Built by Intamin AG, Storm Runner opened in May 2004 as the first hydraulically-launched
coaster to feature inversions. This Rocket Coaster features a total of three
inversions, including a cobra loop, barrel roll, and flying snake dive. Additionally,
a hydraulic launch system is used to propel riders from 0-72 MPH in 2 seconds.
The station features dual tracks, which alternate in order to
allow one train to unload while another is being dispatched. The five-car trains are
equipped with over-the-shoulder restraints, something never before seen on this type of
coaster. Fortunately, they are not overly restrictive and turned out to be fairly
Once the train is clear for dispatch, riders slowly roll out onto the launch area.
Following a short spiel, you are launched to 72 MPH in 2 seconds. The forceful launch
keeps you pinned to your seat, not giving you much time to prepare for the 150-foot ascent
into the top-hat.
The apex of the top-hat offers a brief moment of airtime, and
the 180-foot drop back towards the ground is very entertaining. Unlike the
twisting-style drops found on Xcelerator and Top Thrill Dragster, Storm Runner's is
The next inversion, the cobra loop (similar to an immelman) offers a moment of hangtime at
the top, causing riders to float out of their seats before speeding into the next element.
This disorienting inversion provides a very unique and enjoyable sensation.
The next inversion, a barrel roll, leads directly into the ride's
last inversion, a flying snake dive. This twisting combination is the most
disorienting part of the ride, forcing passengers to take a few extra seconds to figure out
which direction they are heading. Additionally, it offers some great forces, including
a few seconds of hangtime.
Following the snake dive, the ride takes a final ascent into a
banking s-curve before finally heading down into the magnetic brakes. The train then
slowly rolls back into the station.
Storm Runner is by far the most unique and interesting Rocket Coaster to date, proving to be
a lot more than a 'one-trick pony'. The pacing of the ride is excellent,
lacking any dull moments or forceless elements. Additionally, the ride's three
inversions all proved to be a worthwhile addition to the concept. They are all
extremely disorienting and feature strong forces.
The ride has very few flaws, if any. The trains are very comfortable, and the only part
of the ride that featured slight head-banging was in the s-curve. The ride's
reliability could still use some improvement, but the park has been doing a great job
keeping the ride running. Overall, Storm Runner is one of the best steel coasters to
debut in the past few years; highly recommended.
Slight head-banging in a few sections
Some reliability issues