04:00 AM

sooperdooperLooper turns 40!

This summer marks anniversary of Hersheypark classic

The sooperdooperLooper marks its 40th season at Hersheypark this year, an iconic favorite with rich history.

First opened for the 1977 season, the sooperdooperLooper was the first looping coaster on the East Coast and only the second one built in the United States (the first looping coaster had opened in early 1976 at Magic Mountain, California). It was designed by Anton Schwartzkopf of West Germany and purchased through Intamin AG of Switzerland. The structural engineer was R. Duell & Associates.

The new coaster would be the park’s most expensive ride to date, costing more than three million dollars. It carried 24 passengers and was 2,614 feet long. Leaving the boarding station, the trains moved up an incline to a height of 75 feet above the station. After going over the top, the train reached a speed of 65 feet per second and raced into a 57 foot high loop, carrying the passengers upside-down. The trains then circled back and passed through the loop, taking a few dips and banking through turns before returning to the station.

The honor of naming the ride rested with Bruce McKinney, then Group Vice-President, Sports & Entertainment. After receiving input from many sources, the choices were narrowed to two: Super Duper Looper and Merry Derry Dips. McKinney preferred the latter, with its reference to Derry (Township), but when he presented the choices to his wife and two daughters, he was out-voted 3 to 1. The spelling was soon changed to sooperdooperLooper.

The new roller coaster became one of the park’s most successful rides. Many of the park’s all time daily attendance records were broken that season, some of those new records still stand today.

The height category Reese’s can ride so we often hear from guests that it’s often one of the first coasters that age group rides as a thrill ride. And the shirt “I survived the sooperdooperLooper” remains the top selling t-shirt at Hersheypark.

So come to Hersheypark all summer and relive your memories on this classic looping coaster!