I haven't been to Hersheypark in over 3 years and have been wanting to get back there for a while. Since Hersheypark In The Dark is such a great deal with a $33 gate price compared to almost $60 during the summer (even with discounts it's still close to $50) with the whole park open except The Boardwalk and the other water rides my family decided to take a trip to the park this past Friday.
We got to the park around 4:00 and went to Chocolate World first to take the factory tour dark ride and walk around the building and got to the park entrance at around 4:45. One thing I didn't like was that they didn't open the ticket booths until around 5 minutes before opening so it took almost 15 minutes to get into the park and that was with with low crowds.
Comet already had around a 20 minute line so we went to Skyrush first. I was looking forward to trying an Intamin hyper since a lot of people say they are better than B&M hyper coasters. The line was barely on the stairs and with 2 trains running it was less than a 5 minute wait. They were assigning rows but didn't seem to be trying to fill up the rows. There was a group of 3 in row 2 and I thought as a single rider, I would be put in the same row but instead I was told to go to row 7 and no one else was in the row. I took the floorless seat on the right side.
The lift was steep and I was not expecting to be lifted out of the seat so strongly multiple times throughout the ride. The first drop was great and I liked how there were a lot of banked turns and some airtime hills. The negatives were that the ride was rough in some spots, the ride felt almost too intense and it was short for a hyper coaster. I liked the coaster but of the 4 hyper coasters I have ridden, I'd put it after Nitro and Phantom's Revenge and ahead of Steel Force.
I saw sooperdooperlooper was only running 1 train with a line on the stairs so it was skipped and we went to Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge. Not a single person was in line and with no one in the other car, there was no competition but it was still a fun ride. We walked around for another ride and then went to the monorail which had no wait but was only running 1 train.
Fahrenheit had 2 trains running and had no wait except for the front row. I wasn't expecting to see that since even a few years ago when the park wasn't crowded it still had somewhat of a line thanks to the low capacity. In past trips, I thought the coaster was good but not great. For some reason on this trip I liked the coaster a lot more especially the Norwegian Loop. The cobra roll was a little rough but not too bad. For my 1st ride I went to the last row and walked around and got the 2nd row. This time the cobra rolls wasn't as rough. I don't know if I liked the coaster more because I didn't have to wait for it and I think I am going to move it up on my coaster rankings.
We then walked to Midway America and saw Wildcat was stuck on the lift. Wild Mouse had no one riding the coaster and I could have walked right on but no one else wanted to ride and I figured with The Dark Knight at Great Adventure that I can ride anytime I want, I skipped it. I probably should have ridden the coaster anyway since it would have only taken a couple of minutes.
Lightning Racer had 1 train running on each side and both sides had about a 2 train wait for all rows so we waited for the front row on Lightning. It was a great ride as usual but our train lost. Usually I only lose when I am riding Thunder.
We went to the Whip with no wait next. Like Dorney's Whip, the cycle was very short. On the way out of Midway America I saw Wildcat was still closed. I didn't mind skipping Wildcat though since I thought the coaster was rough the past few times I have ridden the coaster even with the Millennium Flyer trains.
Next was the Dry Gulch Railroad with about a 10 minute wait since only 1 train was running. I skipped Sidewinder even though there was no wait and it has the new trains since I didn't feel like riding a boomerang.
Storm Runner had 1 train running with the line on the stairs and was around 15 minutes. I have always liked the coaster but would have preferred to see a slightly longer layout.
Trailblazer also had 1 train running and was a 2 train wait. It's fun for a family coaster but isn't nearly as good as other mine trains like Runaway Mine Train at Great Adventure.
In Minetown, the rest of my family went to the Twin Turnpike while I went to Great Bear. 2 trains were running and I went to row 5 waiting 3 trains getting the seat on the right. I had forgotten how the ride feels like it is moving very fast through most of the layout and it feels like all that speed is lost when you hit the brake run too soon. I also really like the helix before the drop and how right after the loop you go to the immelmann. I walked around for a 2nd ride and went to row 7 waiting 1 train and got the left seat. They also had a strange method of checking the restraints where one person would check the restraint and then a few seconds later, another ride op would walk to the row and recheck all the restraints.
sooperdooperlooper was now running 2 trains with a 1 train wait. I was interested to see how the new trains from Gerstlauer were since Schwarzkopf looper trains are my favorite coaster trains after B&M hyper trains. While I still prefer the original trains, the Gerstlauer trains were a nice replacement with just a lap bar and I'd rather see the ride get new trains so it can still be around for a long time than having the ride removed like what has happened to so many other Schwarzkopf loopers over the years. Since there was such a short wait I walked around and chose the last row for my 2nd ride.
On the way out I stopped at Comet which now was around a 15 minute wait. The ride was slightly rougher than I had remembered but not too bad. It was a little strange to have Skyrush running so close to the ride.
Even though the park was still open for almost another hour, it was starting to get cold and we still had to eat dinner (we went to Red Robin right outside the park rather than eat in the park) and had a 2 hour drive to get home so we left. I still got more coaster rides in than I was expecting since I figured it wouldn't be that crowded but also didn't expect so many coasters to have less than a 5 minute wait. If Hersheypark was a little closer, I'd probably get a season pass and visit the park a few times a year.
Compared to Fright Fest and Haunt, there were a lot more families and kids (and some adults) in costumes probably because there are no haunted trails/mazes and unlike Great Adventure and Dorney they had kids activities like trick or treating running at night.