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TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long!

Schrecken Schrecken Profile

Posted:
6/9/13 at
9:52:41 PM

This past Saturday was ACE day at HP, and I went with a few friends. We arrived a little after 8 am, and the morning ERT consisted of Fahrenheit and Storm Runner. It had rained like crazy the day before, but the sky was just dreary and over-cast; thankfully no rain fell at all during the day. I hadn't ridden Fahrenheit since the year it opened, so we opted to ride that first. I could have swore that the track was more of a tangerine orange back then and not a yellow-orange as it is now. But color aside (actually I think it looks better in its current color scheme), the ride was pretty much the way I remember it (sans the 45 minute wait in the baking sun!) - decent but nothing great, not too rough but still fairly enjoyable. We rode a couple of times and then we went on over to Storm Runner.
Now, I had good memories of SR, and was hoping for what I remembered when I rode it the last time, which was when Fahrenheit opened. The only thing I didn't like was the restraints bruising my upper arms, which it still does, unfortunately. However, for some odd reason I got queasy on my first and only ride, and it was a lot rougher than I recall. Some other ACEr said that she also got nauseous on SR, and this was the only coaster that has made her sick in a long, long time. So I had to sit that one out and chomp down a few antacids (I ALWAYS bring a small roll or container of antacids to a park, just in case) and shared some with the other sick ACEr. It didn't bother my friend and she got two or three more rides on SR. This was a little disappointing, as I remember really liking SR. If the crowds had been lighter, I may have gone back to try it again later in the day when my stomach wasn't full.

So finally the park opened to the public, and I didn't want to ride anything intense for a while. So my friend went to the karaoke studio and made a recording while I rested, and then we went on the monorail. It was at this point that the crowds really started coming in, probably when people were realizing that it wasn't going to pour down rain all day.
At noon we had our luncheon, and then after that we decided that we would work our way up to more aggressive rides once we were less and less full.
We decided on doing SDL and then Great Bear, and SDL had a fairly long line, about 30 minutes. I like the bright color of the new trains, but I'm not fond of the headrests, which block some of the view. We waited about 25 minutes for Great Bear, and I must say that this is perhaps the most pleasant and re-rideable of the B&M suspended coasters I've ever ridden. The only bad thing I have to say about it is that it could have been a bit longer. We had a scheduled night ERT on Skyrush and Comet (both of which had long lines), so we passed on those to do other rides.

So then we headed back to the boardwalk area (two in our group of 4 had considered going to the water park, so they would have had the opportunity once we got back to that area) and got in line for Wildcat. The park was a bit crowded at this point, and we ended up waiting around 25 minutes. That was a big mistake - I warned everyone that the coaster was rough when I last rode it, and to stay close to the front. I rode in the 2nd with my friend seat and the rest of our party rode the front. Well, we all regretted it big time. Wildcat is even worse and more bone-jarring than I remembered it (seemed like I did get a decent front seat ride the last time I was at the park) and it's now on my "do not ride" list unfortunately (barring them doing something major to improve it).
So then we went to Lighting Racer - it was, as is normal, nearly a walk-on due to the high capacity. And it was the way I remembered it - a nice, fun woodie with decent airtime. We rode three times - twice on Thunder and once on Lighting.
The two in our group who had planned on the water park opted out of that because it never got to be really hot that day. They wanted to visit Chocolate World and we said we would catch up to them there a little later. We wandered around a little more and checked the line on the Sidewinder, but found it to be a bit too long, so we headed to Chocolate World.
We met up with the rest of our party and got something to eat and did the freebie chocolate factory ride, and then went back into the park. We took a ride on the skylift and my friend regretted that because she struggled to keep her flip-flops on, not realizing that she should have sat on them. Luckily she didn't lose them, but this boded ill for what was to come later that night....
I wanted to ride the flyer (I had forgotten this park had a flyer flat ride), but it was at this point that the two water-park hopefulls finally decided to part ways with us, as they were both tired and didn't feel well. So we got our ride on the flyers, and I had just watched ACE's regional rep get some half-decent snapping going on the ride before ours. I did a little half-hearted snapping but didn't want to risk the ire of the ride op (though he said nothing to ACE's rep).
Finally we watched as the crowds went down and school trips began to leave, and we went for the Sidewinder, finding that its line was only about 5 minutes long.
I was very impressed with the new shoulder harnesses, as they make this a pretty decent ride. We rode twice, and enjoyed a head-banging free time. Then we decided to go back and see if we could get a couple more rides on Great Bear, which we did, as it was a walk-on at that point.
Finally it was almost 10pm, and we returned to the meeting point to wait until the park cleared. I was tired as all get out by then, but still looking forward to the night ERT. I was also approaching Skyrush with a good deal of trepidation, considering what I have heard about it. I had seen it looming over the park all day long in the sunlight, and wondering if I would end up getting painfully thrashed by it at the end of the night.
We had the option of going on a brief tour of SR's hydraulic room, but something came up and those of us who waited for that never got the chance, because the park employee who was to lead the tour was held up. We were, however, warned by another employee (especially those of us who had yet to ride Skyrush) that Skyrush would strip away anything that wasn't attached firmly to a rider. We were also warned that it was nothing like any other coaster in the park.

So those of us who hung around for the ill-fated SR tour finally joined up with everyone else (including my friend, who opted out of the tour). I decided to hit the Comet first, to build up to Skyrush (that, and if it beat me to pieces at least I'd be ready to leave). I got a nice front seat ride, and Comet was the way it has always been.
As I headed to my first rendezvous with Skyrush, I came across my friend sitting there shoe-less on a bench. I asked her if she had ridden, and she said yes, and that Skyrush had robbed her of her flip-flops, even though she had been sitting on them! I was thinking "Uh-Oh" right then and there. The ride op had told her to sit on her flips, but the airtime was so potent they were ripped right out from under her. So someone at the park had gone to grab her a pair of flips from one of the gift shops. So obviously she was out of commission for the moment, that and she said she got her thighs crushed and wasn't sure she could ride again.
Finally, having only a half-hour left of ERT, I made my way into the Skyrush station. I noticed that people were milling around behind the gates, taking breaks from riding (not normal at all for hardcore ACErs). I couldn't help but wonder if I would regret my first ride as I sat down in one of the middle front seats. The lift hill started slow, but soon the train rocketed up the lift (IMO this is the fastest lift-hill I've ever been on - no time for a coaster-phobe to contemplate their fate at all!) and before I knew it we were hurtled over the top. The drop was fairly typical of any good-sized steel coaster with a steep drop, but then the real action began at the bottom of the drop. It was at this point that the lap restraint clamped down hard, and I was holding on for dear life! I could feel my loose t-shirt creeping up on my back, and it felt as though if I hadn't had my hands on the restraint, it may have been ripped right off of me. Thankfully there was just enough light so I could see the track unfold rapidly before me, and I could anticipate the twists and turns. All I have to say about the ride itself is this is one of the few coasters I've ridden that has taken my breath away and blown my mind with its intensity. El Toro and the Voyage are the other two. I was almost out of breath back at the station, and it was at this point the restraints were becoming even more uncomfortable on my legs. For me, this was a grey area between discomfort and pain, not quite pain but pretty uncomfortable. Thankfully the ride ops released the restraints as soon as the train came to a stop. I took one more ride in one of the front middle seats after getting off and walking around, and finally I decided to chance the front left wing seat. It was a bit rougher there, and my back ached a little during the ride. ERT was coming to a close by then, and it was at this point that I truly felt like a rat that had been shaken violently in a terrier's jaws.
So my final analysis of Skyrush is this: It is the most intense steel coaster I've ever ridden by far (I-305 previously held that title). I really like the airtime and the intensity of the ride, and for me the restraints are a bit of a trade-off - I like having nothing around my neck or shoulders, but the pressure on my legs is rather uncomfortable and kills some of the re-rideability (as does the intensity) for me. So Skyrush is certainly unique and should be on everyone's list to ride, even if you can only do it once in the front center seat (I was also told that the center seats from the front to about mid-way back were OK, but I didn't have time to personally verify that).

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by antikythera antikythera Profile at 6/10/13 8:20:53 AM
I felt the same way when I first rode Skyrush this past spring. It's the most intense things I have ever been on and I still think about it. I've never had a problem with the restraints so it's honestly in my top three -- I'm surprised you were able to get those two rides on it so late and still have the stamina. I did a mini marathon on this thing at night like you did and, although I love the coaster, it did take it's toll on me.
Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 6/10/13 2:25:42 PM
I actually got three rides on it - and it wiped away what little energy I had left at that point! Skyrush is now in my top 5 steel coaster list, which are (in no particular order):
Millennium Force
I-305
TTD
Skyrush
Goliath at SFMM (haven't ridden it in many years so that might change if I ever get back out there, but just going by my memory of it)

But even out of all of those, Skyrush is perhaps the most breathtakingly intense from start to finish. Who would ever think that a nice family park like HP would harbor such a fearsome beast!

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by looper77 at 6/11/13 2:26:35 AM
What is the ending of Skyrush like? The design looks like it goes out with a whimper instead of a bang. Does the last banked turn over Comet produce airtime like they said it would?
Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by antikythera antikythera Profile at 6/11/13 3:56:17 PM
I honestly can't remember. It does bank pretty well so if you're on the right you get one last good swing at the roof of the Comet.
Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 6/11/13 4:53:17 PM
I felt that Skyrush was utterly relentless all the way thru, even to the very end. It is a relatively short coaster, but then again, with the intensity, you don't really miss greater length (as I do on the Great Bear, which seems to end way too soon). Funny thing about Skyrush is you can look at all the vids of it, POV and off-ride, and you never get the sense of extreme speed you get when riding. It does look like it slows down a bit at the end but it doesn't feel that way. Granted, I only rode it at night, which can make any coaster feel faster.
Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by rush211243 at 6/25/13 11:34:32 AM
Firstly, what is ACE and ERT? I'm new to some acronyms. LOL

Just wanna say I've been going to HP all my life. And riding Skyrush at first was a shock because I've been on larger, faster, and taller coasters plus many different trains and track types. However, this one was not what I expected. But I realized afterward that watching from the 'lover's lane' area it is super fierce and quick.
First time I rode in the one and only winged seat (the way the train is is supposedly the first one of its kind) and it was rough as H E double hockey sticks. Then I rode by myself in the middle and it was much better. These first 2 rides were near the middle of train.
Second visit my dad and brother both didn't care for it. My sister and niece neither. So, mainly i'm the only one to go on it.
Eventually this spring I rode in the front which was AWESOME and in the back two rows! Can I say I totally agree that this is probably one of the most underrated steels in last two years. Wasn't even voted in top 50. But I enjoy it being this intense and fun, and will deal with the restraint because I love the air time and feeling of flying out of the train. I can't remember the last time i knew a ride and still have to put my hands back on the restraint grasps. TOTALLY AMAZING. I think this coaster will grow a cult following.

I do have some different interpretations and understanding of the other coasters in the park however.

Comet- Not as good as it used to be, much rougher.

Wildcat- Used to be great after opening, then got rougher on the head, then better. Sit in the front and suck it up i say.

Lt. Racer- Awesome

Sidewinger- new restrants make for better ride, i agree.

SR- too short and rougher, i agree, but still fun as H

SDL- you didn't ride this??! First and most classic looper in the east? 3 different trains in last decade and never been smoother.

GB- still awesome, try with ears closed. omg

Trailblazer- great helix, love to scare first timers with non first drop. slow but fun to down time it

Farenheit- used to suck and color may differ, but they def fixed something, and now instant must ride! One of the steepest drop and most inversions in the country.

I will post about my "Circuit" soon, riding all 10 adult coasters in less than 3 hours. All in front and two in back.

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by rush211243 at 6/25/13 11:38:53 AM
oh you did ride SDL sorry.

If you ride Skyrush rie the inside seats first!!!

Not always the tallest and faster, and other stats that make a coaster the best or great.

This one only goes 75 and feels A LOT faster!

* This post was modified at 6/25/13 11:40:23 AM *

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 6/25/13 4:29:36 PM
What are you talking about Skyrush being under rated?? First year in existence and it is 7th top steel in the world on the Mitch Hawker poll!! The Mitch Hawker poll is the best poll out there for real coaster enthusiasts who have actually ridden most of these coasters and it is based on mutual rider comparisons.
Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/25/13 8:25:48 PM
rush211243 said:

Firstly, what is ACE and ERT? I'm new to some acronyms. LOL


I will post about my "Circuit" soon, riding all 10 adult coasters in less than 3 hours. All in front and two in back.

ACE is American Coaster Enthusiasts. It is an organization dedicated to preserving rollercoasters and bringing coaster enthusiasts together. ERT is exclusive ride time. During most ACE events we are given times where coasters are closed to the general public and only members of ACE can ride. It's a great organization. Check out their web site when you get a chance.

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! Photo by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 6/26/13 2:05:51 AM
I went to the URC Hershey meet-up yesterday and this time I brought my camera and got some pics (don't have time for a full TR of that tonight, but I thought I'd post some pics anyway) this time.

You can see all of them in the linked gallery.

I rode Skyrush at least 9 times (not all in a row, about half in the afternoon and the rest in the evening), all in various center seats, most of which were in the very back (usually I avoid most coaster back seats because of roughness, but this was totally awesome). Of course, my whole body aches today, but it was so worth it.

I have always liked HP, but I have never had a reason to go there more than every few years, that is, until now.

User Submitted Picture

HP pics

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by rush211243 at 6/26/13 9:17:40 AM
frontrow said:

rush211243 said:

Firstly, what is ACE and ERT? I'm new to some acronyms. LOL


I will post about my "Circuit" soon, riding all 10 adult coasters in less than 3 hours. All in front and two in back.

ACE is American Coaster Enthusiasts. It is an organization dedicated to preserving rollercoasters and bringing coaster enthusiasts together. ERT is exclusive ride time. During most ACE events we are given times where coasters are closed to the general public and only members of ACE can ride. It's a great organization. Check out their web site when you get a chance.


THANKS! I will! and my circuit is beginning at Lt. Racer and going in this order.

Lt. Racer-back row
Wildcat-front row
Fahrenheit-middle
Sidewinder-back row
Storm Runner-back row
Trailblazer-back row
Great Bear-back row
SDL-back row
Comet-back row
and...
SKYRUSH-front row!

By the time you get on Skyrush you are like WHOA, because of walking quickly and getting on all the rides about 17 minutes apart!

Re: TR: Hershey Park and Skyrush...very long! by rush211243 at 6/26/13 9:19:10 AM
chitlins73 said:

What are you talking about Skyrush being under rated?? First year in existence and it is 7th top steel in the world on the Mitch Hawker poll!! The Mitch Hawker poll is the best poll out there for real coaster enthusiasts who have actually ridden most of these coasters and it is based on mutual rider comparisons.

OK? yeah i was going by the Golden ticket awards. It debuted tied for 5th for new ride and wasn't in top 50. But thanks for the knowledge of that poll, now I will check that out!