(I originally typed Heresy Park in the title and now I want there to be a Heresy Park that sounds really fucking raise-the-pitchfork amazing.)
This post is mostly going to be about ROLLER COASTERS because that’s all we rode that day, but first I want to say that when Chooch was updating his dorktastic Coaster Credit spreadsheet to add all of the Hershey coasters, he realized that he left out every single coaster from Dollywood somehow, which means that the coaster in Lake Compounce that we thought was his 100th was actually his 107th or something like that so now we have to sit down and try to organize everything by date to see what his actual 100th coaster actually was, maybe something from King’s Dominion? WHY ARE WE SUCH LOSERS.
Shall we begin? After the loooooong pandemic hiatus, our first coaster was none other than Hershey Park’s brand new hyper coaster, Candymonium. It actually opened last year, along with several other highly-anticipated coasters, and as tempting as it was to still go to parks last summer, we decided to wait and it was EXCRUCIATING!! I couldn’t watch coaster videos for most of 2020 because I was so fucking depressed and choking on FOMO.
Candymonium is right by the entrance and any coaster expert will tell you to immediately go to the back of the park and work your way through it that way to avoid long lines, but for this one, the wait was about 30 minutes when we got there and I was like “No, we are mounting this motherfucking NOW.” Henry was being a bitch-boy about getting a locker for his man-purse and finally just yelled, “JUST GO WITHOUT ME” – why does he do this shit to himself??
Thoughts on waiting in line for the first time since 2019:
- still hate it
- still makes me yawn uncontrollably
- Chooch doesn’t talk to me
- dorky white families still play Heads Up like no one is around them
- BUT OMFG I’M IN LINE FOR A ROLLER COASTER!!!!
The line moved pretty steadily because they were running three trains and the ops were pretty efficient, so I couldn’t complain too much. However, I noticed that even though each row seats 4 people, they were sending trains with just two people in some of the rows so I wasn’t sure if it was because they weren’t mixing groups due to Covid restrictions, but then I realized that no, people are just assholes and groups of two were purposely sitting in ways that prevented other people from getting on with them, because later in the day, we rode Skyrush twice with other people in our row.
DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE!!! Get in and move all the way down so other people can get in after you! Jesus fucking Christ!
Also, I think the same song was playing over and over the whole time we were in line. Also #2, there was a young sister and brother duo in front of us who were fake-fighting the entire time and it was SO FUCKING ANNOYING and a very quick reminder that I hate being around people and I wish that social distancing was still being enforced while standing in line, because that little fucking boy almost fell into my 87 times and it wasn’t until we were almost at the station when the older sister finally said to him, “BE CAREFUL THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU!”
Wow thanks. At the very end.
Thoughts on Candymonium?
- super smooth
- a nice first coaster of the pandemic
- kind of underwhelming though
We rode in the back on our first ride, and the front on the second ride. We are usually Backseat Riders, but I will say that the front row was better on this one.
Anyway, while we were on the break-run, waiting to come back to the station, we saw Henry walking like a Man on a Mission.
“HE HAS SOMETHING!” Chooch cried, and we were straining to see what it was.
Turns out he splurged and for the first time of our lives, Bench-Warming Dad bought us Fast Lane wristbands!!! Of course he went for the cheapest tier which meant we could skip the line once on all coasters and a selection of flatrides, and it is a REALLY good thing he did that because those lines were wicked. In fact, after we got off Candymonium, the wait time had shot up to 170 minutes.
No. Thank. You.
The next one we rode was Great Bear. We opted not to use our wristbands for this one because the line was pretty short (15-20 minutes) and we wanted Henry to ride it too since he didn’t get the Fast Lane for himself. Those things are exorbitant, it’s actually criminal. Why can’t all parks be like Disney?? Disney has the greatest fast pass system in the whole fucking world. You’re already paying $$ for the ticket, plus $$ for parking, and you’re inevitably going to spend $$ on food, so why the fuck should these asshole themeparks make you pay $$$ extra to ensure that you’ll get to ride things that you ALREADY PAID FOR. And all it does it make the general queues move even slower. Set up complimentary fast pass reservations for the best, most popular rides, and let people get to select a time for 3 or 4 of them. One time use. Bam. Not everyone can afford to pay $99 extra per person to do this!! Luckily, Henry had his “FOR FUN TIMES” cash on him and was like “Well, hard-saved cash, it’s now or never.”
And thank god he did this because the day would have been even worse (I mean, it wasn’t a TERRIBLE day but it could have been!).
Anyway, I was happy to have Henry in line with us because now I had someone to talk to since Chooch is 15 and everything I say is so dumb or if he doesn’t hear me, he spits, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU” in the most disgusted grunt ever. I AM SO TERRIBLE TO BE AROUND, YOU GUYS.
Great Bear is an unsung hero!!! Holy shit, I fucking LOVED this coaster! B&M inverted coasters are so much fun to ride in the back because you literally have no idea what is coming next and everything was a pleasantly surprise. I laughed through the whole ride!
By now, the park was P-A-C-K-E-D and lines were spilling out onto the walkways. Chooch and I used our Fast Lane to ride Skyrush, except that when Chooch scanned his wristband, it lit up red. The young and very ambivalent girl working the Fast Lane gate said he would have to go to customer service, but he quickly said, “I think it’s because I scanned it twice.” She didn’t even question him and let him slide right on in.
So we ended up only having to wait about 5-10 minutes from there, and was it worth it? Um, no? This fucker is painful. And I knew that too from all the dumb videos I watch but I was like, “Well, these videos are all made by sissy-lala men who think everything hurts because they are so precious, so I’m sure I’ll be fine.
BITCH. This motherfucker KILLED MY THIGHS. It felt like I was simultaneously stung by Murder Hornets and being whipped by the rosaries of 5 nuns. It was RELENTLESS. I couldn’t even tell you if I enjoyed this fucking ride, to be honest, because I was in tears of pain by the end and could barely breathe.
Skyrush more like THIGHCRUSH. Fuck you.
Sooper Dooper Loop was next and it was basically just Baby’s First Upside Coaster. We stood in the regular line for this because it was so short, figuring that if we liked it, we’d be able to come back later and use the Fast Lane, but nah. The best part was watching the geese hang out along the water while waiting in line.
I probably would have thought I was hot shit for riding this as a kid in the single digits, though.
Comet was next – just your classic smaller scale woodie, and the line was outrageous. We used our Fast Lane (the girl didn’t even make us scan it, just asked, “did you buy them today?” and then let us through) and lemme tell you, once was enough. Also, GIGANTIC BEES were buzzing around when we sat idly on the brake run for a solid three minutes it felt like.
*Break from riding to argue over food*
It was around this point that I realized we could track our lines on the Hershey app so we could see which rides we had left for the Fast Lane. It had all three of our names on the account when I accessed it, but the word “Activated” was only next to my name. So this explained why when Chooch scanned his on Skyrush, it came up as red. And thank god that girl on Comet didn’t make us scan them or it wouldn’t have worked there, either! So now Henry was all LET ME SEE THAT because of course I must have been doing something wrong since I’m a natural dumbo, but after examining the app, he was like, “WE WILL JUST GO TO THIS FAST LANE KIOSK AND ACTIVATE IT” but it wouldn’t scan Chooch’s barcode.
We had to walk all the way back to the entrance plaza so that Henry could go and talk to a real person inside the Fast Lane building. They were in there for quite a while, but Henry said it was OK when they came back. We started to walk away and after several minutes, something made me check the app again. Now, it said “activated” next to Chooch’s name, and NOT MY NAME. Henry was like, ‘IT IS PROBABLY FINE’ and I said, “Look, bitch, they took my Fast Lane account and applied it to Chooch and now I don’t fucking have one.” Because Chooch’s Fast Lane had Skyrush taken off of it, when he didn’t actually “have” a Fast Lane at that point.
So back we went, through the mass of traffic-jammed baby strollers (seriously, baby strollers ruin everything, leave your fucking babies at home lol no I’m serious), back to the Fast Lane building which now had a line because some douchebag guy WITH A BABY STROLLER was there to collect all of his pass holder perks so he was tying up one clerk, while a family of n00bs was making another old man clerk explain in GREAT DETAIL the differences between the two Fast Lane options (NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: one can only be used once at a selection of rides; one is UNLIMITED – OMG do you have a CHART to explain that? A whiteboard?!). Meanwhile, NOAH THE 19-YEAR-OLD MANAGER was sitting behind his computer screen with an ultra-relaxed and bored posture, languidly counting money while the line continued to grow. I could feel the bubbles popping as my blood was brought closer to a boil.
We had a very kind but flustered woman helping us and I felt extremely bad for her because, LONG STORY SHORT, Noah had to come over and offer his completely blase managerial assistance (literally the way he ever-so-slowly rose from his chair and sighed on his way over made me want to punch him in the nose). Essentially what happened was that HE FUCKED IT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE so the woman had to sort through all of the receipts from that day looking for both mine and Chooch’s so that NOAH could re-activate them PROPERLY this time, and the whole fucking time she looked so defeated as she continuously apologized to us while NOAH let her take the fall.
FUCK ALL OF THE NOAHS IN THE WORLD, SINCERELY.
Also, let it be known that shit was straightened out the second time because I was in charge of clearly explaining the sitch because GOD ONLY KNOWS what bullshit nonsense Henry mumbled on the first try.
Apparently, they were having trouble with this all day though because we heard some dad tell the Fast Lane guy on another ride that everything was screwed up, they paid for the Fast Lane, go ask Customer Service and that was enough for the Fast Lane gate keeper to lift his arm out of his puddle of ennui long enough to unfastened the chain and grant them entrance.
So maybe there was some type of computer glitch. I will give them a pass on that, especially considering all of the Fast Lane attendants were so quick to let people through regardless. BUT I WILL NOT EXCUSE THE BULLSHIT BEHAVIOR OF NOAH AND HOW HE TREATED THAT POOR LADY WHO WAS TRYING SO HARD (way harder than his fuckboy ass) TO FIX SHIT FOR US.
And! They gave us a “bonus” ride for any ride of our choice, which is how we were able to ride Skyrush a second time later in the day and I tried to cheat the system by raising my feet onto the toes to bring my thighs up higher when the attendant came around to push down the lap bars, to prevent them from stapling me. JOKE’S ON ME THOUGH because even though I earned myself some wiggle room, as soon we descended that first hill, the lap bar came down one more click on its own, successfully stapling me in and ensuring that I would have another joy ride in the Iron Maiden.
Fuck that ride so hard! I’m glad I got the credit because I don’t think I will ever ride it again unless I strap a ring of maxi pads under my jeans.
Here’s part of Storm Runner which was closed and I was REALLY SAD but also prepared for this because I follow Hershey on Instagram and they have been trying to get a part for this coaster since last year. I heard it might open on Memorial Day weekend so MAYBE at some point in the fall, I will MAYBE consider going back but right now the thought of returning is not very appealing.
If you’ve ridden one boomerang, you’ve ridden them all, but if you keep a spreadsheet of every coaster you’ve ridden, then you still have to ride it. Ugh. This one was at least less terrible than the one in Lake Compounce, but man, there is something extremely terrifying about that first lift hill. I can’t even remember what this was called, but it was like “Name of Coaster: Sponsored by Name of Corporation” which I thought was tacky.
Hold on. I’ll look it up.
Sidewinder: Presented by Penn State Health.
Oh! When we were in line for this, one of the ride operators kept running back and forth past us, and then Hershey EMTs arrived with their big ass cooler of supplies and we were like WHAT IS HAPPENING because they were still sending trains. Turns out some older lady was like, overheated or having some kind of spell because they had her sitting on a stool while they applied ice packs to her and took her blood pressure. It was exciting to watch. I mean, because she clearly wasn’t dying! She was sipping her water and seemed like she was OK, leave me alone!
I mean, Wild Mouse is Wild Mouse. Nothing to really say about it except that while we were in line, some DAD completely waded through the landscaping and then scaled a wall just so he could join his family in line in front of us and I would have REALLY CAUSED A STINK over this except that they were already going to need to be in two cars anyway so it didn’t affect us.
Across from the Wild Mouse was the Wildcat, a woodie that turned out to be unexpectedly fantastic. There was about a 20 minute wait and we couldn’t use our Fast Lane on this because the regular line started PAST the Fast Lane entrance so it was pointless. So basically, even if the queue was full, using a Fast Lane will still have you waiting 20 minutes, which doesn’t seem very Fast Lane-esque to me.
I was trying very hard all day to not let people piss me off that day and I was doing a pretty fine job, I think, until this ride. I kept hearing wet slurping behind me. I knew there was a couple in their late 20s / early 30s behind us and I was like, “OMG ARE THEY MAKING OUT” and then became convinced that this is what was happening. Eventually, I stole a glance over my shoulder, and nope, it wasn’t that at all. The Discount Duff Goldman part of the couple was eating Dippin’ Dots. WHO EATS DIPPIN’ DOT THAT LOUDLY AND WETLY? Oh, I was in so much aural pain.
Chooch and I bonded over this later. The anguish over other people’s mouth sounds is truly something that never fails to unite us.
The only other coaster Henry rode all day was Lightning Racer because the line was not long at all. Chooch decided he was going to ride by himself so he crossed over to wait for the opposing train. We tried to align ourselves so that we would be able to race each other but he couldn’t get anyone to go ahead of him, so he ended up riding on the cycle before ours which was a bummer because WE WOULD HAVE BEATEN HIM!
Lightning Racer was so good! It has cemented itself up there as one of my favorite racers – it’s definitely better than Kennywood’s Racer (although that one is iconic because it’s a Mobius loop and also vintage at this point) and that shitty one at King’s Island, but I also REALLY like Gemini at Cedar Point and Racer 76 (I think??) at King’s Dominion. There is a racer coaster out in California that got the RMC treatment so I’m sure if I ever got to try that one on for size, it would be an easy #1!
However, Lightning Racer had a TUNNEL and I love when coasters have TUNNELS and I scream-laughed, “UNEXPECTED TUNNEL!!!!!” in my Bobcat Goldthwait bray as we cruised through it.
I actually wish we had ridden that again before we left.
The other coasters we rode that I have nothing really to say about was Trailblazer, which was just a mediocre family ride, and LaffTrakk which is an indoor Crazy Mouse-type of coaster similar but inferior to Kennywood’s Exterminator and also, even with Fast Lane, we waited for a solid 45 minutes and this was 100% not worth it. The queue was all indoors and it was so fucking hot in there that I getting pretty swirly.
I guess the only other notable thing, coaster-wise, was that when we were waiting in the loading area for our second ride on Skyrush, there was a group of Chooch-aged boys in front of us who thought it would be cute to chuck candy over the railing at their mom, who was waiting below with other family members. They thought they missed so they ducked back in line, leaving Chooch standing there alone, looking like he had been caught red-handed. The loading station for Skyrush is elevated so we were several feet above ground level making it easy for them to not be seen from the ground when they moved back from the railing. Their mom made an “I’m watching you” gesture to Chooch and he nearly melted into the ground lol.
Anyway, that concludes my titillating review of Hershey. I feel like it can’t always be as shitty as it was on this particular day because I have legit never heard anyone complain about it, so sorry Covid–but I’m blaming you!!
Stay tuned for my Knoebels recap because we also went there that weekend and, spoiler alert, IT WAS THE PERFECT DAY.