USA 2014 Blog Day 21
Welcome to our penultimate blog of the trip. Today we were at Hershey Park in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, located directly next to the Hershey’s Chocolate World and the Hershey Stadium. This park was founded in 1906 by Milton S.Hershey as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company. As of 2014, the park is wholly and privately owned by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company.
This is our 3rd visit to the park, and since we were last here the park has installed a further two coasters: Fahrenheit and Skyrush. This was our last full day in a park, as tomorrow we have a quick dash into park for just 4 hours before heading to the airport for our flight back home (boooo!). We therefore needed to max out today, so spent a whole 12 hours there 10am – 10pm to cram in as much riding as possible.
The first of the new coasters we headed for was Fahrenheit with its vertical lift hill and 97 degree drop into a mass of inversions. We sat in the front seat and were surprised as how good the ride was, as we were nervous it was going to be sore on the shoulders as it has the same restraints as Maverick at Cedar Point which is really rough. Great first drop with some nice pockets of airtime and the inversions taken at a nice speed.
The second of the new coasters was Skyrush with its 200ft first drop, no inversions, but plenty of twist and turns along the way. It has by far the fastest lift hill we have ridden on a coaster and an impressive first drop. There are 4 seats per row with the outer 2 seats set slightly further back and floorless leaving your legs dangling (these were our preferred seats). We enjoyed the overbanked turns and airtime hills but the biggest issue with this ride is the restraints which really dig into your thighs and with the severity of the airtime makes it quite a painful ride (and bit of a ball breaker) especially at the rear of the train. We had a couple more rides at the front which was slightly better, and although Adrian started to enjoy the ride the more he rode it, he just couldn’t forgive it!
Most of the other coasters had hardly any queues as a majority of guests were in the water park, so we got everything done ... and some! One thing we did notice in the park was the amount of security guards as they were everywhere, so not sure if this park has had issues previously? They were very friendly though, but didn’t seem to take any notice of people queue jumping which was annoying and the park guide didn’t have the usual strict policies and guidelines regarding queue jumping as with all other parks?
The ride ops were also a little lapse regarding the filling of empty seats which was very apparent on Skyrush which had a very long separate front seat queue line throughout the day. There are 4 riders per row, but if only 2 people boarded the train, rather than asking for another 2 guests to fill the row they just kept despatching the trains with empty seats! Definitely a staff training issue here.
We decided to spend the last hour on Lightning Racer, but rather than riding together, chose to sit on separate trains in order to race each other which was just brilliant. The coaster was just flying, very re-rideable, and was fantastically lit with chaser lights which looked amazing. The ride ops were in high spirits and had a real party atmosphere going on. Fantastic way to end the day. Well tomorrow will be our last blog, so be sure to tune in for our last updates. Bye for now...