The Cat was back! In 1996, Hersheypark opened its first new wooden roller coaster since Comet opened in 1946. Along with that new roller coaster was a new theme area, Midway America.
Midway America was initially planned in 1989 as a future expansion of the park beyond Pioneer Frontier. This began an era of rapid expansion for the park, with many rides added to Midway America. A number of these rides were kinds of rides Hersheypark used to have, including the Whip, Ferris Wheel (1997), and Merry Derry Dip Fun Slides. A couple of kiddie rides were relocated to Midway America – Granny Bugs and Pony Parade. Miniature Train was permanently installed in Midway America, the ride’s first permanent installment in the park since 1971.
A number of major things were added to Midway America in the following years:
- The Hersheypark Fair was added to Midway America in 1999, which included the Wild Mouse roller coaster, the Midway Fair tent, and Music Express, a Himalaya ride. Lightning Racer, a racing, dueling roller coaster, was added in 2000.
- NightLights, a laser show.
- A water coaster, Roller Soaker, was added in 2002.
In 2006, construction began in the large open field in Midway America for The Boardwalk, a water park, that opened in 2007. Roller Soaker became part of The Boardwalk.
The most recent big change to Midway America came in 2015 when Laff Trakk, an indoor “glow coaster” was opened.