We arrived very early that Saturday. That's good because the rides were just opening and there was basically no queue, except for the newest addition, the Fahrenheit. In less than 2 hours (and on an empty stomach), we’ve been to heaven and hell, and survived the most thrilling rides Hersheypark has to offer.
It’s no wonder that the Fahrenheit attracts the most visitors. The best part is the slow, suspenseful 121 feet vertical (yes!) ascend that plunges, again, vertically to just a few feet above the ground. The rush was intense and I think it’s a great stress buster. I would have gone for it again had the queue been any shorter. The Great Bear roars as it speeds through the track at about 100 kmph...hanging. Awesomest! When I saw the complex formation of the Storm Runner, I told myself that this was going be one helluva freakin’ long and exciting ride. The website described the ride best - ...one-of-a-kind coaster will launch you from 0-72 mph in 2 seconds flat. 18 stories straight up, straight down. And that's just the beginning. The Sidewinder’s route may be shorter, but that’s just because it moves backwards too! A boomerang motion, they call it. Perhaps physiologically impossible but the reversal at top speed did, in a way, untangle the (ahem, slight) dizziness the previous few rides caused. One of the very last rides we had before leaving was The Claw. Oh, I like the sound of it…because it makes me hungry thinking about crabcakes. As the hand swung to about 64 feet in the air, the view, which included glimpses of the blinding evening sun and enthralled riders sitting on the opposite side, was beautiful. My mind began to wander and for a while, the world slowed. And the music of Sigur Rós came to life.
At The Boardwalk, summery songs blasted from the speakers. California Gurls, Don’t Worry Baby, Soak Up The Sun, the massive splashes and baking sunbathers – it was what I’d always imagined a fun summer day would be like in America.
And just to be sure, we’re still talking about central Pennsylvania.
And there was Dippin’ Dots, an ice cream that defies all conventions by being made into tiny frozen droplets. My first impression of this marvel is the resemblance to certain pellet-form rodenticides. A read on the web revealed that liquid nitrogen is used in the manufacturing process. Molecular gastronomy stuff comes to mind. Deep freezing means that it’s more resistive to heat and that’s perfect for a day that peaked at about 36 deg C. I had the tasty Banana Split flavour and enjoyed tonguing the spheres. No spoon required.
I came to this century old amusement park thinking that it's a fun place for kids, only kids. And I was right. For that whole Saturday, I was a kid again.