A Lost Treasure, Rampage is a Wooden Gem in the Deep South
Alabama Adventure (formerly Visionland) is just west of Birmingham, AL. It’s a small park with three coasters, a water park, and a number of flat rides. The only real draw from for me, as The Coaster Critic, was Rampage. Between Bobfunland’s glowing, but fair review over at ThemeParkCritic and the 14th place ranking in the latest Internet Coaster Poll, I was convinced to make the 2 hour trip west from Six Flags Over Georgia to ride Rampage. After five rides with literally no wait, I can say it was definitely worth the trip.
On a weekday in early June, Alabama Adventure was a near ghost town. I parked just a few rows from the entrance and quickly bought my discounted twilight admission ticket for $18. The small main street area had the typical shops and restaurants. The park was broken up into three areas. Off to the right there’s an entrance to the Splash Beach Water Park and at then end of main street you pass into Magic City USA. Inside, there’s a large area with midway style games and a carnival feel. Again, with the emptiness of the park, there were no games open. Just beyond, in Marvel City, I could see Rampage’s peaks poking out of the woods at the back of the park. Marvel City had a collection of flat rides and the park’s three roller coasters: Zoomerang, Marvel Mania and Rampage.
As I arrived at Rampage’s station, I was surprised to see absolutely no wait. I’m not one to wait for the front seat, but since it was open I climbed in. The ride was surprisingly smooth and packed with airtime, speed, and the out of control feeling you want in a woodie. I immediately jumped back in line for re-rides. This time I hopped in the very back of the only train that was operating.The train leaves the station, takes a right turn, and begins the ’120 climb. At the top you can see all of Alabama Adventure and the hilly, green terrain that surrounds the rural park. The opening drop was much more intense in the back. As I’d hoped, the train pulled the cars in the back down the 100′ drop. What I didn’t expect was the strong ejector-like moment of air as you get yanked over the crest of the hill. The airtime was almost on the level of Cyclops at Mount Olympus.
At the bottom of the hill the track banks to the left and your off on your journey. The ride is fast and powerful, but never too rough to enjoy. For a wooden coaster built in 1998, I was shocked at how well it rode. Rampage lives up to its name with intensity, airtime, and a pretty long ride. The circuit involves two trips out and finish that has you dropping right into the station. There was literally no wait and because of its re-ridability and overall fun ride, I got in three consecutive rides and then two more after riding the parks other coasters. I can see why this coaster was praised and it’s landed at 8th on my top 10 wooden coasters list. Final Rating 9.0 (Excellent)
The Good – Rampage has found the fountain of youth. Nearly 10 years old it runs like its brand new with speed and intensity without roughness. It offers both ejector (in the back seat on the first) hill and moments of floater air throughout.
The Bad – There’s nothing I would characterize as bad, but there’s absolutely no theming. I saw two posts with chains hanging from that likely held the Rampage sign at some point, but was missing.
The Ugly – Nothing.
Rampage is rated ‘TR’ for Traditional. It’s a 2 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.
Here’s a POV video of Rampage:
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Rampage? What’d you think? Leave a comment below. Second image courtesy of Greg’s Coaster Photos.