James Rao

Published: July 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Fun report, Robert. Thanks for sharing. I haven't been to Hershey Park since... well since a long time ago. Back before they had 60 rides and all those coasters. Looks like a lot has changed. I hope to get back to several of the "northern" parks next year now that all my kids are over 54 inches tall.

Incidentally, where did you stay on this trip? Did you venture to one of the park's hotels, or someplace else nearby?

Jeffrey H

Published: July 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM

The last time I went to Hersheypark was in 1999. It was an amazing trip and I strongly encourage anyone who has considered visiting Pennsylvania to go on vacation there.

When I went Great Bear (inverted coaster) was the new thing and i must've gone on it like 50 times. The SuperDuperLooper was also awesome.

My fondest memory was riding the factory tour ride. They piped in the smell of chocolate everywhere. It was a supreme olfactory overload! And when I got off the ride they gave us free samples of the then-new NutRageous bars. I subsequently re-rode about 15 times or so.

Once we had done all the modern coasters, I simply had to ride EVERYTHING. Those wooden coasters where so bumpy and my mom didn't pack any ibuprofen. Legendary headaches. #1 rule of Hersheypark: pack Tylenol or Advil.

I intend to go back with my own children in a few years time. At the top of my to-do list is to visit the Crayola factory (which my dad refused to stop at during our vacation!!!). Also, check out Penn's Cave, the Penn Hills, and Sesame Place.

Published: July 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Really Enjoyed reading about Hershey Park, can't wait to hear more! I havent been in years, and reading this makes me wanna go back soon! -Lauren
Rob Pastor

Published: July 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Yes, there's been a lot of rain in Pennsylvania the past month. That same system that was drenching Orlando, stayed on a northward coast, and has done the same to us. I'm really getting tired of cutting my four acres every few days. Anyway, on to Hershey Park. I took my nephew there in June for a day trip from here in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Three years ago I took him to Hershey and got him over his fear of coasters. He enjoyed the previous trip and wanted to go back. Big disappointment though. Three years ago there were a plethora of good professional shows, which we both enjoyed. Well, it seems they slashed their entertainment budget. There were just a few shows and they were boring and poorly staged. Some were replaced with the horrid character greets. The food at Hershey never impressed me. Again it wasn't very memorable. The BBQ in the Western themed area is absolutely horrible. The ribs were under cooked. The corn on the cob was, in my nephew's words, like cardboard. Evidently it sat in the pot most of the day. And the coleslaw was horrid, and its hard to mess up coleslaw. The pizza we had for lunch had that same cardboard texture as the corn. The other problem with Hershey is that its a mishmash of expansions in what was once a fairly small park, so it doesn't have a cohesive or clean ambiance. But it does still have it's good points, and that's primarily their coasters. We both actually liked Skyrush. Sure, its a bit rough, but I like my coasters to have character. The restraints didn't bother me either. Storm Runner was our favorite coaster. It's very exciting. The old original woodie, Comet, also has a good ride with lots of airtime. A lot of people don't care for the woodie Wildcat, since it's so rough, but its a ride we enjoy and rode a few times. The readers seem to love the Lightning Racers, but we both thought it was kind of meh. Not much excitement, and a bit boring after riding Wildcat. Sure its smooth, but not very interesting. I still can't judge Fahrenheit though, since it's massive size scares my nephew. The other good point is their zoo. It's small but incredibly interesting.The park was very crowded until about 4:00 and then it became a virtual ghost town. On the whole, I won't return unless they restore their live entertainment to it's previous standards. That's what set Hershey above the other coaster parks. Now it's basically just a Six Flags.
Mike Gallagher

Published: July 24, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Last time I was at Hershey, 6/24, I passed out in the heat and had to be taken on a cart to First Aid.

Lightning Racer remains my fave at HP by a wide Margin, and is even better at night. I like Storm Runner, Comet and SoperDooperLooper, and always enjoy most of the other coasters. I've not gotten back on Thigh Crush since my first and only ride last year, which I certainly did NOT enjoy.

I'm not a person who seeks out live entertainment at parks, but the musical shows during their Kalloween event are pretty decent.

And I NEVER go to Hershey without going through Chocolate World at least once.

Russell Meyer

Published: July 24, 2013 at 6:56 AM

I wouldn't categorize Skyrush as a "wing" coaster. It's really a twisting hypercoaster. Intamin has a real wing coaster in Spain called Furius Baco, where the seats are actually to the sides of the track like Gatekeeper or Wild Eagle.

Hersheypark is a really underrated park. As I wrote in my review last year of Skyrush, they don't have any record breakers or must-do coasters in the park (I still think Skyrush is the one, however, despite the restraints), but they have a solid, diverse lineup of coasters that few parks can match.

Published: July 24, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Thanks for a cool report! I went in October for a friend's party at one of their fall "fright nights". I've wanted to go back this summer but haven't had the chance. I want to ride skyrush! It was closed when I was there.
Anon Mouse

Published: July 24, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I was hoping to hear about the chocolate first. I will wait for part 2.
Eric G

Published: July 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM

SkyRush is not a wing coaster.

SkyRush is a megacoaster or hypercoaster with four-abreast seating per row. The train design has the outside seats extending beyond the track edges and slightly set back from the middle seats, but that design doesn't classify it as a "wing coaster".

Bobbie Butterfield

Published: July 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Great report, Robert. I always enjoy reading informed articles about experiences at Hersheypark, as it's one of only three parks within easy driving distance of where I live. (The other two are Six Flags Great Adventure and Dorney.) You must be on an extended road trip, as I seem to recall having recently read something you wrote while in Texas.

Differences of opinion and differences in perception are what make discussions about roller coasters interesting. I happen to adore Skyrush - you published an article I wrote about a Travel Channel filming of that coaster - and put it at no. 5 on my list of top ten steel coasters. I've ridden it a total of 15 times (11 during the Travel Channel shoot, lol) and will undoubtedly ride it many more times. Granted, the restraints are an issue. How much of an issue depends largely on where you sit, so I'm pretty selective about where I sit. The front row wing seats are the ones that gave me the least discomfort. I enjoyed reading your comment to the effect that Skyrush is rougher than an old woodie. What you perceive as rough I perceive as intense. To each his own. I find that in general people either love or hate this coaster; I have yet to meet anyone who's neutral on the subject. Anyway, enjoyable reading and good description of Fahrenheit.

Published: July 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM

We went to Hershey last April and also in summer 2010. Both times the waits were minimal. We also loved the lightning racers and went on it several times in a row.

Published: July 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Oh, wow, Hershey Park! We used to go here ALL THE TIME with my middle school orchestra; we still get up there now and again. The Comet is one of my dad's all-time favorite coasters. My personal favorite is the Great Bear! Can't wait to hear your take on the singing cows in feather boas...
Brian Bauer

Published: July 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

We visited back in late May and had the same kind of day. It was overcast so the crowds stayed away but there was no rain.

Every ride was pretty much a walk-on all day.

Robert Niles

Published: July 25, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Well, I put "wing" in quotes for a reason. :^)

Hersheypark's used the wing designation for the coaster in the past, but only the two outermost seats on each row could be considered "wing" seats, as I described.

Russell Meyer

Published: July 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Yeah, I got the quotes, but I really do wish parks would quit relying on unknowledgeable PM firms to market their rides. I highly doubt using the term "wing" coaster attracts any more of the general public to the park to ride, but it does frustrate the coaster fans out there that know all of the terms and records. It's very much like what Six Flags did with Full Throttle (making up records), and parks have been doing it for years and years. If it's the biggest, fastest, or first of it's kind, I don't have an issue, but when they're using terms to describe an attraction that doesn't actually fit, it's rather annoying, and I don't think it's really beneficial.
Joe Schwartz

Published: July 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Great review of Hershey Park Robert. Since this is in my home area. I like tis park a whole lot better than Six Flags "Great Adventure" & "Dorney Park" I agree with your review of "SKY Rush". This is a really painful ride. I like the rest of their coasters a lot and if you have small children the Anton Schwarzcoff designed "Super Dooper Looper" is a great loop starter coaster for children. They also have a really nice water park that comes with the admission.