Wild Waves Photo TR

This past weekend I spent a great afternoon at the Wild Waves Theme Park located south of Seattle. Check out the photos (& videos) in the gallery page for the full TR. They’re posted in chronological order; follow along with the comments along the way. Apologies in advance for the quality; they were all taken with an iPhone 4; next time I’ll bring a nicer camera.

Thoughts on the coasters:

  • Wild Thing – Wild Thing is especially fun for a basic Arrow LoopScrew. The first drop does an admirable job of surprising your stomach, despite its shallow (by modern standards) angle. The loop is smooth and not overly forceful, and through to the end of the corkscrews this was one of the smoother Arrows I’ve been on. There are certainly the normal Arrow moments where the banking is questionable, and especially on the exit from the last corkscrew into the turnaround into the brakes, it creates a set of unpleasant back-and-forth forces that push your head into the restraint.
    Overall: quite fun; well maintained; and a reminder that simple Arrows can be quite fun.
    Interestingly fact: it’s braked for only one train.
  • Timberhawk – Timberhawk is amazingly smooth, which is particularly surprising given the creator, S&S’s history in coasters (ask anyone – myself included – who’s ridden Hypersonic; it was tooth-ratting, and that was a steel coaster). It reminds me of what I would think a B&M wooden coaster would feel like – very smooth yet keeping that wooden feel; airtime but mostly floater, rather fast, and seemingly nice to maintain (it’s still smooth 7 years later). Sadly, B&M’s also frequently loose points for being, well, a little too engineered, and this coaster is a bit of the same. It’s a great coaster for non-enthusiasts, but it doesn’t have quite the airtime, speed, change in direction – the force – to be a stand-out. (It is stand-out as one of only 4 S&S wooden coasters in the world).
    As I rode it, I did begin realize one thing – the typical jerks, vibrations, and general chatter of most woodies are all still there – they’re just much more muted and cushioned. I have a hunch this coaster uses the “premium” PTC trains, and I love the feel – it combines the classic feel of a PTC train without the typical cost to smoothness. The best  seat is, interestingly, 1-3.
  • Klondike Gold Rusher – pretty much a standard, average wild mouse. Relatively smooth; not overly braked but not particularly forceful. Not really any airtime to speak of, either. Beware because despite the recent build date, the cars are still quite small; two average adults will be cramped if put next to each other.

It was the second weekend for the park and the last weekend when only dry rides are open (the water park opens next week) – leading to very small numbers of guests and high ability to reride. Unfortunately, the cold degraded the overall experience, which kept me from my normal indulgence in rerides of fast, smooth wooden coasters.

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