Hersheypark Marks 100 Years of Coasters in Summer 2023
A History of Coasters at the Largest Amusement Park in Pennsylvania
This summer, Hersheypark amusement park celebrates 100 years of coaster riding! The first roller coaster opened at the Park in 1923. A century later, the largest amusement park in Pennsylvania is home to 15 mild to wild coasters - the most in the Northeast.
Read on to learn about the history of coasters at Hersheypark, including the 14 roller coasters and one water coaster operating at the Park today.
- Wild Cat_Entrance_1930-1940_Credit to Hershey Community Archives (1)
- Comet Track 1
- sooperdooperLooper at Hersheypark 2022
- Hersheypark Wildcat
- Great Bear
- Wild Mouse
- Lightning Racer
- Storm Runner at Hersheypark
- Hersheypark Skyrush
- Cocoa Cruiser
- Hersheypark's indoor glow coaster, Laff Trakk
- Breakers Edge
- Candymonium with Riders at Hersheypark 2021
- Jolly Rancher Remix and Mix'd Flavored by Jolly Rancher
- Wildcat's Revenge Inversion
1923-1945: The Wild Cat
Founder Milton S. Hershey purchased The Wild Cat as the very first coaster at Hersheypark in 1923. It opened on June 16, 1923, and remained in operation until September 9, 1945. Learn more about the unique history of the name Wildcat at Hersheypark.
When first constructed, Comet was the largest roller coaster in the United States. It was originally painted green as Milton S. Hershey preferred his rides this color to blend into the scenery and atmosphere of the Park. It was eventually painted white and remains so today. Comet is the oldest operating coaster in Hersheypark (75th anniversary in 2021) and the last to be purchased by Mr. Hershey. The classic wooden coaster is best known for several airtime-producing bunny hills and its long reign inside Hersheypark.
At its opening, Trailblazer was the first major coaster to be added to Hersheypark in 18 years. Kicking off the Park's expansion of Pioneer Frontier, it was the first attraction at Hersheypark to be completely themed. Trailblazer is the second-oldest running coaster in the Park and a family favorite. It features a helix that circles four times and reaches speeds of up to 45 MPH.
The sooperdooperLooper was the first modern looping coaster on the East Coast and only the second of its kind in the United States. The famous “I Survived the sooperdooperLooper” phrase was coined in 1977 after one of the first riders on the opening day came off the ride feeling as though he really had survived the ride. It remains one of the most ridden attractions in the Park.
Wildcat opened in 1996 at Hersheypark. It was 85 feet tall, reached speeds of 48 MPH and sent riders over hills, bumps and turns for 1 minute, 15 seconds. Wildcat was the first roller coaster designed and manufactured by Great Coasters International (GCI) and would be the first wooden roller coaster installed at Hersheypark since Comet in 1946.
It closed on July 31, 2022, to make way for Wildcat's Revenge, the first hybrid coaster at Hersheypark, as detailed below.
1998: Great Bear
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer, Great Bear is known for its signature roaring bear noise from the wheels' vibration resonating against the hollow track beams. The popular coaster lifts riders with their feet dangling 90 feet off the ground and launches into a thrilling yet graceful course of drops, loops, corkscrews, and a zero-g roll while reaching a maximum speed of 61 MPH!
1999: Wild Mouse
Wild Mouse is the only roller coaster at Hersheypark never to stop! It includes six 180-degree hairpin switchback turns, giving its riders the illusion they are about to fall off the track.
2000: Lightning Racer
Lightning Racer was the first wooden racing and dueling roller coaster in the United States! Though you see lightning before you hear thunder, the winner of Lightning Racer is primarily based on the weight of each train.
2004: Storm Runner
Storm Runner hydraulically launches riders from 0 to 72 mph in only two seconds, lifting them 18 stories straight up and then down. The coaster exerts more than 8,000 horsepower - quicker than the world’s fastest vehicle. Storm Runner was the first coaster to have a dual-loading station with switch tracks, allowing for quick transitions between rides.
Voted one of the top 10 roller coasters in the U.S. by USA TODAY 10Best, Skyrush is the ultimate roller coaster for thrill seekers. It boasts four high-speed turns and five zero-G airtime hills. Supports to hold the force of Skyrush down were drilled up to 120 feet into the ground - the same height as the tallest drop on Fahrenheit.
2014: Cocoa Cruiser
Cocoa Cruiser is a family roller coaster at Hersheypark that allows the youngest guests to experience a coaster thrill for the first time.
2015: Laff Trakk
Themed after the traditional American funhouses, Laff Trakk was the first indoor spinning glow-coaster in the United States. Laff Trakk spins riders through an exciting adventure of sights and sounds, complete with glimpses of colorful characters, a dizzying hall of mirrors and more.
2018: Breakers Edge
Breakers Edge Water Coaster is located inside The Boardwalk At Hersheypark water park. It was the first HydroMAGNETIC coaster at Hersheypark. Riders accelerate on rafts through thrilling splash-filled hills and intense open-air FlyingSAUCER℠ turns.
Candymonium spans seven acres along 4,636 feet of chocolate-brown track inside Hershey's Chocolatetown region at the front of Hersheypark. The hypercoaster features a lift height of 210 feet and a maximum speed of 76 MPH - making it the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Hersheypark. Riders will experience seven camelback hills and a 123-degree hammerhead curve that serve up the ultimate feeling of freedom with the most airtime in the Park. The finishing touch is an impressive panoramic banked curve that wraps around the iconic Kisses Fountain.
2022: Jolly Rancher Remix
Formerly known as Sidewinder, Jolly Rancher Remix is a reimagined boomerang roller coaster that takes guests on a flavor ride by sending them and their senses forward and back on the same flavorful track. Riders of Hershey’s height category (48”) and above blast through the flavor tunnel, invert six times in 90 seconds and jam to sweet tunes. Each ride is different with five randomized flavor rides like Watermelon or Green Apple, complete with different music, lights and scents for an only-in-Hershey sensory experience.
2023: Wildcat's Revenge
Wildcat's Revenge hybrid coaster opened to the public on June 2, 100 years after the first Wild Cat roller coaster debuted at Hersheypark. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), Wildcat's Revenge combines the best of wood and steel by adding an all-new steel track with unique elements to the wooden framework for a one-of-a-kind thrilling ride experience found only at Hersheypark. The hybrid coaster features a 140-foot hill, maximum speeds of 62 miles per hour and four inversions, including the World’s Largest Underflip. It is the first hybrid coaster at Hersheypark and the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.
Experience the Most Coasters in the Northeast
As you can see, Hersheypark offers an iconic coaster collection with an option for every family member.
Grab tickets online today at Hersheypark.com to experience three parks in one with more than 70 rides, The Boardwalk At Hersheypark water park (open daily through September 4) and ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park.
If you've braved all 15 coasters at Hersheypark, then you've experienced more than 25 minutes of coaster-riding bliss on 38,928 feet of track!