Hersheypark scores with a terrific dark ride upgrade
Everyone’s focused on the $150 million dirt pile out front, but Hersheypark didn’t keep us waiting in the meantime. They brought back Sally Corporation and their go-to design partners Raven Sun Creative to reimagine the park’s Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge, a fun shooter dark ride that was based on a fairly luke-warm storyline. The new Reese’s Cupfusion is a tremendous upgrade, with a fun story, digital and practical sets and targets, and a more interesting ride-through experience in the show building. Animated videos in the queue are engaging, well-produced, and do a very good job of presenting the backstory, mission, and instructions. Maybe it’s just me, but too often I just don’t get the point after watching countless videos while winding through loading areas.
This is technically not a “shooter” ride, as the goal is to aim our “amplifiers” at targets in order to activate them, thus powering the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup factory. (I’m all for that, having lived across the street from the real Reese’s factory.) And yes, there are baddies roaming about, so we stun them in order to put an end to their mischief. The action builds to the final climax, where the gigantic pink gummy bear ex…um…does something. About the only thing that would make the total experience more complete would be a climactic music score reaching peak crescendo before the door swooshes back up, sending you to unload. You exit through retail into a new gift shop stuffed with Commander Cup and Mint the Merciless and the League of Misfit Candy merch.
I’m not a personal fan of shooter rides, but I found Reese’s Cupfusion well-designed and lots of fun. Now, let’s go see how that big dirt pile is shaping up.