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Hersheypark and Dorney info please!!!!


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Hey guys, Im headed to Hershey and Dorney. Going to Hershey on Monday June 1st and Dorney Wednesday June3rd. Just wanting a general idea of what you guys have to say about these parks, and what the crowds might possibly be like. Food, cleanliness, park employees. How strict are they on rain policies? Are the parks easy/hard to navigate? Thanks for any info. Christy

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Not sure what you want, but I've been to Dorney Park on a rainy day, and all the rides were open. I couldn't see throughout the ride because it was just that bad, but it was open. I think they close if lightning is in the area, but otherwise it's open. I've never had any problems with lines at Dorney, you will most likely be able to get through everything and some before half the day is over.

 

Hershey is more busy, I've always been able to get on everything but Fahrenheit will be a pain, the line fills up quickly at opening and doesn't seem to let down at all. But you are going early in the year on a Monday while all the highschoolers are in school (at least on the NJ side) so probably just have a great day.

 

Both parks are about the same when it comes to cleanliness and friendliness of employees, but i can't help you with the food part, I tend not to pay for overpriced food.

 

Dorney is very simple to navigate, you pretty much see the ride you want to go to and walk there with few obstacles in the way. Hershey Park on the other hand, is slightly harder but would only result in walking for a few more minutes if you don't know your way around the park, not too bad.

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Hershey is a nice park; it's very clean and it has some great rides. Their rollercoasters are some of the best, too. It's a well-themed park as well....you know they make chocolate there The people are pretty friendly, guests and employees.

 

Within the past few years, I think it's become over-crowded. I'm not a big fan of huge crowds so it may bother me more so than others...but the crowds there definitely increased. It's not the park itself, it's not a small park...but I always find myself constantly dodging other people when I walk around there. That's the biggest gripe I have with Hershey these days.

 

I'm ashamed to say I haven't been to Dorney in a few years so I can't give a current opinion of what it's like. But I do always remember it being a plesant enough park I do remember the crowds being a little big there, too, at times.

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As already stated, the crowds are thicker at Hershey.

But at Dorney the crowds can get undesirable quick as I've noticed that 3 or 4 buses can mean a significant increase in high-strung city teens who WILL sit next to you on Talon or Hydra without a care. While I don't mind sitting next to strangers on rides, these type are usually the "scream stupid crap at each other from different cars and stick their arms out until they are right up against yours and thinking nothing of it" crowd.

In my experiences at Dorney, this has happened every visit. Hershey's predominantly family crowd doesn't usually produce as many "undesirables".

 

As far as good food goes, Hershey has the Tudor Grill, Central PA Kosher Mart (excellent falafel), and Country Grill/Freeman's BBQ for the best dining options.

For decent affordable dining there's also Craftbarn Kitchen, Famiglia Pizza, Decades and Minetown Restaurant but keep in mind the food is extremely average at these places. I suggest going for the few extra bucks for the first three mentioned. Oh, also the Gourmet Grille that replaced Wok & Roll a couple years ago is okay but no place will ever be as good as the old San Gieorgio Pasta House.

 

Dorney doesn't have much of a dining selection at all. There's a Coasters Drive-In and The Gameday Grille but other than that, your typical and terrible CF counter-service places are abundant. I suggest Coasters which is kind of like a counter service Johnny Rockets but definitely a step or two below in terms of food quality and atmosphere. You can still get a great burger and fries there.

There's also a Subway in Wildwater Kingdom if you're not feeling adventurous.

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Dorney won't be too bad, some school trips but lines shouldn't be more than 10 minutes at the most. The waterpark should also be rather empty since a lot of schools don't allow the kids on the trip to go to the waterpark. Just ride the mouse early or late the day because that is the only ride that can have a wait on a slow day thanks to their stupid policies of no more than 2 adults per car and adding seatbelts to the ride which slows down loading and that they only run 4 or 5 cars usually.

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Hershey is a nice park and is very clean but however as many have said the crowds can get kinda big, however they do their best to run the coasters with all the trains. The employees are ok, not rude or anything but nothing really stands out about them.

The food at hershey is amusement park food, not that cheap but not as expensive as Six Flags and it can be good.

You do have to worry about school trips because I know my school is going that day (and so am I) and I am sure there will be more going that day and if Storm Runner is not open Fehrenheit could have quite long lines and with only three trains it could have a 30 minute wait but that is in the worst case.

You will mostly have 5-10 minute lines so hope you have a good trip!

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Dorney doesn't have much of a dining selection at all. There's a Coasters Drive-In and The Gameday Grille but other than that, your typical and terrible CF counter-service places are abundant. I suggest Coasters which is kind of like a counter service Johnny Rockets but definitely a step or two below in terms of food quality and atmosphere. You can still get a great burger and fries there.

There's also a Subway in Wildwater Kingdom if you're not feeling adventurous.

 

In my limited experience, Coasters and Gameday Grille are also mediocre in both food and service. Everytime I go to Gameday they're hopelessly understaffed, and the one time I went to Coasters my food was barely warm. And amusement park Subways are usually like twice the price of a normal Subway, so they're not really an alternative.

 

For the first time visitor to Hershey, study of the map is a must! The paths don't seem to lead in the shortest direction to a lot of the rides. There are signposts around the park that point in the general direction, but there are still lots of places you can go the wrong way. To make matters worse though, the map really doesn't seem to be to scale in some spots. I blame it on the hilly terrain. But definitely use the map and the signposts! If you just set out walking in the general direction of a ride, you may easily find yourself walking all the way around it, possibly encountering a dead end in the process, to find the entrance.

 

Also on the subject of Hershey, Comet, the antique wooden coaster, has a ludicrous line all the time. This is not because it's an outstanding ride (although it's a good ride for what it is), but because operations are horribly slow. You may never see trains stacked anywhere for as long as you will on Comet. (Even though several of Hershey's other rides stack just about 100% of the time too.) I'm a big wood coaster fan, but it's not worth making it your first stop on your first trip just to avoid the line. Do one of the big steel coasters instead. (Probably Fahrenheit, unless you really want a lot of rides on Great Bear. Stormrunner's line has been sensible since Fahrenheit opened.) You'll have to decide later whether you want to spend your time in Comet's line.

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I agree in that the crowds have become thicker at Hershey, especially with the Boardwalk and Fahrenheit. I don't know how that crowds will be affected this year with the Shore and Intercoastal Waterway. I'm going on June 7th, and that will be after you, so I can't help you there as far the Boardwalk expansion goes. What I would do is go directly to Fahrenheit first as soon as you walk in the gate. If the line is pretty full already (yes, there are idiots that run back to it, even after the security guards tell them not to run), check to see if the singles line is available. If it is, and the wait is already pretty decent, go for it! I did it last year and waited about five minutes for the second row (or something like that).

 

Do not do Comet Hollow first as everyone seems to either go down there first or over to Fahrenheit / Storm Runner (if it will be open). Hit Comet later in the day, early evening as on a non-busy day, this seems to have lesser crowds. Me and my friend Alex will usually hit this coaster later in the day and usually don't have a problem with lines (unless the place is jam-packed). Great Bear shouldn't be a problem for a Monday. I know it isn't for a Sunday in June since that's what Alex and I usually do.

 

If you decide not to do Fahrenheit first, I highly reccommend going out to Midway and doing the two GCI's (Wildcat and Lighting Racer) first, as well as Wild Mouse, as these will be walk-ons first thing in the day. Lightning Racer is also a people eater when both trains are on the track so unless the place is jam-packed, this shouldn't be a problem throughout the day. And Hershey has one of the best Wild Mouse's out there. With the lack of trims, it really provides a nice, intense, experience.

 

As far as food goes, I don't know what your plans are. We usually eat back at Minetown Restaurant (adjact to Coal Cracker / Great Bear). I usually get a personal pizza, side salad and a drink in there. We'll also eat at the Subway near Sidewinder / Storm Runner. I've also heard people hype up the Freeman's Bar-b-que place down by Trailblazer. While I have never eaten there before, I can tell you the aroma smells awesome and I have heard great reviews about it, so perhaps you may want to check that out as well.

 

Oh something I forgot to mention, you SHOULD do Chocolate World first! I highly recommend on getting there an hour early (9 am) when Chocolate World opens, go in there and do the tour. It gets you in the mood for the day. Alex and I NEVER go to Hershey without doing this first. Even if you are done, let's say, around twenty after nine, go down to the park gates anyways. They'll usually let you in about ten to fifteen minutes early, depending on the crowds. During this time you can hit a ride or two that's usually available to "Hersheypark Sweet Start" guests staying at a Hershey Resort. What I did last year was just park myself in front of the barrier by Reese's X-treme Cup Challenge, and wait for them to lower it so I could go for Fahrenheit.

 

One more thing, make sure you include a water ride in the mix. Coal Cracker is excellent in that it cools you off without getting super wet (what I prefer for anyone who doesn't want to get wet that much) or Tidal Force and the rest of the Boardwalk attractions. Reese's X-treme Cup Challenge and the Kissing Tower are both air-conditioned so you can also hop on one of those attractions to cool off.

 

That's my two-cents. I hope it helps you in someway. I'm not a Dorney expert (only been there twice in 2000 and 2006), but I do go to Hershey several times a year. It is clean, beautiful and the staff usually is pretty good. Overall, I recommend Hershey over Dorney when it comes to the coasters and those other things (not that Dorney isn't good either, it's improved greatly over the last several years). Most of all, have fun!

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