Defunct Coasters

OhioStater's avatar
I used the search option, but could not find a thread towards my particular question. I saw "Hercules" on the random coaster pics today, and having visited Dorney for the first time last year, I was wondering why in the world Hercules was removed from the park. It was relatively new, and from the pics it looks quite fun. Anyone have any info on the hows and whys around its removal? I found Hydra to be a huge disappointment...perhaps Hercules was as well.

That being asked, what defunct coasters created contoversy and/or rumors to run amuck that you remember? Hercules? Drachen Fire? The Bat? There has to be a few good tales out there...

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I believe the park said they were using too much of their maintenance budget to take care of Hercules which had become less and less popular over the years. They no longer felt it was worth keeping around when that money could be used on new and "exciting" attractions.

Most enthusiasts seem to regard Herc as one of the worst woodies ever. I am one of the few who enjoyed it even in its well-beyond prime. It wasn't great (when I rode it), but it was still a woodie. :) *** Edited 4/15/2007 8:29:32 PM UTC by Acoustic Viscosity***

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I know not everyone would agree with me, but I have no problems stating that Hydra is a VAST improvement compared to Hurt-me-please.

This coming from someone who loves wooden coasters. Hercules even had a mildly interesting layout, but the ride honestly stunk. It was rough, and apparently expensive for the park to maintain.

"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

Herc never hurt me. From my understanding the coaster traveled outside the parks property and created noise issues as well. Besides that. It wasn't very good.


I only rode it twice in 2000 but it gave me a headache which is something no coaster has ever done to me before. The turnaround after the first drop is the roughest element I have ever felt on a coaster. I like Hydra a lot more but feel that Dorney needs a new wooden coaster as well.
The last time I rode Hercules (2001), I came off with terrible chest pains from being shaken so much. The ironic part that it wasn't even moving fast when most of the chest pain occurred. That happened during the second half of the course.

The only bad part for the few people who liked the ride was that the park gave absolutely no warning when the last day of operation would occur. That didn't sit well with some enthusiasts.

I did ride it in 97' however, and it was actually pretty good and rerideable. Hercules had two really good parts. The first was the rapid curved drop towards the lift hill. The second was the drop off the lift into the the highly banked turn over the pond. I believe the drop under the station was good as well, and that's where the ride seemed to die.

I totally agree that Hydra was a poor replacement.

OhioStater's avatar
Well it sounds like Hercules was a bit rough. Am I correct in seeing that the same designer did "Mean Streak" at Cedar Point? Upon a second look I see that turn just after the drop. While the drop itself looks fun, Im not sure how fun it would be to turn just after a drop.

I am defiantly not a Dinn fan after Texas Giant, Georgia Cyclone, Mean Streak, and Psyclone because at one point during the ride where pain is defiantly present. Not riding Hercules I am not sure what condition it was in but, what I have heard it isnt a great ride.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Funny, Timber Wolf, Georgia Cyclone and even Predator are among some peoples favorites.

How bout the BEAST event though it wasn't Dinn Corp. It was Charlie Dinn who oversaw it's construction

Chuck, who says all Predator needs is a set of Gerslauers :)

Steel Phantom was a coaster that had mixed reviews. Those first two drops including that 230 foot plunge over a cliff got rave reviews but those head-banging Arrow loops (4 of them) did not.

Don't get me wrong. Personally I like Arrow multiloopers such as KDs Anaconda but a hyper doesn't need loops.

We all know what happened. Out went the loops and the two big drops stayed. The reincarnated coaster, Phantom's Revenge, now features airtime instead of head over heels action.

Arthur Bahl

Arthur, it hasn't been that long, but you sure are right about Steel Phantom. There were a lot of unhappy people, mainly because no one knew what they were going to do to it. Taking out the loops seemed like heresy to some people.

Steel Phantom was considered a revolutionary coaster due to its second drop being the taller drop and the lead-up to the second drop from the first drop. The park truly thought that no one would ever beat their speed record because of that first drop generating a lot of speed into the upwards hill before the second drop.

But, it's bad reputation came about due to roughness. Remember, the train was traveling around eighty-miles an hour or so when it hit the vertical loop--and it still had more twisted inversions to go after that. For a lot of people, that was far too fast to take the Arrow inversions and lots of headbanging ensued.

I don't remember if it's rumor or fact now, but I seem to remember talks of trashing the whole coaster for something new, and that wasn't sitting well with some people.

When the original artwork of the changed design came out, the uphill section before the second drop was going to be a double-up. I guess they decided it would've either a) killed off speed or b) wasn't necessary.

Steel Phantom could have been the greatest thing ever.

But.... Arrow was a bunch of crappy, lazy designers and engineers. (Remember when I said that in a long and more thoughtful post and no one could come up with a valid disagreement/argument?) I have a great Phantom example. I heard it straight from Toomer's mouth that on the first test run the train came back to the station something like 17 or 18 seconds faster than they thought from their calculations. That's huge...not even in the ballpark!The first loop also pulled Gs that WAY exceeded what the riders were to be subjected to.

Their calculations were WAY off. We all know they then added those very hard brakes before the loop to try to make it more reasonable.

Anyway....there wasn't a lot of love for the old Phantom....I was at the ACE event right before it closed. In ERT most people literally took one last ride, said ouch, and went and rode something else, despite no waiting.

Phantom's I love that ride.....

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Chuck when i was at DL, Predator did look pretty cool, with all the close hills and things, but that ride looked like it needed alot of tlc. I wish i could have got on it, but it was being worked on. And also do you think that g-trains would help, i mean isnt raging wolf bobs a dinn too. They did an excellent job retracking that ride, but the second half lacks alot of punch. But i cant say anything for predator, hopefully ill be able to ride it this year though.

Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

Well i never got to ride hurcules... but i think hydra is a 'family friendly' ride and has the capacity and reliability. it was fun, for a B&M.

It's ashame that such 'famous' coaster designers, Dinn and Toomer (well, Summers) came up with rides that were very very obviously, well to a teenage coaster geek at the time, just not gonna work. I remember 'tresspassing' great america in '87 to get pics the new 'shockwave'. wow, a demon loop put up 100 feet in the air.

I rode Steel Phantom during the '91 ace coaster con.. it was rough. we gotta few 'brakeless' rides during ERT and it was literally like a cartoon. it was so fast, it actually didnt give time for 'headbashing'. you were plastered once you hit that first loop. and the corkscrew shook very visibily (you shook me for those following the zeppelin thread ;) when the train went through. same thing happend on the shockwave at great america. those corkscrews just rocked back and forth ... there were 'rumours' about arrow tellin the park not to run if w/o the trim break on the block break - which they eventually did.

after all these huge wooden 'problems' (colossus, american eagle, hurcules, giant and mean streak) you would think that someone may notice (sorry john pearce).

I think john allen said it best "if you go over 100 feet, your looking for problems." cornball express, kennywoods rides, GA viper, seems he knew what he was talkin bout ;)

And when SOBeast was being built, anyone with half a brain could have just saw they were really askin for it.

Anyone remember the Timber Wolf when it first opened? my gosh! my first ride was at night. it was unreal. now its a hunk of junk.

good think im close to cornball :)

Mamoosh's avatar
When Allen made that statement about going higher than 100 feet he was referring to wood coasters only. The problem with Steel Phantom, Shockwave and others you mention had little to do with the ride's height and everything to do with crappy "lets bend a wire coat hanger and see what we come up with" engineering.
Most of the Wooden Roller Coasters in my "Top Ten" list are less than 100' High. (One of them is just 35' Tall!) In my book it isn't WHAT you have, it's WHAT YOU DO with what you have!


Steel Phantom was the ride that ruined roller coasters for my wife. It's been more than a decade since she rode it, and it banged her up so badly, she's seldom gotten on another coaster since. :(
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Wow, no love for Arrow. You guys suck. ;)

I'm the twisted one who would say Steel Phantom would still rank among my 20 or 25 favorite coasters of all time.

Of course the trade-off is that Phantom's Revenge would rank among my top 3 or 4 coasters of all time.

So I guess it's all good in the end.

As far as Hercules, I had horrible rides, I had bad rides, I had 'meh' rides, I had pathetically average rides, I even had kinda-not-as-bad-as-it-should've-been rides on that coaster. The problem is that I never got a good ride on it.

Hydra may be a run of the mill, tame, forceless B&M floorless, but it's still a better sitting in that spot than Hercules ever was.

Last time I rode Hercules, I thought we'd have to get out and push the train back to the station. Woodstock's Express seemed faster and more thrilling.
Olsor's avatar
This falls more under the Steel Phantom category, but The Rattler has definitely changed from its debut. Forty-some feet chopped off the first drop, the fan turn was de-fanned, some of the undulating parts of the helix have been straightened out... This ride was a complete design disaster. I have no idea why it's still standing.

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