Hersheypark has a good collection of 11 coasters, including one classic woodie, one of the most talked-about new coasters, and several other genres well-represented.
SkyRush – We are so glad we rode SkyRush. There has been a lot of controversy about this coaster since it opened in 2012. Most people think it’s a great coaster (and it’s currently ranked among the top 50 steel coasters in the world), but when it originally opened, the leg restraints were so tight that it was bruising people’s quadriceps and thighs, earning the coaster the nickname “Thigh Crush”. The manufacturers added more padding to the restraints, but people still complained. Joel and I took a chance and rode it. It’s a thrilling winged coaster with impressive dives and fun inversions. Most importantly, by following the following five tips, we had a pain-free ride:
- Sit in the middle two seats. The outer “wing seats” are supposedly more intense.
- Don’t pull the lap bar down too tightly when you first get on.
- Pull up on the side metal bars throughout the ride, pushing your butt down into the seat, preventing the lap bar from digging into your thighs.
- Keep your head back, since there are no shoulder restraints.
- Take everything out of your pockets, so the lap bar won’t press anything into your legs.
We experienced more vibration than we expected (Joel said it should be called “Massage Rush”), but overall, we loved it.
Fahrenheit – A blood-pumping coaster with a huge vertical climb, followed by a 97 degree drop. The rest of the ride was gravy. A highlight of the day.
Comet – A classic wooden coaster, built in 1946. Not very rough, and loads of fun. This was the only coaster on our entire trip that we rode three times.
Great Bear – An inverted roller coaster with multiple loops and corkscrews. I found it to be a similar experience to Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure in Florida. It started raining fairly hard right as we got on the ride, so it was not the ideal experience, but some say it their favorite coaster in the park.
Storm Runner – A medium-sized launch coaster, we liked both the launch and the inversions. Reminded me a little of the new Sky Coaster at Kennywood, although Sky Coaster is more exciting and smoother. We generally try to sit in the front row for launch coasters, finding that it adds significantly to the thrill.
Lightning Racer (Thunder Track & Lightning Track) – Joel and I became fans of racing coasters on this trip. The two tracks on this wooden coaster are different and repeatedly diverge and converge, so each track is really like a different coaster. We won both times we rode it, which doubled our enjoyment of the ride.
Superdooperlooper – This coaster had the first full loop of any coaster on the east coast. It reminded me of The Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain, which opened around the same time. It still packs a punch, but is tamer than the newer “extreme” coasters in the park.
TrailBlazer – a family steel coaster, similar to mine train coasters you would find elsewhere. Good for those who don’t want inversions or high speeds.
Wild Mouse – A typical wild mouse roller coaster, but rougher than most of the others of this style that we rode on this trip. We would skip this one on a return trip.
Wildcat – A newer wooden coaster that is considered to be the roughest ride in the park (although new cars have supposedly made it better). It’s directly across from the Wild Mouse, hence the name. It was starting to drizzle as we were going to ride this, so we skipped it and ran over to SkyRush, which is the first coaster they close when it rains.
Boomerang Coaster – This Vekoma Boomerang coaster is virtually identical to others that we have ridden at Knott’s Berry Farm and elsewhere, so in the interest of riding everything else before the rain started, we skipped it. I’m also not really a fan of the Boomerang layout (three inversions, then running the entire coaster in reverse). I prefer going forward on my coasters.
Hersheypark Roller Coasters ridden: 10
Total for the tour after six parks: 36