The final day of my trip was set to be spent at Hersheypark. I knew I had a couple credits I still needed to get there and its honestly one of my favorite parks.
Last night, my 12-year old cousin asked me if he could go with me, so I said sure. He unfortunately got sick this morning before we left and then again in the car, so after a brief delay to take care of that, we got to the park about 10:30. Now oddly enough, this was the furthest away I've ever had to park. Typically, I've always parked right by the stadium when I've arrived but this time, I was all the way behind Chocolate World, so Reece and I had a long walk to the front gate.
We got through security quickly, unlike my episode with Madea at Great Adventure and then headed right for SkyRush, because that's what a good cousin does to his 12-year old cousin who was nauseous all morning and never rode anything more intense than Impulse or Steel Force. We put our stuff in a complimentary locker (which is a GREAT idea Hersheypark, thank you for that), and got in line. After about a ten minute wait, we got back row and off we went. Now, for those that complain about thigh-pinching, it was MUCH worse when the ride first opened. That said, I usually keep some space between myself and the bar since I know that the ride op will push it down some and then throughout the ride, it will tighten up. It really only hurt me once or twice, the first turn after the drop and then one of the last turns near the end. The rest of the ride is fantastic.
After Skyrush, we went to get our bags out of the lockers, which jammed up. We looked for a worker and were told they had to go to a different locker bay to take care of a problem and that lockers jamming was a common problem. After ten minutes, I walked over the worker at Skyrush, who gave me her height checker thing and told me to not let anybody in the entrance. So while the line backed up and people were giving me crap about it, she was running around trying to call for someone to come help. I commend her for that, but I don't think its standard operating procedure to put a customer in charge of your job temporarily. A worker finally showed up with a crowbar and popped our lockers for us.
Next up, we went to Storm Runner, which is still by-far one of my absolute favorites, despite being such a short ride. I love the launch and the Cobra loop especially. I did not tell Reece about the launch and he somehow didn't see it as we walked up, so it was a huge shock to him and his face in his picture was priceless. He was actually looking at me like "WHAT THE HELL CUZ!".
After Storm Runner, I decided to hit missing credit #1, which was Sidewinder. Now, I hate boomerangs, but with the new restraints (the same ones as Mind Eraser at SFNE), there was zero headbanging and its exceptionally smooth. So smooth that I actually got dizzy on the backwards portion, which typically doesn't happen. I probably won't ever ride it again, but it is by-far my favorite boomerang at this point.
Missing credit #2 was next and that was Laff Track. It was really our only wait of the day, which ended up being about 15 minutes or so. Interestingly, the Laff Track building from the outside looks massive, but there are only three small rows of switchbacks once you get inside and then the loading platform. The area where the track is housed is honestly not that big, so its really deceptive. The ride itself I thought was just ok. There wasn't all that much free-spinning as I thought there would be and the twists and turns were not nearly as fun as I expected. The fun-house theme is alright and the black lights in the station were a cool touch, but the rest was just alright.
We grabbed some quick lunch near the front of the park before I went off to take some pictures. I was sort of disappointed at the lack of pic spots available for Wildcat and even Wild Mouse (there's open spots but just not good ones). Reece got in line for SooperDooperLooper, but it got stuck coming out of the station and went down for awhile. I walked back over to Skyrush, and I never knew there was a path around the lagoon until then. It is a great place to take pictures as the train comes around the corner. I made a circle back around and then we walked back up the path and we went into the Kissing Tower for some overhead pics and then went to ZooAmerica for awhile just for a change of pace.
ZooAmerica is always decent, but I wasn't as impressed as I've been in the past. Lots of empty exhibits, lots of animals sleeping doing nothing (which in the heat I know is typical). The funniest thing happened at the end though. I was taking pictures of the eagles and trying to get them to look at me, so I made a squawking noise and the one eagle gave me the death stare. I wasn't sure how to react at all honestly.
After ZooAmerica, we headed back and rode missing credit #3, which was Trailblazer. Now, typically the Arrow mine trains are rough and boring, but this one, especially with the Premier trains they put in three years ago was fantastic. It wasn't a horribly exciting ride or anything, but it was smooth and had decent speed. I actually enjoyed it.
Once we finished up Trailblazer, I told Reece I would follow him around and take pics while he rode some rides. He rode Wildcat, Lightning Racer, Wild Mouse and Comet, and I took some pics of the latter three, including one of him on Lightning Racer. I went off towards Skyrush because I wanted a shirt but not the blue/white tie-dye-looking one. Unfortunately, there isn't a shop over there, so I figured I'd find one in one of the shops on the way out.
Well, I found a couple of pins (Lightning Racer and Fahrenheit) in the shop just outside the park, but never did find a Skyrush shirt. Its alright though, I was able to snag a bunch of maps and I consider the day a success, having gotten in my missing credits and hitting some of my favorite coasters for the first time in 3 years (namely Skyrush and Storm Runner).
**We did not ride Fahrenheit or Great Bear. Reece didn't really want to go on either of them and Fahrenheit actually had a pretty long line.**