I was never a huge fan of Hershey Park. Ya all know I'm a Knoebel's girl, right? But after spending the day there with Paul's niece and nephews, I have developed a new appreciation for Hershey Park!
Paul's mom got me, Paul, and the kiddos tickets for Christmas this past year. (She earned the tickets by volunteering for at the park!) The kiddos were spending the week with Paul's parents and we got to take them for a day. I'm sure you can guess where we were headed...
Isaiah (Zay), 8
I wasn't too nervous about taking the three of them to an amusement park. I was only nervous about one of them running off or Paul and I losing track of one of them. I told the kids the only rule of the day (besides normal, everyday rules) was that they were NOT allowed to stray away from us. They had to STICK WITH US. We also established a protocol for what they should do should we become separated. (They had wristbands with our phone number on them that they were to show to a security guard.)
We went to the park on a very hot and cloudy Thursday at 2pm. There were no lines to park and no lines to get in. As soon as we entered, Zay and I hopped on the Carousel while Paul took Violet and Eden to ride Starship America- some rockets that travel and a circle and can be moved up and down.
Eden and Zay were not too big on roller coasters, so brave little Vi and I got on the Sooper Dooper Looper. I was amazed that the ride went upside down yet the restraint was only a lap bar! What the heck!? Then we all rode the swings and Zay beat Paul in Whack A Mole and won a Hershey Park pillow! (Great, now we had to carry that around all day!)
We all rode the Trailblazer Rollercoaster twice. I was amazed that there were barely any rides for the lines! Where was everyone?
Next, we hit up The Boardwalk, which is the water park area of Hershey Park. I had never been there before so this was all new to me. First, we hit up the Intercoastal Waterway (A fancy name for Lazy River. Why didn't they call it the Lazy River? Are amusement park/water park names copyrighted?)
Then we went in the wave pool. Paul needed to take a break from the sun so I was in there with all three kids alone. I did not take my eyes off them. My head kept darting between all three. Eden- check. Violet- check. Zay- check. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The wave pool was fun and the kids LOVED it. I mean, I was good after 15 minutes but they stayed in at least 45 minutes or so.
At one point, Violet and I split up to see if we could find a water slide that didn't have a long line. I really wanted to try the Whirlwind. That is the one type of water slide I have never been on. Here is a video on Youtube that shows what it does. Note: This is the same water slide at Hershey Park but the video is from somewhere else.
So I lugged a huge, heavy inner tube halfway up the steps for the Whirlwind and then Violet decided she was too scared to ride it... so I lugged it back down. Then we went halfway up a smaller slide but Violet thought there was too much water squirting at us while we waited, so back down we went...
We met up with the boys and got changed back into our street clothes. (Note: We had to rent a locker for our stuff while at The Boardwalk and it was $20. YIKES. Major downside.) We were reaching shut down mode, so it was time to eat. We all got burritos at Moe's. Thankfully, Paul's mom made sure to pack bottled water for us so we didn't have to spend money on hydration. Although at one point Paul did buy a Gatorade that was $4.25!!!!!!!!!!! HOW INSANE!!!!!!
Then Eden and Violet hopped on The Fliers. I like this ride, they have it at Knoebel's.
Then we all hopped on the train! It took us around the park. It was cool to see all the sights.
We had the back seat!
We saw the Hershey Triple Drop Towers!
There is no way any of us were getting on those!
Then it was time to split up. Violet and I rode The Howler and The Pirate Ship while Paul took the boys on the bumper cars twice. Then he let them play Whack A Mole again (Paul, just how much money did you spend on games!?) and both Zay and Eden won bears. More stuff to carry around!
Then we switched- I took the boys on a roller coaster called the Cocoa Cruiser. They rode twice and had a blast. Then Zay got on the dizzy drums, which was a ride for real little kids but he loved it. Eden and Zay definitely weren't into the big thrill rides. We went on The Scrambler and that was thrilling enough for them! While I had the boys, Paul took Violet on the Sky View, which is like a ski lift. I hate ski lift rides because I'm afraid of falling out of them. But Paul loves it and so does Violet.
Then we all met up and rode The Monorail and the Reeses Extreme Cup Challenge. I thought that ride was dumb but the kids loved it. Of course I pretended like it was a blast. I'm not a Debby Downer or anything like that.
Looking down out of The Monorail
After that, it was 9:05! Boy was time flying! It was time to split up one more time and then meet at the car after the park closed at 10pm. Paul took the boys to the arcade because they were dying to go there. It ended up that Eden broke the record for Space Invaders and one 500 tickets!
Zay got a good amount of tickets too. Guess what they cashed them in on? CANDY. I guess they're allowed to have candy? To our credit, on the way home we told them not to eat too much of it since they were going to bed soon. Oh, Paul got the boys Dip 'n Dots too. Wow, so much sugar. AND SO MUCH MONEY. $5.50 for a cup of Dip n' Dots...
So, while the boys were living it up in the arcade, Violet and I had quite the adventure. First, we power walked to the back of the park because Violet wanted to ride the Wild Mouse. Now, I freaking HATE the Wild Mouse. I remember it being sooooo scary. But Violet wanted to ride it, and I told myself that it probably wasn't as scary as I remember it being....
WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Violet and I now call the Wild Mouse the "You're About To Die Ride". In case you never rode one of these insane roller coasters, here is a description of the ride from the Hershey Website: "As it careens around corners, riders of the Wild Mouse have the illusion that they will fall off the edge of the track, providing yet another thrill for coaster lovers. "
We rode it in the dark, which also could have added to the scariness. But seriously, I didn't feel like we were strapped in the car well enough! I felt like I could have fallen out if I wasn't holding on. It was terrible. I WILL NEVER RIDE THE WILD MOUSE AGAIN. Neither will Violet.
After that scare, Violet finally had the guts to go on The Great Bear. This is my favorite ride at Hershey. It is on an inverted track so your legs dangle. The restraint goes over the shoulders in a U shape so I feel very secure. There are hills, loops, corkscrews... and it's a smooth ride. Violet was nervous, but she wanted to be able to tell her dad she DID IT.
Violet was so brave! The first time we rode together in the 3rd or 4th row. Check out our pics... she's so small you could hardly see her! "I was the youngest person on the ride!" Violet told me. "I noticed that too," I said, "but I didn't want to point it out to you!"
The second time we rode it, we rode in the FRONT SEAT! I can't believe Violet did that! I love the front seat of The Great Bear. And the lines were so short so we didn't have to wait. We just walked right on!
At 10:01pm on the dot, Violet went on her third and final ride on The Great Bear... ALONE!!!! No one was even in her row! What a gal!
We shut down the park! We all met at the car and jibber jabbered the whole way home. I was exhausted, and was even exhausted the next day. But we had so much fun. I hope we can make Hershey Park with the kiddos a yearly tradition!
Have you ever been to Hershey Park?
Do you and your kids have a protocol in case you get separated?
Do you like the Wild Mouse?
What kind of roller coasters or amusement rides do you like?