HersheyPark Round 2

Yesterday was my second time to HersheyPark as a Season Pass holder. As before, (last weekend), it was crowded. Only this time it was manageable. I had a strategy this time around.

Last week, I missed a few coasters. I missed Wildcat, Lightning Racer, and, most notably, Comet. This time, after I got through the gates, I booked it to Comet. I encountered a 20 minute wait, which was fine by me. Comet rode better than I remember! Honestly, Comet is 75 years old and rides better than Wildcat, which opened in 1996. Kudos to Hershey for keeping this classic coaster well maintained! Comet did have one or two slight bumps, but again, it rode very well! Now there is a caveat to that. I rode in the front row. I tried to go back later to get a backseat ride, but the line was too long…at least to me.

The next ride I rode was SkyRush. Last time, I rode SkyRush twice. This time, I only rode it once. Per a fellow coaster fan’s suggestion (Canobie Coaster on YouTube) I rode back seat, left side wing seat. Oh my God! Let me tell you…on most rides, I ride with my hands up. Well this ride…I was holding on for dear life! I mean, just look at this photo…

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I honestly though I was going to be thrown out, that’s how strong and powerful this ride is!

After my near-death ride on SkyRush, I went to something a little tamer: my first ever upside-down roller coaster, the SooperDooperLooper. Yes, compared to other modern coasters, this thing is seen as somewhat of a kids ride, but don’t disregard that loop. You pull some major G-forces in that loop! And yes, the rest of the ride is a little lackluster, but for me, it is still a good time.

After SDL, I hit up the Great Bear. This had a 30 minute wait, which I thought was somewhat long. But I decided to wait it out. The Bear is probably, outside SkyRush, the most intense coaster in the park. At least in my opinion. The helix before the drop and the 124 foot drop itself, not gonna lie…I started graying out. Luckily that didn’t last long and I was able to enjoy the rest of this awesome ride!

By that time, I was getting a little hungry. You’d think I would eat. Nah! I noticed the Kisses Tower, the shortest drop ride of 3, was a walk-on with no wait. I mean, how can I pass that up?! And while the ride is on the shorter side at about 30 seconds, against, don’t disregard it. Up to this day, I’d only ridden the tallest and fastest tower, the Hershey Tower. But the Kisses Tower had some insane ejector air at the top of the tower! (Ejector airtime is when you are forcibly thrown out of your seat). So while I prefer Hershey Tower for the view, since it stops at the top and you get a panoramic view, I sort of prefer the airtime on the Kisses Tower.

After that, I decided to eat. I got a burger and fries from the 1906 Grill with a side of garlic knots and marinara sauce. The burger was ok, the fries were your typical fries, but the knots…AMAZING! These knots were hot, garlicky and paired with the sauce, BLISS!

After eating, I planned on riding Lightning Racer. But it was only running one train on one side and had an hour wait. Look, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Lightning Racer, but I like the racing aspect. And usually this ride has a 10 minute wait, at most. So I figured it wasn’t worth it and passed it up.

After that, I tried my luck at Laff Trak, the park’s indoor spinning coaster. This, again, turned out to be a bust. The line spilled out onto the midway and was not moving! So I decided to go elsewhere. Besides, I did it last time.

After two failed ride attempts, I hopped on the Wild Mouse. This is a ride I hadn’t done in quite sometime! I remember loving this ride as a kid, but as an adult…? Eh, I mean it was fun, those turns really do make you feel like you’re going to fall off the track. But my legs kept banging into the side of the car and it was kind of painful. But I only waited about 10-15 minutes for it, so no harm done I guess.

After my ride on Wild Mouse came probably my biggest mistake…riding Wildcat. Wildcat had a 30 minute wait, which is long by Hershey standards considering what this ride does to your spine. I opted for the front row. I wasn’t dumb enough to ride this thing in the back again. I still have nightmares about how bad that ride was. Since this is more of a “tame” post, I am not sharing my onride video due to some questionable language. (No f bombs but I yell some things some people may not approve of). But just look at this photo. This is not a look of joy.

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So yeah, my spine got a beating on this one.

After that torture, I decided to retrace my steps and head over to Fahrenheit. This ride is insane! It is 121 feet tall, has a vertical lift, 6 inversions (meaning you go upside down six times), and a beyond vertical drop at 97 degrees! If you look at the profiling for the first hill, that drop actually bends inwards. It absolutely throws you out of your seat! And the drop is not the only good part of the ride! Some rides that have beyond vertical, or even vertical, drops are sort of one-trick ponies. Not Fahrenheit. This thing catapults you into six inversions and an airtime hill full of airtime!

After Fahrenheit, I hopped on the Claw ride. This is a pendulum ride that spins and swings out over the pathway. It was fun and everything, but it just didn’t really deliver for me. If anything, it was a little relaxing. Which is sort of weird for a ride like this, but that’s how I saw it.

Since I was over that way, making my way back to the front of the park, I decided to take a ride down memory lane and get on Trailblazer. This ride, I admit, is aimed towards a younger demographic, aka kids, but I LOVE this ride! Again, this is more a kids or family ride, but I love it for sentimental value. It is the first coaster I remember riding. Trailblazer is essentially what got me into roller coasters in the first place, so I have to give it it’s due.

If you have ever been to HersheyPark before, you may have noticed a train and a monorail running through the park. It’s been years since I have done the monorail, and probably should have. It didn’t have a line. But instead, I opted for the train. After some insane roller coasters, I figured I’d earned some r&r and time to myself. If you are at Hershey, I suggest you take a ride on the Dry Gulch Railroad. No, it’s not tall or fast (it is just a train after all) but it takes you for a leisurely tour around HersheyPark and is very relaxing. Plus you get some neat photo ops of the coasters and other rides.

At that point, it was around 6:15 and the park was closing at 7pm. I decided to see if I could get at least one ride on Candymonium, Hershey’s newest, tallest, longest, fastest, and “sweetest” coaster. After waiting around a half hour, I got a front row ride on this fantastic coaster! You’d think the day would end there. No way! Since Hershey was essentially closed at that point, they allowed me to get a backseat ride by myself (in that row at least) without having to wait in line. This ride, unlike SkyRush, is a hands-up sort of ride. Yes, it is tall and fast like SkyRush, but it is also more graceful and not nearly as intense. I know it’s hard to tell with the mask, but this is a look of pure bliss!

1856550102794|Candymonium/1~HP Candymonium

After my two rides, I exited Hershey and went home exhausted. This park is amazing and I discover something new every time I go! I feel lucky to live about an hour away from this great park! My feet may not agree with me, but every time I go to HersheyPark, (pun intended), I feel like a kid in a candy store!

Oh yeah. One thing I failed to mention. We got to Hershey early so that we could visit the Hershey Gardens. The Hershey Gardens are an indoor/outdoor atrium. The outdoor part, not gonna lie, was sort of bland. I am cutting them some slack since it’s only late April and I know a lot of plants are not in bloom yet. But my mom, sister, Aunt and I were not really all that impressed with the outdoor area. Plus it was chilly yesterday, so there was that to consider. The indoor section was my favorite. They have a butterfly area where butterflies fly freely all around you. I had one land on my head. So that was neat, but we only stayed in there maybe 20 minutes. I’m going to say, as of right now anyway, if you go to Hershey, skip this attraction.

So I cannot wait to go back to HersheyPark soon! It is such a great place! I went there as a kid, teen, and now as an adult. I know I will bring my kids when I have them, so it can come full-circle. Thanks for reading!

-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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