Lightning Racer, The Most Underated Wooden Coaster?

Edited: February 19, 2018, 2:11 PM ·

First off, I would like to thank you all for reading my first post on theme park insider! I am so excited to be here! Anyways, Hershey park in Pennsylvania is a great park filled with many types of attractions, but they are best known for their great variety of rollercoasters.

My 2nd favorite coaster at the park is the Lightning Racer, a GCI dueling wooden rollercoaster. For some odd reason (may just be me) I do not commonly hear this coaster in talks with enthusiasts. Almost as if it was your good old Philadelphia Toboggan woodie. This coaster however is anything but! For a dueling coaster this rides layout is incredible! It overlaps itself a handful of times and provides great airtime. Although it is no where near Twisted Colossus (coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain) it is still a fantastic ride. Not only that but 9 times out of ten this coaster has a very good race! The ride operators are very good and trying to send out the coasters at the exact same time. (Not an easy task to do, and a ton of dueling coasters struggle with it as well.) Not only that but this coaster just has a much better feel to it than other dueling coasters such as The Racer (Kennywood) and Rebel Yell (Kings Dominion) these coasters just have traditional layouts and really makes Lightning Racer stand out even more! The theming (Lighting vs Thunder) adds a nice touch as well. Besides what's better than showing your friends the classic "L" sign after beating them after a ride. Not much can't top that!!

Anyways, what is your opinion on the Lightning Racer? Is it an under looked coaster that deserves more hype, or is getting the attention it deserves. For more information on rollercoaster (such as this one) and more check out my YouTube channel, Coasters and Gaming ( Thank you so much for reading!!

Replies (6)

February 19, 2018, 2:06 PM ·

Let me know what you think of my posts! I would love to hear some constructive feedback!!

Edited: February 20, 2018, 7:55 AM ·

Lightning Racer is a solid wooden coaster. I would rank it within my top 20 best wooden coasters in the world, which is where most coaster enthusiasts would rank it (#12 on the 2017 Golden Ticket rankings). I would still rank El Toro (ranked #1 in those same rankings) and Phoenix above Lightning Racer, both of which are within a couple hours' drive of Hershey, PA.

I do think Herseypark is a solid theme park overall, but as I've noted on previous discussions of this park, it has a solid lineup of just about every type of roller coaster there is, but not a single one is near the top in its class. The park has great variety, but no one attraction that would draw guests from outside the region or would be on any coaster fan's bucket list.

Edited: February 20, 2018, 1:22 PM ·

The most underrated coaster has got to be Mr. Twister at Elitch Gardens. I'm mean seriously, Lightning Racer and El Toro are not underrated at all, they are some of the top rated wooden roller coasters in the world. Whereas Mr. Twister and Teddy Bear at Stricker's Grove are some of the worst rated coasters on the planet. So...the fact that Mr. Twister can make it completely around the track goes a long way toward saying that it is the most underrated coaster in the world.

February 20, 2018, 3:05 PM ·

I personally have Lightning Racer ranked 14th (out of 87) on my wood coaster list, and that seems to correspond pretty well with the group consensus. It is a top tier ride for sure (and my third favorite GCI), but it isn't quite good enough to be considered among the best rides ever built. As for why it isn't talked about more, it's probably because Hersheypark is one of only a handful of parks with three legitimate top tier coasters (along with Skyrush and Storm Runner), and of the three it is both the oldest and least impressive. That doesn't signify that it is a bad ride by any means, it just tends to get overshadowed when the park is discussed.

For me, I'd probably name Cornball Express at Indiana Beach as the most underrated wood coaster from those I've ridden. It's a very small ride and quite short, but the whole ride is full of airtime and laterals, plus it has a great location. Definitely worth checking out if you're in that part of Indiana and have a free day.

February 21, 2018, 6:05 AM ·

I appreciate all of the great feedback! I have just not have heard much talking about the coaster, but perhaps i am mistaken. Currently it is in my top 5 woodies (I do not have that many credits) but the coasters you guys have stated are amazing as well! Thank you for checking me out!

Edited: February 22, 2018, 5:06 AM ·

I rode Lightning Racer once and it broke down on the lift hill. Not a fan :D

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