Wildcat @ Hersheypark | Roller Coaster Reviews
Coaster enthusiasts often fall into two camps. Those who can excuse a rough ride on a wooden coaster and Wild Cat Roller Coaster - Hersheyparkthose who can’t. I’m in the latter camp. I don’t mind being thrown around a bit, but Wildcat just down right hurt. I rode it during my last trip to Hersheypark which kicked off my busy 2006 season.

Wildcat is a wooden twister and the first coaster built by Great Coasters International. As their name suggests, GCI went on to build some great wooden roller coasters including Thunderhead and Lightning Racer. I’d ridden Roar at Six Flags America which is an exact clone of Hershey’s Wildcat, so I figured I knew what I was in for.

The bumpy ride began with a swooping drop to the right. It’s about the only enjoyable part of the ride. The remaining 90% of Wildcat is rough and bumpy. The real low point comes about halfway through. A small hill that was likely designed for a nice, fun pop of air delivered the opposite. I was treated with a violent jerk that resulted in my leg banging against the car. After I got off, I had a small indention below my shin. Luckily, the injury didn’t break the skin. I know wooden coasters are known for their roughness, but Wildcat was excessive. Final Rating – 3.5 (Bad Approaching Below Average)

Similar Roller Coasters:
Roar at Six Flags America Largo, MD
Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Vallejo, CA
Ozark Wildcat at Celebration City Branson, MO

What’s Your Take?
Did you have an equally rough ride on Wildcat? Did the recently installed (2007) Millennium Flyer trains help at all? Leave a comment below.

Photo Credits: Header photo via Creative CommonsJeremy Thomspon (Header Photo). Post Photo courtesy of CoasterImage.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

39 Responses

  1. Paul

    Wildcat, with the new trains, is one my favorite coasters at Hershey. Still not for the timid or those who don't like to be jostled around on wooden coasters. I'm a fan of both steel and wood coasters and this one just kicks butt. It feels fast and has a bad attitude, which is nice compared to the steel coasters, much like Lightening and Thunder. A lot of laughs in a tight space. I look forward to riding this one at night to close out the day!

  2. Ness

    I agree with The Coaster Critic. The Wildcat's roughness is excessive. I rode this roller coaster almost three weeks ago and I am still suffering because of it. My head was in pain from the moment of the first drop and I was badly shaken throughout the entire ride. My headache has been constant ever since. I even went for an MRI yesterday. I really wish I had read some reviews before making the terrible decision to ride this rollercoaster.

  3. Judy P in Pgh

    I usually ride coasters near the back, but on Wildcat, I find the ride to be much more tolerable in the middle.

  4. MBrilhart

    I never had a chance to experience the described PTC Train disaster that I have constantly read and been told about. What I did experience in the summer of 2009 was a wooded roller coaster with a wicked first drop and a nicely paced layout. I have nothing but good things to say about the Wildcat. I feel it gets more negative attention than it deserves. It's a wooden roller coaster. It is not supposed to be a smooth experience.

  5. Mike Brooks

    I remember riding this years ago – I assume it was the older trains – and it was rough as all get out (but I miss the squeeky wheels), but still a great ride, and I'm a 50+yo old guy who sometimes gets headaches from coasters. I was bracing for a rough ride this year, but it was noticeably smoother, almost as smooth as the Lightning Racer. This is my favorite ride at Hershey.

    You can have your tube coasters and your inversions (and making sure that you keep your head back, your shoulder harness is locked, and your hands placed in the correct position); I love going hands-free with just a lap bar and the rattling intensity of the wooden coasters.

  6. blahblahblah

    this ride is rough but it is one of my favorites at hershey park, and one of my favorite wooden coasters i've rode. its bumpy, but its just like meanstreak at cedar point. i enjoyed them both!:)

  7. Matt

    I hate this ride. It is one of my least favorite wooden coasters. The new trains may help a little with the side to side banging, but your head still shakes up, down, and sideways like a bobble head. I had a bad headache after I rode this. I know this was GCI's first coaster, but I still can't excuse its roughness. Now if you are at hershey and want a great, smooth, and fun wooden coaster then head across the park to GCI's newer woodie lightning racer. It is definitely better to ride lightning racer on both sides than waste your time on wildcat, although if you want a coaster credit then thats probrably the only reason I would ride wildcat. Lightning racer is my 2nd favorite woodie after el toro. Do you have a lightning racer review coaster critic?

  8. Lev

    I'm really shocked at this review…I rode this a dozen times and it's a FANTASTIC coaster. It most certainly is NOT a ROAR clone, by the way.

    It has a wild, out of control feeling but it isn't rough. And those new cars are simply amazing, every wooden coaster should run them.

    You need to ride this again, because nowadays, it's a fantastic coaster.

  9. chewie0905

    Yes the new trsins helped sooooooo much!!!! There is little roughness (except for a little throwing to the side in the 270 degree turn before the second drop). Now it has alot of air time and is a great ride. PLEASE, change youtr ratin to at least an 8!!!!!!!!!

  10. coasterfreak118

    i saw your recent hersheypark review and how you said wildcat was fun. also that this review was written when it had the PTC trains. ive only rode it with the millenium flyer trains so i dont know what it used to feel like. i dont think of it as a head banger i think of it more as a shaker almost as if you can feel every nuke and cranny in the track. otherwise its a great ride

  11. Levi

    Yo Coaster Critic – you blew it on this one. Not only is this a magnificent ride, it is NOT a clone of ROAR, not at all. It has very little in common with that ride and they have very different overall layouts.

    Still you wrote this years ago…maybe Wildcat is running better now.

  12. Jimmy

    AMAZING. You guys are crazy to say this ride isn't rough. This ride severely hurt my girlfriend and my father. My sides hurt, man its rough. REALLY just insanely rough. Man, i think my father threw out his back, just terrible. Need to be blown apart.

    Gotta be kidding me. Just a TERRIBLE ride. You nailed it coaster critic.

  13. Just Lou

    Worst coaster I've ever been on. I actually feel like I got concussed on it, and still have headaches. Every person that got off it with was complaining about some kind of pain or ailment. This ride is borderline dangerous.

    • Mark from NJ

      I should have know something was wrong when there was no line to ride the Wild Cat on a crowded July day. My 2nd warning should have been when people were getting off the ride telling people to not ride it. Well, I rode it and my head and back still hurt 3 days later. Worst ride ever.

  14. DRU

    You will have to try her again.
    She is not bad at all now. Just normal rough for a woddie. My buddy rode hands up the whole ride and we were near the back.

  15. Shane

    Rode her July 10th. WORST COASTER EVER. Shaken like crazy, bruised on my hip, and the wheels squeaked. I screamed going in the hoop-dee-doo “GREASE THIS DANG THING”! Should have known when no one was in line.

  16. Matt McIrvin

    I was just talking about this with my sister (big wooden-coaster fan), who rode it a year or two back: she insists that it’s not bad at all and was probably her favorite ride at the park! I’m feeling some cognitive dissonance, since this is so different from what I usually hear about it.

    • Matt McIrvin

      …Of course, as a big wooden-coaster fan, my sister probably has specialized expectations of what a good coaster ride is like, and may be more tolerant of roughness than the average rider.


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