Mommy Minute: sooperdooperLooper celebrates 40 years of adrenaline-filled fun

Kevin Durr has great memories of the sooperdooperLooper at Hersheypark.

“This is such a special place for me because this is my first loop that I ever did 30 years ago,” he said.

His memories were so special, he recently traveled to Hershey from New Jersey with his 10-year-old son, Ren, and made it their very first ride.

“This was my first ride that I ever went on that went upside down,” Ren Durr said excitedly.

The sooperdooperLooper has been helping families create adrenaline-filled memories for 40 years. Opening in the summer of 1977, it became the East Coast’s first looping roller coaster and only the second in the nation. It will celebrate its anniversary next week.

“The lines for this ride back in 1977 were tremendous; two and three hours long,” said Hersheypark’s Director of Ride Operations Laura Woodburn. “People were really coming from all over the place to experience this first-time looping roller coaster.”

One reason the sooperdooperLooper has stayed so popular is the ride’s height requirement. You only need to be a “Reese’s,” or 42 inches tall.

“The kids eyes really light up because it’s the first time they’re going upside down on a roller coaster with their families and they’re so excited,” Woodburn said. “This is often one of the very first coasters for little ones and they just love it, riding it over and over and over again.”

Daybreak anchor Ali Lanyon wearing a sooperdooperLooper shirt as a child. She is pictured her with her mother, Adele.

The coaster has even inspired apparel, telling people “I survived the sooperdooperLooper.” It’s the number one selling tee shirt in the park.

The sooperdooperLooper is also the most popular attraction, giving more than one million rides each year.

The name for the coaster was originally narrowed down to Super Duper Looper or Merry Derry Dips, as a nod to Derry Township. The man in charge of naming the ride preferred Merry Derry Dips, but when he presented the choices to his wife and two daughters, he was out-voted three to one.

Ren only needed a few spins on the coaster to add him to the legion of die-hard fans.

“He says we have to go one more time before we leave,” Kevin Durr said.

“One or two,” Renn corrected.

“This is incredible,” Kevin Durr said. “It’s just going to be a memory forever for us.”

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