Silver Dollar City is located in the mountain’s of Southern Missouri. Aside from a few of the tallest ride’s lift hills poking out above the treeline, it’s tough to see the rides until your about to get on them. This was also the case as Daryl and Kendra (my tour guides for the day) led me towards Wildfire.
I’d studied images of the brown B&M looping coaster for years, but they didn’t prepare me for seeing it in person. We bypassed the queue and instead took a left passing through the gift shop. On the other side, there was quite a dramatic reveal. As we stepped onto the observation area, there was Wildfire’s massive cobra roll and sea of rolling green terrain punctuated by a lake in the distance. I have to say it was quite an introduction, with up-close view of a beautiful man-made structure with an also beautiful natural terrain as a backdrop.
Wildfire was built in 2001. It’s a Bollinger & Mabillard looping coaster that seats riders four-across. It’s situated on a small footprint right on the side of a mountain. Unfortunately, I missed out on the ride’s theming. I had a Trailblazer pass so I entered the station from a side door. Shame on me for not checking out the queue more. From what I could see from inside the station, it looked cool with some kind of a large machine with liquid bubbling inside. Here’s a theming note from RCDB: “Based on an 1880′s Ozarks tale of Dr. Horatio Harris, an inventor who was working on a flying machine. “Wildfire” was the name of the fuel he created for this machine.”
I rode Wildfire twice in the front. Both times, I was paired with a family of three riders. Thankfully, they were nice and were cool with me joining them. Riders can expect the standard B&M looping coaster seats; which have the most comfortable restraints and seats around. Shortly after the train is dispatched it takes an immediate right-hand u-turn and then it meets the lift hill. The climb offers a great view of the aforementioned hilly terrain along with launch coaster Powder Keg to your right.
At the top, there’s a small pre-drop, where the train takes just a dip. Then there’s the first drop; an uncharacteristically (for B&M) straight drop of 155 feet. Wildfire returns to the sky with a smooth Immelmann loop. This is followed be a large vertical loop that pulls some stronger g-forces. Next, is the back-to-back inversions of the cobra roll near the observation area. On some rides, cobra rolls can get pretty rough, but they were a bit less so on Wildfire. It could’ve had something to do with my front seat rides. Wildfire finishes with a fun corkscrew and then heads right into the station brakes.
Wildfire’s a solid ride that’s sure to continue to be a crowd-pleaser for Silver Dollar City for years to come. It’s no Kraken or Hulk, but I’d put it on-par with other compact B&M loopers like Batman The Ride at Six Flags New England; with the added bonus of the great view and picturesque location. Images on the Web just don’t do the ride’s surroundings justice. Wildfire won’t blow you away if you’ve traveled quite a bit, but it’s definitely a fun ride.