Specific Type: Wild Mouse
In 2001 California’s Great America installed a classic family coaster called the Psycho Mouse. This familiar layout is most commonly referred to as a wild mouse. Beginning in the 1950’s they were first constructed as wooden coasters. The last remaining wooden and oldest wild mouse is the example at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England. Then starting in the 1960’s steel wild mouse roller coasters started being installed at parks worldwide by nearly every manufacturer of amusement park rides. The wild mouse became very popular with parks and guests alike. Parks liked them for their compact footprint, and guests enjoyed the strong lateral forces, and fun ride experience that could be shared by the whole family.
You might think that this makes the Psycho Mouse very common, but that is not the case. As wild mouse coasters were built, installed, and moved to and from different locations about 270 currently operate worldwide, but only the Psycho Mouse & two others are from Arrow Dynamics. Around the turn of the century Arrow was suffering from financial issues and they built the wild mouse coaster as a way to earn some easy money by producing a popular product, but in true Arrow fashion these coasters were overbuilt. What should have been an inexpensive to design layout turned into a project that struggled to turn a profit. It has been joked by industry insiders that if there is an earthquake the safest place to be is in a Psycho Mouse car.
The Psycho Mouse cars are very nice, brightly colored and have evil looking mouse faces moulded into the body. Each car can carry 4 riders, and when they depart the station they begin a journey up the lift hill to the ride’s max height. From the top riders are treated to a series of 180 degree switchback turns. The combination of the cars being wider than the track and the track being unbanked gives the sensation that the car is going to come off the tracks and crash. Next the cars swoop through a series of dips and hops offering a family amount of airtime and excitement. The Psycho Mouse succeeds in giving a familiar and classic ride experience that young kids can enjoy with their siblings, parents or even grandparents.
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