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Throwback Thursday: Rollercoasters Supply more than a Century of Thrills

SONY DSCImagine going on a rollercoaster with a speed of 6 mph and a cost of a nickel to ride.

Sounds exciting, no? Didn’t think so.

But those were the features of the first American rollercoaster – then known as a switchback railway – which opened June 16, 1884 at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY, according to The History Channel. The idea, created by LaMarcus Thompson, became an instant success and by the turn of the century there were hundreds of coasters across the country.

Luckily for all you thrill-seekers, there are numerous rollercoasters to visit in Susquehanna’s market area, which includes theme parks such as: Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., Knoebels Amusement Resort near Sunbury, Pa., Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown, Pa., Clementon Park & Splash World in southern New Jersey, and Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Md.

For the kids, there’s Dutch Wonderland near Lancaster, Pa., Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., and Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Twp., N.J.

But for us adults, here are some rides you may want to try out this summer – if you dare!

Fahrenheit – Hersheypark:  Located adjacent to the Boardwalk, this hot new “vertical lift inverted loop coaster” will ascend 121 feet before plummeting down a 97-degree drop. This is a high-speed experience. Riders will experience many unexpected, rapid changes in speed, direction, and/or elevation and requires rider full body control.

Phoenix Roller Coaster – Knoebels Amusement Resorts: Built as the Rocket in San Antonio, Texas, moved to Knoebels in 1985. The Phoenix is currently #2 on Amusement Today’s list of top wooden coasters.

HYDRA The Revenge – Dorney Park: The first and only floorless roller coaster in Pennsylvania has a unique twist that flips riders upside-down as the train exits the station, then sends riders soaring through the sky along more than a half-mile of coiling steel roller coaster track. One of the park’s signature thrill rides, it begins with a unique feature called the jojo roll, which is the first-ever pre-lift hill inversion where riders twist upside-down after exiting the launch station.


What is your favorite rollercoaster? Tell us in the comments!

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One Response to Throwback Thursday: Rollercoasters Supply more than a Century of Thrills

  1. Claudia says:

    I”m old school. I love The Comet at HersheyPark. Something about wooden coasters just adds to the thrill.

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