Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
General Resort News - (7/12/20) While Hersheypark has just reopened, the park has already confirmed that they will be cutting back their hours of operation. Starting July 13 the daily hours for the park will change to 11am to 7pm, down from the previous schedule of 10am to 9pm.
(7/10/20) Hersheypark has made a major change to their procedures for season passholders to visit the park. According to PennLive the park has now dropped the requirement for season passholders to make a reservation to visit. Please remember that regular day guests do still need to make a reservation to visit.
(7/5/20) Another fun video showing off what a visit to Hersheypark is like now has been posted by the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark channel. Check it out below for a good look around, especially of the new Chocolatetown entry land.
In other news, while my gut feeling is that Storm Runner is closed due to maintenance issues, likely involving the troublesome launch system, a few readers have pointed out another possible complication. The local news has posted a story about a father who has filed a lawsuit against Hersheypark and Intamin over an incident that took place on Storm Runner in 2018. According to the lawsuit, while no one was hurt in the end, they claim a situation occurred that could have resulted in the death of his 9-year old son. He and his son boarded Storm Runner and while he lowered his own restraint, the ride op on the other side of the train failed to check on the restraint for his son, which was still in the raised position. The story goes on to say that the ride ops dispatched the coaster train with his son’s restraint not locked at all. In a panic his son stood up and jumped out of the train to safety and was unharmed.
The lawsuit against Hersheypark is for damages and trauma over the near-accident that could have turned lethal, and an extension of the lawsuit goes against Intamin who designed and built the coaster, claiming that the design should not allow the train to be dispatched at all when the restraints are not locked. While I have no way to know just how true any of this claim is, I do have to agree in principle with the technical aspect of the lawsuit, that there should be a failsafe to prevent the ride from being dispatched (or launched) if any restraints are still in the unlocked position. Of course, there very well could be one already built into the ride, making the scenario described impossible, but we would need some feedback from anyone who has worked on Storm Runner to verify it.
(6/28/20) A little bad news from Hersheypark as it was confirmed that the park’s Storm Running coaster is officially ‘Closed For The Season”. Storm Running is an Intamin Hydraulic Launch coaster and while Hersheypark has had great fortune with much of their Intamin fleet of coasters, but when the hydraulic launch system on these style coasters does start to fail, they often do so in spectacular fashion. The end result is the park is forced to close the ride for several months even in the best of times, so given the world pandemic problems that would cause even further delays to the shipping of new equipment, this only makes sense. Add in that there could be serious travel complications if they need a tech from Intamin to come from Europe to oversee the installation, the hole only gets deeper for Hersheypark.
Other Intamin coasters with similar launch systems such as Xcelerator, Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka have all suffered from bouts of extended downtime over the years. Intamin themselves are said to have retired this “Accelerator” style launch system, with the last one built being Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Following this, all Intamin launched coasters have returned to using magnetic launch systems instead, even on coaster designs that would have previously used the hydraulic launch system, such as Red Force at Ferrari Land in Spain. It does make me wonder if it could be possible to upgrade older rides like Storm Force to use a magnetic launch system instead, or if the launch distance is just too short.
In other coaster news Hersheypark is also reporting that SooperdooperLooper will also be “temporarily closed” for the start of the season.
(6/13/20) Hersheypark has now officially confirmed that the theme park will open to guests once again on July 3rd, along with the introduction of Candymonium, the park’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster. Reservations will be required to visit the park, along with face-masks to be worn throughout the day. Guests will also be asked to pass a temperature screening prior to entry into Hersheypark.
(6/8/20) While Hersheypark has yet to reopen, the resort was able to reopen the Hershey’s Chocolate World location just outside the entrance. According to the video report seen below none of the attractions inside are running, and neither is the food court, only the retail area and bakery area are open currently. Visitors just wear masks and pass a temperature screening to gain entry. Also, very important to know, you actually need a free ‘timed entry pass’ to get in as well, which you can get on their website. Visits are limited to just two hours inside maximum, and guests inside wear a sticker on their shirt with the time they were allowed inside.
(5/30/20) Hersheypark has announced a small update about their future operations schedule. Currently they do not have permission to reopen and do not know when that will come. Those with 2020 season passes will have them extended to cover as many days into the 2021 season as you lose from the 2020 season, so that is great to know. Those with pre-purchased day tickets for the season will be allowed to use them for any public operating day through to June 30, 2021.
This later part may give us a slight hint as to when they think they could possibly reopen, aiming for a late June to July 4th weekend timeframe perhaps. Again, that’s just my speculation and even the park can not predict what will happen until the state grants the county the park is in a proper status to reopen the park. (Green I think…)
(4/14/20) A new update from Hersheypark now says that the current plan for the park is that they hope they will be able to open in early June. They’ve also sent out some good news to Passholders, as of right now all current 2020 Season Passes will now be extended through to June 30th, 2021 instead of ending in 2020. If you are on a payment plan, all payments due are now “paused” until they can reopen Hersheypark. Once the park opens, other special benefits will be added such as Bring-A-Friend tickets and more.
2020 - ChocolateTown / Candymonium - (7/3/20) I’m happy to report that Candymonium opens to all riders today, but according to those who visited on the preview dates, the ride is a blast. Check out the POV of Candymonium in action below to get a look at all the action, as well as the fun of rolling out over the open landscape over trees and water moving away from the park instead of through it. In many ways this reminds me of the experience of Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is always a pleasure.
(6/29/20) A new construction update showing off Chocolatetown at Hersheypark has been posted to All American Thrills this week with 60 new pictures plus a video.
(5/13/20) A new video showing off the testing of Candymonium at Hersheypark caught the new coaster making test runs with all three of the different themed trains being cycled: Hershey Kisses, Twizzlers and the Reese’s trains. I’m a fan of the Reese’s train, the orange train looks great on the chocolate colored track.
Keep a close watch near the end of the video and they even caught a glimpse of a person taking a test ride on the coaster as well.
(5/7/20) Candymonium at Hersheypark was spotted making the first official test run on May 5th. Check out the videos below to see Candymonium in action. It really seems to be moving at a good speed, so it really should be going good once it opens.
(4/8/20) According to PennLive, construction at Hersheypark on the new Chocolatetown main entrance area and the new Candymonium roller coaster have been stopped due to the virus outbreak. Hersheypark has been forced to delay the opening of the theme park for the 2020 season, but the pause is construction will also delay the opening of the new entrance and coaster as well.
(3/17/20) Disney Lovers and Hersheypark posted a new video showing off the progress of things at Hersheypark as of a week ago. The construction walls have been moved letting them get much closer to the new front gate area. Later on they take a look around the Candymonium ride area as well as some of the final landscaping and earthmoving is getting done, with ride testing expected to happen very soon. Oh, and look for the shot of Fanhenheit near the end of the video, because it has been repainted and looks bright and brand new again.
(2/5/20) A new video construction update from Hersheypark has been posted by Disney Lovers at Hersheypark showing off the progress on the park’s new main gate and Chocolatetown area. Plus another look at Candymonium!
(1/30/20) A fun construction video from Hersheypark showing off the progress on Chocolatetown and Candymonium has been posted by Disney Lovers at Hersheypark. Check it out below.
(1/10/20) Hersheypark has posted a fantastic fly-over the park in the winter, giving us a wintery preview of the new Chocolatetown entrance land as well as the new Candymonium coaster.
(12/31/19) A new construction update showing off Candymonium at Hersheypark can be found at the CoasterTalkNoBSZone blog. Scroll down a bit and it also appears that Fahrenheit has received a very nice and bright new paint job as well and looks quite stunning.
(11/28/19) A new video construction update of the progress on ChocolateTown and Candymonium at Hersheypark can be seen below as the coaster’s lift hill and first drop have now been completed.
(11/21/19) MajorMega, a VR attraction company that is new to me is currently showing off a pretty interesting new attraction at IAAPA this week called Hyperdeck. The compact Hyperdeck setup (only 300sqft) allows for four players to enter the game world simultanoisly, each given a gun turret style control to operate in one of the four corners of the play area. The play area is where this gets really special, powered by D-BOX motion technology the entire game floor tilts and rumbles along with the action of the game, while the arena itself is outfitted with various sensory effects to generate heat, wind and more.
Adding onto the experience, there are stations mounted outside the game that allow spectators to join in the experience by interacting with the players, either by dropping power-ups and perks to the players they like, or punish the player they don’t like with a little explosion. (I like to think of this as being the VR-game equivalent of those water cannon stations placed alongside a rapids ride allowing those who are high and dry to deliver a little extra soaking to the riders.)
It looks like Hyperdeck was running for a test period over part of the summer at Hersheypark and apparently they will be back with an all new location as part of the new Chocolate Town in 2020. Check out the video below to see a little of Hyperdeck in action.
If anyone knows about any other location where it is up and running, let me know. I’d love to see it first-hand myself somewhere.
(11/6/19) Hersheypark has topped off the 210 foot tall lift hill for Candymonium this week. You can watch the video of it happening in the clip below.
(10/27/19) A new video showing off the construction progress of Candymonium at Hersheypark can be found below.
(10/11/19) Hersheypark shared their own picture of the Candymonium lift hill rising up into the sky this week on Instagram.
(10/8/19) A new video showing off the construction progress at Hersheypark on the new entrance and Candymonium coaster can be found below.Another reader also sent in a couple of photos as well, so enjoy!
(8/13/19) A new 2020 construction update from Hersheypark has been posted to YouTube by All American Thrills showing off a lot more of the 2020 coaster track and supports now sitting on site at the park.
(7/26/19) Hersheypark has confirmed their new 2020 coaster as being called Candymonium, a new B&M Hypercoaster that will have a 210 foot lift hill before taking on massive drops and 7 camelback hills for that airtime goodness at speeds up to 76 mph. They also tell us that there will be a section where Candymonium and Skyrush cross paths… an element they are calling “Candyrush”. The total track length is 4,636 feet and will feature three different themed trains: Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Twizzlers.
Check out the video below to see what Candymonium will look like in action when it opens next year.
(7/18/19) All American Thrills has posted a new video from Hersheypark where they check in on the 2020 coaster construction site, with a look at what appears to be the new station building now going up, along with even more of the coaster’s brake run track installed just outside the station. Looks like they are trying to move very quickly with this project.
(7/17/19) A reader came upon a couple of big trucks hauling that chocolate brown MC-R track along the highway, heading in the direction towards Hersheypark and sent in a couple of quick photo snaps.
(7/16/19) One of our readers dropped by Hersheypark this week and grabbed a photo of the new 2020 coaster track already in place.
(7/12/19) Brown B&M track for the “Candymonium” 2020 coaster has not only arrived at Hersheypark, but a couple of sections of straight station track and supports have also already gone vertical at the park. Meanwhile Hersheypark has also confirmed that they will show off the design of this new coaster at a special presentation in the park on July 24th inside the Music Box Theater at 10:30am. Passholders will get admitted as early a 10am at a special entrance where the first 500 to arrive will get to go inside for the unveiling.
(6/21/19) A new video from ALT (see below) shows the pieces for the Hersheypark 2020 coaster project that have already arrived on-site. So far we’ve got a couple of track pieces that are likely transfer track or station track, and a bunch of supports and steel that are likely for the station or maintenance shed.
(6/20/19) Hersheypark has announced that they will unveil the design of the park’s 2020 coaster project (the park’s 15th coaster) on July 24th. Meanwhile I’m hearing that the first load of chocolate brown track and some support pieces have started to arrive at the park. Anyone able to get a photo? (Without trespassing of course… that’s never good.)
(6/16/19) New pictures from the B&M Track plant taken last week show more of the chocolate brown track in place that we all assume is for the new Hersheypark 2020 coaster with the label “MCR” on them. Also onsite is a new batch blue painted track labeled MCT which could possibly be for whatever Kings Island is cooking up in 2020.
(5/15/19) Hersheypark has filed for a new trademark to use the name “Candymonium” for a new amusement park ride, “in the nature of a roller coaster”. So looks like we have our first working name for the new B&M coaster opening in 2020, though don’t be surprised if they file for an extra backup name or two. We know the new Chocolatetown area will be home to the “world’s sweetest fountain”, but looks like the park also filed to trademark the phrase, “The World’s Sweetest Coaster” as well.
(5/4/19) During a visit to check out the Clermont Steel Fabricators site in Ohio, WildGravityTravels spotted track on site labeled for two new B&M megacoasters in the works. Much of the painted track was labeled as being for megacoaster “R”, and was painted a very chocolate brown color. Their best guess, and mine opinion as well, is that this would be for the announced coaster coming to Hersheypark in 2020 that will inhabit the new ChocolateTown main-gate area now under construction.
It is also worth mentioning that there was also unpainted megacoaster track on site for a “T” layout going to an unknown location. They were hoping it might be for whatever Kings Island has planned in 2020, but we wont know for sure. And for those wondering why the track letters jumped from R to T, skipping S, is that I believe they skip certain letters in the series that may be confused for numbers… so there is never an O as it looks too much like a zero, and S could be skipped for looking like a 5. Of course add in the fact that these labels are given during the planning process, and sometimes the pieces are manufactured out of order. Once the Hershey track gets shipped off, I’d keep an eye out DM or D6 track pieces to start appearing for the future Mako Dive Machine going to SeaWorld San Diego in 2020.
(10/4/18) Hersheypark has announced their plans for 2020, which as expected, include a new grand entry plaza and a giant new roller coaster at a budget of $150 million across 23-acres.
The new entrance area will be called Chocolatetown and be located between the park’s current entry plaza area and the nearby Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction just outside. The new plaza area will include a large new Hershey branded retail store, an ice cream shop, a huge kettle corn stand along with the largest restaurant in the park that will include a full bar and outdoor patio. Inside the park will also relocate the park’s classic carousel to a new home here, along with adding a Hershey’s Kiss themed fountain where the park’s newest coaster will take a lap around. Speaking of the new coaster, they didn’t offer any details but the concept art clearly looks like a classic B&M Hypercoaster style design, and Hersheypark would only say it will be the park’s longest, tallest and fastest coaster when it opens in 2020.
This means it will be bigger/faster than Skyrush, which stands 200 feet tall, has 3,600 feet of track and hits a top speed of 75mph. Look for construction to begin on Chocolatetown sometime this January, and check out the official animation of the new expansion below.