Hersheypark Viral Marketing Games

Since 2007, Hersheypark has done a number of online marketing games to promote new attractions. Typically these games have teased and given clues about whatever new ride(s) were to be installed for the following season. A notable exception is the game promoting Skyrush; that game began in October 2010, nearly two years before the roller coaster opened.

The first two were viral marketing campaigns; the first campaign lasted a little over a month while the second campaign ran for almost a year. More about those campaigns are explained below. The more recent two were more simple games that involved checking out Hersheypark’s Facebook page and a special subsection on the Hersheypark website. These are detailed as well.

Nantimi

The first viral marketing campaign Hersheypark ran was a game titled Nantimi. The name comes from scrambling up the name Intamin. Intamin was the manufacturer of the roller coaster to be announced – Fahrenheit.

Nantimi banner

Nantimi, Inc., website banner.

The purpose of this viral marketing campaign was to engage with amusement park enthusiasts in the online community. The idea was to have a series of puzzles for people to solve. Those who participated would receive the opportunity to learn about the 2008 announcement ahead of the general public, and a lucky 11 participants were invited to be on the first ride of Fahrenheit in 2008.

Project 2012 – Ride Institute of Technology

Project 2012 was a viral marketing campaign which began in October 2010. Much like the Nantimi game, the concept was to have a series of puzzles solved. Clues would be teased or directed based on how players were playing the game.

RIT header

The main focus was on a fictitious organization called the Ride Institute of Technology (RIT). Four other fictitious companies were created to support the Project 2012 storyline. All of the puzzles led up to the announcement of Hersheypark’s 12th roller coaster, Skyrush. Because Skyrush was due to open in 2012, part of the game focused on the coincidental nature of the park opening their 12th roller coaster in 2012. The Project 2012 game ended on August 2, 2011, when Skyrush was announced.

On the evening before Skyrush opened to the public, people who participated in the Project 2012 game were invited to an event at the park. Held at Creekside Catering, there was a gathering of the participants who could attend. Then the group got to be on one of the first rides of Skyrush.

Laff Trakk + Hershey Triple Tower

Since then, the park has done two smaller games through Facebook and their website, teasing and giving clues about Laff Trakk, the park’s most recent roller coaster addition in 2015, and Hershey Triple Tower, which opened earlier this year in April 2017.

001 First Clue

The first clue for Laff Trakk.

The fourth clue for Hershey Triple Tower.

Both involved clues being posted on Hersheypark’s Facebook page and Twitter account, as well as on the Hersheypark website. The puzzle in both cases revealed when those attractions were to be announced to the public.

Hersheypark Update | June 15, 2017

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark.

Since April 30, several things have happened with this area. First, the area is now fenced off, with gates being installed at each end of old Park Boulevard to only allow work-related vehicles onto the site. Surveying has also been ongoing, with the first marker appearing in Founder’s Way near the Dunkin’ Donuts building by Tram Circle.

I added a handful pictures to the map, which you can see below. This is the fifth update for the map, with pictures added from June 4:

  • More markers and control points have appeared in Tram Circle.
  • A separate map, also below, will show a lot of markers that have appeared in The Boardwalk.

What this means for this area of what now is directly part of Hersheypark’s property remains unknown for the time being.

Take a look at the map below to see pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



Hersheypark also began placing similar markers in The Boardwalk region of the park. The area impacted so far appears to be mostly where part of the park’s only water coaster, Roller Soaker, once stood.

Roller Soaker was a steel, suspended, roller coaster in which you carried a bucket of water to drop on “unsuspecting” people below the ride. The ride was installed in 2002 and removed following the 2012 season, after having many maintenance issues throughout that ten year period.

Here is another map showing markers from this area of the park, with pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



This article is part of a series of Hersheypark Update articles which will be added when necessary. The updates to this area are pretty historically significant given that Hershey Park Pool, Starlight Ballroom, and Hershey Creamery used to be in this area. However, with the addition of markers appearing in The Boardwalk, in the area where Roller Soaker used to stand, I will also have updates on that area as necessary. Keep checking back for more! 

Rudy Vallee at Hershey Park Ball Room, 1930

In 1913, Hershey Park Ball Room opened. Seventeen years later, the ballroom gained national notoriety when Rudy Vallee, one of music’s first teen idols, performed to a sold out crowd.

1930-08-06 The Evening News (p12)

Advert for Hershey Park Ball Room, August 6, 1930, in Harrisburg’s The Evening News, on page 12.

According to the Hershey Community Archives in a Spring 2011 Derry Township newsletter, John Sollenberger was responsible for booking Vallee:

Hershey Ballroom typically paid $250-$300 for bands who played Saturday nights. In 1929, Hershey had the chance to book Rudy Vallee, a national celebrity, for a Saturday night gig in the Ballroom. Vallee’s fee was $3,500 and park manager JB Sollenberger and his boss, Charles Ziegler, needed the permission of Milton Hershey to pay such an exorbitant fee. Milton Hershey was reluctant and initially turned them down. Ziegler and Sollenberger next asked permission to rent the Ballroom and book Vallee themselves. In response, Milton Hershey suggested that he could more easily afford the financial risk and agreed to booking Vallee. Rudy Vallee’s appearance was a huge success and helped build Sollenberger’s reputation.

Derry Township Spring 2011 newsletter


For your listening pleasure, here is a Rudy Vallee and The Connecticut Yankees song, one which was performed at the Hershey Park Ball Room, Dark Night.

 

You can also see Rudy Vallee on this episode of What’s My Line from 1961.


This was the first time a national celebrity had been booked for the Ball Room. Vallee stayed at the Penn Harris Hotel in Harrisburg (The Hotel Hershey was not yet built). He was escorted to Hershey by police, being mobbed by crowds of people in both Harrisburg and Hershey.

1930-08-02 The Evening News (p7)

From The Evening News of Harrisburg, PA, August 2, 1930, on page 7.

While Rudy Vallee would return to the Ball Room several more times, this 1930 show was the largest selling show in the history of the Ball Room, until 1947.


Hersheypark Update | June 1, 2017

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark.

Since April 30, several things have happened with this area. First, the area is now fenced off, with gates being installed at each end of old Park Boulevard to only allow work-related vehicles onto the site. Surveying has also been ongoing, with the first marker appearing in Founder’s Way near the Dunkin’ Donuts building by Tram Circle.

I added a handful pictures to the map, which you can see below. This is the fourth update for the map, and the pictures added are all from May 19 and May 29.

  • Around May 19, survey markers were placed approaching the main entrance of the park and by Hospitality Services inside the park.
  • Around May 27, additional electrical, water, and communications markings appeared in the park near the Central PA Kosher Mart / old Sky Ride building, as well as in the former Carrousel Circle area.

What this means for this area of what now is directly part of Hersheypark’s property remains unknown for the time being.

Take a look at the map below to see pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



This article is part of a series of Hersheypark Update articles which will be added when necessary. The updates to this area are pretty historically significant given that Hershey Park Pool, Starlight Ballroom, and Hershey Creamery used to be in this area. Keep checking back for more!

Hersheypark Update | May 15, 2017

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark.

Since April 30, several things have happened with this area. First, the area is now fenced off, with gates being installed at each end of old Park Boulevard to only allow work-related vehicles onto the site. Surveying has also been ongoing, with the first marker appearing in Founder’s Way near the Dunkin’ Donuts building by Tram Circle.

I added a handful pictures to the map, which you can see below. This is the third update for the map, and the pictures added are all from May 6.

What this means for this area of what now is directly part of Hersheypark’s property remains unknown for the time being.

Take a look at the map below to see pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



This article is part of a series of Hersheypark Update articles which will be added when necessary. The updates to this area are pretty historically significant given that Hershey Park Pool, Starlight Ballroom, and Hershey Creamery used to be in this area. Keep checking back for more!

Amusement Park Ride Height Exception | Derry Township Zoning Ordinance

Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania is the municipality in which Hersheypark resides. (There are three other Derry Townships in Pennsylvania as well: in Mifflin County, in Montour County, and in Westmoreland County.)

The township passed its first Zoning Ordinance in 1967 and and updated second Zoning Ordinance in 1978. Text for the 1978 version is not currently available, but is most likely when the first Amusement Park Ride Height Exception was implemented – in the wake of the park installing Kissing Tower in 1975.

The reason this would have been implemented is from concern of the people living in Derry Township. There was concern from township citizens that Hersheypark might construct larger amusement rides that wouldn’t fit the feel of the Hershey area. This height exception gave a reasonable restriction given Hersheypark constructing Tower Plaza which included the Kissing Tower, which is a 330 foot tall observation tower.

The Exception has remained in Derry Township’s Zoning Ordinance and the earliest text currently available is from 1993.

Here is the text of this provision in the 1993 Zoning Ordinance [Revised 2003].

1993 Zoning Ordinance [Revised 2003] (p122)

This effectively limited rides to a maximum height of 350 feet. Any rides of a height between 200 and 350 feet were required to receive a special exception from the township zoning hearing board.

This provision was updated in 2017. Here is the text of the current provision, which went into effect on April 3, 2017.

2017 Zoning Ordinance (p118)

Hersheypark Update | April 30, 2017

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark.

Since early April, a bunch of markers have appeared on this part of old Park Boulevard. Since April 15, fencing has appeared in this same area. A map which I made on April 15 has now been updated with new photos of the fencing.

What this means for this area of what now is directly part of Hersheypark’s property remains unknown for the time being.

Take a look at the map below to see pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



This article is part of a series of Hersheypark Update articles which will be added when necessary. The updates to this area are pretty historically significant given that Hershey Park Pool, Starlight Ballroom, and Hershey Creamery used to be in this area. Keep checking back for more!

Used Rides at Hersheypark

Over the history of Hersheypark, there have been 151 rides installed to this date in 2017. The park was in operation for two seasons before an amusement ride debuted: a Herschell-Spillman carousel.

Unlike most of the rides to follow, this Herschell-Spillman carousel was a small, used model. Within four years (1912), it was replaced by a larger, brand new Dentzel carousel. That ride would remain in the park until 1944.  Interestingly, the Dentzel was replaced by a used Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel which the park continues to operate today.

With that being said, these two carousels are two of twelve rides which the park purchased used or rented.

There is also unique circumstance in which the park purchased a ride new, sold it, rented it, and bought it back used.

Click here to see the list of used rides Hersheypark purchased.

Hersheypark Updates | April 15, 2017

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark.

In the last week or so, a bunch of markers have appeared on this part of old Park Boulevard. What this means for this area of what now is directly part of Hersheypark’s property remains unknown for the time being.

Take a look at the map below to see pictures provided by Matthew Meckley in the Disney Lovers at Hersheypark group on Facebook.



Also, in looking through some information, I can relate a little history to what we’re seeing from these markers for underground utilities. There is a photo of a UGI gas line marker in Tram Circle, and I found a document from when UGI acquired the right-of-way to install that gas line in 1979. A short video is below to show you a little context. If you want to look at the 1979 drawing a bit more, make sure to pause the video around the 18 second mark.

Hersheypark in 1971

When Hersheypark opened for the 1971 season on April 18, 1971, things were quite different. The park was gated, and there were five entrances around the park’s perimeter. Even the name of the park was different, as the park went from being named “Hershey Park” as two words, to one word: “Hersheypark.” (I’ll be writing more articles about Hersheypark in 1971 and 1972 in the future.)

One thing Hersheypark did not do this season was produce a map of the park.

As a result, I recently decided to make my own version of a 1971 map of the park. This hypothetical map is based off the map the park produced in 1972. The work that went into making this was pretty intensive, but it was a lot of fun.

The hardest part was definitely putting Miniature Railroad on the map.

Here is my map of Hersheypark, 1971.

1971 Hypothetical Map [FINAL]

This is a hypothetical Hersheypark map of the way the park was in 1971. I made this map based off the 1972 map, which was the first one Hersheypark produced.