America’s first wing roller coaster, Wild Eagle, opened this weekend and there were of course some theme park fans in attendance. Overall, reviews seemed very positive. The only even slightly negative thing I came across was a mention of “slight discomfort from the restraints”.
Here’s a brief overview of what I’ve been reading. Where you sit on Wild Eagle seems to really matter. As one reviewer pointed out, you may be on the inside or the outside of some inversions depending on which side of the train you’re on. This can affect the forcefulness of the inversions. Also, riding in the front seat created leg chopper moments according to one rider. The lift hill is being described as unusually steep and fast and the first drop is very good. The rapid fire inversions are disorienting to some and the last third or so seemed to be more forceful overall.
Regarding Wild Eagle, in my honest opinion, B&M, Dollywood and Herschend have knocked one out of the park with the whole package-the ride, the theming, the operations, the details-adding what I feel is a stellar addition to what was already a fantastic park. I thought the coaster itself was flawless, provided a ride with just enough intensity to be satisfying to thrillseekers yet still remain accessible to a wide demographic and extremely re-rideable, and the location just adds to what was an extremely well engineered concept.
Wild Eagle is, as others have said, a wonderful addition. It’s fun and smooth and beautiful and pretty unique. It probably won’t threaten any world-class rankings, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a ride or two. Wild Eagle is the first coaster where I’ve had some discomfort in the restraints (I was fine on Maverick, I-305), as the shoulder straps tightened against my clavicles awkwardly on both of my rides and couldn’t be loosened at all. But, I didn’t notice it till the brake run, and I certainly wouldn’t let that keep me from riding in the future. . . . . Aesthetically, there is absolutely nothing about the project (coaster, hillside, entrance plaza, station, statue, etc) that is anything short of gorgeous.
I probably rode about 20 times over the two days- by the final hour both days it was only a station wait. I got to experience a variety of different seats. I think I slightly prefer the extreme right seat as its entry into the zero-g roll feels much more intense (especially in the back), and I feel like there are more close passes to trees and supports. As ernierocker noted, the leg choppers are amazing, especially in front with nothing around you. All of the inversions slow down as they are taken, which is really cool for seeing the world upside down from atop the mountain.
I also liked how the trees around the coaster are cut just enough to allow clearance…you are literally flying through the trees…i loved that too. To me, this feels more like a flying coaster than do the ‘flying coasters’ like Superman at SFOG
What’s Your Take?
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