This is why I'm proud of being a theme park junkie . . . roller coasters are the best stress relievers! I believe Hersheypark did a wonderful job with the new area, and hopefully I can make the 13 hr drive in August to visit this wonderful place.
Thanks for all the great pictures. It clearly has way way way more space for folks to travel through. Any time you do that, you obviously lose charm. I think the area looks nice, albeit slightly sterile at the moment. I'll reserve too much judgment until it is completed!
Hersheypark sent out this email yesterday: "We're excited to announce a new program starting today for our Season Pass Holders. While our Park capacity management remains unchanged, Season Pass Holders will not need to make a reservation before visiting. We will now automatically reserve daily capacity for our Season Pass Holder family so you’ll have the flexibility to visit whenever you choose. If you have already made a reservation, you do not need to cancel or take any action. Don’t forget, Hersheypark® and the all-new Hershey’s ChocolatetownSM are now open for fun, thrills, and sweet memories.
Before your first visit, please carefully review our enhanced safety measures and protocols. Thank you for helping us keep Hersheypark Happy and Healthy.
P.S. We can’t wait to see you!"
I guess they can make this change because attendance has not been what they were probably expecting. Queue Times is showing a 5 - 15 minute wait for almost everything right now, even with the reduced capacities.
I had a fun day on July 7th at two parks, Hersheypark and Knoebels. I wanted to love Hersheypark, but I left feeling unfulfilled. I got five of the credits on a past visit using the evening ticket in 2016. This time, I got five credits. I still have four to go. I was not as much of a coaster fan in 2016, so while I still have never been on Storm Runner, I can say that I rode the HUSS Condor! One day I will ride them all! Candymonium was definitely the highlight of this trip, and it’s a great ride. Of the other hypers, I’ve only been on Apollo’s Chariot, which is better, so what can I say except that it’s FUN! The second trim hit hard, and while they were running three trains, three were being stacked every single time, which would be acceptable if they were sanitizing more often, but they were only cleaning every three hours.
Hersheypark tickets are cheaper than usual right now, and there's a reason for that. It seems that Hershey seems to define “limited capacity” as only running 60 or so percent of the rides. In addition to the rides listed as closed on the park website, these weren’t open: Wildcat Wild Mouse Sidewinder Monorail Skyview
Some of the common flats weren’t open, like the Ferris wheel and Whip, and I don’t remember seeing the Tilt-A-Whirl, Claw, bumper cars, Wave Swinger, or several kiddie rides running either. I also think that only the Hershey’s drop tower was operating of the three.
The fact that the least popular, minor coasters (excepting Storm Runner) are closed could indicate one of two things: 1. Hersheypark doesn't see a need to open every ride with low attendance at the park, which is sad but realistic from an operations standpoint when lines stay short at the open rides. 2. Prep time for this season was rushed and every ride isn't ready yet.
Or maybe I’m just oblivious and these rides are closed due to low staffing. Either way, once we saw so many rides closed, it was obvious that it would be difficult to fill a whole day at Hershey.
As for the rest of the day, I got my first rides on Fahrenheit and Skyrush as well as laps on Lightning Racer and Comet. I rode Lightning Racer twice just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but both rides were lackluster in forces. What makes this ride fun is the interaction with the other train; there are only a couple pops of airtime. Comet, on the other hand, is my second favorite coaster in the park. The airtime isn’t Phoenix level, but it’s almost there, especially on the third hill. Laff Trakk was also an unexpected highlight.
We left Hersheypark by 2:00. Yes, we could’ve ridden Comet or Candy again, but at this point, the seed was planted in our brains that it was a good idea to go to Knoebels, which we had had no idea that we would do when we had left the house in the morning. First, however, I wanted to ask if any of the closed coasters would open. (Skip this frustrating bit if you want.) The girl at guest relations had an initial answer of “We don't know, and we can't tell you; sorry.” When I asked her if she could ask someone who did know she asked us why. I replied that we were considering whether we wanted to stay or drive to Knoebels. Her answer was “You're going to dump us and go to Knoebels?! That's a really long drive.” Anyway, we eventually found out that they would be closed for the day. All of this was for some closed rides that aren't very good! As a side note, the new merchandise (in a gift shop that everyone exits through) is awesome, and I love that the pinwheel design is back.
We wanted to ride the Chocolate Tour ride before we left, but the process of getting into Chocolate World was more confusing than it had to be. The attendant handed us a “timed entry” ticket. When we asked if we needed a reservation for the tour ride, he said yes, so we thought that we couldn't go in. He told us we could still enter, telling us that "you can come back another time," in reference to the given ticket. If we could go in now, why would we want to wait? This guy was very enthusiastic, just not the best at conveying information. The Chocolate Tour ride was how it was last time I rode it, and it was a very-enjoyable walk-on.
Hersheypark could lessen the shock of so many closed attractions if they listed them somewhere on their website like Knoebels does. Overall, I enjoyed this Hershey visit but was looking forward to Knoebels by the time we left.
This is why we're here.
The new entry plaza lacks the 45 years of tree cover the old one had and is unfinished, but it's still nice.
A great sight when you walk into the park
Skyrush has a new neighbor.
The Twizzlers train in the holding brake
Approaching the helix
The carousel is now right when you enter the park. This wasn't the best idea in my opinion. It's now by itself, and I'd imagine that some families wouldn't come back specifically to ride it. It was better when it was surrounded by other family rides. The band organ isn't working yet, too.
Fahrenheit was a blast.
Sadly, Storm Runner won't be launching this year. The Boomerang to the left was closed as well.
Here's a fun picture from the Great Bear exit ramp. Coal Cracker is a unique name for a flume.
Great Bear's twisted corkscrew
B&M inverts use similar elements but are always a blast.
This is the gift shop that you exit through now. There's this cool Kissing Tower cabin in the center.
Candy through the window
We couldn't leave Hershey without doing this.
Bye Hersheypark! As you can see here, it was still a construction zone. Thanks for reading, and I'll post some Knoebels pictures soon!
Anthony DeNoto III was expecting to have a fun day at Hersheypark riding rollercoasters with his 9-year-old son.
Instead, the former Boiling Springs man claims he almost saw his son meet a horrible death on the Storm Runner coaster.
Although his son wasn’t actually injured, the alleged trauma of the incident prompted DeNoto to file a lawsuit against Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company in Dauphin County Court this week.
DeNoto, who now lives in New York, states in the suit that he took his boy to the park on June 26, 2018 because the lad was finally tall enough to ride the coasters.
He says he and his son boarded the Storm Runner and got into the same car. But while he was able to pull down and secure his safety harness, his son was not, DeNoto claims. He says three park employees who were supposed to ensure riders were safely secured didn’t check his son’s safety harness, even though it was still raised above the car.
At that point, the worker operating the ride released the brakes, according to the suit filed by attorney Christopher Fisher.
“Mr. DeNoto was left helpless, fully constrained within his seat under the secured harness and prevented from being able to physical help his son in any manner,” the suit states. “Mr. DeNoto recalls hollering, ‘Wait, wait,’ but not one of the three employees did anything to stop the train from leaving the station and beginning the ride.” DeNoto claims he “could see the terrified look of panic in his son’s face,” while knowing “there was nothing he could do to save his son from certain catastrophic injury and most likely death.”
In a panic, his son jumped from the car just as the coaster began to move, the suit states.
The employees still didn’t stop the ride, however, DeNoto claims, so he had to ride the Storm Runner through its complete course before being able to check on his son.
The Storm Runner launches from its station and goes from 0 to 72 mph in 2 seconds. It roars over a 150-foot-tall “top hat” curve, goes upside down three times and turns rapidly. It stops so rapidly that riders are jerked in their seats.
DeNoto claims that because of the incident he and his son suffer “anxiety-like symptoms.” He says he cannot bring himself to take his 5-year-old daughter to the park because of the experience. Even the sound of a school bus releasing its air brakes triggers that anxiety, DeNoto contends.
“Mr. Denoto cannot yet rid himself of the regular thoughts of the potential scenario of helplessly watching his son fall to a grisly death,” the suit states.
In addition to the park, DeNoto is suing the designer and builder of the Storm Runner, contending “a roller coaster of this nature should not be mechanically able to move if every harness is not secured.”
He seeks unspecified financial damages on claims including negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Asked for a response to the suit, park spokesman Garrett Gallia said, “We dispute the allegations presented in the complaint, but refrain from further comment due to pending litigation.”
I wonder if they have that on video, the ride already has safety precautions so something like that isn't allowed to happen and even if it somehow did I just can't imagine that the kid's harness was above his head without any of the workers or people on the line noticing and saying something.
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