Friday saw the official opening of Hersheypark for it's 100th Anniversary season. While the new Boardwalk area won't be opening until Memorial Day weekend, I decided to go check out the park on Friday after work, since my last visit there it was cold, snowing, and most of the better coasters were closed. With Heath now working in nearby Harrisburg, it didn't take too much coaxing to get him to accompany me. Our main goal was to try the Wildcat with it's new Millennium Flyer trains. Unfortunately, the ride broke down for the evening just as we approached the station. Luckily the crowds weren't too bad in the park, so we managed to ride lots of other rides. Onto the pics from Friday.
Lots of banners line the park entrance plaza with significant events in Hersheypark's history, like the opening of the park
The first roller coaster, Joyride (later renamed Wildcat)
A Joe friendly ride, the first on the East Coast
Pennsylvania's first B&M invert
and the first rocket coaster on the East Coast (and still the best one on this side of the country)
Heath has his map and is all ready to celebrate the 100th
The weather is way different this time. Sunny and 70, that's like 40 degrees warmer than the last time I was here a month ago!
One of the entrances to the Boardwalk is located right next to the Canyon River Rapids
Cute little Hershey Kiss dude flies the plane
One of the best additions for 2007 was new trains for the Wildcat
As nice as PTCs may be, Wildcat was brutally rough anywhere but the front row with them. Bring on the GCI Millennium Flyers!
The new trains look sweet. Too bad we can't ride it yet, as it broke down just as we arrived
It would be in this position for most of the remainder of the evening
The world's largest water play area will be ready to soak in a few more weeks (when it'll be warmer in PA)
A pretty cool looking slide in the play area
Hooray for funnel slides!
The Boardwalk is even themed with sand. Hopefully it won't get too windy and blow the sand into people's eyes like on El Toro
Unlike last time, Storm Runner is running today. Not a bad wait either, considering it was only running 1 train on Friday
Such a great element. All coasters should have a tophat
Storm Runner is a very photogenic coaster...
Even thru the trees!
The kiddiest coaster in Hersheypark, Trailblazer
Heath does his best Nicole impression of demonstrating what ride motions we'll be experiencing on the Flying Falcon, a Huss Condor
Even Great Bear didn't have that bad of a wait, even less during the last 30 minutes the park was opened
An Immelmann at dusk, so pretty
Hershey lets you know it's their 100th Anniversary; it's on every trashcan (although they don't have nearly as many trashcans throughout the park as any Cedar Fair park has in it's entrance midway)
Oh no! It's the giant Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, ready to kick me if I stop
Saturday would see us returning to the park after seeing Spiderman 3 in IMAX and taking in some tasty beers at Selins Grove. Heath was celebrating 5 years of riding coasters, and seeing how he's ridden over 500 in 5 years, we figured stopping off to ride wouldn't be a bad thing. The park was a more typical crowd for a Spring Saturday evening, but even then the crowds weren't unbearable, and the waits were hardly bad. Best of all, we finally got to ride Wildcat. It's definitely rideable now in more than just the front row thanks to the Millennium Flyer trains. Still some rough spots, but nothing coma inducing. The trains make the ride feel more classic too!
Back at the park again on Saturday, this time bringing Kim with to share our fun
First stop was for Smores, a fairly new thing at Hershey that is a fantastic idea!
Ahhhh! These things just keep getting bigger and bigger!!
Old boring wet/dry slides. Hershey, please replace these with a Balder. Thank you!
Today would see the other GCI broke, Lightning Racer went down shortly before our arrival, and would be down for the rest of the night. They even had to walk people off! (CRISIS!!)
but hooray! Wildcat was running!
Still a really good wood coaster, but now you don't have to ride just in the front to save yourself from a headache
the Millennium Flyer trains articulate very well and can really handle the GCI curves
time for some more Storm Runner goodness
Hello Snake Drive Stout Dive, or whatever you're called
Heath and Kim enjoy a ride on Pennsylvania's best mine train, the Trailblazer on Heath's 5th year anniversary as a coaster enthusiast
Even the Kissing Tower advertises the 100th anniversary
Sunday would have me returning to Hershey yet again, but this time to show Justin, Sandi, and the kids around the park. They've never been to the East Coast before, and chose Hershey as the first park they'd hit; mainly because of the 11 coasters they have, their 7 year old son can actually ride 9 of them! I don't know why, but this was one of the best day's I've ever had at the park, perfect weather (after the wind died down), no clouds, and yet, no people...meaning no waits! Throughout the day everything from Great Bear to Lightning Racer to Storm Runner had pretty much a 1 train wait, or like 3-4 trains if you wanted the front row. Even being their first time here, the 5 of us devoured the park, and I think they really enjoyed themselves at Hershey.
One final day for the opening weekend at Hershey, this time with Justin, Sandi, and the kids
Justin is a big GCI fan. Of course he loved Lightning Racer, who doesn't!?
Always fun for the whole family, Lightning Racer does what racing coasters are supposed to do, run both sides, and actually RACE!
The Oregoners enjoy their ride on the Trailblazer, not just for the cha-ching, but also because it has no line
Wildcat was really rideable everywhere, but Ellie didn't seem to like it too much, although she loves Tremors
They all were pretty shocked by a barely braked Wild Mouse
with lots of coasters to add to his memory, Chad is pretty happy with Hersheypark
Great Bear, between the trees!
finally tall enough, Ellie enjoys her first inverted coaster with her mom, in the only place to experience an invert for the first time, the front row
I'd say they enjoyed their ride
ah! That Reese's Cup keeps haunting me!
Even Sandi rode the Flying Falcon, as much as she hates spinning rides
From the Kissing Tower you can get a great view of most of the park, like the entire layout of Storm Runner
Comet Hallow, from above
and off in the distance, Lightning Racer and the new Boardwalk
Comet may not be the most thrilling wooden coaster in this era, but it's still fun and smooth
Great Bear may have an odd ending, but its setting is pretty nice
The Great Beer's final inversion. mmmm, great beer.
This Photo TR has gone too long without a pure unadulterated vertical loop shot
The only wait for Great Bear was the front row, and even that wasn't bad
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