5/8/04 Hersheypark & Dorney Park

Associated parks:

I arrived at Hersheypark at 9:30 am to a light crowd at the entrance to the park. As 3r1c had stated they had some opening day festivities. Then they had the count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Hershey is now open. Everyone rushed directly to Storm Runner.

As 3r1c had stated it rolled back. No big deal. They just relaunched it. The contest winners boarded. I tried winning, but no such luck. Those purple Hershey kisses evaded my wife, son, and me. The wait wasn’t long at all to get down in the station. Maybe 5 minutes. Once we got in the station we had to wait about 20 minutes for the front seat.

The trains are very comfortable. The restraints are nice. They press against your hips similar to TTD’s, but have the over the shoulder more as a back up in case you are too loose in the restraint. The employees see to it that there isn’t much play in the restraint. I was stapled in nice and tight. Almost too tight. They don’t affect your ability to put your arms up.

Out to the launch track. The launch is pretty intense. It takes your breath away similar to way that TTD does, but it doesn’t disorient in the same way. On TTD I was sort of disorientated throughout the whole ride to the brakes. Storm Runner doesn’t have that same intensity, and that’s the one thing that disappointed me. I was expecting that.

It is a really good ride. A nice pop of air over the tophat. Then it creeps through the rest of the ride without being too intense. You do get some decent hangtime through the inversions. The zero g roll into the snake dive has to be 2 of the coolest inversions that I have experienced on a looping coaster. You get a pop of air at the top leading into it, and then you are just floating out of your seat until you pull out of the snake dive. Then you fly through the over bank, and next thing you know you are hitting brakes and heading back into the station.

Storm Runner is a rocket coaster, and then as soon as you clear the tophat it turns into a looping coaster. Very smooth, Intamin precision. Very short, I timed 35 seconds from launch to the brakes. It would be up there if I had a set top 10 list.

We walked around and rode the coasters up in Midway America. When we got over to the Great Bear the park was getting too crowded, and we didn’t feel like waiting. We took a quick spin on the Sooperdooperlooper, and then hopped in our car on our way to Dorney Park to process our season passes, and take a few rides.

Once we arrived at Dorney we were disappointed to see the season pass processing line way too long. We waited for about an hour and a half. I couldn’t believe that they weren’t better prepared to process season passes. We had process all our other passes (SFA, PKD, and Hershey) within 5 minutes at each park, but had to wait forever at Dorney. I just wasn’t expecting it. If we weren’t planning a trip to CP in a few weeks I would have left, and went back another day. It was almost unacceptable.

Once in the park we were treated to minimal waits. We skipped Thunderhawk, and Lazer due to one train op. Talon and Steel Force were both running very well. Dominator was pleasing as always. Hangtime, and their new Revolution(Hershey’s Claw) were down. We rode a few other flats, and headed out to TGI’s for dinner.

After a quick stop at home to relax, and regroup we headed back to Hershey for a night ride on Storm Runner. We got back in line at about 9:15pm, and were boarding in the last seat at about 9:50. It even broke down once for a few minutes. They got it right back up and running. The ride op announced it broke down, but they would let everyone cycle through once it was back up and running. That’s pretty decent on their part, and one of the things that I like about Hersheypark.

The backseat is the spot on Storm Runner. It changes the ride a lot compared to the front seat. I was out of my seat at the top of the tophat, and didn’t come back down into my seat until the bottom of the it. In the inversions I just hung there out of my seat until I was pulled by the rest of the train. What a ride! The colored lights like Millennium Force add a nice effect, but they should have had them on the inversions too. They just had flood lights on the rest of the ride.

From what I can tell Storm Runner will be very reliable, but it is still too early to tell. I am sure launching a train at 72mph compared to 122mph would put a lot less stress on the launch system. I overheard that it broke down a total of 3 times today, but it wasn’t down for long any of those times. We’ll see. Whenever you get the chance I suggest a trip to Hersheypark to experience the worlds 1st Hydraulic launch coaster with inversions. ;)

Oh yeah when leaving Dorney, and getting back on I-78 Hershey has a Storm Runner billboard right by the park. Go figure.

*** Edited 5/9/2004 4:30:56 AM UTC by Coasterfantom2***

Coasterfantom2 said:

The zero g roll into the snake dive has to be 2 of the coolest inversions that I have experienced on a looping coaster.

As opposed to an inversion on a non looping coaster.

I saw that line for the season passes, and it did look ridiculous. My question is, how many of those passes were first timers? If they weren't, they should have used the option to use last year's picture and have their pass mailed to them during the off season. I had mine in hand and used it at Knott's for Solace without waiting in line at all.

Hangtime and Revolution were both running when I was there, but I left around 2:00. Revolution was just like the one at Knott's (not sure about Hershey), with extremely long load times.

We couldn't reuse our pictures from last year. My son looks completely different from last year. Also heather, and I lost quite a good amount of weight in the off season with more still to lose. As far as the other people in line. I don't know how many of them were 1st year season passholders, but next year if we have to get new pictures I'll make sure to go during the week in the off season when I know it won't be crowded.

I should have listened to the Rev. in the 1st place. Cliff warned us about it. Last year when I got mine I had wait a little while, but no where near as bad as we did yesterday.

SFGAdv Lover stated

As opposed to an inversion on a non looping coaster.

I'd say they are the coolest inversions I have experienced by any coaster manufacturer on a looping coaster. Intamin is my favorite coaster manufacturer. All my favorite steel coasters are their design.

*** Edited 5/9/2004 5:17:46 PM UTC by Coasterfantom2***

Nice trip report!!!!
By the way how far away are Dorney park and Hershey Park from each other????
Great TR! I agree with you on the intensity of Storm Runner, but it was just right for me anyways.
They don't even look at the pictures. I think this is the third year we've reused ours and I've lost around 60 pounds and shaved my head since then.

Dorney and Hershey are about 60 miles apart maybe a little more. The best thing is maybe 10 miles of that is off the interstate. Just take I-81 north to the !-78 split and look for Steel Force and Talon on your left as you get close to Allentown. Then look for signs.

Dorney is a nightmare getting your season pass processed. It's worth it o make a special trip to Allentown and get the pass a week or two before the park opens. They do need more than the 2 photo booths they have.

Storm Runner looks cool I can't wait to ride that sometime this year. Next year should be even better with Hydro and the rumors I heard for Knoebels as well! ;)

Bob O, Dorney is about an hour away from Hershey the way that I drive. Actually I average about 75mph, and make it there in that time.

I live in Annville, and its about 10 minutes for me to get to Hershey from home. It takes about 50 minutes to Dorney from home.

Genetic freak we'll be reusing our pictures again next year to avoid those long lines. In the 3 years I have had Dorney passes I have never seen the lines so long. It was crazy. We arrived at 2:30 to get our passes, and got out of the processing office at about 4:10 with our passes. Then we left the park at 6pm.

When we were going to get on Revolution they shut it down cause they were having problems with the floor dropping. They aren't a great capacity ride, and Hershey's always has a long line too. I skip it if it more than one rides wait. Its decent, but not worth all that long of a wait.

That is why I skipped a lot of ride at hershey. The line were getting too long when we left the park at around 12:30. At either park Dorney or Hershey I don't like to wait for coasters when they are only running 1 train. I did for Lightning Racer because the line wasn't long at all anyway.

Wildcat was running both trains, but they don't on Lightning Racer because there are technically 2 trains running. Just one on each side.

They breakdowns seemed to be minor things. When we were leaving Maintainance was working on Revolution doing something with the motor to get the floor to drop, and they were testing Hangtime. I am sure they reopened that after we left.

Two years ago, we bought a one-day pass to Dorney Park and noticed the hideous line for season pass processing. At some point during the day, we decided to upgrade our one-day passes to season passes because we were goint to be spending two days at CP later that summer. We upgraded on the way out of the park and had our passes in about ten minutes. Something to consider if you want to avoid the lines.
coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Awesome TR! Can't wait to try that puppy out!

Those OTSR's look very roomy and comforable, especially for someone who hates getting their head bashed around like me!

I am also looking forward to revisiting my baby again.....Lightning Racer!


<-----who is Hersheybound sometime this month!

Coasterfantom2 said:

Oh yeah when leaving Dorney, and getting back on I-78 Hershey has a Storm Runner billboard right by the park. Go figure.

My all-time favorite competing signage was for Holiday World, right at the entrance gate for SFKK. Seeing as how we'd been to HW the previous day, we kept telling ourselves "shouldn't we be there instead?". (and for those wondering, the only reason we went to SFKK instead of HW: an airplane to catch, and those pesky credits)


I noticed that last year too. Pretty smart move on HW's part :)

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