Big Bad Wolf: A Legend Reaches Its Expiration Date

Defunct Roller Coasters Roller Coaster News

More Insight Into Big Bad Wolf’s Closing: “Service Life” DefinedR.I.P. - Big Bad Wolf Logo
Yesterday, the Big Bad Wolf made its final run. While on the Busch Garden’s Roller Coaster Tour over the weekend, the tour guide Zach Gray admitted he was sad to see Big Bad Wolf go just like everyone else. Like many locals his age, it was his first roller coaster. He explained that the ride was closing because it had reached “the end of its service life.” The service life term appeared in the park’s official statements, but I never really understood what Busch meant by the term.

Zach explained in so many words that based on the ride’s dynamics, design, and specific installation, the manufacturer (Arrow), set a service life for the roller coaster. He compared it to the rider height requirements set by Big Bad Wolf Flies Through the Bavarian Villagecoaster manufacturers that parks agree to follow. In other words, Arrow may have told Busch that Big Bad Wolf will last about 25 years. Zach also informed me that cost was not an issue. If it was simply cost then, the park would have kept Big Bad Wolf open, he stated.

The Big Bad Wolf portion of the tour was brief. The tour guide explained that Big Bad Wolf had different maintenance operations than the other coasters. It only involved a quick look at the trains from the station. I’ll have a full trip report of the Roller Coaster Tour up soon.

Coverage of Big Bad Wolf’s Final Day
BGW Fans has in-depth coverage of the Wolf’s last hours. The station was pretty lively with Big Bad Wolf chants and wolf howls. Busch Gardens promised to stay open later than normal if needed so that everyone in line could get a ride. On a night when the park was supposed to close at 9 PM, the Wolf was still running at 10:45 according to ScreamScape. Here’s a video from BGW Fans of the last train returning to the station:

Don’t Expect to See Big Bad Wolf Relocated
For anyone familiar with Big Bad Wolf’s layout, it’s pretty clear that its custom terrain-based layout couldn’t simply be disassembled and placed at another park. In addition, we won’t likely see other parks use the Wolf’s trains. Big Bad Wolf is a second generation Arrow suspended coaster. The other suspended coasters still in operation are newer generations and have slightly different specifications.

Big Bad Wolf now joins the ranks of popular (if not legendary) defunct roller coasters like Hercules at Dorney Park, Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the original Steel Phantom at Kennywood. More than anything, I will miss the ride’s exciting flight through that Bavarian village filled with scared villagers watching from their candle-lit windows. I really hope that the new ride uses the same village in some way. It would be a real waste to tear all that down. Read my full Big Bad Wolf review.

What’s Your Take?
Are you sad to see Big Bad Wolf go? Leave a final goodbye or other comment below.

44 Comments

  1. This wasn't my first coaster, but it was the first one I loved.

    The early advertising for it always stressed the "village" section at the beginning. I remember the first time I rode it, thinking it was over when that bit was done, then realizing that after the brake run there was that mysterious second lift, with the track turning left at the top toward *something* hidden by the trees…

    Reply
  2. I loved the big bad wolf! They replaced it with Verbolten.I noticed the BBW was gone so I rode Verbolten and I stayed and rode it every day for a week. On my last day, Verbolten was closed because they were already having issues. I'm sorry for people who like it but the big bad wolf definitely beat Verbolten. The ride was to over don't and you were dropped a couple of feet. The drop could have been better because it seemed to slow and the caves/leaves really didn't look good compared to othe Busch garden rides. I love Apollo though. It's now my favorite ride. We always end our vacation on Apollo, I love it. I'll always carry the BBW in my memories and it will always be my old favorite ride. I always had to go by muse
    F because my dad was to scared. I loved the part wher it went over the lake and through the two pillars. It had a great view of the park at that point. I could rode on it every day all day. R.I.P The Big Bad Wolf!

    Reply
  3. I loved the big bad wolf! They replaced it with Verbolten.I noticed the BBW was gone so I rode Verbolten and I stayed and rode it every day for a week. On my last day Verbolten was closed because it was already having issues. It had only been opened a week at this time. The ride was sucking and it went to slow it some parts. Also the leaves and caves didn't even go with the theme. They also were very bad and to fake. I mean busch gardens really stepped down on this ride. I love the big bad wolf and I will always love. I remeber going to wher it was is 2009 and it was gone. Nothing was left not even a pillar of the old ride. I almost cried. Then in 2010 or 2011 I went and verboltenwas up. I still hate Verbolten.i go to Busch gardens every day and now I only have lock ness, apollo, the griffin, and Alpengeist. Rest in peace big bad wolf!

    Reply

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