I say take out the ferris wheel and that whole middle section of games/food stands in front of the whip. This would open up a lot of space I think. Also there appears to be some space behind the cabannas and next to Sidewinder.
It would be nice to have a path from the water park to Tidal Force so you can easily enter from there instead of having to come all the way out to ride it.
I may not know everything about coasters... what I do know is they are my life... Home park: Six Flags America Favorite park overall: All Walt Disney World Parks Favorite Steels: Maverick, Millennium Force, Sky Rush, Talon, Poltergeist, I-305 Favorite Woodies: Iron Rattler, Phoenix, Roar, El Toro, Jack Rabbit, Thunderbolt, The Raven, The Legend TPR Trips: Northeast 2011, LeviaTHON 2012
cfc wrote:I wish Water Country USA would add a water coaster; then again, they seem to be showing up everywhere, so maybe Williamsburg will jump on the bandwagon soon.
This! Water Country USA is one of the largest water parks in the US and is considered one of the better ones too. I'm actually surprised they have not added a water coaster yet. The mid-atlantic area seems quite slow to add these rides for some reason. Of course Cedar Fair has never built one and neither has SEAS.
I'm an accountant that's obsessed with roller coasters Knoebels > Everywhere
1. El Toro 2. Intimidator 305 3. Phoenix 4. Millennium Force 5. New Texas Giant
Welp, haven’t posted here in six years (lurking only), so I wanted to share a brief review of my most recent visit to Hersheypark for anyone who might be interested. I’ve done seven parks this summer (Kings Dominion, Kennywood, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Canada’s Wonderland, Castaway Cove, and Hersheypark), which is far more than my average, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that Hershey—albeit my “home” park—was my most complete and enjoyable park visit of the summer. So for this reason, Hershey gets the honor of having a little trip-report written up (also, I couldn’t be arsed to write seven trip reports…I haven’t posted in six years: gotta take it easy).
Got to the park around 10:30 after first meeting a classmate of mine at the local Giant in order to take advantage of the discount tickets (if you can do this, do it). We even pulled some money-saving gymnastics by throwing his car in the park-and-ride off of Chocolate Ave before heading into the park’s $15 lot. That’s like, two more chicken strips for lunch. Plus, we could see his Chrysler Town and Country minivan from the top of Great Bear, so that was pretty cool I guess.
Anyway, onto the park. As you can probably guess from my unrelenting desire to keep my credit card in my pocket, I opted out of the fast pass system, which from what I remember kind of sucks in comparison to the Cedar Fair setup with which I’ve become familiar this summer (and by familiar I mean I’ve watched thousands of people pass me in line while trudging through the normie queue). Crowds were manageable, anyway, so no real loss there. Is it just me, or does Hershey’s waterpark seem to suck up the gp more than that of any other park (save maybe Dorney, but that’s because the dry park only has two coasters more exciting than the drive to get to the park)? At about 5:30 there was an exodus of Biblical Proportions coming away from the Boardwalk and through the-part-of-the-park-formerly-known-as-MusicBox-Way. Was pleased with this. I can only hope the new water “coaster” and mat racer augment this effect.
A few general thoughts: Hersheypark has always been and will always be my favorite park. I must admit, I’m one of those deplorables who vowed undying opposition to the park after it killed-off my long lost friend, Canyon River Rapids. But hey, I’m older and decidedly less of a child these days so I’m willing to let bygones be bygones. Regardless of how much I hate to see the Boardwalk encroach upon the regular park, I still can’t get over how darn cool this whole place is. Coasters over paths over log flumes over restuarants over hillsides…and some great rides and friendly staff to boot. It’s clean, well-operated, and perhaps best of all, manages not to attract the hordes of line jumpers that seem to find their way to Great Adventure each summer.
As for the rides, I must say that this was one of those rare park visits where everything I rode seemed to be running at its absolute best. I will make no attempt to recount an order of attack for the day, but will say that my classmate and I pulled off the oft-utilized back-of-the-park first approach, which seemed to work remarkably well. By the time we made it back to the Hollow at the front of the park, the place was more-or-less a ghost town. If you haven’t tried this strategy at Hershey, I highly recommend it. Rides from best to worst…
Skyrush Honestly, Skyrush is my main reason for wanting to write this TR. Look, I get that coaster enthusiasts are a fickle bunch. Whether it’s wood or steel, Intamin or B&M, etc. or etc. we seem not to be able to agree on anything. I accept that…but with one exception: How Skyrush is not at or near the top of every enthusiasts “favorite” rides list is beyond me. I may not be the most seasoned coaster veteran out there—my count is only about 150—but to this day, I have not yet ridden another coaster that I feel is actively trying to kill me. The back left wing seat of Skyrush (or really any wing seat, for that matter) offers the kind of out-of-control ride I really ever thought was possible in my dreams. Keeping your hands up from beginning to end seems less like a fun little thing to do and more like a death-defying stunt. It’s hard for me to even imagine a pre-Skyrush world—one where I thought that Phoenix and El Toro had intense airtime. Ha! For me, Skyrush redefines what a coaster can be when a park has the cajones not to neuter it one little bit, despite the cries of “Sky Rush” or whatever else. Now, of course I’m being somewhat facetious: I know people have different opinions and all that good stuff. But perhaps someone can answer an honest inquiry: with an INSANE drop, nuts airtime, and unrelenting directional changes, why do more people not consider Skyrush a top-tier ride?
Storm Runner Got three front-seat rides in on Storm Runner and each seemed better than the last. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or what, but I really do not remember that launch feeling as intense as it did during this visit. My on-ride picture each time captured the face I can only assume I made 20 something years ago when I rode my first roller coaster (note: riding my first roller coaster was not by any means a pleasant experience, as I spent most of it planning to disown my father for tricking me into thinking it would be fun).
Triple Tower When my first ride on the Reese’s Tower ended, I yelled across to my classmate: “That was the most pleasantly surprised I’ve ever been by a ride.” And I maintain this to be true. When Hershey first announced Triple Tower, I, like most, kind of scratched my head and wondered why Hershey would willingly lay down to Dorney and build an inferior S&S tower complex. I am happy to report that this is totally not the case whatsoever. I generally find the S&S towers to be super lame compared to Arm towers and Intamin 1st and 2nd gen drop towers, but this one avoided that pitfall (no pun intended, Kennywood fans) by simply not trying to beat those drop towers at their own game. Rather than focusing on the drop, per se, the main trick of the Triple Towers is the air-time. I know, I know. Air time on an S&S tower? I wouldn’t have believed it either, but if not for those (super comfy) restraints, I’d still be flying somewhere in the atmosphere above Derry Township. I kept being that annoying guy who doesn’t notice that the line is moving because he’s too preoccupied watching people’s reactions to seeing their legs fly above their heads 150 feet in the air. Good stuff. Hershey tower was fun, too, but didn’t have the same gut-wrenching airtime of the Reese’s Tower. Didn’t ride the Kiss Tower, but let’s just say that, based off of the six inches between the ride’s seats and the rider’s butts at the ride vehicle’s apex, it did not look kid-friendly by any stretch.
Great Bear Still my favorite invert, if I had to pick one. So fast, so snappy. And that little floaty hill into the Spring Creek stretch brings joy to my little heart every time. Also loved how they (recently?) moved the on-ride photo section out of the break run. I assume they did an in-depth revenue analysis before ultimately realizing nobody wanted to buy a picture where their expression is saying: "That’s it?" On a sadder note, Great Bear was the occasion for my only real complaint of the day. What on earth is up with the checking and re-checking and re-rechecking of the restraints on the ride? The gp hysteric inside of me was wondering “OMGEE somebody must have fallen out and now they need all this extra security!” But seriously, did someone fall off this ride or something while I’ve been under a rock? Because I’ve never seen this practice on any invert anywhere. My classmate and I were timing dispatches at like 3:30 at some points, which is absurd. Does anyone have any information regarding this? Anyway, awesome ride.
Fahrenheit First drop is awesome in the back seat and the inversions are certainly unique. A bit rattly (ugh, I promised myself I would never be that guy), but still super fun. Love that little roll-off to the wrong side before descending into the Norwegian loop. One ride was enough, if only because I didn’t want to melt in that queue from hell. I’m beginning to think that the naming of this ride was contingent on the fact that the line would contain absolutely no shade, and would be akin to queuing on the surface of the sun.
Lightning Racer It’s totally necessary for me to point out that, in a string of bad luck that cannot be explained by any field of mathematics or science, I have not won a race on Lightning Racer in about 15 years. Every visit to Hershey I usually give it about two chances before giving up. This time, lighting struck on my second ride and I finally reclaimed my spot upon the podium inside my mind. I mean, let’s be real, it was getting embarrassing. I reached a point where I would do a quick weight estimate of the guests in line for both trains and throw in my lot with the hopefully-fatter group. My classmate, who is on the larger side, happily took credit for our victory post-race. Thanks bud, you made me a winner again.
Comet Woah woah woah. What on earth did they do to this ride? I remember it being slow and uneventful. Now it is smooth, fast, and has freakin’ crazy laterals all over the place. Who are you and what did you do with Comet?
sooper doper Looper! Absolutely loved the fact that virtually half of the park was walking around with an “I survived the sooper doper Looper!” t-shirt. Loved it so much, in fact, that I bought one for myself when I left the park. It’s the first coaster shirt I’ve bought since 2004, and I am sitting here wondering where it has been all my life. Anyway, the looper is the same looper it’s always been. It’s like an old friend to me. When they (inevitably) remove it, I will cry. This much I know.
Sidewinder This is a legitimately fun boomerang. Ghasp. Even my gp/potential-future-enthusiast classmate was hesitant to ride it because of his experience on Knott’s version. We were both pleasantly surprised by this offering. The vest restraints are miraculous.
Wildcat In 1996, I waited about three hours to ride this and thought it was the best thing going. Now I just can’t wait for them to RMC it into a real winner. In its defense, I rode in the front seat and it certainly wasn’t unenjoyable. It has just fallen so far from the insane I’m-gonna-kill-you rides of 15-20 years ago. The best part of the ride for me was hearing the voice of my late buddy Nick Pantalone give the pre-ride spiel: Ready to have some fun? It’s Wildcat time in 3,2,1..
Also did Coal Cracker and Tidal Force, which are two of my all-time favorite water rides. And as a burgeoning bumper car enthusiast, I couldn’t pass up a ride on (Geico) Fender Bender, which seemed to receive patronage from more than your standard amount of incompetent drivers, making for a hilarious but frustrating time. Lafftrack was a no-go due to the absurd line (I’ve done it before and it’s what you’d expect), and I opted to skip Trailblazer, which hurt a little bit inside. Wild Mouse was down all day.
Chocolate World was different from what I remembered. The whole thing seemed very social-media-ized, which sucked. Almost all the cool props I remember from when I was a kid have been replaced by gimmicky screens and singing cows and whatnot. But as long as they keep giving me that free fun-sized candy bar, I’ll keep coming back.
So yeah, awesome day at Hershey, especially with night rides on Skyrush, Great Bear, and Storm Runner to wrap it up. I really do believe that Hersheypark is an RMC conversion of Wildcat away from having one of the deepest coaster lineups in the world. It’s already fantastic as it stands, and can only get better.
zburns999 wrote:Skyrush Honestly, Skyrush is my main reason for wanting to write this TR. Look, I get that coaster enthusiasts are a fickle bunch. Whether it’s wood or steel, Intamin or B&M, etc. or etc. we seem not to be able to agree on anything. I accept that…but with one exception: How Skyrush is not at or near the top of every enthusiasts “favorite” rides list is beyond me. Now, of course I’m being somewhat facetious: I know people have different opinions and all that good stuff. But perhaps someone can answer an honest inquiry: with an INSANE drop, nuts airtime, and unrelenting directional changes, why do more people not consider Skyrush a top-tier ride?
I'll chime in on SkyRush and why it's not one of my favorite rides. I really love putting my hands up on coasters and having a "whee!!!" fun, smiling, laughing good time time. SkyRush towards the end just gets to be too much and it becomes not fun. I want to pretend like I might get thrown out or have my body dislocate somewhere but not actually feel like that's going to happen, and on SkyRush I actually feel like I might fly out and/or snap something. The first half of the ride is amazing and it's a fantastic piece of engineering... but being thrown around like a rag doll isn't as enjoyable as I wish it was. I'll pick Storm Runner over it any day of the week without hesitation.
It's worth mentioning that I don't suffer from the SkyRush issues of other folks. Lightning Rod tried to violently eject me into the mountains on the quad down but I didn't feel inadequately secured at any point in time like I do with SkyRush's setup. On LR, El Toro, and other airtime coasters where you're sitting inside the car you have your lower body somewhat stabilized and I can have my feet on the floor. Maybe that's key here, being able to control part of your body while the other half flies around. Perhaps different restraints/trains on SkyRush would help me and others enjoy it instead of feeling like we just made it through a hurricane. That would obviously defeat the purpose of the ride which is being free and flying and floating around with the clouds and everything. I absolutely love speed and airtime but it just doesn't come together well for me on it and as much as I want to love it I just don't. Am I making any sense here or just babbling?
zburns999 wrote:Fahrenheit First drop is awesome in the back seat and the inversions are certainly unique. A bit rattly (ugh, I promised myself I would never be that guy), but still super fun. Love that little roll-off to the wrong side before descending into the Norwegian loop. One ride was enough, if only because I didn’t want to melt in that queue from hell. I’m beginning to think that the naming of this ride was contingent on the fact that the line would contain absolutely no shade, and would be akin to queuing on the surface of the sun.
Great TR! HersheyPark is a fantastic, well-rounded park with probably my favorite lineup of coasters only behind Cedar Point. I didn't get a chance to get up there last year but am going up in a week and a half. Hearing that Comet is running great is really wonderful news. I love Comet! Great Bear is my favorite invert too. It's so, so smooth and has a lot of power without trying to slam my head into the restraints like many other inverts do. The boring ending doesn't bother me. Where did they move the on-ride camera to?
Your comment about Fahrenheit's queue and the surface of the sun is hysterical and entirely too accurate!!
zburns999 wrote:But perhaps someone can answer an honest inquiry: with an INSANE drop, nuts airtime, and unrelenting directional changes, why do more people not consider Skyrush a top-tier ride?
Skyrush is my #2 coaster, but I can totally understand why some people don't like it. I'm fairly athletic and strong, but there are times on Skyrush where I find myself fighting to stay upright. For me, it's exhilarating. But I can imagine for other people it's too much and they need to tap out. What TBpony414 said about the restraints and trains is the major factor. El Toro and Lightning Rod have insane ejector, but their restraint systems feel much more secure, and your body doesn't really get thrown around. Skyrush on the other hand throws you around like a rag doll and then won't return your calls.
| Lightning Rod | Skyrush | El Toro | Intimidator 305 | Maverick |
Regarding Skyrush, TBpony's comment about the restraints is actually pretty insightful. I always assumed I loved the wing seating because it puts the rider so far from the heartline/center of gravity/whatever you want to call it, therefore creating that violent whipping action. I never considered that the reason the wings are so out of control is because the lower half of your body--usually used to stabilize and balance yourself during the ride--is completely worthless on Skyrush, as it's just as much at the mercy of the crazy layout as your upper half. It makes sense. And because I forgot to mention it in my initial TR, I have to ask: has anyone else noticed that in the back half of the train, the first drop on Skyrush incorporates this (probably unintentional) little kick about halfway down the hill. You get the initial push out of the seat over the crown, and then about 2 seconds later comes this near-death-experience donkey kick type deal that is seriously the closest to death I've ever figured myself to be on a coaster (other than when my seat belt disconcertingly unbuckled at the beginning of Leviathan's first drop). That strange element really puts Skyrush's drop in a special place beyond my metaphorical Mount Rushmore of coaster drops (El Toro, Millennium Force, I305, Diamondback, Twisted Colossus in the back seat, etc.).
As for the GB camera, it's kind of a funny story. My first ride of the day, I made sure to do some sort of goofy smile going into the break run because I know that nobody is ever expecting to have their picture taken there. When I passed the photo booth, however, I was shocked to see that not only did I look like I was having a blast, but so did the rest of the train. That was the moment I realized that Hershey pulled a fast one on me and moved the camera elsewhere. A little night-time detective work helped me to realize that the rapid-fire flashed of light from the camera were coming from the section of track right after the wingover under sooper dooper Looper. So yeah, they didn't move it back much, but just far enough that nobody's brain has yet registered that the ride is an anticlimactic S bend away from being over.
P.S. I used to have a "Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills" vhs tape which claimed that Great Bear had seven elements to go along with the 7 stars of Ursa Major--one of which was the meandering S bend into the break run. So before anyone complains about Cedar Point's whole "Steel Vengeance has the fastest airtime hill on any coaster" trope, remember that the industry is more-or-less built upon the constant embellishment of standard elements!
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