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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures


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There are definitely a few ridiculously crappy parks in NJ. Bowcraft and Keansburg both come to mind. Sounds like Clementon's another real winner.

 

Also, 42" for the drop tower of death, but 54" for the wooden coaster. Okay. I give up trying to understand height requirements at all. Hope the park lasts until the kiddo sprouts up another 5 inches.

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Have you made it to Mt. Olympus yet just to see how bad it is?

 

I could have while I was in Chicago last month, but I chose to visit Indiana Beach and Holiday World instead. Based on all accounts I've heard about Mt. Olympus, I think I made the right call. I do want to visit Mt. Olympus someday but I'll make sure I'm in good standing with the man upstairs first.

 

Haha great update and thank you for reinforcing my decision to not visit the park closest to my house.

 

You're welcome lol. I am shocked you've never made it there to try Hellcat at least once though.

 

There are definitely a few ridiculously crappy parks in NJ. Bowcraft and Keansburg both come to mind. Sounds like Clementon's another real winner.

 

Also, 42" for the drop tower of death, but 54" for the wooden coaster. Okay. I give up trying to understand height requirements at all. Hope the park lasts until the kiddo sprouts up another 5 inches.

 

Bowcraft was good for what it was until it closed. Based on my one visit, it seemed like a decent kids park with plenty of tamer rides. It was a ghost town while I was there so I'm not shocked it closed though. Keansburg I have heard some horror stories about, particularly with regards to their opening times and number of rides that will be down on a given day. There's a reason I omitted that park in my trip.

 

I completely missed that the drop tower had only a 42" height requirement! That's crazy considering that ride's intensity. It always puzzles me when rides with the same restraints have different height requirements. For example, Great America's Demon has a 42" height requirement while almost every other Arrow looper has a 48" height requirement. Even Knoebels which has really low height restrictions relative to most parks has a 48" height requirement on their drop tower of the same manufacturer. As a kid, Thunder Drop would have absolutely terrified me since I didn't get over drop towers until I was older and it was on a much tamer S&S one.

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You're welcome lol. I am shocked you've never made it there to try Hellcat at least once though.

 

Haha like I said all I've ever heard is how much of a dump it is and how awful Hellcat is. Not much to inspire a trip. The fact that I'd have to get someone to drive me (and pay for both our admissions) or take public transit (almost 2 hours, compared to a half hour car ride) only compound my non-desire to make the effort. One day, maybe, but I'm in absolutely no rush.

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One day, maybe, but I'm in absolutely no rush.

 

Honestly, this trip report is making me want to rush to get there before the park closes forever. What a dump.

 

PS: How the hell have I never been to Funplex? I seriously never knew it existed.

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I had no clue Funplex even existed until I saw it on RCDB last year. There were a lot of random little credits I didn't know existed in the northeast, particularly with regards to mountain coasters. Funplex and Clementon can both easily be done the same day (I think they were 30 minutes apart). I could very well see Clementon closing in the near future. I have never seen a park that dead on a weekend with weather that perfect. It probably doesn't help that they have the balls to charge $8 for parking on top of a $45ish dollar admission. All I can say is thank goodness for that TPR discount.

 

You're welcome lol. I am shocked you've never made it there to try Hellcat at least once though.

 

Haha like I said all I've ever heard is how much of a dump it is and how awful Hellcat is. Not much to inspire a trip. The fact that I'd have to get someone to drive me (and pay for both our admissions) or take public transit (almost 2 hours, compared to a half hour car ride) only compound my non-desire to make the effort. One day, maybe, but I'm in absolutely no rush.

 

I'd say the drop tower alone is worth admission, but Morey's has a taller version just a bit further down the road and is a significantly better all around park. Hell Cat in the very front is a decent ride just don't try any other seat or you're going to have a very bad time.

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Oh I love Funplex. I've been to a bunch of parties there over the last few years, including my uncle's 50th birthday party. It's been flourishing, too, having expanded greatly over that period. It seems every time I go they have some new addition. I still have a bunch of unused game cards burning holes in my wallet.

 

Let me jump on the Thank You Train for confirming everything I believed about Clemention Park, too. Having lived in Cherry Hill for the last three years, I was always a little tempted to take the quick drive over to the park but was always turned off by the reviews. Even with the discounts available, it never seemed worth it. At this point, I'll only go with other enthusiasts so we can have a blast making fun of how laughably bad our experience will be.

 

Excellent report, so far!!

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And based on what I saw, it looks like Funplex still has a decent amount of space to expand.

 

Only bad part about going to Clementon with other enthusiasts is that we know to avoid Hellcat in any seat for the front. Unless you secretly enjoy pain.

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Last year I had a season pass that was extremely cheap, and I did go quite a few times since I really liked Hellcat, even in the back rows, and it's about 15 minutes away from me. It really is an empty carnival, but for a great drop tower, a rough coaster that I actually like, and a custom flume, the price was worth it.

 

If you look at pictures from 10 or more years ago, it's actually way worse, I'm talking worse than Lakemont or even Keansburg.

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I didn't think a park could get worse than Lakemont.

 

Though how you found Hellcat ridable in the back amazes me. If I lived nearby, I'd be tempted to get a pass just to have that drop tower at my fingertips but then I'd remember Morey's is close enough nearby.

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I love a good well-written, knowledgeable, detailed negative theme park review. This may be among the best.

 

I watched empty log after empty log float down the trough. After about 10 minutes I saw a guy stroll into the queue. The dude was alone and smelled like booze, but desperate situations call for desperate measures and that guy became my new best friend for all of 3 minutes. We had a jolly ole time on the flume. I enjoyed the scenic views of the brown lake while my good friend sat in back rapping to himself.

 

Gold.

 

I'd bet that riding in an otherwise-empty Hellcat train probably contributed to the awfulness of the ride -- i.e. if filled with guests, the back might not have been as awful.

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Whoa I can't imagine actually seeing the park packed after my visit, but if they are typically pulling crowds then good for them. Hellcat if properly maintained has all the makings of a great coaster. However, only one seat was ridable on that coaster due to the constant jackhammering.

 

I love a good well-written, knowledgeable, detailed negative theme park review. This may be among the best.

 

I watched empty log after empty log float down the trough. After about 10 minutes I saw a guy stroll into the queue. The dude was alone and smelled like booze, but desperate situations call for desperate measures and that guy became my new best friend for all of 3 minutes. We had a jolly ole time on the flume. I enjoyed the scenic views of the brown lake while my good friend sat in back rapping to himself.

 

Gold.

 

I'd bet that riding in an otherwise-empty Hellcat train probably contributed to the awfulness of the ride -- i.e. if filled with guests, the back might not have been as awful.

 

True, it would have been enjoyable hearing everyone else's reaction as the ride assaulted them too. I love hearing good things about parks but reading the negative ones always do put a smile on my face. Happy to contribute.

 

This trip is a gem. Having so much fun reading this report, haha. You can't make up the shit you saw at Clementon.

 

I heard the park was ghetto but wasn't expecting it to be on that level.

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Last year I had a season pass that was extremely cheap, and I did go quite a few times since I really liked Hellcat, even in the back rows, and it's about 15 minutes away from me. It really is an empty carnival, but for a great drop tower, a rough coaster that I actually like, and a custom flume, the price was worth it.

 

If you look at pictures from 10 or more years ago, it's actually way worse, I'm talking worse than Lakemont or even Keansburg.

 

Was Clementon even worse 10+ years ago than it appears to be now?

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Hersheypark

 

Hersheypark was a sight for sore eyes. After visiting the ghetto train wreck known as Clementon, I got to Hershey right before 5 pm so I could take advantage of their twilight ticket. Going in, I was planning only to hit the two missing credits (Laugh Trakk and Cocoa Cruiser), the three big Intamins, Great Bear, and maybe the drop tower. However, as I walked towards the park gate and opened up the app, I noticed everything was just a 5 minute wait other than Laugh Trakk, which was at an hour. Immediately my plans changed, it was time to hit every coaster in the park despite having only 5 hours.

 

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No Chocolate World for me. There's coasters to be ridden!

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Hershey's NBC style peacock logo.

After Knoebels, Hershey is my favorite park in Pennsylvania. The park has a weird feel. Some areas feel corporate such as Midway America when you see the food offerings I'm accustomed to seeing at Cedar Fair parks. Other areas like Comet Hollow and Minetown still have a quaint feel to them despite the roars of Skyrush and Great Bear dominating the airwaves.

 

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Thank you Milton Hershey for creating a candy bar so popular that you one day could erect one of my favorite parks. I still hate your candy bars though.

Skyrush was my first stop. How could it not? The giant yellow track drew me towards it like a moth into a flame. I had last ridden Skyrush back in 2014 and have yet to find a coaster that can match its intensity. The same has held true even with my coaster count doubling in that time period. This is the one coaster that truly feels like it wants to kill me and I love it. The way the restraints rest on your thighs as opposed to your lap makes the airtime feel ever scarier since you can feel your entire upper body trying to slide out of the restraint. This is the only coaster I can't keep my hands up for the whole ride. Those Stengel Dives, especially in the back wing seats, always make me grab for my restraints. I love how violent those dives are and need to hold on out of fear of wrecking my back.

 

The first drop is still one of my favorite out there. I love how the drop manages to provide two massive pops of ejector air- one as you crest the hill and a second halfway down. I still haven't found another coaster with a drop quite like it. Then the airtime on the 3 main airtime hills is sustained ejector that few coasters can match. I got 6 rides in. Most were in the back, but I got one in the front since it was only a 2 train wait as opposed to the usual 10+ train wait.

 

At the end of the night, the ops let me stay on so I was able to get 4 rides in a row. When people complain about Skyrush, it's always the restraints. For a single ride, I don't have much of a problem with them. However, after riding 4 times in a row, the restraints did start to hurt a bit but that's a small price to pay for this intense beast. On half my rides, the restraints did release on the brake run, but on other rides they remained tight. Not sure if there was a switch an op forgot to throw or something. There was one girl from Canada who had a goal to get 2000 rides on Skyrush in a week. She was on the ride when I got my first ride just after 5 and she was still there riding up until 10. I wonder how much pain her thighs were in after that week . It's still a top 5 steel coaster for me. 10 out of 10

 

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I love the pathway from the park entrance to the ride entrance. Skyrush is a great ride to photograph.

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Skyrush tries to launch you to the sky on every hill.

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Still the only coaster I can't keep my hands up for.

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Note the number of people with their hands up- 0. I call it the Catholic riding position.

Sooperdooperlooper is usually one of my go-to coasters at Hershey since its always a walk-on. I only got one ride on it in this visit since everything was a walk-on, but I still enjoyed my ride on the classic Schwarzkopf. The vertical loop is still among the most forceful out there and the ride uses the terrain well. The middle section of the ride is pretty slow, but the final helix regains that speed. With the new trains Hershey added a few years back, thankfully it looks like this ride is here to stay for a while. 7 out of 10

 

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Great Bear pretty much dominates this photo, but you can Sooperdooperlooper's loop in the distance.

Great Bear is an invert that is hardly ever talked about and I don't quite understand why. It's at a major park in Hershey, has a unique layout, and is quite forceful. I love how the ride dominates the midway when you walk through the Hollow and there's nothing quite like the roar of a B&M. The pre-drop helix is my favorite part of the ride and really pulls some good Gs. The first drop has an excellent whip in the back and all of the inversions are fantastic. My favorite, as always, is the zero-G roll. This one doesn't so much focus on hang-time as much as absolutely whipping you through it. 9 out of 10

 

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One of the cooler logos out there.

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I love the ride's layout, especially the elevated helix.

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Best inversion on the ride by far.

Hershey's Triple Tower was a polarizing addition when announced. On one hand, it was great to see the park take a unique twist on the drop rides found at other parks. On the other hand, the differences between the towers (particularly the Kisses and Reese's towers) seemed minimal and anytime the tower isn't an Intamin that's bound to cause enthusiasts to whine. I was able to get on all 3 towers, but not without great difficulty. One interesting note is that S&S seems to have new restraints on their drop towers now. These ones were kind of difficult to release after the ride, but didn't feel too much different during the ride.

 

Kisses Tower- The smallest of the three provided the most violent and impressive airtime of the three. The first launch gave airtime stronger than that on any drop tower I've ever experienced. The was expecting more of the same on the second launch, but the second launch did nothing. It's like when you go to take a dump but you only have a tiny little fart squeak out. The second launch peters out halfway up. While technically a double shot, this felt more like a miniature Space Shot.

 

Reese's Tower- This one had a lot of issues and kept breaking down. It broke down as I was about to board twice, but I was finally able to get on it later in the day and I'm glad I did since it was the best of the three. While the air wasn't quite as strong as the Kisses Tower, it was only slightly worse and this one had two legitimate launches. It was also cool looking down on the ride's little brother during the launch.

 

Hershey's Tower- The big boy of the three may have been the worst. The launch felt pretty forceful (maybe because of the larger vehicles). While the two small towers had ejector air at the top, this one had some sustained floater instead. Fun but I prefer the ejector air on drop towers. The drop was pretty meh. I could feel the acceleration when the ride dropped but there was no air or stomach dropping. It's a fun combo tower, but it's not that intense.

 

Overall I'd say the Triple Tower is an 8.5 out of 10. I did see some younger riders progressing their way up to Hershey's Tower, so the concept does seem to be a win for the park. I did like having the flexibility to select between the towers, but I do wish the big one was more impressive. The two smaller towers were amazing and had the best air of any shot tower I've been on.

 

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Size doesn't always matter. In this case, the big black one is the worst.

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I'll get to you next Storm Runner.

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Looking up.

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The view at the top was good. Hershey is a really interesting park to see from above with how interwoven all their coasters are.

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Also is it just me or do Kissing Tower and Kisses Tower seem to have names that are too similar?

Going into my visit, I remembered Storm Runner being the worst of the Intamin accelerators. It had the best layout, but the launch felt noticeably weaker than all the other ones I've been on. I'm proud to say I remembered wrong. Storm Runner's launch was shorter but felt almost as powerful as its big brothers and Xcelerator. Then Storm Runner absolutely kicks their butts in terms of the rest of the layout. The top hat gives great air, the funky Immelmann is forceful, and the inline twist/flying snake dive combo gives great hang time and is disorienting.

 

All of my rides were in the front, which is by far the best seat on any of these accelerator coasters. Usually I like to snag a back seat ride to experience some better air on the top hat, but Hershey blocked off the back two rows on Storm Runner. I don't think there was an issue with the train. I just think Hershey wanted to try and keep the trains filled consistently. Kind of frustrating, but even with the front having the longest wait, I never waited more than 10 minutes. I also liked how Hershey replaced the hard OSTRs with straps. Storm Runner was never rough, but it was possible to ding your neck on the part leading up to the brake run. That's gone now. 10 out of 10

 

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Storm Runner is my favorite coaster to photograph in the park.

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Hydraulic launches are still my favorite type of launch. I've yet to experience one of those face-ripping S&S compressed air launches though.

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I wish the other accelerators did more with their layout like Storm Runner.

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Flying Snake Dive is still one of my favorite element names.

Usually I end up waiting an hour in the blazing sun for Fahrenheit and only get one ride. Today even Fahrenheit was only a 5 minute wait. I took the opportunity to get a few rides in on the least talked about of Hershey's Intamins. Like Storm Runner, Fahrenheit got the strap restraints so its glad to see Hershey making small improvements like this on some of their older coasters.

 

Any beyond vertical drop (unless you're SFOG and trim it) gives insane air and Fahrenheit is no different. The rest of the layout has some forceful inversions, particularly the snappy two corkscrews, and a powerful ejector air hill near the end. There was some rattle around the cobra roll, but nothing painful. Other than the capacity, Fahrenehit is a nearly perfect coaster with a great flow and its an excellent compliment to Skyrush and Storm Runner. 9 out of 10

 

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Going up.

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I love the snappy two corkscrews.

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Some rattle here, but not enough to ruin the ride.

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I never thought I'd see the day where Fahrenheit was just a 5 minute wait.

Hershey also has some smaller coasters. Their Wild Mouse is still one of the best out there. Very minimal braking and the final drops give a pop of air or two. 6 out of 10

 

Trailblazer is a pretty tame Arrow mine train, but it's smooth and has a nice setting. It's also cool to watch Storm Runner fly by. 4 out of 10

 

Sidewinder...like I rode that. I don't think I've been on that one in almost 10 years. And I'm aware the ride has the vest restraints. I can't justify riding a boomerang in a park with this many great coasters.

 

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One of the best mice out there. Minimal braking throughout.

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The final drops give some pops of air.

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It's tame, but I do love the ride's setting. The final helix is the only really exciting part.

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I think Sidewinder was open, but I honestly never saw it run. Guess the GP feels the same about the ride as me.

I could justify the kiddie credit though. When I planned this trip (or got sent down to PA for work depending how you looked at it), I realized I could possibly reach 400 credits. That meant making some sacrifices. At the expense of an extra ride on Storm Runner or Skyrush, I shamefully plopped myself down on the second best yellow and blue coaster in the park, Cocoa Cruiser. As far as these kiddie coasters go, this one looked nice and was smooth. 2 out of 10

 

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Yes I rode it. Judge me all you want.

I had been putting off Laff Trakk most of the day since the line was still hovering around 45-60 minutes while everything else was at 0-5 minutes. Around 8pm, I noticed the wait at 30 minutes in the app so I decided to bite the bullet and hop in line. I had a feeling the line may shrink closer to closing, but there was no way I'd waste valuable time for Skyrush night rides inside a box. The queue was pretty enjoyable with all the fun house mirrors and lighting. The queue did move, but I still find it disappointing Hershey installed a coaster with this small of a capacity.

 

Since it was enclosed, I figured it would be the best Maurer spinner. The effects were simple, but the glow-in-the-dark elements did add something to the ride. However, the ride itself was toned down due to the number of block brakes actively being used. I understand why they were on to help maximize capacity, but it really slowed the ride down during the second half and caused there to be almost no spinning. Compare that to Waldameer's which I rode later that week that had almost non-stop spinning. Laff Trakk was certainly fun, but I don't think I'd ever wait an hour for it. 7 out of 10

 

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Box the Ride.

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I liked the glow-in-the-dark effects, but the brakes really mitigated the spinning on Laff Trakk.

Hershey also has one of the most impressive collections of wooden coasters out there. Lightning Racer is widely considered the best of the bunch, but I honestly like Comet the best. It's hard to beat a classic wooden coaster for me. Comet has everything going for it- a great setting, buzz bars, a classic station, and a good layout. I took my favorite seat in the back and got a great ride as always. The second drop gives major airtime and the while only a few hills give pops of air, the ride maintains its speed the whole way and is glass smooth despite being 70 years old. 8 out of 10

 

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Comet is a true classic. This drop gives excellent air.

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The water is lava. All of Hershey's coasters touch the creek as minimally as possible.

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The chaser lights look amazing. More coasters need them.

Lightning Racer was a disappointment for me. The ride is bumpier than it used to be, but it's still overall very smooth. The racing is still fun, but I remembered the coaster section being more thrilling. The front had maybe 4-5 weak pops of air and the back had only half that. The ride also seemed to drag in a few places, particularly near the end. Also when did Lightning Racer get new trains? I was shocked to find the previously cushy upholstered seats replaced with hard foam seats. I wish the ride still had the old seats/trains like Wildcat, but they're still more comfortable than PTCs. 7 out of 10

 

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Lightning Racer may not be the wildest coaster out there, but it's certainly fun to race.

Wildcat is the worst of Hershey's woodies, but I still do enjoy it. Thanks to the trains, the ride is still comfortable despite being rather bumpy. Wildcat is noticeably wilder than Lightning Racer with more pronounced air. If Lightning Racer didn't race, I honestly would prefer Wildcat. 7 out of 10

 

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GCI swooping first drops sure at picturesque.

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Better airtime than Lightning Racer.

Coal Cracker is still one of the better flumes out there. Unconventional in almost every way, the ride's layout is elevated and interacts heavily with Sooperdooperlooper and Great Bear. Despite being elevated, the ride still feels close to the ground in some ways because its located adjacent to that hill. The huge final plunge is still one of the best on any flume and the jump afterwards is even better. Thankfully Hershey didn't aim a water jet right into my face like Six Flags Great America during that element since I had a flashback when the boat went airborne. 8 out of 10

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The drop. And yes the park actually does use both sides.

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And the boat goes airborne. Still unnerving and awesome.

While walking through, I noticed the Claw had a new paint scheme. I've only ridden the Claw once, but remember it being the best of the Chance frisbees I've been on. I skipped it due to time in this visit, but it did look eye-catching with its new appearance.

 

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Freshly painted Claw.

I didn't see any markers by Tidal Force when I passed by, but I also wasn't looking too closely. The ride is rumored to be on the chopping block since its older and adjacent to the landlocked water park. It'd be a shame to see Tidal Force go since it's one of the best shoot the chutes out there thanks to its added height, but I would understand why the park may remove it.

 

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Is this Tidal Force's last season?

It had been 3 years since my last visit to Hershey, but I think my next visit will be sooner. Hershey has one of the strongest coaster collections around and is an overall very well-run park.

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Great photos as always.

 

Wow, Clementon really does look like a dump, but it's a park you don't see a lot of trip reports of, so it was certainly interesting. Hopefully something can be salvaged from it instead of it falling into disrepair and ultimately closing.

 

And this....

 

The first launch gave airtime stronger than that on any drop tower I've ever experienced. The was expecting more of the same on the second launch, but the second launch did nothing. It's like when you go to take a dump but you only have a tiny little fart squeak out.

 

Never have I seen a ride analogy compared to a bowel movement before!

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One interesting note is that S&S seems to have new restraints on their drop towers now. These ones were kind of difficult to release after the ride

 

It's been a while since I've dealt with an S&S tower other than the one I've operated, but can you go into a little more detail on this? On the est. 2000 tower I operate, we unlock the restraints and gates before the ride has touched down and once it's touched down, it takes a couple seconds for them to open. Or in the hot parts of the summer, the restraints are a little harder to pull down/push up and are in need of a little WD-40. Do either of those sound accurate to the triple towers?

 

Oh, and going back to your Morey's report on Ghost Ship: I love contact houses. I worked one a couple years back and although I froze my off, it was the greatest experience of my life.

 

*EDIT* Shame about Clementon. Florida's Fun Spot parks just bought a park in Georgia. Wishful thinking, but based on what I saw in your TR, I think Fun Spot could turn it around.

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I love how the drop manages to provide two massive pops of ejector air- one as you crest the hill and a second halfway down. I still haven't found another coaster with a drop quite like it.

In the back seat, one of the hills between the turnaround and helix on the Legend at Holiday World produces this same effect, just to a much lesser extent than Skyrush.

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^ Are you talking about that fifth drop into the tunnel? I didn't get that effect when I rode it in May, but that drop was great and gave good air.

 

One interesting note is that S&S seems to have new restraints on their drop towers now. These ones were kind of difficult to release after the ride

 

It's been a while since I've dealt with an S&S tower other than the one I've operated, but can you go into a little more detail on this? On the est. 2000 tower I operate, we unlock the restraints and gates before the ride has touched down and once it's touched down, it takes a couple seconds for them to open. Or in the hot parts of the summer, the restraints are a little harder to pull down/push up and are in need of a little WD-40. Do either of those sound accurate to the triple towers?

 

Oh, and going back to your Morey's report on Ghost Ship: I love contact houses. I worked one a couple years back and although I froze my off, it was the greatest experience of my life.

 

*EDIT* Shame about Clementon. Florida's Fun Spot parks just bought a park in Georgia. Wishful thinking, but based on what I saw in your TR, I think Fun Spot could turn it around.

 

I tried to find the best photos I could to show the restraint change. On all the other S&S towers I've been on, the portion of the restraint that rests above your thighs is flat. On the Triple Tower, this portion of the restraint was curved around the thighs. The restraints also released differently on Triple Tower. I could feel more of a ratchet on these ones and you had to push the restraint down quite a bit before you were able to push up to release it. On other S&S towers, you can push the restraint right up without pushing down.

 

IMG_7491.JPG.de5c32ddaaf97bd9f5d16c55ea07dca1.JPG

On most S&S towers, the bottom part of the restraint is flat across.

IMG_7493.JPG.80da83fa5a25bbc7543bdb83395c0b72.JPG

On the Triple Tower, the restraint was curved by the thighs. Photo credit to Ccron10.

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I thought that Sesame Place at one time had a "shopping pass" where you go to the ticket booth, pay admission, but if you are back within an hour, you get the entire ticket price credited back to you. We did that about 10 years ago or so and wound up paying then $10 to park which I still found annoying.

Edited by John Peck
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