Monday, July 26, 2010

Hershey Park, Part II

Then, it was on to explore the park. We started with getting a locker, which uses an RFID system. You have unlimited access to it ALL DAY for $10 (or $15 for a large), and you wear a wristband that has the RFID chip in it. Crazy handy! The only problem is that Jonathan couldn't go to the locker without me, since I wore the band (ours was pink, but depending on the location of your locker they're different colors). No big deal for us, but if 4-5 people wanted to share, I could see it being an issue.
Our first ride was the monorail, which we walked right up to and stepped right on, luckily. It was a nice ride, as it goes out of the park and into DOWNTOWN HERSHEY for a short bit. It's narrated by a recording, so we learned quite a bit. When we got off, it had started to rain, so we hopped on an indoor ride: Reese's Xtreme Cup Challenge. It's like Men in Black or Buzz Lightyear in that you're in a cart that moves along a track and you're shooting targets for points. The only difference here is that the chocolate car in each group is against the peanut butter car, competing for a better overall score. It was cheaply done in comparison to Florida parks, but a good time.

We headed over to ZooAmerica shortly afterward, and took the "recommended route" through that park. It's a small zoo... in fact, I think I'd rather just call it a collection of animals... but it has a few neat things. Nothing exceedingly rare or difficult to care for, but they do have indoor and outdoor exhibits. If you go to just the zoo, it's like $15, but it's included in the admission for HersheyPark, so if you're already there, stop on through - it doesn't take too long.Our first rollercoaster of the morning was StormRunner, which has a horse theme. Again, I freaked out slightly. Once we were in the train, we waited for our turn (they load two trains at once and switch the tracks as necessary). We could see how the coaster started, and knew that we'd come out of the station and come to a complete stop before being storm-rushed forward. Well, after our "complete stop," our train rolled backward a few inches (which is supposed to happen, but it's so slight I couldn't see the other trains doing it and freaked out), then we flew forward and up like I had never seen before. In fact, we went 0-73mph in less than 2 seconds. It's called an accelerator coaster, and only goes about 200 feet high, so the ride goes pretty quickly, about 40 seconds or so.
We re-joined Jonathan's parents and we all went on the Kissing Tower, which has a nice view of the park, rotating as it goes up and back down. I got a few nice shots, but could have done much better if there had not been rain droplets all over the glass, LoL.
Lunch was catered, and was the standard fare of burgers, hot dogs, barbecued chicken, macaroni salad, fruit salad, and ice cream novelties. Burgers were okay, fruit salad was very fresh.

We hit up Great Bear, which is the park's only inverted coaster (meaning the track is above you and you're suspended). It's a smooth ride, very enjoyable, although I was surprised it didn't go higher. It's only a 90 foot climb and the first drop is 124 feet. We sat in the second row, but this is absolutely the easiest coaster to go front-row on. Of course, this is comparing it to some of the inverted monsters in Florida, of which there are quite a few. (in the photos below, you can see the train hanging from the track)

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