Wildfire (Silver Dollar City)

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Wildfire
WildfireSDC.JPG
One of Wildfire's trains navigating the Immellmann loop, with the vertical loop in the foreground
Silver Dollar City
Location Silver Dollar City
Park section Hugo's Hill Street
Coordinates 36°40′07″N93°20′33″W / 36.66861°N 93.34250°W / 36.66861; -93.34250 Coordinates: 36°40′07″N93°20′33″W / 36.66861°N 93.34250°W / 36.66861; -93.34250
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 4, 2001 (2001-04-04)
Cost US$14 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
ModelSitting Coaster
Track layoutCustom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height120 ft (37 m)
Drop155 ft (47 m)
Length3,073 ft (937 m)
Speed66 mph (106 km/h)
Inversions 5
Duration2:16
Max vertical angle63[ citation needed ]°
Capacity1,300 riders per hour
G-force 3.6[ citation needed ]
Height restriction52 in (132 cm)
Trains2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Wildfire at RCDB
Pictures of Wildfire at RCDB

Wildfire is a steel roller coaster located at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. The $14 million ride was built by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard and opened to the public on April 4, 2001. Wildfire is themed as a flying machine developed by an 1880s Ozark inventor.

Contents

Standing 120 feet (37 m) tall and featuring a top speed of 66 miles per hour (106 km/h), Wildfire is the tallest and second fastest ride at Silver Dollar City. Along its 3,073 feet (937 m) of track, Wildfire features five inversions including an Immelmann loop, a vertical loop, a cobra roll and a corkscrew.

History

In 2000, Silver Dollar City announced that they would be adding the Wildfire roller coaster to their park in April 2001. [1] At a cost of $14 million, the ride would be the most expensive attraction in the park's history. [1] [2] At the time of the announcement, construction was already underway on an undeveloped portion of land in the outskirts of the park. All of the ride's footings were in place with some of the steel supports already erected. Construction was expected to be completed in early January the following year, leaving three months for testing, landscaping and theming. [1] On April 4, 2001, Wildfire officially opened to the public. [3] [4]

Characteristics

A train navigating one of Wildfire's five inversions Wildfire at Silver Dollar City 2.jpg
A train navigating one of Wildfire's five inversions

The 3,073-foot-long (937 m)Wildfire features five inversions including an Immelmann loop, a vertical loop, a cobra roll and a corkscrew. The park's existing terrain (situated on the Ozark Mountains) is utilised to allow a 120-foot-tall (37 m) lift hill to be followed by a first drop of 155 feet (47 m). Riders reach a top speed of 66 miles per hour (106 km/h) on the 2-minute, 16-second ride. The track was manufactured by Clermont Steel Fabricators located in Batavia, Ohio. [5] Wildfire operates with two trains (generally with one train loading/unloading while the other runs the course, each featuring eight cars. Each car seats riders four abreast with ratcheting over-the-shoulder restraints. This configuration allows the ride to achieve a theoretical hourly capacity of 1,300 riders per hour. [3]

Wildfire is located in the "Hugo's Hill Street" district of Silver Dollar City. [6] It is themed around the story of an 1880s Ozark inventor named Dr. Horatio Harris. Harris had an aim to create a powered flying contraption for flight across the Ozark Mountains. The ride's name refers to the fuel he developed for his flying machine. The ride's queue and station area are modelled as the laboratory and invention warehouse of Harris. Riders eventually board his Wildfire-powered flying machine, the steel roller coaster. [1] [4] One year after the opening of the roller coaster Silver Dollar City began selling the Wildfire Burger, a hot and spicy hamburger, themed after the ride. [7]

Ride experience

The train leaves the station, takes a 180 degree right turn and climbs up the chain lift hill to 120 feet (37 m). At the top, the train turns 90 degrees to the left before navigating the first drop of 155 feet (47 m). This is followed by an Immelmann loop, a vertical loop and a cobra roll, the latter of which inverts riders twice. Then the train heads up a banked curve into a corkscrew and a 230 degree turn into the final brake run. [3] [4] [8]

Reception

Rick Baker, Silver Dollar City's vice president of corporate development and design, expected the addition of the ride would increase season pass sales by 9% to 250,000. [9] In 2001, the park was visited by a total of 2.1 million people. [7]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Wildfire ranked in the top 50 steel roller coasters three times. In 2003 it debuted at position 40, before dropping to 46 in 2004 and 49 in 2005. As of 2012 it has not returned to the listing. [10] [11] [12] [13]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Wildfire entered at position 47 in 2001, before peaking at 45 in 2005. It hovered in positions around 60 before dropping to 96 in 2012. The ride's ranking in the poll is shown in the table below. [14]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster [14]
Year200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Ranking
47
60
59
53
45
68
63
53
60
68
[nb 1]
97

Notes

  1. No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2011.

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References

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  2. "Briefs". Bangor Daily News . Bangor Publishing Company. March 2, 2001. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
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  5. Guido, Anna (November 7, 2005). "Steel plant's business on fast track". Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on January 7, 2006. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  6. "WildFire". Silver Dollar City. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
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