Specific Type: Steel, Out & Back, Mega-Coaster
Valleyfair!, located in the town of Shakopee, Minnesota, decided to introduce one of the most record-breaking of America's thrill rides and opened Wild Thing in May of 1996. Wild Thing is one of the globe's tallest, fastest and longest steel hyper coasters, designed and manufactured by Chance-Morgan Inc. as the coaster company's first major ride. And major this is, rising up to 21-stories and coasting over more than a mile of track. After the debut of Wild Thing, the Cedar Fair chain ordered Morgan hyper coasters for all of their other non-hyper-equipped parks, opening the year following Wild Thing as Steel Force at Allentown, PA's Dorney Park and in 1998 as Mamba at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri.
Valleyfair hasn’t received a major addition in a couple years, the latest being Renegade ,the GCI wooden coaster filled with more s-curves than you can count. It is very much like Dorney Park, receiving hand-me-down coasters from other Cedar Fair parks. The park just received theDragon Coaster from Dorney Park, which was removed to make way for another relocated ride,Stinger, which will open in 2012. Stinger was removed from California’s Great America, where it was named Invertigo, and moved to Dorney Park. Stinger won’t be exactly the same as Invertigo, though, as the track has been repainted from a fading yellow to a vibrant teal. This is a major step up for Cedar Fair, as their color schemes don’t very that much.
A ride on Wild Thing's bright green track begins with an exit out of the station with a turn to the left. Following tradition, a lift hill of more than 200 feet hoists the train of riders up to a peak high above the soil below. And the Wild Thing becomes just that when the 196' drop sends passengers ahead at 74 miles an hour, reaching a 65-degree angle on the way down. Next up is a 103-foot camelback hill - a notable variation to Wild Thing's successors as Mamba andSteel Force feature 15-story hills topped off at lower speeds. Following hill number one is a taller camelback, then the trains climb the last hill of the ride's first third and enter the second third of the course - the turnaround section. While your 'typical' hyper coaster may spiral around a simple swirl before heading back, the 'Thing features a more complex - and Wild - halfway section. First, the track dives down a left-hand curve, then follows up that with a reversal curve a swivel around to a bank onto the block brakes, beginning the run back to the station. Hopping over the first of a lineup of humps paralleling the first portion of the layout, riders get their first healthy dose of airtime on the way back. Another hump follows, then the train finds its way to a tunnel, specially designed to hide what's inside from passengers' knowing before the train completes it. After a finishing hop, the track curves into the brakes.
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