Hercules at Dorney Park | Defunct Roller Coasters
Hercules reigned over Dorney Park in Allentown, PA from 1989 to 2003. It was a massive wooden roller coaster. When it debuted it had the longest drop of any wooden coaster in the world. It was a big draw for Dorney before it had Steel Force and Talon to bring in the masses. By the time I rode it in 2003, Hercules was on its last legs. It had such a rough reputation that I told my girlfriend that she might want to skip it.
I don’t remember a whole lot from my ride. Rough, unevenly paced wooden coasters (like Predator @ Darien Lake) start to meld together in my memory. The record setting drop was long, but not very steep. And the banked turn over the pond was as rough as you’d expect on a turn that immediately follows such a tall drop. In the Fall of 2003, Hercules was dismantled and removed.
I love terrain coasters, but Hercules met the same fate as so many other wooden coasters. It aged badly, became rough, and ridership decreased. I’m not sure if any rehab efforts were taken, but it obviously didn’t do the trick. At least Dorney Park bounced back with a winner in Hydra: The Revenge. Hydra was a nine-headed monster that battled Hercules and in this version of the tale it looks like it won. The B&M looping floorless coaster was built on the former site of Hercules and has been well-received.
What’s Your Take?
Did you ever ride Hercules? What’d you think? Leave a comment below.