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PTR: Dave & Falafel Go To Hersheypark

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OK, as always, before we begin, we must review Dave's Rules Of Engagement For His PTRs:


- I like to write, make money from it, and think everyone should read more. So enjoy this opportunity to do just that.


- I will likely say something that offends you and/or makes zero sense at some point during the proceedings. I apologize in advance for my insanity.


- I suck at taking pictures. There will likely be ones of "questionable" quality throughout this PTR. I will also occasionally use photos from other sources (like Google Images) to fill in for ones that either totally suck or that I just forgot to take. Just so you know. Plus, Falafel forgot the memory card for her camera, which made it sort of hard for her to take pictures, so you're stuck with my "quality" photography throughout this report.


With all that covered...Let's Begin!


So Falafel (aka my Partner In Crime) and I had such an awesome time when we went to Dollywood (you have committed that PTR to memory, correct?!? If not, you can view it here), that we knew we had to visit some more parks together this summer. But with me going on the Europe trip and then getting eye surgery, and her having a busier social schedule than most A-list celebrities, coordinating this was going to be a challenge. I asked the eye surgeon how soon after my eye surgery I would be able to return to riding coasters, and after pondering the question for a bit (he admitted that no one had ever asked this before), he told me ten days afterwards I would be fine. So ten days later, I found myself picking up Falafel at the local train station, and driving us to Hersheypark.


Now, Hersheypark is the park that I've been to the most in my life. Besides growing up in the area, I worked there for four years as a rides supervisor while I was in college. So I know a lot about the place. It has changed a lot since I worked there, and has really changed a lot since I was last there three years ago. The obvious additions are the whole Boardwalk waterpark area, and Fahrenheit, the new coaster for 2008. So let's cover them now:


Fahrenheit - We waited an hour to ride this. In the hot sun. Seriously, Hersheypark, it's usually 5000 degrees and 8000% humidity in the PA summer, did the thought of putting some sort of roof over the queue NOT occur to anyone?!? Anyway, aside from that, the ride is fun, though not as amazing as many make it out to be. It seems to fit into Hersheypark's collection of coasters that are fun, but don't blow you away. We only got to ride it once, as the line was huge all day, and the single rider line usually had an hour wait too (I'm not sure how a SRL has a wait equal to or longer than the regular line, but there you go).


The Boardwalk - I'm of two minds about this. There's no doubt that it is hugely popular, given the massive crowds of people that were here all day. On the other hand, the placement is, um, not ideal. Honestly, I think it clogs up the whole upper section of the park, making it really difficult to get around. And I think expanding it next year is only going to make the crowding worse. Really, if they wanted to do a waterpark, they really should have used some of their other land they have available around the park, and left this area open. But I suppose I cannot argue with the success of placing this in the park. We thought about trying out some of the slides and stuff, but seeing a 20 or so minute line just to get into a changing room put us off this plan.


I also have to comment on the crowds in the park, which were easily the largest I have ever seen at Hersheypark. And why was it so busy? Because some sort of insidious evil known as The Jonas Brothers was playing at the outdoor arena that night, meaning the park was clogged with 12 year old girls wearing homemade JB tshirts and engaging in shrieking contests all day long. We had hoped that the park would really empty out once the show started, but it never really did. As Falafel is still traumatized from being trapped in Hershey's parking lot after an N Sync concert, we made sure to leave before the show let out.


We still had an awesome day. Hersheypark is one of the better parks in the US. While none of the coasters are top tier, they're all reasonably good fun. There's a decent number of flat rides, and the park is nicely landscaped and clean. While some rides had really long lines, and we skipped some due to this (Great Bear), we were still able to ride pretty much all we wanted to get on. We also took a trip out to Chocolate World, which Falafel had never been to in the afternoon, where we took the tour and I bought a new Reese's Pillow (these pillows are amazing and a must have for world travel). Overall it was a great day at Hersheypark with some frustrations, and when we go back, we're going to make damn sure to consult the concert schedule before we plan our day. And never forget, we could have waited in a line all day and still had awesome fun, as we are quite adept at entertaining ourselves (much to the confusion and annoyance of those around us, usually!).


Anyway, enough of my yammering, let's go to the visuals!


Oh yeah, almost forgot...DEATH TO THE JONAS BROTHERS!!!! Stupid people clogging the park...boo


And at this point we were pretty tired, just like you're tired of reading my nonsense, so we'll end the report here. Thanks for playing! Coming soon: Dave & Falafel Go To SFGAdv! Until then, have a giant carnivorous bee free day...


And we ended our day on the carousel, still one of the best at any park.


The Comet heads down the drop. Those who never rode this without the trims really have no idea how much better this coaster was.


Snagged from google images, I include this picture of the monorail because I forgot to take one, and because I made Falafel ride it because I spent a lot of hours when I worked at the park running it. I'm sure she was thrilled by these stories. If you define "thrilled" as hoping I'll stop talking at some point...


Falafel's expression pretty much sums up the Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge. Seriously, this is the worst shooting dark ride ever, and the pre-show in the queue is just horrible and goes on forever. And they no longer give out peanut butter cups at the end. LAME!


Splash! Still one of the best waves of water you'll see from one of these rides.


Boat goes up the hill


Lightning Racer is still awesome fun. We got multiple rides, including one where we had to sit on the brake run for ten minutes or so. At least our part of the train was under a roof, unlike most of the people who got to boil in the sun. Sucks for them!


Piers, I had NO idea your sister was appearing in a show here!


Falafel says, "Wait, I can sit here and enjoy some peace and quiet while you attempt to take pictures and fail miserably?!? I LOVE THIS BENCH!!!"




Still fun, but seems to have gotten a little rough since the last time I rode it.




The Storm Runner line shortened up a bit in the afternoon, so we decided to ride it then.


And it's still a very popular ride.


The Trail Blazer. Totally forceless, but I still like it, only because I spent a fair number of hours working at it.


No Great Bear rides for us today, with a line that almost filled the queue (I've never seen it with a line this long).


SooperDooperLooper! Still awesome fun, and LAP BARS ONLY. I really like this area of the park where a bunch of rides all intersect with each other.


Candy everywhere! And I bought a pillow. I know how to shop!


So mid-afternoon, we took a trip out to Chocolate World. Falafel had never been here before, and afterwards remarked on the lameness of the exhibit. I have to agree, it's not nearly as good as it was before the makeover. Unless you're really into singing cows. Then it would be the best thing ever. But at least it's free. And air conditioned.


Falafel would like to inform everyone that she does not, in fact, have granny bugs.


This sounds disturbing.


And just who is the whip for, Falafel?!?


We did ride a good number of flat rides while we are at the park. We both love the Whip, which Hersheypark has really put a lot of effort and expense into the sign...


Goodbye, rapids ride. You have served us well. Hopefully some day the park will add another one, as not everyone wants to stand in a crowded wave pool.


Falafel prepares to tear into a giant-assed chicken strip. I have to take a moment here to say ATTENTION HERSHEYPARK: YOUR FOOD BLOWS. Seriously, this food was horrible, some of the worst we've ever had a park. Neither one of us could finish it, and at $27 for two orders of strips, fries and a drink, it was a huge suck in value. Perhaps you could see to it that your food stands offer up something a little better than what prisoners are fed, Hershey...


Ice cream, salad, and wraps. Sounds like an awesome diet!


I should really install one of these over my front door, which would perhaps cut down on people bothering me. Especially if I filled it with bees...


These bucket things are awesome, though.


Pretty nice area, but it really makes it hard to get between other attractions up in this section of the park.


Into the Boardwalk. And yes, it's busy.


Roller Soaker! It had a massive line all day, so we never got on it. We did play with the water cannons around the area for awhile, though. It would have been more fun if they were real cannons, but I can see where the people on the ride might not agree with this idea.


Through the support! Yeah, I really should not be allowed to own a camera...


Hmm, I'm three pictures in, and I'm already out of caption ideas. This might be challenging...


It does have a lot of twists and turns, but seems to take them a little slow.


First stop, Fahrenheit! It's fun, but not amazing.


Here we are at Hersheypark! After two hours in the car, Falafel would be happy to be anywhere, as long as it meant that she could get out of the car and away from my pointless yammering.

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I love Falafel's t-shirt of "I Heart Toxic Waste!" Where can I get such a shirt? I want to send one to my friend in New Jersey. We always tease him about the toxic waste in his state, even calling the park "Six Flags Toxic Adventures."


I think Dave and Falafel need to make a video. There are many great duos -- Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, Abbot and Costello, Bill and Ted, and Romy and Michelle, but now there is Dave and Falafel! I'd buy that video for a dollar!


BTW, how come I want to call Falafel "Fally-fel?" Who knows...

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Goodbye, rapids ride. You have served us well. Hopefully some day the park will add another one, as not everyone wants to stand in a crowded wave pool.


Bless you sir!


Glad you two had a good time there and your adventures are always an entertaining read. Got a good laugh out of the buckets captions too.

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...so, is "Bare Wires" the name of a band you listen to?


No, I will not rest until I figure this out! It haunts me!!!


Random captions are more fun than well thought out captions or, uh, rehearsed captions? Can you rehearse captions? "Hey I got a great caption for [insert ride here]! I will store it in a text file until I do a TR of [park] and can use it!" Do those count? That would seem kinda lame.

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Nice TR Dave! I probably should have read this later in the day, because my mom came in and yelled at me for laughing so loud at 7:30 in the morning!


Also, I blame Slipknot for your Jonas Brothers problem. They had the chance to fix the problem when they premiered their video for Psychosocial on FNMTV. Shawn even had a baseball bat with him!


Don't track me down and kill me!

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Awesome trip report apart from the Crocs! They are terrible shoes!!


And I thought you were both cool until then...


Hey, the Crocs got Falafel through the Japan trip--don't knock the Crocs!

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^Not everyone eats BBQ. Falafel has an Elissa-style diet, so I always just eat wherever she wants to. But there is NO excuse to screw up chicken strips that badly. And to charge that much for them.


I've been going to this park since I was very young, and I never recall them having food any better than "OK". But I never remember getting anything this bad, either. Ah well, lesson learned and all that...



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...so, is "Bare Wires" the name of a band you listen to?


No, I will not rest until I figure this out! It haunts me!!!


If you ever find out, make sure the information is shared with NONE of us.


Oh, and death to the Jonas Brothers.

I'm halfway to thinking that he actually was at the park that day for the Jonas Brothers concert, and that's why he refuses to tell anyone the bands he listens to!


[but only half-way there, so uh, don't kill me!]

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^I believe you are correct. Falafel hearts Toxic Waste, The Jonas Brothers are Toxic Waste, therefore Falafel hearts The Jonas Brothers, thusly and hence.


Nice report that I pretty much agree with in regards to Fahrenheit and The Boardwalk. Kind of makes me want to go back to Hersheypark sometime real soon.

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...so, is "Bare Wires" the name of a band you listen to?


No, I will not rest until I figure this out! It haunts me!!!


Bare Wires was a local Baltimore band that some people I know were a part of. They broke up a long time ago. That shirt is like the most comfortable shirt ever, which is why I was wearing it. I have no Bare Wires songs on my Ipod, so keep guessing!


There's actually a really easy way to find out some of the bands I listen to on this forum. I'm amazed this still haunts you, though I guess it involved looking at me, which usually requires intensive therapy for most people, so...


Random captions are more fun than well thought out captions or, uh, rehearsed captions? Can you rehearse captions? "Hey I got a great caption for [insert ride here]! I will store it in a text file until I do a TR of [park] and can use it!" Do those count? That would seem kinda lame.


I never think of things ahead of time. Occasionally, we'll spot something that Falafel has to have her picture taken in front of, but for the most part I don't even think about captions or anything until I load the pics up and get ready to make the PTR. I only have about five jokes anyway that I'll just repeat over and over and over and over, so it doesn't require too much of my energy.


Glad you guys enjoyed this little slice of nonsense...



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I was at Hershey on Tuesday the 12th, and as far as I could tell, Comet was NOT trimmed, or if it was it was hardly noticeable. Others have said the same thing this year. It's still no Phoenix, but it no longer sucks. Other than the loading time, that is. It's still the worst in the park. The sign at the start of the queue saying 20 minutes is the biggest joke in the industry. The queue was only 2/3 full and it was about 40 minutes.


Second place in the sucky loading time category is a tie between Great Bear and Wildcat. Wildcat is tolerable because it doesn't get a crowd much of the time, but Great Bear is ridiculous.


The Wild Mouse was braked before the big drop, which I've seen before, and also the subsequent drops, which I hadn't. But the brakes are still off on the mousy part of the track, so it's still a win.


You think YOU had a bad wait for Fahrenheit in the sun? Well, on Tuesday it wasn't super-hot, there was a nice breeze going all day, but they were watering the queue! They had sprinklers set up a few feet back from three of the turns in the queue. They must have thought it would provide a nice mist. But the drop size was too big, and they failed to account for the wind. People did NOT appreciate getting soaked.

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