When I visited Hersheypark in the Dark back on the first day I really didn’t think I’d make it back. Thanks to a lightened schedule and an understanding husband I did make it back on Friday, November 1. I didn’t arrive until 4:30pm but the park was not busy at all, much less busy than on the first night I visited. That is great for me since I prefer to get photos without people in them.
I had had a goal of getting all the Halloween themed ride signs the last time I visited and I missed the ones in Carrousel Circle so the first thing I did was make sure I got those.
I noticed quite a few new (to me) things visiting the park this time. First was the temporary change to the directional sign at the crossroads with the entrance to the Hollow. You can see that above. Looks really nice all black and orange. I also noticed some new lanterns being put up in various places, this one on one of the Monorail supports. These are really needed as much of the park is darker than dark during the fall and winter season.
I spent a lot of time just walking and taking pictures. Things change so fast at the parks sometimes, just minor things, that I like to take lots of pictures to help me remember how things used to be. I have memory issues so pictures are the only way to ensure I have something to fall back on.
Got my usual kid’s size twist cone which is now up to $1.89 with my season pass. I bet it breaks $2 next year. So sad but still a bargain compared to the nearly $4 for a regular sized cone which is way too much ice cream for me.
Spent some time chatting with a security guard who said his favorite coaster is Skyrush – but he only sits on wing seats. Good tip from what I hear. He said that’ll be his favorite until they build a the next one. Hmm…. makes ya wonder, doesn’t it?
I also went to ZooAmerica to take some daylight pictures this time and I stumbled on this very large, very odd-looking fish aquarium. Yes, yes, it is shaped like a Jolly Rancher. I talked to the guy behind the desk about it since I didn’t think it was there the last time I came into the gift shop but maybe I missed it. He said it was new, that it was actually built for Chocolate World but they ended up setting it up in the ZooAmerica gift shop. He said it was supposed to be featured on the National Geographic Channel or something.
I did some web research and indeed National Geographic Channel has a show called Fishtank Kings. No mention of this particular fishtank but then again I could only find info for 2012.
Took a stroll around the zoo (it is dark folks, bring a flashlight), tried to get the magpies to talk to me. Nope, nothing. Saw the Bigfoot Crossing sign but it was only a cut-out bigfoot tonight, not the real on.
Then left the zoo to stare at the Flying Falcon. Man I love this ride. No, I don’t ride it – no way! But I love watching it. What a piece of machinery. I’ve had a soft spot for it ever since I saw it dismantled at Springtime in the Park in 2011. It looked like a wounded animal then and I felt bad for it. (See my photos in the ride post here.) I know it has its problems and I’ve seen it get stuck more than once this year plus everyone says the park is going to get rid of it, but it is one of the last of its kind and that makes me wish to see it hold that spot on the hill for a long, long time.
Right before I left I took a spin on the train. Sat in the first seat behind the water tank for the first time ever. I won’t be doing that again. I’m afraid of heights and just a little too much of the track was visible. Janelle was my engine and I was sad to see some of the Halloween effects were not working (like the corpse rising from the coffin) but new sound features were added which were pretty cool.
I exited the park through the water path by Skyrush and answered a question I had from before. I wondered if you put your hands on one of the cement supports to the ride, would they shake when the ride went over them. There are several places where the supports are close enough to do this right from the path so I gave it a shot. And yes, they do shake… and they shake for a good 30 seconds after the train is gone as well. Pretty neat.
That’s it for this trip report, won’t be back to Hershey until it is redone for Christmas in a couple weeks.
I noticed on Dutch Wonderland’s website that they have changed the minimum height requirements to ride the bumper cars to 42″ which is the amber level. It used to be 36″. In fact the Happy Hauntings map still shows Emerald as being able to ride.
When I visited the park tonight I snapped a photo of the ride sign with the new notice. Looking at the sign in full you can see that the emerald class has been removed:
Here is what it looked like before the change:
I was at Dutch Wonderland today to catch Happy Hauntings before it closes for 2013 and I noticed on the one entrance sign they were announcing an auction for November 4th. I wondered WHAT they were auctioning. Well, turns out I didn’t have to wonder since I could just wander through the things up for auction. Nobody stopped me as I snapped pictures of the items. It was the Statue of Liberty that made me notice them. She looked out of place next to the maintenance building. The statue used to be visible from the Gondola Cruise.
Here is where the statue used to live.
In case you weren’t aware, Dutch Wonderland has made significant changes to the island area of the park. I’ve heard they are using that area for a new turnpike location in 2014 and also that the Riverboats will become safari cruisers in 2015. Not sure how much of that will actually happen (the Breyers shop in front of the park was supposed to become a restaurant but that never happened either.)
Here is a photo of the island demolition from April 2013, you can just see the Statue of Liberty in the distance on the right side and the ferris windmill support in the center (it is blue.)
As you might have guessed from the photo above, also a casualty of this new island development is the Ferris Windmill. This ride has been in place in the park at least since the 1970′s since I rode it when I went there as a child. I was hoping they would find a home for it someplace else in the park but I guess that wasn’t to be. Sad to see it go. Here is a picture of it from April 2013 when only the tower remained after construction was underway (this is from the back). You can see the red and blue gondolas sitting on the ground behind the fence.
And here it was all in one piece back in 2011.
You can see more pictures from the auction and Dutch Wonderland on my Flickr page here.
And just because I’m learning to love YouTube, here is a video of a girl named Annabelle on the Ferris Windmill from back in 2012.
You can also see the island pre-construction in this gondola video from last year.