This is my regular Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. This article is about Chance Rides and is the first of several articles about companies now part of the Chance Rides family.
Chance Rides is a ride manufacturer that has existed since 1961. In 1970, it purchased Allan Herschell Company, and Morgan Manufacturing in 2001. As such, it makes a number of rides installed at Hersheypark part of the Chance family. This article will focus on Hersheypark rides not manufactured by those older companies – those rides will be featured in a future article. Hersheypark has operated 9 Chance rides, as well as a few Chance tram vehicles in the parking lots.
The first Chance ride installed in Hersheypark was Rotor in 1970. Rotor was placed in what is called The Hollow today. This ride was similar to the Round Up, except you were inside a building rather than outdoors. In some cases, the top of the building may not have a roof on it. Here is a video of a Rotor at a fair in 2011.
Twin Towers Toboggans were two toboggan roller coasters Hersheypark installed in 1972. They were sold in 1977 and removed from the park.
Earthmovers were installed in 1976. This was originally called Tiny Tanks, and was rethemed in the early 1980s to bulldozers. It was relocated to Dutch Wonderland in 2003.
Flying Bobs was installed in 1978, located in Carrousel Circle where the Twin Towers Toboggans had been. Hersheypark experienced a number of maintenance issues with the ride. It was removed following the 1981 season.
Hersheypark also installed Rodeo in 1978, then called Trabant. It was originally installed adjacent to Fender Bender, relocated to Pioneer Food Court in 1985, then relocated adjacent Conestoga in 1988. Rodeo was moved to Dutch Wonderland in 2009 to accommodate the expansion of The Boardwalk in 2009 called “The SeaQuel.”
Hersheypark installed two new Chance rides in Midway America between 1997 and 1999. First was Ferris Wheel (1997) and then Chaos. Ferris Wheel (1997) was the focal point of the expanded area in Midway America. It was adjacent to The Whip, and would later be adjacent to several additional rides, as well as The Boardwalk. The ride has been overhauled several times and was operated during Christmas Candylane for the first time in 2015.
Chaos was a spinning ride where your car also spun. This type of ride was briefly popular until 2001 when an incident at one park brought concerns about that kind of ride. Due to the addition of The Boardwalk for the 2007 season, Hersheypark removed their Chaos ride. Part of the slide complex, Coastline Plunge, uses the location Chaos sat on. Here is an example of a Chaos at Calaway Park. Chance Rides eventually stopped producing the Chaos model in 2007.
The most recent Chance ride to be added was The Claw in 2003. This replaced Cyclops that had been in the park since 1980. The Claw is a swinging pendulum ride in which riders also spun around in a circle. When the ride begins to move, the metal floor drops into a pit. The pendulum then begins swinging to the left and right. After a few moments the ride has gotten to its full speed and will begin to brake. The floor will come back up and the ride will be over. An example of this can be seen here.
Also, here is a video that KAKE News made in 2017 for their 10pm news show. It is a profile of Chance Rides, with several interviews.
To read more about other ride manufacturers that have made rides for Hersheypark, click here.
I have a wide variety of interests, from sports to politics, music to Star Trek. I write about the history of amusement parks on my website, The Amusement Parkives, which I founded in 2016.