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Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

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adavis definately summed up my experience of Hershey almost perfectly. The park has some of the slowest moving lines I have ever experienced. I went twice, on back to back days with thunderstorms in the forecast with boiling hot weather in 2007. Lines were horrific, employees were rude, and most rides were overated IMO. For example, Great Bear ran 2 trains, dispatched every 5 min. Sorry Hershey lovers, I have no desire to ever go back. Dorney Park gave me a great experience. Thats my PA park destination. Maybe I'm just too used to BGE?

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For each of my visits, Great Bear's crew seemed to always be slow. I'm supposed to be going to STITP next Sunday, and I'm hoping that the crowds won't be as bad as they were yesterday. I took my first trip to Hersheypark on a TUESDAY last August, and crowds were much larger than anticipated. Fahrenheit's queue was 2/3 full, Roller Soaker had a 2.5 hour wait, and the Boardwalk was mobbed. I had a much better trip in October, but they really need to do something to help the lines. I would use a fast pass without a second thought, especially if they had it availible for Roller Soaker.

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I would use a fast pass without a second thought, especially if they had it availible for Roller Soaker.


I think a lot of us here are in agreement, wouldn't you say?


By the way, doesn't Busch Gardens in VA shut the gates when so many people are admitted? I believe Disney does this as well. I know the Magic Kingdom has been opening and closing because of capacity issues with Spring Break and Easter crowds. They usually operate under these conditions with Phases I, II and III (something like that). I think II is when resort guests are allowed to enter and anyone staying outside is not, and III is where the gates are closed to everyone until the capacity begins to lower. Hershey really needs to take something like this into consideration.

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As much as I hate admitting this about one of my home parks, I agree with your posts. Hershey's crowds are getting exceedingly large, especially recently. It's one of the reasons why I've been avoiding going for the past two years or so. I don't mind crowds at parks (I'm used to it) but other circumstances, I totally avoid them. Hershey's crowds are getting too large. I was there yesterday for SITP as well...I waited 1+ hour to get a season pass. Now I'm kind of wondering if I should have.


We were there at around 4-ish, maybe 5-ish and kept hearing reports that Great Bear's wait was around two hours (um, NO). I didn't even notice Comet's line because we didn't even bother going to that end of the park. We left and came back at around 7 and the crowds thinned out significantly.

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It's great to see the park doing so well, as the majority of the TR's point out, but like everyone is saying they do need to do something about this before people start getting turned off from going due to the insane crowds.


I would be happy to help them out with a few new rides, attractions, and QBOT!!!!!

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Great Bear...two hours??? That's insane! I don't think I've heard wait times this large out there. Like I mentioned before, I've seen the park crowded but I've never experienced what has happened yesterday and perhaps today. Like what Sharktums said, it's great to see them raking in so much money, but they really need to beef up the crowd control somehow. It's just getting way too ridiculous.

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I really would like to believe that the crowd issue is just due to the fact that the weather is so nice and the price so low. I mean this area of the country has been under snow forever like never before and people need to get out and do something. Along comes STITP and it is cheap(let's visit now since almost everything is open anyway) instead of summer when it costs more for just about the same rides and attractions. It is pushing 80 out this weekend so weather is definitely cooperating, and a majority of the employees are probably new so they are just learning. I have been there many times during the summer months and have never really had a bad experience with waits or crowds, so I would just blame it on everything coming together, like a perfect storm, as I stated above.

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I really don't like the skip the line programs at parks, and I think if hershey added one it would be a disaster. All it would do is cause longer waits... But I agree I think some single rider lines would do wonders.


But the only single rider line I noticed at Fahrenheit on my visit last year really needs some improvements. They would use it for 30 mins than just shut it down for no reason

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I'm at the park right now and it's packed, mainly because of the extremely cheap price for STITP, I've been talking to a lot of people and that along with the weather made them come out today. As far as the rides, 4 days ago I thought Fahrenheit and Great Bear would be closed so to see both running even if Great Bear only has one car is better than expected. Although those operations with half empty trains on Friday is troublesome. A ride op did mention that only one of Great Bear's train was inspected at this point.


The Comet line did look insane, but for some reason it is always longer than it should be. Operations on Storm Runner (45 - 1 hour) and Fahrenheit (60-75 minutes) were a little slow but nothing ridiculously horrible. Wildcat had a 25 minute wait midday and Lightning Racer was never more than a 4 train wait. Food stands were packed during lunch hour, but my family planned to snack at 11 and eat at 3PM so we were fine. A single rider line at Fahrenheit would have been nice to get one more ride in after my family left. All in all I got my $25 worth today. Lastly, I didn't see any line cutting today, surprisingly.

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I knew today wouldn't be an exception. Seems like things are running smoother as far as rides goes which is good, but I knew it would be packed, once again. An hour for Storm Runner and Fahrenheit doesn't surprise me at all. I think a majority of the people in Rides didn't know what the heck they were doing, or being off all winter and getting into the swing of things, which led to the major problems yesterday. I'm really beginning to think that if the weather stays like this, to expect every day of this event to be packed, except Easter. If they also decide to keep the event like this, I'd expect a price increase for next year, maybe somewhere similar to the pricing of HP in the Dark.

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I agree about the operations at Hershey. Last year they were slightly better but in 2008 and 2007 it was horrible. I have never seen the single rider line on Fahrenheit open, and it is annoying to see an empty seat or 2 go out per train when it only seats 12 per train. Not to mention the double stacking. Other visits it was Storm Runner running 1 train or rows chained off on Lightning Racer and Wildcat with a line. Don't even get me started on Roller Soaker, not all cars were running and dispatches were horribly slow.


I don't think they should get a line cutting system until they get their operations together and add some high capacity rides. Fahrenheit and Roller Soaker and the Boardwalk should never have been installed in a park that gets over 2 million visitors a year. I could see Roller Soaker having a 3+ hour standby wait if there was a line cutting system in place.


The Boardwalk is a disaster, last year the park wasn't that crowded and when I walked through it, I heard the lazy river was around an hour and the wavepool had a 45 minute wait to get it. Even the tornado had a huge wait to get a tube. At Dorney I never wait to get into the wavepool and rarely wait more than a few minutes to the lazy river.


I am also not surprised it was jammed, I went in 2006 the day before Easter and will never go to SPITP again except on Easter which I was supposed to do tomorrow but am no longer going.


The post was very negative sounding I know but I still like the park a lot, it has some of my favorite coasters and I like how it is well balanced with lots of thrill rides and family rides, I just wish it was run better.

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Yeah, I think I'm passing it up too. I just have a feeling that tomorrow is anyone's only chance of the place not being busy at all. Besides, my family and I are heading to Disney World this September so we have that coming up and all those arrangements. Besides that, Alex and I are heading up to Hershey in June for our annual summer trip, as well as our HP in the Dark and CCL trips following that. Plus we're also talking about maybe taking a side trip to Dutch Wonderland again, as well as maybe their two seasonal events, so this may be a fairly decent season coming up for me.


I remember your T/R from that year. It was packed on that Sat and I remember you (or someone else) reporting that Storm Runner had a full queue spilling out into the midway, plus they also opened up Midway unannounced because of the capacity issues.

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I went yesterday and I am pretty much go into some of what you guys saw.


My girlfriend and I got to the park almost 10 minutes after opening. Upon while walking to the tram circle, I witnessed a 7 or 8 year-old kid toss his friend's shoe over a fence and into the tram pathway. You would think that a fence would tell someone not to go in there, but then I see the kid jump the fence, get the shoe, and jump back out. 30 seconds later a tram goes by. From here on out, the day was like a roller coaster ride.


We get to Tudor Square only to see a gigantic sea of people stretching from the entrance going all the way back to the Dunkin' Donuts. From here we waited 45 minutes to buy our tickets. You would think it wouldn't take long to buy your admission to get in, but there was a lady in the line that we were in where it took her 5 minutes to buy them and get in. Asking everyone for their zip-code didn't help even though they are probably using that to figure out how far you traveled.


Once we were in the door, we decided to ride Fahrenheit first (it wasn't listed to be open on the park map). On the way there, I saw the queue for Starship America full as well as Balloon Flite in Founder's Circle. In Music Box, the line for Reese's was 3/4 of the way full and the Claw had a line 3/4 full with no switchbacks being used.


When we got to Fahrenheit, it had a line length similar to when I last rode it. The wait was 30 to 40 minutes and with 2 trains, the ride op. crew were dispatching a train sometimes before the other one was at the station. Just before we got on the ride, some 60 year old guy casually walks over from the elevator and just gets on the ride. He looks like he had no problem walking and would've had no problem waiting in line like everyone else.

We sat in the middle car and the ride felt more intense than I remembered. Airtime of the first drop and final hill, good g-forces in the corkscrews, and the norweigon loop was good as well.

Around now it was 11:30 so we decided to head down to Midway America before it got worse and ride the high-capacity, Lightning Racer. On the way, the wait for Wild Mouse had the queue 3/4 of the way filled.

Lightining Racer had a 15 to 20 minute queue with the line stretching down to the end of the transfer track. The ride had one train operating on both sides when we first got there, but they added the second ones while we were waiting so the wait could've been 5 to 10 minutes. What the park could've done to save time is put both trains into operation before the park opened. The queue TV's were on with the Hersheypark: Sweet Memories video playing. That was first time I've seen them use them.

Lightning Racer was good as always. It wasn't rough, but remember to keep your mouth closed (almost ate a bug).

Next we went over to ZooAmerica. I haven't been there before so this was my first time and overall I thought it was a great zoo and probably the most fun we had all day. It was also actually a place where we didn't have to wait in a line too!


Oh, the prairie dogs say hi, Elissa. lol


After more than an hour of looking at the animals and feeding the ducks we went to find a place to eat back inside the park. We didn't want to eat a big meal so we went to the Minetown Restaurant where we saw just about every single food line filled up. We gave up on that place and decided to try Gourmet Grille instead.


Inside, the lines were long, but they moved quickly and it was set up just like Minetown Restaurant and sold many Italian foods as well as park food. I got chicken tenders, my girlfriend got mozzarella sticks and we split french fries. The good thing is that I think the food has improved since last year since the fries actually have salt and taste like something good.


After we got done eating we wanted to move on to our next coaster. We were going to ride Great Bear, but when I saw the line filled halfway through the queue and the one train operation, it would've been a headache (more on that later too) so we decided to head to Comet.

Wrong again. The line was out of the queue and knowing that it usually takes about 45 minutes to wait in half of it, we passed and decided to try Reese's.

That last time since I saw that ride that full was on it's grand opening and with the exact same line length, I figured it would take maybe 30 to 45 minutes and with the techno music going, it might go faster. Wrong. It was a 55 to 1 hour wait.


I witnessed many people line jump including one case where the father would be in the far back of the line and the mother and children would be at the ride entrance and I'd see them dodge people and go to the father. It was incredible. Then the family in front of us were 5 to 10 minutes from getting on and decided to just leave the line (this was right where you enter the narrow hallway). This had to be the stupidest thing I've seen, but hearing them say, "let's go to a ride with a shorter line" had to take the cake. The big puddle covering 1/4th of the queue didn't help either and the kids splashing around in it didn't help either.


Reese's was kind of crappy this time around. The scoring system in the cars didn't work and would put in random numbers such as 448670 points as your score.


We next decided to ride a coaster and figuring how Sidewinder hardly ever get's a wait, we decided to give it a shot. Trust me, when Sidewinder has a 20 to 30 minute wait, you know the park is full. The queue used up one switchback heading down to the old refreshment stand (this queue hardly ever get's used).

I now hate this ride and wish it would be torn down. The cobra roll slams you around and it is rediculous. Usually I'd get a headache after 2 rides, but it had to have gotten worse because it gave me one in a single shot.


Next was Storm Runner which ironically had the shortest wait with around 15 minutes (no switchbacks used). The launch was great as well as everything up to the flying snake dive. The banked rise section has got worse though with it slaming you into the restraint. The brakes were kind of bad as well where instead of a gradual slowdown, it would slow you down, but then slam you forward at the bottom.


At this point we were ready to leave, but being the person that I am, I wanted to try Wildcat out to see if it got better. After my girlfriend tried to use the vending machine in line and finding out it didn't work, we waited around 30 minutes (the line was filled up to the bottom of the ramps to the station).


This is another coaster I hate as well. First drop was good, everything afterwards was horrible. It was so rough that I was trying to protect myself from getting slammed around. I'd go as far to say that it might be worse than Thunderhawk at Dorney.


As we regained our sanity, we went over to see if Great Bear's line died down (which it didn't) so instead we got on SDL. The ride was great, but they really need to fix the brakes on that thing.


After that, we left and headed over to Chocolate World, waited 15 minutes (the queue was down to the entrance) for the Tour Ride, had some good pizza, then left.



Overall it was my worst experience at Hersheypark, but it would've been even worse if my girlfriend wasn't with me. But we did in the end have fun laughing at how painful and fun the rides were. I do have to wonder if Dorney is better after yesterday, but here's my ratings for the rides:

Fahrenheit: 9/10

Lightning Racer: 8/10

RECC: 5/10

Sidewinder: 2/10

Storm Runner: 7/10

Wildcat: 1/10

SDL: 7/10


My next park should be Six Flags Great Adventure on May 2nd then hopefully Dorney Park after that on May 9th. I was thinking about coming back to Hershey in June, but after this visit, I think they lost my summer business for this year and rather go back up to Dorney and save some money.


I only took 2 pictures the whole day. Sorry!


These were taken with my cell phone and since they came out great, it might be my camera to use this season.

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Today was the day to go!


I was checking in here about the crowds on Friday and yesterday so I was skeptical, but I figured Easter might be different. I did Six Flags GADv last year on Easter which was brutally cold; this year was quite different at Hershey with temps in the high 70s throughout the afternoon.


Storm Runner was a WALK ON for most of the afternoon, and a wait for Fahrenheit was around 15 minutes. Wildcat and Lightning Racer were not even running full trains. Towards the end of the afternoon, crowds were building up, but nothing unbearable as others reported.


Longest wait of the day at absolutely peak times would have been about 30 minutes for any given coaster, although most were less than 10 or walk ons.






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HersheyPark is one of my favorite parks, and maybe that's because I have thankfully never had a bad visit there. Everytime I have gone to Hershey, lines were short. Even when I went in the middle of July. Good Luck I guess. But the one that really gets me with this park is the fact that they close off rows on the Coasters. Even when were there when it it was slightly busy, rows would be closed off. Is this an act of Laziness on the crews or what? But other than that, I have always had a great time there. I better though, I live 4 hours away.

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I agree with a lot of what is being said too.. I used to get season passes every year for Hersheypark but haven't in the last few years because of the crowds and the fact that the park seems to be losing most of its traditional feel. To me a lot of it feels more like a Six Flags or a Cedar Fair park than the park I grew up with.


Although I don't like it, It is great that Hershey's attendance has been exploding the last few years. Hopefully they will do some much needed expanding soon and finally get that drop tower and hyper coaster that we've all been waiting for!


Historically, STITP has been overcrowded. The best time to visit is on an early weekday in June.. after that.. have fun. I don't know what it is about the Comet though! It gets insane, slow moving lines all summer.

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Get there at opening and go straight back towards Fahrenheit and while back there grab the other coasters with Wild Mouse first than the woodies. After that make your way to Storm Runner and I would skip Sidewinder till later because it is rare for it to get a line.


One thing I noticed at Hershey is the crowds start at the front of the park (Comet, Superdopperlooper) first before making there way to the back of the park.

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