Hersheypark 6/3/04 Storm Runner Rocks

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Friday, June 4, 2004 1:23 AM
Arriving at Hersheypark arround 11am, there was no mistaking our target ride for the day, Storm Runner, off in the distance from the parking lot. After paying $7 to park (catching up slowly with SFA) we took a tram (something you don’t see many of anymore) to the entrance. Normally my friend Matt and I would take the Chocolate Factory Tour first, but we’ve been there done that a few too many times, and time was a wasting, since the park closed at eight.

It was up in the air if we would ride the wet rides today, but it was so beautiful that we sprung for the lockers down by Roller Soaker, since we brought our swim trunks.

The first ride of the day of course was Storm Runner. With all the school groups there, we expected the worst, but the capacity of this ride can not be stated enough. Even though we picked the front seat, we only waited 45 minutes. There seemed to be an almost continual launching of trains, which of course is helped in a great way by the dual station. I didn’t notice any downtime during the day either. Way to go HP!

Sitting down, you first notice more of a bucket seat than the standard Intamin hyper trains. Second, the restraints are quite different. There is a heavy to pull down combination harness/lapbar (the ride ops should have great biceps by the end of the season). In pictures the harness portion looks solid, but it’s actually quite pliable. The lapbar is quite unusual. It wraps around your waist, and there are two black handles (one on either side of course), which you are told to hold onto in pictures, rather than the harness. Speaking of warning pictures, they make it painfully obvious where the lapbar should be. They show a thin person in one picture with the lapbar flush at the waist, and right next to it, an overweight person with the lapbar in an angled incorrect position. If you’re unsure, they have a test seat at the entrance.

Moving out onto the launch track, there’s a bit of that Hypersonic anticipation.You’re really not sure what’s going on until the train rolls backwards, and a man says something like “Here We Go!” The launch is very powerful and continuous. Going over the twisting tophat is kind of scary. The first ride was somewhat of a blur. I remember the first inversion, and the corkscrews, but from there through the Flying Snake Dive turn is insane. Needless to say, it’s a short ride, but I kind of look at it like what HypersonicXLC could’ve been.

(this is probably out of order, but hey it was a fun-packed day)
Moving on, we hit The Claw next, which was delivering massive airtime. Next we went down towards Trailblazer so I could get some more shots of SR, and rode Flying Falcon, which didn’t seem to running as fast on the descent as usual. Next we hit Trailblazer, which had a one-train wait. Unbelievable. It’s a fun little ride, but I would like to see HP get a larger junior coaster in the future. On the way back up towards SR, we took a spin on Sidewinder, which didn’t have that bad of a line, and some people let us in front of them, which is always a bonus for an old boomerang.

Heading into Midway America, we pass on eating at the new pizza place by Tidal Force because of the line, which we figure will die down later. So it was Wildcat first, followed by the most insanely run Mack Mouse, and then Lightning of Lightning Racer. This was the only continous coaster running one train (on both sides). It’s about 4-5 minutes a cycle, but the station wasn’t too crowded. Luckily, the lapbar wasn’t digging down into my stomach like it did last year. It also helped that I held it away from me.

Finally we broke down and paid the $20 for the full pie at the new pizza place. Needless to say, it just isn’t Mama Illardo’s. The pie was thin, and the cheese kept falling off the pizza. I would gladly pay even more if they could get a Papa John’s in there instead. Ok, so it would cost $30, but it would taste a hell of lot better.

We talked about doing the water rides, but changed our minds and went towards Comet Hollow instead (I believe another airtime ride on The Claw was fit in there somewhere). It was time to ride my first B&M ever (out of the 14 I’ve ridden since), Great Bear. Even with the new kid in town, GB has held onto its popularity, as the line was the average 30-minute wait. It’s still a good ride, but it’s no SR. Plus, this ride is in need of some bad TLC, as the rails were all rusting (maybe next year?). As per usual, my harness clicked down one more position after the helix.

Next, we took two spins on Sooper Dooper Looper, and then a fairly boring ride on Comet. Damn those sled brakes on the turnaround over the station. It was then time for two of the wet rides in Midway America. We changed into our swim trunks, which was smart on a day like today. It was roughly 75 degrees, so we played it safe. First up was Roller Soaker, and a line that didn’t seem to move. Unlike last year, they had all the water effects turned on, such as the geysers and water curtains, not to mention the people on the ground with their arsenal of weapons. We saw people coming back into the station shivering uncontrollably. Is it too late to back out now?

We finally got on and sat down in some pretty cold seats. We behaved and didn’t pull our tanks in the station, but low and behold out on the course, neither one of us had a tank of water. So we were getting absolutely drenched in cold water, and had no way to fight back. That sucked.

So it was then onto the one ride I’ve never been able to get a credit on-Tidal Force. The line had considerably died down by the time we got into the station, and we had a one-boat wait. Matt doesn’t think that White Water Landing at Dorney Park is as powerful, but I would rate them the same. The boat goes up high, turns around, drops down, big suspended splash, and then everyone’s soaked. Just for fun, we stood on the bridge, and obeyed the directions to hold onto the handrails as another boat dropped. With a plexiglass sheild in the way, it wasn’t that bad. That was great, now let’s back into street clothes.

We took another ride on LR, this time picking Thunder instead (still running one train a side). We won this time. Matt thinks Thunder has better pacing, but I can’t tell the difference. All I know is that LR seems to peter out after the turnaround by the station. We hopped onto a no-line Ferris Wheel for an overview shot of LR, and the rest of the park. I wish I hadn’t run out of film, our I would’ve had a great panoramic shot of SR. We were “entertained” while on board by the Junkyard Band (name?), a low-cost version of “Stomp” the musical. They bang on a lot of common objects, such as trashcans and shovels, while doing some rap. We then walked onto another Wildcat ride.

It was painfuly obvious where we would spend the rest of the night, but first we went back to those Flyers. This was my first ride ever on one of these contraptions, and I found it quite fun. I agree with Matt that it’s a lot more fun than a Chance Aviator, where you have little control over the wing.

We walked down to Storm Runner to find none of the queue filled. The station was still filled on both sides however. We went for the backseat this time, and one thing I’ve never seen was Trailblazer stuck on the midcourse, with part of the train hanging off the back (they finally got it moving with multiple blueshirts pushing it). So back to the back, It’s a bit more violent, and you make more contact with the harness with your neck. Stick with the middle to front seats. I think I managed seven more rides in a row, and Matt probably got a few more than that as I ventured over for one last spin (and the final ride of the night) on the Claw. This turned out to be a huge disappointment. It was as though the ride op hit a button called “Wimpy” on the control panel. I didn’t come out of my seat at all. I doubt it was the lack of people on board. I just think it was a poor choice of seating section, or bad luck.

In conclusion, we had a great day, great weather, and every ride was working. Many of the food stalls were closed, but that’s to be expected at this point in the season. There’s no ride-photo available on SR yet, but I was told the ride cameras will be hooked up soon.

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Friday, June 4, 2004 7:06 AM
Great TR!

The one thing that surprised me the most about Storm Runner was the lines. They seemed longer than what they really are. I think I waited about 25 minutes tops. Then again being that the ride lasts only 30 seconds or so has a lot to do with it. ;-)

Actually the only real problem I encountered with lines was the wait time for Great Bear, but they were only running one train at the time.

How did you like the "twisting snake dive" element on Storm Runner? :-D

Glad you had as much fun as I did a couple of weeks ago. Lightning Racer is still my top woody. :-D

I loved the Claw as well! The thing is just.......strange.

-Tina

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Friday, June 4, 2004 7:11 AM
Like you I-Fan, I had an excellent day at th park on Tuesday. I only took one trip on Storm Runner and let the school groups enjoy it the rest of the day. Unfortunately, that was a bad decision on my part since storms were hitting the Hershey Park area every one to two hours. One hit as I was heading back to ride Storm Runner around 7 and I never got to take a second crack at it.None the less, the one crack I did take was enough to make me want to ride it again and I will in the near future. I was disappointed to find the on ride camera wasn't hooked up yet. When I asked the person at the entrance to the queue if they had one, he didn't even know what an on ride camera was.

I examined just about every inch of Storm Runner, The way the announcer say "Here we go", the way the park kept the trees close to the launch, it makes it feel faster as you go whizzing by, the dip after the first drop behind Country Cafe adds excitement, the drop by trailblazer between two buildings. I never could have imagined so much fun could be had in 50 seconds but it was a blast (if you will pardon the pun).

The other thing I noticed was the landscaping of this park. Something I failed to appreciate during my visit in August '03. This park is quickly becoming one of the nicer looking parks in the country. Coming close to BGW.

I thought Fagmilias (the pizza restaurant you are refering to) pizza was pretty good, all though I only had one slice (afternoon snack). I did like the burgers at Decades across the midway, in Midway America, from Fagmilias.

I skipped the water rides, all of them were overflowing the queue while I was there so I didn't even bother. I rode The Great Bear, and thought Alpengeist at BGW was better but The Great Bear isn't a bad coaster.

I rode Lighting Racer (Lightning side). What a great wooden coaster, it has easily becoming my favorite woodie. It just never looses a step after the first drop. However, I think running two train operation was needed on both both Wildcat and Lightning Racer.

Rode Wildcat for the first time, thought it was a rough coaster but not as rough as Rattler at SFFT.

Rode Wild Mouse by myself, that will be the last time I do that. With every hair pin turn, I could feel the car leaning off and just grabbing hold of the rails since no one else was in the car with me keeping the other side down.

An excellent day for me as well. I hope to have my pictures on my website this weekend. *** Edited 6/4/2004 11:15:35 AM UTC by coasterguts***

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Friday, June 4, 2004 7:38 AM
Nice Report, Intamin Fan.

I'm just a little curious, about how tall are you? You mentioned that the back seat you hit your neck on the harness. I've ridden SR 30 times now, 28 in the last row, and I've never hit my neck. I'm an even 6', so my neck might be high enough not to be a problem.

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Friday, June 4, 2004 10:06 AM
My husband is 6'4", with more of his height in his torso than in his legs, and his shoulders rubbed against the underside of SR's restraints. It wasn't a painful ride, but it wasn't as nice for him as most people have experienced.
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Friday, June 4, 2004 12:36 PM
Great report. Do you know what time you rode Soaker? I was there yesterday afternoon, so you may have seen me. We were having problems with the water when I got there, so it's possible you were there when I was.
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Friday, June 4, 2004 1:01 PM
Actually...the voice on SR says "Now get ready...Here we go!". And there is no hesitation..When he says go, you go!!!

Does anyone know where the on ride is going to be??? I haven't seen anyplace that it may be located. Not to mention that I don't recall seeing a Photo Booth to purchase the pictures in. I just assumed that there wasn't going to be an on-ride photo for SR.

Regarding the Famiglia's pizza...I am a pizza snob (LOL) so I didn't even try it..I knew I wouldn't like it. But my wife tried it and hated it, despite how good it smelled.

Glad to hear you had a good time I-Fan...

Sean

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Friday, June 4, 2004 1:18 PM
I would imagine the onride camera would be either at the bottom of the first drop or at the bottom of the drop by Trail Blazer, maybe at the drop out of the Flying Snake Dive.
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Friday, June 4, 2004 10:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the compliments on the TR. It took a while to write and edit down. As for some of the questions: 1) The Snake Dive element is crazy! That was the part that I didn't even remember the first time. And, the monorail looks like it's going to take your head off! 2) I'm 5'8". 3) We rode Roller Soaker somewhere around 4-5pm. I seemed to notice that a lot of water was spilling out while our row was being refilled. That was probably our problem. And then there were the idiots who didn't understand that you don't release your tank of water in the station 4) The on-ride cameras are mounted just above the launch track in order, so I assume that it'll capture each row, instead of groups of four. I was told the booth will be underneath of SR's station. I forgot to mention also that they are putting in a small observation area in front of the launch track.
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Saturday, June 5, 2004 1:32 PM
Very nice TR.
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Saturday, June 5, 2004 6:14 PM
I think it would be cool to have the camera just right after the "twist" before the "dive". :-)

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Saturday, June 5, 2004 10:49 PM

Intamin Fan said:
3) We rode Roller Soaker somewhere around 4-5pm. I seemed to notice that a lot of water was spilling out while our row was being refilled. That was probably our problem. And then there were the idiots who didn't understand that you don't release your tank of water in the station

You might have seen me then. I was working the ride, so I was either operating or attending. I was wearing a gray shirt with a red nametag. I do know that once the line went down, the car's water tanks seemed to overfill every time a new set would come in, so that was probably your problem with the water.

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Friday, June 29, 2018 10:19 PM

"a man says something like “Here We Go!”" "Actually...the voice on SR says "Now get ready...Here we go!". And there is no hesitation..When he says go, you go!!!"

That voice is none other than Shadow himself; David Humphrey. There was no mistakin the voice. i know a voice is david when I hear it. and that HAD to be david. ok old thread bump sorry but ...i couldnt resist

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Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:24 AM

I was just about to leave feedback on his TR.

Little late for that now.

But yeah, Storm Runner is awesome. Yet we hear so little about it.

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Closed topic.

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