Specific Type: Wild Mouse
In 1996, Hersheypark introduced Wildcat, which was a new coaster that reused the name of Hershey’s first scream machine in 1923, Wildcat. The 1996 Wildcat was the first coaster built by Great Coasters International and helped them kick-start the company. Three years later, a new coaster was built right next door to Wildcat, and given the name Wild Mouse. It wasn’t only called that because of its model name, but because of the ride’s placement right next door to Wildcat.
The Wild Mouse concept has always been the same with each installment of the type of ride: to make riders think they are going to fall off the edge before going through a sharp, unbanked 180 degree turn. This happens multiple times during the ride, and is one reason why one either loves it or hates it.
An identical Wild Mouse opened an hour and a half away at Dorney Park a year after Hersheypark opened theirs. Dorney Park’s version, however much it looked like Hershey’s, was dumbed down due to excessive braking, a slower ride, and a negative difference in capacity. Dorney’s version was also built by Maurer Sohne, while Hershey’s was built by Mack.
Once at the Midway America section, park-goers find themselves in between two entrances to two different rides: Wildcat to the left and Wild Mouse to the right. Entering the queue for Wild Mouse, riders notice a series of slides to the left side of the small plot of land Wild Mouse sits on. Once on the ramp outside the station, future riders notice that cars do not stop in the station. This is an excellent way to increase capacity and the keep cars moving through the course. Of course, if on where to be uncomfortable loading the vehicle while it’s moving can request that the car be stopped. Once riders are seated and the lap bars are down, they’re ready to go.
Immediately out of the station, riders notice a sign that clearly states, “You WILL lose your hat on this ride,” before turning sharply to the left and going up the lift. While climbing the lift at a rather brisk pace, riders notice the mess of track to their sides and all of the small, 4-seater cars moving along its tracks. Once at the top, the train makes its first sharp turn of many and speeds quickly to the left and over a section of brakes. The brakes do not engage, however, and is only used for blocking purposes. Riders see the end of the straightaway come nearer and are given a great view of the Boardwalk area and Lightning Racers in the background. But suddenly, the small car veers to the right and the rider sitting on the left is crushed by the rider on the right due to the lateral force of the turn. The ensuing straightaway faces directly towards the crest of lift. It’s now time for the right-side rider to be smashed against their side of the car in a sharp turn to the right. This pattern continues for twice more, and each time riders are given different views of things the car go fall into, such as the bowl element of the Vortex slide or the midway to the right side of the ride’s plot of land.
After all of the straightaways and sharp turns, riders are finally treated to a more relaxed turn to the left. This leads into a long straightaway which reaches the end of the rides area. In this straightaway, there is another set of block brakes that are the first set of block brakes on the ride that trim the speed of the train. Following this are two left hand, 90 degree turns and the first substantial drop to the ride, which gives a brief feeling of floater airtime, encouraged by the lack of seatbelts in the cars. Riders are again trimmed, but still move briskly as they move into two more turns to the left and a slight turn to the right. Next comes two small drops, the second of which is the trigger of the on-ride camera. Another set of the two left hand turns follows, and riders dip down into the final set of brakes. Riders turn to the left once again, and the exit the ride with the car still moving behind them, ready to give another wild ride to another set of riders.
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