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Thursday, September 20, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.


The USA: for many people a real coaster-heaven. Again and again the big players among the amusement parks create new thrilling roller coasters which all pass daring manoeuvres and therefore impress the guests by their size and speed, regardless if they are made of wood or steel, if flying or inverted, or if they rush through multiple loops. One of these spectacular parks is Hersheypark which will be in focus this time.

Wooden Coaster "Comet"
The Hersheypark in Pennsylvania, located in the east of Harrisburg, actually began as a "side product" of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Originally, the park was meant to be a zone of recreation for the workers of the chocolate factory. In the beginning – since 1903 – picnic tables for lunch, a swimming pool and some smaller attractions were installed. In 1923, "Wild Cat", the first coaster, followed. However, today there are twelve roller coasters to explore. The park's area is rather small and so it comes out to be a little cramped, and so are the constructions of the coasters, which all stand relatively close to another. The entrance area is quite nice and leads into the park slightly downhill.

Right here, three coasters are waiting for the guests. The optically most dominant one is "Skyrush" with its 61 metres height by manufacturer Intamin, opened this season, which was constructed very close to the 1946 opened wooden coaster "Comet". Just a few steps away spans the layout of a B&M inverted coaster with the name "Great Bear". This coaster is located in a small valley with a little course of a river. Heading forward uphill and leaving the inverted coaster behind, guests can find a look-out tower, some kiddie rides as well as a log flume on top of the mountain. The valley seems really stuffed, because there is a looping coaster designed by Schwarzkopf installed between the log flume and the inverted coaster as well.

Intamin's Vertical Lift Coaster "Fahrenheit"
The northern park area is more roomy, characterised by a plain terrain and the attractions are not that constrained. In the centre of the park's western parts there are two zones with different water attractions. The smaller one named "East Coast Waterworks" is a water playground with several body slides. The bigger area provides a lazy river, a big wave pool and the "Roller Soaker". This is a suspended coaster with water canisters carrying on its cars which can be blown up above the heads of the bathers at the push of a button. The soaked people can shoot at the riders with water canons in return. This is real fun, but the pleasure gets a little damped down by the wide plazas of concrete in this area. Right next to the "Roller Soaker" there is a spill water ride installed as well. Apart from that, both water zones are surrounded by four big roller coasters: "Storm Runner", "Fahrenheit", "Wildcat" and "Lightning Racer".

Hersheypark offers a wide range of different and interesting roller coasters to the fans of thrill. Outside of the park, close to the entrance area, a visitor centre including a shop to buy chocolate and a indoor theme ride dedicated to the sweets can be found. A sample of Hershey's chocolate should definitely not be missed!

© parkscout/AM / Wolfgang Payer, Website

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