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Skycoastin' Steve's 2010 Season Extravaganza!!

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Alright, finally time to add in my Hershey trip report to round off my wonderful PA trip.


I already knew my day at Hershey wasn't going to be quite as good as the previous two days because I had to escort around 10 members of my family (who are all about as GP as it gets). Regardless, I still had a pretty good day and was able to ride everything I wanted to ride at least once.


When we got there, they were all clamoring to take the "factory tour" (even though I told them it wasn't a real factory tour), so we did Chocolate World and the singing cows tour before heading into the park. We were expecting nice weather since the forecast said 10% chance of rain in the morning, but alas, we were poured on for a good hour right after entering the park. However, it didn't stop us from getting on their flyers, which weren't as good as Knoebels' flyers, but were still fun in the pouring rain! After that, we basically just waited it out until the rain stopped, after which I rode Fahrenheit (not much to write here, just a "meh" ride). The family wanted to get food after that, and I wanted to ride Storm Runner, so I ran for Storm Runner.


Storm Runner is really hard to describe in words. It's such an incredible ride, and it's almost one of those "did that just happen?" rides. My only (very minor) complaint is that they could have made that ride a lot longer, but even if it's a short ride, it's got everything you need! After I got off Storm Runner, I grabbed a gyro (delicious) and then convinced a few of my group to get back in line for Storm Runner with me. The wait was only about 20 minutes, but the ride went down as we were about 3 trains from boarding. If you've ever had a miserable experience, try sitting through Intamin accelerator coaster downtime with 3 members of the GP asking you every question in the book. After about 15 minutes, the ride was up, we rode, they loved it, and the VERY next train after us got stuck on the launch track for 30 minutes. Whew!


After Storm Runner, we took the kids to ride Trailblazer, which is a pretty tame Arrow mine train, but still not a bad starter coaster for young ones. I don't exactly remember the sequence of events much after this (I was incredibly annoyed by this point), but we ended up riding Wildcat a couple times. I'm not sure why everyone complains about how "rough" it is. Sure, the PTC trains did some pretty irreversible damage to the track, but even my GP family that's allergic to any coaster not butter smooth said it wasn't that rough. We then VERY slowly meandered over to Lightning Racer, but got a ride on the ferris wheel first.


Lightning Racer wasn't quite as good as I remembered it, but it was still a very, very good ride. I think the first time I rode it, I wasn't as experienced with GCI and was blown away, but now that I've ridden more GCIs, it's not quite as good. We then worked our way back to the front of the park to ride Comet and Sooperdooperlooper, both still fun rides despite their age. We didn't get Great Bear in there, but I really didn't care, as I didn't feel like falling asleep on a coaster. Right as we were leaving the sky opened up again and dumped on us, but we were able to take shelter in a chocolate store.


I did have one MAJOR complaint, as the ride operator who was driving the Mini-Train in the kiddie area was texting the entire time he was driving the ride. This was three consecutive cycles, with CHILDREN on the train. The third cycle, a child started to stand up mid-ride and the operator in the station had to get the driver's attention so he would stop the train and avoid the child falling out. All because he was texting. I was sure to stop by GR on the way out and tell them about this, hopefully he no longer has a job.


Despite everything working against me that day, I still had a fun time and think that Hershey is a terrific park. I just hope next time I go back the weather cooperates and I'm not with a GP group! Pictures are in the next post.

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Pictures! You can find the whole compliment of pictures in this album.


Welcome to Hershey!


First stop, Chocolate World! :drool:


Time for the "factory tour."




Time to actually go in the park.


Despite how boring Great Bear is, it still takes a good loop picture!


At least it has a pretty unique element. Although to me, that sounds like when you're trying to compliment an ugly person and you're complimenting them on everything BUT their looks. Well.....it has a great.....personality!


Always love me some flyers!


Fahrenheit, despite its lackluster ride experience, is very photogenic. And it's blue and orange.






Vertical lifts are always cool.


Lift hill porn!




*severe geek out moment*


OH faces!


Through the trees!


Quite a sexy ride. I had no trains to photograph though, the ride was down. >:(


Airtime hill into a barrel roll = win.


Really like this shot.


Pretty impressive construction if you ask me. This thing towers over that whole section of the park.


And it looks cool, too.




One of the most creative headchoppers I've ever seen. There is absolutely no clearance here.


Flying snake dive. I want to be the guy that thinks up names for cool inversions.


97 degrees and falling!


This loop picture is being brought to you courtesy of our friends in Norway.


Very cool.


Monstrous splash.


Thankfully the queue was not full.


GCI's first go round, and still a good one!


I always love the look of a GCI coaster.


Ill-tempered Feline!


Ferris wheel!


I really like the logo.


More GCI!


Looking all pretty and stuff.


Who will win?


Spaghetti bowl of wood.


Lightning wins! Which should always be the case, because for all you science majors out there, lightning comes before thunder. ;)


More Fahrenheit goodness.


I like the sky in this one.


Corkscrewing along.


Fun old woodie!


Most fun coaster name ever!


If B&M had put a little more creativity into the layout, much like they did with these supports, maybe the ride would have been better.




Always gotta get my sunset pictures in. :)


Background worthy.


Fun trip!

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Great pictures! I loved Hersheypark, they have a great variety of rides. I thought it was strange when I visited summer '07 that neither of the GCI coaster lines were filled. Both Wildcat and Racers were a walk on all three days I attended. Is that normal, or was I just lucky?

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Nice pics Steve! I liked the sunset one of StormRunner's tophat.


Just a question, what day did you go on? Just curious to see if this problem was going on the days before or after. I went on the 26th and StormRunner was down from 11am - 8pm. Then it opened back up for I wanna say 3 trains to run, then it closed down again for the rest of the night. Just 2 more trains and I could have gotten on and got the credit! Guess it gives me more of a reason to go back to ride the star of the park.

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^That's a bummer! I went on the 20th, and it was running periodically throughout the day when it wasn't raining. It's big problem was having "missed" launches. It would roll up to the launch track, the brakes would drop, you would hear the auto spiel play, and then.......nothing. Luckily I sneaked in two rides while it was up and had a short wait.

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^Are you referring to the factory "tour"? If so, it's pretty fun and semi-educational. Plus they give you a free piece of chocolate after you exit. And it has singing cows, which makes it even better.


I took a brief video of the singing cows, once I get it uploaded to youtube I'll post it here.

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^Ohhhhh I remember now. We didn't ride it. They were too busy trying to figure out which coaster the "blue one" was. Turns out it was the Wild Mouse, which is right next to Wildcat, so when I said we were going to ride Wildcat, they said, "oh, is that the Wild Mouse?" All they heard was "wild" and thought I was talking about the Wild Mouse. When we walked up to Wildcat, they were like, "what's this wooden thing?" Yeah, it was that kinda day.


Here's the singing cows video.


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I love Hersheypark to death. I've been there twice, but I'm missing 5 credits. None of my friends (not big thrill seekers) never wanted to ride Storm Runner or Fahrenheit. And, the first year I was there, It was Fahrenheit's opening season, so the line was humongoid! (One of my many technical terms.) I'm not too much a fan on Mice, and Comet's line was always long.And I'm not too much of a fan of being soaked, so we skipped Roller Soaker as well. I wish I could go back there.


Oh, funny story about my first trip to HP. We were riding something, (Trailblazer, IIRC) and we gave our stuff(phones, wallets, etc) to our friends who weren't riding. Well, when we were done, our friends were nowhere to be found. I came up with the bright Idea to use a payphone to call my phone and find them. Turns out they went on TIDAL FORCE! WITH OUR PHONES!!! Luckily, mine survived. (This was back when I had one of those crappy TracFones that can withstand anything, LOL.) My friend's enV Touch (what I have now) wasn't so lucky.


The second time we were there, we were able to manathon Trailblazer. I think we rode it like 10 times! That coaster was always a walk-on...

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Hey Guy, I don't think I commented on your trip to Alabama Adventure, but I'm glad to hear you had a great time there! Mike is one of those rare managers who TRULY cares about every single guest that walks through the gate (from knowing him for a few years and working with him, I can stand by that statement firmly). Let me know if you get a chance to make it up to Carowinds before the year is over!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just got back from the Mega Geek Out Tour yesterday, and it was a mega success! Lots of stuff could have gone wrong, we had some horrible traffic, surprise thunderstorms, and some of the most terrifying members of the GP seen to date, but it was a blast nonetheless!


Since I already did a photo update of Kennywood, there won't really be any photos from there other than our "People of Kennywood" style update. Kennywood was a bit of a let down on Saturday, as the crowds were HORRENDOUS. Saturday was the only day we could go, so we were sorta expecting bad crowds anyway, but the parking lot was filled completely up to the lot on top of the mountain (where we parked). We bought a night time VIP coaster tour so we were at least guaranteed Exterminator, Sky Rocket, Thunderbolt, and Phantom's Revenge by the end of the day. We were able to slog through long waits and get on Jack Rabbit (Jen's 150th credit!), Racer, and Lil' Phantom, and we also got on the train ride, Log Jammer, and Swing Shot.


Swing Shot had the worst ride crew I've ever seen in my life, as they literally took almost half an hour to clean up a relatively small amount of vomit that was on the concrete in front of the ride (not even on the ride). If anyone on here works on the Swing Shot crew, you should be ashamed at how awful your crew is. Slow, uninterested, lazy, pathetic.


But anyway, we were only able to ride each coaster once, and we had a night ride on Phantom in the pouring rain (which was surprisingly awesome, despite icy cold rain to the face at 85 mph). I was bummed that Jen didn't get to experience Phantom without a poncho hood over her face, but I'm sure we'll be back. Traffic was abysmal getting out of there, which was expected, but the next day was better.



On Sunday we drove up to Altoona to get our first trips to DelGrosso's and Lakemont. DelGrosso's was a small little ghetto paradise north of Altoona, and I literally feared for my life while there. Some of the locals were terrifying, and I felt like we were about to become a real-life version of The Hills Have Eyes. After credit whoring their two credits and bolting, we went back to Lakemont for a few more credits. When we got there, we rode Toboggan (my 200th steel credit), which was officially the worst coaster I've ever been on. After that it was Leap the Dips!


Leap the Dips was such a great experience. For such an old ride, it's unbelievable that the thing 1. is still standing and 2. can still deliver a fun ride. The men working that ride were a riot and joked around with us, which made it even more fun. It definitely feels like it goes faster than 10 mph, and a few of the jumps after the dips hurt like hell, but with a 108 year old ride, what do you expect? We then got on Skyliner for another new woodie credit, and it was another surprisingly good old coaster (not to mention smooth!). Even though the park itself was kinda janky, I was still impressed with its charm and setting next to the baseball stadium. Not sure if I'll ever go back, but with a price of $10, I'll probably stop by there again if I'm ever in central PA again.


After we left Lakemont, we made the 3-hour trek up to Erie to go to Waldameer. I had only been there once on a quick day trip in 2008, so I was excited to go back. As is my custom, we worked up to the best coaster in the park and rode Comet and Ravine Flyer 3 (new credit!) before it started POURING. I'm used to that Lake Erie weather, so we just waited it out in the picnic shelters for about half an hour. Once it quit raining, we jumped on Steel Dragon and then made our way over to Ravine Flyer II.


I definitely wanted to get a more updated opinion on RFII since I have literally ridden every other wooden coaster in my top 10 since I first rode this one, and I was blown away. This ride is still as smooth as butter, has fantastic change of direction, and had wicked airtime both in the front and back of the train. My only real "complaint" is that the ride is too short. I know with terrain coasters it can be difficult to lengthen the ride since you're using the topography of the land around it, but I really wish RFII had more to it. Regardless, it still jumped up to #3 in my top 10, but it'll never compete with Voyage or El Toro with a short ride time like that.


Pics to follow, with my Cedar Point trip report to come sometime in the near future!

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Pics from Kennywood, DelGrosso's, Lakemont, and Waldameer!


We think a website should be started called "People of {insert park name here}"


Laffin' Sal is laughing.


Hilarious instructions for the train operator at Kennywood.


"Quick! Staring contest, me and you, now!"


"You win, you always do!"


Axl Rose?


Kennywood was scary enough, this place was even worse!


But since they dump a giant bucket of Mountain Dew on you in the water park, who cares?!?!


I hear they have good spaghetti, but fear rules over hunger, and we didn't stay long enough to find out.


The worm looks deranged and strung out.


The Wacky Worm is SO wacky......







It needs a trim brake on its only drop!


Which considering how it inches along, I don't get how it could need a trim brake.


Crazy Mouse, just as painful as Exterminator.


The woman on the left is sexy.


Nope, won't see us again. Unless I'm nearby on free spaghetti day.


Time for Lakemont!


Crazy that there used to be 250 of these!


200th steel coaster. Ouch.


That is not a look of pleasure, that is a look of PAIN!


I used to love these as a kid!!! Lakemont is awesome simply for the fact that I can go and play in a sandbox between riding coasters!


Time to leap those dips!




The other cars not being used.


Loved the lift hill.


Great experience, one that every enthusiast should have.


Time for the other woodie, one that sits behind right field at the adjacent baseball stadium!


Cool cloud action.


I enjoyed this coaster, wasn't that bad!


Going up......


And going down!


I see a bridge with a roller coaster........




Fun family woodie.



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