HERSHEY TRIP 2019

On April 28, 2019 I made the annual pilgrimage from Baltimore County to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the yearly McCormick Work Day at Hershey Park. We got off to a kind of late start to the day and they were calling for rain on and off all day, but that didn’t deter me! I was Hell-bent on getting my ass to Hershey to ride roller coasters! We were supposed to be to Hershey at 10am but due to a late start, we arrived closer to 11:15 or so. I was hoping the lines would not be too long, and sure enough, I got my wish!

The first ride we rode was the Hershey Triple Tower, which is a drop ride. One of my staff for the day opted out of it because her stomach can’t handle rides like that. But me and the other staff I was with rode it. It was fun for the first few seconds, but lost some “oomph” after the main drop.
After that, we headed to Fahrenheit. I LOVE THIS RIDE! Despite it being one of the most popular rides in the park, the wait was only 20 minutes. Fahrenheit has a GREAT first drop—97 degrees, beyond straight down! It goes upside-down six times and it is VERY smooth! I cannot tell you just how much fun this ride is! I would have liked to ride it a second time, but the park closed at 6pm and we had other priorities to ride.

After Fahrenheit, we headed over to the Wildcat wooden roller coaster. This ride hurt! Truth be told, it wasn’t as bad as I remember it being in the past, but it still jerked me around. I rode in the back since it had the shortest line of any row. I taped the ride on my phone, and miraculously I didn’t lose my phone and the video turned out really good!
After we had our spines readjusted on Wildcat, we headed over to the spinning roller coaster, Laff Trak. I really liked this ride! It’s not too wild; it’s not too intense; it’s not that fast, but it is purely fun! Our car was off-balance, so it spun maybe a little more than usual, but not enough to make you sick.

After Laff Trak, we headed to lunch. Of course, McCormick rented out a pavilion and provided its employees and guests with free catered food, and to top it all off—FREE BEER! I had chicken, a burger, and mac and cheese…and FREE BEER! It was really good food—it should be, seeing as it’s McCormick—and it was nice to just sit and relax for a little while.

So after lunch we went and rode the first roller coaster I ever got on as a kid, the Trailblazer. Yes, I know this is a tame ride. I know it’s not that fast and I know it basically just does one helix and is over quickly, but I love the ride! I ride it every time I go to Hershey purely for nostalgia. I have to pay homage to the ride that started my love of roller coasters. This is another ride I taped on my cell phone. After Trailblazer, we hit the launched coaster, Storm Runner. This is SUCH AN AWESOME RIDE! I mean, that 0-72 mile per hour launch in 2 seconds is so much fun! My only gripe with this ride is that it’s over in 30 seconds. Still, it’s worth riding just for the “fun” factor and that launch.
One ride I regret not doing is Lightning Racer. The app we downloaded said it had a 45-minute wait, and it was nearing 4pm at that point. It’s a shame we missed this ride, because it is among my favorites in the park. The racing aspect makes an already great ride even better and more thrilling!
After Storm Runner, we went to ride the inverted roller coaster, Great Bear. I have sort of a soft spot for this ride. It is fast, intense, long, and just fun! No matter how long the wait, I always make it a point to ride this thing just because the “fun” element is totally there and legit! The Great Bear is loud, too! Like, this thing roars, like a bear sort of. I guess you could call it mild theming during the ride.

We headed to the front of the park to ride the classic wooden roller coaster, Comet. I rode Comet in the back row and my seatbelt was loose. OH…MY…GOD! If you know anything about the Comet, or wooden coasters in general, you know the older ones are nothing but hill after hill after hill after hill! And apart from the seatbelt on Comet, the only thing holding you in is a bar that does not even make contact with your body! I was almost standing up on those hills due to my belt being so loose…and yes, I did that intentionally. In the front, Comet is a really fun classic old wooden roller coaster. In the back when you get lifted over those hills, it’s a GREAT classic old wooden roller coaster! It’s not the smoothest ride in the world, but for a ride that has been around since the 1940s, it’s not that bad. And actually, I think Comet is smoother than Wildcat.

Due to the weather, a few of the “good” rides, like SkyRush, were closed. Still, I think the longest line we waited in was 30 minutes. Considering Hershey, that’s not bad at all! We spent the last half hour of our day in the arcade. As many times as I have been to Hershey before, I had never actually gone into any of the arcades. I was always focused strictly on the rides. But I had fun looking through the arcade and I am proud of myself for not spending money there.

I do not think any of the rides, with the exception of Laff Trak, are very well themed. There is no “story” or point to the ride. Whereas when I go to Busch Gardens or Disney, or even Six Flags, most if not all of the rides have a certain theme around it. Laff Trak is the only ride that is themed at all. Disney is infamous for their theming. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Hershey Park! It’s one of my favorite parks to visit but I think they cater more toward just having a good time with family than telling a story. However, while Hershey does not have any real theming throughout the park, there is one thing that is a staple of Hershey Park: CHOCOLATE! My God, Hershey takes the concept of milk chocolate and basically rams it down your throat! The whole park is one giant ad for chocolate! Hell, their mascots are Hershey products. In other words, their mascots are CANDY!

I have to say, I have been to a lot of theme parks and amusement parks in my life, and I think Hershey is among my favorites. The reason for this is simple: It’s just FUN! “Fun” is the word I would use to describe Hershey. The entire park is so charming and fun, plus the whole place smells like chocolate, so how could I not like this place?!

So all in all, I had a great day at Hershey Park! I am so happy the weather held off and it didn’t rain. Actually, I think the park wasn’t as crowded as I had anticipated because of the forecast and dark skies. So thank you weather for cooperating with us! Thanks for reading and I’ll catch ya next time!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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