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.

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TBT #35 | Hersheypark BalloonFest

The featured image above is courtesy of Debra Brooks. The picture is from circa 1990. 

Hersheypark Balloonfest was an event held in October of every year between 1988 and 2002. This event featured approximately 50 hot air balloons that launched from a field adjacent to the parking lots of Hersheypark.

The final Balloonfest was held on October 27, 2002. It was held despite the construction of Giant Center; the building is located on the site where most of the hot-air balloons launched from in prior seasons.

2002-hpbf

2002 Hersheypark BalloonFest on the 2002 Hersheypark In The Dark map.

The event was typically held over multiple days and in some years even over two weekends. There many other events held alongside the launch of hot-air balloons. In 1998, for example, a new event was added to the BalloonFest schedule. Called OktoberSaloonfest, this was a microbrew sampling event. Food fare included German snacks and a full meal.

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Many arts and craft stands were also at BalloonFest, usually around 100 in total. Entry to BalloonFest was free, though events such as OktoberSaloonfest had a separate charge. These stands were reduced and eliminated in the last two seasons of the event.

According to Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County, Hersheypark BalloonFest was “a nationally acclaimed balloon festival, winning Balloon Life Magazine’s award for the best balloon event in the east for two years running [1997 and 1998].”


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TBT #34 | History of Hersheypark In The Dark

Hersheypark In The Dark is Hersheypark’s oldest shoulder season event. It was an event started two years after ZooAmerica opened. This is a look back at the history of this event. 

Creatures of the Night (1980-present)

Originally started as a one night event on October 31, 1980, Creatures of the Night, is an annual event which occurs during the month of October in ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. The attractions for the event include a flashlight tour, presentations of several movies, as well as animal demonstrations.

Starting in 1992, the event expanded into the Minetown region of Hersheypark (Kissing Tower Hill since 2014). Six rides were opened for operation: Antique Cars of Twin Turnpike, Convoy, Dinosaurs-Go-Round, Flying Falcon, Kissing Tower, and Red Baron. The rides required tickets. Creatures was renamed Creatures of the Night . . . Plus! for the 1992 season, to emphasise that the park was operating a few rides. The name reverted back to the standard Creatures name the following season.

A blog post written by the Hershey Community Archives, in 2012, features a map of Creatures from the 1992 season. Click here to view their blog.

It is unclear when Hersheypark began renaming rides for Creatures. Rides were not renamed in the 1992 season. In 1995, Trailblazer Hollow (which included two rides, Trailblazer and Pony Parade) was incorporated into the event. The area was themed for Creatures as Sleepy Hollow. It is most likely that the 1995 event is when the park began renaming rides after Halloween-themed names for Creatures.

Trailblazer Hollow, as Sleepy Hollow, would be open through 1997, with no significant changes being made to the event on the park side, in the 1996 season.

1995-10-12-the-gettysburg-times-pa9

Advert from The Gettysburg Times, October 12, 1995, page A9.

For the 1997 event, the main entrance for Creatures was moved from the ZooAmerica entrance to the main entrance of the park, as Creatures was becoming a more popular event. In Carrousel Circle, only the Carrousel was opened (called Night Mares). Pippins, a restaurant in Tudor Square, was also open.

This led to a significant change to the event in 1998, splicing the main park into a new event.

Hersheypark In The Dark (1998-present)

In 1998, the event was split into two, with the name of the event becoming Hersheypark In The Dark (HPITD). The ZooAmerica event remained as Creatures of the Night. HPITD was a pay-per-ride event (which would be changed to a single fee at the main entrance in 2006).

The original Sleepy Hollow area was switched from Trailblazer Hollow to Comet Hollow. Trailblazer Hollow would be reopened for Hersheypark In The Dark in the 2000, with most of Pioneer Frontier (the water rides remained closed), as well as, officially, all of Carrousel Circle and Music Box Way (although some of the rides in Carrousel Circle and Music Box Way were operated and re-themed in the 1999 season, just not marked on the park map).

In 2001, with the addition of the NightLights Laser Show in Midway America, a laser show was put on during HPITD – FrightLights: A Laser Spooktacular. None of the rides would be open in Midway America officially until the 2003 season.

Directional Signs [Shawn Marie Mann]

Directional signs at the intersection of Founder’s Circle and The Hollow, 2013. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

The first roller coaster put into operation for Creatures was Trailblazer, sometime between 1993 and 1995. It’s Halloween-themed name was “Ichabod’s Train.” In 1998, Trailblazer was not opened for the event in favor of Comet. As a result, Comet was given the name “Ichabod’s Train.” When Trailblazer was reintroduced to the event in 2000, it was given the name “Boo-Blazer.”

BOO-Blazer [Shawn Marie Mann]

BOO-Blazer was the Halloween-themed name for Trailblazer from 2000-2014. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

Ichabod's Comet [Shawn Marie Mann]

Sign for Comet, 2013 Hersheypark In The Dark. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

A few other rides changed names over the course of Creatures / HPITD. One was an inflatable ride, Moonwalk, which was originally called “Scaredy Cat.” When Wildcat was opened for Hersheypark In The Dark in the 2004 season (the rest of Midway America was first opened in the 2003 season), Moonwalk was renamed “Boo Bounce” and Wildcat was given the name “Scaredy Cat.”

Another ride was Balloon Flite, which was called Balloon Flite during Creatures / HPITD. After the ride was reinstalled following it’s time in storage (2003-2004), the ride was given the name “Balloon Fright.”

Pony Parade was originally installed in Trailblazer Hollow before being relocated to Midway America in 1997. When Pony  Parade was in this location when the “Sleepy Hollow” area opened in Trailblazer Hollow, the ride was called “Sleepy Hollow Horse Carts.” When the ride was reopened with Midway America in 2003 (except for Wildcat), it was renamed for HPITD – “Monster Movers.” The “Monster Movers” name had been previously used for Earthmovers, which had been removed after the 2002 season (it was relocated to Dutch Wonderland for the 2003 season).

When Whip was opened for HPITD, it was given the name “Spider’s Web,” which was the name given to Cyclops before it was removed from the park.

One ride was never renamed at all: The Howler. The practice of renaming rides for this event was discontinued after the 2014 season.

A list of all of the Halloween-themed names for rides can be seen here. A history of maps for Creatures of the Night and Hersheypark In The Dark are located in the Library Maps Database subsection of this website. There is also a timeline of Creatures / HPITD, which you can see here. Click the links to check them out.


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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.

Midway America expansion

Today’s article is about the Midway America expansion Hersheypark underwent over seven years (1996-2002). This article provides plans which are on file for the public at the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds Office. This is an overview of the expansion; there will be future articles about the rides in this area that will provide more detail about them. 

When Hersheypark began expanding north of old Derry Road, in 1980, the first plans only looked at the immediate area north of Dry Gulch Railroad, adjacent Hersheypark Arena. This was right where old West Derry Road had been, as well as old Strawberry Alley.

However, the park had already started growing towards that area when, in 1976, the park added a maintenance building (which is still there today). At the time the park wanted to add the building, the land was owned by the Hershey Trust Company rather than HERCO (today called Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company).

1975 stadium tracts

1975 plan of lands that will later become Pioneer Frontier, Midway America, and The Boardwalk. Hersheypark Stadium is to the left. The land, at the time, was divided into two tracts.

This land was located between Hersheypark Stadium, Hersheypark Drive (then called Airport Road), Park Avenue, and Strawberry Alley. This land was divided into two tracts, the maintenance building being developed on tract 1. The property was then transferred to HERCO and consolidated into two tracts – one tract is what included the maintenance building and the area behind it (today a parking lot) and the other tract is what eventually becomes Pioneer Frontier, Midway America, and The Boardwalk.

When Hersheypark planned out their expansion for the 1980 season, none of these lands were included. By the time plans for Canyon River Rapids were being drawn up in 1986, however, the entire area north of the new Pioneer Frontier area was included on the plot for the park.

Canyon River Rapids site plan, 1986.

Site plan for project site of Canyon River Rapids, 1986. Plot includes the entire area which now has the areas of Midway America and The Boardwalk, as well as the northern edge of Pioneer Frontier.

In 1989, Hersheypark began planning for an expansion beyond the northern end of Pioneer Frontier. The concept included four new roller coasters, a variety of flat rides, and a new amphitheater. (The amphitheater would never be built.)

These plans were drawn up for long term development – indicating construction wouldn’t begin until 1994 at the earliest.

Phase 1: Wildcat

As it turned out, construction began in 1995, with the announcement of Midway America and Wildcat. This was Phase I of the addition of Midway America. The theme of Midway America was meant to recall an old 1920’s, 1930’s feel with classic music being played to fit the area. Buildings were constructed to fit the theme.

1995 Midway America Phase 1

Midway America – Phase 1 expansion site plan, 1995. Wildcat was the only ride planned for the initial phase of Midway America expansion.

Wildcat was the first rollercoaster designed and manufactured by Great Coasters International, Incorporated, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania. This was the first wooden coaster installed in Hersheypark since the installation of Comet in 1946, the first time Hersheypark had two wooden roller coasters at the same time, and was the third wooden coaster the park installed.

That first coaster, installed in 1923 and removed after the 1945 season, was The Wild Cat. This GCI Wildcat was named for the original. A slogan was used, “The Cat is back!”

Phase 2: Midway America now has more than one ride!

In 1997, Hersheypark added Phase 2 of Midway America. This included a Ferris Wheel, Whip, and the relocation of several kiddie rides. Plans originally called for another circular plaza to be installed, but this was never done and that path was simply straightened.

1996-midway-america-phase-2

Midway America – Phase 2, plan from 1996.

Phase 2 called for the re-installation of Miniature Train, making it the first time the ride had been permanently installed in the park since 1971, where it had been placed near Comet and Hershey Park Ball Field.

The additions of Whip and Ferris Wheel served as recalls to rides Hersheypark once had – a Mangels Whip and Eli Bridge Twin Ferris Wheels. The Whip was manufactured by Rideworks, of Florida, and Ferris Wheel was manufactured by Chance Rides.

Phase 3: The Hersheypark Fair

In 1999, Hersheypark introduced Phase 3, the Hersheypark Fair. The biggest change with this plan was the location of Frog Hopper, which was originally planned to be placed on the opposite side of where it actually was installed. A new roller coaster was installed in this area, Wild Mouse. Manufactured by MACK Rides GmbH, this was a standard park model mouse.

This was the first time Hersheypark installed roller coasters in back-to-back years, as Great Bear had been installed in Minetown the season before. (There were two years Hersheypark installed two roller coasters at the same time – the Twin Tower Toboggans in 1972 and Mini-Comet and Trailblazer in 1974.)

1997-midway-america-phase-3

Midway America – Phase 3, plan from 1998. Take note of the location of Frog Hopper. This plan shows it was originally intended to be on the opposite side from where it actually was installed.

This expansion included the addition of a Chance Rides Chaos – Chaos would only be operated from the 1999 season to the 2005 season when it was removed to make way for The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, which opened in 2007. Most of the food trailers installed for the Hersheypark Fair were removed after the 2014 season.

The addition of Music Express served as a recall to another ride Hersheypark once had, Himalaya.

Project 2000: Lightning Racer

In late 1999, Project 2000 was announced: Lightning Racer. Lightning Racer was designed by GCI, as Wildcat had. Lightning Racer used GCI’s relatively new Millennium Flyer trains. This was the third consecutive year Hersheypark installed a roller coaster.

1999-midway-america-phase-4-project-2000

Midway America – Project 2000, the fourth phase of Midway America expansion.

Lightning Racer is a racing-dueling coaster with two tracks. One side is called Lightning, and the other side is called Thunder. The mid-course tunnel originally included a water element which was turned off after a year or two.

Attraction 2002: Roller Soaker

In late 2001, Hersheypark began teasing a new ride. Called Attraction 2002, the ride was a water coaster. A public contest was held, and the ride was named Roller Soaker. Roller Soaker was manufactured by Setpoint Inc., of Ogden, Utah.

2001-midway-america-phase-5-attraction-2002

Midway America – Attraction 2002, the fifth and final phase of Midway America expansion.

The ride was known for it’s technical difficulties – although it was popular due to the water elements on the ride. The ride remained in the park through the 2012 season, when it was removed.

One area of Midway America remained undeveloped for several years. This space was first used for a sitting area for the NightLights Laser Show that was installed in the park in 2001. The show was discontinued in 2004 after the screen was significantly damaged in a storm. That field would later be developed into The Boardwalk.


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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.

crusader2014-3-1

The Crusader newsletter for RCT&HS, March 2014.


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Frontier Meeting House | 1987-1989

In 1984, Arrow Huss, Inc. (the successor company to Arrow Development Company when Huss purchased Arrow in 1981) introduced the Magic Room.

Magic Room (Arrow Huss Inc.)

Arrow Huss Magic Room as listed in a 1985 Arrow Huss, Inc. catalog.

A version of the Magic Room was purchased by Hersheypark in 1986, and opened for the 1987 season. This was placed in the CinemaVision building. The ride operated such that the walls of the room would rotate while the seats in the center wouldn’t move. The ride had a 19th century western theme and it was given the name Frontier Meeting House. The western theme was chosen to fit in with the Pioneer Frontier theme of the surrounding area.

“Existing Magic Ride” – Frontier Meeting House.

Here is a description of Frontier Meeting House from the now defunct website Past Rides:

Themed as a western meeting house of the late 19th century, complete with a piano player, stove sitter, and choir, accompanied by a speaker preaching the evils of gold mining. Eventually an underground mine was seen by riders, where gold miners were attacked by the “demons of greed.”
Past Rides

1987 Souvenir map A

1987 Souvenir map showing Frontier Meeting House.

The ride remained in Hersheypark through the 1989 season. The ride was removed and evidently sold to a park in China. It is unknown whether the ride remains in operation to this day.

The building was converted into an arcade after the ride was removed. It was called the Double R-Cade and is currently called Playdome Arcade.

1990 Souvenir map A

1990 Souvenir map showing Double R-Cade.


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Pioneer Frontier expansion

In 1983, Hersheypark decided to add a new theme area to the park, continuing the expansion of the park beyond Dry Gulch Railroad, Cyclops, and CinemaVision, the area then named Odyssey Alley.

The plan called for adding the new themed area over the following two seasons, adding some new rides and relocating some existing rides. For the 1984 season, this area was called “Old West.” In 1985, it was permanently named Pioneer Frontier. While Pioneer Frontier continued to be expanded years later, this article will look back on the main expansion in 1984-1985.

1984 Old West in Hersheypark

1984 “Old West” Hersheypark map. Conestoga is #31, Timber Rattler is #32. Dry Gulch Galley Catering is #29, CinemaVision is #30.

Hersheypark expanded in 1984 by adding two new rides – Conestoga and Timber Rattler. The park also expanded Dry Gulch Railroad to go in a complete circle instead of a figure eight. The path was expanded beyond CinemaVision to Pirate Cove Catering (renamed Dry Gulch Galley Catering for the 1984 season) inside the Dry Gulch Railroad circle. The new area was given a name – “Old West” – with the area to be developed over the two seasons 1984-1985.

Concepts for Rattler Conestoga

Concept art for Timber Rattler and Conestoga

Conestoga was an Arrow-Huss pendulum ride. The car was made to look like a conestoga wagon. The ride spun in a complete circle, with the car swinging back and forth until it got enough momentum to swing the whole way around.  The ride was installed just beyond CinemaVision. Conestoga was in the park until 2002, replaced by Frontier Virtual Theater for several years, and then The Howler in 2008. Conestoga currently operates at Lake Winnepesaukah in  Rossville, Georgia.

Timber Rattler was a Carousel Holland BV manufactured ride. This was essentially an updated version of the Monster, which operated in the park from 1972-1982. Unfortunately, this ride was prone to breakdowns and wasn’t well made. Several instances of injuries ultimately resulted in the ride being removed from the park following the 1987 season.

1985 Pioneer Frontier Hersheypark map

1985 Pioneer Frontier Hersheypark map.

In 1985, Hersheypark gave the new theme area a proper name – Pioneer Frontier. This makes Pioneer Frontier the oldest existing theme area in the park.

The path that connected Timber Rattler and Conestoga with Dry Gulch Galley Catering was extended down to Trailblazer Hollow. This new path was called Canyon Pass.

Trailblazer Hollow included two rides – Trailblazer and Antique Pony Carts, as well as Trailblazer Theater. With the two areas connected, Trailblazer Hollow was merged into Pioneer Frontier. Antique Pony Carts were renamed Pony Parade.  Pony Parade would be relocated to Midway America in 1997, and relocated again in Midway America in 2015.

A food court was installed, and over the years included food options such as Taco Shell, Taco Bell, Moe’s, and Chickie’s and Pete’s. There was a gazebo in the middle of the seating area where performers could entertain. With the food court being installed, Dry Gulch Galley Catering was relocated to the other side of the path connecting Canyon Pass with Conestoga. This is where Sidewinder would be installed in 1991.

Pioneer 1991

Pioneer Frontier listings in the 1991 map of Hersheypark

Two kiddie rides were relocated to this area – the Antique Mini Carrousel was renamed Livery Stables and Whipperoo was renamed Wells Cargo. These rides were located inside buildings, and were in the food court until 2002. Livery Stables was relocated to a pavilion adjacent the food court. Wells Cargo was relocated to Dutch Wonderland.

One new ride was added: Granny Bugs. This was a remodeled version of OutBoard Motor Boats. It was relocated from the hill near Himalaya and placed adjacent to Dry Gulch Railroad, Cyclops and CinemaVision. Granny Bugs is a hybrid ride of two ride manufacturers. The core of the ride, including the motor, is a Hampton Amusement Corporation ride. The Granny Bugs cars were purchased from Venture Rides Manufacturing.

Granny Bugs 2015

Granny Bugs, in the new Midway America location, in 2015.

The ride operated in this spot in Pioneer Frontier until 1997, when Granny Bugs was relocated to Midway America. Granny Bugs was relocated to a different spot in Midway America in 2015.


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TBT #25 | 1982 Spring Creek Hollow renovation

In 1982, Hersheypark made its first significant update to an area adjacent to Comet known as the hollow, since Comet was built in 1946. In the 1950s and 1960s, this area was referred as the park’s “amusement center.”

1962 Amusement Center [large]

Amusement Center of Hersheypark circa 1962.

While some adjustments were made in 1973 with the relocation of the Whip, the renovation in 1982 was an overhaul of the entire area. Several new rides and attractions were added to the hollow, and this area of the hollow was given its first proper name – Spring Creek Hollow. A Cinemavision was also added in another area of the park – this will be covered in a separate article.

The renovations included the retirement of a Traver Engineering Company ride, The Bug. This ride operated in Hersheypark from August 1933 through 1981, having been added to the park as part of the town of Hershey’s 30th anniversary celebration. The Bug reportedly operated at the Chicago World’s Fair (Century of Progress) earlier in 1933.

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

The Bug, seen near Monorail, after removal from the park, circa 1984. Photo copyright J W Green.

The Bug was replaced by Wave Swinger, which continues to operate in the park today. The Wave Swinger was manufactured by Josef Zierer and designed by Franz Schwarzkopf, brother of Anton Schwarzkopf.

Wave Swinger’s nameplate includes the names of Zierer and Schwarzkopf. Photo courtesy of Shawn Marie Mann.

Wave Swinger

Wave Swinger in 2009.

A miniature golf course and paddle boat ride were installed in the park that included an extra fee. The miniature golf course was placed where Sooper Sizzler Cafe was, forcing that to be relocated to the building housing the Kiddie Auto Skooters. The Kiddie Auto Skooters were relocated into the lower level of the Fender Bender Building. The new food place was called Paddleboat Cafe, as it was located not far from the new Paddleboats dock (today, this is a Famous Famigilia’s stand as well as a slushie stand). The dock was located at the base of Comet’s first drop, underneath sooperdooperLooper.

My beautiful picture

Sooper Sizzler Cafe in 1979, would be replaced by a miniature golf course in 1982.

The miniature golf course would remain in the park until the end of the 1997 season, when Great Bear was built. Paddleboats remained in the park through the 2006 season. The dry dock can still be seen today.

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The area of the park was given a name: Spring Creek Hollow. This name only stuck for a few years, disappearing from documentation after the 1985 season. In 1990, this area gained a more permanent theme: Comet Hollow. It was rethemed The Hollow in 2012.


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More on Canyon River Rapids

This is a follow up article on Canyon River Rapids, which you can read more about here

Canyon River Rapids was added to Hersheypark in 1987, only after Hersheypark was forced to abort adding another kind of water ride. This water ride would have been installed in 1986 and would have been where Western Chute-Out was eventually installed in 1988 (which was replaced by Fahrenheit in 2008).

This ride was cancelled when Derry Township turned down the request to build the ride due to concerns over water management. The Canyon River Rapids proposal resolved those concerns.

1985-July-August Vol 7 No 4 NAPHA News (p15)

NAPHA News reported on the rumor Hersheypark was going to add a Shoot-the-Chutes ride in summer 1985.

This ride was a Shoot-The-Chute ride sold by Intamin, called Spillwater. It had a generally default design that could be customized if a park wanted it to be changed. One such example of this type of ride is Tidal Wave at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Hersheypark eventually installed a Shoot-The-Chute ride, Tidal Force, in 1994. Instead of going with an Intamin model, Hersheypark instead chose an O.D. Hopkins model.

Canyon River Rapids is Ready!

Published in The Gettysburg Times, May 14, 1987, on page 5.

On May 23, 1987, just two weeks after Canyon River Rapids opened, the ride was closed for 13 days after a boat flipped in one section of the ride. Two boats were able to be close enough together in one section of the ride. The section the boats were in turned out to be wider than intended, which allowed the two boats to get wedged. When the boats wedged, one flipped, resulting in minor injuries for the guests involved. That section was corrected so no two boats could fit through that area in such a way. No further incidents occurred.

1987-06-06 The Gettysburg Times (p3)

Published in The Gettysburg Times, June 6, 1987, on page A3. 

Canyon River Rapids is one of several river rapids rides that have been closed. However, Canyon River Rapids is the only ride willingly closed by a park. The other river rapids rides were closed when the park themselves closed.

Several of the boats from Canyon River Rapids were sold to Kennywood Park to be used on their rapids ride, Raging Rapids. Several of the boats remain in storage in Hershey.


Special thanks to R.D. Sussman for providing background on Hafema and Intamin.