Specific Type: Sitting Coaster
Silver Dollar City is not a very well-known amusement park due to its placement in the Ozark Mountains, but the few rides they have demonstrate that they go for quality over quantity.
The first major coaster to open at Silver Dollar City was a very unique mine train coaster called ThuNderaTion. This Arrow contraption made use of the park’s terrain at the edge, which included two lift hills near the end of the ride instead of at the beginning. Also, cars 3 and 5 were faced backward, which made the ride much more appealing for enthusiasts as well as the families that came to the park every year.
After the 1993 addition of ThuNderaTion and the 1999 addition of Buzzsaw Falls, the park felt the need to add a high tech thrill ride that made use of the park’s terrain. They called the famed pair of Bolliger and Mabillard to build the ride. But the problem was that a high tech thrill ride might look out of place in an 1880’s themed park. So Silver Dollar City did their research and found Dr. Harris, a mad scientist who is almost finished perfecting his WildFire formula. He encourages guests to fly around the valley with his flying machine, but he warns them that he has trouble keeping it under control.
Construction of WildFire started in 2000, the same year that Millenium Force at Cedar Point and Son of Beast at King’s Island opened, both setting height and speed records. Construction of WildFirewas finished in early 2001, and the ride completed its necessary testing in time for opening on April 4th, 2001.
WildFire was built after the first five floorless coasters by B&M with the first opening in 1999 (These rides were Medusa at Six Flags Great Adventure (know Bizarro),Superman Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Batman Knight Flight at Six Flags Ohio (now Dominator at King’s Dominion), and Kraken at Sea World Orlando). The reason the park didn’t go with the floorless coaster is because they thought that the dropping floor in the station wouldn’t fit in with the theming (it was also very problematic). Instead, they inclined the seats back like in their Hyper Coasters, so that the rider’s feet wouldn’t touch the floor. This gave the same thrill as a floorless coaster but without the high tech floor dropping technique. WildFire is classified as a sitting coaster in B&M’s catalog.
The ride itself starts off with a traditional B&M pre-drop curve seen on many of the firm’s previous coasters. The train then heads up the 120’ lift hill. Don’t let the small stature fool you, however, because after the right hand turn at the top of the lift, the train zooms down its 155’ drop to the bottom of the valley. Next, WildFire flies into an Immelman and an ensuing loop. After a very quick turn to the left, the train executes the cobra roll which provides many great photo opportunities by the people on the exit bridge. After the cobra roll, cameras flash pictures of the rider’s bewildered faces as the train traverses a Stengal dive which was designed by the famous designer himself. The train then flips into a flat spin, B&M’s version of the iconic corkscrew. After another turn to the left, the train slows down in the final brake run, leaving riders breathless.
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