Wild Adventures, Valdosta, Georgia, USA
I decided that, on my way to Orlando to visit my sister & her family, I would finally take a side trip to Valdosta and hit up Wild Adventures. I’d never been there and since it was open and wouldn’t be too far out of the way I decided to check it out on my way. But the further south I went, the gloomier and wetter it got. Bummer. I had already purchased the Groupon ticket and it expires in April, but I didn’t see me getting back to Wild Adventures anytime soon, so I decided to head down and potentially maybe get a ride or two done.
Around the 7 hour mark my GPS had me turn onto a dirt road. I thought this was odd to say the least, but I knew Wild Adventures was out in the middle of no where in southern Georgia. So I made my way across the dirt road and came out on the other side just in view of coasters. Granted, I saw none of them running, but eventually I did see the Star Flyer go and the parking lot was far from empty. So I headed in.
The rain had mostly let up. I headed into the front of the park and around towards the back looking for a restroom. After a brief pitstop there I noticed parts for the 2018 addition, large bug parts strewn in the back area of the amphitheater. Then I made my way around towards the park’s SLC. I really did like the paint scheme, but the ride was not yet running or even testing. So I went on and made my way around Cheeta, as I heard the chain lift engage, then saw a train head up the hill. It was time for my first credit of the trip, and the one coaster here I was really looking forward to trying out.
Cheeta-I’d wanted to try this coaster out for a very long time as it is the smaller cousin to the defunct Myrtle Beach Pavilion Hurricane coaster. You’ve probably heard all about this 2001 CCI wooden coaster. Once dispatched you turn left and head up the 90 foot hill. The first drop was really great. I was sitting in the back of the train and it pulled over rather quick. At the top you get a good view of not only the coaster’s layout, but large swaths of the wild animal park included with admission. Then you drop. Then its up into a series of hills before the turnaround, then up into another hill. Then its a dip, a drop, and two bunny hops before you head up and then down into a helix maneuver that is part of the ride’s figure 8 section. Theres a bunny hop over the tracks in the middle, then at the end another hill, then hop up into the brakes. Cheeta was fun, if a bit rattly. It would definitely benefit from a full retracking, and honestly I’d love to see Timberliner trains added, but otherwise I licked it.
After Cheeta I noticed that the SLC was testing so I went back to check and see if it was opening. The ride was going, but they were not open yet and weren’t sure if it would open as they were trying to get it warmed up as it was in the forties. Next up I’d have loved to have ridden the Miler coaster but it wasn’t testing and no-one was even in the station or around it. Bummer.
Another ride that I saw running, though, was the drop tower, a small S&S shot tower (the smallest model). I was able to get on it and enjoyed the air time at the top. Right beside that was Rattler, the park’s 24 seat Moser Sidewinder (Frisbee) ride. I really like this version of the ride. It isn’t very large, and is great for smaller parks. It gives a great cycle, and is very comfortable.
I noticed after Rattler that Boomerang was testing so I headed over there next, all the way across the lake. The park wasn’t very busy but rides were opening as much as possible. The rain would come and go but mostly held off during my 90ish minute visit. So I rode the Boomerang in the front row. I like the paint scheme, but alas, it is just another boomerang.
One ride I hadn’t counted on riding was the park’s Jr. SLC, Swamp Thing, but surprisingly enough I fit. Usually I have a hard time with my height getting the restraints to close, but since there was no line I decided I’d give it a try and had no issues. I liked the theming and that it goes over the alligator pit. I went thru a small bird house for a few minutes and took some photos before heading on to the Roller Skater. I got a ride all to myself. Sadly, the Mouse right beside it also never opened.
Once I was finished riding the Roller Skater I headed back around the park once more to see if the SLC was opened. It was still testing, but sadly it was not opened. I toyed with riding Cheeta once more, and probably should have, but decided to call it a day and head the rest of the way to Florida.
The way out of the park took me straight to I75 south. I stopped for some more gas and then eventually made my way south, to Apopka where my sister lives around 8pm. I went in not expecting much, but wanted to at least get the credits. I was able to get 4 of 7. Honestly, I surprised myself in how much I liked the park, and I’ll likely get back there on a much nicer day to get the rest of the rides, but more importantly to try out the animal exhibits.
It would definitely benefit from a full retracking, and honestly I’d love to see Timberliner trains added, but otherwise I licked it.
I've enjoyed many a coaster myself, but I can't say I've ever enjoyed it that much that I wanted to taste it.
What I want to know is how your ribs weren't broken after riding Cheetah? Every time I've been on that thing I feel like someone just punched me repeatedly in my sides for the entire ride after the first drop. I had season passes a few years ago and I really enjoyed the park for what it is though. It's no Busch Gardens or anything. I thought it had a pretty good selection of flat rides, but was a little lacking in the coaster department. Nothing a good Mack or B&M couldn't fix. It's too bad that the Miler coaster Viking Voyage wasn't open or the SLC because those are the two best coasters they have in my opinion. The only other SLC's I have ridden were Geauga Lake's when it first opened and I thought was really good and SFNE's which I thought was far and away the worst coaster I had ever ridden along with SFNE's boomerang. Hangman at Wild Adventures is somewhere in the middle between the two. It was smoother than I thought it would be with some mild hangbanging but nothing like SFNE's. I enjoyed your trip report and you really should go back there when you have more time, those animal exhibits are actually pretty cool, especially the raised trail across the swamp, a lot of native animals on it.
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