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Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread


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I'd assume so, you can check on the website here: https://www.hersheypark.com/explore-the-park/rides/

Closed rides have "- Temporarily Closed" (like the water coaster) or even "- Closed for the season" (like Storm Runner) written after their name.

 

They should probably make the closed rides more obvious like with red text or something, but it is what it is.

 

Yeah, I'm aware of the park's website listing, and based on reports on here it hasn't always been accurate.

 

Also, another question that I can't seem to find the answer on their not-exactly-easy-to-navigate site: Masks in the waterpark? I assume that once you're changed into swimwear, you're okay to walk around the waterpark area without a mask, because where would you store it when you're partaking in waterpark attractions? Just trying to prepare myself as much as possible.

 

Thanks.

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Visited the park a week and a half ago and had a great time. The new front entrance area looks amazing and I love the interaction with Candymonium. It is an excellent ride with some great air. I did find the second trim to hit a little too hard, but it is still awesome. Skyrush seems to get better and better each time I visit. I wasn't the biggest fan of it back in 2012, but my last few rides have been awesome. Rode Fahrenheit for the second time too, awesome layout and very smooth. For some reason iv'e only been on it twice in three visits. Lightning Racer was running great and is one of the best rides there. Don't do Wildcat in the back row, not fun at all. Hopefully RMC shows up some time.

 

Not sure what my favorite coaster is there now. My brother is in the Candymonium group for best ride, but it is a tough call for me. Skyrush is insane and intense with ejector air, but I find the wing seats to be painful and the restraints aren't amazing. Candy is way more re-rideable, has some great air, and is super fun.

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Visited the park this afternoon. Only made it for the final three hours and made it a rather leisurely day as I will be there all day tomorrow.

 

First thing first...the new entrance. I know the old one was kind of cramped but I always thought it was one of the nicest there is (felt just like BGW). The new one is...bland, at best. I'll give them a couple years to let it fill in with greenery and add whatever is left but it feels like walking into Dorney now. And the Carrousel plopped on a giant concrete slab is rather ugly. IMO, the purpose is also defeated when you join into the "old" entrance and the intersection by the Skyride is just as cramped.

 

Started right off at Candemonium and was on after a quick 10 minute wait. Nothing more to add to what has already been said...it's a solid ride, maybe a bit short. Great first drop, great first hill and better hammerhead than Nitro. Then you get into the trimmed sections and they definitely kill the ride more than they need to. The stengel dive-esque element is really cool. Add in the fact that it takes riders away from the much better yellow coaster behind it and it's an absolute home run. Sadly it's only the 3rd B&M hyper I've ridden (Nitro, Apollos) and its 3rd out of 3 but still a great ride. I need to ride more B&M hypers lol.

 

Hit Comet, Skyrush, and Coal Cracker with minimal waits. Nothing notable about any of them. Skyrush never ceases to amaze me...i always tell myself I'm gonna make it through the whole ride with my hands up and I can never do it because it feels like it's going to rip my body in half. I still remember the first time I rode it...i hadn't read much about it beforehand and I had no idea what the f*ck was happening the entire time but my shirt almost got pulled off me at some point. I can't believe they built something so insane.

 

Rode Trailblazer for the first time in like 15 years and I forgot that it's probably one of the worst mine trains around. It's similar to most of GADVs Mine Train with some bumpy as hell helixes and a bunch of wandering around. Then it ends. Unlike Great Adventure where the finale involves the ride trying to launch you into Switlik Lake from that bunny hop.

 

After a Crabfries stop and shedding a tear for the closed Storm Runner (in all seriousness, it's pretty telling how insane the park's coaster line up is when Storm Runner being closed is almost an afterthought), it was already pushing closing time so hit Candymonium on the way out. Longer wait this time, closer to 40 mins. It'll definitely be one of those Raptor type deals where you need to ride it midday for the shortest lines.

 

I hate to end the report like this but I have a major gripe with the new exit during an ongoing pandemic. They have a Dollywood style exit now where you are forced to exit through the gift shop. I hate the idea during normal times, but I think it's irresponsible and dangerous during these times. I get that there's an inherent risk just from going to the park and waiting in lines near other people. But hoarding thousands of people through a gift shop (with the doors closed so everyone has to touch them) with no way to go around during a pandemic is plain wrong. The 7 pm closing only exacerbates the size of the closing hoard. I don't know if it's greed or a bad oversight but they need to let people go through the outside gates at closing time, simply put. With all of the precautions they take and closures in place due to Covid, the idea that they have this exit setup right now is asinine.

 

Sorry to rant but that irritated me to no end. But otherwise it was a great day and looking forward to hitting the other half of the park tomorrow and getting some more Skyrush and Candemonium laps in.

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Just got back from a Tuesday day-trip to Hersheypark, so here's my photo-lite TR!

 

Hersheypark - Tuesday, August 18, 2020

 

In lieu of my grand 2020 Amusement Park Roadtrip, which fizzled due to COVID, I decided to do a day-trip to Hersheypark today. I had last been there in 2017 on a Saturday as part of a work group trip (that I put together), once in like 2010, and previously numerous times as a kid, but this was really only my third trip there as an adult. The 2017 trip left me rather underwhelmed, particularly by the Saturday crowds, so I figured my odds would be better on a Tuesday. Nevertheless, I splurged for the Fast Track Unlimited (hereafter referred to as FTU because I like acronyms), which was my first time utilizing the park's skip-the-line program. Let's get the 2020-normal-ugliness out of the way....

 

COVID Procedures: As you may recall, I have zero fear of contracting COVID myself, but recognize the nature of the world and how we "all have to do our part" if we want things to be open. So, I wear a mask when required and social distance as instructed. I cannot say the same for the bulk of the crowd I encountered today. While I didn't see anyone blatantly without a mask, I'd say probably 50% were wearing it properly. Social distancing was virtually non-existent in ride queues, despite markers on the ground. I had to ask the group behind me to give some space in 80% of the lines I was in; the other times I made a point of thanking the group behind me for respecting the markers. The park did have employees stationed out on the midways enforcing mask rules, and coaster operators would remind people of the mask rules in their spiels, but there was no one monitoring queues to enforce masking or social distancing. Coaster exiting was all at the same time, and aside from the woodies and Trailblazer (Comet and Trailblazer had every cars' middle row blocked off, and the three GCIs had every other row blocked off), there were no seats closed to spacing. In the waterpark, I didn't notice any lack of chairs to encourage social distancing, either. After my Cedar Fair and Knoebel's trips, it felt a bit lackluster.

 

On to the report! I arrived at the park right around 11:00 and was faced with this:

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Uh oh.

 

Definitely glad I splurged for the FTU wristband, which was $100 today (the non-unlimited FT pass was $85, so it made no sense to get that one). Surprisingly, there was no tents for the temperature check, resulting in some people being turned away likely just because they were standing with the sun blaring on them for 5 minutes prior. Made my way to the ticket-taker, of which there were two rows of for some reason, and asked both where I could turn my FTU voucher into a wristband. Neither knew.

 

Made my way to Candymonium, figuring I'll get it out of the way, and was turned away at the entry to put my backpack in a locker - yes, this is a mandatory-l0cker ride. Thankfully, Hershey's ride lockers, where required, are free for a limited time, which is something real nice that Cedar Fair and Six Flags could take a hint from. Back to the gate, showed my FTU voucher, and was let in ahead of probably 45 minutes worth of line. However, due to where the merge point is (at the bottom of the stairs), it still took me 10 minutes (on-and-off, including ride time) for the back row. How did I like it?

 

Candymonim Review: It's a B&M Hyper of the modern variety. Meh. Couple of airtime moments, a couple that could-have-been if it weren't for trims on the up-hills, but generally quite forceless. That one turn that everyone talks about being "overly banked for a B&M" is cool though. And the queue is entirely indoors, and largely air conditioned, which is nice. At least it will draw crowds away from other rides, and it does look pretty...

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Yay, train shot.

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Oh, and the fountain is done and operational.

 

Onward, I found a kiosk to convert my FTU voucher into a wristband, which is part of the "HPGO" system. I get what they're going for with this, having the ability track scores at the Cupfusion ride and times at the mat racer, but it seems overly complicated. Onward to Comet, which was 7 minutes for row six. Note that this was the first of many rides that the FTU did not help me at all due to the merge location well before the station (imagine Millennium Force's Fast-Lane merge, and that's almost every coaster at Hershey). Great classic woodie, skid brakes and buzz bars and all.

 

Next up was my #1 in the park, and #3 steel coaster I've been on, Skyrush! First ride took me 16 minutes for a back-row, left-side wing seat. Note that the FTU did not help here either. WOW I forgot how intense this ride is. I kept my arms up the entire time, but it felt like it was trying to break me off at the torso with those laterals on the transitions. Combined with the fact that I definitely didn't leave enough room between my thighs and the bar, it was a little bit painful. I don't know how possible it is, but I feel this ride would benefit greatly from Maverick/Fahrenheit/I305 style restraints. Still a spectacular ride as is, but that one change might put it above Maverick and I305 to claim my number one spot.

 

As SuperDooperLooper was closed (with trains in the station and on the final breakrun), it was time for the hike up the big hill (I forgot how hilly this park is!) to Great Bear. 7 minutes on-on-and-off, back row, bypassing probably 20-30 minutes of queue. Great B&M from the early days, when they weren't afraid to fit an entire zero-g-roll into 30 feet of track. And I will always love the creative support work down along the creek.

 

Since I was in the area, I figured I might as well hit up their log flume, Coal Cracker (8 minutes, no FTU line that I could find). For those not in the know, this is one of the few flumes left that have a little "jump-ramp" at the bottom of the main drop, causing the boat to skip along the water, generally resulting in not getting very wet (love it or hate it). Unforunately, for me who was trying to stay mostly dry, after the skips the boat hit a wall rather oddly, causing a big splash from the side, and my entire right half getting drenched. Oh well, it was sunny enough that I was dry by the time I got off of Trailblazer, which was next and a walk-on for row 3. After that, I was feeling a bit hungry, so I grabbed a larger-than-normal Superpretzel and a beer from the nearby stand, and collected my second wristband of the day (for being over 21).

 

Next on the route was Sidewinder, 10 minutes for second-to-last row (no help from FTU). Normally Vekoma Boomerangs are auto-skips for me, but with the new-style vest-restraint trains they're not bad rides at all. I'm so glad that Morey's Boomerang finally got them. Made my way up to Fahrenheit, my #2 at the park and a great Intamin (6 minutes back row, bypassing 30-45 minutes of queue since this is the only coaster at the park where FTU drops you right in the station). Was great before the soft straps, and even better now. I'm not sure why Intamin never built more of these vertical-lift/beyond-vertical-drop coasters in the US.

 

After that, it was time to make my way back towards Lightning Racer (so I could get the left side, the only credit I care about that I didn't have at this park). I decided against better judgement to give Wildcat a try. 21 minutes for the front row (again, no help from FTU), and it was surprisingly tolerable...until a pothole in the middle of a turn halfway through the ride, and then another rough transition. Walked down the ramp with a tinge in my spine and a wicked headache. To add injury to injury, the turnstile on the exit ramp decided to not move when I walked into it, jamming one of the rods right into my thigh, causing me to limp the rest of the day (it still hurts). Forget bringing in RMC, just burn it to the ground.

 

Finished the limping-trek back to Lightning Racer, skipping both Laff Trakk (I hate spinning coasters) and Wild Mouse (been on one, been on them all), and got a lap on the left (Thunder) side, front row, in 7 minutes (bypassing three trains worth of regular queue with FTU) and then immediately a lap on the right (Lightning) side, front row, in 10 minutes. Great dueling coaster, which raced every time. On the second lap, my train won by less than a foot, which I thought was kinda cool.

 

By now it was around 1:00, so I decided to stroll through the waterpark and decide whether it was worth it to get changed into swimwear and partake. This is where the crowds were, people. As it turns out, I did end up getting changed, and spent around 3 hours in the waterpark as a whole. Notably collected my third wristband here (for the lockers). I spent around 15 minutes in the wave pool (after a 10 minute wait - it still blows my mind that this park has a queue line for the wave pool, even in non-COVID times) and did four laps of the lazy river after a 40 minute wait. It was a 30 minute line to get a tube for their one tube-slide complex, then another 30 minutes to climb the stairs (I skipped, just estimated by how many people I saw). Water coaster and mat racer were closed. As with my trip in 2017, the waterpark continues to be a disaster. The lazy river needs to be put on Fast Track yesterday. I will say this, I *LOVE* the l0cker system they have for the waterpark, where you get a wristband and you scan it to open it each time, meaning you only need to remember the general location of the locker, not which specific number it is.

 

After drying off and getting changed back into normal park clothes, it was time for another lap on Fahrenheit, this time in the front row (8 minutes, bypassing 45-60 minutes of normal queue). Feeling hungry again, so grabbed a garlic grilled cheese and side of mac&cheese (what a shock, right?) from the Overlook food court, both of which were good but not quite Melt or Tom+Chee level. The it was time for the second lap on Great Bear, this time in the front (11 minutes, bypassing 30 minutes of queue).

 

From there, it was time for some more laps on Skyrush. First time around I braved the front-row line, taking a total of 34 minutes (no help from FTU), and rode in the front on the right-side wing seat. Just as awesome and intense in the front as the back. Immediately got back on for one more back-row lap (15 minutes, bypassing 10 minutes of queue), this time in an inside seat, which was slightly less twisty-forceful as the wings. Still had me leaning halfway in to the next seat though LOL. These two laps I was able to get a bit of space between my thigh and the bar, which helped but only a little, since they have a way of tightening as the ride works it way through the course.

 

At this point, it was 6:00 (park closed at 7:00), so I figured I'd try to beat the rush of crowd exiting. Made my way back to the front, taking some pictures of Candymonium (yes, skipping another ride - sue me, it wasn't that good) and the new entrance, and then out - which is through the gift shop, even with all of the "avoid indoor spaces!" hullabaloo of Coronavirus -and back to my car and to the drive home. Which, if you Google map Hersheypark to Newark, DE, you will see is an awesome semi-twisty ride on backroads through Amish Country with maybe 20 minutes of highway the entire time...perfect for the Miata with the top down.

 

I left Hersheypark feeling largely the way I did about it after my 2017 trip - Four awesome coasters (Skyrush, Fahrenheit, Lightning Racer, and Great Bear), but not worth a yearly trip despite being only an hour and 45 minutes from me. Too much crowd, the tragedy of the waterpark, the largely useless-ness of the skip-the-line system (though I was glad I had it for Fahrenheit alone), and the hilly, easy-to-get-lost in layout just don't work for me. Great park, no question about it, but not my cup of tea I guess.

 

I'll leave you with a shot of the new main gate, at the end of the day, to enjoy.

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So long, Hershey.

Edited by Mike240SX
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I hate to end the report like this but I have a major gripe with the new exit during an ongoing pandemic. They have a Dollywood style exit now where you are forced to exit through the gift shop. I hate the idea during normal times, but I think it's irresponsible and dangerous during these times. I get that there's an inherent risk just from going to the park and waiting in lines near other people. But hoarding thousands of people through a gift shop (with the doors closed so everyone has to touch them) with no way to go around during a pandemic is plain wrong. The 7 pm closing only exacerbates the size of the closing hoard. I don't know if it's greed or a bad oversight but they need to let people go through the outside gates at closing time, simply put. With all of the precautions they take and closures in place due to Covid, the idea that they have this exit setup right now is asinine.

 

Haha I said the same exact thing when I went through it today. Literally, out loud, and loud enough for everyone in a 15 foot radius to hear me.

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Made my way up to Fahrenheit, my #2 at the park and a great Intamin (6 minutes back row, bypassing 30-45 minutes of queue since this is the only coaster at the park where FTU drops you right in the station). Was great before the soft straps, and even better now. I'm not sure why Intamin never built more of these vertical-lift/beyond-vertical-drop coasters in the US.

 

Always glad to see more Fahrenheit love. It seriously is the only coaster where FTU helps at all on some days. Good report. I think you and I agree on most of the coasters, though I seem to enjoy the overall park a lot more.

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Would FTU be a must if you're going on a weekend? I really don't wanna splurge $130 PER PERSON for that...

 

I would say yes, because my personal tolerance for lines is like 15 minutes during normal times, let alone COVID. When I last went in 2017 on a July Saturday, no line (in the dry park) was longer than an hour. So, if you can deal with that, then no, it's not a necessity.

 

If you don't want multiple rides on certain coasters (namely Fahrenheit, Great Bear, Laff Trakk, and Canymonium), the non-unlimited Fast Track is probably a good middle-ground option.

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Back from another nice day at the park today...nice weather and very manageable crowds. Another pretty leisurely day but plenty of time for a full lap around the park.

 

Started off at Fahrenheit before lines built up and got in back. Great first drop, forceful elements, fun airtime hill, nice and smooth, what else is there to say? Basically like a half Maverick and if you combined Storm Runner it'd be a full Maverick.

 

Made my way to the other side of Boardwalk and hit almost everything. Rode Wildcat in back, always enjoyed that coaster and I still don't understand what the bitching is all about. Sure it's aggressive and throws you around, but not to the point where it becomes uncomfortable. It's the way a wooden coaster should be. If it got a retracking it would be one of the better wooden coasters from pre-RMC.

 

Hopped on the Mouse as it had no wait and it was pretty insane as most of the brakes were off. Also enjoyed a ride on the classic Whip and the Ferris Wheel. Skipped the Acid Trip Spinning Mouse as the line was 45 mins apparently but you can't see it so who knows. Lightning Racer actually had a small line as they only had 1 train on each side but not too long. This has always been kind of disappointing to me...great first half but then it just kind of wanders around. Sure the dueling is fun but you could sleep soundly on that second half.

 

Made our way back towards the center of the park with a quick spin on the Claw. Continued on and hit Mediocre Bear. Had almost no line but someone threw up which caused them to have to send about 4 empties in a row plus clean it up. Anyways, rode in back and it's like Lightning Racer to me...great first half but just such an anticlimactic ending. Noticed from the exit that Coal Cracker was totally dead so hit that on the way to the Hollow.

 

Skyrush was only running one train but the line was pretty short and got in the back left kill seat. Insane as always, even when holding on it feels like you're about to be ripped in half at multiple points. Part of me wishes it was longer, but honestly if it were any longer your torso would end up falling onto the Comet while your legs ride back to the station.

 

After a quick ride on the rather fast spinning and picturesque Wave Swinger, we finished the day up right with a front row ride on Candemonium. The first half of the ride is so great...i actually like that part better than Nitro. But that 2nd trim hits so hard that it threw me out of my seat way more than the following hill, and that's not an exaggeration. Anyways it's a home run for a park full of terrific coasters and great way to finish the day. Even with Storm Runner and SDL closed it's a fantastic lineup of coasters at what has always been one of my favorite parks.

 

Went to Troegs for dinner and I can't recommend it enough. The brisket sandwich was to die for and the flight of beers I got didn't have a single dud in it.

 

This brief Covid summer getaway ends tomorrow at Knoebels.

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Any specific reason why they have SDL closed?

 

No idea. The park hasn't said anything. It looks like they may have been trying to get it going, since when I was there on Tuesday the trains were parked in the station and what appeared to be the brake run, but it could have been a storage track.

 

It is notable that on the website it's listed as "Temporarily Closed" as opposed to Storm Runner which is listed as "Closed for the Season."

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^ it's terrifying. . . like it's trying to kill you.

 

and yes, it HURTS.

 

(not as much as Wildcat.. Wildcat just sucks, with zero redeeming qualities. . at least Skyrush LOOKS amazing).

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Rode Wildcat in back, always enjoyed that coaster and I still don't understand what the bitching is all about. Sure it's aggressive and throws you around, but not to the point where it becomes uncomfortable. It's the way a wooden coaster should be.

 

Finally someone else says it. Was running best of my 3 trips in 9 years. And no I don't think they'll ever RMC it.

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I sat on the back row for 3 laps in a row a couple weeks ago. No complaints. Ended my visit last year sitting on the back row for 5 or 6 laps. I like it. I also enjoy the Racer.

 

If anyone is going to make it over, let GCI do it. They have new track they are working on. Great place to debut that.

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I sat on the back row for 3 laps in a row a couple weeks ago. No complaints. Ended my visit last year sitting on the back row for 5 or 6 laps. I like it. I also enjoy the Racer.

 

If anyone is going to make it over, let GCI do it. They have new track they are working on. Great place to debut that.

 

I think White Lightning will be the first coaster to try the CGI steel wooden coaster track?

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I love Skyrush, and when I was there this past Thursday that lift hill was HAULING. I don't ever remember it going that fast. I even made it a point to ride it opening year thinking they'll never keep it going that fast forever. It's still the only ride that I just cannot seem to keep my hands up the entire time and have to instinctively grab onto something.

 

Wildcat was also a pleasant surprise. I've never had any good rides on that thing, but I actually had an enjoyable front row ride. There are maybe 3-4 transitions that desperately need a reprofile, but overall I didn't come off with a headache for once.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does Great Bear have big boy seats? I can't remember. I'd hate to ride any B&M invert anywhere but the front but these Covid lbs might have other plans... :/

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As I am gearing up for my first visit to HP in over a decade.... I’ve of course been researching it... And I’m wondering... How fast is Skyrush’s lift hill?!?! POV’s and off ride videos make it look insane!!! But does anyone actually know the speed of it??

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