Specific Type: Wooden
Few can ever consider the history of coasters without including Dinn Corporation’s wooden lineup. Though many consider them rough, they are a key part of coaster history; bridging the gap between the classic out and back designs to the modern GCI layouts that dominate the market today. Timber Wolf at Worlds of Fun is no exception. Built in 1989, Timber Wolf became the park’s first wooden coaster, and remains only one of two wooden coasters at the park today. Designed by Curtis Summers, the ride is one of the most unique Dinn coasters around. Instead of the usual circling around a center point that can be seen on most of their coasters, Timber Wolf weaves itself around in a rather random fashion. Though it still has the out and back turnarounds, it weaves around itself and makes a few runs outside the normal fashion.
However, Timber Wolf does not avoid the downfall of most Dinn coasters, that being the roughness. Though the ride may start out smooth when it first opens, later in its life a Dinn coaster becomes notoriously rough. Though a lot of people do not enjoy the roughness of these coasters, some of them appreciate it. They say that it is the way coasters should be: rough, wild, and feeling out of control. Timber Wolf will definitely give off that feeling if you look for it. As with most of the other Dinn woodies, Timber Wolf started as one of the best, capturing the number one spot in terms of wood coaster ratings on two different scales in the early 90’s. However, as time went by, its ratings started to fall and eventually riders began complaining of roughness.
In 1995, Cedar Fair took over the park, and added trims to help riders in terms of roughness. However, trims did little more than slow the ride down, and the roughness stayed an issue. Thankfully, Cedar Fair re-tracked and refurbished the ride in 2006 and 2007, making it smoother than it had been in a long time. Riders were happy with it again, but more renovations were needed, so in the 2009-2010 off season, the ride was refurbished again. Even so, there is still a sign sitting at the entrance that says "Extreme vibrations and roughness are a nature of this ride. Do not be alarmed."
Timber Wolf has not had the cleanest history in terms of popularity. Though it was popular at a time, the ride suffered major setbacks when an accident occurred on it in 1995. It all began when a young 14 year old girl boarded the ride on a regular season day. At some point in the ride, she decided to try to switch seats after removing her restraints. During the ride, she fell from her seat and died, leading to a large controversy that Worlds of Fun had not yet seen (Timber Wolf is the only ride with a fatality at Worlds of Fun). After a long legal battle, the ride creator and park owner settled with the girl’s family at $200,000 in damages.
To ride this king of the woods, you must first make your way to the Americana section of the park. There you will find the long, winding queue that leads to Timber Wolf. After however long a wait is needed, the rider boards the fierce forest beast and prepares for the ride of their life.Timber Wolf begins by taking you up a 100 ft lift hill. After the slow climb to the top, you quickly take a left turn and fall 95 feet reaching a top speed of 45 mph and reaching a level of 2.8 g’s. After the first drop you perform a classic turnaround and then head into a series of air-time hills. This process continues throughout the ride; weaving in and out of its own structure, performing both classic out-and-back turns and modern layout style turns, until you finally start making your way back to the station. You reach the brakes, and realize that you have just traversed 4,260 ft. In two minutes and thirteen seconds, you have conquered the Timber Wolf. Will you dare to try again?
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