Not long after my older son got his ferris wheel experience, he began asking for another adventure, as 3 year olds are wont to do. We had procured tickets to Hersheypark for their holiday lights show before the baby was born. As we picked a date to go, I worried about taking the baby on a long drive so far from home. I wasn’t very confident that we’d do well in the cold either, and given my husband’s non-enthusiasm for amusement parks in general, we decided ultimately, to divide and conquer.
So, I left my husband home with the baby and took off for a day of adventure with my older son. He was excited at first, but began to wane as the drive out to the park took longer than I expected. It’s about a 2 hour haul one way, and there’s not a lot of stuff to do along the way. I’d hoped he’d sleep, but no dice. We finally got there around lunch time, and navigated the difficult parking lot traffic (read: backtracked because I got lost) and just as he was about to lose his patience with me, we got to the front door.
All was forgiven then, because his little mind was blown by all the super fun stuff there was to do. We latched onto the first ride, a simple merry-go-round style ride with different types of vehicles. He must’ve ridden it 6 times before I was finally able to convince him we needed to go on some other rides. Of course, the next one he wanted was the crazy go upside down roller coaster, which unfortunately, he was tall enough to go on.
We immediately regretted our decision after the first drop, but luckily he didn’t want to go again He picked the teacups next, but after that, got his heart set on the bumper cars (which sadly we couldn’t go on because of his height). Cue epic tantrum and meltdown, because I had waved this lovely fun ride in front of him and now had to go back on that because it wasn’t safe for him. No amount of consoling could calm him, so we had to deal with the meltdown until I was finally able to get him on the monorail.
From the train, we got to see more of the park, and I was able to pick out more toddler friendly options. We got some snacks and then hit up a few more rides. Unfortunately, it was getting late and dark and colder fast, and I was beyond ready to go. I wish I could say he took it well, but our departure from the park was an experience in cranky, tired toddler hitting, crying and screaming. I was 100% done by then, and only salvaged our return to the vehicle by giving him a piggy back ride.
So, all in all, it wasn’t too bad. I think I’d do it again, but try to go when we have more time and maybe grab our stroller for the next round. Maybe we’ll give it another go in the spring. But, he seemed to really enjoy it, forgetting all the negativity by the next morning, and bragged to his teachers about how he went on the scary upside down roller coaster for weeks afterward.