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.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

44 Comments

  1. I REALLY think the best ride they could get would be a terrain woodie. They could try and take the record from the Beast for the worlds longest woodie. As rollercoaster dude said they could just keep the village and make the new ride a part of that.

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  2. not a woodie, last time Busch tried that, we got cursed with Gwazi. Why do you think we never saw another>

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  3. U TOOK MY NAME!

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  4. You pulled that one on yourself JaMeS 😉 .

    PS-Again, they should have Vekonama rebuild it but whith lap bar restraints and other seet, stuff. i haven`t ridden it so i couldn`t see any other problems whith the trains

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  5. I'm very sad today…I recommend a terrain woodie to maintain that "through the woods" experience.

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  6. i`m all for the "replace it whith a Woddie" idea. ayone else?

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  7. Yeah, that would be a great idea! I think they should make it an pre-fab that goes though a few tunnels.

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  8. I really think since it was just 'issues with maintaining it,' that they should come up with "Son of the Wolf" and make it the same style, but 'updated' for longevity's sake, so it can last more than a quarter of a century, and make it taller and more exciting. Like, make the hills twice as tall, and make it more thrilling. NOW THAT would bring people out to "Son of the Wolf"!!!!

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  9. Umm, that's a good idea in theory, but I'm not so sure it would work out. What if we had another Son of Beast on our hands? Son of Beast is a good ride, don't get me wrong, but through all the controversy, only one thing is clear – it is ROUGH! What if "Son of the Wolf" came out and it was rough? Also, BBW is specially made for the terrain it was on. How can another, taller, longer ride fit in the same space? Maybe we need to revisit that idea and change it. I personally like the idea of a new woodie.

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  10. also, BBW is supposed to be a family ride. making the hills twice as tall would make it less of one. i think making a pre-fab woodie whith tunnles a Tom suggested would be a great addition to the park.

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  11. and all u ppl are taking my name! OMG!!!!!!!!!

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  12. Let's not get to another name fight, like on Discussion Page a few weeks ago. CC could have kicked us off the chat.

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  13. If you look at the demolition pictures they're tearing down the bavarian village.

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  14. All I know is tearing down this ride, along with the village, is a mistake. Even if in the near future BGW gets another world class coaster. It was enough that they stopped the ride, but the village could have def. been used in any future plans.

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  15. I bwet they aren't DESTROYING the village, just taking it apart and putting it some-where else

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  16. Hey guys, bit of a heads up, The reason BBW is going away is due to it reaching the end of its maitainable life. aka they don't make proper parts for it anymore, and using newer parts would make it unsafe (anyone remember "The Bat" at Kings Island?) As for nessie, she uses a more conventional design so she'll be here for quite a while longer.

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    • i thought you were talking about nessie as in the person! i was thinking: she? well i don`t know about that, but i thought vekoma could replace the track.

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  17. This was my first coaster and my son's first coaster. It's still a favorite for our whole family. I understand having to pull it out for safety reasons, but it does break my heart. And Nessie may be more conventional and therefore able to keep running, but should she really? That is one rough ride. Last year we finally gave up the ghost and quit riding her because she makes our heads hurt. If one of the oldies had to go, I'd rather it was her.

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  18. I read no woody because of noise ordinance issues. Bummed I never got to ride it. Grew up with Great Adventure, just discovered Busch Gardens. Loved it!

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  19. My boyfriend told me about Big Bad Wolf. He took me to Busch Gardens for the first time last weekend. I saw the old spot. Saw the old loading area. The whole ride is gone except for the station and the cement blocks that were the bases of the supports were. I wish I had gotten the chance to ride it. Oh well. Maybe I will get the chance to ride the replacement.

    Reply

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