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Hersheypark (HP) Discussion Thread

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So, I visited Hershey Park for the first time last Thursday. Park layout and operations aside I really liked the park (more than Kings Island for example). Besides its grand and corporate entrance, I feel like the park still has a lot of charm, hopefully this will not be lost in the future. As I do feel the park is finding itself in this transition  between regional to destination park.

- The biggest surprise was definitely Skyrush. I absolutely loved that ride. The restraints aren’t comfortable but they aren’t unbearable either. I'd say there on pair with the new Mack restraints... although that might be swearing in the church to some. It does not really happen anymore that a ride gives me an "oh sh*t" moment, so that was a pleasant surprise.

- Great Bear was also great, if the ride was 1/4 longer with 2/3 more elements it would definitely be my favourite invert.

- Storm Runner was great too, hydraulic launch coasters are some of my favorites and this one actually has a layout after the top hat.

- Candymonium is a great ride, especially the first drop & 2nd hill are great. It just pales in comparison to skyrush as B&M hypers all feel very controlled and calculated. 

Again, I ended up having a great day. The low crowds really helped as the ops were not that great. Can't wait to come back to see what RMC did with wildcat.

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  • 1 month later...

The family and I headed to Hershey this past Saturday to check out Dark Nights, their inaugural haunt event. While they've had "Hersheypark in the Dark" for several years, this is the first time they've actually added a number of walk-through haunted houses to their lineup. We went in with pretty low hopes overall, expecting it to be packed and crowded based off what we've seen from HP so far this season, and since we weren't planning on buying any Fast Lane passes, we pretty much were resigned to only riding a handful of rides and hopefully getting through all of the houses.

Although the park opens at 2:00 PM on their October weekends, we got into town around 12:00, hoping to grab some lunch at Chocolatier. We walked up the steps and asked for a table for four, only to find out that they were COMPLETELY booked the entire remainder of the day. Apparently they now take reservations, compared to last year where it was walk-up only. Oh well. Instead we pivoted over to Chocolate World for a while, and did their free factory tour dark ride. While this has usually been a walk-on for us in the past, the line ended up being about 45 minutes. And trying to walk through Chocolate World's retail areas was tough, as it was wall-to-wall people. A definite sign of things to come for the remainder of the day.


After Chocolate World, we lined up outside the gates; the lines to enter were already back towards the tram dropoff points, and by 1:30 PM, they had started opening up four of the gates to begin letting people in. Our initial idea was to knock out Candymonium first, but it seemed like everyone else had that idea as well as those lines quickly backed up out of the building and all the way back to Starbucks. No big deal. We decided to skip it. Instead, we grabbed our wristbands for Dark Nights (as the houses are an upcharge, similar to what Six Flags does for their events), and waited near the guest services building waiting for them to drop the ropes.

Our next plan of attack was to hit Cupfusion since that always gets a pretty long line and has slow throughput. Unfortunately, when rope drop happened, it was not yet open for the day, and a line outside of the queue had already formed for it. Time for pivot #2! We decided to walk towards the back of the park and hit the three coasters near the Boardwalk section. This ended up being the right move, as my son and I were greeted with a completely empty queue for Fahrenheit and got on the back row immediately. This is probably my favorite of the vertical lift coasters that I've been on, and is a ton of fun.


Next up, we headed over to Jolly Rancher Remix, which is the old Sidewinder boomerang with a brand new paint job, some gorgeous Jolly Rancher shaped lights in the station, a pumpin' club music soundtrack, and a funky short little tunnel after the cobra roll with lights and scents. My daughter had missed out on it as Sidewinder every time we had previously visited, so this was a new credit for her, and my wife hemmed and hawed for a bit before deciding to make this her first boomerang as well. We were greeted again with basically no line here as everyone else was still in the front of the park. We got in the front two rows, and it was... fine? I guess? As far as boomerangs go, this is one of the better ones, but it's still nothing too special. My wife handled it pretty well at least while going forwards, but the backwards part completely messed her up and she decided to sit out rides for a while afterwards.

While she was taking a break, my daughter decided to give Mix'd a try, which is a Zamperla Nebulaz situated directly between the two halves of JRR's cobra roll. It had a pretty long cycle and she really enjoyed it! And during her ride, my son and I jumped over to Storm Runner, which had the first inklings of a line, with about three groups of people in each line in the station. Only the left side of the station was open at this point. We ended up waiting about five minutes for a row in the middle of the train. This is still one of my favorite launched coasters; while KDK and TTD are fun enough and impressive for their sheer scale, having a full layout with absolutely insane elements makes this a top-tier pick in my book. Always a fun time!

We took a short break here to grab some lunch in the park. With not much in that area open at 3:00 PM, our choices were pretty much limited to either Subway or Moe's. At this point I was taking a look at the app to see what rides were open, what was closed, what had long waits and what didn't. We noticed that Great Bear was posting a five minute wait, so my son and I scarfed down the rest of our sandwiches and headed off across the park to go get some wacky inverted goodness. When we arrived, we were greeted by this;


Insert [sothatwasafuckinglie.gif] here. On the plus side, we managed to get a quick ride on the Hershey Tower, the only one of the Triple Tower that was open that day. Kisses and Reese's were both down due to staffing. There was no line for Hershey as it had just reopened, so we hopped on and started going up the tower... only for it to get about ten feet off the ground, make a *CLUNK* noise, and lower slowly back down to the ground. The ride ops came around again to recheck restraints, they started it up again, and... same thing. Then I got pelted in the forehead by one of those obnoxious little spotted lanternflies; second time in a row this has happened on my Hersheypark visits. Gah! Thankfully, third time was the charm and we got the full launch and drop experience.


Afterwards, we doubled back across the park to meet up with my wife and daughter; my daughter was getting in a spin on Howler with a couple other kids while my wife was still recovering from her boomerang experience. We decided to take it nice and easy for a little bit with a ride on their miniature train, Dry Gulch Railroad. The queue was completely full, but we got on within three cycles in 20 minutes. It's a nice, relaxing way to take in some views of the park.


We took a quick break from doing rides to take a walk through their trick-or-treat trail, located in the otherwise closed Boardwalk section. Everyone was issued a medium-sized plastic bag, and there were a number of photo ops and people handing out pieces of Hershey's candy throughout a winding 10-15 minute long walk through this area.

At this point, we decided to try our luck on Cupfusion again. The ride was now open and the app was posting a 45 minute wait. We got in line near the entrance, and 45 minutes later, we were still outside; we hadn't even made it to the covered part of the queue yet. We decided to cut our losses here and start preparing for the haunted houses. As the sun was going down and the temps were dropping to the mid-40's, we went back to a locker and grabbed some gloves and scarves to start bundling up. We took a walk to the back section of the park, where the first two houses were located, and were greeted by a display showing tribute to Hershey's rides of the past, as well as a display accurately reflecting what it felt like to ride Wildcat. Most of Wildcat's station has been completely stripped bare at this point, with just the framing remaining.


Our first house was The Descent, located to the left of Laff Trakk. We waited approximately 15 minutes for this house. They were letting in groups of 8-12 people at a time, as there was a short pre-show scene with some live actors before the house proper kicked off. Some magical visor ended up being stolen that allowed the wearer to see their future, and we were tasked with following them into the sewers to try and get it back. There were a lot of neat effects in here, including some cutout sections of the floor that looked like holes you could fall into, and a misty blue laser at waist height which gave the illusion that you were wading through the water. It had a fair amount of scare actors and some good jumps. For my wife and daughter, this was their favorite house of the night, and I'd personally rank it at #2.


Afterwards, we walked around to the other side of Laff Trakk, where they had the first scare zone of the night, "Midway of Misery". This looked promising, as there was a big archway with some fireball jets on the top and some gothic-industrial covers of 80's pop hits playing. Unfortunately, there were not many scare actors present in this scare zone; we noticed a grand total of two in here. We quickly found the line for the next house, Twisted Darkness, which was to be entered through the queue for The Whip. The line ended up stretching back to Musik Express, but that was primarily due to them scanning the Dark Nights bracelets at the entrance of The Whip. A lot of the stand-up Hershey Kiss scanners (the same kind they use for Fast Lane) weren't quite working properly with the RFID chips in the bracelets, and so instead they'd use handheld scanners to scan the QR codes printed on the bracelet. Once this backup was cleared the actual queue was mostly empty all the way to the merge point between regular bracelet users and Fast Lane users. We waited maybe ten minutes from here to get into the house, and this was one of the more well-done sadistic carnival themed haunted houses I've been in. Lots of actors, a bunch of great props throughout, and more than a handful of gotcha moments for all of us. This was my favorite one of the night.


From here, we headed back towards Trailblazer for the location of the next scare zone, "Valley of Fear", and the next haunted house, the Haunted Coal Mine. Once again, the scare zone was definitely lacking in actors; we found one random zombified miner who was slowly dragging a pickaxe behind him, but that was about the extent of it. Unless you find fog scary, there wasn't really anything in this section to note. The line for Haunted Coal Mine (which was on the opposite side of the river from Trailblazer) was saying 90 minutes, but we ended up getting into the house in 30 minutes.  Unfortunately since the queue was stretched all the way back over the bridge and into the pathway for Trailblazer, there were no lights back there, and I ended up tripping over a branch in the pathway, skinning a couple fingers and my right knee and slightly twisting my ankle. Not fun and definitely not the kind of "Twisted Darkness" I was hoping for. The house itself was okay. This definitely had the fewest amount of scare actors in it, but there was a cool part where you would enter a room meant to be an elevator, the doors would close behind you, and when they reopened it would lead to a different location. There were also some good effects here. Overall, nothing to write home about, but interesting to see them trying something different than the usual concepts.


The final scare zone and haunted house took some work on finding. Although the exit was directly across from the Haunted Coal Mine, the entrance was all the way back in the Hollow area, with the queue starting in Dispatch Pizza. This haunted house, Creature Chaos, was less of a house and more of a haunted trail along the waterside near Great Bear and Skyview. We also had the opposite luck of what we experienced at the coal mine; this one said a 30 minute wait, and it ended up being a full hour long. Once the trail started, we were led into an auditorium with the creepy Professor Darkstone making a grand theatrical display of one of his mythical creatures. It looked quite impressive and was setting a good stage for what was to come; sadly, the remainder of the trail just wasn't nearly as interesting, as there weren't a ton of great places throughout the trail for the actors to surprise you. Many of the actors were just standing in place waiting for you to come near them. This one was universally agreed as being the biggest letdown of the night for us. You'll also note I didn't really write anything about the scare zone... and maybe that's because either we completely missed it entirely, or it was completely devoid of anything whatsoever. I understand this is their first year, and they may be dealing with staffing issues like everyone else, but all three of those scare zones were utter disappointments. Hopefully this will improve in the years to come.

By this time, it was already 10:00 PM, at which point most of the rides were beginning to shut down. We found ourselves back at the Hershey Tower and the ride op graciously let us on for the final ride of the night. The park remained open until 11:00 for people to continue doing the haunted houses, but we decided having already seen all of what Hershey had to offer on that front that we should probably head out, grab a late night meal nearby, and rest up for the following day where we would be checking out Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt (write-up to come). All in all, it wasn't a terrible day at HP, but it's definitely not a case anymore where you can expect the park to be empty during the fall season like in years past. Go in with the expectations that if you want to ride rides, you'll need to pick up Fast Lane or be resigned to waiting anywhere from 60-240 minutes for any given ride. (Yes, one ride was posting a 4 hour wait at one point throughout the night.) Hersheypark definitely feels as they cannot handle the crowds as effectively as they used to. We'll be back probably sometime next month or early December for their Christmas Candylane event and we'll see if that's still the case then.


Good night, Hersheypark.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It seems like all of the Haunts around the country were packed this year.  I think a lot of people were still hesitant last year bc of COVID and are making up for it this year.  I know that CP and KI have been absolutely slammed this haunt season.

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Hersheypark has announced Wildcat's Revenge, a new Rocky Mountain Construction coaster for 2023!





Wildcat is back and seeking vengeance. Hersheypark amusement park today announced the details of its all-new Wildcat’s Revenge hybrid coaster. One of 15 coasters at Hersheypark, the wood and steel hybrid will join one of the largest and most iconic coaster collections in the United States in summer 2023, 100 years after the first Wild Cat ride debuted at the Park. 

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), Wildcat’s Revenge adds an all-new steel track with unique elements to the existing wooden framework for a one-of-a-kind thrilling ride experience found only at Hersheypark. The hybrid coaster features a 140-foot hill, maximum speeds of 62 miles per hour and four inversions, including the World’s Largest Underflip.  

“Based on our guest feedback, we knew coaster fans would love a hybrid at Hersheypark, and we’re thrilled to work with RMC on a custom wood and steel coaster with a nod to our history,” said Vikki Hultquist, General Manager of Attractions at Hersheypark. “Wildcat’s Revenge features the very best of RMC’s signature thrills, including four inversions with the World’s Largest Underflip, Inverted Stall, Zero-G Roll and Reversing Downhill Roll.”



Located in the Midway America region of Hersheypark, Wildcat's Revenge features a fully renovated coaster station with a design that harkens back to the iconic 1923 Wild Cat station with low-pitched gables around the perimeter of the roof. Guests of Hershey’s height requirement and taller (48 inches and above) will sit in one of three custom trains, showcasing fully-dimensional black, charcoal and silver wild cats exacting revenge on their wooden predecessor. The thematic elements are a design first for Hersheypark.

The 2-minute and 36-second experience begins as riders climb a 140-foot hill, plunge into an 82-degree drop and hit a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour along 3,510 feet of red track on a black steel and wood structure. The pursuit continues as riders stalk their prey through four inversions, including the World’s Largest Underflip, an inversion that begins with an upward climb, followed by a counterclockwise 270° roll and a dive down towards the side. 

Following its summer 2023 debut, Wildcat’s Revenge will be open for all four seasons, weather permitting. For more information, visit www.Hersheypark.com/explore-the-park/rides/wildcats-revenge/ and follow along on social media using #WildcatsRevenge. 

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Yeah the layout of this looks great, and looks kind of like a mix of a bigger version of Untamed and shorter version of Iron Grazi maybe? I know a lot of people maybe slightly criticize RMC's for having very similar layouts/pacing/feel but those are 2 rides that seem to be universally well liked so should be a great coaster.


I haven't been to Hershey in like 10 years, but lots of new stuff up there for me so might be time for a trip!

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3 hours ago, KBrylczyk said:

We can now get vengeance at Kennywood, Dorney, and Hershey.  PA doesn't let go of grudges, eh?

Waldameer could have gotten in on it, they should have named their new water coaster Ravine Flyer's Vengeance (I mean they already have RFII and RFIII)

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So far I haven’t seen too much complaining that it’s not some 200+ foot, 6 inversion, launched record breaker that all of the YouTube thoosies with a copy of NoLimits dreamt it up to be… impressive! Looks like a great ride, and my god Hersheypark is freakin STACKED! 

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While I am happy that Hershey is getting an RMC, and that I am excited to ride it one day; the separate load/unload stations has me curious as to how the ride will handle loose article storage and retrieval. I'm expecting some kind of fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo type of system.

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23 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

I know a lot of people maybe slightly criticize RMC's for having very similar layouts/pacing/feel but those are 2 rides that seem to be universally well liked so should be a great coaster.

The only RMC hybrids that feel the same are the ones with uncomfortably fast transitions and repeated brief moments of thigh discomfort ejector airtime.

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HersheyPark now arguably has the best ride line-up in the country.  I mean an RMC conversion, solid dueling woody, classic woody, excellent invert, classic Schwarzy, great Boomerang, operating Intamin hydraulic launch, Intamin megalooper, Intmain insane mega, great B&M mega, S&S towers, indoor spinner, dark rides, family rides.   F**k.  That's like the dream park I would make in Roller Coaster Tycoon. 

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52 minutes ago, willh51 said:

HersheyPark now arguably has the best ride line-up in the country.  I mean an RMC conversion, solid dueling woody, classic woody, excellent invert, classic Schwarzy, great Boomerang, operating Intamin hydraulic launch, Intamin megalooper, Intmain insane mega, great B&M mega, S&S towers, indoor spinner, dark rides, family rides.   F**k.  That's like the dream park I would make in Roller Coaster Tycoon. 

Imagine is they never tore down Roller Soaker, then the line up would really be stacked.....

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