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PTR: Hersheypark in the Dark - 10/17/10

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Had a great day for the first Keystone Thrills Meet-up! After picking up Chris (Ccron10), we arrived at the park to find quite a few cars in the parking lot, at approximately 1:30 pm. I figured out that something was also going on in the stadium (cheerleading competition?) after parking attendents were directing those people to the lot in front of the stadium and HP in the Dark visitors further out into the parking lot. Overall, we weren't that far away from Chocolate World and the park entrance.


First off, we stop at Chocolate World to find that place pretty busy. It seems like no matter what time of year I visit the place, I always seem to find loads of foreigners there (usually by the buses). There was a line for the Chocolate Tour, but as always, moved quickly. Chocolate World was way busier then the park itself.








After the ride, we made our way into the park at approximately 2 pm. Unfortunately, we got caught in the opening crowd at the gate but we made our way into the park rather quickly. It always seems like no matter how busy or empty the park is, Rhineland always seems to be congested, usually at opening. We arrive at the Hershey statue and decide to wait for five minutes, since we were expecting two other people from the Facebook group to arrive. As we were ready to hit our first ride, something interesting happened. You can read more about it in detail visiting Chris' Ride Institute of Technology thread: http://keystonethrills.megabb.com/hersheypark-happenings-discussion-f18/the-ride-institute-of-technology-discussion-thread-t188.htm


Once that happened, we made our way over to Fahrenheit, where Chris and I took a spin. Not that much of a line, mainly down the steps and into the first switchback or two. This was probably our longest wait of the day, not because of the line, but because they were switching another train onto the track. We rode in the front seat, best seat in the house, IMO for any coaster! Great feeling as usual, especially on the airtime hill.






After we met up with Alex, we headed over to the Claw, where Chris and Alex decided to ride. Once they got off, Alex took a second ride by himself. When that was over we decided to go out to Midway and see if we could hunt down Nick (The Storm Runner). After walking past every ride that was open and no success, we decided to take a spin on Lightning Racer. It was Alex and I in the front seat on Lightning vs Chris in the back seat on Thunder. Suprisingly Thunder won the race, which always seems to be a rare occasion as Lightning usually wins most of the time.


After the ride op at LR told us that Nick was working at Wild Mouse, we went over there to take a ride. Still no Nick, but the ride op informed us that he was at Wildcat. During our Wild Mouse ride, Alex and Chris rode in the front and me in the back. I love HP's Wild Mouse. It definitely put Dorney's to shame and is one of the best out there due to the lack of trims used, providing serious airtime on the bunny hops. I seriously think that Dorney needs to pack in a bunch of their ride dept heads in a van and send them to Hershey to see how to operate a Wild Mouse correctly.


More to come in a min....

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Once we were done at Wild Mouse, we immediately went over to Wildcat. Couldn't find Nick there. The ride op said he didn't remember seeing him show up to work and didn't know if he was working or not. But anyways, Chris and I rode the front seat and Alex in the back. This was one of my favorite ride experiences on the cat. The final helix still beats you up though. I think after some serious re-tracking of this ride, Hershey would have more of a winner, IMO.






After Wildcat, Chris and Alex decided to take a lap on one the Fun Slides, before heading back towards Music Box to meet up with Austen (Stormwinder). On our way there, we took a quick ride on Howler. I usually love to spin this thing out of control but since Alex did two rounds on the Claw and all the coasters we've just ridden, we spun slowly this time. I enjoy riding it on each visit and am glad Hershey went with this ride. Now if only they'll get some more flats, this is definitely a good start.


We made our way over to Music Box, where we met up with Austen (Stormwinder). After doing some walking and getting to know each other, it was time for the Reese's X-treme Cup Challenge tournement! I can't remember everyone's scores, but I do know Austen came in first, followed by Alex. My score was 3,500 (or something like that lol). What I hate about this ride vs others like Buzz Lightyear at WDW is that it seems so difficult to hit the targets. Sometimes I do better than other times I guess lol. When we wrapped that up, we decided to ride the monorail before getting something for dinner. When off the monorail, Austen said he'd meet back up with us after we ate. Chris, Alex and I decided to go back towards Minetown to eat.


Since the sun was beginning to set, we decided to cut through Comet Hollow and check out the Attraction 2012 markings. While there, we took a quick spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Lots of markings around here. One of the most intense Tilt-A-Whirl rides I've had in a long time. We saw the temporary, new, fence that blocked off the old paddleboat area. I'm beginning to wonder if this will lead to a potential new path in the future. More on this later with some pics.


Walking up to Minetown, we decided to eat at Gourmet Grille this time. This was my first time (as well as Alex) there and we both got the pasta with marinara sauce as well as a drink. I also got the breadsticks with marinara. I was very happy with the portion of pasta they gave me and it filled me up. I would definitely eat at Gourmet Grille again. Following our dinner, we met back up with Austen and got on Great Bear, which was a few cycles for the front and maybe one or two for the other rows. Chris, Alex and I rode the front row this time, while Austen did the second row, one train ahead of us. I think Great Bear, as well as any coaster, in the evening/night is definitely more thrilling and intense. This was only the beginning of some of my best coaster rides of the year at HP!


Leaving Minetown, we walked back down to ride sooperdooperLooper which was a walk-on. Alex and I rode the front seat, while Austen and Chris rode several rows back. Actually they rode a train ahead of us, but then remained at the same time that Alex and I rode since the ride was basically dead (as well as the rest of the park continuing to empty out). The sun was almost down by this time making this our true first "night" ride.




We immediately went over to Comet where the line was just down the ramp (suitable for us). Again Alex and I did the front seat while Austen and Chris waited for the front seat of the next train. I think that Comet has one of the best first drops on any coaster and it definitely gets even better come dark. Leaving the Comet, we decided to take it easy with a ride on Skyview.


Then it was on to Storm Runner. It was a walk-on with a several-cycle wait for the front and maybe a two-cycle wait for the other rows. Chris and I rode the front with Austen behind us. I forgot how great this ride is in the dark. The barrel roll really kicks out the airtime, especially when you have the night breeze to contend with. Definitely worth it!


Following Storm Runner, Chris, Austen and I decided to take another lap on Fahrenheit. This was very exciting for me as I have never experienced this thing in the dark yet and I was thrilled to no end! I rode in the third/fourth (can't remember which right now) row while Austen and Chris got in the back. Just like Storm Runner, this thing really thrills you in the dark. It was a totally new experience for me and definitely will not be the last time I ride it at night - definitely worth it!


Following Fahrenheit, we, again, took it easy while riding Dry Gulch Railroad. This is one of the few times I ever get to ride it at night that's not Christmas Candylane. The effects were great again, as well as the tunnel lit up with lights. After DGRR, we walked back to Minetown again to ride Flying Falcon. It was also obvious how the place really emptied out, as there weren't hardly any people walking around. Flying Falcon is always great in the night, along with a more intense feeling, just like the coasters. I definitely hope this ride sticks around for many more years. Next up was the Kissing Tower, followed by our final ride of the night, a true night ride aboard Great Bear. I was originally going for the second row, but there was one seat available in the front and some people waiting for the front row informed me about it since they saw I was riding by myself. And how great was this....it turned out to be the front left seat, the best seat in the house! And especially at night! What a great way to end the perfect day! After our final ride aboard Great Bear, we started to make our way towards the front of the park. As we approached Founder's Circle, we said our good-byes to Austen, then Chris, Alex and I began to make our way towards the park exit. After browsing some of the shops, we finally left for the night.




Overall this was a great trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. We all enjoyed meeting Austen and hope that he'll definitely meet up with us again! I do have some videos of some of the day's event that I want to post up on the Keystone Thrills Facebook page (you'll have to join up with us there to see those when I get them on), hopefully to give more exposure to the site and maybe make our next meet-up event even more successful! We also would like to thank Hersheypark for adding the extra bonus treat in there for us with the Ride Institute of Technology puzzle. Maybe this will lead to possible more involvement with the "Attraction 2012" project.

Edited by HPCrazy
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Here are some more photos from the day:








Here's the entire group - left to right: Alex (coasteral), me (HPCrazy), Mr. Hershey Bar, Austen (Stormwinder), and Chris (Ccron10).










The light displays seem to have LED's installed. I'm glad the park is taking this route.




As I have already stated, the park was not busy at all. The crowds lightened as the day went on.




I don't know when this was done, but the Convoy received a new paintjob. I don't remember

this in the summer.

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Attraction 2012 markings:










There were lots more of these markings around Comet Hollow then when I was there back in June. A new temporary fence was also set up blocking access to the former paddleboat area. Looks like they could either be preparing this for a new path to go under Comet or for something. I know there are more markers down there.

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