Hershey Park

Blog the Tenth: in which junk is eaten, pants are peed, and prizes are won

This past weekend we made our third and final attempt to get to Hershey Park.  We had plans to go with a friend of my wife and her daughter, but it has been a comedy of errors trying to actually see those plans through.  Our first attempt was in August.  My family and I had driven about two thirds of the way there when we got a text saying the friend’s daughter was sick and they couldn’t make it.  Well, we had already bought our tickets online, and we were almost there, but amusement parks are not much fun for two adults with an assortment of children.  Three adults means one can watch the kids while the other two go on a roller coaster.  Two adults means one can hold the baby while the other one takes Ruby on the Frog Hopper.

So we decided to go to Chocolate World instead.  It’s right next door to Hershey Park, it’s free, and we all had a fun time.  We agreed with the friend that we would instead go Labor Day weekend, but for some reason that ended up not working either.  At least we were not halfway there when we nixed attempt number two.  That left us with only one weekend left, and we already had our non-refundable tickets, so we were going, with or without friends.

On the hundred minute drive, Simone informed me that her friend had to work in the morning, but they would be there by 1 pm.  Fine.  This meant we could do a few rides, maybe check out ZooAmerica, and have lunch before an afternoon full of rides for kids AND adults.  On our way to ZooAmerica we passed the Bizzy Bees.  Ruby really wanted to ride them, so we said ok.  She got on, looking happy.  Then the ride started.  We knew the look.  We knew the dance.  We knew the screams.  This was not going to end well for the Bizzy Bee located directly under her.  The ride operator did not seem to think that impending puddles were a good enough reason to stop the ride so, when the ride ended, I took Ruby on a search for a new pair of pants.

Hershey Park has a very limited selection of children’s pants, and they don’t even sell underwear at all!  This seems very shortsighted to me.  Maybe next summer, if I don’t have any singing gigs, I’ll set up an underwear stand inside the park.  I bet I’ll make a fortune.  I don’t think this was the Bizzy Bees’ first rainy season.

We decided to have lunch and then head over to ZooAmerica.  This was when we got the text that, due once again to circumstances beyond their control, Simone’s friends would not be coming.  So we ate some more junk food.  By the end of the day we had eaten corn dogs, italian sausages, curly fries, cotton candy, fried dough, cheeseburgers, and gotten 257 refills of Dr. Pepper in our souvenir cup.  It may have been 258; I kind of lost count after refill number four.

The fact that Simone and I could no longer go on any rides was a little disheartening, but we were able to adjust our expectations for the day and ended up having a great time.  Ruby went on tons of rides, but her greatest dream was to ride the ferris wheel at night so she could see all the lights of the park from way up high.  We had considered doing, this, but that was in plan #1.  We were now in plan #2, and very tired of watching Ruby ride things for another 2 hours till sunset was not all that appealing.  We had already been at the park for over seven hours.

Suddenly, a way out!  One of the rides turned its lights on!  “Ruby, look!  The lights are coming on!  It must be night time!  Let’s get to the ferris wheel!”  Well, she was very excited and we started our trek all the way across the park to where the ferris wheel was hiding in the back corner.  The sign said no handheld infants allowed, so one of us had to stay behind with the baby.  Ruby picked me to ride with her, so we got into the longest line we had seen all day.  After we had waited for a short while I started to get bored, and took a picture of the ferris wheel:

As you can see, they had just turned the lights on.  By the time we got to the end of the line, an hour later, the ferris wheel looked like this:
Ruby had gotten her wish.´╗┐  We rode the ferris wheel and saw all the lights of the park lit up while Simone played Skee Ball and tried to win Ruby a bear to no avail.  When we finally found Simone she had just $1.50 left.  Enough for three games of Skee Ball.  All you needed was 5 tickets for a small bear.  I solemnly dropped two quarters into the machine and picked up my first ball.  I won two tickets that first game, and two tickets the second game.  Two quarters left.  And then, something miraculous happened.  I skeed like I have never skeed before.  Six tickets!  Enough for the ten ticket MEDIUM bear!  Well, let me tell you, I felt so good it was like winning a large bear.
We walked out of the park happy that night.  Simone and I both had a feeling of accomplishment from winning games and making it to the end of the day, and Ruby had a new bear and a new pair of creamsicle colored shorts from the 30% off wall.
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