Big Bad Wolf (roller coaster)

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Big Bad Wolf
The 99-foot drop over the Rhine River.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Park section Oktoberfest
Coordinates 37°14′00.5″N 76°38′41.5″W / 37.233472°N 76.644861°W / 37.233472; -76.644861Coordinates: 37°14′00.5″N 76°38′41.5″W / 37.233472°N 76.644861°W / 37.233472; -76.644861
Status Closed
Opening date June 15, 1984
Closing date September 9, 2009
Replaced by Verbolten
General statistics
Type Steel – Suspended
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Ron Toomer
Model Suspended roller coaster
Track layout Terrain
Height 113 ft (34 m)
Drop 99 ft (30 m)
Length 2,800 ft (850 m)
Speed 48 mph (77 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 3:00
G-force 4.0
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Big Bad Wolf at RCDB
Pictures of Big Bad Wolf at RCDB

Big Bad Wolf was a suspended roller coaster in the Oktoberfest section of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. First opened in 1984, the ride operated for 25 years and the ride closed on September 7, 2009. The footers, queue line, and station were left standing and have been re-purposed for Verbolten, an attraction introduced in the 2012 season.


Prior to the construction of Big Bad Wolf, Anton Schwarzkopf had designed a prototype ("Flying Coaster") for the park. Even though three-quarters of the new ride had been built, the ride was never completed, and was later completely scrapped.[1] Busch Gardens then handed the contract to Arrow Dynamics, who built the ride known as the Big Bad Wolf.

After the failure of The Bat at Kings Island, Arrow Development/Arrow Huss refined its own suspended roller coaster concept and opened XLR-8 at Six Flags Astroworld in 1984. Big Bad Wolf was supposed to open on March 18, but it got delayed. Despite this, it was completed and opened shortly thereafter in June. XLR-8 continued to operate until the closure of Astroworld in 2005.

On July 24, 2009, it was announced that the Big Bad Wolf would be retired after 25 years of operation. The land on which Big Bad Wolf stood was cleared at the end of the 2011 season to make room for the construction of Verbolten that was opened in 2012.[2]

Ride experience[edit]

Big Bad Wolf's last steep drop. At top, a trim brake was added halfway down this drop during its opening.

Following a safety announcement and recorded departure message, "Thank you and enjoy traveling at the speed of fright!", the ride would start out with a small dip out of the station, turning left then right before ascending the first lift hill. It then goes down the first drop, reaching speeds of around 48 to 50 miles per hour (77 to 80 kilometres per hour). The train would then steer its way though a Bavarian village, narrowly missing houses and shops. The first section of the ride then heads towards a helix through a wooded area adjacent to the village.

The train then enters a set of brakes in order to slow the train down prior to the second lift. Following the brakes, the train then turns right, & begins to ascend the second lift hill. This chain lift takes the riders up to a 100-foot (30 m) lift, before the train turns left & sends riders straight down a 100ft drop, barreling straight towards the park's mock Rhine River at 48 miles per hour (77 kilometres per hour), swooping right above the water.

Originally, mist machines were used to enhance the effect that the train was too close to the water. A few years prior to the closing of the ride, however, the mist machines were removed. After passing by the mist machines, the train then twists and turns and enters the brakes before going back to the station.

Technical information[edit]

The ride used three trains, each comprising seven cars with four seats in each, for a total capacity of 28 riders per train. During the circuit, the ride ascended two lift hills. The greatest G-force experienced during the ride was 4.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]