Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
General Resort News - (4/8/15) AllAmericanThrills has posted a brief report from the opening weekend of Hersheypark.
2015 - Laff Trakk - (5/29/15) In The Loop has posted a video look at Hersheypark’s new Laff Trakk coaster, which includes some video footage shot on the ride. Check it out.
(5/28/15) Screamscape sent one of our lucky readers on our behalf to check out the opening of Hersheypark's new Laff Trakk coaster, and send back an in depth review. (see below!)
I had the opportunity to participate in the Laff Trakk media preview on May 19th at Hershey Park. Fortunately, the event took place in the evening which allowed for my kids to get most of their school day in before starting the 2-hour drive to Hershey. This is important to note because as a parent with four kids ages 4-12, it truly helps give me a great perspective on whether or not they hit the mark with their target audience – families. I knew this would be a risk, albeit a minor one but a risk nonetheless because there was a chance my 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son might change their mind about riding once we arrived. My older two sons will basically ride any roller coaster out there while my younger two are still exploring. Indoor and spinning definitely had them concerned. Fortunately, I knew a few other family attractions in the area would also be open which would help keep them occupied if they decided against riding the new attraction.
First, it is probably worth mentioning how they came up with Laff Trakk… The creative geniuses at Raven Sun Creative took inspiration from researching iconic Hershey Park Fun Houses and set a goal of recreating a nostalgic Fun House but with the latest in technology. It would definitely appear they succeeded in creating what will become a new instant classic at Hershey Park!
Once the very nice opening ceremony finished up, which was hosted by Kathy Burrows, Mgr of Public Relations, GM Kevin Stumpf and of course, a bunch of our favorite chocolate friends, we were able to run inside to not only ride Laff Trakk but also see the queue for the first time. Before I get to the ride experience itself, let me just say how great of a job the folks at Hershey and Raven Sun Creative did on the overall attraction. Everything from the landscaping to the building theming are very well done and fit beautifully into their surroundings. To be honest, I was concerned seeing the box going up over the winter months as it really didn’t fit in and seemed as though it might hurt the overall aesthetics of the area. Now that it’s complete with trim, color, themed elements and the LED light package (looks amazing at night!), it has completely transformed the look of the structure, in a good way!
Once inside, what could have been a basic queue was actually quite enjoyable with the funhouse mirrors located in the first indoor section. The kids couldn’t get enough of this and actually had me cracking up at times as well. After the mirror room you begin to approach the loading area and you immediately notice the addition of black light with some of the art on the walls while the load/unload area contains traditional lighting with fantastic art as a backdrop. I actually appreciated this because not only does it make it easier to see while loading and unloading but it also makes for a greater impact when entering the show building. Once secure in the very comfortable 4-person train, you begin your journey into a very immersive coaster experience. Not knowing what to expect, my first ride was with my older two boys. They actually opted to ride backwards while I went up the lift hill, through Laffing Sal’s mouth, facing forward. This turned out to not make much of a difference other than the 50-foot first drop (which is awesome!) due to the ride vehicles rotating/spinning as each ride was different but this Maurer Sohne creation was very smooth, surprisingly fast at 40MPH and lots of fun! The spinning, which overall isn’t too intense, allows for some great positioning and nice light pops of air during various portions of the layout. Depending on the circumstances, you can really end up spinning quite a bit but that appears to be mostly based on where the weight is positioned on the train and how fast you are going through the layout. The brakes seemed to sometimes pinch more on some rides than others which I have assume has more to do with each train position more than anything.
The combination of a great ride system, music, sound effects and fantastic hand-painted glowing art made for a wonderful and immersive experience. A testament of this was that my boys wanted to immediately run around and get right back in line (judging by the lines we won’t be doing that again anytime soon!). This led to my younger two joining us along with my wife, who is definitely not a coaster fan. Not only did everybody love Laff Trakk but there were multiple re-rides to be had. The fact that this ride was just as fun for a 4 year old as it was for a coaster junkie enthusiast like myself was truly impressive.
Finally, I need to point out the addition of two new food locations. Hershey was kind enough to have these new offerings available during our time at the park and while I’m sure many of us are already familiar with Moe’s Southwest Grill, the surprise for me was the addition of The Outpost. For park guests with food allergies, The Outpost offers gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options. This doesn’t necessarily impact directly me but I know this is huge news for many of my friends and family and we actually found all of the offerings quite good. Also, I’m sure most will appreciate the new “Makin’ Whoopie Pies” offering. I know we did!
Thank you to everyone at Hershey Park, Raven Sun Creative and Maurer Sohne for creating such a wonderful attraction and thank you to Hershey Park for your wonderful hospitality. It was a memorable evening and we look forward to coming back over the course of the 2015 season to enjoy Laff Trakk and the other amazing attractions at Hershey Park!
Hershey Park has a winner on their hands with Laff Trakk as it is just so much fun; especially since you are able to ride with friends and family. Having another indoor attraction that can be open during bad weather and over the Holiday season is icing on the cake! Just be sure to get in line early as its popularity is commanding some long wait-times!
(8/12/14) Hersheypark has confirmed their 2015 attraction as Laff Trakk, an indoor dark fun-house themed spinning “Glow Coaster”. It may even drive you mad to ride it, as I’m hearing it will have the infamous “Laughing Sal” audio track playing over and over while you ride it.
The coaster is actually a Maurer-Sohne creation, featuring their outward facing cars (7 of them), which will work better visually as I pointed out previously. However instead of hallways, think of this as looking more like Disney’s Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, with a bunch of larger than life 2D black-light cut-outs all around you inside one large dark room. Stats: 1,400 feet of track, aproximately a 70 second ride, 40mph and will accomidate 850 riders per hour. It will be located between the Whip and Midway Tent.