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Planning a Hershey - Great Adventure Trip


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Hey all... I'm an avid reader of this site and love it (since I live vicariously through all the awesome TR's) and thought it'd be the best place to ask some quick questions before I book my trip. Any and all help/advice is greatly appreciated!

 

I'm looking to do a Great Adventure/Hershey Park trip with my bf in August - not sure of the specific dates - but it will most likely include both weekdays and a weekend. We have been to Great Adv before, but that was before Kingda Ka and El Toro were there. We have never been to Hershey.

 

Great Adventure

1) We are definitely splurging for at least Gold flash passes, but still were wondering how crowded does the park get on weekends? We aren't sure which park to hit first. I'm thinking Great Adv will be a zoo on the weekend even with a flash pass, but I think this may be what we end up doing...

 

2) Is Kingda Ka running daily? We are dedicating 2 full days to the park, and aside from any bad weather we may run into, should we expect to be able to ride?

 

Hershey

1) I've seen on their site that they don't have anything equivalent to a flash pass, so would it be wise to hit Hershey on a week day?

 

2) How packed does Hershey get? Are the lines insane? We have never been so I'm not sure what to expect.

 

There's a slight chance that we may pop in at Dorney since it's nearby as well, but we're not going to definitely plan on it as of now.

Edited by xmichellex
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Absolutely do Hershey on a weekday! From what I have seen, this park is insanely crowded during the weekends. The line to get in is horrendous! I actually do not know why I planned my visit this year on a weekend in August. Great Adventure is a little easier, and you should be able to accomplish everything in one day just fine with the Qbot/Flash Pass whatever it is called. I have never used it myself, and never had a problem. Hit up KK & El Toro first. Those lines will get extensive as the park fills. Superman also has issues with long lines. (90 min plus most times). Nitro is usually a fast line, and Batman is unpredictable! Lately though, I have seen the line get outside into the garden the last two years. So skipping the lines will be helpful here. And as for KK running, or not - your guess is as good as mine. That is REALLY unpredictable! Stay away from rainy high wind days, and you shoud have a better chance. Bizarro f.k.a. Medusa usually has short quick lines. Good luck, and have fun!

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Hopefully I can help since I just got back from Hershey and Great Adventure. Get the fast pass for sure at Great Adventure. We got the Gold version and it saved us alot of time. We had multiple rides on all the coasters we wanted. Kingda Ka ran all day when we were there (July 4th). I'm sure with 2 days you will have no issues riding everything multiple times.

 

As for Hershey, we went on July 5th and it was busy, but not crazy busy. The longest line was Farenheit. We waited an hour to ride it, which sucked because it was the best ride in the park in my opinion. The only other line we waited very long was Storm Runner, everything else was close to a walk on.

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I can help with Gadv

 

The way I always do it(as a regular Gadv goer) is hit the right side of the park. This is only good on weekdays, because usually you can get 1 hr. to 1 1/2 hours of rerides on B:TR and Nitro. But if your going on a weekend, I recomend Ka and Toro first. I also recomend trying Houdini's Great Escape, which is my favorite flat. Its a Vekoma Madhouse that usually impresses people. I recomend hitting all of the coasters you want to hit first. Operations at Gadv have improved GREATLY and most of the queues moves fast except for...*cough*superman*cough*. If you go before the July 18 or on it, I recomend GASM because its your only time to get the credit. It hurts, but its a historic coaster. Gadv doesn't have many flats so I recomend doing the ones they do have as they are a good break from the coasters. Gadv can get very crowded on the weekends, but Gold Flash Pass will help as you can ride something else while "waiting".

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Thanks for the advice all!!

 

Although in going through the numbers I think we may have to just pick one of these parks to hit... they are so expensive between tix and parking and hotels!

 

PS - I have ridden the Houdini at SFNE - it was really cool! I'm guessing they are similar?

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GADV:

 

1. I'm a local & GADV is my home park & unfortunately from experience weekends are jam packed in the summer. If you get the Gold Flash Pass like you plan you will only need one day at the park trust me. Kingda Ka has been working fine the few times I've visited the park this year & with the Golden Flash Pass you will be able to ride Kingda Ka, El Toro, & others multiple times.

 

2. As far as I know Kingda Ka is working fine however it close in rain & sometimes high winds.

 

 

Hershey:

 

1. Yes Hershey does not offer a fast pass system however you plan on hitting the park on a weekday so you should have no problem. I've even visited the park on a Sunday in August & still had no problem with crowds. Fahrenheit & Storm Runner are the longest waits so just ride those first & you will be good to go.

 

2. I basically answered this question in the first I personally am very lucky when I visit Hershey as I've never seen it as crowded as I've seen GADV. I would definitely recommend Dorney. It is a great little park & like Hershey I've only seen light crowds all times of the week & it is not so far away from Hershey. On a weekday you could knock out Dorney (if your just about coasters) in about 2 hours easily. I hope I've been helpful.

 

~Matt T.

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Ok, one more question...

 

We are definitely doing the Flash Pass at Great Adventure and were looking to do a Gold Pass, but since we will be at the park for 2 days and the Gold Pass is kind of pricey, should we:

 

A) Use the Gold FP for one day, then no FP for the second day?

OR

B) Use a Regular FP BOTH days? The Regular FP would cost about the same as the Gold Pass, but we'd be able to at least have a FP both days of our visit.

 

What is the big difference between Regular and Gold? How much less is your wait with the Gold?

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Gold reduces your wait by 75%, so in most cases you can ride by the time you walk to the ride. Flashpass should have the actual length of the queue.

 

If it were me and I were definitely spending the money, I'd go for regular both days and wait in other queues while using the flashpass. I don't think I've ever been waiting around waiting for the pass to get to the time since I'm eating, in another line (Especially since you can reserve your next ride while in the station of whatever you just used the pass for), or walking across the park. If you want a day where you know you won't need to wait in line, then get the gold, and hope you pick the right day for it.

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See, I am the exact opposite. Hershey was super packed for me, and during the week, we ride, and re-ride stuff at SFGAd all day.

 

I have 1/2 off coupons from my friends job if you want for Great Adventure. PM me if you want me to send you a few of them. I can in no way use them all. But that will drop it down to about $25 per person. Just let me know you PM'd me b/c I never see that until it is really too late. We have enough time right now though.

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Have you considered Platinum Flash Pass? Platinum has a nominal wait time of "10%", which is essentially INSTANT riding. Plus you get wristbands that allow you to double ride, if you want to. I've done Gold on a busy day at Six Flags Great America, and certain waits were in excess of 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the "75% reduced" wait time is the MAXIMUM reduction. Lo-Q's system adjusts the reservation time in an attempt to eliminate "bunching" at the integration point. That I know for sure. The way it seems to work (based on my observation) is that only a few groups are allowed to reserve a ride for a certain minute. The next group has to wait for the next minute or so. A REALLY POPULAR ride will have well over a hundred Q-bots waiting for it, so the wait time gets extended to more than the 25%. With a Platinum you would most definitely get everything done. Gold is pretty good too, but honestly if you're going for gold, platinum isn't much more. Although it does run out very quickly.

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Basically we will have 2 full days at Great Adv. - a Sunday and Monday.

 

We're just trying to decide whether to do the Gold pass on Sunday and chance the lines on Monday, OR for the same price do a regular FP on both Sun. & Mon.

 

Kevin - Don't think we need the Platinum pass since we have a couple days (I would def do it if we only had one day)... That's great info on the way they work though! Will definitely keep that in mind!

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I hit Hershey on a weekday and it was pretty crowded. Lines filled up pretty quick.

 

The website has some good tips, and honestly, I can't disagree:

 

Fitting it all in - Strategize!

 

Most guests stop at the first ride and continue moving right to left. Instead, walk to the rear of the Park and work your way to the front. The lines for the Comet and Carrousel tend to be busy in the morning, so skip them on the way in, and ride on your way out!

 

Hot day water option:

 

•STAY AWAY FROM THE Boardwalk until later in the day. Ride the Tidal Force first.

 

•Go to the Coal Cracker (ride this as many times as you can/want as it is high capacity and has short waiting times).

 

•Go to Tiny Timbers during lunch or later in the afternoon if you have little kids. Ride hard park rides: Frontier Flyers is a good ride to cool off on, the Kissing Tower has air conditions as well as the Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge. Spend time in the Roller Soaker play area using the water blasters and cannons as well as playing in the pop fountains near the queue line.

 

•Hit the Boardwalk right before dinner. The area really clears out and most of the attractions are walk on from 4:30 PM until Boardwalk close.

 

Cool day water option:

All attractions will be walk on. The water at the East Coast Water Works will be warmest at the start of the day as the water heats in a surge tank overnight.

 

Dry day coaster option:

 

•Most coasters will be walk on as a good number of the guests in the park will be out in the Boardwalk area. Most guests ride the Comet and Great Bear first. Skip those rides until later and go direct to the Fahrenheit.

 

•Ride Storm Runner/Sidewinder next.

 

•Go to The Wildcat and then Wild Mouse.

 

•Ride Lightning Racer while you are out in Midway America (ride this as many times as you can/want as it is high capacity and has short waiting times).

 

•Trailblazer is a good family option. Make sure you have an entertainment schedule and stay away from the ride when the aquatheater shows end.

 

•Ride Great Bear and Comet during the dinner hour (stay away from the comet at the end of the night as everyone in the park wants to get a last ride on the "white coaster" before leaving).

 

Wet day coaster option:

 

•Skip the Great Bear and Comet and proceed to the back of the park. Keep an eye on the weather. If it starts to drizzle the Fahrenheit and Storm Runner will shut down. Most people will leave the queue lines at those rides when they shut down. This is a good time to get in the queue (check your PDA first or stop by a guest services location to get a radar update to make sure that the precipitation is not going to last hours).

 

•During severe weather most if not all rides will shut down. Coasters are the last to open but the queues will be empty. Find a safe place to wait out the storm in a building near the entrance of the coaster you want to ride. When it opens, you can get right in line.

 

Things to try in the morning hours for shorter lines:

 

•Coal Cracker - Shorter wait times first thing in the morning and right after dinner.

 

•Storm Runner

 

•Tidal Force - Shorter wait times first thing in the morning and right after dinner.

 

•Wild Mouse - Shorter wait times first thing in the morning

 

•Wildcat - Shorter wait times first thing in the morning

 

Things to try during midday for shorter lines:

 

•Carrousel

 

•Comet

 

•Hershey's Chocolate World

 

Things to try in the evening hours:

 

•Great Bear

 

•SooperdooperLooper

 

•The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, if it is really hot wait until after 4 PM to visit the area.

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