Storm Runer, a dissapointment or not? - Hersheypark, 5/8/04

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Saturday, May 8, 2004 8:58 PM
I was dissapointed when Hershey decided to push back the opening date for Storm Runner, but when I heard that it would be operating on opening day, my dad and I decided we would head up.

Upon ariving at the gate after a 25 minute ride, we found a band playing music and DJ's from local radio stations getting the crowd excited. When the gates opened, everyone headed towards Storm Runner. The menace is visible from nearly everywhere in the park. While walking past the Claw, a test run resulted in a roll back. But within a few minutes it cleared the top hat. It barely made it over, and looked a little slow. Never-the-less, I was still excited.

We waited 20 minutes outside the entrance while those who won a contest were able to take the first public train. Any doubts of it being slow were quickly erased - with people in it, it easily went over the tophat. Finally, the entrance opened and we snaked through the queue (which is nicely shaded around the Trailblazer) and made it to the station. I decided to take a back seat.

After a two train wait, I quickly pulled the OSTR. There's plenty of room and they're very comfortable and don't obstruct from the view at all. The station is set up in the same way Lightning Racer is, and the track switches on each side so that they can enter the station and keep the line moving, very cool.

Finally, we dispatched and made our way onto the launch. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, there was a soft hiss and over the loudspeaker you heard, "Get ready to launch!" (or something like that) and within a second (well actually, two), you're traveling at 72 mph and heading straight for the tophat.

I've only ridden 3 coastes with launches (Volanco: The Blast Coaster, Batman and Robin: The Chiller, and Flight of Fear) but this launch out-does any of them. The forces on your body are incredible. The train is silent, until you reach the top of the top hat.

You creep over, and the screams of "Oh my God" come out. In the back, you don't recieve too much air. However, you get a brief look at Comet Hollow and before you know it, you're heading straight down. Incredible air in the back, and the OSTR's don't take away from it (unless you've been severely stapled in). Amazing! But it's not done yet - the next inversion is incredibly disorientating when you begin to come out of it and see Pioneer Frontier. There's a moment of hangtime and a fair amount of positive g's at the bottom. Within a flash, you're shot upward into the spiral. But, before that, there's a large doss of air. Then, it encounters the spiral which is also incredibly disorientating and has a huge amount of hangtime.

The flying snake dive is next, and it's unexpected. It happens so fast, it's hard to put it into words. Soon, you're twisting to the right sharply before going straight and recieving another doss of air before the brakes.

Storm Runner is in a class of it's own. It's intense, but not too intense, and has some serious moments of airtime and hangtime. I went on it two more times that day, each wait being about an hour (it was consistintly like that throughout the day) and you recieve even more airtime, except on the vertical drop in the front. This is a must-ride coaster, you're given so much in such a short time. Definately not a dissapointment! It ran very, very smoothly with no breakdowns. Another winner for Hershey.

The park overall was running extremely well. There were mechanics all over Storm Runner in the morning, and secruity to make sure no one was jipping (and they caught a few people). There was only one train on each side of Lightning Racer and the ops were fairly slow, but there wasn't too much of a line. The ride was the same as always: smooth, bits of floater air, and a unique dueling aspect. A fun ride.

The cat is back - last year, the Wildcat seemed to be running horribly slow and well, smooth. One of the reason I loved it was because it tossed you around. I didn't get that, but this year I did! It was incredibly rough, in a good way. The laterals were insane and the airtime was upundant. I love the ending, being close to the ground and going at what seems lighting speeds.

Great Bear was the same as always, a fairly intense ride with great inversions. I love how it feels like you're flying over Comet Hollow. The zero-g roll is my favorite on an invert. It feels like you're going to crash into the creek. The SooperDooperLooper recieved some more blue paint (replacing the green in most areas) and still has that classic, intense loop and helix.

The Comet is always a great ride, and there was even a bit of floater air on the returning bunny hops! I love the beginning though - the air on the drops is insane. Still worthy of taking on the newer woodies. The Trailblazer had no line (for once, it always had long lines during the summer) and is a great starting coaster. Some nice views of Storm Runner too. ;)

Those were the main attractions we went on. We went on several flats and other rides like the Fender Bender, Monorail, and Whip, and visited Zoo America (actually, we spent most of the afternoon tehre). It's worth a visit, at least once and it's a nice break from the park.

Overall, I had a blast. I'm not too big a fan of Hershey, but this visit was by far the best. There was plenty of secruity and the staff were extremely nice and seemed to work their butts off, especially on Storm Runner. They were also prepared for the crowds that it brought, and made sure it ran efficiently.

I'll post some pictures either tomorrow or later tonight. Hope you enjoyed. :)

Edit: Yes I know, I spelled "Runner" wrong.
*** Edited 5/9/2004 4:39:34 AM UTC by 3r1c***

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Saturday, May 8, 2004 9:07 PM
" In the back, you don't recieve too much air. However, you get a brief look at Comet Hollow and before you know it, you're heading straight down. Incredible air in the back"

So which is it? Air in the back, or not?

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Saturday, May 8, 2004 9:08 PM
I enjoyed the ride as well .. awesome!
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Saturday, May 8, 2004 9:10 PM

SFGAdv lover said:

So which is it? Air in the back, or not?


There is some, but not a huge amount. However, in the front it's a totally different story. There's a enormous amount there. :)
*** Edited 5/9/2004 1:11:58 AM UTC by 3r1c***

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 1:06 AM
I've uploaded the pictures -

Picture 1:
An overview of Storm Runner. Sorry about the quality, I took it from the Kissing Tower. The black in the right hand corner is from a fire.

Picture 2:
The station and the crowds watching the trains launch.

Picture 3:
The tophat taken from near Subway.

Picture 4:
Another picture of the tophat, displaying it's height.

Picture 5:
A train going through the first inversion.

Picture's 6 & 7:
Two more of the first inversion, without trains.

Picture 8:
From the Monotrails exit, another picture of the first inversion with a train going through.

Picture 9:
A picture of both the tophat and the first inversion.

Picture 10:
Looking up at the spiral and flying snake dive.

Picture 11:
Overview of the spiral and flying snake dive.

Picture 12:
A train going through the spiral.

Picture 13:
A good view of the flying snake dive.

Picture 14:
The final twist before entering the brakes.
*** Edited 5/9/2004 5:05:40 PM UTC by 3r1c***

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 3:29 AM
Yeah...3r1c...it's kinda not working...
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Sunday, May 9, 2004 4:40 AM
Guys, right click the links and choose "copy shortcut", then paste the URL into your browser.

That works until the hourly bandwidth limit is hit.

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 9:28 AM
great pictures. i cant wait to get up there and give it a spin.

how did you think the pacing of it was? i dont mean speed but more of tempo. its *looks* inconsistant. was it?

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 1:07 PM
I thought it went through the layout fairly well. It goes through each element at the right speed to make it exciting.

BTW, I switched the host of the pictures so they should be available now.

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 4:13 PM
That band you said at the beginning--that was probably my school!
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Sunday, May 9, 2004 5:41 PM
z/s th/n9 i5 1 z/k bAbY
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Sunday, May 9, 2004 8:16 PM
I think you meant to say "This thing is one sick baby", right superman?

And I agree. I can't wait to ride it. Maybe I'll go in a month or two. It looks very unique and definitely adds in perfectly to HP's skyline.

WOO HOO! I can't even begin to wonder how HP would top this in the future.

Thanks for the pics, 3r1c

*** Edited 5/10/2004 12:18:15 AM UTC by dexter***

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Sunday, May 9, 2004 9:19 PM

SixFlagsAmericaFan said:
That band you said at the beginning--that was probably my school!

It was a three man band, one of Hersheypark's I would assume. There was a big school band compitition going on at the stadium though.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004 1:46 PM
3r1c...

The second set of trains was added to LR at around 1:30...you must have got on before that. Plus the ops weren't really that slow..it just seemed like it because there was only 1 op for each train to check all lapbars. I thought they did a pretty good job.

If you want more good pics of SR, take some from the Giant Wheel. I got some great shots from there.

Sean

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004 4:31 PM
Even so, the one operator on the lightning side would run up to chat (they obviously knew eahc other) with the other operator in the booth overlooking the station, and then would eventually get down to check restraints when we've been settled in for awhile. But, the line wasn't unbearable and it's the first week, so it wasn't that big of a deal.
*** Edited 5/11/2004 8:36:18 PM UTC by 3r1c***
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004 4:44 PM
The ride in all sounds great, but is anyone with me in the fact that the ride looks completely redundant and random? I mean, the first photo, and several I have seen have some very buzzar curves, and the ride in its entirity just doesn't seem to "flow." Am I the only one to notice this, and 3r1c, can you feel the inconsistency when you are riding? Looking at the first picture, after the immelman, theres the drop, but a slight angle turn before the drop that looks like it would just slam riders...is it like that at all?

Can't wait to ride this baby.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004 4:53 PM
I didn't feel the inconsistency, it flowed well. The slight angle actually gives you a sense of how high you are but doesn't seem out of place.
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Thursday, May 13, 2004 11:05 AM
Spaz...some of the transitions were a little awkward, but not uncomfortable. I too noticed the same thing as you before I rode, but those things actually add to the ride IMO.
I actually like them because they help disorient you a little. Hopefully over time they won't become painful transitions.

I am not sure what you mean by "redundant" because I didn't find anything about it to be redundant.

Sean

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Thursday, May 13, 2004 11:56 AM
Don't redundant and random have opposite meanings? I don't understand. *** Edited 5/13/2004 3:56:49 PM UTC by dexter***
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Thursday, May 13, 2004 2:09 PM
WASN'T OPEN TODAY
BIG BAD SIGH
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