Hersheypark Skyrush Preview Party: Part #1 (5-25-12)

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means that it is time to Ride the Edge! It’s been two years of waiting and to celebrate, winners from the local radio stations and RIT Jr. Researcher winners were treated to a party and first ride event on the day before the public opening.

This update over the two days will be divided up into sections. Here is the first!

After today, Hersheypark officially has a hypercoaster!

Several minor additions have appeared during the week.

This is one of them. Like the Boardwalk, The Hollow now has a sign for its area.

A friend of mine compared it to the entrance sign for Disney’s Haunted Mansion. I think it looks similar to El Toro’s entrance sign a little.

The entrance for SooperdooperLooper is finished and features a retro-looking ride sign and more queue space.

The elevator tower now looks similar to Skyrush’s and also features a ride sign.

Speaking of Looper, it has officially opened!

Looper Ride Experience Review:

The whole station received some off-season renovation. The queue fans were replaced with bigger ones, all the railings and walls were painted, and of course, new trains and brakes.

Comparing and contrasting the new and old trains, the newer ones seem like they go a little bit faster throughout the course. The bottom of the loop had some good positive g-forces, the hill before going through the tunnel did have a small pop of air, the mid-course brakes don’t slow the trains as much as the old ones, which makes for a more classic ride.The ending produces a good pop of air, then a trip slightly faster through the helix at the end.

As for the mid-course brake and ending, instead of the brakes feeling like they are gripping the train, the magnetic ones make the deceleration more tolerable and enhance the ride experience.

When you look at the trains, it is really hard to tell that this is a train that has been recently manufactured.

Schwartzkopf wound be proud.

The trains also seem to stop farther back on the brake run now too.

The logo on the front cars look beautiful.

Instead of a flat seat like the old ones, these are somewhat bowl-shaped, making for a more comfortable ride.


Here is what a train looks like when filled with people.

More many more photos coming up!


Skyrush Construction Update #115 (5-20-12)

This is it, folks! Only five more days! Here is a short update taken from the Rhineland area to hold you guys over until this weekend!

Remember when it was over 250 days till opening? Now it’s only a few!

More trees and scenery as been added to the Rhineland path entrance next to Hospitality Services.

Not much left to be added from the looks of things, which is a good sign!

If you look closely, you can see that Creekside Catering has been painted a refreshing yellow and white color.

This photo was taken by Brian Maxwell from the Project 2012 Facebook Group. As you can see, Looper’s elevator tower has been given a make-over to look similar to Skyrush’s and have an awesome-looking ride sign attached to it!

That’s it for this update! Time for some fun and important news!

As you have seen over the past year, the Keystone Thrills Blog has been mainly focused on the coverage of the construction of Skyrush. This is about to change for the better. Once the ride opens up this weekend, Keystone Thrills will start to cover much more about Hersheypark and the others in the local area. Right now I have planned two trips to Six Flags Great Adventure in June, a possible trip to Dorney Park in a week, and a three-park stop at Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Six Flags America later in the summer. This is NOT the end of Keystone Thrills, it may be only the beginning!

The forums are going to be re-opened sometime this week with a new organized set-up too. I will announce it here when it is ready!

Also, be sure to watch the Keystone Thrills Facebook Page this Friday afternoon and evening for something awesome! You don’t want to miss it!


Hersheypark Skyrush Construction Update #114 (5-11 and 5-12-12)

Testing is still going strong and now both trains are making their laps. The grass is starting to pop up on Skyrush’s ride area and the finishing touches are starting to be added.

Creekside Catering is starting to look refreshed and ready to go.

New fence?

It was really nice out and perfect for doing an update.

The water really adds to the ride.

Ride photo spot is in.

Looks like it’s only going to need to use one camera to get each row.

Trees are up, most of the fencing is up, just need black-top.

Hmm, the transfer area looks empty…

Looks like two-train testing has begun!

The protective tape has been removed from the sides of the lapbars.

The lift didn’t look like it was running at full-speed, but it was only the first day of operating two trains so it’s understandable.

Approximately 17mph going up a steep lift hill is going to be incredible!

The bag-drop is starting to go in!

I’m guessing these domes will go on the tops of them.

The elevator!

Since the midway goes under the brake-run, here are some nerd shots of the trains.

This photo was taken on 8-2-11

…and this was taken a few days ago from the same spot!

Great view!

As for the edge-seats, you do look like you are out farther than what you are on a B&M floorless coaster. As the train is going down the first drop, you can easily see the seats along side the track.

The Creekside Catering entrance.

Less than two weeks until we can walk down this path!

The outside railings are up for the queue area.

This railing still needs to be installed. It’s looking like you enter the queue on the left side.

Here is the exit.

More trees have been added as well.

Looks like Looper’s queue might be expanding. Haven’t seen testing yet.

That’s it for now. Here’s a second Testing Video, enjoy!

12 more days until opening day!

Skyrush Construction Update #112 (5-6 and 5-7-12)

Testing has begun, the opening day has been announced, and final touches are starting to be added to the area around Skyrush, which is supposed to open Saturday, May 26th, 2012. Let’s check out this speed demon. To view the video, just scroll down to the very bottom of the post!

It turns out Creekside Catering will be returning this year. It is listed on the park map and only shows this building (before construction it had two other buildings). The main footers holding up the pavilion look like they were replaced because of the flood we had back in September.

The pathway cover is starting to get finished up.

The railings along the new path are starting to go in.

It’s starting to feel like the area is more part of the park than a construction zone.

Just need to finish the last part of the path.

The 2nd train is still missing its fiberglass nose-piece.

While heading down the hill between Skyview and Comet, two of these footers have shown up. this side has a wire sticking out of it.

The other side is along the side of the path. I wonder if it’s a sign?

The dummy looks sad that he’s sitting next to Comet while his friends are taking some laps on Skyrush.

Hollow has a totally different feel from what it was last year.

When I was in the park on Saturday, it was the first time I witnessed Skyrush testing. I was just blown away by how fast it rocketed up the lift and through the layout!

Looper also received its first new train from Gerstlauer. Here’s a cool fact. Gerstlauer’s factory is located at the exact same location in Germany where Anton Schwartzkopf, the builder of this ride, made his coasters.

The railings for the queue are still missing.

Not much left to add!

Looper’s old entrance was recently removed. Should be interesting to see what the new one will look like.

Here is the station’s new paintjob. The souvenir booth was also rehabbed during the offseason and has been updated with a new look to complement Skyrush.

Here are the old railings for the entrance.

Skyrush literally goes over Scrambler and the kiddie rides in Founder’s Circle.

The next day, testing was going on at full-speed with a train dispatching every five to ten minutes.

With the speed that it’s moving over the top of the lift, it looks like it will produce some airtime.

At approximately 17mph, it is currently Intamin’s fastest cable-lift hill to-date.

the ride is not going to let up and give you a chance to catch your breath until the very end.

The trains hardly look like they hardly lose any speed as the go over the first and second airtime hills.

This means that there could be a good chance of some serious negative-g airtime!

As for how the ride sounds, you can easily know when the lift starts up. While the train is running, it makes sound similar to Fahrenheit and Storm Runner, but slightly louder. It’s not quite as loud as Great Bear, but you can hear it all the way to Chocolate World.

I’ve been waiting to get this shot since we discovered that the ride would have a Stengel Dive.


All I have to say is that the train flows beautifully through it. It does look like the angle is steeper than 110 degrees.


Each hill looks like it will pack at least some airtime on it.

This one might be more Fahrenheit-like.

However, these two look like they might compete with El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure. Mid-way through that ride, there’s a hill that goes over Rolling Thunder, another coaster, and it literally throws you into the lapbar as you go over it. If this ride has at least two hills like that, Skyrush will personally be a #1 ride for me.

The outer seats should be interesting, especially in the high-speed turns.

Mulch is starting to be laid down in the ride area.

These pipes were used to direct the creek and act as a bridge when there was a path going from the creek bed to the path. Looks like these won’t be needed anymore.

More camera prep-work has occurred.

Time for some video!


Hersheypark Skyrush Updates #109 to 111 (4-26 to 5-1-12)

Sorry for the week absence. I’ve been busy finishing up my college semester. To make up for it, here are three updates in one post.

Update #109 (4-26)

Some of Looper’s new magnetic brakes look like they have been installed.

The bases of the footers are being painted.

Some of the path still needs to be paved and finished up.

Skyrush’s 2nd train was installed.

Update #109 (4-30)

Here’s a cool photo.

Looks like some of the lapbars are open.

The workers seem to be pulling their attention to the former Creekside Catering building. Much of the debris has been there since the flood.

More of the pathway cover has been added.

Gardening seems to be going on along the pathway.

This new sensor bar showed up.

Here’s an underside of the lift. You can see the cable in the center.

Last-minute tweaking going on to the lift supports.

Also testing of the cable lift system! It moves pretty fast! You can check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=3532748750927&set=o.197071770330160&type=3&theater

Update #110 (5-1-12)

The first train has been moved into the station, and the dummies are in the seats!

Painting going on out on the track, from what it looks like.

Taking the cherrypicker out for a spin.

Tinkering with the camera ole.

It’s good to see what someone will look like in these seats with the lapbar down.

Also, Looper’s Station was repainted and now has orange trim.

More soon as we get closer to opening day!

For those who haven’t seen the clips yet, All-American Thrills and Andy from Project 2012 have captured Skyrush’s first few laps on film: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DGgPSY658VhI%26feature%3Dshare&h=RAQE8PillAQH2IJM6qBFsCui311ToDt7Z0kGwsG6UZP1PLQ


So when will Keystone Thrills capture the testing on video? I plan on going over Monday to see if it is testing and will record it if it occurs. 😉