Don’t Sleep on This Swingin’ Old Suspended Coaster
The Big Bad Wolf is the perfect example of why I love Busch Gardens Williamsburg. And it’s not even the park’s best roller coaster, but it does give you an experience that would be nearly impossible to find anywhere else. A suspended terrain coaster that flies through a Bavarian village then dives to a river. Try finding that in the Coaster Capital (Cedar Point) or in California (state with most coasters). The Wolf is Located in the Rhineland (Germany) section of the European-themed park. After dropping off of the short lift hill the train seems to be suddenly be possessed with an intense amount of speed that comes out of nowhere. It still surprises me every time I ride it. Maybe it’s common for suspended to seem faster than they are but it makes 45mph feel a lot faster. As you swing through the village (built just for the ride) you can see lights on in windows and other props that add to the effect of a village in fear of the wolf.
Next the train comes out of the village, slows to a crawl and then hits the next lift. The second, much longer lift used to have speakers with wolves howling unfortunately I noticed they had been removed on my last visit. Big Bad Wolf feels pretty isolated even though it’s right there in the park. This is thanks to BGW having so many trees and the rolling topography. Finally, you crest the second hill and dive towards the Rhine River. Right above the river you swoop to the left, take a few more swinging turns and you’re back at the station.
So why only a seven? The ride is a little rough and may be showing it’s age some. It also feels a little short even though it’s much longer than a lot of rides. Also, on a night trip through the village I wasn’t as blown away as I used to be, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. Still as you fly through the village you can see candlelight windows and those great little theming touches. Overall, the Wolf is still way more inventive and interesting than your average steel coaster. I wish more coasters were themed this well. Final Grade – 7.5 (Good-Approaching Great)
Want to know how good a 7.5 is? Check out my Coaster Rating System.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Big Bad Wolf? Leave a comment below.