Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Blast From The Past - Announcing New for 2000, Lighting Racer at Hersheypark!

As Lighting Racer's 10th season winds down, we decided it was time to celebrate this amazing one of a kind thriller with a look back through the rides history. This weeks Blast covers the announcement, stay tuned or the rest of the story!

When Hersheypark announced Lightning Racer back in 1999, it gave eastern roller coaster enthusiasts a real reason to party "like it's 1999." With apologies to Prince, Lightning Racer was something very special. Soon there were Internet postings complementing even the new logo.

This was advertised as the first dueling and racing coaster in the United States, but also turnout to be the only one in North America still today. It also was the first GCI coaster to use their new Millennium Flyer trains. Two 24 passenger trains were designed to race side by side and also duel by passing close to each other in opposite directions with a combined closing speed over 70 mph.

The ride was designed to take about 2 min and 20 seconds, the finale was to feature a near brush with a waterfall, that would only mist the riders due to a last minute change of direction instead of plunging through the waters. The excitement was palpable as the park created a web page just for construction photos and even announced that Discovery channel would be visiting for an upcoming special on roller coasters. Yes the new millennium was looking very sweet for Hersheypark.