What Could Have Been | Hersheypark in the mid-1980s

In 1983, Hersheypark began drafting operations capital requirements for the years 1984 to 1988. What was created wasn’t a plan for the park to follow, just an idea of what future operating budgets may need to be. To understand the motivation for this projection, we need to look back at the previous five years 1978 to 1983, first.

The “Arms Race”

After Hersheypark installed sooperdooperLooper in 1977 and had its best year ever, the park had a sharp decrease in attendance and profits in 1978. The 1979 year was considered disastrous by park management – outside factors caused less tourists to visit Hersheypark. There was the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant incident as well as a Polio outbreak in Lancaster County which encouraged tourists to travel to other areas.

1979-08-23 [Elmira, NY] Star-Gazette (p3)

AP article in the Star-Gazette of Elmira, NY, from August 23, 1979, on page 3.

The disastrous 1979 season put the park on a course of not installing a “sooper” ride like the Looper for a number of years. At the time, the amusement park industry was undergoing an “arms race” as parks were adding crazier attractions year-over-year. Hersheypark withdrew from this race as a result of the 1979 season.

In the following several seasons, while the park added new attractions in 1980 (Pirat and Cyclops), 1982 (Wave Swinger and Paddleboats), and 1983 (Tilt-A-Whirl), attendance continued to decline.

This was the mindset management was in – they were considering options to stabilize attendance and increase revenue. This five year projection they created was not a plan for the park moving into the future, but a general idea of what they were interested in doing.

Let’s take a look at the five year projection.

Five year projection

In the first year, 1984, the concept was to purchase a water / dark ride at an approximate $2.5 million dollar cost. It would have been installed in the Pioneer Frontier region of the park, the first ride to be added to that part of the park.

The concept for 1985 was particularly intriguing.

The first item listed for Rides Capital Requirements was to rebuild and install the Miniature Railroad at a cost of $200,000. Miniature Railroad had been removed and in storage at the park since the 1972 season. The second item was to install and modify The Bug, which had been removed and in storage near the Monorail garage since the 1982 season.

Miniature Railroad

Miniature Railroad in the late 1960s.

The concept for 1986 called for either kiddie ride additions or a major ride replacement. It’s unclear what major ride would have qualified for being replaced – Coal Shaker and Himalaya both would fall under this category of major ride. The Rotor also would have fallen under this category.

In 1987, the concept was to purchase a new major ride at a cost of approximately one million dollars.

The concept for 1988 was to replace a ride at a cost of $300,000. Rides like the Coal Shaker, Himalaya, and Rotor, easily could have been the ride to be replaced.

What did happen?

Hersheypark struggled quite a bit, operationally, in the early-mid 1980s. While the park was still doing reasonably well, things were not where they wanted it to be. Ultimately, that was what pushed the park to move in a different direction from the concepts discussed above.

The park began expanding into the Pioneer Frontier region in 1984, but instead of adding a water / dark ride, they added Conestoga and Timber Rattler. The two rides cost the park three quarters of a million dollars instead of the 2.5 million they initially anticipated spending.

In 1985, the park completed the Pioneer Frontier primary expansion with the opening of Pioneer Frontier Food Court, which included the relocation of Livery Stables and Wells Cargo to that area. Unfortunately, the revivals of The Bug and Miniature Railroad didn’t happen. While the Miniature Railroad train stayed in storage, on property, into the 2000s, The Bug was scrapped in the mid-80s. It would be pretty interesting to see both the Miniature Railroad and The Bug operating somewhere in Pioneer Frontier.

Circa 1984 The Bug scrapped near Monorail [large] [JWGreen].jpg

The Bug in storage near the Monorail garage by Trinidad Avenue, in ZooAmerica. Photo circa 1984 and courtesy of JW Green.

In 1986, the park really didn’t do much, though they had been trying to install the water / dark ride. The park actually had a plan drawn up by Intamin for a Chute-the-Chutes ride, which would have been installed in 1986.

The concept ultimately was not approved, and thus never installed. The rejection of the Chute-the-Chutes directly led to the proposal of Canyon River Rapids, which was approved. So in 1987, when this concept called for a million dollar ride, the park ended up installing a four million dollar ride in Canyon River Rapids.

In 1988, Hersheypark added Western Chute-Out, the first water slide ride the park installed since the Giant Toboggan Slide that was in the park from 1931-1941.

The park also ended up removing the three major flat rides mentioned for possible removal – Coal Shaker and Himalaya were removed after the 1989 season (replaced with Flying Falcon and later Hershey Triple Tower), while the Rotor was removed after the 1994 season (effectively replaced by the kiddie ride, Tiny Tracks, and later Skyrush).


For other articles about things that could have been in Hersheypark, check out the article on What Could Have Been | Hersheypark in 1974

Hersheypark Update | August 15, 2017

Here is your Hersheypark Update for August 15, 2017…and with the main summer season soon wrapping up, this will be my last regular Hersheypark Update post. I will post any others from here on out on an as-needed basis instead of every 15 days or so. 

The Boardwalk: Racer Corner

Hersheypark announced their 2018 attractions on Tuesday, August 8. Two new water rides were announced for The Boardwalk at Hersheypark. Both rides will be manufactured by ProSlide Technology, and located in an area of the waterpark behind Tidal Force, The Shore and Intercoastal Waterway.

With this new addition to The Boardwalk, there should be a new name for the area behind Tidal Force – Racer Corner.  That area will now be between two rides named Racer: Lightning Racer and Whitecap Racer.

Whitecap Logo

Whitecap Racer logo is courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company.

Whitecap Racer is an OctopusRACER mat speed slide complex. This complex will have six slides. The ride is interactive because the race will be timed and riders will be able to see the ride times and which lane won the race.

OctopusRACER fact sheet

OctopusRACER fact sheet from ProSlide.

 

Breakers Edge Water Coaster Logo

Breakers Edge Water Coaster logo is courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company.

Right in the center of Racer Corner will be Breakers Edge Water Coaster. It is the first hybrid of this type to include FlyingSAUCER elements. Previous hybrids had rafts of three people, while Breakers Edge will seat up to four people.

Breakers Edge Water Coaster is not a water roller coaster, however the park is considering this ride it’s 14th coaster, alongside the 13 roller coasters currently in Hersheypark (the most recent addition was Laff Trakk in 2015). Breakers Edge effectively replaces Roller Soaker, which was removed after the 2012 season. This new ride uses the old Roller Soaker station for loading and unloading.

HydroMagnetic Rocket fact sheet

HydroMagnetic Rocket fact sheet from ProSlide.

 

Construction for the rides will begin the day after Labor Day. Labor Day is the last day of The Boardwalk’s operating season.

There have been three previous phases of construction for The Boardwalk at Hersheypark:

  • 2007: The original Boardwalk opened, including four slides on Coastline Plunge.
  • 2009: The Boardwalk SeaQuel opened, which replaced Canyon River Rapids.
  • 2013: The third phase opened, which included finishing Coastline Plunge and adding Shoreline Sprayground.
Aerial Rendering

Whitecap Racer really fills in a lot of the unused space behind The Shore and Intercoastal Waterway. Breakers Edge Water Coaster utilizes the old Roller Soaker station.


Out Front

With Park Boulevard being rerouted in 2016, a segment of old Park Boulevard was abandoned that is adjacent the main entrance of Hersheypark. Since then, a large area of this land has been fenced off, and survey markers have appeared all over the vicinity – from the old pool area along old Park Boulevard all the way into Founders Way by Carrousel Circle.

Maps of markers in Hersheypark

There has not been any changes in the old pool area since August 1. Here is the map of the area to see where all of the markers have been placed to date.  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. One photo was also provided by W Geoffrey Miller who was at Hersheypark on July 10. It is a photo of surveyors doing sampling work.



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! 

Bike Boat | Big Water Sensation of 1930

I recently wrote about a water ride at Hersheypark called Bike Boats. I wanted to look into the subject of the ride a bit more, so here is a look at the Bike Boats ride, one of the most popular attractions in 1930 and 1931. 

Bicycle boats have been patented as far back as the 1890s. At the time, they looked a lot more like bicycles on skis.

US 547422 1895-10-08 Marine Conveyance [Dean, John]

Figure 1 of John Dean’s patent “Marine Conveyance” from October 8, 1895, patent number 547,422.

By the late 1920s, the wheels had mostly been dropped in favor of a more sleek form. Peugeot Cycles, a French manufacturer of motorcycles and bicycles, and a subsidiary of famous automobile company Peugeot Automobile Company, decided to go into the water bicycle business themselves. They developed a device called a Bike Boat.

To promote the Bike Boat, Peugeot Cycles hired Aimee Pfanner to ride the craft across the English Channel. The trek reportedly took between 8 and 9.5 hours (promotional reports said 8 hours while British Pathé – watch the video below – reported it took 9.5 hours). Doing this gave the device a lot of press and the Bike Boat quickly became famous.

This is a silent film.

Peugeot immediately tried selling the device in the United States. They sold the sales rights for the American market to Harry Kramer, who created Bike Boat, Limited. This company operated out of the General Motors Building in New York City.

1930-04 MotorBoating (p266)

Advert for the Bike Boat, in an April 1930 issue of MotorBoating, on page 266.

Bike Boat, Ltd., first debuted the Bike Boat device at the 1930 Motor Boat Show in New York City, at Grand Central Palace from January 17-25, 1930. They followed up their debut with a larger public display at the 1930 Los Angeles Boat Show which had greater publization. This event was at The Ambassador Auditorium from March 8 to March 15, 1930.

As part of the display, several women operated the Bike Boat. They were Kay Miller, Ida Schnall, Jeanne De Carva, and Flora Wood. Kay Miller raced against an Irish swimmer, Harry Devlin, to demonstrate the power of the bike boat.

1930-04-11 The Cincinnati Enquirer (p10)

A photo from the LA Boat Show display of the Bike Boat. Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, April 11, 1930, on page 10.

Per an article in the February 1930 issue of MotorBoating (a magazine), the Bike Boat, “consists of two shells of specially prepared wood which support a framework similar to the mechanism of a bicycle. The motion of the pedals, however, instead of being transmitted to wheels, is delivered to a three-bladed propeller, which is capable of pushing the boat about eight miles an hour with little exertion by the operator. Steering is accomplished by handlebars connected to a rudder which is attached to one of the floats.”

Also per this article, the Bike Boat was about 3 and a half feet wide and 14 feet long. The advantage of this boat was that it could not be capsized or sunk.

1930-04-07 The Galveston Daily News (p5)

Image published in The Galveston Daily News, April 7, 1930, estimated to be on page 5 (that issue of the paper is incomplete and the page does not have a page number on it). The image features Ida Schnall and swimmer Harry Devlin as he watches Schnall doing her performance.

The inability for the device to flip or sink was displayed by Ida Schnall who did a variety of tricks on the Bike Boat.

The popularity of the Bike Boat took off in America very quickly. It was labeled as “The Latest Sensation in Water Sports” in 1931. The Bike Boat could be found in many cities in America, as well as in many parks including Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Bay Shore Park in Baltimore, Maryland.

1931-07-10 Harrisburg Telegraph (p13)

Hersheypark advert for the Bike Boat in the Harrisburg Telegraph, July 10, 1931, on page 13. Note it says that it “Cannot Capsize or Sink.” They also used a drawing based on the image of Kay Miller on a Bike Boat from 1930.

1931-05-29 The Baltimore Sun (p5)

Bay Shore Park advert including the Bike Boat, published in The Baltimore Sun, May 29, 1931, on page 5. Note that they also used a drawing based on the image of Kay Miller on a Bike Boat from 1930, although it was drawn differently from Hersheypark’s advertisement.

The sensation of the Bike Boat quickly waned after 1931. A few other variants of bike boats appeared in the years after, including one version manufactured by Mar-Craft, Inc., of Clarence, NY, which debuted in 1947 after several years of development.

Bike boats are still around today, with a variety of different kinds being patented as recently as the last couple of years.

The Whip at Hersheypark | 1937-1975

Hersheypark's first W.F. Mangels Company ride was the Whip, installed in 1937.

The Whip was one of several rides mentioned in 1919 as being planned to be added to the park in the upcoming years. However, due to poor investments in sugar futures, the Hershey Chocolate Company found itself in receivership – being controlled by a bank from New York.

As a result, plans for installing any new rides in Hersheypark in the early 1920s were cancelled. Once the company exited receivership – the town got it's company back – new rides began appearing in Hersheypark, starting with the park's first roller coaster, The Wild Cat (originally, The Joy Ride from 1923 to 1934).

Installation and operation

The ride was constructed in a space near The Bug, and did not have a roof. Whip was the 20th ride Hersheypark installed, and was the 16th ride in the park in the 1937 season. A roof would be added to the ride in the following season; this was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.

Mangels produced a variety of different sized Whips. Hersheypark purchased a 12 car Whip. Other models include a 16 car variant, one of which continues to be in operation at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania (in the suburbs of Pittsburgh).

The Whip was originally given the name Whipperoo, and used this name for many years. In 1964, a kiddie Mangels Whip would be installed and would also be called Whipperoo. It doesn't appear that both rides having the same name ever confused anyone, especially since there weren't any park maps produced. Even when there were, beginning in 1972, the kiddie rides were not labeled, except generically as "Kiddie rides."

1972 Welcome to Hershey [map]1972 Welcome to Hershey [map - Hollow crop]The ride remained in the hollow location until the end of the 1972 season. Some stories about the flood of 1972 suggest that the Whip was destroyed in the flood, but this is not the case. The Whip can be seen on park maps from 1973 and 1974, and on a park souvenir map from 1975. The ride was relocated to the Hill, in a spot approximately where part of the fun house Funland stood until the end of the 1972 season.

When the ride was relocated in 1973, the roof was not. So for the final three seasons, the ride operated uncovered, as it had been in it's first. The ride was also renamed The Whip, but was simply labeled Whip on the 1974 and 1975 park souvenir maps and rides lists in the park's press kits.

1974 Hersheypark map |

The Whip was retired after the 1975 season. When Midway America expanded in 1997, a new version of The Whip was added to the park. This was a homage to this original Whip. Part of the concept of Midway America was to bring back rides the park used to have.

Footage of The Whip can be seen at the end of this video of Hersheypark in the Summer of '75.

Where the Whip was, today

For the Whip's Hollow location, 1937-1972, it is mostly part of the midway in front of sooperdooperLooper's station and maintenance area. The Whip was not right along the creek because the Miniature Railroad ran behind it.

For the Whip's Hill location, after the ride was removed, Mini Comet and another kiddie ride, OutBoard Motor Boats, was relocated to that spot. In 1977, Mini Comet was slightly adjusted to accommodate the relocation of Himalaya, which had to be relocated from the Hollow due to the addition of sooperdooperLooper.

In 1978, ZooAmerica opened, and a bridge over Park Avenue was added, creating a park entrance for ZooAmerica right in the general area as Himalaya and Mini Comet (Mini Comet was removed after the 1978 season, and OutBoard Motor Boats was relocated to a spot near Dry Gulch Railroad after the 1979 season).

After the 1989 season, Himalaya was removed and replaced with Flying Falcon. Though not on the exact same spot that Himalaya occupied, it was in the same general area. Flying Falcon was then removed and placed in storage after the 2016 season. The space is now home to two kiddie rides, Convoy and Frog Hopper.


To read more Throwback Thursday posts, click here

Hersheypark Update | August 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.

On July 6, Hersheypark began posting clues on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and on their website, hersheypark.com/2018/. Clues will be posted prior to the August 8 announcement teased at the end of June. There are six clues total, and since the middle of July, the last three clues have been posted (although the sixth clue isn’t really a rebus, nor a clue).

It’s also worth noting that when the 2018 website first went live, the site header was 2018 Attractions. It has since been changed to 2018 Attraction | Hersheypark.

The clues for this viral marketing game are rebuses, which uses pictures to represents words, or parts of words.  It is essentially a code. The object for the player is to solve what the sentence says. Because the clues have already been released and solved, I provide the answers in addition to the clues as well.


Clue 4 of 6

Posted on July 19, 2017.

Clue 004 Fourteen

Answer: This makes number fourteen.

Here is the key to the answer: [T + hiss = This] [May + KS = makes] [hashtag / pound sign = number] [sand castle fort + EEN = fourteen].

Clue 5 of 6

Posted on July 28, 2017.

Clue 5- Double The Fun

Answer: Get Ready To Double The Fun

Here is the key to the answer: Get [read + y = read] [2 = to] [the fun (mirrored) = double the fun].

Clue 6 of 6

The final clue was posted on August 1, 2017. This one really isn’t a clue – just a reiteration of the upcoming announcement on August 8.

Clue 006 Save The Date

Save the Date! August 8, 2017, at 11am on Facebook.

 


Local media

On Tuesday, July 18, York Daily Record posted an article recapping the recent clues for the 2018 attractions.

PennLive also published two articles about the some of the recent clues released.


Maps of markers in Hersheypark

I added a handful pictures to the map, which you can see below. This map has been updated with photos of new markers that have been placed in the old pool area, since July 15. A few more markers have been placed in and around the area that is anticipated to be used for the new attractions Hersheypark is teasing.

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. One photo was also provided by W Geoffrey Miller who was at Hersheypark on July 10. It is a photo of surveyors doing sampling work.



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.

New markers appeared in this area, so this map has been updated.



The Claw

On July 26, an incident on a Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair caused a number of injuries and one death. Fireball is a type of portable Revolution ride, which is the same kind of ride Hersheypark has – The Claw. Hersheypark’s ride was manufactured by Chance Rides; Chance Rides owns the manufacturing rights to build permanent park models in North America.

Chance purchased those rights from Dutch manufacturer KMG. They continue to manufacture portable fair models, like Fireball at Ohio State Fair.

Hersheypark took the precaution of closing The Claw pending the investigation; the ride reopened on Sunday, July 30.


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! 

Bike Boats at Hersheypark

Hersheypark had a variety of water attractions on Spring Creek over the years. While the park no longer has any (since the end of the 2006 season), this was still a mainstay for many of the years the park has been open.

In 1931, Hersheypark installed a new boat ride called Bike Boats. These were promoted as being a popular ride from Europe. An example of a bike boat can be seen in this stock photo.

1931-07-10 Harrisburg Telegraph (p13)

Hersheypark advert featuring the Bike Boat From Europe (France, specifically). Published in the Harrisburg Telegraph, July 10, 1931, on page 13.

The image in the advertisement above originates from a photo of a Bike Boat being displayed at the 1930 Los Angeles Boat Show. You can especially see the similarity in the edge of the pool, as well as there being four flags on the Bike Boat.

1930-04-11 The Cincinnati Enquirer (p10)

A photo from the LA Boat Show display of the Bike Boat – the device’s debut in the United States. The person in the photo is Kay Miller. Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, April 11, 1930, on page 10.

Hersheypark purchased the Bike Boats from Bike Boat, Ltd., a New York City-based company. Bike Boats, Ltd., purchased the rights to sell the Bike Boat from Cycles Peugeot, a French manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles.

A bike boat can be seen in a Curt Teich postcard of Spring Creek.

[1935] - 5A-H241 - Canoeing and Boating

Curt Teich postcard from 1935, Canoeing and Boating on Spring Creek, #44 in the series of Hersheypark.

[1935] - 5A-H241 - Canoeing and Boating [crop]

When you take a closer look, you can see at least three Bike Boats, one prominently.

The concept of the ride was pretty much having a bike mounted on water skis. You could propel yourself by peddling and control direction by turning the handlebars. The boats were said to be stable enough on the water to not flip over, so this was a safer option for those concerned about boating on the creek.

Aside from the canoes and rowboats the park had, the Bike Boats were also complimented by another boat ride, Custer Specialty Company Paddle-About, in about 1936. By the end of World War II, it appears that both the Bike Boats and Paddle-About rides were retired, with canoes being the only boats seen in post-war photos of Spring Creek.

Hersheypark wouldn’t install another kind of paddle-boat ride until 1982, when the park installed the upcharge ride Paddleboats.


For more Throwback Thursday articles, click here

Pronto Chowpalace

On June 21, 1971, Hersheypark’s first branded restaurant opened. Pronto Chowpalace was set up in the Outdoor Rink behind Hersheypark Arena, which was attached to the chalet which was home to first aid and Rides Office. (This building was replaced with Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge in 2006.) The brand was Pronto Foods, which was based in Chicago and acquired by Hershey Foods Corporation (today, The Hershey Company) in 1970.

History of Pronto Foods

In 1961, Norman Chapman founded Portion Control Industries, Inc. (PCI), as a specialized food processing company. They produced frozen foods and other items under the brand name Pronto Food Corporation. The company was based in Chicago, Illinois. Pronto was a major player in the market – to the extent that there were some predicting that the Pronto model of specialized food processing may even replace chefs.

Pronto Food Corporation [Maryland Trademark] (p1523)

Pronto Food Corporation trademark listing in the state of Maryland.

In 1968, Hershey Chocolate Corporation changed its name to Hershey Foods Corporation, signaling a shift in the company’s focus. The following year, Hershey Foods expressed interested in purchasing PCI. On November 12, 1969, the two companies reached an agreement. The merger was then completed in May 1970.

Chapman then became the first “outsider” – meaning that he was based in Chicago rather than Hershey – to be placed on the board of Hershey Foods Corporation. This occurred on December 10, 1970. Chapman would then go on to have a second career as an investment banker, forming Chapman Partners in 1995. Chapman died on April 11, 2008, at the age of 80.

A branded restaurant

In 1970, R. Duell and Associates was hired by Hershey Estates (today, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company) to create a plan to renovate Hersheypark. The plan wouldn’t be formally approved until December 1971, with the idea of the 1971 season being a test season. R. Duell provided a number of ideas for park management to consider for the 1971 season.

One such idea was for Hersheypark to have a branded restaurant – something seen in recently constructed theme parks such as Six Flags Over Texas. With the Pronto Foods brand now part of Hershey Foods, that became the obvious choice to be added in Hersheypark.

The location chosen for this restaurant was the Outdoor Rink behind Hersheypark Arena. The Outdoor Rink was an ice skating rink that the Hershey Bears used for practice during the fall and winter months. During the summer time, it was just a concrete pad with a roof.

The [restaurant] will give the impression of eating on a patio with its open sides covered with a roof for protection from the elements.

— Lebanon Daily News, June 21, 1971

Pronto Chowpalace

Pronto Chowpalace opened on June 21, 1971, a little over two months into the season. There was enough seating for 1,200 visitors, according to an official park spokesman. The Chowpalace served Pronto hot sandwiches, Pronto fried chicken, and beverages. They also had one dessert item: a strawberry shortcake.

The reaction was generally very positive to the food and the options, while the biggest criticisms were that there weren’t enough food options, and that service was slower than expected. In 1972, the park purchased some convection ovens so they could have more food choices. This included a variety of Pronto platters, sandwiches, french fries and onion rings, and a few other options. The beverage options and dessert were identical to what was offered in 1971.

The money spent on improving Pronto Chowpalace was apparently not worth it – sales sharply declined in 1972. This decline was based on the general reaction that the food was really bad. Park management found this to be inexplicable, because the quality of the food didn’t seem to change (for them) between 1971 and 1972.

1972 Welcome to Hershey [map]

1972 map of Hersheypark, printed in a pocket-sized Welcome to Hershey brochure. You can see “PRONTO CHOWPALACE” below Hersheypark Arena and above Der Deitsch Platz.

At the end of the 1972 season, it was decided that the Pronto Chowpalace concept was a complete disaster. It was not brought back for the 1973 season. While this first attempt at having a branded restaurant ultimately failed, it did not scare management away from having other brands come into Hersheypark. For example, in 1976, the park would add a Welch’s pavilion (located where Simply Chocolate is today).


To read more about the restaurants / food stands in Hersheypark, click here

Hersheypark Update | July 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.

On July 6, Hersheypark began posting clues on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and on their website, hersheypark.com/2018/. Clues will be posted prior to the August 8 announcement teased at the end of June. There are six clues total, and the first three clues have been posted, so far.

The clues for this viral marketing game are rebuses, which uses pictures to represents words, or parts of words.  It is essentially a code. The object for the player is to solve what the sentence says. Because the clues have already been released and solved, I provide the answers in addition to the clues as well.


Clue 1 of 6

Posted on July 6, 2017.

Clue 001 More Water

Answer: We’re adding more water to the Boardwalk.

Here is the key to the answer: We’re [add = adding] [smore – s = more] [watch – ch = wat, wat + r = watr, watr = water] [2 = to] the [surfboard – surf = Board][walk].

Clue 2 of 6

Posted on July 10, 2017.

Clue 002 Light

Answer: There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here is the key to the answer: [Th + air = There] is a [light bulb = light] [at symbol = at] the [friend – fr = iend, iend = end] [dove – d= ove, ove = of] the [funnel – f = unnel, unnel + t = tunnel].

Clue 3 of 6

Posted on July 14, 2017.

Clue 3 [Mobile]

Answer: It’s a race to the finish.

Here is the key to the answer: It’s [erase – r = rase, rase = a race] [tooth + e = toothe, toothe = to the] [fin + (fish – f = ish) = fin + ish = finish].


Local media

On July 7, the day after Hersheypark posted their first clue, PennLive posted a new article from their website on Facebook asking the question “Is Hersheypark expanding?”

Speaking of which, there has been more surveying at Hersheypark. Let’s take a look at that below!


Maps of markers in Hersheypark

I added a handful pictures to the map, which you can see below. This map has now been updated with photos of new markers that have been placed in the old pool area. Meanwhile, new markers have been placed in and around the area that is anticipated to be used for the new attractions Hersheypark is teasing.

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. One photo was also provided by W Geoffrey Miller who was at Hersheypark on July 10. It is a photo of surveyors doing sampling work.



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.

New markers appeared in this area, so this map has been updated.



One other thing

One other thing I should note – the 2017 additions to Hersheypark included the new Hershey Triple Tower and a new restaurant, Chick-Fil-A. The last big addition to the park was a crazy new soda concoction stand called BBLz (a stylized version of the word bubbles). BBLz opened on July 4, which I wrote about several days later. It’s a really interesting concept that Pepsi created a couple of years ago.

19702555_10158898421505361_3130559434000148401_n

Check out this article about BBLz to learn more about Hersheypark’s last addition for the 2017 season.


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! 

Shoot the Chutes at Hersheypark

In The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, the park has a slide complex called Coastline Plunge, and smaller slides as part of the East Coast Waterworks complex. Hersheypark also had another slide complex, initially called Frontier Chute-Out, later named Western Chute-Out.

However, back when Hersheypark had its first pool – located in the Hollow right where the midway in between Comet and Great Bear, and Wave Swinger are at today – that pool also had its own slide – two versions, in fact. Let’s take a look at the Shoot the Chutes at Hersheypark.

Shoot the Chute

Hersheypark installed its first pool in 1908, which was constructed during the 1907 season. The pool was not very large, and it was replaced by a larger pool in 1910. When construction of this new pool was publicized in the Hershey Press (the town’s newspaper), it was noted that there was the intention to install a toboggan slide at the pool. However, nothing is mentioned about the pool having a slide after that point, so more than likely, it was never constructed.

The pool did have a small slide to use, but it was a playground slide attached to the pool. It was next to the small bathhouse, which you can see below. That small bathhouse is approximately located where Comet’s station is today.

1912 circa Hershey Park Pool Hollow

Two scenes in Hersheypark showing the original pool location in the hollow, circa 1912.

Meanwhile, the pool was renovated and enlarged again in 1912. Two years later, a Shoot the Chute slide was announced to be added to the pool – this was mentioned Hershey’s Weekly (Hershey Press was renamed). The slide was designed by James K. Putt and built by the Hershey Improvement Company, which Putt managed.

Hershey Improvement Company was owned by Hershey Chocolate Company and is the forerunner to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, owner of Hersheypark. Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company was originally named Hershey Estates, founded in 1927. 

Shoot The Chute (1914) slide was roughly 30 feet tall and had a steep drop down, with a short runout into the pool. People would slide down on mats, and were able to skip off the pool water after one or two hops. The slide itself was a dark color, probably brown.

In 1924, this slide was retired and replaced by a new slide which was taller, longer, and featured a hump. Shoot The Chute (1924) was built by the Hershey Improvement Company and was designed by James K. Putt. This slide was painted a light color, possibly a cream white or just white.

1924-1928 ~ Hershey Park pool 001

You can see the 1924 Shoot the Chute in the background. Unlike the previous version, which was brown, this was painted a lighter color – possibly white. This image is from sometime between 1924 and 1928.

1924-1928 ~ Hershey Park pool 002

You can see the walkway to the top of the slide in this photo. This image is from sometime between 1924 and 1928.

1924-1928 ~ Hershey Park pool 003

Another picture with the Shoot The Chute in the background. This image is from sometime between 1924 and 1928.

1924-1928 ~ Hershey Park pool

A view of the hollow pool from sometime between 1924 and 1928.

The slide was torn down when the pool was closed after the 1928 season. The pool was filled in, with the location of the slide being replaced with a Philadelphia Toboggan Company Mill Chute – which would be in the park until 1972.

Giant Toboggan Slide

When the “old pool” opened in 1929, it did not have a toboggan slide. This was somewhat disappointing to a lot of the people who loved the old Shoot the Chute at the original Hollow pool.

In 1931, by popular demand, Hershey Estates brought back a Shoot the Chute in the form of a Giant Toboggan Slide. This was built in an area away from the main pool, along Spring Creek. The park generally didn’t like having a toboggan slide due to the liability associated with it, which is why they didn’t install a new slide in 1929.

1931-06-28 Harrisburg Sunday Courier (p4)

Advert for Hersheypark featuring the “Giant New Water Toboggan for Bathers,” along with many new features including the new Bike Boats. In Harrisburg Sunday Courier, June 28, 1931, on page 4.

The Giant Toboggan Slide was fairly popular and was even featured on a Curt Teich postcard.

[1932] - 2A826-N - Giant Water Toboggan

Curt Teich-designed Giant Water Toboggan postcard of Hersheypark, #37 in the series.

However, when World War II began, and available employment decreased due to men going to fight in the war, Hersheypark immediately closed the Giant Toboggan Slide and its pool. The slide stood for several years before it was removed. The pool itself was turned into a secondary kiddie pool.

Hershey Park Old Pool Toboggan Pool

You can see where the Toboggan Slide pool was, right along Spring Creek behind and between Hershey Creamery and Hershey Park Ballroom. This map is from circa 1950.

It’s unclear how long the small pool remained, but it was removed sometime before Hershey Park Pool was closed after the 1971 season.


To give some perspective on where everything was located in the Hollow, here is a comparison of three images of the park. Two are from the postcards above, and the third is a picture of Hersheypark from 1974.

1912 ~ 1926 ~ 1974 Hollow


To read more Throwback Thursday posts, click here

BBLz

PepsiCo BBLz Logo

Get fizzy with it! On July 4, Hersheypark happily debuted the first permanent location of BBLz™, where mixologists – a.k.a. Bubble Makers –combine unexpected flavor bases, custom-blended foams and sweet garnishes to give guests an immersive and delicious beverage experience. What is BBLz? Every BBLz beverage combines a soft drink from Pepsi-Cola’s portfolio, such as…

via BBLz Launches First Permanent Location at Hersheypark — Sweet Stories From @HersheyPA


BBLz in Hersheypark

On July 4, 2017, a new food vending location opened up in Hersheypark. BBLz (a stylized version of the word bubbles), as explained in an article on Sweet Stores From @HersheyPA (link above), was constructed as an addition to the Overlook Arcade / Restaurant, a substantial change to the building which replaced the old penny arcade pavilion in 1990.

This building is located in Kissing Tower Hill, and BBLz is on the side of the building facing Hershey Triple Tower, which opened earlier in 2017. Hersheypark began teasing the addition of BBLz in April 2017.

BBLz at Hersheypark

A conceptualized drawing of BBLz in Hersheypark. (Note: the background is not consistent with how Hersheypark looks, just BBLz and Overlook.)

BBLz is a brand which was trademarked by PepsiCo on May 30, 2017. The concept was developed by PepsiCo, and is named Pepsi Fizz. Fizz debuted at the 6th Annual World Maker Faire New York, September 26-27, 2015.

BBLz is the first permanent installation of the Pepsi Fizz product. On July 17, 2017, PepsiCo issued a press release about BBLz.

BBLz in Shanghai Disneyland

A second BBLz location was found in Shanghai Disneyland, in China. It’s unclear if it was open prior to Hersheypark’s BBLz opening on July 4. However, this location is smaller than Hersheypark’s and has a simpler menu with only 4 options.

BBLz at Shanghai Disneyland

A drawing of the BBLz stand in Shanghai Disneyland. Unlike the one at Hersheypark, this is one story tall.

One option is themed after one of the Tron rides in Shanghai Disneyland (Tron Lightcycle Power Run). That said, the options are somewhat similar to some of what is offered at Hersheypark’s BBLz, although they use 7UP instead of Mist Twst.


To learn more about BBLz at Hersheypark, read the article I shared at the top of this page!