Prowler at Worlds of Fun – “Intensely Fun & Action-Packed”
Don’t let this Prowler’s modest stats fool you. This mean cat has a chip on its shoulder. Packed with airtime (moments of weightlessness where you float out of your seat) and lateral g-forces (where you’re thrown to the side), this Great Coasters International woodie is among the best I’ve ridden.
I knew that I was probably going to ride my 250th roller coaster during my trip to Worlds of Fun. I met up with readers Steve and Jeff and after talking with them Prowler was chosen to be 250. We picked a good one. I enjoyed Patriot, Mamba, and Timber Wolf, but one lap on Prowler and I knew that I had encountered a world-class roller coaster on a different level than those rides.
Built in 2009, Prowler is a wooden terrain roller coaster with an interesting layout. After you board the ride’s Millennium Flyer trains, the ride op releases you with one of a number of rhyming sayings like:
“Hide your tracks, watch your back, cause the big black cat’s about to attack!” – “MEOW!”.
Sure, they were a bit cheesy, but I’m all for my stations having some personality.
The train dips out of the station and picks up a little speed as it takes a left turn before charging right into the lift hill. You don’t have much time to take in the view of the twisted layout around you. Before you know it, you’re taking a spiraling dive that sends you back the way you came. The train accelerates and from here to the brakes, Prowler is pure insanity.
One of the ride’s strengths is that it’s tough to see what’s going to happen next. There’s a wild pass-through of the lift hill’s structure. The third hill fooled me pretty good. I was confusing that appeared to be ahead for the moment as the way the train was heading. But Prowler yanked me unexpectedly to the left. The ride continues to toss you around as it transitions between banked turns and short little dips.
The finale comes quickly, but it is quite impressive. Prowler still has tons of speed as it traverses a series of straight, low to the ground, but airtime-packed hills that are likely to surprise as the hills to that point have been curved and banked. There’s another few turns and then the train hits the brakes where riders can finally catch their breath. I rode once in the front and twice in the back. In the back, Prowler seemed to dash a little more angrily, but I can’t imagine that there’s a bad seat on this whole ride.
Prowler is a perfect representation of the out of the control, throw-you-around (but not beat you up) experience that wooden roller coasters should provide. I’d put it right on-par with Dollywood’s Thunderhead, although in at least one way it’s better. Prowler has those traditional straight drops thrown into the twisted, banked, barrage of thrills. Meanwhile, Thunderhead has an entirely twister layout.
Video does not do Prowler justice. It feels much faster and wilder when you’re riding it. I did find some good HD off-ride footage. Here’s a video of Prowler at Worlds of Fun:
Thanks again to Jeff and Steve for showing me their home park. And thanks to Steve for the photos. It was fun guys!
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Prowler at Worlds of Fun? Leave a comment and rate it below.
While I received a complimentary media pass when I visited this park, the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.