Hersheypark tips?

July 14, 2016, 7:36 AM

I'll be visiting the park in late August. Last time I was there I wasn't even tall enough to ride anything. I'll stay at one of the onsite hotels and have at least 2 days at the park. Tips are much appreciated!

Replies (2)

July 14, 2016, 7:17 PM

I think I've become the unofficial regional park advice guy, but I've just been to so many places and I do enjoy helping others out. Anyway...

When I visited Hersheypark in 2014, I did an afternoon and evening one day and a morning and afternoon the next (both July weekdays). For me, that was more than enough time to do everything at the park, though I never ventured into the waterpark or zoo sections. With two full days (particularly weekdays), you should have plenty of time to do everything, especially if you stay onsite and take advantage of early entry.

During the early entry period, I believe only The Hollow is open, though I have heard reports that sometimes Minetown opens early as well. While it will be tempting to go straight for Skyrush, Comet and Sooperdooperlooper are bigger priorities during early entry due to their lower capacity. Comet in particular can get huge lines later in the day. If you do not have early entry on your first day, I would avoid the Hollow until the evening.

Once the park opens, I'd suggest heading to Pioneer Frontier for Fahrenheit, Sidewinder, Storm Runner, and Trailblazer. While Hersheypark's operations are generally great, capacity limitations on these attractions (particularly Fahrenheit) mean that they can get long lines. Once you have completed these coasters, move out to Midway America for Laff Trakk, Lightning Racer, Wildcat, and Wild Mouse. Great Bear is the highest capacity coaster in the park so it can safely be left until the afternoon.

I suggest using your first day for rides only. Do all the must ride attractions first, then go around the park and do anything else that catches your interest, as well as re-rides on your favorite attractions. On your second day, do the waterpark (if desired...I'd personally skip it), the zoo, Chocolate World, and whatever rides you feel like doing.

This is what I'd consider the priority attractions at Hersheypark:

-Coal Cracker
-Great Bear
-Hershey's Chocolate World dark ride
-Kissing Tower
-Laff Trakk
-Lightning Racer
-Sidewinder (can be skipped if you don't like Boomerangs)
-Storm Runner
-Tidal Force (bring a swimsuit...you will get extremely wet)

While Hersheypark does offer a front of the line pass (Fast Track), I recommend against purchasing it. The pass is $60 and gets you on 10 coasters once each, but you must return during designated times, must sit in a specific seat, and do not get to pick which coasters are excluded from the pass. In my experience, most lines were only 15-30 minutes, but it is possible to see 60+ minute waits for the low capacity rides (Comet, Fahrenheit, and Laff Trakk are most susceptible to this).

Lastly, have a great time. Hersheypark is one of my favorite parks and it feels like a nice blend between a smaller family-owned park and a bigger corporate park. Other than Storm Runner, I wouldn't consider any ride at the park to be best of its type, but the park as a whole is just really nice.

July 15, 2016, 7:31 AM

Thanks AJ, you kind of have become the regional park guy. I also am a regional park person but I haven't been to a ton of parks (yet). Thanks as always for the detailed advice!

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