I began my day standing outside a theme park before it opened. Again. This time it was the turn of Hersheypark. The first two parks I visited had been incredible experiences and I had strangely low expectations of this one. The incredibly mixed reviews of the newest major addition, Skyrush, had made me curious but apart from that this is a park that isn’t talked about too much in the theme park community. With a high coaster count, a family atmosphere and a theme revolving around chocolate Hersheypark was definitely one of my favourite stops on my 6 week trip.
I had gotten to the park early and when I saw the crowd gathering outside I was very glad I had made it there with time to spare. One thing to mention is that the entrance to this park is very small, so although I was a little worried by the increasing crowds, it was a much more manageable day than I expected. There was definitely no need to buy any kind of skip-the-lines pass on that July day. As there is so much to do here away from the coasters the queues were fairly short for everything.
Walking around the park I was overwhelmed with how many coasters they had managed to fit into the space and how great everything looked together. I didn’t sample too much chocolate here, however I did get my hands on a s’more! Definitely one of the best things I ate in a theme park, even if it was crazy messy. The food I settled on for lunch was a BBQ platter and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality.
Alongside an average (at best) inverted B&M, a basic boomerang and a few other standard additions, there is a collection of amazingly fun Intamins. Stormrunner is a short, fun, launched coaster that leaves you with a smile on your face. Faherenheit is a twisty mess of goodness that is very re-rideable. But the best Intamin, by far, is Skyrush. The downside for some people lies in the restraints. I had heard they can be painful, something I experienced while sitting at the back towards the end of the day. Lets get the negative out of the way because this coaster is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It immediately became my second favourite coaster in the world, the way it throws you about made me feel like a ragdoll.
There are also a few wooden coasters, of which Lightning Run is definitely the best. After lunch with only one more major credit left, the heavens opened and I ended up wondering whether to leave while the huge storm passed over us. Standing in the queue for about an hour hoping the coaster would reopen wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I chatted to a family from New York and planned what i would do next. Pretty tired, I made a decision that this would be the last coaster. Once I got off I was heading back to the car when it struck me I should see what the queue was like for Skyrush. I’d loved this coaster SO much but was worried the queue would have gotten to epic levels now the rain had cleared up and it had reopened. The posted queue was 5 minutes. I’m not even kidding you. You could walk on the roller coaster because so many people had left the park once the storm hit. I got about 8 rides in a row on it, waiting a couple of times for the front and testing out a bunch of different seats. What I would have missed out on, if I hadn’t have changed my mind and checked out the queue for Skyrush!
I would highly recommend anyone, no matter their age or predisposition for riding roller coasters to visit Hersheypark. This had the best mix for families, thrill seekers and anybody inbetween out of all the theme parks I went to. After raving about Six Flags Great Adventure, Knoebels AND Hersheypark, you’re probably wondering two things: Will I ever talk about anything outside of theme parks on this trip? And is there anything that I’m going to speak negatively about? Yes and yes.
Coast count: 27