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.

What Could Have Been | Hersheypark in 1974

In mid-1973, Hersheypark was facing two issues – the 1973 Oil Crisis and cost overruns from the first two phases of renovations. While the 1973 season would become the first season Hersheypark saw over 1 million visitors, the economic crisis and cost overruns forced park management to reconsider the plans R. Duell had provided to the park.

1972-09-30 Lebanon Daily News (pL10)

Phase 3 was due to be completed in 1974 – initially including a PA Mining Town, Tower Plaza and an Indian Village. The Indian Village concept was pushed from Phase 3 even before the R. Duell plan was completely modified.

When Hersheypark officially modified the R. Duell plan in the fall of 1973, it resulted in the postponement or cancellation of nine rides scheduled to be installed in 1974. Three of those seven were postponed: Twin Turnpike Antiques, Twin Turnpike Sports, and Kissing Tower. In fact, Kissing Tower was already being built and was eventually delivered to Hershey in 1974 – the ride remained in storage for nearly a year before it was constructed for the 1975 season.

The six rides cancelled were Rhine Land Express, Rhine River Boat, Minetown Tram, a Tree House Slide, a Windmill ride, and a Speedramp.

Rhine Land Express (#2202) and Rhine River Boat (#2203) were transport rides that connected Rhineland to two areas of the park. The Rhine Land Express was a re-installation of the Miniature Railroad, which had operated in the park from 1910-1971. Rhine River Boat was a boat ride originally intended to be installed in 1971. Both rides would have had a station in Rhineland, with the river boat taking you to a landing in the Hollow (what was to be themed as New England Coastal Village), and the Express taking you to Minetown.

Minetown was the area surrounding Coal Cracker, and the plan was to place the Twin Turnpike (#5202 & #5203) in that area, with the Kissing Tower (#5205) going in Tower Plaza, where the Penny Arcade was. A Sky Ride station (#5119) was planned for Minetown, which was not cancelled and opened for the 1974 season. A tram ride (#5204) and a tree house slide (#5113) were also planned for Minetown.

1972 circa Hersheypark Ash Tray (Duell) [large]

This glass ashtray primarily depicts the Tower Plaza, Der Deitschplatz, and New England Fishing Village theme areas, as proposed by the R. Duell plan for Hersheypark. This ashtray was sold in the park, circa 1972.

In the Animal Garden area, Trailblazer (#5206) was planned to be constructed – which it was for the 1974 season. However, it had initially been planned to be part of an Indian Village themed area. In the end, Trailblazer ended up not being part of any theme area until 1985. A windmill kiddie ride (#5606) was planned in the area (this was a kind of kiddie Ferris wheel). Hersheypark had been set up to purchase a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Speedramp (#5207). This was intended to connect the Animal Garden to the area where Cuddle Up and Whip were, as well as the proposed Tower Plaza.

A variety of structures were planned to be built, and the Penny Arcade wasn’t slated for removal, but renovation (the renovation was logged as #5124) to fit in with the Kissing Tower and Tower Plaza theme. A remodel of the arcade was intended, as well as a wholly updated restaurant, with a waterfall built underneath the restaurant. An ice cream parlor (#5302), juice bar (#2303) and a grill (#5305) were also intended. The proposed renovations to the Penny Arcade were valued over $1.1 million dollars.

A new structure was intended for the Animal Garden – an Animal Amphitheatre, where shows with animals would be held.

When the R. Duell plan was modified, the Minetown and New England Coastal Village theme areas were indefinitely postponed. Minetown was eventually incorporated into the park in 1990. The New England Coastal Village concept was never revived. Tower Plaza was added to the park in 1975. Rhineland only received one ride – Sky Ride. Beyond that no rides were ever installed in Rhineland, and Rhineland had no rides after Sky Ride was removed from the park after the 1991 season.

Magic Carpet Giant Slide

Installed in 1969, Hersheypark had a giant slide built on the side of the Hill. This slide was only in the park for four seasons, removed after the 1972 season to make way for Hersheypark Amphitheater. 

1969-04-25 Lebanon Daily News (p21)

Advertisement. Lebanon Daily News April 25, 1969, page 21.

Magic Carpet Giant Slide was manufactured by Aero-Mar Plastics, Inc.. It had 15 slides, in which a person slid down using a sack of some kind, usually burlap. When installed, Tip Top was relocated to accommodate the new slide. The giant slide was adjacent to Paratroopers.

1970 Lebanon Daily News - April 27.jpg

When Hersheypark experienced the Flood of 1972 in June of that year, Magic Carpet Giant Slide was not destroyed in the flood. Only one ride was – the park’s mill chute ride, Lost River.

1970 ca Hershey Park Magic Carpet Slide (see comments)

Magic Carpet Giant Slide from circa 1970. Paratrooper was just to the right of the slide, just out of frame in this image. 

Following the 1972 season, Hersheypark intended to relocate the nearby Bandshell to the new Rhineland area of the park. When the Bandshell was found to be too structurally weak to move, it was torn down.

The replacement for the Bandshell was Hersheypark Amphitheater, and the park decided to place that where Hershey Park Theater had been. Magic Carpet Giant Slide was removed, while Paratroopers was relocated in the park.

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Monster [Hersheypark] | 1972-1982

The Monster was a ride manufactured by Eyerly Aircraft Company. It was installed in Carrousel Circle in 1972 and was removed after the 1982 season.

The Monster was one of several types of rides Eyerly made for amusement parks. A very similar model to the Monster is the Spider. Spiders had 2 cars per arm, while Monsters had 4 cars per arm (Monster sets of four cars also spin, unlike the Spider). They were operationally the same, with the center of the ride manually controlled by an accelerator, and the “eccentric” – what made the arms go up and down – controlled by its own accelerator.

There was only one load position for each arm, meaning the ride had to be rotated to load and unload people from the ride. As a result, it took a long time for a cycle to start from loading the first car to the twenty-fourth. Hersheypark also experienced maintenance difficulties with the ride. Between these two issues, the park decided to replace the Monster with a Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-a-Whirl for the 1983 season.

Here is a video of the Monster, from 1975.

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