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Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:43 pm

Following two weeks in Asia (I'll have a photo report for that up and ready as soon as I'm done with my Europe trip report ) we turned around and flew to Philly to celebrate a friend's engagement... And to revisit Hersheypark, a place I hadn't visited since the TPR 2008 East Coast Trip. Following our time at Hersheypark, we went back to the Franklin Institute (which we visited last year as our first trip to Philly) to check out the just-opened Marvel Universe of Superheroes exhibit.

I loved Hersheypark during our visit over a decade ago, but a lot has changed since I was last there... I rode Roller Soaker and Canyon River Rapids on their last day of operation before they were torn out for The Boardwalk. In the time since my last visit, Skyrush had opened, Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge had closed, Laff Track had been added, Hershey Triple Tower was opened and the park entrance revamp had begun.

Unfortunately our visit was early in the season so several of the bigger attractions were closed (Fahrenheit, Storm Runner and The Boardwalk) but it was still great to revisit the park (and Chocolate World) for the time we did! The park continues to get better with time and thanks to the smaller crowds in the morning we were able to get everything we wanted to (that was open) done in the first hour and a half of the day, allowing us to enjoy a more leisurely pace for the remainder of the day.
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Not something you spot on your normal drive...
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Nor this.
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The new Chocolate Town entrance project looks like it'll be a great entry statement for the park when it is done! Operations amid construction were pleasantly smooth and quick during our visit.
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I figured Skyrush was going to be the ride everyone would rush to in the morning, so we went there first to beat as much of the crowds as possible.
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The Hollow definitely looks a little different than it did during my last visit.
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Skyrush was incredibly fun. I had braced myself for a more insane experience but I never felt like the airtime was too intense or the restraints were too much. There was some serious air here, but super comfortable throughout the experience. For my first ever Intamin Hyper, I was more than pleased!
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For the love of Larry.
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Great Bear was one of my favorite experiences in Hersheypark during our 2008 visit and it did not disappoint during this trip.
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I've always loved the super unique layout.
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I didn't get the chance to ride any of Hershey Triple Tower but they all looked fun.
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I might have accidentally butted heads with the Reese's Cup...
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Sadly not operating today...
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But having done an hour of ERT on this in 2008, I wasn't super bummed.
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I didn't remember riding The Wildcat that many times during my last visit...
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Definitely an older-school GCI but I do enjoy the twister-style maneuvers.
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It reminded me of Gwazi back in the day.
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Proper representation found!
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Still the best set of attractions in the park!
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The iconic Ferris Wheel still looks great. I kind of wonder if they've considered relocating it closer to the new park entrance at some point.
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Laff Track was new during this visit...
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Laffin' Sal being at the entrance to the queue is a nice touch.
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I was surprised by the level of theming throughout the queue and station.
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Sure, this is a catalog coaster, but they've done a solid job giving it some thematic overlays.
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A brief look inside of the Laff Trak box. This is a Maurer Sohne catalog model, but the blacklit theming really did a nice job to elevate the experience.
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Next time perhaps... I'll definitely be back.
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I only got the chance to ride Storm Runner once last time around, so I was disappointed to see this one not yet open for the season... But all the more reason to revisit Hersheypark in the future!
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Fine and good.
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Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge was a pretty funky experience... I'm excited to see what the new attraction looks like when it is done. A Hershey's themed Midway Mania would be a knockout for this park.
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I was wondering if any of the history buffs here could assist... Did there used to be an attraction whose station was here?
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The new entrance will provide great views of Skyrush!
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And some new footers have already been installed for the new B&M coaster opening next year!
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Lots of room for Chocolate Town to be built up!
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Taking a lunch break from the park to visit Hershey's Chocolate World!
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I seem to remember Chocolate World used to have Chocolate Ketchup but they didn't this time around... These four sauces were all peculiar.
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In case wanted to know a little more about the sauces...
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Character parade!
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Fun!
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Interesting... But not my jam.
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Hershey's Chocolate Tour has supposedly been updated a bit since my last visit.
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It's like an omnimover!
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I gotta go Julia, we got cows!
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Glad the singing cows are still a staple in the attraction!
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Heading into the Hershey Chocolate Factory!
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The full process overview...
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Hershey has done a creative job of showing off what a chocolate factory assembly process would look like without it being the legitimate product being produced in front of you.
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One of my favorite effects in the tour.
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And of course, there's a song!
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My favorite room in the tour.
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Such a fun, free experience!
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Next stop, IMAGINATION!




Wrong ride...
Last edited by jedimaster1227 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:44 pm.

Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly (2)

Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:44 pm

(Continued)
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I believe this finale was new... But I could be wrong.
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Heading back to the park...
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With a name like "Makin' Whoopie Pies" how could I not???
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The value here is really great. You can choose two different (or the same) cookies and one frosting filling to make your own custom Whoopie Pie.
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And you could sample the flavors like ice cream!
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So awesome!
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Another look at Hershey Triple Tower.
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On the TPR East Coast Trip 2008 I was obsessed with Stacker games.
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Arsty fartsy.
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For the love of Larry.
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I'm glad to see the park's classic monorail still in operation after all these years.
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Such a great ride!
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Sooperdooperlooper's support structure is really something!
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I love how many rides they've crammed into The Hollow over the years.
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Best support is best.
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I might have an unhealthy obsession with Great Bear's layout...
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I might.
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On our way out of the park we returned to Chocolate World to make our own chocolate bars for the road.
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Once you've chosen your base chocolate and fillings you send your bar off to the assembly line...
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Screens at each step of the line tell you whose bar is up to bat.
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I wanted crisped rice...
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And semi-sweet chocolate.
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Time for a chocolate bath!
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Add in a layer of sprinkles before gliding through the cooling tube.
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While your bar is cooling, you get to design your own custom packaging... Obviously lobsters mean chocolate.
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Your bar gets inserted into a more generic box, which is then put in a souvenir tin which is then wrapped in your custom packaging sleeve.
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Hair net. Lobsters. Apron. Chocolate.

I am become art.
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Back in Philly we hopped over to the Franklin Institute to check out the new Marvel Universe of Super Heroes exhibit which just opened that weekend.
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I am still disappointed to find that the Silence Dogood letters are not here.
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Silence Dogood aside, this is why we're really here.
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The exhibit is well designed and manages to set the stage for Marvel Comics' origins with a very timely display and film.
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I'm now itching to watch Tomorrowland again, which no doubt borrowed inspiration from this comic for young Frank's original jetpack and suit.
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Interesting...
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The exhibit had some great tributes to Stan Lee...
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Including this video featuring clips from all of his cameos all the way through Infinity War.
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Several of the Marvel Cinematic Universe character costumes were on display, including these three from Black Panther.
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Spider-Man: Homecoming was represented as well.
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I love that they included some memorabilia from the earlier days of Marvel's film forays like the original Spider-Man film.
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Into the Spider-Verse (solid film) had a section as well.
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I wonder if these suits came from Disneyland's former Hall of Armor experience in Tomorrowland.
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The Ant-Man display was really neat!
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Thor and Hela costumes from Thor: Ragnarok.
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The screen-used Tesseract looks a little less interesting up closing without the post production glowing effects added.
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Captain America and The Winter Soldier costumes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
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I was surprised to see costumes from several of the Netflix Defenders series represented here...
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The Doctor Strange tribute room was very cool.
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The main man himself.
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Deadpool hasn't been forgotten either.
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Captain Marvel's Star Force uniform was the latest MCU costume to be featured.
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Marvel fans, casual and hardcore should really visit the Franklin Institute for Marvel Universe of Super Heroes... You may not find the Silence Dogood letters here, but you'll find a great time!

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:52 pm

the Marvel display at the Franklin Institute is fantastic.

do you happen to know how long it is running for?

We love that place, and hope to get back in early 2020, and visit HersheyPark again too.

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:53 pm

"Taste the love all over the world!"

Great report. Totally agree with you on Great Bear. I don't get the hate. It's a fantastic ride.

Awesome that they had a Kosher food truck. I'm not Jewish, but Kosher food is the best. It just tastes great.

Hersheypark is always a good time, and good on ya for going to Skyrush first. It's one of the best coasters anywhere and absolutely worth a trip to Hershey by itself. Fortunately there are so many more things to do there too, including Chocolate World.

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:33 pm

I didn't remember Great Bear being that great (ha.) when I was at Hershey many years ago, but last week I found the ride to be surprisingly awesome. Also I guess I'm lucky that Fahrenheit and Storm Runner were open, I'm glad I didn't go earlier in the spring.

Great report and pics!

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Wed May 01, 2019 10:09 am

Glad you liked Skyrush! No news regarding operations = good news? Great Bear is so much fun, but our rides were limited on the visit due to some of the laziest operators I've ever seen. I honestly think the crew was going for the record of 'worst capacity on a B&M invert' :lol: I think the zero g + bump dive/turn over the water and weird supports + squiggly piece into corkscrew is one of my favorite parts on a B&M invert.

Thanks for including the Marvel photos, that is such a cool experience and great presentation.

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Thu May 02, 2019 6:12 am

Great report! Out of curiosity which day did you go? I went opening day and Fahrenheit was indeed closed all day, but Storm Runner opened the last 3 hours of the day.

Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Fri May 03, 2019 5:43 am

The building you asked about being a former station used to house the one side of the Hersheypark Sky Ride. The other station was located where the Great Bear entrance currently sits. The finale of the Chocolate World ride was updated since the last time you visited. It used to be a song about Hershey with pictures depicting different parts of the world.
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Re: Photo TR: A Sweet & Marvelous Weekend in Philly

Fri May 10, 2019 11:10 am

"That's America's ass"
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