A network sitcom is airing an episode set in theme park next week. But it is not going to Disney World, for a change. ABC's "The Goldbergs" is hitting the road to Hersheypark, instead.
Disney-owned ABC typically sends its sitcoms to the Walt Disney World Resort whenever a script calls for a theme park visit (or an executive wants some sweet corporate synergy to drive reservations). But with "The Goldbergs" set in 1980s suburban Philadelphia, a high school class trip to nearby Hersheypark made a lot more sense.
"One of my greatest memories from school was going to Hersheypark on a field trip," series creator and executive producer Adam Goldberg said in a press release from Disney. "I vividly remember going through Chocolate World, where I bought a giant-sized Hershey kiss in the gift shop and ate it for the next year."
"The sooperdooperLooper was the first looping roller coaster I had ever seen," Goldberg said. "Even though my Mom insisted I not go on it, I ignored her and still did as a point of pride. Sure, I ended up losing consciousness on the coaster for a bit, but I still did it! It really is an amazing destination if you live in the Philadelphia area."
In the episode, the character Adam Goldberg and his friends try to ditch their parents on a planned high-school trip to the theme park. But — as on sitcoms as well as on theme park rides — it all goes horribly (and hilariously) wrong.
Now, sharp-eyed theme park fans likely will notice that the bulk of the episode was not shot on location in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but at the series' home base in Southern California. I have not seen a preview of the episode to confirm where they filmed it, but if producers needed a coaster that looks like Hersheypark's Schwarzkopf Sooperdooperlooper, its older sibling (New) Revolution runs just up the road at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The Hersheypark episode of "The Goldbergs" airs on Wednesday, October 17 at 8pm Eastern and Pacific and 7pm Central and Mountain times.
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