Hersheypark announced their newest attraction at a press conference Tuesday, and it is sure to put a smile on your face.
The new roller coaster will be named Laff Trakk, and will prove to be one of the most unique coaster experiences in the country.
"Laff Trakk, the first indoor, spinning glow-coaster in the United States, is coming to Hersheypark," said Kevin Stumpf, General Manager of Attractions & Entertainment for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, at the press conference.
Laff Trakk, the park's thirteenth roller coaster, will simulate a ride through a fun house, making it Hersheypark's first themed roller coaster. The ride will be indoors, consisting of approximately 1400 feet of track, and is estimated to cost $14 million.
The coaster took inspiration from the fun houses of Hersheypark's past. The first fun house opened in 1930, and was renamed "WHOOPS" after a 1938 remodeling. A second fun house was also constructed in 1938 known as "Death Valley."
A third fun house called "Funland" was opened in 1946, replacing "WHOOPS".
"We are thrilled to bring back some of the timeless elements from these classic attractions and, quite literally, put a new spin on them," said Stumpf. What makes the ride truly different from other roller coasters is its 360 degrees of motion. The coaster will be constantly spinning, giving the riders a new experience on every ride.
"When most people think of a spin coaster they think of a tea cup ride that spins really fast. I'd say get that out of your mind," said Steve Boney, North American president of Maurer-Söhne.
Maurer-Söhne, a German steel construction company and roller coaster manufacturer, worked in conjunction with Hersheypark in creating the coaster. The manufacturer has previously worked with entertainment stalwarts such as Disney and Universal, and Laff Trakk marks the company's first collaboration with Hershey Park.
Boney expressed enthusiasm towards the new coaster and the possibility of further partnership.
"This is one of the nicest parks and nicest people to do projects with," Boney said, and expressed his delight working with the experienced park.
The coaster was designed with the help of Raven Sun Creative, an entertainment design consultancy. The company, based in upstate New York, was founded by Louis Alfieri and features talented individuals with experience at Disney, Universal, the US Military and the gaming industry.
Alfieri explained that he too was impressed by the park's experienced handling of the project, and would be happy to continue their partnership. The company designed its innovative fun house style interior, which will include black lights, special effects and a number of surprise moments.
Laff Trakk's max speed will be around 45 mph, and the ride is promised to be family friendly. Riders 42" and above will be able to ride accompanied by an adult, and riders over 48" will be able to ride unaccompanied.
Each of the seven trains will hold four riders, with two rows of two seats each, and, with a ride time of about 70 seconds, approximately 850 people can ride each hour.
The color scheme will involve black and blue supports and tracks, with violet colored trains.
Laff Trakk will be constructed in the Midway America section of the park. It will be housed in a red, white and blue building 130 ft. long by 75 ft. high, between the Whip and the Midway tent, where a number of children's rides are currently located.
"The current plan is to relocate at least two of the three," said Stumpf, referring to the smaller rides.
The park hopes to both invoke the nostalgia of its previous funhouses and stay true to the ideals of Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Company, who built the park in 1907 as a picnic and pleasure grounds for his workers.
"His vision is our focus," said Stumpf. "We try to go back and look at what he established and integrate 21st century technology."
Construction is planned to be finished for the 2015 summer season, with a debut expected by May 2015. For many at the excited company, however, the highly anticipated Laff Trakk cannot come soon enough.
"It's gonna be awesome," said Stumpf.