Hello! You may have noticed that I had a 2017 Photo TR thread that kind of suddenly came to an end. Or maybe you didn’t notice. Well, it came to a somewhat abrupt end due to the fact that I was using an iPhone 5 to hold myself over between a deceased 7 and waiting for the X. Well, said device crapped out and lost the remainder of my pictures.
Well, those problems are now a thing of the past. I can happily report that I have an iPhone X now and that I’ve now joined the (non-Florida) theme park season as well as the 21st century. My friends and I took a quick weekend trip to Hersheypark and Kings Dominion. Why these two parks together? My friends had never been to the former and it’d been a 5 year gap for me. And the latter did some new roller coaster thing recently, you might have heard about it.
So, Hersheypark . A park that somehow manages to consistently add world-class rides every couple of years that rival the major theme park chains. A park that is of a pretty good size and is (hopefully) about to get bigger and (hopefully) add yet another world-class coaster we’ll all collectively jizz over, especially as they’ve had a particular affinity for Intamin rides over the years. It’s pretty, landscaped, retains a lot of classic attractions like Comet, Sooperdooperlooper, and even an old-school whip, fitting it all in among said world-class attractions.
Despite all the cutting-edge modern sh*t, Hersheypark still feels like the park from your childhood. It gives classic theme park vibes, especially when the sun goes down and you see the light bulb running lights on Lightning Racer, the smell of BBQ cooking underneath Storm Runner, the sound of Sooperdooperlooper and Great Bear duking it out for audible supremacy between classic Schwarzkopf trash-can-off-building noise and pre-sand-silenced B&M roar. It’s all very…Pennsylvania. It’s honestly one of the best parks in America, in my humble opinion.
So the night before, we were driving to our hotel and being a bunch of coaster nerds, we collectively yelled OMFG SKYRUSH as we noticed it, hastily almost crashed the car, then ran onto what was likely private property to take blurry photos of Skyrush at night. Sad!
What exactly happens when you get an 80-degree Saturday in April and Hersheypark is open for the season? The Pennsylvanians come out of the woodwork and make this clusterf*ck to get into the park at opening. Yikes.
Many, many moons later, we arrived at the entrance ready to take this picture and have our anuses prodded before going into the park. Can I say anuses on TPR? Anus.
Milton Hershey says "Now, everybody descend at once upon Comet Hollow or whatever it's called nowadays"
Is that an Intamin coaster in the morning or are you just happy to see me?
Shake that laffy taffy...that laffy taffy...shake that laffy taffy...that laffy taffy.
Laff Trakk was a new credit for me. A standard Maurer spinner, essentially Steel Dragon from Waldameer in a box with some effects.
The queue has funhouse mirrors that just beg you to take oblong selfies
"Laffing Sal's House of Fun and Occasional Rape"
Roller coaster FACT. There are two cobra rolls at Hersheypark
Some beautiful orange Intamin track against a perfectly blue sky that morning.
"Hey, can you guys get another roll of paper towels?"
Great Bear and it's super random track design crisscrosses The Hollow. It's a fun inverted coaster, not trying to de-throne Raptor or Montu, but living it's own life and doing it's own thing. It's special.
Always nice to see a classic Schwarzkopf coaster. This one is kind of like a "mine train" version, but still fun, scenic, and that loop!
I'm happy to say that The Comet is the best wood coaster at Hersheypark. One of not many surviving Herbert Schmeck wood coasters built by PTC, it's sort of a sister to greats like Comet at Great Escape and Phoenix at Knoebel's.
What's better than buzz bars and wooden airtime goodness? A modern Intamin coaster to stand over it and give some thigh-destroying modern airtime!
Great Bear doing it's zero-gee thingy
Great Bear, Spring Creek, and the famous "funky supports", which I fully uhh...support
For lunch, we went to Moe's. They have a pretty much full-scale menu complete with Moe's queso, free chips, and free salsa.
A shot of some of the menu's offerings.
Everybody else went to Moe's for lunch, too. This whole area, which was full of eateries, was jam-packed. Every food-serving location in the park was totally insane for lunch. Maybe Hersheypark should make some further investments into expanding the size of existing food venues or adding even more. This particular line took about 30 minutes. I really think the park is losing some business, because we saw and heard quite a few people mentioning going to get food outside the park instead due to the lines. More to come!
I would have definitely skipped those lines and went to Troegs Brewing, which is is right down the street. While we only sampled the popcorn (which was really good, I might add), I would like to go back to try out some of the other food offerings that they offer.
The poutine sounds wonderful!
Thanks for the report - I need to get back to Hershey soon!
Hersheypark also features a heavily-sponsored open-air monorail experience that takes you around the park and even outside it a little.
You also get some pretty cool views of Storm Runner that you can't get from on the ground in the park.
You thought that the only consequence of using 8cars per trainer in RCT2 was black hole tiles in the grid?! Think again. It had real-world consequences and now one of Hersheypark's drop towers has the wrong ride vehicle and runs in a mode not designed for it in the game.
"23 guests were killed in an accident on New Drop Tower 2"
Some railroad tracks, smoke stacks, and an old factory are more views the Capital Blue Cross(TM) Monorail provides
From the monorail, we headed down to Spring Creek and took some photos from under SkyRush
Some artsy, sky-backed Intamin track again.
Skyrush is a really incredible ride. It would probably be right near my top favorites of steel coasters, but it can be a little too much. The speed, forces, and airtime are incredible and some of the highest-caliber Intamin has given us. But after a few rides, you find yourself 1/2 way through the course wishing it would end.
Coal Cracker features one of those roundtable stations
Some coaster nerds about to enjoy a log flume.
You also get a few outside-park views from Coal Cracker. I love me a good log flume! I'm not partial to getting wet whatsoever, but I just really enjoy these rides.
Sun starting to set, on a log flume, nice side views of Great Bear.
One thing about Coal Cracker is the fact that it has this little airtime "bump" at the bottom of the drop. I always kind of try and jump a bit to avoid getting wet, and I was almost ejected by this thing.
Storm Runner is seriously underrated as a coaster. The launch is incredibly strong, the drops are good, and the inversions are super fast. It's a short ride, but packs a huge punch!
Hersheypark says "look how many of you dropped your iPhone 3Gs and Motorola Razrs on Storm Runner yesterday!"
As the sun goes down and the park lights up, you really start to get that nostalgic theme park vibe
The only shot I got of Lightning Racer's lights. These coasters get beautiful at night. While not super thrilling or anything, Lightning Racer is a fun way to zip around on a pretty smooth wood coaster track. With 4 of us in our group, we split into pairs, went to the back row, and "raced". Also, the fact that these coasters never seem to have any line whatsoever is awesome!
A loop up Skyrush's skirt at night time
Milton Hershey says "Y'all go back to where you came from, now"
Glad you got to ride the monorail and Coal Cracker. Those are fond memories from my trip. Great rides, and I think they get overlooked for the really great coasters. I also agree that Comet is fantastic; I was not expecting to love that one as much as I do.
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