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.

Hersheypark Drive improvements

This was a news item I saw in today’s Derry Township (Dauphin County, PA) newsletter.

Improvements at Major Intersection to Begin on April 3rd

Kinsley Sitework has announced that work will begin at the intersection of Hersheypark Drive and Walton Avenue on April 3rd. The work will require lane closures for approximately four weeks. This work is related to a project designed to improve traffic flow and will include pedestrian enhancements.

Bear this construction in mind if you are going to Hersheypark for Springtime In The Park via US Route 322.

This intersection is the first traffic light you’ll come across as you head north toward the park. For those less familiar, notable landmarks you can see at this intersection includes the Cocoa Diner in one shopping center, and a second shopping center on the other side of Hersheypark Drive on top of a hill which includes a Panera Bread and a Five Guys restaurant. There is also a Bob Evans and an Applebee’s across from each other on the north side of the intersection.

HP Drive-Walton intersection [wide]

This is a map of the Hershey area. The light blue arrow on the bottom left points west to Hummelstown and Harrisburg. The red circle to the right of that is highlighting the area of construction – Hersheypark Drive and Walton Avenue. The blue circle at the top right is just to highlight Hersheypark’s location on the map.

HP Drive-Walton intersection

Here is a zoomed in version of the map. You can see Hersheypark Drive and Walton Avenue, as well as the Cocoa Diner and Panera Bread.

Hopefully traffic won’t be too bad, but this project is definitely necessary. During rush hour times, the Hersheypark Drive – Walton Avenue intersection gets very busy. And during the summer, those rush hour times expand for when the park closes and people make their way to the shopping centers there for food.

Hersheypark opens for Springtime in the Park on April 8.

Fun fact: While it is not uncommon for states to have multiple townships with the same name (there are 21 Madison Townships in Ohio, for example), there are two Derry Townships in Pennsylvania. The one mentioned in this article is in Dauphin County while the other Derry Township is located in Westmoreland County. Officially, Derry Township in Dauphin County operates under the name Township of Derry. 

Haunted Harvest | 2004

With various haunted attractions available within close distance of Hershey, Hersheypark didn’t try their hand at having a haunted attraction in Hersheypark. That changed in 2004 when park management decided to have one. This attraction was Haunted Harvest. 

I want to take a moment to thank Roy J. Brashears for his help with this article. His input and images are great to help bring back memories in this one-time event at Hersheypark.

Thanks Roy!

The Legend

In 2004, Hersheypark introduced a new event for Hersheypark In The Dark that was a haunted house walkthrough. Called Haunted Harvest, it featured a haunting storyline and was in the Wildcat and Pioneer Frontier Catering pavilions. Haunted Harvest was produced by Oak Island Productions (today called Oak Island Creative).


Haunted Harvest advertisement in the 2004 Hersheypark In The Dark guide.

2004 Haunted Harvest Map

Haunted Harvest on 2004 Hersheypark In The Dark map.

Haunted Harvest was comprised of three haunted zones, Fear House, Scream Acres, and Dread Shed. This was themed after The Legend of Cornelius Fields, a story created for Haunted Harvest.

The event had a fee of $18 per person. Guests could also buy a combination wristband that gave you unlimited rides and entry to Haunted Harvest for $33 per person. Guests had to be at least 16 years of age or older to enter the attraction.


The entrance of Haunted Harvest. Photo courtesy of Roy J. Brashears.

Fearhouse image 1 [Roy J. Brashears]

Fear House! Photo courtesy of Roy J. Brashears.


Scream Acres. Photo courtesy of Roy J. Brashears.

Haunted Harvest was open every day of Hersheypark In The Dark that season, with the park being open until 12 a.m. on some days, the latest the park had ever been normally open till. The event would open at 7 p.m. with the rest of the park opening earlier.

This video, produced by Oak Island, gives the backstory to Haunted Harvest
and shows you a walkthrough of the event. 

No return

In April 2005, the park announced in a letter that the Haunted Harvest attraction would not be offered at Hersheypark In The Dark 2005.

The letter, which made its rounds on various online forums at the time, reportedly said:

“Hersheypark has decided not to offer the Haunted Harvest experience in
order to focus on attractions that target our primary audience, the
family.  The Haunted Harvest event was executed flawlessly; the
creativity and work ethic exhibited went beyond expectation and we owe
a great deal of gratitude to you for making the event happen.  We will
certainly miss the opportunity of working with all of you, but we do
hope to see you again at Hersheypark as a guest or as an employee.”

In an interview with Kathleen Daminger of LancasterOnline.com, from October 2010, Hersheypark public relations manager Kathy Burrows said, “The event didn’t go over. It was extremely well done and extremely scary. But that’s not what people want when they come here.”

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TBT #33 | NightLights Laser Show

NightLights was a laser show installed in Midway America before the start of the 2001 season. Guests were able to view the show in the empty grass field in the region, one of the undeveloped spaces remaining after the expansion of Phase 3 and Lightning Racer in Midway America.

The laser show remained in the park until the middle of the summer 2004 season. The screen the show was projected onto was torn beyond repair. The screen was never replaced, the show retired. The park typically had multiple shows during the summer season. A couple of shows were also done during Hersheypark In The Dark and Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, between 2001 and 2003. At the time in 2001, Midway America wasn’t open for either holiday event – this meant this was the first time Midway America was used in any capacity after September / early October.

Midway America rides would begin to open in the 2003 season for Hersheypark In The Dark. Midway America rides wouldn’t open for Christmas Candylane until 2015.


FrightLights | A Musical Laser Spooktacular

The NightLights show was created by two companies, Audio Visual Imagineering, Inc., the company that developed the custom laser show for the park, and Apogee Sound International, LLC, who provided the surround sound amplifying equipment, riggings, and control systems for the show.

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Pioneer Frontier Food Court

Constructed in 1985, Pioneer Frontier Food Court has been a focal area in Pioneer Frontier. A number of food places, rides, a performing gazebo, and even a general store have been in the food court. This is a history of this area of the park. 

The Lingle House

In 1913, the first building that is part of Pioneer Frontier Food Court was constructed. The property was sold from Milton S. Hershey to Abraham T. Heilman (Hersheypark’s second general manager) with the deed being transferred on August 23, 1913. The house was constructed shortly thereafter by Hershey Improvement Company.

This house would be sold to Harvey Curry in October 1914. Curry sold the house to Edward Lingle in March 1915 – the house remained in the Lingle family until Millard and Elsie Lingle sold the house to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (then called HERCO, Inc.) on May 2, 1980. The property was purchased for $115,000.00 ($335,854.43 adjusted for inflation). The last address this house had (it was split as a duplex) was 71 and 73 West Derry Road.


A copy of the deed for the Lingle house, available in Dauphin County Records Office. This deed was sold to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (then called HERCO, Inc.) from Millard and Elsie Lingle in 1980.

Other developments prior to 1985

In 1972, a section of West Derry Road between Park Avenue and Park Boulevard was closed to thru traffic. Another road, Strawberry Lane was eventually closed to thru traffic as well.  There were a handful of houses in this section of Hershey, and it wasn’t until the early 80s when Hersheypark was able to consolidate the lots into one property. In 1980, the first rides north of Derry Road were installed – Cyclops and Pirat. Dry Gulch Railroad was modified for the first time, the station being relocated to make way for a new pathway to connect to Cyclops.

In 1982, CinemaVision was installed further north of Cyclops. At the same time, a new catering area was introduced. Themed after Pirat, it was called Pirat Cove Catering. In 1984, this was renamed Dry Gulch Galley Catering, in part because Dry Gulch Railroad had been expanded and this catering area was now inside the Dry Gulch oval. This was part of the first phase of the Pioneer Frontier expansion in 1984.

CinemaVision 1982

Pirate Cove Catering, in what is Pioneer Frontier Food Court today, in 1982. CinemaVision is the domed building at the top left.

For the 1985 season, Hersheypark planned to add a food court to the area where Dry Gulch Galley Catering was. The plan was to relocate the catering area across from the food court – which it was. Dry Gulch Galley Catering would be relocated one more time, to Trailblazer Hollow in 1991, being renamed Trailblazer Catering, when Sidewinder was installed in the Dry Gulch Galley Catering area.

An expansion study was surveyed by the park in late 1984 to consider options for continuing Pioneer Frontier expansion. Two options were proposed, one which included the installation of several additional rides beyond what was ultimately added to the food court, as well as several extra pavilions to be added to Dry Gulch Galley Catering in 1986. Ultimately the park went with the modified option that made the area a food court.

1985 Expansion Study Pioneer Food Court [proposed]

An expansion study for Hersheypark, filed in late 1984 to the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Office of Records. Proposed rides called for the two that were relocated to Pioneer Frontier Food Court in 1985 (Wells Cargo and Livery Stables) as well as the addition of three other rides in 1985. Trabant would be relocated to Pioneer Frontier Food Court in 1986, meaning two rides proposed for this area were never installed. This proposal also called for a bandstand to be installed, for the 1985 season, in the spot later developed for Frontier Flyers in 2003.

The rides in Pioneer Frontier Food Court

Two rides were placed in Pioneer Food Court in 1985 – the kiddie Whip named Whipperoo and the Antique Mini-Carrousel were placed in buildings across from each other near the General Store in the back part of the food court. Whipperoo was rethemed Wells Cargo and Antique Mini-Carrousel was rethemed Livery Stables.


Pioneer Frontier Food Court on a 1985 map of Hersheypark. The purple circle on the top left represents Wells Cargo and the purple circle in the bottom center represents Livery Stables. (On the map, these small circles represented kiddie rides – the color purple represented all rides. Orange represented retail and yellow represented food stands.)

Wells Cargo was relocated to Dutch Wonderland for the 2003 season and Livery Stables was relocated outside of the food court area in a newly developed area between Dry Gulch Railroad and the old general store building. Frontier Flyers was placed in this area, along with Mini Scrambler.

A third ride was added to the food court in 1986 – Trabant was relocated from its original location adjacent Fender Bender. Trabant was rethemed Rodeo. It was relocated to the former Timber Rattler location when that ride was removed after the 1987 season. Rodeo was later relocated to Dutch Wonderland, in 2009, when The Boardwalk SeaQuel was added.

1988 Pioneer Frontier Food Court

Pioneer Frontier Food Court on a 1988 map of Hersheypark.

With a hole left in the food court for a season, Balloon Flite was relocated to the food court in 1989, when it was relocated from the same spot Trabant had been adjacent Fender Bender. Balloon Flite was eventually placed in storage in 2003, to make way for the launch track for Storm Runner. Balloon Flite was reinstalled in Founder’s Circle in 2005.


Pioneer Frontier Food Court on a 1990 map of Hersheypark.

Sidewinder was installed in 1991, in the location where Dry Gulch Galley Catering had been. Sidewinder is a boomerang rollercoaster manufactured by Vekoma. Sidewinder starts by pulling the train in reverse from the station up a lift hill. The train is then released, going through a cobra roll and then a loop. The train runs up a second lift hill and is then pulled up the hill. The train is released and you go through the ride backwards.

Sidewinder 2013

Sidewinder in 2013. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

Food, Souvenirs, Ephemera

After the house was transferred to Hersheypark management after the purchase of the Lingle house in 1980, it was initially used for storage. When the food court was created, this house was repurposed into Spring Creek General Store.  It was converted into Country Christmas Shop in 1995. In 2000, it became Amtrak Train Garden. In 2002, it was converted into Subway when Subway in Minetown was replaced with a Wok-n-Roll.

Much like there was a bandstand proposed in the 1985 expansion study, a gazebo bandstand was installed in the middle of the seating area in the food court, rather than behind the General Store.


Pioneer Frontier Food Court on a 2004 map of Hersheypark. 

Taco Shell probably was in Hersheypark starting in 1985, when the food court was built. It then appears on park maps beginning in 1987, as the quality of their map and brochure significantly increased from the previous two seasons. Taco Shell, a generic taco stand, would remain in the park through the 1991 season. In 1992, Hersheypark converted the stand into a Taco Bell. In 2004, the Taco Bell branding was removed and a new taco stand replaced it – Tumbleweed’s Tacos. This stand was converted into The Outpost in 2015.

Adjacent to that building was an ice cream stand. It became a Ben & Jerry’s when Ben & Jerry’s became a sponsor in 1990. When that agreement ended, the ice cream stand became a Turkey Hill Creamery. That building was split into two parts, the other half eventually being a coffee place called Latte Tude. It became Panini Express in 2010. In 2015, it was transformed into Pioneer Pete’s, a fruit smoothie stand, which was a relocated food stand that had been next to Mixed Grill.


Pioneer Frontier Food Court, in 2016. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

The building that housed Wells Cargo was converted into Wurstburg Grill for the 2003 season; this food stand has been the same since. The building that housed Livery Stables became Mixed Grill in 2003. Mixed Grill was converted into Moe’s Southwest Grill in 2015.

A small building next to Livery Stables housed a glass blower and blacksmith shop, as well as souvenir etchings. This was redeveloped into Pioneer Pete’s, a fruit smoothie stand. This building was torn down when Moe’s was constructed (although it erroneously appears on park maps in 2015 and 2016).


Pioneer Frontier Food Court on a 2015 map of Hersheypark.

The building next to that was also part of the blacksmith and glassblowing retailers in the food court. In 1991, it became Sidewinder Sizzler. This was renamed The Whistle Stop in 2003. In 2016, this became the second Chickie’s & Pete’s location in the park. The first location is near The Boardwalk in Midway America.

One other location in the food court is just on the outskirts next to Sidewinder – that is a Dippin’ Dots ice cream stand. This ice cream stand was simply a movable cart (these are placed at various locations around the park).

This was a history of Pioneer Frontier Food Court, which opened in 1985 and continues to exist to this day inside Hersheypark. If you are interested in other articles about Pioneer Frontier or the expansion of Hersheypark north of old West Derry Road, click here

Little Red Caboose (Lost Children’s Caboose)

In 1969, Hersheypark received a donation from Reading Railroad Company – a rare red caboose. This caboose, #92938, was built in September 1942 – when steel was only allowed to be used for the war effort during World War II.

As a result, this caboose was made out of wood, a material not otherwise used for such a purpose since 1920. The cabooses made during the war were all made out of wood, making them rare compared to all the other years made from steel. (That’s interesting, given the US Mint released steel pennies in 1943.)

This train car was a little red caboose, often called a Northeastern Caboose, and was placed adjacent to several kiddie rides – Helicopters, Whipperoo (later Wells Cargo), Space Age, Motorcycles (named Traffic Jam today) – in an area approximately where Music Box Theater stands today.

North Kiddieland.jpg

A photograph of North Kiddieland, unknown uploader, circa 1970.

In 1980, the caboose was relocated when Hersheypark expanded and Pirat and Cyclops were added. The caboose was moved to a spot where Tip Top had been located (it had been removed after the 1979 season). It remained in this location until it was removed from the park in 2015.

The caboose was originally a walk-through ride at a charge of 10 cents in the 1970 season. This was essentially a flop and the walk-through was discontinued in the 1971 season. It was then used as a place parents could have parties for their children. It eventually became Lost Children’s Caboose, a place where children who were disconnected from their parents could be taken until their parents were found. In 2006, the caboose was discontinued for this purpose with a new building having a Lost Children’s Corral next to The Claw.

The caboose is currently in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, at a train yard for Reading Railroad Heritage Museum. Pictures of the removal of the caboose from Hersheypark and installation at the train yard can be seen here.


The Crusader newsletter for RCT&HS, March 2014.

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TBT #26 | CinemaVision theater

Installed in 1982, CinemaVision was a kind of short film movie theater that was housed in a geodesic dome. This was built on the edge of the park, and the area surrounding it (later themed Music Box Way from 1990-2013) was named Odyssey Alley.

Hersheypark souvenir map - Odyssey Alley

Odyssey Alley as seen in the 1982-84 souvenir map book. CinemaVision is star number 10. 

This theater was somewhat akin to an IMAX theater. The screen went from the floor to the ceiling and was wide enough to have a 180 degree view. All of the movies were presented from the point-of-view, first person perspective. According to a post by Hersheypark on their Facebook page, films ranged from “simulated rides of a roller coaster to speeding down a busy road.”

Cinema Vision HP Post 2013 [large]

A screencapture of Hersheypark’s post about CinemaVision from November 27, 2013.

CinemaVision was only in the park for three seasons when it was replaced by an Arrow Magic Room called Frontier Meeting House. That ride was only in the park through the 1989 season when it was replaced and transformed into an arcade. This dome is still in the park today and continues to house an arcade.

…A Happy Experience | May 7, 1972

Printed on May 7, 1972, in The Patriot-News, was a special section all about the grand opening of the new Hersheypark (although it was renamed a year earlier in 1971). What I’m sharing here is what was on the front page of that special section and what is one of the first prominent appearances of the Hersheypark pinwheel logo.

2016-02-25 - 1972-05-07 The Patriot News (p1)

When the park opened, there was a ceremony in which dignitaries and invited guests were in attendance. The ceremony was held in Carrousel Circle, the most prominent of the three new themed regions added to the park. The guests were paraded from the entrance of the park – for the 1972 season, located at the northern end of the park, adjacent the Dry Gulch Railroad station and the main lobby (Lobby 1) of Hersheypark Arena – to the edge of Carrousel Circle in Der Deitschplatz, another of the new themed areas (the third themed area added was the Animal Garden).

After the ceremony, normal operations began for the day. New rides to open included the Twin Towers Toboggans, Scrambler and Monster. This would be the start of the last month and a half of operations for the Philadelphia Toboggan Company water toboggan ride, The Lost River, which would be destroyed in the flood of 1972 in June. This would also be the last year of operations for the last funhouse, Funland, the Aeroaffiliates ride Flying Coaster, and the Magic Carpet Giant Slide.