One of the my favorite attractions at an amusement park is the log flume, and I’m glad to say that Hersheypark has a really good one. Located in Minetown, Hershey appropriately named their Arrow hydroflume the Coal Cracker. Rather than theming the boats to the typical logs, the Coal Cracker instead has silver boats designed to evoke memories of the coal mines. Unlike most flumes, the Coal Cracker shuns a ground-hugging layout for one high above the ground, which creates for some interesting views off-ride because of the way it interacts with the Great Bear and Sooperdooperlooper.
Log flumes are often immensely popular with all age groups, so lines for these attractions can often be pretty sizeable, especially on hot days. Fortunately though, the Coal Cracker typically only has a 10-15 minute wait thanks to its incredibly high capacity. Utilizing a constantly moving, revolving platform, the Coal Cracker is able to rapidly and efficiently load the boats allowing for very speedy dispatches.
Unlike most log flumes, the Coal Cracker begins with a gigantic lift hill. Upon cresting the hill, the Coal Cracker begins with a very small, and unfortunately dry, drop. From there, the boat quickly travels through the course high above the ground. In fact, I think the Coal Cracker moves the fastest through the trough of any log flume that I’ve been on. This is especially cool since the trough is so high off the ground and this creates a bit of a thrill as the boat navigates the elevated course. At several points, the Coal Cracker comes very close to the aforementioned Great Bear and Sooperdooperlooper. Soon enough, the Coal Cracker climbs up a second and far shorter lift hill. Then after rounding an uncharacteristically slow turn, the Coal Cracker approaches its climactic 50 foot plunge.
The Coal Cracker sports side-by-side drops. However, most of the time I have only seen one side used per day. While the dual drops are there to probably help for capacity, I honestly don’t think using both sides increases the ride’s capacity all that much, if at all. As for the drop itself, it is definitely one of the best I’ve experienced on a log flume. Not only is the Coal Cracker’s drop one of the tallest ones I’ve been on, but it’s also fairly steep for a flume. As a result, the final plunge is quite thrilling. Thanks to a small hill at the bottom of the drop, the boat bounces repeatedly before slowing down. Despite this, the Coal Cracker doesn’t actually get riders all that wet, but it does a good enough job to be refreshing on a hot day.
Overall, the Coal Cracker is one of the better flumes I’ve been on thanks to its unique layout and thrilling, final plunge. Often times, I prefer ground-hugging flumes, so the fact that I really enjoyed the Coal Cracker this much is kind of a testament as to how well the Coal Cracker fits in with the park. With that being said, I highly recommend that you give the Coal Cracker a ride while at Hersheypark since it is fun, refreshing, and sports a minimal wait, even on hot days.