Wild One: Info and Opinions Wanted!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:36 AM
Another boring day at the office begs another silly topic...

I'm interested in the history of this coaster, partially due to a topic last week about coaster designers and manufacturers that somehow spawned a side discussion about whether this is a Miller or Schmeck coaster (go here and scroll down to see what took place.) I have kearned quite a bit about this ride throughout the years, thanks to ACE publications and the 'net, but as always seems to be the case, I would love to learn even more. If you want a brief run-down of the history of this ride, go here... this page pretty much covers the history of this ride up until the time when the park morphed into Adventure World and, later still, Six Flags America... which, as it happens, is when my knowledge of the ride becomes a little fuzzy.

I know that this ride has seen more changes throughout the years than the number of coasters that Paul Ruben has proclaimed as his "number one!" I also know that a lot of those changes took place during the past decade, starting with the sale of Wild World to Tierco and continuing into the years when the park was "flagged" by SFI. I understand that, either in 1999 or 2000, SFA made some pretty significant changes to the far turnaround, with its violent-looking swoop drop turned into some kind of elongated double-up, flat turn and double-down combo. The change looks as though it eliminated a speed hill on the outbound run, and possibly another on the return? Was that the only significant change that SF made? I have heard about hills being reprofiled, the bottom of the first drop being raised, new trains and trim brakes. Were those changes made by SF, or were the park's previous owners responsible for some (or all) of those alterations?

The funny thing about all of this is, despite the fact that this coaster has pretty much been butchered beyond belief when compared to when it both ran at Paragon and when it debuted in Maryland, I found it to be an excellent coaster! I got the chance to ride it in April and found it to be one of the best SF wooden coasters, trim brakes on and all! The airtime was memorable and the helix, even with the trims right before it, had some incredible lateral forces. I know that it was early in the season, and perhaps the ride had just undergone some re-tracking, but I can't imagine that the coaster is much worse after one summer. Why does it seem that people love to bash this coaster? Did I catch the ride on a good day, or does the Wild One really give a respectable ride that would be out of place in most SF parks? If so, why do many enthusiasts seem so down on this ride. I know its historic and all, and deserves respect for that alone, but it really does seem like it would be a consistently good coaster!

I know its a lot of questions, but perhaps your day is as slow as mine?

------------------
-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 11:19 AM
I certainly don't recall hearing a whole lot of negative comments on Wild One. Having never ridden it as the Giant at Paragon, I can't speak about that. However, I rode it during its first year of operation at Wild World, and it was phenomenal. A much, much wilder ride than it is today.

From the site you linked to:


Reports from the park say Tierco/John Pierce plan to further work on the coaster next year, including the far turn around and the helix. I just hope they don't ruin a good thing ... .it's almost a perfect coaster!
Interesting to hear someone's perspective the year before the turnaround was reprofiled. It was, in fact, ruined, in my opinion. The turnaround was originally the most memorable part of the coaster. It dipped down and to the right, providing a massive amount of lateral air. The double-down of today is nice, but it looks like it should offer more air than it actually does. It used to be incredible. As for the double-up before the turnaround, there's nothing all that special about it--no real air to speak of.

Compare this picture of Wild One in its former glory to this shot of it now. Aside from the obvious changes to the turnaround, the height of the second hill has been lowered as well. I'm not sure when this alteration was made, however.

By no means do I think Wild One is a lousy coaster. It still provides a good amount of air (though not as much as I'd expect from it, and the helix, as far as I can tell, has not changed at all--it's still one of the best finales of any coaster in existence. It's also still in my top 10 wooden list, above both PKD's Grizzly and the Georgia Cyclone (though I have yet to ride GC in the back seat).

------------------
-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
------------------

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 11:23 AM
What they did to that turnaround was evil. It looks like they took a unique turnaround and turned it into a run of the mill woodie turnaround.

Dante, who also is having a slooow day. ;)

------------------
This space will forever be dedicated to Hercules-R.I.P. 1989-2003

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 11:26 AM
I don't think that "perspective" you speak of was written the year before the turn was altered... that second linked page was written in 1993, and the turn was reprofiled in 1999 or 2000. I think the author meant that the turn would be worked on as far as new track was concerned... I don't think he had any idea of the MAJOR changes that would take place years in the future.

Glad to hear that you have a lot of respect for the coaster... it seems to me that people seem very ho-hum about the ride when they go to SFA, and I can't really understand why. Even if Superman had a short wait, I think I would have spent more time on Wild One! Then again, I'm a wooden coaster fan before anything else.

By the way, thanks for the links to the two pics... they did a great job of comparing the coaster (then and now)... anyone who is curious about the changed that were made should check out the pics. Also anyone who bashes Six Flags, because despite their problems, look at what they did to that park. There is no doubt in my mind that the park is a MUCH better place now... look at all the rides that sit in what used to be a big, empty field!

------------------
-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 11:28 AM
Well, they did, Dante...

I never had the pleasure of riding the coaster before the changes to the turn, but I would think that it had a lot to do with both taming the ride and reducing maintenance.

------------------
-Rob (kicking himself for not getting down to the park before the changes were made)
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 12:47 PM
I've had the chance to experience the ride back in the day before the turnaround was changed & it was a much better ride back then,those who never had that chance really missed out on some of the best that the ride had to offer.

I don't know why it is that SFA chose to reprofile that section but maybe it has more to do with TSC's location relative to the original pullout going into the turn,the original pullout was much steeper & a bit taller too so maybe management was worried about potential head/hand choppers when going that close to TSC's support structure & reprofiled it into an elongated double up instead.

Of course excessive wear on the track/structure could be another reason for the reprofiling but it does seem to pick up speed on the return run following the double down drop,it's still a good ride but nowhere near as good as it was back in the days before SFA butchered it.

I agree 100% with you DorneyDante that what SFA did to the ride was pure evil,I mean why mess with perfection?

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 1:19 PM
Out of 84 woodies I've ridden, Wild One sits in my Top 10. I've loved every ride I've taken...it's totally underrated in my opinion.

mOOSH

------------------
2004 Coaster Calendar now available. Order before Oct 5th and save. See S&D Greetings for details.

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 1:23 PM
I'm not sure if ranks in my Top 10 (I haven't "categorized" my favorites in a while, but I am seriously thinking of switching to "tiers" instead and picking #1, #2, #3 etc.), but it would be pretty close! I only had the chance to ride it on one day so I can't vouch for the ride's consistency, but I can't imagine the quality of the ride would decrease. Next to Boulder Dash, it is probably the most interesting "basic" out and back I have ridden, as it has a lot of hills and a fantastic helix (many GOOD twisters don't have a helix!)

Maybe I was wrong when I said that people like to bash this ride... let me change that statement... I should have asked "why is this ride underrated?"

------------------
-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 1:57 PM
Here's some things I know about Wild One: a) the helix burned when it was at Paragon Park I believe, and when it was moved, they rebuilt the helix section from a postcard b) Pro-wrestler Big John Stud was the celebrity endorser back in the Wild World Days c) the first drop was raised because I heard it hurt before d) from what I've heard, the turnaround was changed because of maintenance costs. I also believe that it was changed to make it more of a family coaster i.e. Rebel Yell e) it was closed for a whole year in the Wild World days (I don't remember which year)

I seriously doubt BFSFA that Typhoon Seacoaster had anything to do with the changes to the ride. If you look at the supports for TS from the backside, you can see there's careful placement of the support columns, and there's plenty of clearance room.


------------------
If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 2:09 PM

Mamoosh said:
...Wild One...it's totally underrated in my opinion.


Just a "me too" reply :)

For a coaster that gets so little recognition, it's give an outstanding ride. Easily the second best coaster at the park behind S:ROS.

------------------
www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 17

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 2:29 PM
Stole the words right outta my mouth, Gonch. Those 2 coasters are the only real reason I even go to SFA anymore...

------------------
"You're afraid of heights, but you love roller coasters...yep, you're weird alright."
A friend's response to my constant yelling at the top of Power Tower. And I'll ride it again and again...:)

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 2:47 PM
Let me third (or fourth) that, stating that Wild One is also in my top 10, with over 50 woodies ridden. I can't even imagine how good it used to be with that saddle turn.

------------------
Mike Miller

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 2:49 PM
As a testament to the phatness of this coaster, it currently sits as my #2 wooden (Ghostider is #1). I still have not experienced the Holiday world or Knoebles duo, but I am sure it will still remain as one of my favorites.

------------------
Lyrically, I'm supposed to represent
I'm not only a client, I'm the playa president!

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 4:18 PM
I'm glad somebody brought this up. I rode it for the 1st time in 2002! This was obviously well after the glory years. I still thought this was a very good ride. I rode this one 4 times to Superman and Roar's 3 if that gives you any indication. A very underrated ride IMHO!

------------------
Give me wood! :-)
328 and counting!

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 5:21 PM
I have the pleasure of riding Wild One two weekends ago for the first time when I was at the park for Pitch Black ERT. I really had no expectations when I boarded the ride, but I was absolutely shocked by how great of a ride it was. The trims before the final helix were either on very lightly, or not on at all. The laterals were ridiculous that day, and the trains weren't slowing down at all. The hill that goes up then suddenly kicks left is great. This ride was a real surprise, and is definitely a 'top 10' woodie for me as well.

------------------
Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com | ThrillSpot
Carowinds Connection - Unofficial Carowinds Site

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 6:09 PM
Looking at pics of the ride before TSC was added,not to mention personal experience with it before 97 TSC did have a slight impact on the coasters current layout.

There used to be two smaller hills following the 2nd drop,this has now replaced by relatively flat track(it still packs a significant amount of speed though) & of course the pullout was changed to a double up instead of the real steep climb it once had prior to entering the turnaround section.

It's a real shame to hear that the reasons for reprofiling the turnaround were due primarily to maintenance costs,because that part of the original layout was really what made the ride so special back in the day,I doubt if the family oriented aspect of the ride had much to do with it because even before it was reprofiled the ride was still drawing a crowd & back then it was pure hell having to wait in line because it only operated one train at that time.

Of course the reasons why the first drop was reprofiled was because it was rather rough & unridable in it's original design,it was further reprofiled to allow for the entrance plaza to gotham city to be built for the 99 season.

+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 7:30 PM
Quite a difference between those 2 pics - before and after. That turn around looked glorious before! I can only imagine how great it must've been. And what did SF plop down in the middle of the coaster? It looks like it might be a flume ride, or else Frank Gehry decided to build one of his deconstructivist buildings there.
------------------
Nashville needs a theme park!
+0
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 9:53 PM
Premier Parks planted Typhoon Seacoster in the middle of Wild One, not Six Flags in 1997. It's hard to remember for me now, but that's where the park used to end.
------------------
If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.
+0
Wednesday, September 17, 2003 7:46 AM
Yeah Adventure world sure was a little baby of a park back then,now it's almost all grown up.

Of course they've got a long way to go before the park really matures,but with a little imagination & a bit more in the way of funding from corporate the park will grow rather large over time.

Back then Wild one was considered the centerpiece of the park & as a result the park developed around it,now if I'm not mistaken it's S:ROS which sits along the centerline of the park property & of course is the main attraction for the park as far as coasters go,of course they've still got alot of land back there to work with so anything's possible but it'll take time & money to make it happen first.

+0
Wednesday, September 17, 2003 7:55 AM
I know it has been said a lot, but the back area of the park is definitely the weakest section. The front of the park has a mixture of shady areas with big trees and open, sunny sections, and all of the rides and buildings are squeezed together, almost like an older traditional park. The back area is much larger and seems more like "coasters in a grass parking lot" instead of like an extension of the actual park. Its kind of like RCT when you spend a ton of money making a nice front section of the park because you are basically limited to a bunch of flat rides, and then later go crazy with big coasters at the back of the property.

I would wager to say the SFA has quite a good selection of roller coasters: an out-and-back wood, a wood twister, a shuttle, an inverted, a launched looper, a flying coaster and a hyper. If they'd get a B&M floorless and a more family-oriented coaster like a Tivoli or mine train, I would say that the park has one of the most well-rounded coaster collections around... a collection that is quite respectable, too, with Wild One, Roar, S:ROS, JJ and Two Face.

------------------
-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...