Music plays, fog swirls and a light show flashes.
No, you’re not in some new club – you’re riding Jolly Rancher Remix.
The “new” roller coaster, a redesign of the popular “Sidewinder” coaster, features a bright green and blue color scheme and a constantly updated song list. For each ride, there are five different flavors you can come across that pair with the main Jolly Rancher flavors like watermelon or blue raspberry. The scent is important because in the middle of the ride, the riders will pass through a small tunnel that brings up a scented mist and lights corresponding to the different scents.
At the foot of the Jolly Rancher Remix is Jolly Rancher’s new Mix’d Flavored Family Ride. Mix’d is far from a simple ride in a glass of water, but the drivers rotate 360 degrees back and forth, forming a puzzle of interconnected cars.
On Thursday, Hersheypark gave members of the media and special guests access to the rides.
When these two rides open to the public on May 28, it will open up a kind of unofficial summer of fun ranchers for the park. On Thursday, media day marking the opening of new rides, a new mascot, aptly named “Fun Ranch”, was on hand to dance to the fast-paced new rollercoaster sound system, wearing headphones and DJ attire.
As a lifelong connoisseur of near and far coasters, I was of course very familiar with Jolly Rancher Remix’s previous life as a Sidewinder. However, you can ride the rollercoaster a thousand times, but the first ride of the day will always be a fresh experience. For those unfamiliar, slides begin with a slow roll back and then up.
I’ve ridden the Jolly Rancher Remix both front and rear and every time the roll was strong.
The ride lifts over 100 feet into the air at an angle that makes me instantly push my legs forward in the car to stay upright. My first trip included a four-dance soundtrack (compared to other songs that range from acoustic pop to punk pop to what sounds like free Portugal. The sound of a man) that was perfectly in sync. The music cuts out and the voice says, “Time to drop the beat!” as the coaster cars began their rapid descent.
In a 90-second coaster run, riders will reach a top speed of 47 mph and experience six inversions.
At this speed, it’s almost hard to enjoy a ride through the foggy tunnel, but you have two chances. The fog does smell vaguely and tastes like Merry Ranchers, although I found my eyes widened at what appeared to be roller coaster smoke. When it’s all over, the ride’s added blinding shine really makes it feel better than the Sidewinder, the ride I previously found most helpful in triggering heart palpitations. According to Hershey communications director Quinn Bryner, the ride has also received some interior upgrades recently, including new brakes.
But if roller coasters aren’t your thing, but still want to experience that overall Jolly Rancher feel, fear not – Mix’d by Jolly Ranchers is just a few meters away.
Seemingly running on gears at the center of the ride, Mix’d is made up of eight cars that spin both clockwise and forward and then backward at surprisingly high speeds. Having eaten nothing but a fig bar before arriving at the park, I felt it go through a full cycle in my stomach during the trip. With its opening overlooking the large dining area, there is a feeling of being in plain sight that almost made me wave to a few gawking strangers downstairs.
Since its invention nearly 73 years ago, the humble Jolly Rancher has been a source of both sweetness and a certain stamina hard to find in candy. Like candy, two new Jolly Rancher-themed rides will linger in your memory long after the actual experience has died down.