HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Hersheypark is home to over 70 attractions and 14 roller coasters. With Wildcat’s Revenge opening during the summer of 2023, there are so many things to delight any guest to the park.
To get Wildcat’s Revenge, the former Wildcat needed to be removed, which was the park’s most recent change. But, what about some other rides that have been retired or removed from the park?
Here are five former rides at Hersheypark that may bring back some nostalgia.
1. Giant Wheel 1973-2004
This was my family’s favorite ride when I was a child.
This ride was at the front of the park near where the Carrousel used to be. The ride featured two giant wheels connected by a cross beam and opened in 1973 when Hersheypark was in the middle of a major renovation project to make the park the destination it is today.
Supplied by ride manufacturer Intamin, the same creators of Skyrush, Storm Runner, and Fahrenheit, as one of the ferris wheels rose into the air, the other went down to load guests. the ride featured gondolas that could fit up to eight people, and was able to be spun using a wheel in the center of the gondola.
The ride was taken down at the end of the 2004 season. Balloon Flight and Starship America have been in the spot of the Giant Wheel since 2005. A gondola from the blue side of the wheel can be seen on the outdoor patio at the Chocolatier restaurant. You can see how the ride worked in this video from 2001.
2. Flying Falcon 1990-2016
This ride was featured in the Kissing Tower Hill section of the park. The ride was manufactured by HUSS Park Attractions as their Condor model.
The ride featured four arms with seven gondolas attached to each arm, all of which were different-colored ride cars in the style of falcons. These arms would rotate around a central tower and would move up while spinning. The ride would then pause at the top of the tower and would do the same thing as it came back down to earth. You can see the ride in action here.
Flying Falcon closed in 2016 to make room for the Hershey Triple Tower, which opened in 2017. A piece of the sign from the attraction can also be seen on the outdoor patio at the Chocolatier restaurant.
3. Canyon River Rapids 1987-2008
A fan favorite, Canyon River Rapids in the Pioneer Frontier was one of the park’s biggest investments since the sooperdooperLooper was built in 1977. You can see how the ride looked in 2001, here.
According to a Hersheypark press release from 1987, guests sat in a six-person boat and winded through a concrete channel full of effects such as wavemakers, waterfalls, and geysers. Waterfalls at the end of the ride always ensured guests were soaked as they came off the attraction. The estimated capacity of 1,500 riders per hour.
Every ride was different, as the boats were circular and were free to rotate throughout the ride. The ride was extremely popular in the summer months.
The ride closed after the 2008 season. It was replaced by The Boardwalk: the SEAquel, which features a wave pool and a lazy river roughly in the same area as Canyon River Rapids.
A ride that was also built by HUSS, this ride featured a large gondola that was attached to the large arm with a counterweight at the other end. The ride would rotate and the gondola as it swooped around the ride.
The Hersheypark version of the ride featured a sun in the middle of the arm and a gondola stylized as a pioneer wagon.
The ride was sold to Lake Winnepesaukah park located in Chatanooga, Tennesee where the ride operates to this day.
5. Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge 2006-2018
The first interactive dark ride at the park, Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge put chocolate lovers against peanut butter lovers in 10 competition zones featuring Reese’s branded sports.
According to the ride’s manufacturer, the ride was equipped with laser blasters that were used to hit targets located throughout the ride. The in-car scoring system totals that car’s score automatically compares the two totals, and relays the result to the event’s two animatronic sports announcers.
This ride opened in 2006 and closed in 2018 and was rebranded as Reese’s Cupfusion, created by the same ride manufacturer, Sally Dark Rides. The former ride was gutted and the new attraction uses updated technology to make a unique experience for Hersheypark.
Honorable Mention: Rodeo 1978-2008
This ride is featured as an honorable mention because the ride still exists in the Midstate.
The Rodeo was originally named Trabant and opened in 1978 at the location where Cocoa Cruiser is today. It moved to the Pioneer Frontier section in 1988 and was renamed Rodeo. The ride was created by ride manufacturer Chance Ride and features a rotation base that starts to fluctuate into wave-like motions.
The ride was removed in 2008 to make room for the SEAquel of the Boardwalk.
The ride is now at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster and runs under the name Twister.