I am starting a new series to be posted on Tuesdays about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. This first article is about Frank Hrubetz & Company.In 1966, 1967, and 1968, Hersheypark installed three rides manufactured by the same company, Frank Hrubetz & Company. Since I’ve already written about Tip Top, I will focus on the other two Hrubetz rides.
Frank Hrubetz & Company existed between 1939 and 1992, and was one of the most popular ride manufacturers in the late 60s and early 70s. That popularity rode to Hersheypark with the addition of the aforementioned Hrubetz rides.
Paratrooper was installed in 1967 adjacent Tip Top. This was a ride in which you sat in a car that went around in a circle. It gave you the sensation of parachuting as a paratrooper would – hence the name. In 1973, Paratrooper was relocated, near where the Fender Bender is today, to accommodate the addition of Hersheypark Amphitheatre. Paratrooper was removed from the park following the 1977 season as part of the overhaul of that area when the Fender Bender building was constructed.
Round Up was installed in 1968 adjacent Kiddieland and Aero-Jets, near where Fender Bender is today. This is the same area where Tip Top and Paratrooper were relocated. Round Up was a ride where you stood and held on to the grab bars as the ride spun you around. The Rotor (made by Chance Rides) is a similar type of ride, but indoors. Round Up remained in the same area of the park for the entire time it was there, except that the ride was moved from its original location to a spot next to Gold Nugget Shooting Gallery in 1975. Round Up was also removed following the 1977 season.
Many parks had these rides – showing the influence Hrubetz & Company had on the industry at the time. The three Hersheypark had turned out to be more popular than expected – even today, so many years later, some people wish Hersheypark still had these rides.