It's 2 a.m., and I just got back from Hersheypark, where I joined a friend and her daughter for a fun-filled (if tiring) day at Christmas Candylane. But enough text; go see the pictures!
Decorations welcomed us at the Hersheypark tram stop. (Don't worry; the captions get slightly better from here.)
Chocolate World was decorated outside...
We didn't do the trolley tour, but if anyone is interested, these are the holiday rates.
Because I've done PTRs of the Chocolate Factory Tour before, we'll skip that this time and go straight to the Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show.
Our special guest, Lauryn, models the Really Big 3-D glasses.
Photos in the pre-show area depict great moments in Hershey history. Like when Mr. Hershey Bar explored Egypt and didn't melt.
The show itself is a typical 3-D animated film with the usual wind, water, bubble and light effects. Characters from the movie are mounted on the walls in the post-show area. I personally liked Mr. Jolly Rancher in his '80s garb... though the show wasn't introduced until the early 2000s.
From there it was on to the main attraction, Hersheypark.
Apparently they were celebrating Christmas or something.
We were fortunate that the temperature hovered around 50 until the sun went down... then it dropped dramatically!
Lauryn measured put to the Reese's Cup height. She got measured on the way out, as well, just to make sure she hadn't grown a foot or two while in the park.
"Funny, I don't seem as tall as the Reese's Cup...."
Jesus may be the "reason for the season"...
...but He clearly doesn't sell as many sweatshirts as Santa.
FYI, poinsettias and chocolate are both poisonous to dogs.
The lights on the "Kissmas Tree" flashed in sync to popular (and loud) Christmas songs once an hour.
Since no coasters are operated during Christmas Candylane, Santa was finally able to fulfill his lifelong dream of using the Comet as a landing strip.
You honestly didn't think you were going to read one of my trip reports without seeing a picture of an antique carousel, did you? This one was originally built for Liberty Heights Park (later Carlin's Park) in Baltimore.
See? I wasn't just making that up!
Nothing says "quality carousel" like a horse with a dead fox strapped to its back!
Nonetheless, this carousel was Lauryn-approved.
As was the Space Ace...
...the Traffic Jam...
...and even the reindeer!
Speaking of reindeer, Santa's were at the park training for Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, Santa and his elves trained for their upcoming ECW appearance.
It's called "Christmas" Candylane, but all faiths are welcome. Even the Joeyites.
We stopped to watch the train garden for a few moments, but we couldn't stay long...
...because we had people to see!
I wish I could show you Santa at Hershey park. I really do. I can show you the building where he lives when he's at Hershey...
...I can show you Mr. Hershey Bar standing in front of Santa's house (which, if you look closely, you'll see is actually made of Twizzlers)...
...I can show you Mr. Reese's Cup standing beside Santa's Christmas tree...
...I can show you Santa's elves toiling away at his workshop (I like to think this one is Lebbie)...
I can even show you Santa's mailbox, complete with his house number (which you'll notice, not by coincidence, is 25 to correspond with that particular date in December).
But I can't show you Santa. Because no personal cameras were allowed in the same room with Santa. And since we opted not to purchase the $18 photo package, we have no actual photographic proof that Santa was ever at Hersheypark. So I'm going to go ahead and propagate the rumor that he wasn't. That should send admissions tumbling.
However, I can offer photographic proof of this bronze elk. And face it: I could have told you it was made of chocolate, and you wouldn't have known the difference.
This is why the bronze elk is important. Or, rather, "important."
"I swear if you don't put down the freakin' camera and stop taking pictures, I'm going to bop you with this thing...."
No Frontier Flyers for me on this trip, unfortunately.
However, we did get to ride the Twilight Express. Not to be confused with that other Express. You know, the Polar one.
This is why the Twilight Express is important.
Our chariot awaits.
The Twilight Express at maximum throttle.
The train gave us a grand circle tour of the Winter Village of lights.
It also provided a nice view of the Christmas tree atop Kissing Tower.
The rest of the park also was nicely lit after dark.
Random illuminated ride sign. Just because I can.
Outside the main gate the Hershey's characters got their frames in lights, starting with Mr. Hershey's Kiss.
Mr. Hershey Bar.
Mr. Reese's Cup.
And Mr. York Peppermint Pattie.
Back inside Chocolate World for some end-of-the-day shopping, we also saw Mr. Milk Duds.
After a not-so-quick dinner at Wendy's (whose entire staff seemed to be trying to figure out when exactly they built an amusement park next door), it was on to Hershey's Sweet Lights, a 600-piece outdoor Christmas light display.
They gave out free kaleidoscopic glasses with each paid admission (which, at $20 a pop, they darn well should have). They also tried to sell us kettle corn and Pepsi products as we drove to the admission booth, which I didn't appreciate.
On a side note, am I the only one here who thinks I look kind of like that guy from Biff's '50s gang in "Back to the Future" in these glasses?
This is what the lights looked like through the glasses.
Storm Runner was well represented in the display.
Santa and Rudolph found another coaster to ride, as well.
If nothing else on this trip, I learned that Christmas light displays are very difficult to photograph from a moving vehicle with a cheap digital camera. Thus, the rest of this TR will consist of the photos that actually came out... though there were dozens more really cool displays (and some mediocre ones, too) that I wasn't able to capture adequately in pixels.
This little guy was scattered in various locations throughout the display. We took to calling him the "O-Face Christmas Tree."
The Big Bad Wolf really blows!
"...because you didn't buy nearly enough chocolate this time!"
And finally, we discovered this during a stop for gas on the way home. But you'll have to come up with your own joke; I'm going to bed.
Two cool little tidbits of info I found in your Tr:
1. In the Fahrenheit Station picture, you can see the front of a train in the picture (bottom corner of the operator's booth).
2.In the elf time clock display, they list six names. The last three names, Marty, Kitty, and Lebbie. Marty is the guy who usually takes photos of ride construction (for Fahrenheit and SeaQuel) for coasterdom. Kitty is Milton Hershey's wife and Lebbie was a guy who helped Hershey with the park when it first opened.
I will probably get out there on Thursday with a school club. (Fingers crossed).
Thanks for the Photo TR. This year will be the 11th year in a row that I'll be going to HersheyPark for their Christmas CandyLane event. While not a whole lot has changed the last few years, it has changed since my first CCL experience with expanded areas of rides (to include the Kissing Tower area and Comet Hollow) and now a POP admission. I remember when the Scrambler, Pirat and Bumper Cars were the 3 most exciting rides open. Now at least there is the Claw and Frontier Flyers. One thing I do miss is when they had the massive model train display in the domed arcade. Anyone else remember the first year for the Kissmas tree? It was down in Comet Hollow. They also did a horse and buggy ride through Midway America for a couple years. By the way, is it me or did the Comet get a new Santa, sled and reindeers this year? I'm still holding out hope for the first time they ever run a coaster. It HAS to happen...eventually!!
^ I'd also like to see some coasters open, even Comet, Sooperdooperlooper and Trail Blazer would be enough for me.
I went last year and in 1999 and 1996 and plan to go this year as well (probably over winter break) and it is a nice diversion during the offseason but it really is like torture seeing all those coasters and during winter break, the offseason is only 40% over and really makes you wish something was running!
All they need is a disclaimer saying that the coasters might not run if it is too cold out. I remember Derek posted a Photo TR last year I think from Easter Sunday where temperatures were in the 30's and Comet and SDL were running, if they are able to run in the 30's with high winds, I don't see why they can run in the 40's and 50's
^ I'm guessing it has less to do with if the coasters can or cannot run in that weather but probably more to do with the limited amount of maintenance time they have with some of the potentially bad winters that area can get.
If they had the coasters open that would limit the maintenance time even further and you could be cannibalizing a ride that has to open late for the full season in order to run during CCL.
That being said, I don't see why they couldn't try to schedule at least ONE coaster to open, even something like the mouse during the event.
I'd even be happy with 1 coaster at this point since it would be at least something to ride
I didn't think of the Wild Mouse but that is a good suggestion for a coaster to be running, the reason being that Midway America is usually closed for Springtime In the Park so if they did run the Wild Mouse, they would have until May to get it ready for opening day unlike the coasters in the front of the park that they need to be ready for Springtime In the Park in April.
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