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Hersheypark's Laff Trakk to combine spinning coaster, funhouse laughs

Hersheypark's Laff Trakk is billed as the first indoor, spinning, glow-in-the-dark coaster in the U.S.

Hersheypark plans to combine a glow-in-the-dark funhouse experience with an indoor roller coaster for a first-of-its-kind attraction in the United States.

Set to debut in May 2015, the $14-million Laff Trakk spinning coaster will pay tribute to the five funhouses that have called the Pennsylvania theme park home since the 1930s.

Built by German-based Maurer Sohne, the SC 2000 spinning coaster will be similar to Spider at Utah’s Lagoon amusement park, Steel Dragon at Pennsylvania’s Waldameer and Whirlwind at New York’s Seabreeze.

Hersheypark’s Laff Trakk is being billed as the first indoor, spinning, glow-in-the-dark coaster in the United States. The world's best-known indoor, spinning, glow-in-the-dark coaster is Space Fantasy at Universal Studios Japan, which takes riders on an interplanetary journey employing projection screens, lasers and fiber optics.

Beginning with a noiseless lift hill, the 50-foot-tall Laff Trakk will feature high-banked curves, camelback airtime hills, a 360-degree carousel, a slalom section and a half loop-half twist Immelman turn along a 1,400-foot-long track.

Reaching 40 mph, the freely spinning cars with outward-facing seats will rotate at varying speeds depending on the weight distribution in each vehicle. The uncontrolled spin means no two trips will be identical and will require Hersheypark to design the scenery to be viewed from all angles.

Laff Trakk will pay tribute to funhouses such as Whoops and Laugh Land that have operated at Hersheypark since the 1930s. The new ride will feature a perpetual laugh track from Laffing Sal, a memorable character from one of the retired attractions.

Designed by New York-based Raven Sun Creative, the glow-in-the-dark scenes inside the themed ride will include a hall of mirrors, a house of cards and a rotating tunnel. Along the way, riders will pass through the mouth of Laffing Sal and fall through a series of picture frames.

Located along the Midway America section of the park next to the Whip, the new ride will require the relocation of the Granny Bugs and Pony Parade kiddie rides.

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