Groteslurf wrote:What struck me most, are the pictures of DCA. I've been there in 2009 and so much has changed in that park since then. I hardly recognized anything on the pictures. Time to revisit soon I think
It changed quite a lot even in the 18 months between my previous visit (November 2011) and this trip. Two years ago there was no Cars Land, Buena Vista Street was a construction site, and the entrance took you around the back of Soarin'. It was almost like visiting a completely new park this time around!
IronWolfman wrote:Didn't see anything about Talon, did you not ride it?
Rode it, just no photos. It was very quiet, but not really memorable otherwise. Talon and Great Bear were probably the least exciting B&M inverts we rode - both made me long for Raptor.
I went to Dorney Park over the summer. I didn't get a chance to go on Talon, but I should have. Hydra was a pretty OK ride, the JoJo roll coming right out of the station was probably the best part. Steel Force was kind of good, but nothing to really talk about. The park wanted a hyper coaster for the sake of a hyper coaster, and that's the extent of what they got. Possessed was a good ride.
Great update! Your description of Knoebels was spot-on, and you captured some of the more unique and thoughtful details there, including some I'd never noticed before.
It's a shame that Dorney has become completely corporatized, even if that's what allowed for the large additions. Seems it's the only Pennsylvania park to have completely lost its charm: Hershey still has plenty, and while Kennywood has grown (and gone downhill) some, it still has that old-school vibe. I do like the landscaping at Dorney, though.
Part Twelve: Hersheypark I'm going to cut to the chase here: Skyrush is amazing! I had a blast on this coaster - it looks great, is an incredible ride and has huge airtime on some of the hills. The "outside" seats near the back were definitely the best place to ride. And the restraints were fine - no idea what people are complaining about there!
Hersheypark is a serious "family" park - there is so much to do even if you're not into rides, like Chocolate World, the zoo, or the waterpark. I could have happily spent a couple of days here just re-riding the coasters, let alone everything else! Apart from Skyrush, Fahrenheit and Lightning Racer were the standouts. Fahrenheit just has that out-of-control, disorienting sensation that a lot of new coasters seem to lack these days. A lot of racing coasters tend towards the tame side, but not Lightning Racer - it was the first woodie of the trip that made both of us say "damn, we have to ride that again right now!".
We also checked out Chocolate World - initially the plan was to just take the tour dark ride, but we quickly got sidetracked by all the other activities. The idea of making your own chocolate bar seemed kind of cheesy (pun intended) but it was actually really fun!
After Hersheypark, the coaster count for the trip was sitting at 97, with 22 wood and 75 steel. The log flume count was at 11, with the "double-drop" on Hersheypark's Coal Cracker making it an instant favourite!
The day begins at Chocolate World!
There is a stunning amount of candy in the gift shop. This is only a third of the Reese's Pieces display!
The Chocolate Tour dark ride was really well done!
It's a hard heart that doesn't love an attraction with singing cows.
Time to "make" some chocolate of our own! First up you spend some time designing your bar, including the flavours, filling and packaging. It's sort of like Test Track, except on Test Track you don't get a car at the end!
I settled on chocolate chips and berry bits.
High-tech dot-matrix displays announce the artist's name at each station.
This reminds me of the opening credits of the Willy Wonka movie! The Gene Wilder version, not the weird one with Johnny Depp.
"The Sprinkler", a.k.a. what we used to call my high school math teacher (he had a tendency to spit...)
It does exactly what you think. Adds sprinkles.
Chocolate bar is almost ready.
About to be packaged!
And we're done!
There was a great sense of achievement, despite the fact that all I'd done was push some buttons on a screen.
Next stop - Chocolate University. Unlike pizza's three steps, there are four stages to tasting chocolate. One must not only look, smell and taste, but also listen for the sound it makes when broken. Or you could just shovel down candy by the handful like a normal person.
The taste test. The caramel chocolate kiss was pretty good.
Eventually it was time for some rides!
Customary fountain photo.
Hersheypark is a really beautiful theme park, it looked great the day we went!
"There's money in the banana stand!"
For the duck enthusiasts. Great Bear was fairly disappointing - it had the longest wait of any ride (mostly due to fat people not knowing about the bigger seats) and was overall a bit "meh".
But Skyrush was amazinggggg!
There is so much experience built into the design of this coaster - it's definitely one of Intamin's best.
Lens flare, half a fountain and a coaster train. If it was 2003 this would be the best coaster photo all time.
There is some epic airtime on the hills. I can sort of get why some people think the restraints are uncomfortable, but honestly thought the trains were pretty good!
Sitting on the outer seats is definitely the best spot to ride. We were lucky and had a couple of rides with people who were too scared and just wanted to sit in the middle. Sweet!
One more glamour shot of Skyrush's first drop. The whole day was worth it just for this ride.
Storm Runner was an interesting one. Huge launch with a high inversion, but apart from the first drop it never seems to do much with the height or speed.
The rolls are very fun though.
And like most Intamins it looks very cool!
If you line up the shot just right, you can make it look like the coaster goes into the elk's butt. Not that this was intentional...
Next up we checked out the zoo. It was small but had some interesting animals. I think this is some sort of road runner?
A sleeping bobcat.
Bear. Also sleeping.
The prairie dogs were pretty active though.
And a resting elk.
It was very exciting to see a bald eagle up close. The zoo is big on conservation, and I think this guy had been rescued after an accident in the wild.
The real chocolate factory. Where the oompa loompas work, I presume.
Rare mine train/monorail double!
Whoever planted that tree has a wicked sense of humour.
Wildcat was running pretty rough. Millennium Flyers are good, but they don't really help if the track is wearing out.
Fahrenheit! I love vertical lifts - they add so much to the anticipation.
Norwegian loop is brilliant!
And a barrel roll to round out the TR. That's all from Hersheypark, next up we take on the suits in Washington!
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