Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
General Resort News - (8/5/22) The Wildcat at Hersheypark is now closed for good… or at least until RMC or someone else transforms it into something entirely new for next season. A fun farewell tribute video to the Wildcat can be seen below, including footage of the final riders returning to the station at the end of the night on July 31st, 2022.
(7/14/22) They teased it earlier this year and now we finally have details about what Hersheypark has in store for this Halloween season. They are calling the event “Dark Nights” for finally Hersheypark is about to get their “Haunt” on this season at long last. Dark Nights will bring three scare zones (Valley of Fear, Darkstone’s Hollow and Midway of Misery) to the park along with four haunted house experiences during the run of the event from Sept. 17 through to Oct. 30, 2022. The four haunt are:
The Descent - Find out who or what lurks in the dark underground tunnels hidden beneath Hersheypark.
Creature Chaos - Professor Darkstone wants you to meet the most fearful and deadly creatures in Pennsylvania.
Haunted Coal Mine - Venture into long abandoned coal mines where you can still hear the cries of miners lost forever inside from over the years.
Twisted Darkness - Enter a Carnival of Nightmares for an encounter with a twisted fortune teller.
The good news is that admission to Dark Nights is included with park admission… the bad news is that Hersheypark is taking the worst page out of the Six Flags playbook and will charge guests to purchase a separate upcharge ticket for $24.95 if they want to see any of the haunts. So to break it down, guests will have to pay for separate admission to the park itself first (or use an annual pass), and then pay another $24.95 per person if you want to enjoy the haunted houses.)
(7/9/22) Hersheypark Announces The Closure of the Wildcat Coaster
(3/17/22) Hersheypark has announced that the park will be going “cashless” starting April 2nd. In other words they will only accept payment through credit cards, debit cards, Hersheypark gift cards and mobile payment methods (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay). The park will have some Cash-To-Card kiosks to convert your hard cash into pre-paid debit cards.
Hersheypark isn’t the only park going cashless as Cedar Fair tested the process out at select parks for the 2021 season and is moving all of their parks, including nearby Dorney Park, to be entirely cashless chainwide for the 2022 season.
(3/5/22) Hersheypark dropped an interesting hint on their IG account yesterday, claiming that the popular Hersheypark In The Dark event that takes place for the Halloween season “is about to get darker” and feature “all-new thrilling experiences”. This is a fascinating development as Hersheypark In The Dark has always been a purely family friendly Halloween event without offering any scare-zones or haunted house style experiences for older guests, but it sounds like this could be changing this year.
The timing is interesting as well, as we’ve seen a couple of Cedar Fair parks drop their Haunt events in favor of offering only a kid-friendly event, and there are rumors that a few select Six Flags parks may do the same. So the timing to launch a new haunt event at Hersheypark couldn’t have been better… if indeed, this is what Hersheypark is planning. We can dream, but until they announce and confirm the details, we’ll just have to wait patiently.
2022 - Jolly Rancher ReMix and Mix’d - (5/15/22) A Screamscape reader sent in a picture taken at Hersheypark on Friday, as the construction walls around the new Mix’d ride had been removed, offering a good unobstructed view of the new ride seated in the cradle of the Jolly Rancher ReMix coaster’s boomerang element. Passholder previews on the new rides are set for next weekend and the grand opening set for the following weekend.
(5/6/22) According to Hersheypark, both the Jolly Rancher Remix coaster (formerly Sidewinder) and the new Mix’d flat ride (Zamperla NebulaZ) will both open to the public on Saturday, May 28th, following some passholder preview dates on May 20, 21 and 22).
(2/25/22) Hersheypark just surprised everyone this week with an unexpected announcement involving a new ride and the rethemeing of another ride. Both will be themed around the Jolly Rancher candy.
The unexpected news about adding a new ride this season comes in the former of an awesome looking Zamperla Nebulaz ride to be named “Mix’d Flavored by Jolly Rancher”, or simply Mix’d. If you’ve never seen this kind of ride in action, the motion is mesmerizing to watch as the numerous arms on the ride rise and fall, while turning around on a central post. Look for Mix’d to be placed right in the cradle of the boomerang element on the park’s former Sidewinder coaster.
And yes, I said “former”, because Sidewinder is getting repainted in right Jolly Rancher themed colors and will now be renamed as Jolly Rancher ReMix. There appears to be some other upgrades coming with the new ride experience because the description of the ride says, “Blast through the flavor tunnel, invert 6 times in 90 seconds, and jam to sweet tunes. The best part? Each ride is different!”
I’m not sure how the “sweet tunes” works but I’m guessing they have added an audio system placed along sections of the ride’s track. The “Flavor Tunnel” is also intriguing as a concept, as the official description describes the addition as, “Experience 5 randomized Jolly Rancher flavor rides like Watermelon or Green Apple complete with different music, lights, and more! What ride will be your favorite?” It’s the “more” part that has me really curious, as it is the flavor tunnel, and while you obviously aren’t going to eat anything while being shot through the tunnel, it would be a neat trick to blast the tunnel full of the scents for different Jolly Rancher flavors as you pass through.
I may be dreaming a bit high there, but either way the combo will make a fun and colorful Jolly Rancher themed area to the park for the 2022 season. The repaint on the Sidewinder is already in progress.
2023 - Wildcat Upgrade - (7/9/22) Big news came from Hersheypark yesterday afternoon when the park announced that their Wildcat wooden coaster will be closing on July 31st. The text says this is a “Last to ride alert!” to “visit for one final ride.” But while they tease that the ride is closing for good, they also ask an interesting question, “Any suggestions on what we could do with 3,100 feet of wooden track? Stay tunes for details later this year.”
Of course this has led everyone to call this out as an RMC hybrid conversion. In fact, RMC themselves responded to this tweet with one of their own, claiming that “We have a few ideas…” On a related note, you may also remember guests spotting odd blue paint markings along the Wildcat’s supports. At the time we were told it was for in-park inspection purposes and not part of an RMC conversion. While this may prove if RMC does come in to convert Wildcat into a Hybrid coaster, I do have another theory.
GCI has been making some small headlines lately with the creation of their “Titan Track”, a new steel track product designed to compete with RMC’s own hybrid track system. (Note: it is also important to remember that Skyline Attractions is also responsible for the creation of the Titan Track system. Skyline describes it as being an “innovative, weld-free track, which Skyline Attractions designed and engineered for Great Coasters International, Inc. Titan Track is a unique roller coaster track that consists of custom-built steel composite sections that are mechanically fastened without the need for continuous welds or cold-forming techniques. This method reduces maintenance, expedites the installation process, and offers an incredibly smooth and quiet ride experience.”
A test run of Titan Track has been running on the White Lightning coaster at Fun Spot for a couple of years now, and this season GCI added sections of Titan Track to Predator at Six Flags Darien Lake and to Wolverine Wildcat at Michigan’s Adventure. While the Fun Spot addition was a proof of concept of the product located in Orlando so GCI could show it off for potential new sales, this year’s additions are meant to help the parks smooth out trouble-spots on their existing coasters known for roughness.
This brings me back to Hersheypark’s Wildcat… which holds a special place in the Roller Coaster history books as being the very first coaster built by GCI, which opened way back in 1996. Over the years Hersheypark has worked with GCI to maintain Wildcat, and even upgraded it from the original PTC trains to GCI’s Millennium Flyer trains in 2007. So in my train of thought, given the importance of Wildcat to GCI, it would only be fitting if anyone were to convert Wildcat into a hybrid coaster, it should be GCI themselves coming in to give it a Titan Track makeover.
Keep in mind that whatever happens to Wildcat, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will have inversions or other wild elements. RMC’s first project was the conversion of the Texas Giant at Six Flags over Texas, which essentially kept the majority of the existing coaster’s layout while reprofiling the run to offer the increased thrills that the new track system could offer. If this ends up being the first full conversion to Titan Track, this could end up being a more faithful conversion of the existing layout as we know it.
Either way, exciting times ahead for Hersheypark for the 2023 season! Stay tuned!