Wildcat’s Revenge Review

This week Hersheypark unveiled the park’s newest coaster, Wildcat’s Revenge. This Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) steel reimaging of the first Great Coasters International (GCI) woodie, Wildcat, has been rumored and anticipated for years. Does this hybrid coaster live up to expectations?

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Ever since RMC started its hybrid conversions people have discussed Wildcat as the perfect candidate for the RMC treatment. Its reputation for roughness, relatively unremarkable ride experience, and location yards away from the dueling GCI Lightning Racer made its eventual hybrid conversion a forgone conclusion in the coaster community. Yet it took over 10 years for this conversion to happen, and how fortunate we are that it did. Wildcat’s Revenge stands as a wonderfully well-rounded coaster, equal parts mind bending looper and aggressive airtime machine.

Wildcat’s Revenge takes full advantage of Wildcat‘s hillside setting and the mix of wooden and black steel supports alongside bright red track makes it a very striking coaster. I want to give credit to whomever decided to have the steel cantilevered lift structure black instead of the faux wood brown we’ve seen on other RMCs. The contrast makes for an excellent visual identity. The station, entrance, and logo all pop. Learning from the lessons of other RMCs Hershey has installed free, double-sided lockers with the coaster. This is a great solution to the loose article problems we’ve seen with other RMCs and will hopefully help the ride run efficiently.

In the station you’ll notice a few RMC firsts. The most obvious is a new set of grab handles on the familiar RMC lap bars, one vertical bar for each hand and an odd-looking flexible loop that protrudes from the base of the lap bar. This loop lets riders hold on much like you would to horses’ reins. These make a big difference and fix the problem of “no where to hold on” much better than the awkward and often broken nylon handles seen in the past. Wildcat’s Revenge is also the first RMC coaster to feature a designated unload station. During the media event the coaster was only running 2 trains but this design certainly shows a commitment from the park for high capacity attractions.

Wildcat’s Revenge kicks off with a wonderful pre-lift sequence featuring none of the gut-punching bunny bills we’ve come to expect from RMC. Instead, gentler off-axis airtime hills and a curving drop following the natural terrain hint at the ride to come. Like most RMCs the 140 ft (42.6 m) first drop is incredible, with Wildcat’s revenge comparing favorable to taller and steeper installations. The underflip (which the park is proudly marketing as the largest in the world)) immediately following the first dropkicks off the ride with RMCs signature combination of airtime and inversion, but remarkably without any of the “punchy” extra airtime bumps in between. This allows you to really appreciate this element and the sustained speed of the coaster as you fly down the curved drop. The coaster than flies into a relatively low airtime hill which delivers some of the best “flojector” airtime on any coaster I’ve ridden. Other highlight elements include an lateral and airtime-filled double up, and a stunning zero-g roll that flows directly into a terrain hugging turn.

Official POV courtesy of Hersheypark

There is a grace and power to Wildcat’s Revenge that is just undeniable. It warmed up over the course of the media event and the speed in which the trains fly into the break run shows what amazing pacing this coaster has. Each element flows together beautifully and not one part of the coaster’s over 3,500 ft (1067 m) of track is wasted. Hersheypark did well to wait to convert Wildcat until it could become the polished, elite, coaster that Wildcat’s Revenge is.

Hersheypark provided a wonderful picnic including some of their new Wildcat’s Revenge food and beverage offerings.

The park is also rolling out some new Wildcat’s Revenge food and beverage options. We had the opportunity to sample the signature “Revenge-a-Rita” and Wildcat’s Revenge Coaster Dog. The margarita was very sweet, as theme park margarita’s typically are, but very refreshing on a hot summers day! The Coaster Dog consists of one the park’s hot dogs topped with sweet and spicy marmalade and potato sticks. I really enjoyed this unique combination that still very much felt like a classic all-American hot dog.

Congratulations to Hersheypark on this incredible addition. It compliments the park’s other coasters perfectly and is sure to become a signature ride for the park. With Wildcat’s Revenge I can confidently say that Hersheypark may boast the best coaster collection in the United States, but that’s a topic for another article.

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