Knoebels Impulse Groundbreaking Ceremony 9/29/14

Knoebels officially broke ground today on their first major steel roller coaster in ten years since Whirlwind: Impulse. Site follower and friend, Pat Kemper was at the ceremony and sent me these photos from the press conference and groundbreaking that followed.

Knoebels also posted a 14 minute video of the complete ceremony as well. Their current timetable on Impulse’s construction.

October to Late January: Foundation and footer pouring and drilling.

Mid-December to Mid-January: Supports and track start to arrive.

Late January to April: Vertical construction of the actual ride.

Possible opening by opening day 2015.

Link to Knoebels’ video of the ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QqOsWIKtcHg

Today Knoebels broke ground on their next big coaster called Impulse.

Today Knoebels broke ground on their next big coaster called Impulse.

In the words of Monty Python: "Consult the book of Armaments!".

In the words of Monty Python: “Consult the book of Armaments!”.

Like the other coasters that were built at the park, there was a contractor list for the ride.

Like the other coasters that were built at the park, there was a contractor list for the ride.

Dick Knoebel was present and mentioned that Impulse will be the biggest undertaking for the park since Phoenix was built.

Dick Knoebel was present and mentioned that Impulse will be the biggest undertaking for the park since Phoenix was built.

Buddy Knoebel brought up an interesting statistic in that only 2% of family businesses make it to the 4th generation of the family.

Buddy Knoebel brought up an interesting statistic in that only 2% of family businesses make it to the 4th generation of the family.

Rick Knoebel, part of the 4th generation of the family, said that he did a lot of traveling with his brother and cousin to find a ride that was a perfect fit for Knoebels.

Rick Knoebel, part of the 4th generation of the family, said that he did a lot of traveling with his brother and cousin to find a ride that was a perfect fit for Knoebels.

Another 4th generation Kneobel, Trevor, gave a timeline on the construction of Impulse. He said that the coaster could be open as early as opening day 2015 in April.

Another 4th generation Kneobel, Trevor, gave a timeline on the construction of Impulse. He said that the coaster could be open as early as opening day 2015 in April.

Group photo before the shoveling.

Group photo before the shoveling.

...and construction has begun!

…and construction has begun!

With two world-class wooden coasters, a great indoor coaster, the top new ride for 2014, and now a new thrilling steel coaster, Knoebels looks like it will have an even better coaster line-up for  2015.

With two world-class wooden coasters, a great indoor coaster, the top new ride for 2014, and now a new thrilling steel coaster, Knoebels looks like it will have an even better coaster line-up for 2015.

Looks like they want to get a head start before the big digging starts. lol

Looks like they want to get a head start before the big digging starts. lol

4GK39Phall Phunfest is on Saturday, which is sure to be awesome! Thanks again to Pat Kemper for taking the photos!

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Knoebels Impulse Construction Update 9-24-14

While in the area on Wednesday, I managed to take a trip by Knoebels and check on the progress of Impulse. There really wasn’t much except for survey stakes, a construction fence, and a flat dirt lot. Word has it that ground will be broken on Monday for actual construction to start. I’ll be back up soon for another update before the end of the season.

It's hard to miss where Impulse is going to be.

It’s hard to miss where Impulse is going to be.

The pond for the Bumper Boats is long gone and leveled.

The pond for the Bumper Boats is long gone and leveled.

The only thing present are a bunch of these survey stakes.

The only thing present are a bunch of these survey stakes.

Boat Tag is long gone as well. Here's a history tidbit, it used to be at Dorney back in the early 90s near where Hydra is today.

Boat Tag is long gone as well. Here’s a history tidbit, it used to be at Dorney back in the early 90s near where Hydra is today.

Here's a panorama of the construction site.

Here’s a panorama of the construction site.

As much as it looks like the off-season at the park, there is still a month left. It must be the changing of the leaves on the trees.

As much as it looks like the off-season at the park, there is still a month left. It must be the changing of the leaves on the trees.

The Whip is receiving some TLC during it's week off (the park is closed this-coming weekend, by the way).

The Whip is receiving some TLC during it’s week off (the park is closed this-coming weekend, by the way).

I have a feeling that Impulse is really going to fit in nicely in this part of the park.

I have a feeling that Impulse is really going to fit in nicely in this part of the park.

Thanks for reading!
-Chris

Laff Trakk Construction Update 9-14-2014

Third week into construction and the land looks flat and possibly ready for the preparation for the foundation for Laff Trakk. That’s pretty much all can be said, but I guess I could say that the tree they’ve kept looks nice. Oh well!
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Looks like some utility work has started.

Looks like some utility work has started.

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Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Laff Trakk Construction Update 8-28-14 to 9-7-14

Well it’s time to cover the construction of a brand-new ride coming to Hersheypark. Laff Trakk will be a 50 foot-tall indoor spinning roller coaster with glow effects built by Maurer Söhne. The building housing the coaster will be 75 feet tall (almost as tall as Lightning Racer) and located where the Miniature Train, Granny Bugs, and Pony Parade are located.
Construction has started the day after Labor Day with the buildings and rides being removed, the paths being ripped up, and construction walls put up.

This small kiddie area was added in 1997 when the Ferris Wheel, and Whip  were added. Miniature Train has been a ride that has been used seasonally for Christmas Candylane. Ganny Bugs came from Music Box Way and Pony Parade came from the Pioneer Frontier area.

This small kiddie area was added in 1997 when the Ferris Wheel, and Whip were added. Miniature Train has been a ride that has been used seasonally for Christmas Candylane. Ganny Bugs came from Music Box Way and Pony Parade came from the Pioneer Frontier area.

The Midway Tent was added in 1999 as part of the Hersheypark Fair expansion.

The Midway Tent was added in 1999 as part of the Hersheypark Fair expansion.

Since then, it has been used as a catering area and entertainment venue through the years.

Since then, it has been used as a catering area and entertainment venue through the years.

The building was also home to Tiger's Tail and Crazy Climber; two inflatable attractions.

The building was also home to Tiger’s Tail and Crazy Climber; two inflatable attractions.

Construction immediately began right after Labor Day with land clearing.

The sides of the tent were removed and a job trailer were added inside.

The sides of the tent were removed and a job trailer were added inside.

A construction wall has gone up from the FunSlides to Whip.

A construction wall has gone up from the FunSlides to Whip.

The entrance to the FunSlides were moved to the former exit near Wildcat.

The entrance to the FunSlides were moved to the former exit near Wildcat.

Much of the area was bulldozed and jack-hammered.

Much of the area was bulldozed and jack-hammered.

The path to the Midway Tent is still there for now.

The path to the Midway Tent is still there for now.

Pony Parade's footprint is broken up and ready to shipped off.

Pony Parade’s footprint is broken up and ready to shipped off.

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The sign has been added to the gate.

The sign has been added to the gate.

Here's a panorama.

Here’s a panorama.

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The removal of the trees opens up the area a little bit more.

The removal of the trees opens up the area a little bit more.

The buildings have been relocated to Racer's former queue to possibly be reused again next year.

The buildings have been relocated to Racer’s former queue to possibly be reused again next year.

The railings have also been placed over here as well.

The railings have also been placed over here as well.

As a temporary filler, Tiny Tracks has been brought out of storage and Granny Bugs have been moved to inside the Boardwalk until the end of Hersheypark in the Dark.

Utilizing the tube queue, Tiny Tracks is back and will be calling Coastline Plunge home for a few weeks.

Utilizing the tube queue, Tiny Tracks is back and will be calling Coastline Plunge home for a few weeks.

It has a smaller layout than when it was in Founder's Circle, but it should be a decent filler to take the place of Miniature Train.

It has a smaller layout than when it was in Founder’s Circle, but it should be a decent filler to take the place of Miniature Train.

On the plus side, it opens up the hill-less shortcut to get to Lightning Racer through the Boardwalk.

On the plus side, it opens up the hill-less shortcut to get to Lightning Racer through the Boardwalk.

Granny Bugs is over between Sandcastle Cove and Bayside Pier set up like it would be for Christmas Candylane. The path is closed off here so walking over to Rita's is out of thee question.

Granny Bugs is over between Sandcastle Cove and Bayside Pier set up like it would be for Christmas Candylane. The path is closed off here so walking over to Rita’s is out of thee question.

Thanks for reading!

Knoebels Impuse and Mid-Season Update: 6/20/14

It turns out that the middle of the season can also be the off-season for Knoebels as there is quite a bit of activity going on. Lets start small and build from there.

When the season first started Power Surge, 1001 Nacht, and Balloon Race were all closed and the last two were waiting on parts from Europe. Since then Power Surge were in pieces behind Skloosh and it’s foundation was being used as a stage. 1001 Nacht is still closed, but it looks like it is being extensively worked on with construction fences around it and equipment everywhere. Balloon Race has re-opened within the past few weeks though so there is some progress.

Over in the Americana section of the park, work on the new boat ride has begun and it is going in right next to the blacksmith.

Flying Turns is still going strong and still has long lines. Wait time signs are up and it is around a 45 minute wait from the entrance and 60 minutes if the line starts at the base of the third lift hill. Be aware that the park does close the line around an hour early before the park closing. The line was 45 minutes around that time last night and they ended up closing the entrance at around 9:15pm. If you want to ride it one last time before the end of the night, I recommend getting in line by at least 8:45pm.

A photo booth is going up in front of the station and with the TVs on inside while carpenters were hard at work setting up the building, it wouldn’t shock me if they were trying to get it up and running for this weekend. The camera location on the ride is right where the viewing area is towards the end of the ride.

Finally, it looks like surveying work is starting for Impulse, the park’s first major steel coaster since Whirlwind was added in the 1990’s. Markings and stakes are up surrounding the Bumper Boats, Boat Tag, and picnic areas and a drilling truck is parked in the lot.

That’s it for this update. I’ll be going back up in a few weeks so we’ll see if anything is different by then. I also plan on doing a week-long trip out-of-state as well so be sure to check out the Facebook and Twitter account for photos on where I go.

New Flying Turns merchandise! Aviator hat anyone?

Thanks for reading!

Chocolate World Construction Update: 5-6-14

With the summer season only days away from beginning, work over at Chocolate World appears to be slowly coming to a close. While the construction walls haven’t all come down yet, work on the other side of them seems to be just about finished.

Poor KitKat Andriod is now resting in the far corner of the Dessert Studio.

Poor KitKat Android is now resting in the far corner of the Dessert Studio.

The Dessert Studio still has the Tour Ride queue running through it, but once you enter the hallway, things change. Wooden floors have been added, the former rainforest area is now a level switchback queue area with brick walls and large windows overlooking the new retail area (that half is still blocked off).

The former fire exit hallway now has some new lighting and wooden flooring.

The former fire exit hallway now has some new lighting and wooden flooring.

Check out the spiffy new queue area! Looking sharp!

Check out the spiffy new queue area! Looking sharp!

Looks like there's not much left to do in the retail area.

Looks like there’s not much left to do in the retail area.

Here's a peek of the new entrance ramp.

Here’s a peek of the new entrance ramp.

The area across the hallway seems to be coming along nicely.

The area across the hallway seems to be coming along nicely.

Should be interesting to see what details will be added.

Should be interesting to see what details will be added.

Out with the old, crappy wooden railings from the 70's and in with the new, clean, metal ones.

Out with the old, crappy wooden railings from the 70’s and in with the new, clean, metal ones.

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A small section of the old mural is still there.

A small section of the old mural is still there.

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Many of the walls have been painted or are currently being painted and the only thing left from the original harbor mural are a few pelicans along a far-back wall.

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Can’t wait to see what details will be added to the queue as it already looks really nice so far.

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Hersheypark 1996 Brochure

Congrats, you made it through yet another snowy and cold off-season and it is now time to start thinking about summer! While I will be busy this weekend, I won’t be able to provide an opening day trip report for Hersheypark. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t have anything to share for this weekend. Switchback Saturday anyone?

Let’s travel back to the year 1996 when the Spice Girls were slowly starting to climb the music charts, everyone was doing the Macarena, and Hersheypark opened their fifth roller coaster called Wildcat. With a height of 90 feet and being the first coaster built by the now-famous Great Coasters International, visitors were urged to “Test Drive the Wildcat”.

1996 was also the park's 90th season (the following year was the 90th anniversary.

1996 was also the park’s 90th season (the following year was the 90th anniversary.

The photo of Comet and Sooperdooperlooper shows no Great Bear and the dolphins are still in the Aquatheatre.

The photo of Comet and Sooperdooperlooper shows no Great Bear and the dolphins are still in the Aquatheatre.

A website address is now listed in the brochures. The Wayback Machine does have an archive of this webpage, but the earliest entry is from 1999: http://web.archive.org/web/19990203205509/http://www.800hershey.com/index.html

A website address is now listed in the brochures. The Wayback Machine does have an archive of this webpage, but the earliest entry is from 1999: Here

The other half of the brochure talks about other attractions around town and Milton Hershey's legacy.

The other half of the brochure talks about other attractions around town and Milton Hershey’s legacy.

$26.45 for general admission. Also, instead of all the rides opening at park opening, back then, rides opened a half hour after the main gate opened.

$26.45 for general admission. Also, instead of all the rides opening at park opening, back then, rides opened a half hour after the main gate opened.

Looks like The Hershey Lodge wasn't expanded quite yet.

Looks like The Hershey Lodge wasn’t expanded quite yet.

Looking ahead to next week, I will be headed east to Six Flags Great Adventure to check out Zoomanjaro and the former location of Rolling Thunder. Then I will be going up north to Knoebels to experience Flying Turns and check out the park.

Thanks for reading!

-Chris