Sunday, July 29, 2001 7:07 PM
It had been raining off and on all day here at Hersheypark. The Wildcat was going through the run track in just 44 seconds (As opposed to the usual 48 seconds). All night long I was listening to guest comment about how fast the ride was. Soo... I was sitting down at the front of the line and two of my friends (who also work at the park but were just there to ride rides today) come up and get on the ride. After they got off, I asked them how the ride was...
Friend 1: "It was waaay rough."
Me: "Yeah, well, it is running a bit rougher this year."
Friend 1: "No, I mean, it was waaay rougher than normal."
Friend 2: "Yeah, it was really going fast."
They moved on and I was left sitting at front line thinking about how much I would love to catch a ride. We rotated positions and closed the line (we have to close early for the laser show) at 9:45pm.
I get up the station and my ride lead asks me if I have an extra shirt.
Me: "Yeah, why?"
Ride Lead: "You need it to do final ride."
At this point, I'm thinking, "what the heck is she talking about?" We, as employees, are almost NEVER allowed to ride the rides when we're on duty. The only time is when maintenance tells us to do a test run or something.
We close all the lapbars, except one in the very front, and buckle all the seat belts. I throw my shirt over my uniform, hop in, buckle-up, and pull the lap bar down (leaving plenty of room, of course). The train moves out of the station.
Going up the lift hill I just kept thinking to myself, "I am the ONLY person on the entire ride! Muahahahahaha!" Going up the lift hill was a great experience -- it was so silent. The only thing audible was the anti-rollbacks as the train went up the lift. Finally, the train reached the top, the front tipped over and then soared down the first drop. I caught plenty of airtime before the front of the train was pushed through the turnaround -- I caught even more air on the drop after the turn. Flying back up into the second turnaround, I got the most airtime I've ever gotten in the front seat on this ride. Diving back down and zooming through the helix was simply unbelievably good. The dip after the helix -- oh my god -- gave some of the best ejector air I've ever had on a wooden coaster. The final helix was, as always, simply outstanding.
This ride had my floored. It was definitely my favorite and most memorable ride on the Wildcat to date. To wrap up:
--Wet Rails + last ride of the night + only person on the train = one incredible Wildcat ride!
Monday, July 30, 2001 5:51 AM
Color me green, with envy. :)
I don't like your tone, chris...