On the day of my oldest son’s 14th Birthday, we decided to visit Hershey Park. After the previous day’s hike, we thought that he and his brothers would prefer a busy day at a theme park by way of a birthday celebration rather than further explorations of Pennsylvania state parks. His birthday happened to coincide with the first day that Hershey Park was open for the 2017 season. This meant that tickets were half-price (since not all areas of the park and rides were open) but also meant that it was thronging with people.
Theme parks are not my thing at all. As I have had cause to state several times on this blog, I have a terrible fear of heights. I also dislike things that move too quickly in a way that makes me feel out of control. So, yes, theme parks are not the place for the likes of me. Happily, Mr Pict, while not an adrenalin junkie, is quite happy to accompany our kids on any and all rides they might wish to go on. I, therefore, get to sit back and watch them without any pressure to participate in any rides that make me freak out.
I expected there to be more of a chocolate or candy theme to the park but, while present on and off, for the most part the park was like a gigantic fairground stuffed full of thrill rides and traditional rides. We were there before the park opened so were among the first people in and, for the first couple of hours, it was not overly crowded and the queues were not unbearable. It also helped that the morning was a little overcast and the temperatures not too hot. That meant that the kids were able to get onto a good few rides they were really keen on doing without much hassle.
After noon, temperatures steadily grew and so did the crowds and – with that combination – so did fractiousness and frustrations. The lines started to get insufferably long for the kids. For them, there has to be an acceptable correspondence between the length of time waiting to get on a ride and the duration of the ride itself. They felt that every ride they did was super fun and worth doing but not necessarily worth the time and energy spent queuing. Standing still can be more tiring than walking. They started to get frazzled.
There were a couple of rides left that at least some of the kids were keen to do. However, when they saw the length of the queues, they decided it wasn’t worth the wait. Mr Pict and I have been parents for 14 years now but have only recently become veterans enough to recognise when to call it quits, taking our lead from the kids’ moods, rather than push things to the point that it risks undermining the success of the whole day. So we quit while the going was good but not before feeling as if we had got our money’s worth from our day at Hershey Park.