This coaster is noteworthy for being the first one on the East Coast to break the 200-foot barrier.  Now that it’s 15 years old and a multitude of other coasters with 200-foot + drops has sprung up, it no longer seems so remarkable.  I had expected the first drop of 205 feet to be somewhat more exciting than it was; I didn’t feel the same intensity as I felt on the first drop of Nitro, Apollo’s Chariot or other coasters of similar height.  However, I think that this was partly because I started out in the front seat and the train hangs over the drop for what seems like several seconds before plummeting 205 feet into a tunnel.  The back seat is a different story but I’ll get to that in a bit.  Despite my disappointment in the first drop, I thought that the coaster was well designed with a couple of outstanding elements.  There are some good airtime hills and the 510-degree helix was wonderful.  After the second hill following the brake run, the train enters another tunnel and goes over some bunny hills before returning to the station.   And on the subject of the station, I was impressed by the speed and efficiency with which the train was loaded and dispatched.

As for the back seat, this is where you want to be to get the maximum ride experience.  From the back of the train, the 205-foot drop and everything else is significantly better.  There is delicious airtime, both floater and ejector.  I was getting bounced in my seat and could even see the lap bar, although locked, actually move up and down on the airtime hills.  (This is the only hypercoaster I can recall riding on which the lap bar never touches the rider’s body.)   This was so much fun!

One other thing I noticed about Steel Force is that it felt a bit bumpy at the top of some of the drops, lacking the smoothness I have come to associate with steel coasters.  Still, it’s a good ride and I would definitely recommend it.  4 out of 5 stars.  For more information about rides at Dorney Park, visitwww.dorneypark.com/

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