PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Wednesday, Aug. 16 is National Roller Coaster Day, and Pennsylvania has one of the best coaster collections in the country.
To celebrate, below is a list of some of the most popular and thrilling coasters in the state.
Hydra: The Revenge – Dorney Park
This was the first floorless coaster in the Commonwealth. Opening in 2005, this coaster is unique due to an inversion that happens as soon as the ride starts. Called the ‘jojo roll’ this inversion features plenty of hang time, as the train slowly traverses it. The coaster features six other inversions on 3,198 feet of green-colored track. It is still the only floorless coaster in the state as of 2023.
Storm Runner – Hersheypark
One of the few ‘accelerator coasters’ left in the United States, Storm Runner starts off with a bang, with a launch from 0-72 miles per hour in two seconds. From there, you fly over a 150-foot top hat, dive down a 180-foot drop, and into three inversions, one of which is called the Flying Snake Dive. That inversion can only be found on this coaster. The coaster also features a duel loading station for increased capacity.
Phantom’s Revenge – Kennywood
This coaster has a unique history. It originally opened as Steel Phantom in 1991 and featured inversions. The ride was rebuilt back in 2001 and features a 160-foot lift hill. The coaster is unique in that the first drop is not the longest, but the second drop is. coming in at 232 feet long, using the terrain to its advantage. After the long drop, the coaster swoops and dives into many bunny hills, producing great moments of weightlessness.
Steel Force – Dorney Park
Steel Force is still one of the longest coasters in Pennsylvania, coming in at 5,600 feet in length. Reaching a top speed of 75 miles per hour, it was one of the very first coasters in the state to be above to 200-foot mark. After the drop, you will experience many hills and a great, swooping turnaround. The coaster is all about speed and weightlessness as you fly through the course. It is also one of the longest coasters when it comes to time riding, coming in at nearly three minutes in length.
Phoenix – Knoebels
This coaster may not be the tallest or the fastest, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be thrilling. This coaster was built in 1985 and has been ranked as one of the best wooden roller coasters in the world. The coaster is known for its endless amounts of airtime, as it goes through its double out and back course. This attraction is a perfect example of showing that coasters do not need to break records to be great rides.
Skyrush – Hersheypark
One of the most intense coasters in the United States, Skyrush starts with an accent to the 200-foot mark in 10 seconds. After dropping off the first drop, riders speed at up to 75 miles per hour along 3,600 feet of track. The trains are unique, as there are two winged seats with nothing below you as you fly over the creek below. Skyrush is a coaster enthusiast favorite, due to its size, speed, and overall intensity.
Candymonium – Hersheypark
With the addition of this coaster in 2020, Hersheypark became one of the very few parks to feature two roller coasters over the height of 200 feet tall. This coaster took the height and speed record away from Skyrush, becoming the tallest and fastest at Hersheypark. It is also the longest, coming in at 4,636 feet in length. One of the smoothest in the park, the ride features a panoramic turn around the Kisses Foutain at the main entrance of the park.
Steel Curtain – Kennywood
This ride is the tallest in Pennsylvania and inverts riders an astounding nine times. Themed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the ride features 4,000 feet of track and also has one of the tallest inversions in the world. The ride drops off the first hill and inverts 197 feet in the air. From there, you go through eight other inversions at speeds of up to 76 miles per hour. As you wait to get on the ride, the massive coaster flies around you, getting your adrenaline pumping even before you get on.
Wildcat’s Revenge – Hersheypark
The newest coaster in the state has been ranked as one of the best. Wildcat’s Revenge takes the old wooden Wildcat coaster and takes it up a few levels. The coaster is considered a hybrid, which is a combination of wood and steel. The ride features a 140-foot lift hill and features the world’s largest underflip, which is a roll tilted upward and a dive down to the right side.
The ride reaches top speeds of 62 miles per hour and is relentless from start to finish. The coaster features three custom trains bearing different colored wildcats. It is the first coaster to be built by coaster manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction in the state.