Lightning Racer

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Lightning Racer
Image-Lightning Racer at Hersheypark station.jpg
Hersheypark
Coordinates 40°17′34″N 76°39′11″W / 40.292884°N 76.653171°W / 40.292884; -76.653171Coordinates: 40°17′34″N 76°39′11″W / 40.292884°N 76.653171°W / 40.292884; -76.653171
Status Operating
Opening date May 13, 2000 (2000-05-13)
General Statistics
Type Wood – Racing
Manufacturer Great Coasters International
Model Racing roller coaster
Lift/launch system Chain
Lightning (Red) Thunder (Green)
Height 92 ft (28.0 m) 92 ft (28.0 m)
Drop 90 ft (27.4 m) 90 ft (27.4 m)
Length 3,393 ft (1,034.2 m) 3,393 ft (1,034.2 m)
Speed 51 mph (82.1 km/h) 51 mph (82.1 km/h)
Inversions 0 0
Duration 2:20 2:20
Max vertical angle 45° 45°
G-force 3.6 3.6
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Lightning Racer at RCDB
Pictures of Lightning Racer at RCDB

Lighting Racer is a wooden roller coaster located at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is located in the Midway America section of the park. Built by Great Coasters International in 2000, it was the first wooden racing and dueling roller coaster.

The ride[edit]

The ride makes use of GCI's Millennium Flyer articulated trains for a smooth and comfortable ride. During the ride's first two years in operation, the park played recordings for the winning train, which sometimes included local celebrity voices. While fans of the ride may have a particular side (Thunder/Green, or Lightning/Red) they enjoy more, both sides travel through the same elements, although at different times. Speed is affected not only by weight on the train, but by weather conditions (rain, temperature, etc.), maintenance, the lifts' speeds, and placement of riders on train. Like most GCI coasters, both sides of the Lightning Racer's first drops curve as a way to decrease the chances of nausea, and both coasters contain an on-ride camera, located in the tunnel midway through the ride.

In October, when Hersheypark is decorated in a Halloween theme (Hersheypark in the Dark), Thunder and Lightning are renamed Mischief and Mayhem, respectively. The ride is also dubbed "Wicked Racer" for the occasion.

Additional information[edit]

Lightning Racer is in the Midway America section of the park. It is the most popular attraction in that section, often dispatching full trains on the average day. Despite this, wait times for the ride often do not exceed fifteen to twenty minutes when both trains are running on each track due to high capacity and ease of dispatch. If only one train is operating on each track wait times can reach up to one hour.

When Lightning Racer opened, it was the second GCI coaster to open at Hersheypark after Wildcat, making it the only park in the world to have two GCI coasters.

During its initial season and several seasons thereafter, the ride featured Creed's hit "Higher" as its theme song.

Awards[edit]

Lightning Racer is a consistently voted a top 25 wooden roller coaster by Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards.

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking [1] 13[2] 11[3] 7[4] 10[5] 9[6] 10[7] 10[8] 9[9] 12[10] 10[11] 11[12] 11[13] 9[14]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Wooden-Tracked Roller Coaster[15]
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
19
24
22
23
23
25
32
32
30
31
34
31
35

Note: Mitch Hawker's poll lists Lightning Racer as two separate coasters (for the Lightning and Thunder sides). Every year the poll has been run, Lightning has received a higher ranking. The results above are for Lightning.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 2001. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. September 2002. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 10–11B. September 2003. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 22–23B. September 2005. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 46–47. September 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 46–47. September 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 40–41. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Best Steel Roller Coaster Poll 19 year results table". BestRollerCoasterPoll.com. Retrieved May 23, 2013.