Thursday, January 12, 2017

Vintage Hershey Park Postcards

It's been a few months, but Ken Martinez is back with more scans from his collection of vintage amusement park postcards! Here's Ken:

Hershey Park before it was Hersheypark

If you love amusement parks, the State of Pennsylvania is a great place to start.  There’s Kennywood, Lake Compounce, Dorney Park and Hersheypark.  In today’s post Hershey Park is featured.  For those who’ve wondered why there are two different spellings for the park,  the park was known as “Hershey Park” during its traditional park era and changed to Hersheypark” in 1970 when it went through redevelopment changing it into a modern theme park..

Featured here is the “Lost River” attraction water ride.  This attraction existed as the “Old Mill” from 1929 to 1962.  Then for the 1963 season it was remodeled with an African theme and named “Lost River”.  This lasted until 1972 when a strong hurricane ripped through the area damaging the attraction beyond repair.  It was replaced the following season by an Arrow Water Flume called “Coal Cracker.  The main footprint that the “Lost River” existed on is now the site of the B&M inverted coaster “The Great Bear”.

Turnpike rides seemed to have sprung up all over the U.S. after the success of Disneyland’s Autopia and like Disneyland, Hersheypark had five different turnpike rides throughout its history.  The first one was the “Kiddie Turnpike” complete with bus bar.  Pictured here is the third turnpike attraction at the park simply known as “Turnpike”.  The load area had a toll booth theme and there were two bridges that crossed over Spring Creek.  (Notice there is no guide rail on the turnpike road).  The “Turnpike” operated from 1960 to 1973.  It’s the “Twin Turnpike - Classic Cars” and “Twin Turnpike - Speedway” sponsored by Sunoco that operate at Hersheypark today.  The bridges of the old “Turnpike” were converted to pedestrian bridges after closing. 

One of the things I love about the older parks is their older midway rides, but they seem to be disappearing along with the sky rides.  Here we have the “Tip-Top” which operated at the park from 1966 to 1979.  If I remember correctly, the platform rotates and lifts up and down at an angle while you spin your individual ride vehicle.  By the way, all three of today’s postcards feature the attractions in the area known as “Comet Hollow” at the time Hershey Park was known as a traditional park.

Hope you enjoyed today’s vintage visit to Hershey Park! 

Information Source material:

Thank you Ken! I lived near Hershey when I was a kid and had some great times at that park. 

Stay tuned for more vintage postcards next week!


Nanook said...


There's something so appealing about the look of all these rides, but sadly, they all seem to be lost to the ages - and disappeared long before my visits to Hersheypark.

Thanks for sharing these wonderful views.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, is there anything vintage still left in Hersheypark? I have always wanted to visit that park. I want to go on the omnimover ride through the history and making of chocolate!

Thank you for sharing more of your collection and for all the research you do and share with us as well!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Ken, for the variety and the astute commentary. Very nice...

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I agree. There's something appealing about these vintage rides and probably for today's guests they might seem a little cheesy, but there's still a bit of fun to be had in them. I'm amazed that we still have our Cave Train at the Boardwalk. It does get a sizable amount of riders waiting in line to ride during the summer months though.

TokyoMagic, What Hersheypark has left is the classic wooden roller coaster "The Comet", a carousel, Tilt-A-Whirl, Scrambler and a Whip. The rest has been modernized through the years from what I've read. Amazingly Kennywood in the same state has still retained and maintained a lot of their vintage rides and does quite well.

Patrick, Glad you enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

This place looks like it was a lot of fun. Nothing like this near where I grew up.

Thanks Ken and Major.