Has anyone heard what this is going to entail? Is this a true reprofiling (reshaping the hills and turns), or is it more like an extensive rehab, like what Visionland's Rampage received for 2003? I agree that the Wildcat is in need of a little work and would be a better ride if some of the painfully rough spots were removed, but I'm not one to see a classic design changed just to make it more "friendly". Then again, Summers and Dinn supposedly did that back in '86/'87.
Of all of the surviving Schmeck "non junior" coasters that I have ridden (all of them except Joyland's), I place Wildcat on the weak end of the scale. How much of the current coaster Schmeck's work, and how much of its "tameness" can be attributed to the Summers / Dinn 86/87 work? *** Edited 12/18/2003 4:37:24 PM UTC by SLFAKE***
I think that the majority of the changes were made to the speed hills because they just don't feel like Schmeck speed hills. They have very little airtime and just seem to lack the punch of ones on Phoenix, Thunderhawk and the Great Escape Comet. Summers was always about the elimation of negative g-forces so I can imagine that those speed hills were looked upon as being areas in need of "improvement."
I remember reading that there was a tunnel from the station to the base of the lift. Makes sense, because due to the right turn/left jog that takes the train to the lift, it would probably be pretty dark in there. The ride could probably benefit from a new tunnel. Also, new trains were purchased to replace the original open-front PTC trains.
Of all the full-size Schmecks I have been on (the Hershey and GE Comets, Thunderhawk and Phoenix), I too find the Wildcat to be the "weakest" Schmeck design. Odd, considering that Schmeck's Wildcat coasters are regarded as being his most exciting designs... at least the non-out-and-back ones. Still, I appreciate a ride or 2 or 3 in between Boulder Dash rides.
Last year my one (and only) ride on Wildcat was a bit "rushed". It was during that hideous heat wave in August... miserably hot... and my wife was on the verge of heat exhaustion. Needless to say, my mind was not entirely on the coater when I rode it... more on "Okay... after I get off of here, get to the car and crank up the AC as soon as possible." (For the record... my ride on Wildcat was done with her blessing while she waited in the shade, and once she got into the AC and cooled off, she was okay and we stopped at Rye Playland later that evening for a quick visit before driving back to PA).
I've always felt that Summer must have somehow nuetered the air hills - so if any reprofiling is done, let's hope it is to make them right. The only major change I know of for sure is that he raised the last turn-around before the 2 bunnies into the station about 5-7 feet.
Not that I am a big fan on fin brakes, but I can also see them installing them as well as airgates in the station so they can speed up the loading process.
But alas, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Jim 'jimvid' McDonnell
I really, really, honest to God like Wildcat a lot. Its certainly not one of my all time fav rides or anything, but its just so weird and funky, I can't help but like it. That being said, from what I've heard its been hacked up so much from the original design, I really would not mind at all some retracking done. I can't imagine them doing really really significant reprofiling of the thing, but if it does happen, hey, what the hell, worth a try, right?
Gee...I hope I'm right about this one:)
Wood - anything else is an imitation
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