We'd originally hoped to visit Hersheypark yesterday using the discounted ticket for evening admission, but the bad weather in Pittsburgh forced a last minute rethink. As we had other plans for the balance of the day we were only able to spend a few hours at the park. Ridiculous crowds meant that that was only just about long enough for one lap on Lightning Racer and one lap on the brand new coaster.
Skyrush (#1788) is coaster number twelve for Hersheypark, and I'm thrilled to report that it is easily their best yet. Built by Intamin, this ride is the first to use a new four-abreast train design, with two regular seats and two floorless seats in each row. Riders are restrained with a new design of lap bar, a major improvement over the awful overhead restraint that has appeared on so many Intamin rides in recent years. As regular readers will know, I've been on the vast majority of the roller coasters in the United States, and I can say with conviction that none of the others I've been on come close to being as aggressive as this ride. The two hundred foot lift hill is crested in around ten seconds, and the course from that point on is filled with extreme airtime that leaves lap-bar shaped imprints in riders thighs.
This intensity has led to some people branding the new ride as thigh-crush, but these people are missing the point. Skyrush is an aggressive thrill ride; those after a gentle coaster can go ride their nearest Wacky Worm. It'll be interesting to see what happens with enthusiast polls this year; I'd be quite surprised if Skyrush didn't make a prominent appearance.