This is the third hydraulic launch coaster I had ridden. A first-timer on Storm Runner, I was sitting next to a seasoned veteran who advised me to keep my head back in preparation for the launch, and this was probably good advice. The train travelled just a short distance from the loading area onto the launch pad and I was high on anticipation. One thing which has always struck me about launch coasters is that no matter how many times you ride them, the launch always comes as a surprise because it’s difficult to time how many seconds you’re going to be sitting there before the train takes off. Anyway, there we were and zoom! Storm Runner launches you from 0 to 72mph in less than two seconds and it’s quite a thrill. Obviously, it’s not as staggering as the launch on strata coasters such as Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster, but it’s still an exciting launch and it was enough to give me a rush of adrenaline. Once launched up the hill, the coaster plummets 180 feet at a 90-degree angle. (Interestingly, although the coaster is 150 feet tall, the drop is 180 feet.) This drop was phenomenal and the rest of the ride was a lot of fun, enough to put a big smile on my face.
Storm Runner features 3 inversions, including a 135-foot tall cobra loop, heartline roll and snake dive. (This last is an element with which I had had no experience.) I enjoyed all of these, particularly the heartline roll. (I love heartline rolls and zero-g rolls.) Everything happens so fast, and the ride is so short, that before you know it you’re back at the station. Short or not, it was a very good ride which exceeded my expectations. 4 out of 5 stars. For more information about rides at Hersheypark, visitwww.hersheypark.com