Plans are afoot for what could be a major expansion of Hersheypark.
"We are currently working through various concepts both internally and with a retained theme park master planning consultant," said Garrett Galllia, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts spokesman, in an emailed response to questions about future possible expansion on the former Parkview Golf Course land.
Now that the Park Boulevard realignment bordering Hersheypark was completed last fall, Hershey Entertainment could look toward expansion on the land remaining from the former Parkview Golf Course property which it owns, along with former pool and ballroom sites.
"I would characterize our planning process as being more towards the beginning than the end - with any actual master planning development being years off in the future," Gallia said.
"As you can imagine, a lot of ideas come and go as part of this process - so there's nothing that we are really able to report as being 'final' at this point," he said.
Hershey Entertainment donated about $9 million worth of land for the Park Boulevard realignment.
Some new life will be coming to the iconic SooperDooperLooper coaster this year. Amusement Today reported that the coaster's new Gerstlauer built trains have arrived at Hersheypark and have been loaded onto the coaster's storage track.
This set of two trains will be the third pair for the coaster. The classic Schwarzkopf coaster debuted back in 1977. During its first years the coaster ran trains that came straight from Schwarzkopf. However, in 1988 these trains were replaced by a set built by Giovanola in Switzerland. The Giovanola trains remained on the coaster until just recently as the new set from Gerstlauer.
Fans of tradition don't need to worry about any dramatic changes coming with these trains. The classic look has been preserved with the new trains. Most importantly, the new trains retain the individual ratcheting lap bars found on the older trains. This means that the trains still feature lap bars rather than over the shoulder restraints. Also, photographs of one of the trains have risen and revealed that it will be sporting a bright orange paint job.
Amusement Today also mentioned that one of the old trains has been donated to the National Roller Coaster Museum & Archives. That train left the park last week.
Rising out of the earth at Hersheypark will soon be a whole new breed of roller coaster –Skyrush, a mega/hyper coaster with winged seating. It will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the Park.
The train cars of the 200-foot-tall steel coaster will feature two floored seats flanked by two floorless, winged outer seats that will offer a staggering 270-degree panoramic viewing perspective. Skyrush, which will feature cantilevered trains that are to be the first of their kind in the United States, will cost approximately $25 million and raise the number of coasters inHersheypark to an even dozen.
The train will begin its skyward climb – at 26 feet per second – before it even leaves the station. Upon cresting the track’s peak, the train will plunge down an 85-degree descent and send riders rushing into the first of four high-speed, high-banked turns as they travel at speeds up to 75 mph. Riders will feel the rush of five exhilarating airtime hills and transition from positive to negative gravity as they cross over the entire length of Comet, the oldest roller coaster inHersheypark. Skyrush will travel over Spring Creek, the body of water that was a centerpiece when chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey opened his park in 1907, and race along nearly 3,600 feet of steel track back to its station.
The third Intamin coaster in the Hersheypark arsenal, Skyrush will join crowd favorites Storm Runner, built in 2004, and Fahrenheit, built in 2008. It promises to deliver the same high-intensity thrills that Park guests have come to expect from this renowned coaster manufacturer.
Skyrush will also bring a new coaster sightline to the Comet Hollow section of Hersheypark, where it will interact with Comet, a classic wooden out-and-back coaster that dates to 1946; sooperdooperLooper, which opened in 1977 as the first steel looping coaster on the East Coast; and Great Bear, which debuted in 1998 as the first looping, inverted steel coaster in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Hersheypark, which is well known for blending the past with both the present and the future as it offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience, is reclaiming about three acres of land that have been closed to the public since 1972. The land is the site of the Park’s former “Sunken Gardens,” a popular place for early visitors to Hershey to take a stroll. The area is now being transformed not only by the new coaster, but also by a renovation that will result in the creation of a scenic observation path that’s lined by globe streetlights, fencing, trees, landscaping and flowers. The area will allow guests to reflect on the Park’s history while watching riders on a state-of-the-art mega coaster.
The coaster’s station house is being modeled after historic train stations in the Hershey area. New restroom facilities, games and food stands will replicate the Park’s buildings of yesteryear, and a new floating fountain in Spring Creek will bring back memories of days gone by. For more information or to take a “virtual” ride on Skyrush, please visit http://www.Hersheypark.com.Hersheypark will open for its 2012 summer season on May 4, 2012; Skyrush is scheduled to open later that month.
Hersheypark back in September announced a new thrill dominating over the newly rethemed Carousel Circle into Founders Circle called Turbulence, which is a Frequent Faller coaster that would have been the first of its kind. Boasting a patriotic paintjob of Red, White, and Blue, the thrill sadly has been scrapped. On top of that, Hershey is suing Interactive Rides Inc. the manufacturers of the Frequent Faller model over the cost.But, Hershey has decided to bring back 2 old flat rides; Balloon Fite and Starship America attractions. Along with that, a new musical show for the park called "The Milkmen", which is a salute to... well... milk!You can read more on this HERE
Turbulence is set to arrive at Hersheypark next year just one season after Storm Runner. The new coaster comes from Interactive Rides as the first 'Frequent Faller' steel coaster model from that company.The concept of the Frequent Faller is that riders, carried 150 feet vertically on a pivoting vehicle, will descend a series of five vertical U-turns as it makes its way back to ground level. Turbulence's unique track configuration will make the coaster the first in the world to ride on a track turned ninety degrees on its side for the entire ride, while the actual car remains upright.Guests to Hersheypark next year will note not only the red, white, and blue structure of Turbulence as a change to the park's appearance, but also a complete revamping of the section it will call home. Currently named Carrousel Circle, the section will be rethemed into Founder's Circle, an area honoring park founder Milton Hershey.Estimates put the expansion, including Turbulence, at a cost of $4 million.
Hersheypark has made official that the name of the park's 2004 Intamin Rocket Coaster will indeed be Storm Runner, with the slogan 'Vertical Horsepower'.
The decision came after over 46,000 votes came in to Hersheypark over a two-week period for three name contenders, the other two being Renegade and Steel Stampede.
Hershey reports that there was a 3,000 vote difference between each of the names - Storm Runner winning over the competition with some 18,000 plus.
Storm Runner will be the first hydraulically-launched coaster to loop through three inversions when it debuts on Mother's Day Weekend of the 2004 season, with 2,600 feet of red track and speeds of up to seventy-five miles per hour.
Progress on the steel coaster has become visible over the past week with the first supports going vertical, and dozens of footers in place, with most of the ride's track currently on site at Hersheypark.
Hersheypark has made official the addition of an Intamin hydaulically-launched Rocket Coaster to become the first of its kind in the eastern United States and first coaster of its type to feature inversions.The coaster will blast off to 72 miles per hour in two seconds to climb vertically to the sky 15 stories, twisting on the way up and then taking on the first straight drop on a Rocket Coaster, a plunge of 180 feet, before taking on three inversions - a 135-foot sidewinder Hershey is calling a 'Cobra Loop', an elevated Heartline Roll, and a diving turn inversion composed of a half roll and half corkscrew
called a Flying Snake Dive.It will be located on a four-and-a-half-acre site (seen at right) where the track will interact with existing rides and encircle the Trailblazer mine train.The only thing yet to be decided on is a name... Unlike last year's Roller Soaker, Hershey has narrowed it down to three names: Renegade, Steel Stampede, and Storm Runner, and voting is open at the park's site.Voting ends on midnight, August 19th, so head on over to Hersheypark.com and get your vote in!