HersheyPark Trip Report

Hersheypark: A report of my trip to Hershey, PA from July 15-July 17, 2012.

From Andrew Carrieri
Posted July 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM
My mom, dad, younger brother, and I went on a brief trip to Hershey the last three days as a graduation present from my parents. We drove down from Long Island (about four hours each way) and stayed at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, one of the three on-site Hershey resorts.

Hershey Lodge: this is the "moderate" resort in Hershey. There is also the extremely upscale Hotel Hershey and the campground. I'll say that if the Hotel Hershey is worth its price, it is truly great because the Lodge was really impressive.
Check-in was efficent, the room was well appointed with two queen beds, and service was excellent. We ordered room service numerous times and it always arrived promptly; ditto for the towels we requested. Regarding room service, you can order anything off the menu of the hotel's full service Bears' Den restaurant. This menu is as large as that of a Cheesecake Factory (a.k.a. huge), and it was good quality.
There is a concierge desk in the lobby where you can purchase discounted tickets to Hershey Park. As a result of this hotel discount, you don't need to get coupons in advance. Other perks of staying at the Lodge included free bus transportation to HersheyPark (they came on a regular schedule and the service was comparable to that at Walt Disney World), charging privleges at the park with your room key, and a Hershey version of Disney's Extra Magic Hours. Guests at the 3 official resorts get to enter the park an hour before it opens to the general public. This was great as I got to ride Skyrush twice with no wait.
Overall, the Hershey Lodge was an excellent hotel: I'd rate it 9/10.

Here are my reviews of the roller coasters I rode:

Comet: 6/10. This is an old wooden coaster. It was good for what it was, but it was not very thrilling and very rough. It's certainly worth riding if you like wooden coasters though.

Wildcat: 9/10. A very good wooden coaster with great views of the Pennsylvania landscape surrounding the park. I found it pretty smooth and thrilling. A winner in my opinion.

Farenheit: 8/10. Really good views from the launch hill. I found the intial steep drop pretty good though not that thrilling. The second half of the ride reminded me of Islands Of Adventure's Dragon Challenge with the inversions. I enjoyed this ride more than I thought I would.

Skyrush: 4/10. I'll say that I actually liked the ride for the most part. The launch up the first hill was awesome, and the track was well laid out. However, the restraint system was in a word..deplorable. I really don't know what else to say. The restraint is a lapbar with a seatbelt, and it is way too tight. On every hill, and there are plenty of them on this ride, the bar presses panifully against your thigh and really hinders the experience. My father and brother rode this later in the day, and they both hated it. They were really in a lot of pain because of the restraint and would rate it a 1/10. They did not think it was a pleasant experience whatsoever, and they both enjoy non-looping coasters.

There is more to Hershey that we did not experience-there is also a basketball/ice-hockey arena as well as a football stadium adjacent to the park. There is a museum in town and the chocolate tour outside the main gates to the park (it contains an omnimover ride through chocolate history, a 3-D film, and a gift shop). Overall, Hershey is a very nice destination for a short vacation and really does have something for everyone-while I wanted to go soley for the park, there is certainly more to do there.

Well, that's my report. Thanks for reading!

From James Rao
Posted July 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM
Love the details on the resort... I had no idea Hershey had a multiple resort onsite presence with some decent perks. I need to get out there as soon as all my kids reach that magical 54" limit and as soon as they fix the restraints on Skyrush!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted July 18, 2012 at 4:38 AM
You went Hershey and didn't ride the three best coasters there? Or you just didn't mention them? I'm referring to SooperDooperLooper, Storm Runner, and the King, Lightning Racer.

Interesting, your feelings on Wildcat and Comet. In enthusiass (not a typo, and I'm a part of that group) circles, Wildcat is considered a very rough coaster, although it has improved. Comet's a classic, and I've never found it particularly rough.

Hershey doesn't have a coaster called SkyRush. It's proper name is ThighCrush.

Thanks for the report..I love Hershey. One of my favorites.

From Matt Babiak
Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:07 AM
I don't usually ride inverting/intense roller coasters, so I have never rode Stormrunner or Fahrenheit (and I haven't been since Sky Rush opened). But, I must agree with Mike that Lightning Racers is the best wooden coaster in the park. I hope you forgot to mention Lightning Racers in your review, because otherwise you really missed out.

From Andrew Carrieri
Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:56 AM
Superdooperlooper was down. After I rode Wildcat at 11:00 AM, I was so exhausted (got three hour sleep due to a weird problem I have sleeping in hotel beds)that I just went back to the hotel and relaxed. The lines were non-existant so I had gotten on a lot (or at least enough) and decided to call it a day. I really wanted to ride Lighting Racer and Storm Runner but decided it wasn't worth it if I was half asleep. Pretty disappointing but it was what it was.
Also, have you been on Skyrush yet (curious because of your "thighcrush" comment lol)?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted July 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM
I have indeed...two rides on June 14. I was calling it that based on comments I saw before I rode it, but as they say, if the shoe fits...

I rode once in a wing seat and once in a middle seat. I found the wing slightly more tolerable, but that's what's known as "damning with faint paraise." I understand they have made modifications to one of the trains' restraints, but I don't know if you encountered them.

From Russell Meyer
Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM
I do find it interesting that Intamin does more tinkering with their restaints than just about every other coaster manufacturer on the planet combined. Perhaps if they put as much engineering into their trains as they did their coaster designs, they could actually hold a candle within a mile of B&M.

From Andrew Carrieri
Posted July 19, 2012 at 7:39 PM
I'll agree with Russell. Skyrush was really exhillerating, and I would have ranked it a 9/10 for the excitment level alone; the restraints were another story. Hopefully, they can fix the problem-if so, the coaster would be amazing.

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