues when we came back, so we were allowed to re-ride. This went on for a good hour. Of course, we all kept our eyes on whoever was in the front seats, seeing if they were going to get off. The only thing they wouldn't let us do is switch from Lightning to Thunder and vice versa. But switching seats on the same train was no problem.

 

BTW, very cool TR. I was thinking of going on Friday, but the forecast changed my mind.

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(Side note: Friday night was SO dead in the first hour that while I was riding SR they let us have re-rides since they were afraid the trains wouldn't otherwise have enough weight to get them over the top hat.)

 

Day 2 began with a visit to Lancaster, PA to take a look at Amish Country. We also waved to a closed Dutch Wonderland as we drove by. Coming back into Hershey we ran into a lot of traffic as we got closer to the park, which is never a good sign. And yeah it was CROWDED - a lot more so than last year. But it was a gorgeous night, it's still the 100th anniversary year, and it rained the night before, so I figure those three things probably all attributed to mass of humans that swarmed the park.

 

Storm Runner went down for a couple of hours in the afternoon. During that time Thunder got stuck on LR, and both sides were down for awhile. That made Wildcat's line over an hour long for a while and Wild Mouse's line extended outside the queue. (By the way, yes, Wildcat is a MUCH better ride now that it's got the new Millennium Flyers. I didn't even need a sports bra! Great investment, HP!) We decided to try Comet and ended up waiting an hour anyway. :S When we headed back over to LR toward the end of the night, it was only running Thunder (you know, the one that was down only a few hours earlier), which made the line about 30 minutes despite the thinning crowds. And again...no SooperBOOperLooper.

 

But still, we had an awesome time and made the best of it despite the insane crowds. Some people may think this park is overrated, but I think it's got a solid coaster collection (boomerang aside) and wonderful maintanence. Maybe my love for chocolate has left me blind, but HersheyPark is definitely one of my favorites.

 

EDIT: My photos got messed up so I'm having to upload them again. They'll be back soon.

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Here you go:

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Nevertheless, still an awesome trip. See you next year, Hershey!

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More crowds. See the pumpkin trying to eat the masses?

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This was taken Friday, but oh well. The Boardwalk, LR at night, and my mom. Hi mom!

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A filler Ferris Wheel photo

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Oh yeah, another Halloween-themed coaster rename

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But you know, I can live in a world of crowds and temporarily out-of-service rides so long as there are S'mores.

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I can only assume that these people have self-destructive tendencies...

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Now this is one ride that I will voluntarily skip over. I have the credit, that's all I need.

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As is Lightning Racer. See the person walking along the train?

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Storm Runner is down for now

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Here's some Wildcat before the line got ridiculous

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Next time I see this, there will be a coaster here!

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Sometimes dirt can really turn me on.

This is one of those times...

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That's right - The Nantimi Conspiracy has finally broken ground!

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Hmmm...these look familiar...

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But wait - what's this?!

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Great Bear had about a 45 minute wait

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Or maybe a LOT more crowded

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Yeah, looks like it might be a bit more crowded today

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And, of course, Lightning Racer

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A drive-by photo of Storm Runner - through the trees, yes? Am I allowed to use the long-established TPR inside joke?

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Taken while driving by the park. I'll let you make your own sexually implicit comments here. The possibilities seem endless.

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But back to Hershey - Happy Anniversary!

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Hey Dutch Wonderland. Still don't have any of your credits you know...

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Dang, I look so CUTE Amish!

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A step back in time

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The reason that I say closing off rows is due to laziness is because we've been there multiple times where the line was half way down the ramp leading into the station and they still didn't open the rows on Lightning Racer.

 

Here's a real example of their differing re-ride policy. There was an ACE event in May with ERT on Storm Runner. Although we weren't there, I know people who were there and they were allowed to re-ride the entire ERT session. We were at the WNYCC event at Hershey the following weekend and had ERT on Storm Runner as well. They wouldn't let us re-ride at all. They were sending out the trains with 2 people on them while everyone else was walking around. All that I ask is that they be consistent one way or the other.

 

Thanks for the great 2 day TR of your Hershey trip! I think Halloween is definitely the best time to visit Hershey. I just wish they'd open all of October instead of just the last 2 weekends. It's sometimes hard to get there with only 6 days to choose from.

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