The third stop on our whirlwind amusement park tour was Hersheypark, in Hershey, PA, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. We bought half-priced “sunset” (arrive after 5pm) tickets, after driving from Niagara Falls earlier in the day. We arrived at 6pm. We happened to be there on the same day that Paul McCartney was performing, so getting into the park was a challenge with traffic. Hersheypark is the only park we did that was not owned by Cedar Fair, and it had some unique rides. And chocolate. 76 rides, with 13 roller coasters. Park map (click to expand. It’s comically hard to read):
Huge steel, non-looping coaster. 212 ft, 76 mph, 85 degree first drop. Cool seat design where it feels like you are not surrounded by the rest of the train. Seats on the outside feel like they will hit other parts of the ride at certain points. Very smooth. Very impressive. The first ride we rode at Hersheypark, and then we revisited for our last ride of the night. One rating from each ride:
Eric: 10/10, 9/10
Maria: 10/10, 9/10
Steel, one loop. Big let down after Skyrush. I don’t think it made me move in my seat or change my expression at all. 75 ft, 45 mph. Interesting that there was only a lap bar for a looping coaster. Smooth.
3. Great Bear
Steel, looping. Legs free, suspended. 124 ft, 58 mph. I wrote in my notes that there was cool side-to-side aspect toward the end of the ride, though I don’t remember what that means. Track was intertwined with other rides. Smooth
Steel. Lift hill takes you straight up (literally, you are facing directly upward). 97 degree drop after the hill (more than straight down). 121 ft, 58 mph. Ride was cool, but not as long as we would have liked. With such a unique hill, we weren’t expecting much after the hill. We were pleasantly surprised, as the subsequent loops and side-to-side action was cool. Smooth.
5. The Wildcat
Wooden, with good views of this side of the park. 106 ft, 50 mph. Track went over itself in a cool way. Super bumpy and fried Maria’s brain. The camera is toward the end of the ride and Maria just looks miserable in the picture.
6. Laff Track
Queue snakes by lots of funhouse mirrors. 4 person car, 2 facing foward, 2 backward. Track is really interesting, with lots of corners and spinning. Scenery inside ride is full of clowns, tarot cards, and florescent colors. A lot of fun.
7. Lightning Racer
Wooden racer with two simultaneous trains. Cool interlacing tracks that make you feel like your car is winning/losing at different points on the track. Lots of hills; good ride. Pretty smooth.
Eric: 8/10, 8/10
8. Storm Runner
Steel coaster that launches you at 72 mph into a 150 ft hill. You drop 180 ft out of the hill, hitting 75 mph. Some twists and loops afterward. Ride is only 34 seconds long, though.
11. Hershey Chocolate World Tour Ride
After 10pm, Hersheypark closed. Chocolate World, next door, stays open until 11pm. We went over there and did their free tour, which has a bit of a ride at the end. The floor rotates at the loading area (similar to White Water Canyon at Kings Island) and each boat probably fits 4 people. The tour takes you through the chocolate making process with some cool visuals. You get a piece of chocolate at the end. Singing cows.
We left Hersheypark at 10pm after arriving at 6pm, so everything above was quite rushed. It’d be worth spending more time at the park. Very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the park and the rides.