The coasters that seem to generate the most buzz, both in our niche community of enthusiasts, as well as in the general public, tend to lean towards the gargantuan. Earlier this year when the Intimidator coasters launched, the lion’s share of the buzz was reserved for the 305 foot tall version introduced at Kings Dominion, Intimidator 305, built by Intamin. That’s not to say the Carowinds Intimidator was massively dwarfed-it wasn’t-or that it underperformed-The Coaster Critic preferred it-the simple truth of the matter is that I305 was bigger. The semantics of quality of ride always come down to a rider’s preference, not to mention about a million other factors. Still, the fact remains, I305 was “The” new coaster this year in North America, and it seems there was nothing Carowinds could have done to change that perception.

Yet, public opinion aside, some of the very best coasters do come in small, twisted layouts, and one of the best examples of this is Hersheypark’s wonderful Fahrenheit. Hershey has long suffered for land, but this seems to drive coaster builders to really utilize the space they’re given to create some of the most unique rides found anywhere in the world. Fahrenheit is one of those rides. From the paint-orange with blue supports-to the vertical lift and difficult to discern visually track layout, Fahrenheit is just plain old fun to look at. Even better, Fahrenheit is just plain old fun toFahrenheit's 97 degree drop - Hersheypark ride.

After a quick jog through the park, ever present buddy Lukas and I hopped through the empty queue and onto the front row of Fahrenheit. It was our first ride of the 2010 season, and we were pretty fired up. Then we were flat on our backs getting pulled up the lift hill, and for the first time in a long time, I had butterflies in my stomach.

My first ride on Millennium Force was the last time I can recall being nervy on a coaster, and yet here I was, 31 years old and genuinely a little freaked out. I’ve done a vertical lift before, but never without a launch! There was something very unsettling about not being able to see the track as the train went up Fahrenheit’s lift hill, but it was also really cool. When we crested the top, I wasn’t nervous anymore, I was beyond excited.

The three car train curled over the top of the lift hill, hung for a second and we were off. If you’ve seen pictures of Fahrenheit, you know that the first drop goes beyond ninety degrees. I felt like the drop was a gimmick, cool to look at, but nothing that would have any bearing on a ride. I could not have been more wrong. My organs literally felt compressed as the train dipped inside of the hill, and I’m pretty sure my breath came out in a yell. The first drop is a serious punch, and in a good way. If The Coaster Critic were ever to continue his “memorable coaster moments posts”, the first drop on Fahrenheit could very appropriately be added.

After that menacing plunge, it’s off to the races. Fahrenheit may be compact, but Intamin must have felt a need to add as many elements as possible into the tiny footprint they were allowed, and that’s not something to complain about! First, an almost trick track element, which quickly inverts atop a hill, I believe the Intamin term for this one was “Norwegian Loop”, this element provided a wonderful pop of very unexpected airtime. Next up, a vertical climb that inverts again to right the train, to be perfectly honest, will help with this one. That inversion lids into a valley, and then my favorite “cobra roll” of all time. Not only is it pretty, no head banging whatsoever, just pure double inversion goodness.Fahrenheit - Hersheypark

Intamin should have been tapped at this point, but of course, this is Intamin we’re talking about, so the craziness continues. The cobra roll leads into a pair of zero g rolls, a banked turn, and an incredibly powerful airtime hill. This coaster is up there with Maverick as far as airtime loopers go! Lukas and I rode Fahrenheit twice that day, once in the front, and once in the very back, and the differences were huge, almost as much as seating affects the average wooden roller coaster. We both agreed that the back, while not offering the visuals of the front, was definitely more forceful and the preferred area of riding.

Using The Coaster Critics scale, I rank Fahrenheit a solid nine, giving it a one up on its fellow in Storm Runner, and a point below its sister, Maverick. As for intensity, Fahrenheit was no head banger, but still a thrilling ride. This coaster packs a wallop, from start to finish, and would not be appropriate for the average coasting noob.

Fahrenheit is not the biggest punk on the block, but neither was Napoleon the tallest emperor. Rides on a coaster like Fahrenheit are a nice reminder that though the big guys may dominate the press, the small statured can be just as much fun. This coaster is a must ride for any coaster enthusiast, and my wonderful memories of riding it make me long for nice weather, and for my next trip to Hersheypark.Final Rating – 9.0 (Excellent)

Note – This video was filmed with permission from the park.
For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

Intense Roller Coasters - For Adventurous RidersFahrenheit is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on the Thrill Scale because of its steep drop and loops. See the full scale here.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Fahrenheit? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.

About The Author

12 Responses

  1. Mike

    Hmm, I think Fahrenheit was a pretty big deal in the press when it first opened but it's not "new" anymore. I305 is only the 3rd giga coaster in the world and the first built after like 10 yrs or something like that so it has to be a big deal because of the rarity as much as the height. I loved fahrenheit though and it was one of the best coasters I rode last yr. I did love Storm Runner more (the pop of airtime over the crest and the incredible snake roll dive element). My fav invert in Great Bear which is much smaller and shorter than the much loved Alpengeist 😉

  2. Prof.BAM

    The only time I was in Hershey was 4 1/2 years ago. Back in Summer '06. That trip was unpleasant for me (I will not say why). Storm Runner was all the rage at the park at the time. This was before I woke up from my nightmare. The nightmare was me being young and afraid. I refuse to let fear run my life for me.

  3. Gordy

    Awesome job on the review, Aric! The only time I ever went to Hershey was in August 2009 (It feels awfully weird saying that becuase it's 2011 now). If I ever get back there, I'll ride this.

    In particular, I love the part where the train almost stalls on the Norwegian Loop, and the immediate swivel and dive loop after that. It really adds to the ride's fear factor. 😮

  4. Brian

    Aric- Thank you. Seriously. I have always wanted to write a review for Fahrenheit and you literally did my work for me! One of my top 5 all time favorite coasters and it may never be bumped out of my top 5. Awesome review!

    –"If The Coaster Critic were ever to continue his “memorable coaster moments posts”, the first drop on Fahrenheit could very appropriately be added."–

    ^ I emphatically second that!

    • adavis

      Brian, I'm so happy that you enjoyed the review. I've had this one under my hat as one I wanted to write for some time, so I completely understand where you're coming from.

      Fahrenheit further confirms for me the need for a separate top ten for looping coasters.

  5. Quil

    I've never been to HersheyPark, but this ride sounds great, and if it's even slightly like the Joker's Jinx, It is definitley a winner.

    • adavis

      I've ridden Flight of Fear, which is the indoor layout of Joker's Jinx, and though I like both rides, Fahrenheit was definitely preferable.

  6. cft925

    Great review, Aric!

    I agree with pretty much everything you had to say about this great coaster.

    I wasn't expecting too much from this coaster either when it opened. I thought the oft-hyped 97-degree first drop seemed like just a marketing gimmick. However, I changed my mind when I rode it. It is the best coaster in my "hometown park" and there are a lot of good coasters in Hersheypark.

    The first drop is truly memorable, especially from the back seat where you are flung over the top for some great airtime, and the rest of the coaster is intense and paced very well.

    I really need to ride Maverick!

    • adavis

      Thank you, I'm glad that you enjoyed the review. As for Maverick, it is just awesome. I think the first drop on Fahrenheit is punchier, but Maverick is, in my opinion, a better ride. Either way, both are great, and I know that if you enjoy Fahrenheit, you'll love Maverick.

      • OSM

        Maverick (which happens to be my #1) in the back had the same sensation that you described, I got massive airtime cresting the top, and my organs compressed all the way down. If Fahrenheit's drop is more intense, than I really need to ride it. It looks really fun, but it has one of the the most bizarre layouts I've ever seen. Hershey seems to have a large collection of great coasters, which will get even better with the addition of Skyrush.

  7. Surya

    I liked Farenheit a lot too, I think that it is my favorite in the park, with Lightning Racer just behind it. I just love how unique Farenheit's layout is, and it packs a punch to!

  8. Matt McIrvin

    A few weeks before I rode Fahrenheit, I rode Canobie Lake's new little Euro-Fighter, Untamed, so I had some mental preparation for that vertical lift hill (even though Fahrenheit's is much taller).

    While Fahrenheit is a far more intense ride, I think I actually prefer Untamed's drop/loop/Immelmann beginning to Fahrenheit's Norwegian loop. But the corkscrews on Fahrenheit are something else–I liked them a lot.

    My one real criticism of Fahrenheit is that the capacity isn't great for a park this size; the lines get pretty long!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.