Sugar rush: A look at Hersheypark’s most thrilling roller coasters

Sugar Rush: A Look at Hersheypark's Most Thrilling Roller Coasters

The Lightning Racer roller coaster at Hersheypark. (Photo: Hersheypark)

By Lena Pothier

June 20, 2024

While the town of Hershey is known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hersheypark could easily lay claim to the title of “The Most Thrilling Place on Earth” thanks to its twisting, looping roller coasters. 

There’s nothing like Hersheypark in the summer. The smell of chocolate lingering in the air. Measuring your height next to candy bars to make sure you’re tall enough for the rides. Eagerly running to get in line for your favorite rollercoasters. 

Hersheypark is a summertime staple for many Pennsylvania families, and something from my childhood that I fondly remember as I’ve gotten older. 

If you’re an adrenaline junkie and love roller coasters, here are the five most thrilling ones to ride on your next visit to Hersheypark.


If your favorite part of a roller coaster is the feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you hit a big drop, Fahrenheit will be your favorite. Your anticipation and nerves will rise as you chug along the 121 foot ascent at a 90 degree angle. When you finally reach the top of the ride, the payoff is worth it, as you descend at a 97 degree drop. From there, it’s a series of loops, corkscrews, and dives that will give you an adrenaline rush sure to reach a fever pitch.

Lightning Racer

To add a little bit of competition to your trip at Hersheypark, check out Lightning Racer. It is the first wooden racing coaster in the United States, with two different coasters on two tracks in a race to the finish line. I can remember my family splitting up, half of us riding “Thunder” and the other half riding “Lightning,” taunting each other about who will win the race. With a max speed of 50 mph, it’s perfect for young ones.


SooperDooperLooper is by no means the fastest nor biggest roller coaster at Hersheypark, but you can’t mess with a classic. I remember finally being tall enough to be a “Reese’s,” which meant that I could at last conquer the SooperDooperLooper’s infamous loop. This is a family-friendly ride that has a course of dips, drops, and hills. Once you get off, it’s a rite of passage to get the “I Survived the SooperDooperLooper” t-shirt and wear it around the park for the rest of the day like a badge of honor. 

Storm Runner

From 0 to 72 mph in two seconds flat, Storm Runner is definitely one of the most thrilling rides I’ve ever been on. Hearing the words “here we go” and then immediately launching at such a crazy speed is a wild experience. Storm Runner reaches a maximum height of 180 feet, and features loops, rolls, and dives that flash by in an instant. If speed isn’t your thing, simply watching Storm Runner take off is a sight to see in and of itself. 


With a maximum speed of 75 mph and height of 200 feet, it’s no doubt that Skyrush had to be featured on this list. When it opened in 2012, it was one of the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coasters at the time. This bright-yellow coaster quickly became a favorite with its winged outer seats. It’s a great ride if you like the feeling of risk and living on the edge. Along the way, you’ll cross over the Comet ride (which I would also recommend), soaring through sharp turns, hills, drops, and loops.


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