Day 3 – Hersheypark
The tour of coaster legends continues as Skyrush looms into view over the construction site that is the current entrance.
Let’s get right to it then. A small queue had formed outside the entrance while the ride wasn’t quite ready.
Took advantage of the free lockers nearby and joined.
It wasn’t long before we headed up the stairs and into the back row. Quote of the day here from a fellow rider. Apparently ‘Dorney is kicking our (Hershey’s) ass’.
I’m no local expert, but by it’s reputation I would imagine it isn’t. It’s also closed at this time of year, so we wouldn’t be able to verify.
First impressions of the ride? Not great to be honest. Not the mind blowing machine it was meant to be but don’t worry, the Flying Aces style fairytale will resume later.
You’ll just have to read the rest now.
Cred time. Weird little layout that doesn’t do a whole lot. Discount Revolution.
#3 Comet was properly good. Old school woodie with minimal restraints that rides very well. Hilarious laterals and moments of standing airtime. Great stuff.
The B&M invert was alright. The helix at the start is a welcome change.
It has some fun moments like the straight over some mud.
And the part where they must have realised ‘oops we’ve got to get this layout back to the station, chuck in a long drawn out s-bend.’ Reminded me of the middle of Flight Deck.
Doing so well with a surprising lack of queues again, we foolishly headed off into the rest of the park blindly at this point, somewhat forgetting about our 2 hour locker limit.
Did #5 Trailblazer, the Arrow mine train. It was a thing. Ain’t no Diablo.
Now properly worrying about locker time and not knowing the actual time, but unable to resist the draw of things nearby, gave Wildcat a bash.
Just as we reached the air gates, already nervous about being late, they decided to add another train. Good for them and fun to watch, but such a tense moment.
Quoting myself previously: ‘They seem to have developed an obsession for large swooping drops which do absolutely nothing.’
I’m going to have to retract this statement about GCI. This was their very first build, so it’s been in them all along. And it sums up the ride perfectly.
A brisk power walk back to the lockers, getting lost along the way. I believe we had 2 minutes to spare. Good to add a bit of drama.
During our travels it had been noticed that neither Fahrenspite, nor Storm not-Running were open. Suppose the odds of missing out are high with this many Intamins in one park.
Planned our next move over a bit of lunch.
Which was Cocoa Cruiser of course. The first of too many Zamperla 80STDs on this trip.
And then time to suck up the Laff Track queue (only queue in the park) next. A short way into the queue, it broke down and we all cleared out again.
Lightning Racer it is.
First side (right?) was a bit underwhelming. I liked the staggered lift idea. Thought they were gonna do a Dauling Dragon at the top and cross over, but it was just a large swooping drop of course. It rattled around some more corners for a while and we lost the race.
Other side seemed to be behaving a bit better. It was winning every single lap without fail, even with a couple of rows closed off to guests. It managed to accentuate a few good moments in there – a bit of a speed hill through a shed and the odd moment of surprise airtime. All these mid-tier ones are really fading on me now – nothing amazing, but decent enough.
Laff Trakk was back up and running. Suffered the queue a while longer, had a laugh in the hall of mirrors, hopped aboard.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – these Maurer spinner off-the-shelf models suck. They only come into their own when they get a little creative, otherwise its just a lack of spinning and a lack of interest. Indoors.
That was creds complete for what was available (forgot to mention Spitewinder, the Boomerang was also closed – what a pity, never mind).
Jumped on a ferris wheel and contemplated the park. We’re missing out on 2 of the big boys and at present, don’t particularly feel like staying ‘til close. Hmmm.
Ran through some of the usual crazy options while sitting on the wheel, including £60 for half an hour of Oscar’s Whack-off Taxi if we leave in the next 2 minutes (and I thought Sea World was badly priced).
Just then, Storm Runner saved the day by suddenly testing. That’s that question answered.
Joined a reasonable queue of dedicated guests outside the entrance and watched them continue to test for another hour or so. Didn’t know it was dual station. They’re only running 1 train, but still, that’s cool.
Our patience paid off and we got on. Here’s a mine train picture from the queue of Storm Runner that I didn’t insert earlier for dramatic effect.
I really liked this thing. It’s taken me far too long to come across the Intamin hydraulic launchers that are actually good, so I hope the remaining ones live up to it.
There’s a brilliant mix of forces over and out of the top hat and into the dive loop that actually took the air from my lungs – properly pretzel loop intense. The restraints are the tighter vesty ones like ol’ 305 had, which may have something to do with that, but it was a great moment.
The flying snake dive is a unique and really cool element, followed by a super snappy slither up into the brake run. A layout actually worth its launch.
Upon leaving the ride we asked a staff member, who we noticed had been carrying around the beginner’s guide to working on Hershey’s rides for the last hour, about our chances with Fahrenspite. The response was amusing. Fantawild levels of amusing:
“It was too cold to run.”
(Current weather was 18°C and we had just got sunburnt while waiting for that last ride).
Shame. Interesting looking thing. Also wanted to complete the Norwegian Loop set.
Did the tower. Windows and sun placement was bad for pictures. Rerode some stuff.
Had some surprisingly nice park food opposite the Bear and let the sun go down. I like the lighting packages on the GCIs.
Then settled in for an hour of Skyrush.
No wait, forgot to reride Comet (and to take a decent picture). Comet was awesome again. Staff were really enthusiastic and were doing quizzes about the park to entertain the queue. Beats those GCIs any day.
Then settled in for 55 minutes of Skyrush.
What is it about these Intawings? They leave me cold by day and then totally blow my mind by night.
It was absolutely incredible. The more you ride it, the more it just does things to you that weren’t happening before. The sensations that only a ride of this type can provide due to the seating position. Pure, vicious, sideways assaults in moments that don’t even make sense.
My favourite seat was back left. The same seat that felt like nothing special on a first ride – just another decent airtime machine.
The same seat that went savage on me – making the ride a world beater. It induces proper screams of pain, terror and joy in the same moment, every moment. Every straight hill. Every twist. And the unassuming entrance to a corner that makes you instinctively grab for the restraint no matter how hard you try and keep those hands up.
The final corner is a welcome moment of relief before you hit the brakes both laughing and crying. This thing shouldn’t be legal. But we’ll take 9 laps back to back.
Nope, they’re letting us stay on again for the last train of the night. We’ll take 10. What a glorious night of hobbying.
I’ll weigh in on the age old restraint discussion for this ride while I’m gushing. It took me one lap to get used to it. I sat normally, the bar was directly on the thigh and during the twists, one leg would unevenly take the strain. It wasn’t particularly comfortable.
After this, I slouched a little each time I got in. The bar was coming down into the hip joint. There was no more uneven strain and it was uncomfortable no more. It ached my legs after a few goes, just like all good airtime machines do, but it was perfectly manageable and oh so worth it.
I love Skyrush. It’s making me grin stupidly just sitting here writing about it. That’s what you want from a ride.
Didn’t feel in a position to drive to the hotel after that session, but somehow managed it even with the thought of those leg wounds being opened up all over again tomorrow.