Big Bad Wolf: A Legend Reaches Its Expiration Date

More Insight Into Big Bad Wolf’s Closing: “Service Life” DefinedR.I.P. - Big Bad Wolf Logo
Yesterday, the Big Bad Wolf made its final run. While on the Busch Garden’s Roller Coaster Tour over the weekend, the tour guide Zach Gray admitted he was sad to see Big Bad Wolf go just like everyone else. Like many locals his age, it was his first roller coaster. He explained that the ride was closing because it had reached “the end of its service life.” The service life term appeared in the park’s official statements, but I never really understood what Busch meant by the term.

Zach explained in so many words that based on the ride’s dynamics, design, and specific installation, the manufacturer (Arrow), set a service life for the roller coaster. He compared it to the rider height requirements set by Big Bad Wolf Flies Through the Bavarian Villagecoaster manufacturers that parks agree to follow. In other words, Arrow may have told Busch that Big Bad Wolf will last about 25 years. Zach also informed me that cost was not an issue. If it was simply cost then, the park would have kept Big Bad Wolf open, he stated.

The Big Bad Wolf portion of the tour was brief. The tour guide explained that Big Bad Wolf had different maintenance operations than the other coasters. It only involved a quick look at the trains from the station. I’ll have a full trip report of the Roller Coaster Tour up soon.

Coverage of Big Bad Wolf’s Final Day
BGW Fans has in-depth coverage of the Wolf’s last hours. The station was pretty lively with Big Bad Wolf chants and wolf howls. Busch Gardens promised to stay open later than normal if needed so that everyone in line could get a ride. On a night when the park was supposed to close at 9 PM, the Wolf was still running at 10:45 according to ScreamScape. Here’s a video from BGW Fans of the last train returning to the station:

Don’t Expect to See Big Bad Wolf Relocated
For anyone familiar with Big Bad Wolf’s layout, it’s pretty clear that its custom terrain-based layout couldn’t simply be disassembled and placed at another park. In addition, we won’t likely see other parks use the Wolf’s trains. Big Bad Wolf is a second generation Arrow suspended coaster. The other suspended coasters still in operation are newer generations and have slightly different specifications.

Big Bad Wolf now joins the ranks of popular (if not legendary) defunct roller coasters like Hercules at Dorney Park, Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the original Steel Phantom at Kennywood. More than anything, I will miss the ride’s exciting flight through that Bavarian village filled with scared villagers watching from their candle-lit windows. I really hope that the new ride uses the same village in some way. It would be a real waste to tear all that down. Read my full Big Bad Wolf review.

What’s Your Take?
Are you sad to see Big Bad Wolf go? Leave a final goodbye or other comment below.