Does Steel Force Live up to its Lofty Reputation?
Steel Force dominates the skyline at Dorney. Thunderhawk is just dwarfed by the 200 footSteel Force Roller Coaster steel monster. It’s a visual testament to how far coasters have come. I stepped aboard the uninteresting Morgan trains and enjoyed the nice long ride up the peak. The first drop wasn’t as steep as I thought it would be and the tunnel was just so-so. The highlight for me was the helix at the turnaround. The speed, g’s, and the view of the lake is really cool. The trip back to the station is pretty pedestrian. I didn’t get much if any airtime on those bunny hills. For me, Steel Force was a bit of a let down. I didn’t expect it to unseat my favorite hyper coasters. Not only did it not do that, it didn’t even come close. When visiting Dorney, it’s definitely a must ride and it’s by no means a bad ride. It’s long, has a big drop, a fun helix, two tunnels and it’s not rough. Steel Force is still a good example of a traditional hyper coaster. It’s good, just not quite great. Final Rating – 7.5 (Good)

So how good is a 7.5? Check out my Roller Coaster Rating System to find out.

What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Steel Force at Dorney Park? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

18 Responses

  1. Tori

    Where did you sit on the train? The middle is packed with positive G's, whereas the front and back seem to have a nice balance.

  2. boberton

    dude stop complainin steel force is great. its just not for freaks who like freakishly suicidal coasters like you

    • The Coaster Critic

      Freakishly suicidal? That's a new one. I gave Steel Force a 7.5 which just a hair short of 'Great.' See, we almost agree. It's not like I slammed the ride. Maybe I should rename my 5 out of 5 on the Thrill Scale, "Freakishly Suicidal". It's starting to grow on me. Thanks for reading!

  3. TheRealRideWarrior

    hey, anyone out there big into dorney??? I'm making a trip there on sunday, and i was just wondering how i should make a plan of attack for the rides? My first time there should be fun….After Dorney I will have credit 100… i'm super excited. Laterz

  4. Nessie

    Freakishly suicidal is the lowest on the rough scale.

    You know, this one-

    1. Freakishly Suicidal-Examples are Cyclone, Predator, and Roar.

    2. Quite rough- Examples are GASM, Mean Streak, and Hypersonic XLC

    3. Little jostle- Examples are Loch Ness Monster [:)], Big Bad Wolf, and Batman Knight Flight

    4. Pretty Darn Smooth- Examples are Mindbender, Sceam!, and Alpengiest

    5. Designed by God- El toro, Most B&Ms, and post-Millineum Flyer GCIs

    Like it?

  5. Schwarz

    Nice Nessie. I'm going to start rating all the coasters i've rode on that scale.

  6. Judy P in Pgh

    I had my best ride ever on Steel Force on Saturday evening wearing my ski coat, hat, gloves and wool socks. The coaster feels a lot faster when you put your hands up wearing a big, bulky coat …. lots of flapping and drag!

  7. rjholla2003

    I'd give Steel Force a 5 out of 10. It's not bad…but it's not good either IMO. I've given it the name "Steel Forceless" because no matter what seat I'm in, I just don't get airtime! The helix is nice, but it's not enough to bring it above a 5 for me. I'm really baffled by the people who claim that it has great airtime, or dare to say it's better than Nitro! I want to know where they sit, because I've been all over that train, and it's just an "ehh" for me.

  8. Andre

    I was just at Dorney yesterday, and rode the Steel Force twice. We sat towards the middle the first time, and towards the back the second. I felt a little air time on the first drop, and on a couple other occasions.

    Are there better coasters out there? Sure there are! But I still think this one is pretty darn good. I love the helix, and how it looks like the support columns are going to come closer to you than they really do…I pull my hands down every time!

    This is going to sound silly, but to me, the scariest part is the ride up the lift hill! If you sit on the left side, there's no railing over there, and you can look right down into the employee parking lot, which is tiered into a hill. The cars themselves are pretty open, with just a lap bar and lap belts that look like they might have come out of a late 1960's GM product. And I'm sure it's just an optical illusion, but it feels to me like the train is leaning to the left a bit as it goes up the hill! So, with it being so open, and not having a lot of restraint, it adds to the thrill a bit, for me at least. Especially as you get higher and higher up that hill, and look down and see just how tiny and far away those cars in the employee parking lot really look!

    I actually like the fact that it takes you up the lift hill slowly. It gives you time to savor the scenery, and see just how high you're going up. Some of those newer coasters, like the Millenium Force at Cedar Point or Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion, take you up so fast that you really don't get a chance to check out all the scenery, and once you get up that high, it's almost like looking down on a model railroad set or something. And the Top Thrill Dragster? That thing is over with so fast you almost don't have time to puke!

  9. Surya

    I too was disappointed by Steel Force. The drop was, as you said, not very steep, the airtime wasn't very strong, but what bothered me most was the straight pieces of track between the tops and bottoms of the hill. On B&M or Intamin hypers you never have these straight pieces, and the transition from straight to curved is a bit annoying. The second thing I didn't like was the banking, or lack thereof in the helix. Yes, the view is nice, but other than that.

  10. eric

    Hahaha, my first experience with Steel Force almost matches this review of it.

    I loved the speed, the helix, the smoothness, and the massiveness of it. The one thing that disappointed me was the lack airtime. 🙁

  11. Matt

    This is my favortie coaster at my home park, dorney. I have to disagree with there not being much airtime on the way back. I got quite alot, even in the front seat, I felt like I was almost standing. Now, if you sit in the back you will get alot more, but when you come back down into your seat it hurts your rear a bit. Front is my favorite for this, its smoother there. And i dont see why magnum is rated so much higher than this. I like magnum better, but i think it only beats this by a little. Magnum has longer tunnels, one extra hill, and a cool pretzel turn around. Those are the only things that are different. I would rate Steel Force an 8. And by the way coaster critic do you have or can you put up a talon review?

  12. Linaskye

    This coaster is definitely one where it matters where you sit and when you ride, temperature outside, etc. I went to Dorney about two weeks ago, and SF was riding better than it had in years. Third seat from the front, left side, sunny, and about 83 degrees outside, and that coaster was cooking! So much better than Cedar Point's way overrated Maggie (although the scenery/layout of Maggie tops SF).

  13. DRU

    I got some air in the front, none in the back. So weird??? I love the way the helix dives down the hill! The best part of the ride for sure. I also love the way Hydra uses that same hilly area.

  14. Mike M.

    Now having ridden Magnum XL-200 and seeing a comparison of the two in the comments, I’d have to say that I enjoyed Steel Force FAR more than Magnum XL-200. Maybe I have better memories of Steel Force since it was my first traditional hyper coaster (I don’t think much of Goliath SFMM). But it was a great ride, AND I got nice, unexpected air time out of the bunny hops on the return trip. I agree that there wasn’t much airtime on the first hill, but I wasn’t expecting any since I hadn’t ridden a B&M Hyper yet. But I’d easily rate Steel Force over Magnum XL-200. The latter was absolutely painful for me.

    • DRU

      I just rode Steel Force and Magnum XL200 for the first time this August. I agree with you about rank, and the pain.
      I would describe the air on both of them as Jerky or "Clunky" If they had better padding it might be more enjoyable.

    • CoasterCritic

      It's been a long time since I've ridden either, but I'm not surprised to see you say that. I do remember the airtime on hills on Magnum being pretty rough. They could be even worse now.

      And, as for Steel Force, I think it's rating suffered because I had already been spoiled by Apollo's Chariot and Nitro at that point. So, I may have been a little hard on it.

  15. Mike

    Front is where it's at on Steel Force. Lots of airtime in the front. Really enjoyed this coaster more than I thought I would.


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