Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Day at Hershey Park

Keep in mind that you can hover over most of the slideshows and flip through pictures at your own speed.

We work really hard on various summer reading programs. One of them, through the local paper, gives you free park passes and free parking. And we've really enjoyed ourselves using them! Remember, I'm super behind on all things blogging, so I'm catching up! This is from August--we waited to use our pass until after all the locals went back to school (reason #476 to homeschool--less lines during the school year) and on a Wednesday so there would be less tourists from those states who hadn't yet returned to school (reason #243 to homeschool--amazing flexibility). Basically, we didn't wait in many lines at all and didn't feel rushed throughout the park and the weather was great. It was, in a word, fabulous.

First, they measure you to see what rides you can ride (and they give you the corresponding free candy)--our kids have grown from miniatures to bigger candy sizes! Mark is a Jolly Rancher and I am technically a Jolly Rancher, but can at times pass for a Twizzler, too.

Thing 2 is a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Thing 1 is a Hershey Bar

We got to ride every ride we wanted to in the park, some several times. Such fun. It all started out fairly tame--mostly kiddie rides and nothing crazy.

Then we stepped it up a little discovering that HURRAH (serious excitement), Thing 1 is tall enough to do the bumper cars with a parent. Holy our kids are crazy drivers. SO MUCH FUN.

There was one line that was a little long and it was getting a little hot, so we took pictures of us standing in line, because why not? This was the mini-flume ride (good for cooling off), a prequel to the bigger flume ride (my favorite):

Self picture on the ride

So we rode more rides--look closely at the Hopper Ride. By our 2nd time on the ride, I joined in the fun (the first time, I gave up my seat for a little kid). What? They HAD a chair for grown ups. And I'm not that tall. If people are constantly going to act surprised when they hear how old I am, I'm going to take advantage of doing kiddie things where I can.

Then we rode the Kiss Tower. You go all the way up, see A LOT of the valley through kiss-shaped windows and you kiss at the top! A whole lot of kissing going on!

Then we did some more driving. There's a track ride where you drive your car (but can't get too far off the track) -- you are truly the driver and there's a gas pedal and steering wheel and everything. M and I rode together and he kept exclaiming, "I'm crazy! I'm crazy! I'm crazy!" and driving somewhat wildly. It was hysterical.

After that, we did my favorite ride--the flume. You know, the one where you all climb in a log-shaped ride and go up and then splash down a hill of water? All the rides were given mild-to-wild ratings. We mostly rode 1s, 2s, and some 3s. This one was a 4. I couldn't believe Thing 2 didn't give us a hassle about it--so trusting I feel kind of badly! I don't think he knew exactly how high it would go (about as high as our 3-story house, we think). He said, "Oh, I don't like this!" We all squeezed together and went down--SPLASH!! It was a bit of a rush. M was not one bit amused. As we started walking to the next rides, he let it be known. Our kids exclaimed their opinions at the same time:


Thing 1 rode a small roller coaster with Mark while Thing 2 and I sat on the grass and took a breather. He wasn't amused. So, Thing 1 enjoyed riding something herself and then was nice enough to ride some seriously kiddie rides with Thing 2--poor kid, we all owed him after the flume anyway. :P

Then K and I rode the Pirate Ship. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't like swinging motions. I used to love swings as a kid, but now they make me feel pretty woozy. So riding this? NUTS. I was laughing so hard that I was, at one point, laughing and crying. And this was after insisting on sitting in the "Reese's Row" in the middle. You know, the one for little kids. She wanted to sit at the very back (the part that goes even higher). I'm so glad I didn't. Mark did later, though. He's a good sport.

So, the park has this new water-themed area. The sidewalk said "Splash Zone" as you walk by. So we thought, "It's hot. What the heck." And we stood there.

And then the big wave came as the riders rode down the mega-flume (made ours look like a kiddie ride after all) . . .

And we got SOAKED! (On a VERY, VERY, VERY small scale, I wondered how terrifying it must've been for the victims of the tsunami--that wall of water . . . how horribly frightening that must've been).

We enjoyed the rest of the day at the park riding rides, including more kiddie rides, another go at the Pirate Ship (this time with Mark sitting at the way back with K), the carousel, yet more kiddie rides, a fun laser tag ride and competition, and my other favorite (you know, I probably like this one even more than the flume now that I think of it)--the one that goes around and around really fast and plays loud rock/pop music. Thing 2 really seemed to like the round-and-round ones despite them being "number 3" rides. We rode a couple of them multiple times--very fun.


It was a great day and so nice to spend such a fun time as a family. Yay us! :)


D'Arcy said...

Now this is what I call an education!!!!!

emily said...

I wanna go, it looks so great! isaac would LOVE that.

Jill O said...

I've heard that the air smells like chocolate there. Is this true????
Do you walk away craving everything Hershey?

Look like fun. :)

Swawaeve said...

So much fun. I love Hershey Park.

Boquinha said...

Hey, you guys come visit and this can certainly be a stop! It's so funny to me--I visited HersheyPark and the Amish Country as a kid with my parents. Who knew?? It's amazing to me that we *LIVE* in PA!

Jill, it really does smell like chocolate. They waft it in the air when you drive by the factory. But my favorite smell is a bit farther down--the Reese's factory . . . it smells like peanut butter brownies. Mmmmmmmm. We have a friend who works for Hershey and she's helped me see that there is a HUGE difference between fresh chocolate and the stuff that's been sitting on the shelf for a while. The fresh stuff is AWESOME. And it's VERY fresh here. COME VISIT!!