2002, I was 12 years old and very inexperienced when it came to my roller coaster resume. However, I called it before my family went to the park, this was not anything great. Needless to say, Roller Soaker was very underwhelming. Water fountains, waterfalls, and water cannons couldn't save this one. I almost forgot it was there when I visited in 2012 until I crested Lightning Racer's lift.
Good for Hersheypark to make the decision to try for something better. Let's hope they can capitalize on this new opportunity and make some progress on spreading out that crowded Boardwalk.
Hersheypark’s Chocolate World is planning to expand its building and parking in the next few years.
The development plan for the popular tourist destination shows a 3,900-square-foot expansion of the building in Phase I for improved restroom facilities, and a 6,580-square-foot expansion of the retail area planned for 2016-17.
The plan was approved by the Derry Township board of supervisors Tuesday night.
The parking expansion project will add 212 regular parking spaces and six handicapped parking spaces.
With an additional parking facility, the entrance will need to be relocated.
Derry Township Community Development director Chuck Emerick said work on the first phase of the Chocolate World project is expected to begin in 2014.
Nothing is said about new attractions yet, but I personally wouldn't be suprised, given the amount of space. The relocated entrance does seem interesting, but I have no clue where they could move it since it wouldn't make sense moving it in front of the building entrance. But parking is much-needed since it fills up very easily on Saturdays.
Forget about any thought of riding the Roller Soaker at Hersheypark next summer.
The park is removing the popular interactive water coaster in the Boardwalk section to make way for a 5,000-square-foot sprayground.
The 10-year-old Roller Soaker is being dismantled and will be replaced with a 5,000-square-foot sprayground. The Patriot-News, file “We took it down because guests kept saying they wanted more water, and we felt repurposing or redoing that area would do that for our guests,” said Kathy Burrows, Hersheypark spokeswoman.
The sprayground certainly won’t have the high-energy thrills roller coaster junkies crave, and it reduces the park’s roller coaster bragging rights from an even dozen to 11. But, in keeping with Hersheypark’s family theme, the sprayground will appeal to all ages.
The flat water-theme playground will have no standing water and include interactive water features such as fountains and spray areas guests can play under, Burrows said.
The area also will encompass additional seating, something else guests have requested in the Boardwalk that she said can become jammed on busy days.
Hersheypark will be adding two waterslides to the Boardwalk’s slide complex, she said. The spray ground and waterslides will be open in time for Memorial Day weekend, when the park’s water section traditionally opens for the season, Burrows said.
The $8 million Roller Soaker debuted in 2002, and at the time was hyped as the Northeast’s only interactive water ride. Riders engaged in a water war against spectators lined up below. The ride had an arsenal of watery blasters, curtains, cannons and fountains squeezed into the 90-second ride.
Many riders complained of long waits to ride the Roller Soaker on hot days.
This summer, rumors surfaced that Hersheypark was selling the Roller Soaker on a Rides4U website for an asking price of $799,000. However, Burrows said at the time that the coaster was not for sale.
In fact, Aycock in Hummelstown is in the process of removing the Roller Soaker and will recycle as much as the metal as possible, Burrows said.
Last month, William F. Simpson Jr., new CEO of Hershey Entertainment & Resort Co., said guests should expect to see updates to Hersheypark’s water rides in 2013. He said that after last season’s introduction of Skyrush it was time to focus on the water park.
The Boardwalk section was last revamped in 2009 with the “The Boardwalk at Hersheypark: The SEAquel” featuring the 4-foot-deep wave pool enclosed by the Intercoastal Waterway, a 1,360-foot-long lazy river that riders float in individual, translucent inner tubes.
The key points: -A 5,000 sq. ft Sprayground area in Roller Soaker's footprint. -More seating area. -2 New Slides in Coastline Plunge -More shade (according to the earlier Facebook post).
I happened to enjoy the Roller Soaker when we visited the park back in 2008 (on the last day of the Rapids' operation before it was removed for the Boardwalk "Seaquel"). I wonder why they didn't opt to upgrade the water play area beneath the coaster as opposed to outright removing the ride above it. I do realize that the real estate in the Boardwalk section of the park has become increasingly valuable over the years, but if anything, I'd imagine having multiple offerings stacked in the area was more of a benefit than a detriment.
I guess guest satisfaction and attendance figures for the ride just didn't justify keeping the ride in operation anymore.
Hmm, I wonder where they are going to put the exits to the new slides? There's some space to shoehorn at least one slide in right next to Riptide's (the green slide's) exit. It also looks like they already have footers poured as well - or at least they did when I visited for Skyrush's opening day.
Footers for Coastline Plunge's extra slides have existed since it was built, IIRC. A look at Google Street View shows the landing pool for the complex. I remember seeing up close photos of this pool long ago, but I'm not sure if it was here, or on another site. Anyway, the fence with the signs on it dead center is not permanent, and the wooden floor behind it covers up exit stairs. If I had to guess, I'd say the ending of the other slide (along with one next to Riptide as A.J. pointed out) would be directly beyond this removable fence, between the tall footer and the Coastline Plunge sign.
Having preparations made for future slides such as this seems to be common in waterparks, but actually having them installed years later doesn't seem to happen very often. With the traffic the Boardwalk gets, it's definitely understandable.
I like it when Park's think ahead like this. They probably already had plans, years ago, where the next expansion would go and already poured footers for it. Now they only have to put the supports and slide together, not much ground work needs to be done now, win win.
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