Hersheypark's Sidewinder stopped mid-cobra roll

Hershey's boomerang coaster Sidewinder came to an abrupt stop this afternoon in the middle of the cobra roll. All passengers reported to be safely evacuated.

News link: http://www.pennlive.com/life/2016/08/sidewinder_stuck_hersheypark.html

Jeff's avatar

What a non-event.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Yeah, if the ride is designed with an evacuation platform where the train comes to an "abrupt stop" I don't think it's really all that interesting.

BTW, did you hear that Top Thrill Dragster doesn't always make it over the hill?

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

In other news, nobody parked Mid-Timbers today.

Boy, that Christian Schaffer, husband and father, of "Good Morning Baltimore" is on it, isn't he? With the minute by minute tweets!

"Fastest tweets this side of the Patapsco" and he ain't kidding!

Ok,... why do I suddenly have the soundtrack of Hairspray in my head?

Last edited by RCMAC,

I've been stacked on the brake run for longer than the six minutes that riders were allegedly "stuck" on Fahrenheit.

I bet the abrupt stop was more like a "swinging back and forth for awhile until it settled at the bottom" stop.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

rollergator's avatar

Exactly. What could possibly be LESS abrupt than coasting to a stop?

The real news is that people went to HersheyPark, with such a great selection of rides, and went on a Boomerang... ;~P

Last edited by rollergator,

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Jeff's avatar

It is worth noting that early Boomerangs had the mid-roll platform installed after this sort of thing happened, but that was probably 15+ years ago.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I think that first "stall" (I guess it's really a valley) happened at Kentucky Kingdom on Vampire. And as I recall it was a bit of a mess getting some riders down.

Did we ever hear what caused the one in St. Louis to derail earlier this spring?

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.

^^I'm not sure about it happening at KK. I know it was common at SFOT.

I miss Vampire! I rode it when it opened in 1990. Was my first boomerang. So, I have a soft spot for it. Glad to ride it again at SFNE a couple of years ago.

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

matt.'s avatar

I'm kind of surprised so many top tier parks still have these things.

Hershey's, in particular, bumps up right against the southern edge of the water park, which seems like prime real estate to me.

My guess is they are relatively inexpensive to maintain and they don't take up much real estate. Plus they are actually great spectator rides.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Especially when they're rocking back and forth in the middle of the cobra roll.

Walk-Off HBP's avatar

Plus they are actually great spectator rides.

So much so, that SFNE has two of them.

The trick was to surrender to the flow.

matt.'s avatar

BrettV said:

My guess is they are relatively inexpensive to maintain and they don't take up much real estate.

Mine too. Unless a park has a dire need to free up space or a dire need to lessen its operating costs, the cost for removal is probably pretty expensive. Relatively.

I suspect what might happen is we see a bunch of them hit some sort of useful end-of-life threshold within the same similar time frame, and then we see them get scrapped or sent overseas. Especially the ones in the 25 to 30 years old range. Then again that might apply to a lot of Arrow coasters too. Then again, maybe the recent Hulk refurb is making me overestimate the likeliness any of this will happen.

matt. said:
I suspect what might happen is we see a bunch of them hit some sort of useful end-of-life threshold within the same similar time frame

The first one dates from 1982 and is still going.

In terms of end of life, Vekoma built an average of three per year from 1984 and 2000 and they've built a handful since. I don't think you're going to see a mass retirement party any time soon.

It's worth noting that Sunkid Heege makes lap bar only trains for them too...

We have already seen "early retirement" for several of the Arrow loopers, and I suspect more will come. I think a large part of it comes down to a poor to average ride experience in comparison with a more modern ride. A ride like Hulk makes sense to completely rebuild, it is a solid ride and very popular. The Arrow loopers are uncomfortable, the trains are hard to get in and out of, and just don't deliver the ride experience that a B&M or even modern day Intamin coaster does. On the flip side, they are all extremely photogenic and beautiful coasters to photograph.

The two Arrow loopers I will miss are Vortex at Kings Island and Viper at Magic Mountain. I enjoyed both rides and thought they gave a decent overall experience. But eventually they will reach the end of their useful life, and I can't imagine a cost for a major overhaul would be worth it for the parks. If Busch Gardens Williamsburg didn't keep Big Bad Wolf going, I can't see these Arrow loopers lasting forever.

Now Magnum at Cedar Point... that ride is likely popular enough and in the parks eyes worth putting money into from time to time to keep it going.

Tekwardo's avatar

Hershey actually got new more comfy trains on theirs a couple years ago.

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