In the plans to renovate Hersheypark that were created by R. Duell & Associates, they were planning to create a bunch of different theme areas in the park. One such area, seen below, was a Pennsylvania Mining Town. This was called Minetown.
Minetown was originally part of Phase 3 of the renovation project, scheduled to be completed in 1974. Due to national economic issues (the 1973 oil crisis) and cost overruns for the first phases of renovations (as well costs from the flood of 1972), Hersheypark modified the renovation plan. The phases following 2 were consolidated into general updates to the park. Of the three phase 3 theme areas, only Tower Plaza was completed in the decade, and that was completed in 1975.
Some elements of Minetown were constructed in the 1970s – Coal Cracker was built in 1973, and has a name based on the Minetown theme. When the Sky Ride was opened in the 1974 season, the station, built adjacent to Coal Cracker, was called the Minetown Sky Ride Station. In 1978, the Cuddle Up was replaced by a modern version of the ride – it was called Coal Shaker.
But it wasn’t until 1990 that Minetown came into existence.
Minetown included three new kiddie rides, Convoy, Dinosaurs-Go-Round, and Red Baron, as well as an Arrow Dynamics (though sold to Hersheypark under the name HUSS) Condor ride called Flying Falcon.
The three new kiddie rides replaced the Coal Shaker and Flying Falcon replaced Himalaya. A brand new arcade and restaurant building replaced the Penny Arcade building which existed from 1905-1989.
Changes made after the introduction of the area include the removal of the Sky Ride following the 1991 season, the addition of Great Bear in 1998, and the renovation of the ZooAmerica park entrance. Frog Hopper was relocated to Minetown from Midway America and Dinosaurs-Go-Round was relocated to Founder’s Circle (now part of Founder’s Way) in 2006.
Minetown continued to exist until the 2014 season, when the area was re-themed as Kissing Tower Hill.
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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.