Behind the Scenes of Winter Maintenance on Skyrush at Hersheypark
The Popular Roller Coaster Turns 10 in 2022
Over the past few years, our team has shared a behind-the-scenes look at the off-season maintenance work completed on some of our most popular coasters like Candymonium and Great Bear. Next up in this series is Skyrush, which turns 10 this year!
One of 15 coasters at Hersheypark, Skyrush is known for its quick 200-foot climb into the air, speeds of 75 mph and five zero-G airtime hills, but what many people don’t know is how much work goes into the ride when the Park is not open. The off-season maintenance work on Skyrush begins in mid-November right before Christmas Candylane kicks off and lasts throughout the entire winter season. A dedicated team of 2-3 employees is responsible for overhauling the ride during this timeframe.
The first step in the overhaul process is to deconstruct the queue line for quick and easy access to the maintenance bay. Skyrush is one of only a select handful of coasters at Hersheypark that have maintenance bays located right at their respective coaster stations.
Once the team removes the queue line, they will crane the Skyrush trains off the track and place them in the empty queue area. Some portions of the train get transported to the larger maintenance shop on the property for non-destructive testing (NDT) and power washing. Back at the maintenance bay, the team inspects all other parts of the coaster from the seatbacks and restraints to the wheels, brake fins and every nut, bolt and pin. This year, Skyrush will receive all new brass for the kingpins and bogies as prescribed by the manufacturer's routine preventative maintenance schedule.
Following the extensive inspection process for safety and compliance, the coaster trains are reassembled and craned back onto the track, usually in mid-March. Then, Skyrush will complete numerous test cycles as outlined by the ride manufacturer to ensure it is ready to take guests on a thrilling ride come April 2, 2022, when Hersheypark opens for Springtime In The Park.
But once Hersheypark is open, the maintenance work certainly does not stop. In fact, two team members are responsible for inspecting Skyrush every single morning before the Park opens to the public to ensure guests have a fun and safe experience at Hersheypark each day. The inspection process starts around 5 a.m. and takes five hours to complete. One team member walks the track to check the pillars and connecting bolts while the other walks the lift hill. After the inspection is complete, the coaster will undergo multiple test runs to ensure it runs smoothly. Hersheypark rides team members assigned to the coaster for the day may get a chance to ride it before the public does - a perk of working at Hersheypark!
If you’re interested in riding Skyrush this year, grab your Hersheypark tickets today at the Best Price Of The Year. In the meantime, enjoy a virtual front seat ride on Skyrush!