HERSHEYPARK CRAZY Home
Rides and Attractions
Hersheypark is one of many top rated theme
parks that features a unique history. Here you will be able to see what
happened since the opening of the original park in 1907, what rides were
removed and are still existing today and so much more.
1907: Hershey Park opens to the
public as a place where workers from the nearby Hershey Chocolate Factory
could relax during breaks from work. It was also a recreational facility for
the residents of the town of Hershey. There were playgrounds for the kids
and benches for the adults to sit and talk. A pavilion also opened which was
later enclosed and used for dancing and roller skating.
1909: a dance pavilion was built
which would be enlarged and remodeled many times until the 1970's. An
amphitheatre was also constructed along with bowling alleys and a carousel.
1910: a narrow-gauge miniature
railway was added to the park. I transported guests from the railroad bridge
at Park Avenue, over Spring Creek, and ending up over at the baseball field.
1913: the famous deer statue is
erected at the entrance to Hershey Park. It would later become the
centerpiece of the entrance to ZooAmerica in the early 1990's.
1914: a bandstand (or bandshell)
was constructed in 1914.
1915: a huge
Convention Hall was constructed. It had four towers, in which Milton Hershey
had planned to install chimes, but the chimes were never added. This
building was used to house concerts and would later become the home of the
the Hershey Park Zoo opens on May 26 as eventually grows to become the
largest free private zoo in America.
The park's pavilion, which had been enclosed several years before, became
the Hershey Park Cafe and was famous for it's "chicken and waffle" dinners.
1923: Hershey Park installed it's
first major ride, the Joy Ride a wooden out and back roller coaster.
It was designed by Herbert P. Schmeck who would design the famous Comet
roller coaster twenty three years later. The name was eventually changed to
the Wild Cat.
starting in the winter of 1925, the Convention Hall was converted into
an indoor ice skating rink and became the Ice Palace.
1927: the chocolate company
refinanced to liquidate the remaining debt left from the 1920 sugar crisis
and get more money for future expansion. To deal with this problem, two
corporations were created: The Hershey Chocolate Corporation and
Hershey Estates (which would later become Hershey Entertainment and
the Hershey Park swimming pool opened to the public. Four pools, a
bathhouse and a lighthouse (which still exists today) were constructed.
Swimmers received the use of a locker and the loan of towel for 25 cents.
1930: a new water
ride, The Mill Chute opened to the public. It featured a mill wheel,
which moved water through the channel and a covered portion of the channel
(old mill section which featured four animated scenes), followed by a lift
hill where the boats were pulled up by a chain and then sent down the chute
into the pool of water. It would later be remodeled with a Jurassic theme
well into the early 1970's. The Hershey Parkview Golf clubhouse was
constructed which would later house HERCO's main offices.
1931: a water toboggan slide was
built next to the ballroom. It was located on the other side of Spring Creek
from the Hershey Park swimming pool. People could rent wooden sleds for
fifteen cents for a half hour.
1932: the Bug was added
along with the Pretzel indoor dark ride. Both served the park well
into the late 1970's and early 1980's.
1934: the Hershey Park Zoo opens
a new bird house, a round build with skylights. This building is still in
the Hershey Sports Arena (now known as Hersheypark Arena)
opens with the Hershey Bears hockey club. The structure is built next to the
old Convention Hall which was no longer used for roller skating.
1937: Hershey Park purchases a
Whip ride from W.F. Mangels Company, Coney Island , New York.
1938: new Auto Skooter bumper
cars make their debut.
1939: the Hershey Sports Stadium (now known as
Hersheypark Stadium) opens.
1940: the Ariel Joy
Ride opens after being brought to Hershey Park from the 1939/1940 New
York Worlds Fair.
1941: a new
souvenir and administration building opens replacing the main pavilion
(which housed roller skating and dancing when the park first opened). This
building now houses the Wok and Roll, Boardwalk Fries and the Kissing Place
in the Minetown section of the park.
1942: The Hershey Park Zoo
closes and would reopen after the war. The whip is covered and becomes the
1944: to celebrate the park's fortieth anniversary, the park purchased a
Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel. It would be the last ride that
Milton Hershey would add to his park. This beautiful masterpiece still
serves the park today.
1945: the Wild Cat roller coaster ran for the last time in September.
In it's twenty-three years, it carried millions of passengers and had been
the park's signature attraction since 1923. About a month later on October
14 Milton Hershey passes away.
1946: the Comet roller
coaster opens. This magnificent ride still continues to thrill riders today.
1947: Hershey Park
purchases a Cuddle Up ride and places it where the Wild Cat's loading
station formally stood.
1949: the park's Pennsylvania Dutch Days promotion made
1950: the Hershey Park Zoo reopens. The park purchases the twin ferris
wheels that operated in tandem.
1955: the Areo Jets opened
replacing the Ariel Joy Ride.
1957: the Hershey Park Ballroom
is remodeled and becomes the Starlight Ballroom.
1959: the miniature railway
celebrates it's fiftieth birthday.
The Dry Gulch Railroad
and the park's original Turnpike debuts. The railroad looped at both
ends and crossed a trestle bridge which was built over a hilly terrain. The
turnpike featured cars that were pedaled by the drivers and had rails on
each side of the road to prevent the drivers from driving the cars off the
the Mill Chute is remodeled and becomes the Lost River.
1964: the Pretzel was remodeled
and became the Golden Nugget.
1966: Hershey Park opens the
Skyview, a gondola ride over Spring Creek and the midway by the Comet.
The station was constructed on the hill above the Comet's loading station.
Skyview still provides guests with ariel views of the park today.
1967: Hershey Park installs the
Paratrooper, a spinning ride. The Hershey Park swimming pool closes
after the 1967 season due to high maintenance costs caused by much cracking
The Hershey Park Zoo closed in
1969 due to the fear of vandalism and high costs of properly protecting the
animals. The monorail
was built in 1969 as a ride, and a shuttle, which transported guests from
the station by the arena over to the factory tour. A Rotor is purchased and
placed next to the Comet. By the late 1960's old
theme parks, like Cedar Point, were fencing in the park and adding new
themed areas. New parks, like Kings Island and Walt Disney World, were in
the planning and construction stages. Plans were unveiled to fence in the
park and start adding themed areas and new rides to compete with other
parks. It was here that the name was changed from "Hershey Park" to "Hersheypark".
1970: the last dance is held in
the Starlight Ballroom. This would also be the last season the
park would be an open park. The famous pinwheel design was introduced.
For the 1971 season, Hershey
Estates fenced in the park's grounds and moved the main
entrance across Spring Creek to the northeastern end of the arena, by the
Monorail Station. Admission was $3.50 for adults, $1.75 for juniors (ages
five to eleven) and children under four were admitted free. There was also
a plan with a small general admission charge and ride tickets. The park
was open seven days a week and mostly everything (rides, food, shops, and
games) remained the same. Daily entertainment was the biggest change. The
parking lot configuration changed from parking cars in and around the park
grounds and downtown Hershey to the current parking lots around the Stadium
and Arena and traffic was shifted from Chocolate Avenue to Airport Road
(later renamed Hersheypark Drive).
Carrousel was moved from it's location along Spring Creek, to the
"Carrousel Circle" area of the park, where it is located today.
Several rides, kiddie rides including the Scrambler, the Monster,
Helicopters, Traffic Jam, Space Age and the Twin Toboggans, and a fast food restaurant were constructed.
The Aquatheatre also started presenting dolphin and sea lion shows.
The Lost River closes after being destroyed by tropical storm Agnes.
the park relocated it's main
entrance to it's present location and the entry area was named "Tudor
Square". It resembled an old English Style Village. After passing
through the "English Style Castle" admission gate, you walk up the hill to
Carrousel Circle through "Rhineland", an area themed after the
region's German heritage. The GIANT Wheel was also added next to the
Carrousel Circle area and the Coal Cracker flume ride
debuted as the first log flume of it's kind in the world. The Amphitheatre
also debuted on the hill where it is located today. HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE
WORLD opened, replacing the original factory tour.
and Sky Ride debuted for the 1974 season. The Sky Ride took you from the
station in Rhineland to the area near the Coal Cracker flume ride. Sadly,
this ride closed and was dismantled after the 1992 season, and the station
near the Coal Cracker was demolished in the fall of 1997 to make room for
GREAT BEAR's loading station. 1974 also marked the final season for the twin
ferris wheels. The Trailblazer Theatre opened as a small open aired theater
and was expanded in the early 1980's.
a Reverchon Himalaya opened at the site of the twin ferris wheels. 1975 was
also the first year for the Kissing Tower and Twin Turnpike (which
was the replacement for the original Turnpike removed in 1972). These rides
were added to a new area "Tower Plaza" which also included a fountain and
benches for park guests. The company's name was changed from Hershey Estates
to HERCO Inc.
1976: another kiddie ride,
unveils the sooperdooperLooper. This coaster was the first looping
coaster on the east coast with the other being the Revolution, at Magic
Mountain in California. The ride opened with a tan color and orange
trains, then was repainted to the current blue and green paint scheme
prior to the 1988 season.
Hersheypark's wildlife themed area, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife
opened, using existing buildings from the old Hershey Park Zoo and had
five areas: Grassy Waters, North Woods, Gentle Woodlands, Cactus
Community, and Big Sky Country. The old Auto Skooter was replaced with the
Fender Bender in 1979. The Golden Nugget dark ride was demolished to
accommodate the Fender Bender. Also, the Music Box Theatre opened after being
a totally open stage in years before. The Twin Toboggans are removed and
replaced with the Flying Bobs.
Pennsylvania Dutch Days promotion came to an end. The Starlight Arcade
featured it's first footprints. The Osmond family were the first to
feature hand/footprints in the Starlight Arcade.
1980: Hersheypark expands it's
boundaries for the first time since 1971 (except ZooAmerica which was
almost a separate attraction) by adding the Pirate and Cyclops
rides. The Cyclops was your typical
HUSS Enterprise that started spinning horizontally and eventually rose while
continuing to spin its riders. The Aero Jets are reconstructed as Starship America.
The Pennsylvania Fest Haus opens near Tower Plaza in the former
souvenir and administration building. Some of the older rides like the
Paratrooper were removed. The company name was changed again to Hershey
Entertainment and Resorts Company and the company's offices were moved to
the former Hershey Parkview Clubhouse near Chocolate World.
Bug is removed at the end of the season. "Creatures of the Night" debuted at ZooAmerica
in 1981 as a one night flashlight tour of the zoo.
1982: the Wave Swinger opens
on the old site of the Bug. The area by the sooperdooperLooper and the
Comet was turned into Comet Hollow.
The Paddleboats were added to Spring Creek. The Balloon Flite was placed
at the top of the hill near Rhineland replacing the Flying Bobs. The
Cinema Vision geodesic dome premiered near the Pirat and Cyclops.
the park installs the Tilt-A-Whirl which replaced the Monster in
Carrousel Circle. Hersheypark's holiday "free admission"
extravaganza, Hersheypark Christmas Candylane debuts with
Tudor Square, Rhineland and Carrousel Circle only being open.
Frontier" was Hersheypark's newest themed area. It was accessed by a
midway extending beyond the Pirat and Cyclops and another walkway using
the hill near the Trailblazer. The Dry Gulch Railroad was rerouted to it's
present oval configuration and a tunnel and ghost town were added to the
train's route. The Conestoga and Timbler Rattler were added as well
as the kiddie Mangels Whip which was renamed Wells Cargo and the
kiddie carousel which was renamed Livery Stables, both relocated
from other areas of the park. The Conestoga was a HUSS Rainbow ride that was re-themed by Hersheypark to fit the Pioneer
Frontier area. The ride
basically spun horizontally and gave it's riders a magnificent view of that
area of the park.
1986: the Cinema Vision
geodesic dome was converted into the Frontier Meeting House which was not
too successful and was soon removed.
1987: the park installs
Canyon River Rapids adjacent to the midway where the Conestoga is
1988: the Frontier Shootout
debuts with Pistol Pete's Plunge and the Slidewinder.
1989: little kiddies
could get wet with Tiny Timbers, a mini log flume ride which was
placed next to the Fender Bender. The Balloon Flite is relocated from area
near the Music Box Theatre to it's present location in Pioneer Frontier.
1990: the southeast corner of
the park near the entrance to ZooAmerica and the Kissing Tower was
upgraded at a cost of $7.5 million and become Minetown. The
Flying Falcon was the centerpiece of this renovation and expansion.
Three new kiddie rides, the Convoy, the Red Baron and the
Dinosaur Go Round were also added. These rides replaced two older and
outdated rides: the Coal Shaker and Himalaya. The Pennsylvania Fest Haus
became the San Georgio Pasta House and the new 49,300 square-foot Minetown
Restaurant and Arcade replace the old Penny Arcade which was demolished. A
new entrance planter and walkway were constructed for ZooAmerica and the
old deer statue from the early days of the park was relocated there as the
1991: the Sidewinder
debuts in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park.
1992: the Barking Lot
kennel opens under the west stand of Hersheypark Stadium. The Sky Ride is
removed after eighteen years of operation.
1993: the area around the
Music Box Theatre was named Music Box Way. ZooAmerica celebrated
it's fifteenth anniversary with a new veterinary service center.
1994: Tidal Force opens
as the world's tallest and wettest splashdown ride. The Tilt-A-Whirl was
moved to the location formerly occupied by the Rotor which was removed
from the park. Christmas Candylane expands for the first time since it's
debut in 1983 with more rides including the Fender Bender and the Dry
Gulch Railroad being decorated and renamed the Candylane Twilight
1995: another kiddie ride,
Tiny Tracks debuted in Carrousel Circle at the former Tilt-A-Whirl
location. The Comet celebrated it's fiftieth birthday with a new entrance
and exit configuration and new trains named "lightning" and "thunder."
Creatures of the Night at ZooAmerica expands into the Minetown area of the
park and part of the Pioneer Frontier area. Selected rides were opened
including Bats In The Belfry (Kissing Tower), Transylvania
Turnpike (Antique Cars and Icabod's Train (Trailblazer).
Christmas Candylane featured an area where guests could greet Santa,
Santa's Castle located in the geodesic dome.
1996: the Wildcat opens
as the first phase of a newly themed area, Midway America.
1997: Midway America expanded
to include the Ferris Wheel, Whip and three other kiddie rides relocated
from other areas of the park: Granny Bugs, Pony Parade and Miniature
Train. A pizzeria, gift shop, games stand and restrooms were also
constructed. The Fender Bender received new bumper cars that are in
operation today. Creatures of the Night changed it's entrance procedure so
that guests would enter through Hersheypark's main entrance in Tudor
Square instead of through the zoo. The Carrousel was also open for the
event and was renamed Night Mares. Christmas Candylane
introduced Santa's Stables where the park brought in nine live
reindeer for guest's enjoyment.
1998: Hersheypark unveiled
GREAT BEAR, a state-of-the-art inverted roller coaster. The ride swept
along it's course next to Spring Creek, through Comet Hollow and over the
sooperdooperLooper and Coal Cracker. A new Halloween event,
Hersheypark In The Dark debuted with the popular Creatures of the
Night event at ZooAmerica. Comet Hollow was open for the event for the
first time with more rides including Great Scare (GREAT BEAR),
sooperBOOperLooper (sooperdooperLooper), Icabod's Train (The
Comet) and Swings of Salem (the Wave Swinger). A new "free
admission" entrance procedure was introduced for the event. Christmas
Candylane introduced Santa Claus Lane in the Minetown Area of the
park. Here, Santa's Castle found a new home, special displays, entrance
into ZooAmerica (during operating hours) and the Convoy, Red Baron and
Dinosaur Go Round all were part of the new holiday themed area. Hershey's
Chocolate World celebrated it's 25th anniversary with completely
renovating it's free chocolate-making tour to the way it is today.
ZooAmerica also celebrated it's 20th anniversary with minor additions and
1999: the park renovates
Midway America to reflect the theme of a county/state fair. The Wild
Mouse rollercoaster, Frog Hopper, Music Express, Chaos, and several
food and merchandise vendors all made their debut. The Hersheypark Midway
Tent opened as a place for the park to hold various summer events all
season long. The Frontier Shootout is renovated and becomes the Western
Shootout. Pistol Pete's Plunge becomes Winding Rivers and the Slidewinder
becomes Straight Shooters. ZooAmerica opened the Black Bear Encounter where you
can view several of the zoo's black bears from different vantage pints.
2000: again, Hersheypark
continued to develop Midway America with the addition of Lightning
Racer. This major coaster was named "America's first wooden
racing/dueling roller coaster". Guests could race against their opponents
in trains named Lightning or Thunder. The Comet's trains which were named
"Lightning" and "Thunder" received new color logos on the front of them.
Hersheypark's "free admission" springtime extravaganza "Springtime In
The Park" made it's debut. Hersheypark In The Dark expanded
to include Music Box Way and Pioneer Frontier. Ground was broken for a new
hockey arena, the GIANT Center.
another style of
entertainment was added to the park, Nightlights, A Musical
Laser Spectacular. The laser show featured spectacular laser images
choreographed to music and was projected on a huge screen. Laser shows
were also designed for Halloween and Christmas. The San Giorgio Pasta
House was made over into Wok and Roll and sold Chinese fare. Phase I of
lot configuration debuted, allowing guests to park their vehicles in
diagonal parking spaces. A new tram road, picnic area and restrooms were
also constructed. New exits were built to allow park guests to leave the
park easier. HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD expanded to include a new
entrance and exterior facade resembling the Hershey Chocolate Factory, and
an expanded new lobby.
declared 2002 another "wet"
year of thrills with the addition of their ninth rollercoaster-
Roller Soaker! Another new restaurant, Decades, opens. Hershey Entertainment and Resorts purchases Dutch
Wonderland in nearby Lancaster and forms Wonderland Amusement
Management, a wholly owned division of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
Company. Phase II of the current parking lot configuration debuted, which included
entrance into the parking lot, and new entrance road. HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE
WORLD opened HERSHEY'S Really BIG 3-D Show in which the
Hershey's Product Characters were featured on the big screen for the first
time. The Hershey Bears AHL hockey team debuted their 65th season at the
2003: the Cyclops and Conestoga
are removed. Music Box Way is completely upgraded and two new rides
debut. THE CLAW debuts at the former location of the Cyclops and
the Mini Pirate is installed where the Earthmovers used to be. The
Earthmovers and Wells Cargo kiddie rides are moved to Hershey
Entertainment and Resorts Company's sister park, Dutch Wonderland in
nearby Lancaster as Duke's Dozers and the Wonder Whip. The Music Box
Theatre is completely rebuilt in the center of the renovated area where
the old theatre and Starship America once stood. A new recording studio,
Studio H, is constructed next to the new Music Box Theatre. A section of
Pioneer Frontier is also upgraded and the Frontier Flyers and
Mini Scrambler are installed there along with a new restaurant, the
Wurstburg Grill. The old Pippin's restaurant in Tudor Square is renovated
and became the Tudor Grill. The new Frontier Virtual Theatre opens at the former
location of the Conestoga which is sold to Lake Whinnie in Chattanooga,
Tennessee. The bronze statue of M.S. Hershey is erected in front of the
carrousel replacing the outdated celebrity handprints of the Starlight
Arcade. These, plus the Starship America are both put into storage.
Halloween In Hershey expands to include Midway America. ZooAmerica celebrates its 25th Anniversary by debuting the Bald Eagle and
Canadian Lynx exhibits. Hershey's Chocolate World also celebrates its 30th
2004: the park debuts
its tenth roller coaster, Storm Runner, the first Intamin Rocket
Coaster to feature inversions in the Pioneer Frontier area of the
park. The ride featured a top hat and flying snake dive. The Balloon
Flite is temporarily removed and put into storage. Hershey's Chocolate
World debuts Hershey's Factory Works, a new interactive area for families
and featuring a food court.