We get to Tudor Square only to see a gigantic sea of people stretching from the entrance going all the way back to the Dunkin' Donuts. From here we waited 45 minutes to buy our tickets. You would think it wouldn't take long to buy your admission to get in, but there was a lady in the line that we were in where it took her 5 minutes to buy them and get in. Asking everyone for their zip-code didn't help even though they are probably using that to figure out how far you traveled.
Once we were in the door, we decided to ride Fahrenheit first (it wasn't listed to be open on the park map). On the way there, I saw the queue for Starship America full as well as Balloon Flite in Founder's Circle. In Music Box, the line for Reese's was 3/4 of the way full and the Claw had a line 3/4 full with no switchbacks being used.
When we got to Fahrenheit, it had a line length similar to when I last rode it. The wait was 30 to 40 minutes and with 2 trains, the ride op. crew were dispatching a train sometimes before the other one was at the station. Just before we got on the ride, some 60 year old guy casually walks over from the elevator and just gets on the ride. He looks like he had no problem walking and would've had no problem waiting in line like everyone else.
We sat in the middle car and the ride felt more intense than I remembered. Airtime of the first drop and final hill, good g-forces in the corkscrews, and the norweigon loop was good as well.
Around now it was 11:30 so we decided to head down to Midway America before it got worse and ride the high-capacity, Lightning Racer. On the way, the wait for Wild Mouse had the queue 3/4 of the way filled.
Lightining Racer had a 15 to 20 minute queue with the line stretching down to the end of the transfer track. The ride had one train operating on both sides when we first got there, but they added the second ones while we were waiting so the wait could've been 5 to 10 minutes. What the park could've done to save time is put both trains into operation before the park opened. The queue TV's were on with the Hersheypark: Sweet Memories video playing. That was first time I've seen them use them.
Lightning Racer was good as always. It wasn't rough, but remember to keep your mouth closed (almost ate a bug).
Next we went over to ZooAmerica. I haven't been there before so this was my first time and overall I thought it was a great zoo and probably the most fun we had all day. It was also actually a place where we didn't have to wait in a line too!
Oh, the prairie dogs say hi, Elissa. lol
After more than an hour of looking at the animals and feeding the ducks we went to find a place to eat back inside the park. We didn't want to eat a big meal so we went to the Minetown Restaurant where we saw just about every single food line filled up. We gave up on that place and decided to try Gourmet Grille instead.
Inside, the lines were long, but they moved quickly and it was set up just like Minetown Restaurant and sold many Italian foods as well as park food. I got chicken tenders, my girlfriend got mozzarella sticks and we split french fries. The good thing is that I think the food has improved since last year since the fries actually have salt and taste like something good.
After we got done eating we wanted to move on to our next coaster. We were going to ride Great Bear, but when I saw the line filled halfway through the queue and the one train operation, it would've been a headache (more on that later too) so we decided to head to Comet.
Wrong again. The line was out of the queue and knowing that it usually takes about 45 minutes to wait in half of it, we passed and decided to try Reese's.
That last time since I saw that ride that full was on it's grand opening and with the exact same line length, I figured it would take maybe 30 to 45 minutes and with the techno music going, it might go faster. Wrong. It was a 55 to 1 hour wait.
I witnessed many people line jump including one case where the father would be in the far back of the line and the mother and children would be at the ride entrance and I'd see them dodge people and go to the father. It was incredible. Then the family in front of us were 5 to 10 minutes from getting on and decided to just leave the line (this was right where you enter the narrow hallway). This had to be the stupidest thing I've seen, but hearing them say, "let's go to a ride with a shorter line" had to take the cake. The big puddle covering 1/4th of the queue didn't help either and the kids splashing around in it didn't help either.
Reese's was kind of crappy this time around. The scoring system in the cars didn't work and would put in random numbers such as 448670 points as your score.
We next decided to ride a coaster and figuring how Sidewinder hardly ever get's a wait, we decided to give it a shot. Trust me, when Sidewinder has a 20 to 30 minute wait, you know the park is full. The queue used up one switchback heading down to the old refreshment stand (this queue hardly ever get's used).
I now hate this ride and wish it would be torn down. The cobra roll slams you around and it is rediculous. Usually I'd get a headache after 2 rides, but it had to have gotten worse because it gave me one in a single shot.
Next was Storm Runner which ironically had the shortest wait with around 15 minutes (no switchbacks used). The launch was great as well as everything up to the flying snake dive. The banked rise section has got worse though with it slaming you into the restraint. The brakes were kind of bad as well where instead of a gradual slowdown, it would slow you down, but then slam you forward at the bottom.
At this point we were ready to leave, but being the person that I am, I wanted to try Wildcat out to see if it got better. After my girlfriend tried to use the vending machine in line and finding out it didn't work, we waited around 30 minutes (the line was filled up to the bottom of the ramps to the station).
This is another coaster I hate as well. First drop was good, everything afterwards was horrible. It was so rough that I was trying to protect myself from getting slammed around. I'd go as far to say that it might be worse than Thunderhawk at Dorney.
As we regained our sanity, we went over to see if Great Bear's line died down (which it didn't) so instead we got on SDL. The ride was great, but they really need to fix the brakes on that thing.
After that, we left and headed over to Chocolate World, waited 15 minutes (the queue was down to the entrance) for the Tour Ride, had some good pizza, then left.
Overall it was my worst experience at Hersheypark, but it would've been even worse if my girlfriend wasn't with me. But we did in the end have fun laughing at how painful and fun the rides were. I do have to wonder if Dorney is better after yesterday, but here's my ratings for the rides:
Lightning Racer: 8/10
Storm Runner: 7/10
My next park should be Six Flags Great Adventure on May 2nd then hopefully Dorney Park after that on May 9th. I was thinking about coming back to Hershey in June, but after this visit I think they lost my summer business for this year and I'd rather go back up to Dorney and save some money. I still haven't got to do anything in the Boardwalk since it first opened, but I could really care less now.
The park really needs to get their act together with operations.
I only took 2 photos the whole day and both of them are of Fahrenheit.
I took these with my new cell phone and from the way it looks, I might actually use it as my camera for this season.
Last edited by Ccron10 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total