For all the complaints about its pricing or corporate feel, Hersheypark can be taken for granted by locals as a clean, competitive amusement park in central Pennsylvania’s own backyard. Judging by the park’s expansion plans with the arrival of Chocolatetown and its newest rollercoaster, Candymonium, next summer, Hershey isn’t shying away from growth, either.
The park’s existing collection of rides is vast and has its share of rollercoasters and thrill rides that make for a pretty full day of fun. To rank all of them is impossible and wide open to interpretation, but is a useful exercise to help cut through the noise and decide which rollercoasters are “must-ride” and which ones can be skipped when limited on time.
These are strictly one person’s interpretations followed by a few thoughts on each ride. The rankings limited to Hersheypark’s rollercoasters and other rides that fall under the “thrill” category.
15. Wild Mouse
For those who fear heights, most rollercoasters have a way of making you acknowledge them but able to quickly forget about them. The Wild Mouse makes you confront that fear around every sudden turn, as the ride dares gravity to hurl you out of the car. At least that’s the feeling as riders make their way to the top and zig-zag their way back down to the bunny hills at the bottom.
Where most coasters focus on how much can be accomplished vertically, the Trailblazer doesn’t mess with heights and does as much as it can by moving east-to-west instead. The ride reaches the same speed (45 mph) as the sooperdooperLooper and has a grand finale with a helix that it circles four times, so it’s not totally devoid of thrilling qualities.
Best of all, parents with kids can hop off and right back on nearly at will, even during Hersheypark’s busy summer months. Ranked side by side with the park’s biggest coasters, the Trailblazer doesn’t compare, but it serves its purpose quite well.
The Sidewinder was innovative when it was built in 1991, and it still has some novelty value today. Obviously, the ability to ride the short track both forward and in reverse makes the Sidewinder unique, as do the back-to-back loops that a rider goes through twice. The Sidewinder begins by pulling riders backwards up the first incline, then unleashes them at full speed through where they just began. It also adds a little fun to the wait time to hear and feel the cars rush through — and people scream — twice.
12. Tidal Force
It’s hard to miss this towering water ride.
Just follow the gigantic waves that soak onlookers and the boat-sized cars that plummet from a height of 100 feet at speeds that top 50 miles per hour. Riders are sent straight up and straight down into the pool of water below with no real secret what the big conclusion will be. It’s a decent combination of a quick thrill and a soaking finish on hot days.
11. Hershey’s Triple Tower
Hersheypark’s newest thrill ride comes in three packages and accommodates most of the thrill seekers in your family. It shoots riders high into sky and lets them drop from heights that vary across the Kisses (small), Reese’s (medium) and Hershey (large) towers. The ride is unpredictable and sudden, and in between its rises and drops, allows riders to simply hang for a moment to overlook the park and stew in their fear.
It’s a nice deviation from the rest of Hersheypark’s thrill rides and features shorter-than-average wait times for all three versions.
The sooperdooperLooper was the first looping rollercoaster on the East Coast when it was built in 1977. And now, it serves as a charming little coaster that looks like a kiddie ride as it sits next to Skyrush. But for a ride that doesn’t achieve great speed (45 mph) or height (57 feet), the superdooperLooper still manages to pack some punch. It starts with a short but sweet hill that drives riders through the loop at the bottom and into a nice collection of dips and turns that follow the rest of the way.
The superdooperLooper is short on wait times and is a great way for young kids to graduate from the Trailblazer to extra height and the big looper thrill.
9. Lightning Racer
The amount of bragging and trash-talking on this ride never gets old. Two wooden coasters race side by side to the finish with one random, arbitrary winner and a set of riders who suddenly feel accomplished. On most occasions, everyone is a winner because Lightning Racer is tucked away at the back of the park and low on most parkgoers’ priority list, which means consistently low wait times.
This is a real eye-catcher in the middle of the park for its 97-degree drop and an initial ascent that sends riders directly into the sun. That rise has a unique way of drumming up suspense, particularly as riders approach its apex and start to turn downward.
That feeling is perhaps Fahrenheit’s top draw because the coaster’s design is indeed rare and terrifying. Beyond the first drop, though, the ride is heavy on corkscrews and turns with little else to serve as a fitting encore to that initial feeling of panic.
7. Laff Trakk
Laff Trakk has one big, obvious draw on a hot summer day in that it’s an indoor rollercoaster, and a pretty good one at that. The funhouse theme helps make the line, which can be substantial, move a little quicker and it continues onto the ride with circus images and black lighting. Every hill and turn is a mystery as the ride moves through the dark and the cars spin. It’s a nice break from the traditional outdoor rides and good for kids who can enjoy the theme and mild thrills.
The Wildcat borrows concepts from the Comet on a tighter, more compact track. It’s listed as being shorter and slower than its older, wooden counterpart, but the Wildcat makes every one of its 48 miles per hour count. Perhaps the most unique part of the ride is its ability to send riders into tight turns at nearly full speed, again making sub-50 mph speeds feel a lot faster.
The Wildcat strikes an aggressive tone as a more modern classic coaster that is successful in replicating some of the Comet’s best qualities.
5. The Claw
The Claw is everything the Pirate Ship aspired to be when it was built, but lacked the technology to pull it off. The Claw spins riders around, disorients them and sends them frontwards and backwards on both ends of a pendulum with constant drops back and forth. It reaches 64 feet in the air a bunch of times before it settles into its final descent, which is somehow both relieving and disappointing at the same time. It’ll freak you out in a good way.
It’s hard to believe Skyrush has been around for over seven years, but it remains Hersheypark’s newest rollercoaster for another nine months until Candymonium opens in 2020. Until then, Skyrush will also be the park’s biggest, fastest and longest ride as it tops out at 75 miles per hour with an initial climb of 200 feet. Given all that power and height, Skyrush’s restraint lap bar feels a little uneasy to start, which was surely part of the design plan. That feeling doesn’t last long because the coaster flies up and down the first hill then into a series of fast turns and airtime hills.
Skyrush is aggressive, to the point where riders need to be mindful of their head positions or risk a a speed-induced headache.
The Comet is a Hersheypark classic and the first rollercoaster most people see upon arriving at the park, making it a consistent favorite that still attracts a crowd 70-plus years after it was built. The Comet just feels like history from the tiny cars to the track itself and that shaky wooden coaster feel. The ride is charming and thrilling at the same time.
Hersheypark lists the ride length at one minute and 45 seconds, and most of that has some real purpose from the first ascent to the tight corners and bunny hills that get you out of your seat. Riding the Comet also has a way of deepening the appreciation for its simplicity in a modern world of steel monstrosities.
2. Storm Runner
Predict Storm Runner’s initial launch all you want — and it’s not difficult to do — there’s simply no preparing for going 0-to-72 in two seconds.
The rush of waiting for that burst is matched by the speed itself on a long straightaway into a towering first hill that sends riders straight into the sky. That speed and the tight corkscrews the rest of the way don’t take long to navigate, but they’re a fun sprint to the finish. Storm Runner lasts about a minute in all, but every second is worth the wait.
1. Great Bear
The engineering that makes the Great Bear “roar” through Hersheypark is also the reason its trip is so smooth. It’s the only coaster in the park that leaves riders feet dangling, and that initial feeling of the floor dropping and the climb beginning has a way of getting the nerves going.
The first hill is delayed a few seconds by a roaring turn that serves as a brief sample of the speed and gravity, then the whole ride piques the senses with corkscrews and loops. The Great Bear isn’t the biggest, fastest or newest in the park, but it’s our pick for the best.
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Arguably the most intense coaster at the park, Skyrush opened in 2012 and takes you up its lift hill at 20 miles per hour. The coaster's supports were drilled up to 120 feet into the ground, which is the same height as the tallest hill on Fahrenheit.What is the most scariest ride in Hersheypark? ›
Arguably the most intense coaster at the park, Skyrush opened in 2012 and takes you up its lift hill at 20 miles per hour. The coaster's supports were drilled up to 120 feet into the ground, which is the same height as the tallest hill on Fahrenheit.What is the least scariest ride at Hershey? ›
These are the most mild of all the coasters in the park, great for beginners or those who don't want to brave the larger rides. Cocoa Cruiser- For the little thrill seeker in the family this is the perfect first coaster.
Skyrush. Known as the tallest and fastest roller coaster at Hersheypark , Skyrush is not for the faint of heart! First, you're propelled up 200 feet of track in just 10 seconds. Next, you crest the hill and plunge down the nearly vertical 85 degrees at 75 mph with forces equal to five Gs.Where does Hersheypark rank? ›
#6 Best Theme Park
The amusement park of every chocolate lover's dreams, Hersheypark features 121 acres with more than 70 rides, a water park open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and an 11-acre North American Wildlife Park – all accessible via a single admission.
The Whip, which was located in the Midway America section of the park, is being removed for the 2023 season. Hersheypark confirmed this in a tweet regarding the removal of the ride. The ride was added to the Midway America expansion at the park and was near the former Wildcat coaster and the Music Express ride.What is the fastest ride at Hershey? ›
Candymonium is located inside the new Hershey's Chocolatetown region. The hypercoaster features a lift height of 210 feet, max speed of 76 mph and track length of 4,636 feet spanning 7 acres - making it the tallest, fastest, longest and sweetest coaster in Hersheypark.What is the oldest ride at Hersheypark? ›
The oldest ride currently in Hersheypark is the Carrousel which was added to the park in 1945, but first operated in 1919. The oldest roller coaster in Hersheypark today is Comet, which opened in 1946, replacing The Wild Cat.Have there been any accidents at Hersheypark? ›
Over 2 years there were 137 serious injuries at the park. Injuries included lacerations, chipped teeth, neck pain, back pain, electrical burns, fractured bones, ankle sprains, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Accidents occurred during all phases of a ride: boarding, while riding, and exiting.What is the oldest coaster in Hershey? ›
The oldest coaster at Hersheypark®, Comet℠ roller coaster is best known for delighting generations of families with several airtime-producing bunny hills for 75 years. The coaster climbs 96 feet and reaches a top speed of 50 miles per hour during its 3,360-foot ride.
Our all-new wood and steel hybrid coaster, Wildcat's Revenge, takes riders through one-of-a-kind thrills found only at Hersheypark. Climb a 140 foot hill, hit max speeds of 62 MPH, dive into an 82-degree drop, invert 4 times, and stalk your prey through the World's Largest Underflip on three custom trains.What coasters are at Hersheypark 2023? ›
2023. Our all-new wood and steel hybrid coaster, Wildcat's Revenge , takes riders through one-of-a-kind thrills found only at Hersheypark.Is Jolly Rancher remix rough? ›
This ride is AWESOME! Not only is the ride very smooth for a Vekoma Boomerang, it's CRAZY intense, and the theming and soundtrack add this extra layer of excitement that just gets you hyped to ride.What age is Hersheypark good for? ›
Admission tickets and Season Passes are valid for Ages 3+. Children 2 & younger are free! Full price of $84.95 for 1-day tickets and $120 for 2-day tickets available for purchase at Hersheypark ticketing services. Offer admission pricing available online only.Is Hershey better than DIsney? ›
Hersheypark is better than the Magic Kingdom, Legoland and Disneyland, according to a recent ranking by USA Today readers. The Hershey amusement park was named the fifth best theme park in the United States by USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice contest.What days are Hersheypark less crowded? ›
Weekdays (Monday-Friday) are historically least crowded during the summer season in June, July, and August. Weekends attract more tourists and vacationers. Fridays and Sundays tend to be least crowded during the Halloween season. Weekends (especially Saturdays) are more crowded during the holiday season.Where is Hersheypark scary? ›
Don't find yourself alone in the murky mists along Spring Creek. The dreadful beings are watching and waiting deep within the shadows and they know exactly when to strike. Dark Nights Scare Zones are included with a Hersheypark Halloween admission ticket.How scary is Hershey Halloween? ›
“Hersheypark in the Dark has always been a really fun Halloween event, but now it's like 10 times crazier,” Williams added. “I don't even have words to even describe what just happened. Hershey outdid themselves on so many levels.”How scary is Hersheypark in the Dark? ›
The Haunted Houses are definitely scarier at night in the dark than in the daylight. Dark Nights at Hersheypark is meant to be scary, and if your child doesn't like scary, then please don't take them. At Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, I have seen way too many kids traumatized with nightmares.What is the steepest drop at Hersheypark? ›
Fahrenheit Details. 97 degrees and falling fast! Climb the steep, 121-foot lift hill before plummeting down the signature Fahrenheit® coaster 97-degree drop.