I completed the 'Rocket Coaster Trifecta' (credits on all three installations - Xcelerator, TTD and Storm Runner) on Sunday night, but a few rides today (the 14th) left Storm Runner in my top 10.
I choose to sum it up like this regarding the three rocket coasters currently in existence:
Ohio has the biggest, California has the first, Pensylvania has the best.
The only bad thing about this coaster is the bottleneck it seems to have created on the pathway between it and Sidewinder. Other than that it's top notch beginning to end.
The queue - small. I've seen some fairly large crowds at Hershey, but the queue seems to be set up to hold a 35 or 40 minute line at best. In fact, a sign near the start of the line proclaims a '35 minute wait from this point.'
A dual loading station that works!? It works and it works well. Pretty steady dispatch all around. They send the first train and when it returns they send the other one. There seems to be a slightly longer delay before the first goes again than between the first and second. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be, but if they clipped that dispatch time to the same time between trains 1 and 2 and kept a steady flow, the capacity would be maxed. As it is, it's above good. We never saw more than a 20 or 25 minute wait on both Sunday and Monday.
The trains - nice. The restraints didn't bother me at all. No size issues in our group and we only saw one person turned away on both days and many rides. There is plenty of signage explaining that the restraint must rest on your lap, not your stomach - complete with little photos. The test seat out front is usually ocupied by bored kids, but its fun to make them move - especially when you're scary looking :)
The launch. Right up there with Xcelerator's. Powerful. More powerful than TTD's without question. I'm a 'hands-up on the lauch' bozo - at least I know I have a problem. Storm Runner whipped my arms back in a way that TTD's didn't even come close to. I'd still say that overall Xcelerator has the most kick, but Storm Runner is very comparable.
The Top Hat. My favorite of the three. I really prefer the vertical drop without the twist (both Xcelerator's 'standard' variety and TTD's 270.) It just feels better to me to dive straight down. Maybe I'm just a plain vanilla guy. I don't need the sprinkles or chocolate coating.
The Cobra Loop. Felt somewhere between an Immelman and a Dive Loop. It was good. Ugly as hell. (I liken it to something drawn by a 3 year old) but this proves it doesn't have to look pretty to ride pretty. Smooth and fun.
The Barrel Roll/Snake Dive. Right here is the money on this coaster. The reason I kept going back. After the Cobra Loop you crest a medium sized hill, go directly in the barrel roll and right into the snake dive (it all seems like one element). Your ass will leave the seat at the top of that hill and not touch it again until the bottom of the pretty much vertical exit from the snake dive. If you have any kind of airtime whore in you at all (and hey, who doesn't?) then this is a MUST do experience. If the ride was just this, I'd probably hug and kiss it. It's just that damn fun.
From there - it's a speedy little jaunt up a morbidly, freakishly "S" banked 'double up' (best I can describe it without my photos) into the final brakes.
All in all, it makes for one serious ride. Herhsey has a winner on their hands.
Let me sum that rocket coaster comparison up again just in case you forgot:
Ohio has the biggest, California has the first, but Pennsylvania has the best.
Good stuff, kids :)
It is so nice to have an Intamin rocket of that caliber, 10 minutes from home. I go there after work(nightshift) on Wednesday or Thursday and it is almost a walk on.
I like TTD's launch a little better just because of the sheer speed, but Storm Runner still packs a decent punch. I have yet to ride Xcelerator, so I can't compare it to that.
Lord Gonchar I really agree with you on the inline twist, snake dive elements. Thats what make Storm Runner unique. Its not just a 1 trick pony. Its maybe a 4 or 5 trick pony. ;)
I didn't find the launch too impressive after riding TTD a few days before, and i thing i also liked Xcelerators launch a little better two years ago. The inversions were fun, but all in all i have to say that i was awaiting more than i felt after riding it.
Unfortunately i only had the chance to ride it once because it was shut down later in the afternoon. Maybe riding it more often would have changed my mind, you know riding a coaster only once often leaves me with a "huh"-feeling...
It sounds like you were able to ride several times -- where did you sit? Any preference as far as front, middle, or back?
Lord Gonchar said:
Maybe I'm just a plain vanilla guy.
Words I never thought I'd see in a Gonchar post... ;)
I'm supposed to hit Hershey in August with a bunch of friends, but if I keep reading reports this positive I might have to make a trip myself earlier.
It's fun, but I predict that MAYBE as early as next year that it will have some pretty good headbanging going on in the back. Also, it has the most lackluster launches, IMO. But, I'm in the boat that says the straight drop off the tophat is the best.
That said, I still really enjoyed it very much. It's a solid addition to an already wonderful park. I just hated that it went down at 10:30 on Wednesday of last week and stayed down all day. :(
I just wanted to add a side note. On opening day, the sign at the front of the queue claimed an hour wait from that point. I think after opening day, they realized that wasn't the case. On day 2, it said 35 minute wait.
I guess when they constructed the queue, they anticipated that it would hold an hour wait.
With their last two installations, HP has misjudged the necessary queue. LR has way too much and SR doesn't have enough...LOL
After loving the straight drop I was looking forward to Hypersonic today. I never got my chance. They were running 1 car and dispatching every 4 minutes. Do the math. 15 cars an hour x 8 riders = 120pph :(
Screw that line! The park was dead and later in the day it seemed like they got 2 cars going, but we never got back to that area of the park. Even if they doubled up with the second car that would only be 240pph. Horrible! Everything else (except Volcano) was a walk-on or 1 train wait.
I didn't really feel like I missed much, iHypersonic was very underwhelming in person.
Maybe some other time...
Joe "nah, I won't let it go lol" C.
Brian, who says you didn't like Storm Runner as much as you like the Teealun!
Heh, I never visited CP when TTD was down for 11.25hrs of the day...I did visit HP when Storm Runner was though!
Crap luck sucks!
I've been to KBF once since Xcelerator. CP 4 times since TTD and Hershey twice since SR - All the rocket coasters were running on every visit at each park.
Call me Gonchar Luckypants :)
Homey, I responded to your damn TR! >:O
I've been to King's Dominion 6 times since Hypersonic opened, and I've ridden it on exactly one of those visits. And that was the ride's Media Day.
Oh that's a lie! You rode it again a few days after Media Day on PKD's opening day that year. I know 'cause I was there :)
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