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! 

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! 

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! 

Hershey’s Kisses Regatta

“Where else but in Hershey, Pennsylvania, would you find ten thousand rubber Hershey’s Kisses floating in a lazy river raising money to support a great organization like Children’s Miracle Network?”

– Dr. Craig Hillemeier, then chair of the Department of Pediatrics & Medical Director, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, September 9, 2010.

Hershey’s Kisses Regatta was a fundraiser event held at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark. This was Hershey’s version of a rubber duck regatta, replacing a fleet of rubber ducks with rubber Hershey’s Kisses. The event was held to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

The inaugural event was announced on July 28, 2010. It was scheduled for Thursday, September 9, 2010, at 5pm. The event was organized with Children’s Miracle Network through several corporate partnerships. This included Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company and The Hershey Company as the top sponsors, with Kraft Foods and Pepsi as the co-sponsors of the event.

People could purchase tickets for the event through August 20, 2010. These tickets could be bought at a variety of locations ranging from the Children’s Miracle Network office to various Stauffers of Kissel Hill locations.

The purpose of buying a ticket was to “Adopt a Kiss.” 10,000 rubber Hershey’s Kisses were to be placed in the Intercoastal Waterway in The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, and then the first 20 rubber Kisses to cross the finish line were all awarded prizes. Each Kiss had a number printed on the bottom to correspond to the ticket sold to a person.

2010-fall-cmn-miracle-moments-p3

This is from Children’s Miracle Network’s Miracle Moments newsletter, fall 2010, page 3. It describes the event and shows two pictures from the “numbering party” a few days before the event.

A single rubber Hershey’s Kiss cost $5. There was an option to buy a “Pucker Pack” for $20. This option included a bonus fifth Kiss and admittance to watch the Regatta in person (the event was not open to the public and rides were not in operation). Prizes for the Regatta included season passes to Hersheypark, gift cards, Pepsi soda for a year, as well as Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea for a year.

Winners were determined by the first 20 rubber Hershey’s Kisses to cross the finish line in the Intercoastal Waterway. The event raised over $19,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.

2010-09-10 Hershey Kiss Regatta at Intercoastal Waterway

Rubber Hershey’s Kisses all along the side of the Intercoastal Waterway, the day after the first Hershey’s Kisses Regatta, September 10, 2010.

The Second Annual Hershey’s Kisses Regatta was scheduled for a year later, again on a Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 5pm. Prices were the same for the tickets and prizes were similar, though a highlighted prize for this second event was winning a Hershey Bears suite for a night.

However, inclement weather caused the event to be scuttled. To determine winners of the event, rubber Hershey’s Kisses were chosen at random. The amount fundraised for this event was never announced.

After the rained-out regatta, the event hasn’t been held since. Here is a video of the 2010 edition of the Hershey’s Kisses Regatta.

Giant Wheel removal | 2004

On February 6, 2017, pictures from 2004 finally resurfaced. These were images of the removal of Giant Wheel, which occurred in November 2004. The pictures were uploaded to the Hersheypark History Group on Facebook.

The pictures were originally uploaded to a Webshots album at this link: http://community.webshots.com/album/208350197uIEtoK (this link redirects to the Webshots main page because it is a deadlink). The original uploader is unknown. The album was removed several days later and wasn’t seen again until February 6, 2017.

I am sharing them here for anyone who is interested. Below is a slideshow of 26 images of Giant Wheel being taken down. The ride was removed from the park.

More can be read about Giant Wheel:

The photos below were emailed to me by Chad Hall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sellner Manufacturing Company

This is my regular Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. Today’s article is about Sellner Manufacturing Company. 

Sellner Manufacturing Company, Inc., was a ride manufacturer based out of Faribault, Minnesota. The company was founded by Herbert W. Sellner in 1923, when Sellner created a water toboggan slide, and then began producing their most well known ride, Tilt-A-Whirl, in 1926. Sellner was acquired by Larson International, Inc., in 2011, when the Sellner family decided to exit the business. A restored Tilt-A-Whirl car sits on a corner in the town of Faribault, a reminder of the classic ride invented there.

1954-02-27-the-billboard-p53

Advertisement; The Billboard, February 27, 1954, page 53.

Hersheypark purchased one ride from Sellner, Tilt-A-Whirl, in 1982. It was installed in Carrousel Circle in 1983, replacing the Monster. The description of the ride in a 1983 press release was:

NEW for Hersheypark’s 1983 season is a TILT-A-WHIRL on which courageous riders are flung around a circular track. The waved construction of the track causes each gondola, and its occupants, to tilt and whirl!

tilt-a-whirl-shawn-marie-mann

Tilt-A-Whirl in it’s second location, in Comet Hollow, from 2010. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

Tilt-A-Whirl was relocated to Comet Hollow in 1995, replacing the Chance Rides manufactured Rotor. Tilt-A-Whirl remained in this spot until 2011, when construction for Skyrush was beginning. The ride was relocated back to it’s original spot in Founder’s Circle (Carrousel Circle was renamed Founder’s Circle in 2005).

tilt-a-whirl-shawn-marie-mann

Tilt-A-Whirl, shortly after being reinstalled in its original Founder’s Circle location (now called Founder’s Way, originally Carrousel Circle), in 2012. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.


To read more about other ride manufacturers that have made rides for Hersheypark, click here.

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.

1980-05-08-71-73-west-derry-road-lingle-millard-to-herco

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.

1985-pioneer-food-court-large

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.

1990-pioneer-food-court

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.

2004-pioneer-food-court

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-shawn-marie-mann

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).

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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

TBT #32 | Hersheypark 1983 updates

In 1983, Hersheypark introduced a new ride which replaced the Monster – Tilt-A-Whirl. The park also introduced a new restaurant – Tudor Rose Grill. This was the season following the introduction of two new rides in Spring Creek Hollow and the CinemaVision theater in Odyssey Alley – both regions were new named areas for 1982, but not considered themed areas.

This can be seen no further than a description of Hersheypark and it’s theme areas from the 1983 press kit. A section titled “If you could picture Hersheypark…” lists all seven theme areas, and makes a reference to Spring Creek Hollow, the last such reference to the name of that area. (From 1984-1989, the name Spring Creek Hollow doesn’t exist – in 1990, the area is named Comet Hollow.)

On another section describing amenities in Hersheypark, the Lost Children’s Caboose is mentioned. It is mentioned being located in Odyssey Alley.

1983 Hersheypark Press Kit Amenities

From a section of the press kit about park amenities, you can spot a rare reference to “Odessey Alley” (spelled Odyssey Alley on the 1982-84 Hersheypark Souvenir Map Book).

Tudor Rose Tavern was a retheming of a restaurant in the Tudor Square area of the park. Prior to this point the restaurant didn’t get much promotion or attention. This became the park’s first proper indoor, sit-down restaurant upon being converted into the Tudor Rose. In later years, it would be renamed Pippin’s, Tudor Grill, and Hersheypark Place.

Water Technology, Incorporated

This is my regular Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. Today’s article is about Water Technology, Incorporated. 

Water Technology, Inc, or WTI, is a engineer and manufacturer of swimming pools and waterpark attractions. WTI is based in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and has been in operation since 1983.

WTI manufactured two water rides for Hersheypark – The Shore and Intercoastal Waterway. The design for the rides were created by WhiteWater West Industries. These two rides replaced Canyon River Rapids, which had been in the park from 1987-2008. Called The Boardwalk SeaQuel, the first expansion to The Boardwalk, which opened in 2007, the area also included cabanas and a restaurant.

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Promotional material for The Boardwalk II The SEAQuel.

The Shore is wave pool that has a surface area of 22,620 square feet. It can hold 377,917 gallons of water. The depth of the water ranges from 0 feet to 5 feet.

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The first aid and restrooms building at The Shore, 2009. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

Intercoastal Waterway is a lazy river that holds 451,718 gallons of water and is 1360 feet long. It has a depth of 2.5 feet, with a surface area of 24,081 square feet.

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Hersheypark plan for The Boardwalk expansion for 2009.

The entire SeaQuel project was estimated to cost $17.6 million. The expanded area opened in 2009. The Boardwalk would be updated a third time in 2013, with Roller Soaker being replaced by Shoreline Sprayground.


To read more about other ride manufacturers that have made rides for Hersheypark, click here.