Hershey Park 7/21/04 - Storm Runner Down -

Associated parks:

Saturday, July 24, 2004 1:30 AM
Left CT around 6am for a 4 hour trip to Hershey, PA. We arrived at the park at 10:10, and once through the gates we headed for Storm Runner. I heard it doesn't usually open until 10:30, but I figured it'd be worth it to wait a few extra minutes. As we headed around Sidewinder, I saw about 6 mechanics working on the launch section of the track. Great. They had an attendant at the gate, and she said she didn't know when the ride would be up.

Decided to walk around the corner to Roller Soaker. There did not seem to be a line, and it was really hot out, so we gave it a shot. The line was in the station, but still we had to wait about 15 minutes (or 3 trains) to get a ride in. It was better then I had expected, and both of us were completely soaked from head to toe when we got off. Although not all of it was water, a good part of it was lube from the ride. Getting off I saw a sign that read 'clothes may get soiled from ride lube.' Nice.

Next up was a 15 minute wait for the giant raft ride. Average raft ride, nothing special.

Wildcat was the next coaster we came across. 10 minute wait. I had high hopes when I saw the new trains, but the coaster was still pretty rough, and that's from someone sitting in the third car. Good speed, but no real airtime, and too rough to enjoy, but then again I don't like to leave a wood coaster bruised, some do.

I was really looking forward to Lightning Racer. Maybe a 10 minute wait for the front seat. Really good speed, airtime, and a very smooth ride. It's not a standout wooden coaster, but it is one of the better ones I've been on. Rode both Lightning and Thunder.

The Whip was next, and horrible. Go to Dorney Park for a true Whip.

Back around to check on Storm Runner, the whole ride area was now roped off, and there was a crane now working on the launch section of the track.

Ate lunch. Rode the train. Rode the monorail.

Hit up the mine train ride, 15 minute wait for the back seat. There was nothing to this ride at all. Not worth the 15 minutes we waited in the heat.

Great Bear was next and was a solid forty-five minute wait for the front seat. Great airtime here, but it was short and left me wanting more.

SDL was the last coaster for us. This was a one train wait for the front seat. I was surprised to see no seatbelts and only a lap bar. Smooth ride, and better then I expected.

Decided not to hit Comet on the way out after out experiences with Wildcat.

Headed back to the hotel for 5pm. Strom Runner was still down. The crane was there and they were working on what looked like some sort of flywheel.

Had a perfect view of Storm Runner from our hotel window, and it did not open for the rest of the night. (10pm)

Overall, I was disappointed with Hershey. Lightning Racer and Great Bear were above average, and Roller Soaker was fun, but the park on a whole was lacking. I was at Dorney three weeks prior, and liked that park much better.

I'll probably hit Hershey again next season when Hydra opens at Dorney, but only because I didn't get to ride Storm Runner. Unless Storm Runner really impresses, I don't plan to go back to Hershey anytime soon.

Monday, July 26, 2004 11:11 AM
You didn't ride Comet because you rode Wildcat? What kind of logic is that? And since when did Wildcat get new trains? As far as I know, they're the same trains it's always had.

Would the giant raft ride be Tidal Force or the white-water rapids ride? If it was Tidal Force, it's called a shoote-the-chutes. And, what were you expecting? The big boat goes to the top, turns around, drops, and creates a huge splash. End of story.

Sorry you didn't get to ride Storm Runner. There's always next time.

Monday, July 26, 2004 12:09 PM
Wow, you're really hard to please. Wildcat is much smoother this year than in previous years, and no, they're not new trains. You missed out on a great classic woodie. Oh well, one less person in front of me in line.
Monday, July 26, 2004 2:57 PM
Chalk up another "You shoulda ridden Comet" vote here. It may not be as good as Phoenix, but still worth a spin, and not nearly a rough as Wildcat. And skid brakes, how cool are those?
Monday, July 26, 2004 3:23 PM
Sorry about you not getting to ride it, but go ahead and start to plan your next trip. Storm Runner is worth it even though i had to wait 45 minutes because of a breakdown. I still don't know what happened but once the mechanics fixed it, the ride was great. I suggest the front seat (or anywhere in the front car) Good luck next time.
Monday, July 26, 2004 10:23 PM
"The Dude" all I can say is Waaaah! Waaaah! You want a little cheese with that wine?

I live by the park, and Storm Runner runs very consistently. You just happen to go on an unlucky day. I have been there when it is overcast out, and if there is any threat as far as rain they won't run Storm Runner. It just the way the park operates.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 4:40 AM

Intamin Fan said:
As far as I know, they're the same trains it's always had.

Would the giant raft ride be Tidal Force or the white-water rapids ride?

As for the new trains on Wildcat, that came across wrong. For a coaster that is 8 years old now, I wasn't expecting slick looking trains. They seemed pretty comfortable was all that I was stating.

The giant raft ride would be white water rapids apparently. I know all shoote-the-chutes are pretty much the same. Just couldn't think of the name off the top of my head.

As far as the weather for Storm Runner, it was closed the entire day due to mechanical reasons, not weather.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 5:53 PM
Shame you didnt get on Storm Runner. Its incredible. But I disagree with you on the overall quality of Hershey. I think its one of the best parks out there. It seemed (when I was there a few weeks ago) well-run, well maintained, and they have a great selection of rides.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 7:58 PM
I agree with the sentiments of everyone, including missing out on Comet. I have to admit that while I felt there was a clear hierarchy to Hershey's woodies (Lightning Racer takes the cake, followed by Comet, then Wildcat) they're all rather good, above average wooden coasters. And I simply can't agree with your Great Bear critique; honestly, if it weren't for the grossly subpar (read: sucky) ending, it would be one of the best inverts out there, bar none.

Just got back today from a four-day trip so it's still fresh in my mind. TR will be forthcoming. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2004 2:14 AM

Nitro Dave said:
I simply can't agree with your Great Bear critique; honestly, if it weren't for the grossly subpar (read: sucky) ending, it would be one of the best inverts out there, bar none.

I thought Great Bear was a really solid ride. Good airtime throughout, it was just that it felt like a really short ride. I liked how you did not start off with the main drop like so many inverts. Overall, it was better then your average invert, but nothing I would go write home about.

Sunday, August 1, 2004 1:50 AM
Most inverts I've ridden (besides Raptor) feel really short. I think what makes this seem so with Great Bear is that there are a fewer number of inversions than on most post-Batman inverts. And as for its other 4-inversion counterpart (that I can think of), it still feels longer than Talon, though I'd give Talon the edge because it delivers its elements at such a breakneck speed.

But again, if it weren't for that damn slow ending...

And by the way, excellent use of the Eddie Izzard reference. :)


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